Tonight, the Sox played the Rays on MLB Network, which means I finally got to watch them live for the first time all season. Unfortunately, my cable was acting up and I missed the first three innings. By the time my TV stopped cubing and freezing, we were up 5-0, en route to a 9-2 final score, which snaps our seven-game losing streak.
It was a lot of fun to watch this game, where everything seemed to click. It was clean, tight baseball. No sloppy fielding, no leaving the bases loaded, just a fun game to watch. Floyd did plunk a couple of guys and threw a wild pitch, but hey, as long as it didn’t lead to a barrage of runs by the Rays, I was happy. Plus, Juan Pierre picked me up another stolen base for my fantasy team, which is nice since I’m getting creamed in all other offensive categories. Apparently, all of the other position players I selected have decided to take the month of April off, with the exception of Ryan Braun. I sadly had to bid adieu to the only other two guys on my roster who are awake, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher, to obtain Neftali Feliz. (Thank you, Matt Thornton, for letting me down in the relief-pitching area and forcing me to make that trade. Yet another reason I am annoyed with you.)
Anyways, I’m hoping the ChiSox give me an encore of tonight on Monday, when I get to see them live and in the flesh at Yankee Stadium. The pitching matchup does not look pretty though: Philip Humber (he of the 4.42 ERA) against A.J. Burnett (he of the 4.37 ERA). Sigh. Maybe they’ll defy all logic and get me home by 11 so I can actually be conscious for my Spanish test 1st period. Then again, 1st period starts at 7:25 a.m., so that’s unlikely, game or no game.
I will get to see my boys play this year after all! My dad decided to surprise me and purchased two tickets for the April 25th game between the Yankees and White Sox at the Stadium. I am absolutely ecstatic. I can’t believe I will get to see my boys so soon, and I really can’t believe that my parents agreed to let me attend a Monday night game. I guess there is such a thing as miracles.
Because my dad enjoys good seats, and he enjoys saving money, he bought the tickets on StubHub. We got seats in the Main Outfield section for $25 apiece, whereas these same tickets cost $75 on yankees.com. Honestly, Steinbrenners? I mean, they are good seats, but they are not worth $75.
Anyways, the point is that in order to save all that money, my dad had to use StubHub as I mentioned before, and there is a big problem I have with StubHub. You no longer get the actual tickets in the mail. Instead, you electronically download them and print them out at home. This is certaintly convenient if you are purchasing the tickets the day of the game, but for someone buying the tickets 20 days in advance, it is very disappointing. I like having the actual tickets. I like the heaviness of the paper and the foil of the letters. I like tacking them up on my bulletin board to save as a souvenir. I still have my ticket to my very first game, and I love looking at it and laughing at the fact that the Yankees chose to put Randy Johnson on their 2005 tickets (I also like noting that in 2005, these tickets cost only $40, and today, a seat in a comparable section would cost about $125). This printed-out piece of computer paper will get me into the Stadium, but it won’t get up on my bulletin board. It is not special. It is not sacred. Technology made the process of getting my ticket much faster, but it also cheapened the value of it. Even as a child of the computer age, I don’t like that.
The White Sox won their first series against the Indians, and started off 2-0 in the process, which, notably, they had not done since the 2005 championship season. Yes, I know, it is very very very early, but it’s always nice to have a strong first series. As was painfully noted repeatedly during spring training, last season the South Siders had the second-best record in baseball from July through season’s end behind only the Phillies, and would have surely made the playoffs if not for their terrible start.
After reading a very funny entry over at “This is a Very Simple Game…” regarding promotions and giveaways at games, I decided to see what my east coast counterparts have to offer me at their games. Turns out, the old East Coast Establishment does not have a very great sense of humor. There are no Chia Pets or Troll Dolls for us. No, we get the boring, standard fare. Posters, T-shirts, and hats. The Red Sox are so uptight, they don’t even have ANY sort of giveaway! When I pointed this out to my father, he said, “Going to Fenway is enough of souvenir. You don’t need a bobblehead.” Well, maybe he doesn’t need a bobblehead. I would like a bobblehead.
(Okay, maybe not that bobblehead. That one is a wee bit frightening.)
Fed up with the boring giveaways that I actually have a chance of receiving (catching games at Yankee, Fenway, CitiField and maybe even Camden Yards are all possibilities), I turned to good ol’ Chitown, which always has something up its sleeve. Let me say this. The White Sox are masters at giving away specially priced tickets. During the 2011 season, Latino business owners, Cardinal Fitness members, church ministers, high school marching band conductors, Kiwanis members, Kinley Park residents, and many other groups of people that I don’t feel like typing have the opportunity to get discounted tickets at certain games. Even when everyone has to pay full price, the Sox do not skimp on promotions. There are fireworks displays set to Elvis, Motown tunes, and “Mullet Style” music (the latter will occur on “Mullet Day”, whatever that is).
But of course, I like tangible objects, things I can hold. You can get those for free at the Cell too. Bobbleheads seem to be the preferred giveaway. A Mark Buehrle bobblehead will be given away at some point, and so will one of a beer vendor (I guess it’s time unsung heroes got the limelight). But my favorite bobblehead that will be given away is the one of Roger Bossard .
Except I don’t know who Roger Bossard is.
So I went to the ever-reputable source that is Wikipedia to find out who this kind man is. Turns out that Roger Bossard is the head groundskeeper at the Cell. He is known as “The Sodfather” and developed a “revolutionary” irrigation and drainage system for ballparks. This is a picture of him. I found it in an article about him in Smithsonian magazine. Pretty schmancy (the fact that he had an article written about him in the Smithsonian, I mean).
Who woulda thunk? The manager, the All-Star first baseman, the slugging DH, they don’t get bobbleheads this season, but the Sodfather does.
P.S. Anyone who goes to that game (June 12 against the A’s) and thinks “Who the heck is this guy and why does he get a bobblehead?” can gladly mail the rejected plastic to me. In case you couldn’t tell by this entire entry, I’m a sucker for kitsch like that.