Category Archives: Boston Red Sox

Fascination with a date

I know that now, pretty much every day of the year is either an anniversary of something, or a something day, or sometimes both, or in the case of the subject on the other blog, a combination of both. But April 15th takes a bit of topping.

So for here, lets do the depressing pair, as this is supposedly the more British applicable one of the blogs, and one of these sad events is British, so… (In truth, over the years, both blogs now seem to be read more by American’s, but besides that…)

The last time Patriots Day, which is held on the 3rd Monday in April, was held on April 15th, was 2013. I presume this goes back to the early days of the Pilgrims arriving in the US, though please dont quote me on that, or shoot me down if wrong. However, given its a ‘New England’ thing, I’m assuming thats the case.

What happens on that day is that the baseball game starts at 11.00 at Fenway Park, and they race the Boston Marathon. Yes, the latter being the subject here. 2013 was the year of the bombing on the Marathon route, which led to 3 people losing their lives, and 16 more losing limbs, and more than 200 others being injured. I did (as I am now) see the game on TV, so I must have been off that day, but only later did I hear the awful news. My only additional concern was Kate, but was quickly told by her that she was fine, though as shocked as I was. Lets hope today is more peaceful, though of course, as is easier after the event, security is far tighter now.

The other anniversary is further back, as 30 years ago was the Hillsborough disaster in Sheffield, when sadly 96 football (soccer, for US readers) fans lost their life in the crush in the stands. Sadly, as is so often the case with the ‘it wasnt my fault’ attitude of the authorities, the whole matter is still only just being sorted out now! We will probably never know what inspired the head of the police to open all the gates, and let thousands of fans rush into a small area of the stands, but he did and history shows what an awful decision it was.

So, for April 15th at least, 2 events not to look back on with pride, and celebration, but definitely with mourning. RIP all those who passed away at those fateful events, and respects sent to all who lost friends and relatives.

Video time. Well, its got a Sheffield connection, its where the band came from, though this video was actually filmed in London, seemingly

Still KC, after all these years

Old friends, and all that stuff. Mainly because everything else I can think to rant about is my health, or politics, so lets avoid those for once…

The first time Kate, and I met up in Boston, I got to fulfil one of my baseball dreams, a visit to the legendary Fenway Park, to watch a game. What you have to allow for, is that when I buy a baseball ticket for myself, its at the budget end of the range. Not the bleachers, even before my back went, but nothing very stylish either, usually an ‘up in the gods’ job. So, not really knowing Kate all that well before the trip, I was assuming much of the same.

Yes, wrong, one of the much nicer seats, and a restaurant available, where the staff cared for our needs before the game, oh wow. The next time we planned to go to the baseball together, I was therefore suspecting more of the same. Let me add, this wasnt in Boston, this was in Kansas City, but yes, the Red Sox were the opposition, so yes, there might have been some friendly rivalry between the 2 of us. Yes, and nice viewing seats too. Oh, and they got better! Kate has some health issues that make mine now look less of a concern, and though the seats were great, she couldnt get comfortable. So she asked nicely, and we quickly got moved to more suitable seats, and had attentive staff caring for us for the rest of the afternoon! It was the year the Royals lost in the World Series, but they got their reward a year later!

So far, thats the only game we’ve been together at, where there has been a friendly rivalry between us. We do tend to have a friendly tease when Kansas State (my team to follow) play Oklahoma State (her university) each year, but nothing too serious, all the same.

Now it looks like we are going to get an extra ‘tease’ next weekend in the NFL, as the Kansas City Chiefs (won last night) are set to host her New England Patriots  (35-7 up, as I write) in the AFC Championship. No, I wont actually see the game, as it will start at 11.40 pm next Sunday, UK time, and thats way too late for me. I’ll have to settle for catching the highlights the next day, I guess? But I bet Kate watches it, as it will be early evening for her, and yeah, its the Patriots!

