Thursday, April 16, 2015

Red Sox Opening Day Means the Mookie Show

I told you.  Mookie Betts was my pick for the most important player for the 2015 Red Sox.  Needing a legitimate Center fielder to replace the departed Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox tried Jackie Bradley Jr.  The JBJ era last all of 140 games before he was dispatched to the bench.  Now 2015 was going to be the beginning of the Mookie Betts era at Fenway Park.

Opening Day was no exception for the Mookie Show.

No...not Ho Jo's too!
We managed to snag tickets to the game from friends who would invite 30 friends to enjoy the game.  What I didn't know was that we would be provided a psychedelic bus for the ride into Boston.  Although I left my mushrooms and LSD in the car, we managed to have a good time with all of our seatmates who took the day off to enjoy the 70 degree sunny weather at the Fens.  A lot of beers and mimosas appeared to be consumed.  I don't know for sure as I was half falling asleep having gone to work early to get half a day in.  A brief stop at the Baseball Tavern rooftop ensued where we had a great vantage point of one of the strangest marketing ploys I've seen in a long time.  A large picture of a hippie giving the peace sign can only mean that the trendiest hostel has taken over the old Howard Johnsons.  The Verb.  I don't get it.  I asked LC what "The Verb" actually meant - was this supposed to be a funky throwback to the Californians?.  She didn't have any idea.  No one else seemed to care, so I dropped it.  I will be looking into this more though.

Anyway, after a couple of beers and a couple of laughs with our friends, we head on over to our seats in the Right Field Box.  We take a pit stop at the meatballs stand in the Right Field concourse first on our way to our seats.  I Strongly recommend getting a couple of homemade turkey meatballs if you are over at Fenway.

The opening ceremony was interesting.  Ramirez, Pedroia and Big Papi all received equally loud ovations when they were introduced.  Betts was given a loud ovation too.  People are starting to recognize the Mookie Show has come to town.  To make us forget that the 2014 Red Sox absolutely sucked, we instead celebrated our successful football team (I didn't mind though).  The four Super Bowl trophies (and a couple of guys names Belichick, Brady and Kraft) headed out to the Pitcher's mound to a standing ovation.  I think Ray Bourque in his Colorado Avalanche jersey was out there too, but I wasn't sure.  After some joyous waves and some knowing smirks, Tom Brady proceeds to use his first pitch to demonstrate how he throws the ball away when he is under pressure.  Big Papi was not going to try to catch a ball that was not close but he didn't even flinch as Brady's throw sailed into the dirt.  Pete Frates and his family was then honored punctuated by Frates signing a Major League contract and accepting a big hug from Pedro Martinez.  Great moments.

The game gets started promptly at 3pm.  The Mookie show started two weeks prior, we just happened to catch the show on its stop in Boston.  A couple of highlights from his first 2015 game in Boston:
  • First Inning leaping catch against the Right Field wall to rob a Bryce Harper home run
  • First Inning steal of Second and then steal of Third Base which was left uncovered
  • Second Inning three run home run off a shaken Jordan Zimmerman
Not even a replay challenge on both the plays at second base and third base could stop the Mookieplosion.  I was debating whether the tag was applied at second base with a buddy of mine when I finally decided that it didn't matter, it was the year of Mookie.  And in the year of Mookie, Mookie enjoys you, not the other way around.

Anyway, Betts ended with four RBIs on two hits in a 9-4 romp.  The Red Sox go 18-5 in their last 23 openers and move to 5-2 on the season.  Interesting start.

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