So, we all have different ways of knowing that summer is coming. I've got two indicators, and both happened yesterday.
I like to think that the warm-weather season is upon us when I go to my first Red Sox game of the season, and when I enjoy my first Sam Adams Summer Ale of the year.
The game? Well, that's just fun. The beer? It brings a smile to my face immediately, the moment it hits my lips. Because of this, I usually dribble a bunch onto my shirt.
Living in New Haven, I get to far less Sox games per season than I did when I was in Boston. I think the last year I lived in Beantown, my friends and I hit over 30 games at Fenway. Last year? I think I went to four or five (plus about four at Yankee Stadium and a couple in Philadelphia). Not bad, but not great.
Yesterday, though, was quite fun. Second home game of the season, Daiske's first game at Fenway, first night of the year, etc. When I found out, because of numerous rainouts, that Seattle's Felix Hernandez would be pitching, also, I got excited. Who knew he'd be so good, though?
Anyway, fans are certainly paying for Daiske, though. The rates for parking, beer and most food items went up, again. As did, of course, most tickets. But, hey, when you've sold out every game for like four straight years, I guess you can charge whatever you'd like.
Some of my observations about the non-baseball parts of the game:
- I would never eat sushi from Fenway Park. I don't care how much they pretty up the park, it's still not a place where sushi seems right. And I've eaten fish tacos in Dodger Stadium and sushi at Safeco, so it's not just a baseball thing.
- WEEI gave away headbands with Japanese writing. A good majority of the fans looked like extras from "Karate Kid." I didn't participate.
- The amount of flashes going off when Daiske threw the first pitch of the game to Ichiro blinded me for about eight hours. I'm no photographer, but I don't think flashes when it's still light outside is a good thing.
- I froze my butt off. I don't think it's there anymore.
- Twelve ounces of Bud Light is not worth $7, but, for some reason, there's always huge lines for beer. And, for some reason, I'm always in those lines.
- Nothing tastes better than Italian sausages at Fenway. My friends and I have a guy we always go to. His cart is named "Sausage Connection," and he's about 4-feet tall and looks exactly like a tiny Robert De Niro. Over the years, we've been to him so much he gives us $1 off and a free drink. I love him.
- While eating the sausage, we had a chance to be on Japanese TV. But because my friends and I are dumb, we didn't think quick enough. A cameraman, producer and reporter were clearly looking for people who paid a ton to go to the game, but because we paid face value, we weren't a good story. I should have lied. I've seen "Seinfeld," so I know what happens when you get on Japanese television. Those checks would have started to come any day now.
- I want to start a trend right here: Let's start calling Jason Varitek "Corpse." I think that's what the "C" on his chest stands for. I mean, it's not like he can a hit baseball anymore.
OK, no more today. Talk soon.