Of course my added amusement is, we could yet have a Jean Harlow Superbowl, lol, though I’m sure Kate wont want that to happen. Yes, KC, where she was born, against the Hollywood team, the Los Angeles Rams!

One of these days, Kate and I will get to another sports game together. When, and where, to be advised, lol!

OK, the video tonight has no relevance to the blog! I know, shocking stuff. But fine, in some of my short mind control story pieces, I use Clara Johnson, and get her turned temporarily into a robot. So imagine my amusement when I found a musical number, where she’s wearing a metal outfit…

A pair of anniversaries

One is a date one, that I mentioned recently, which was a fun, pleasurable thing. The other is a day one, of which the memories arent quite so sweet.

So, yes, briefly, one year ago today, the 18th April was a Saturday, and I transformed my self into a 40’s girl for a Film Noir party, and movie showing. It was one of many real delights of that first break in Hollywood, possibly only topped by spending 40 minutes or so, outside of the crypt where Jean Harlow sleeps away the years. Fine, walking a mile in high heels, after midnight might have been a bit of a killer, but I lived, and it did prove to me, that if need required it, I could walk in those things, if maybe a little slower than normal!

So fine, now, its not even my best film night in Hollywood, the rooftop viewing of Sunset Boulevard just about tops that, I guess? Yes, mid October, sat in just a summer dress, at night, watching a classic movie, just incredible.

But yes, to the sadder anniversary now. In Boston, today is Patriots Day. Which means something very rare, a morning start for a baseball match, as well as the Boston Marathon. Yes, a few of you might have guessed where we’re heading? 3 years ago, the baseball match was over, the marathon was down to the more ‘fun run’ finishers, and the Red Sox players were getting ready to head out to Cleveland. Then it happened, a pair of explosions, in the area of the race finish, and sadly people lost limbs, and more pertinently, lives, in the ensuing events. Eventually the terrorists involved were rounded up, caught, and brought to justice.

What also happened, was that Boston rallied around itself, and ‘Boston Strong’ became the rallying cry. The baseball team joined in with this, in an amazing way. Lets just remember, at the end of 2011, when set for the play offs, they totally collapsed in September. They didnt collapse in 2012, only because they were shocking the whole season long! But 2013, after this, so early in the season, there was almost a feeling they wanted to perform for the people of Boston. Yes, it worked, quite literally all the way to winning the World Series that year! The 2 years since then, back to awful, sadly. Still, today, watching them play against Toronto (they managed to conjure up defeat, from the jaws of victory), and everything, it was funny, remembering back 3 years, when I again watched the game, then later heard about the tragedy. Today, thankfully, all peaceful.

Right, the traditional ending, the video. I’ve no idea how hilly the course is in Boston, but I thought of this one. A very rare bird, Kate Bush live!

I want to go to…

Oh fine, any regular readers here, who dont know I love baseball, what have you been missing? And yes, one of those huge personal bonuses of spending October, living in Hollywood, was watching the play offs live, in my own little apartment. Hey, I even got to see the first game of the World Series live, before I had to head back to sanity, and the UK, but anyway…I at least got to see the rest of the World Series, the following day, but it was never quite the same thing. But fine, I was happy, the Royals won it all, lets face it.

But at the same time, watching the home town Dodgers, both live, and live on TV last year, was something quite special. Yes, I suppose they’re Hollywood’s team, so I guess they can be my second, or National League team, oh fine! Yes, I’ve got a Dodgers cap somewhere, though actually I gave it to Dave, as I have less need to keep the sun out of my eyes over here, so would never have used it. Not that I bought it, mind. I found it sat on the seat, at the bus stop, on Beachwood Drive, so took ownership! Yes, helped to make me look cool, and a local down in town, which was handy, as it kept the tour people off my back, most of the time.

But today, as I’m typing this, I’m getting my first taste of live baseball, since that last day, in my sweet little Hollywood apartment. So wonderful! Fine, I’ve seen one game, on delay, the next day, but thats not the same as live. And fine, its only Spring Training, so not to be taken too seriously, but its live baseball on ESPN UK! Boston, and St Louis, if you wanted to know. So yes, given the Red Sox are my friend Kate’s team, it got a little bit more than just any game for me.

