Friday, May 14, 2010

Went to A Baseball Game and A Basketball Game Almost Broke Out

I could hardly contain my excitement.  I am a Father, however, so when I told my (now) 8 year old that I got seats - really good seats - to see the Red Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays on his birthday, I used the most muted tones that I could muster.

"We got awesome seats to the game.  Do you want to get out early from school and go with me?"  I was sure that the prospect of leaving school early would appeal to my second grader.  He was getting to be THAT age.

"Can I still have my sleepover with my friends after the movie Mommy takes us to?"  He answers cautiously.  I think he thinks that this is an either-or proposition, and I begin to suspect that I will be on the short end of this decision.

"Of course!"  I lie - er - I tell him.  I'll just use his First Communion money to pay for the movie with his buddies.  A present day example of robbing Peter to pay Paul. 

Suddenly, he perks up.  "Yeah Dad, will we get foul balls?  Should I bring my glove?"

So begins our journey to Boston to see the Red Sox.  I put special emphasis on RED SOX.  My new client has tickets waiting for me, so I figure let's get there early and enjoy batting practice and dinner.  Maybe we can get an autograph from one of the young guys.  Little did I know that something else might take over our attention as the game progresses.

No. Not Heidi Watney.  That would be kind of silly.  Although my son did point her out to me; saying that she was the one who talked about the games, during the games.  I asked him if I should take a picture of her and he said yes because she was famous.  Good thinking, son.  I think I will do just that.

"Your Mom is probably going to kill me when she sees this picture."  I tell him as point my camera in her direction.  (Little did I know that she would simply use social media to make fun of me.)  But then I take a picture of Sean McAdam too, as if that would fool her.

"Why would she be mad?"  He asks.  Oh, childhood.  I didn't tell him that I would explain it to him 2 to 4 years from now - whenever I get the cajones to talk to him about the birds and the bees (no pun intended).  I just changed the subject.  "Let's go to the Pesky Pole to try to catch some home runs!"  He half-heartedly agreed to go with me.

After yelling at one of the Blue Jays ball retrievers because he was 6 feet away from us yet kept hitting the BP balls he got back to the BP pitcher, we sat down in our seats.  Trying to catch home runs was a little too boring for the kid.  We were just a couple of rows behind the Red Sox dugout, so I figured it was okay.  We were so close, in fact, that my son could throw his ice cream helmet filled with expired ice cream at Tom Werner or John Henry in the Owner's box and probably hit one of them.  As we sit down, I am reminded that I was told that if the guys next to us asked how much we paid for the tickets, I had to say $500.  I didn't inquire why they would be asking me a question like that; I had my eldest son with me.

When these guys sat down though, I struck up a conversation with them.  One was from California, the other was from Massachusetts.  More importantly, I would later find out, the guy from Massachusetts had a good feed on his phone so as to get real life updates and video on Game 5 of the Celtics-Cavaliers who were playing at the same time.  I begin to feel conflicted.  Did I just get the best seats to Fenway Park I've ever gotten just so I could huddle around a couple of guys and a Blackberry?  When my son asked me the score of the Celtics game, I knew the answer.

So the next hour and a half transpired like this - watch the Red Sox dominate the Blue Jays, then ask the guy sitting next to us what the Celtics' score was.  Daisuke was pitching magnificently, yet, we were more concerned about how LeBron scored only a couple of points in the First Quarter, then the First Half.  Finally, I snapped out of it.  We were at a baseball game for crying aloud.  I've DVR'ed the basketball game, after all.  Enough with this nonsense.  Let's go Sox!

"Let's try to get a ball from Youk after the inning."  I tell my son.  He's too interested in taking pictures to care.  He's excited that the Red Sox are leading, but he's starting to lose focus, particularly now that the game is in the later innings.  I begin to try everything.  I yell at Terry Francona encouragement when he pops his head out of the dugout in front of us.  I buy some more popcorn.  I try to interest him in some trivia and statistics.  I think he had a good time, but as 11pm draws near, it's probably time to go.  As we put on our jackets, I ask the guy sitting next to us what the score is now.  The Celtics seem to be pulling away.  It's a good night I think to myself as we leave tot he strains of "Sweet Caroline."  The Red Sox win.  The Celtics win and the two of us had a great time.

All I had to hear were those magical words.  "When is it my birthday again?"  Maybe he meant the presents that he got or the movie he was going to with his buddies.  I don't care though.  For this night, I'll believe that he was talking about his old man taking him to the game.

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