The sounds of summer are back in Boston. The chant of “Yankees Suck , Yankees Suck” fill the air on opening day. I was fortunate enough to attend yesterdays home opener. The sounds of Fenway are just as enjoyable as the sights. My day started with the sounds of grown men pointing and whispering, “there’s Luis Tiant”. Sure enough, as I looked to my left there was Louie sitting at a round metal table at the El Tiante sandwich stand. The picture above is courtesy of yours truly, ( I never claimed to be a good photographer). I shook his hand and he signed my opening day ticket. A good start to an afternoon of baseball.
The announcement of the Yankees players brought a chorus of boos. You know the boos raining down on Derek Jeter were jeers of respect , whereas the boos for Alex Rodriguez were of pure hatred. I have attended many home openers over the years and I look forward to hearing which Sox player is going to draw the most cheers. Last year was Mike Lowell and deservedly so. I would assume that Carl Crawford or Adrian Gonzalez would have been the fan favorites this year. Not so, although they received a hearty welcome, the loudest ovation went to Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield.
Then came the ooooooh’s and ahhhhhh’s as the three new HD video screens were unvieled, they are amazing. Then in strolled Yaz, the great Carl Yastrzemski trotted in as the crowd roared. The crowd cheered right up to Yaz throwing the first pitch to Varitek. Like all opening days, Johnny Pesky did his traditional, “play ball” call. Then it began.
The Fenway faithful were silenced quicky as Robinson Cano ripped a drive over Jacoby Ellsbury‘s head for two quick runs in the first. John Lackey didn’t help control the crowds hum of disappointment, as he did his best Daisuke Matsuzaka impersonation, working the count to three balls on virtually ever hitter.
It didn’t take long for the fans to get back into this one. First was the low hum of pleading as the ball off Dustin Pedroia’s bat seemed to hang in the air forever, then the eruption as it fell into the left field seats above the green monster. This was Pedroia’s day and he again brought the crowd to its feet as he drilled another hit for two more runs and then ecstatic as he fearlessly rounded third on a soft hit by Adrian Gonzalez.
A-Rod’s missile into the left field seats to tie the game at 6 all sent shock waves throughout the stadium. You could hear the nervous tension murmur all through Fenway. The man with the longest name in the majors, brought the fans to their feet again. Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s double gave the Sox a 7-6 lead that they would never relinquish. The crowd could finally relax and get a little giddy as J.D. Drew’s two run single in the 7th put everyone at ease.
Our seats were down the right field line between first and the Pesky pole, the fans in right enjoyed chanting, “Swisherrrrr, Swisherrrr” throughout the day. Nick Swisher seemed to enjoy the attention as he smiled and nodded to the crowd more than once.
The fans danced and sang as “Sweet Caroline” blared over the speakers. Up next, the Jonathan Papelbon entrance. It never gets old watching Papelbon trot into the rocking sounds of “Shipping off to Boston”. Still, this was a little different. I don’t think anyone felt this game was in the bag. Papelbon blew Brett Gardner away with ease and the crowd got louder. But , then came the loudest ovation of the day as Papelbon over matched Derek Jeter as he swung meekly at strike three. The chant of “Yankees Suck , Yankees Suck” grew momentum. Many times, we heard this chant throughout the game, but none louder when Jeter struck out. The next sound you hear is the sighs of relief as Mark Teixeira ball flies high towards short center field. As Ellsbury clutched the last out, the celebration broke out. The proverbial monkey off our backs. No One seemed to be in a hurry to exit the stadium today, rather we all stood and listened as “Dirty Water” rang out.
So, the next time you visit Fenway, dont just open your eyes, listen to all of the sounds of the game. I promise it will make your Fenway experience even better.
Oh yeah, one more thing, it doesnt matter if the Sox are playing the Yankees or not. If you look at the scoreboard and see that the Yankees are losing to someone , somewhere, just start chanting, “Yankees Suck, Yankees Suck” its great therapy for the soul.
Topics: Adrian Gonzalez, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, Carl Crawford, Carl Yastrzemski, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia, El Tiante, J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jason Varitek, John Lackey, Johnny Pesky, Jonathan Papelbon, Luis Tiant, Mark Teixiera, Mike Lowell, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Tim Wakefield, Yaz