Will I get to a live game this year? Who knows? If you asked me at present, I’d probably say no, but I guess, that until September, I can hold out hope. As for spending the whole of October, watching the play offs, in a cute apartment in Hollywood, only in my dreams, unless I win the lottery, and thats not likely to happen, with my luck in any matter! But a girl can dream!

But at least on a few occasions, thanks to ESPN, UK version, I can get to see a few live games on TV at least. Yes, it will only be matinee games, in early evening over here, but there are a few of them, so…

All the same, if you’re asking, Do I want to go back to a ball park, or do I want to go back to Hollywood, you bet I do! I just wish, that at this moment, I could see it happening. Ah well…

So fine, this blog, for those who know Broadway musicals at least, may have worked out the video!

Take me out to the ballpark

Yes, today, one passionate Red Sox fan, and one less passionate follower of both the Royals, and the Red Sox headed out to Kaufman Stadium for a game between those 2 teams.

Not many stadiums have fountains, even fewer have as many as this place does, but it does make a spectacular sight. Oh, and to show how things are, fans from each team sit together at the stadium, and WW3 doesnt break out. Soccer fans, please note!

Me, I got a t-shirt very cheaply before we entered the stadium, a small charitable donation, and I’m the proud owner of a ‘Be Royal’ shirt. I also own a neat little batters type helmet, though not of a material that would be used on the mound!

The match was fun, and ended with Kate happier than me, as the Red Sox won. Before you say anything about neutrality, the Royals are in play off contention, the Red Sox arent! Not that they didnt try at the end to let Kansas back into it, but anyway…

A wonderful day out, wonderful service by Royals staff in so many ways, including a young man, who washed out the helmet for me, so I could take it as a souvenir. Why it needed that, It had contained Nacho’s, and sauces, and was so full of food, that even between us, we couldnt finish it, on top of hot dogs.

A good game, great company, and wonderful weather, what more could I ask?

No video, I’ve done most of the neat baseball ones before, more than once.

They are the champions, my friend

But no, you’re not getting the Queen video, though you probably should do! Yes, honest, the last Red Sox posting for the year, and if I can remember how to do it, I’ll change the blog back to something more ‘normal’ in a few days time!

Those who care about Baseball will probably already know who won the World Series, but for the few who dont, it was Boston! 🙂 It was a great series, which Boston won 4-2 in the end, with several outstanding performances, including the incredible David Ortiz, the only man now to have been involved in the 3 series won by Boston this century. He wasnt the only hero, just one of the biggest ones, but anyway…

Given that elsewhere, my friend Kate pretty much talked about the series, I decided my tribute would be what Fenway has meant to me over the last 25 years. So, with my permission, I’m going to re-post it here

Back in September 1988, I arrived in the US for the first time, lets just not mention how many times I’ve been there since, but its a few! :laugh:

Sheila and I flew into Boston, from London, collected the hire car we were having for the next 2 weeks, and headed into Boston, and our pre booked hotel, the only one that was pre booked for the trip. No, I have no idea which one it was, but it was somewhere near the bar that Cheers was based on, dont even know which area of town that was.
That night, after our meal, we started out on a walk before going back to the hotel, and ended up at (I believe?) the John Hancock Tower, which had one of these viewing levels, many floors above the ground. That night, in the (relatively?) near distance, I saw a sports stadium all lit up, so I looked at the display to see what it was. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it was Fenway Park!
Didnt mean a thing to me at the time, the only US sport I’d been infected by at that point was the NFL, due to its coverage over here on TV. But yes, that was the first mark that Fenway Park left on my life…but not the last.

