Before the thrill of Red Sox Yankees baseball at Fenway finally returned to Boston this weekend, the Red Sox season had been bland to say the least. After the night in and night out magic of last year's unstoppable World Series Champions, the 2019 Red Sox have struggled to live up to the expectations they set for themselves last year. But after this weekend I guess we found out that all it takes to light a fire under the Sox is to get a couple of pinstripes in the ballpark.
Walking down Landsdowne street this past Saturday afternoon you could tell that the aura around the team, the fans, and the ballpark was much different than it's been all season. That tends to happen after a 19-3 bloodbath and a 10-5 beatdown of your most hated rivals in the previous two nights.
But before we get into any of that, I have to mention the ordeal that went down just minutes prior to walking down Landsdowne street. Griffin, Josh, and I were getting lunch at a local Fenway bar, the name will be omitted as to not piss off any potential sponsors. Actually fuck it, it was Bar Louie, and it was so bad that they deserve it. I never complain about food or service at restaurants but this was legitimately the worst service I've ever seen.
After all three of us ordered chicken salads our waitress commented that we had the healthiest pre Sox game food order of all time. This made me chuckle, unfortunately there would not be much more chuckling from this point on.
Our beers came about 15 minutes after we ordered them, still not really a big deal but it was four hours before the game and there was like 12 people there, gotta clean that up. I ordered my salad with no tomatoes but I think she thought I said give me literally all the tomatoes you have. Josh ordered his salad with dressing which seemed like a reasonable request for a salad. It didn't come, but she said she'd get right on it.
As I ate my bowl of tomatoes and Josh ate his bone-dry salad we started to regret the second round of beers that we had just ordered. Our waitress seemed to abide by the "come by the table every 30 minutes rule" which is a rule I just made up and certainly should not be practiced in any reputable eating establishment. But nonetheless, the beers were on their way which meant we were locked in for at least another half-hour of torture.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the TV situation. This is just hours before Game 3 of a mid-summer Red Sox Yankees series mind you, the biggest weekend at Fenway all summer. We had four flat screens in front of our table and this is what was on each TV in order from left to right: college soccer, Penguins preseason hype videos, mixed martial arts, and a replay of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA finals. Honestly didn't hate the last one, but wouldn't have minded seeing a little Sox Yanks pregame before, you know, the Red Sox Yankees game.
Anyway, the worst/funniest part of the lunch was when a different waitress came over with a plate about 10 minutes after we finished eating and said, "anyone order some dressing?" I laughed so hard I almost puked up my tomatoes. You just can't script that stuff.
Bottom of the line: bad lunch, bad food, bad service, bad TV management, but other than that it was pretty good. The bill came and it was $120 not including tip. We almost called the BPD to report them for a robbery.
But enough about that, let's talk some baseball. So after lunch we started interviewing people on Landsdowne before heading into the game. We got a lot of shit talk which was to be expected obviously, mostly either Yankees fans yelling that they were nine games up on the Sox and they had 27 rings, or Sox fans bragging about winning the World Series last year. Both fair arguments, but weirdly enough neither side was able to come to an agreement.
We also got a good amount of videos of fans impersonating Kevin Youkilis and Gary Sheffield's batting stances, a video that we'll be releasing later this week.
After a bit of a fight with security at the gate, we were able to get our LFG Sports sign into Fenway. It's a battle trying to get that sign in every single time, but it's part of hustle and it's what we gotta do to get our name out there. If you haven't already seen it, we were sitting in the first row of the monster at the Friday night game and got our sign all over the NESN cameras for JD's home run:
Unfortunately, this time we were sitting in the bleachers and the hardo security guy was all over us from the jump. Two minutes after we sat down Josh was fiddling around with his keys in his pocket and the security guy ran over to him and yelled "Hey! Give me the nips right now!" Josh said yeah these are just my keys, to which the guy responded, "Do you have any nips?" Josh said no and he said, "Good." Nice dude.
We held up the LFG sign for a few fly balls to center field. The security guy did not like that one bit. He told us to turn the sign around and hold it at our feet for the rest of the game. We asked why and he said because he doesn't know what the sign means. We told him what it meant, he said it could mean anything. We told him what it meant again. He didn't seem to understand.
Luckily Guerin Austin, the NESN on-field reporter, came over and stood directly in front of us around the 4th inning to do a quick TV report. We were right behind her in direct line-of-sight of the camera. The security guy stood off to the side and got into a three-point stance like his team was on defense up two on the final drive of the Super Bowl, and if he didn't sack the QB and get him out of field goal range they were gonna have an easy chip shot to win the title. No one told him it was an afternoon Red Sox game, and that he was a security guard.
I saw Guerin start talking and I knew it was game time. As I reached down to grab the sign I heard a desperate "don't do it!" come from the area where Michael Strahan, I mean the security guard, was. Before I knew it he was trying to rip the sign out of my hand as I was fighting for air time. I conceded after a three second awkward struggle, but I think I got the point across.
We were sitting in center field so the crowd was a little bit rowdier, which was to be expected. The Sox fans behind us were ready with their fair share of chirps. I'll list off some of my favorites:
1. Hey CC! Get your head out of the Dorito bag and throw a strike!
2. Don't worry CC! There are plenty of hot dogs left!
3. Someone warm up the microwave for CC!
Most of them had to do with CC Sabathia and his relationship with food. My other favorite was when Gleyber Torres came to the plate and a guy about 10 rows back yelled, "What's a Gleyber?" A guy in a section next to him yelled back, "One who Gleybes!"
What I'm trying to illustrate here is that after a 10-15 year hiatus, the magic of the Red Sox Yankees rivalry is finally returning, in Fenway Park at least...
The LFG team will be heading to NYC this weekend for the Red Sox Yankees series at Yankee Stadium (puke). Although, this won't be any ordinary LFG outing. In our first installment of "Undercover Fans," Griffin, Josh, and I (three die-hard Red Sox fans) will be going undercover as Yankee fans in Yankee stadium. We have tickets to Friday night's game in the short porch (right field) with all the biggest loser Yankee fans in the stadium, so keep an eye out for the LFG sign on TV (we'll be in row three).
It's pretty wild that my first visit to Yankee Stadium is going to be as an undercover Red Sox fan, but I wouldn't want it any other way. I'll be bringing a throw-up bucket to the game because I legitimately don't think I'll be able to sit in a stadium full of Yankees fans without throwing up at least 10 times. Wish me luck and keep me in your prayers, it's gonna be a battle out there.