Then when I was over for a while in 2003, I switched on a hotel TV, and discovered Baseball. For some reason I will never know, I got hooked, I assume its the fact it came across as a sort of cricket alternative (hitting the ball a long way with a bat), with so many tactical facets that grabbed me. As I was in Seattle at the time, I took  the Mariners as my team, even though strictly, my first ever baseball team were on the opposite coast. If I’d only known better…

On one of the sports forums I went on, there was a discussion on which US stadiums you should visit. When it came to Baseball, two principally got mentioned, Wrigley Field…and Fenway Park, though I was told getting tickets for the latter was quite a challenge.

A few years later, I went to Wrigley Field, and yes, they were right, it was an amazing place to see Baseball live. An evening game at San Francisco was something quite special too, among my collection of stadia visited over the years. ironically, I’ve never been to a game at Seattle yet, but anyway…I would have done, but for a massive delay by American Airlines, but hopefully one day…

Lets go back now to 2011. For some reason best known to herself, Kate was quite keen to team up with me, when I was visiting Boston in September. James was too, and arranged my accommodation place, far better than many hotels in hindsight, but anyway…and yes, for one marvellous day, teamed up with both of us. Kate covered it brilliantly on the Forum, though I suspect its very buried by now.
One delight Kate had lined up for me, a game at Fenway Park. I think pre trip she told me I was going to see the stadium, but I assumed on a tour. Oh no, not only was this a seat at a game, it was in one of the nice areas, not one of the cheaper seats I tended to sit in. The stadium was incredible, an amazing experience, and visiting a nice in stadium restaurant, and then sitting in a nice seat, it was an amazing day, an afternoon game against Baltimore (the one stadium I havent been to, that James says I should visit)

Yes, they lost, it was one of those dark days of the September 2011 collapse, that cost Francona his job, and Boston their play off place. But it was early enough in September, that we didnt know that! Then came the Valentine disaster of 2012, lets just leave it at that.

I rated Farrell as a manager, and thought the Red Sox would be far better this year, but seriously, if you’d told me this would happen, I probably still would have laughed. But its been a joy for me, all season long.

Little did I know, when I saw Fenway Park for the first time, 25 years ago, that it would lead to this. But its been a great journey, and thanks, Kate, for taking me to that amazing stadium.

And that is why, despite being a Mariners fan, Fenway Park, and the Red Sox will always hold a special place in my heart.

Boston Strong! :-*

As I say, back then, if you’d told me that 25 years on, I would have seen a game live at Fenway Park, and celebrated their 3rd World Title in 10 years, I would have laughed at you. But now… I leave you with one of the highlight moments from the series, from the MVP, known as Big Papi, or more correctly, David Ortiz

More than a feeling!

Yes, I know it could all still go wrong from here, but seriously, if you’d told me that 1 win back at Fenway from the last 2 games of the World Series would be enough for the title, I would have taken your offer, happily.

Dont get me wrong, it wont be easy, because as this incredible series has proved, nothing is straightforward. We’ve had a win (for Boston) on an attempt to steal a base, and we’ve had a win for St Louis on an obstruction ruling, a pretty rare event. There have also been 1 or 2 ‘normal’ games, but lets not worry about them!

Oh, and in game 6, St Louis have a pitcher that gives up as many runs as Trans Pennine Express trains run on time, in other words, not very often! But hopefully, one good hit, and 🙂 If not, we can try again in Game 7, I guess?

No game tonight, both teams are heading back to Boston today, and start off again tomorrow night, when I suspect Fenway Park will be crowded, and loud! I only wish I could be there, but might be for the best I’m not, I dread to think what the tickets cost! But yes, all the same, I’d love to see it live on TV at least. Unfortunately, my shifts this week make that an impossibility, given the games start after midnight our time, and I have to be up early the next day!

But in my dreams, I’ll be imagining Big Papi hitting that winning home run…I hope!

The video, well, the group have the right name at least. The song, the clue is in the usual place lol!

A change of look

Yes, I’ve decided to give the old blog a makeover, at least for the length of the World Series, and maybe, should the right team win it, a few days longer too! Yes, of course I am, go Cardinals…not! 😛

In a sense, its even more special for Boston this year, given the bombings at the marathon and everything, that something special should happen for the city. And yes, it would be pretty special if the Red Sox won the World Series this year. Because in a sense, of all the New England/Boston teams, the one closest to that horrific day were the baseball team.

They had played earlier that afternoon, and just as they were readying themselves to fly out of town for their next matches, a loud noise was heard at the stadium. Yes, those horrific bombs going off, rather taking the shine off another successful Red Sox day earlier. And yes, like the Cardinals, in the National League, they had 97 of them this season, an American League best. Its only the 3rd time since 1995 that the best team from the season in each league have met in the World Series, a stunning fact.

So, about 4 hours from writing this, the World Series will start in Fenway Park, and hopefully the only explosions will be fireworks celebrating a Boston victory. Yes, I’m biased, so sue me! 😛 Hopefully history will repeat itself, because when they broke ‘the curse’ back in 2004, they beat the Cardinals too!

As someone who loves her sports history as much as her sport, its great to see 2 senior clubs there, the Red Sox have been in Boston since the start in 1901, the Cardinals (under a few guises) have been in St Louis since 1882! And of course Fenway Park has been around for over a century itself! The St Louis stadium is a modern one, but as a friend would remind me, Boston doesnt have a view of the Arch!

And yes, my choice might be favoured by my dear friend Kate, who is a proper passionate Red Sox fan, who I’ve just tagged along with for the ride. Her cute little dog, named Fenway (surprise!) might be a little less biased, given the folk who look after him while Kate is away at work, are Cardinal fans. Therefore his chances of getting fed treats will only rely on which house is the one celebrating the win. All he will be hoping for is a 7 match series!

The video too, is a very special one. A few days after the bombing, the Red Sox came back to Boston for their first home matches. There is a 7th innings tradition in the stadium nowadays, the singing of Sweet Caroline. Kate isnt a fan, but anyway… Totally unexpected, totally at his own expense, who should turn up at the stadium, and offer to lead the singing that day, but the man himself, Neil Diamond! This is the performance. It is live, the double sound is due to the tape the Red Sox use normally, when he isnt there, which was the only music format available, given the visit was so unexpected

Boston Brave, and Boston victory…I hope.

It’s a little bit funny…

…and maybe convenient too, in the way that the US shutdown ended just before the real crisis moment occurred. Yes, I think it was a battle between 2 stubborn forces, and reality kicked in, just before the critical meltdown, how handy that was!

To be honest, the Republicans seem to be getting most flak for this, and fine, that probably is to some degree justified. Dont get me wrong though, I dont see the Democrats as the innocent party that they are trying to portray themselves as. No, both sides were making a pretty good mess of this, with the poor public stuck in the middle of the 2 squabbling parties.

As I say, one side, or maybe both, bottled out, quite rightly, just before catastrophe struck. No, it wasnt the first US government shutdown in recent times, nor will it be the last, I suspect, but its the longest one I remember.

Funnily enough, and maybe conveniently enough, I left the US just before shutdown struck. Given that airport security and the like continued much as normal, I doubt I would have seen much sign of it anyway, but who knows? But given the mess their economy is in anyway, this isnt going to help! Fingers crossed it does sort things out though, especially for someone hoping for an opening to go over there and work, at least for a while.

I’m not going to do a long piece on Obama care, I dont know enough of the details to do so, but a lot of the angst, and stubbornness seems to relate to that. Hey, I’ve grown up used to the NHS in this country, but have no idea how closely that matches up to it.

To be honest, I have no idea how long this current solution will work for, debt still seems to be a growing issue, and I get a feeling this is more a plaster on the wound, than an actual cure. But I’m glad its over, for now at least.

The video, well there’s a sort of clue in the title

Oh, and while on things American, can I please point out that the Boston Red Sox (or bad beards) are only 1 win away from the World Series, I hope they make it. And no, my cheerleader outfit has failed to be delivered as yet, no generous benefactor so far lol.