Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hey, Welcome to Philly- You Suck!

"Hey Papelbon- you suck! I said, You suck. Hey, I'm talking to you, I said, You Suck. Don't pretend you can't hear me, Papelbon. You suck..."

It would be completely normal to assume that this was your stereotypically loutish, semi-illiterate Philly fan (stereotypes sometimes exist for a reason, people) giving the business to our young, fireballing closer, but not so. This was your stereotypically loutish, semi-illiterate Philly fan giving the business to ME on the patio of the McFadden's Bar at Citizen's Bank Park. I was wearing the Papelbon t-shirt I got for Christmas, and some of Philly's finest took exception to it. So that's what I listened to for five minutes straight. This guy was sitting with three friends, and man, did my buddy, Ryan, and I wish we had a few more with us. Most of the Philly fans we met were pretty cool. They use shorter sentences than I'm used to, and they frequently confuse the "facts" with the "fiction," as did the guy who tried to convice us that Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were a better one-two punch than Manny and Papi and that the Phillies were gonna win the World Series. But, fortunately, I came packing Philly kryptonite. The following exchange was used to great, silencing, tongue-tying effect on multiple assholes:

Him/Her: " suck, and hey, did you just pahk ya cah?"
Me: "Yeah, really original...Hey- you live around here?"
Him/Her: "Yeah..."
Me: "Cool, 'cause we're just visiting for the weekend. Where do we go to see the Eagles Super Bowl trophy? Can we go see that somewhere? Your Super Bowl trophy?"
Him/Her: "Uh...................................................................oh, whatever..."

Whatever, indeed. Citizen's Bank Park is ok enough. Not that impressive in any way. The seats are pretty narrow for a new stadium (either that or I've put on more weight than I thought since last season). There isn't a cool downtown view like PNC in the 'Burgh, or Camden Yards or Fenway. It's got your typical red bricky exterior. Inside, it's lots of blue seats and this weird erector-set looking contraption with the Liberty Bell on it that lights up and flashes (probably looks better at night) when a Phillies dude hits a homer. So we got to see that light up when Pat Burrell absolutely crushed/smoked/mashed/destroyed a Matsusaka fastball well into the left-field seats. The light up bell was kind of lame, like a stage prop if Spinal Tap had been from Philly. On the plus side, I had two completely tasty, grilled (that's key) Italian sausages with peppers and onions on a decent roll for an acceptable $5.25/per. The beer selections throughout the concourse looked pretty mundane, but since we were only a few sections over from a big, fake Irish pub right in the stadium, I enjoyed a couple nicely poured pints of Guiness (in a plastic cup, though) before the game, and one with FiNY later in the game. The only weak part is that you can't take a beer bought in the pub back into the stadium proper. As the game was finishing, a band was playing on the pub patio, so you could make an all day sorta thing out of a trip to the Park. Which is good, 'cause there's NOTHING else around the stadium except for two basketball arenas, a football stadium and acres and acres of parking lots. It's a new stadium, but it's done in the '70's/80's "let's put the stadium as far from downtown as we can so parking is easy, getting there is easy and there is absolutely no downtown buzz or energy whatsoever around the stadium. Get in, get out, and spend as little money as possible in our city, please. Thank you, sincerely, your really dumb city planners." Finally, one funny note- upon entering the stadium, everyone is handed a "Fan's Code of Conduct" pamphlet. I don't know if that was because they were playing the Red Sox, or if that's normal. But it was humorous anyway.

So I took a bunch of pictures, most of which look like crap because I was using my camera phone, and I'm not exactly sure how it works properly, so know that going into this little montage. Click on 'em to make 'em gi-normous...

This is the approach from the parking lot to the third base gate. Like I said, red bricky and kinda boring. That's my buddy, Ryan on the right in red t-shirt...

This was the view from our seats. They were pretty decent, albeit narrow, as I said. I wish my camera had a better zoom...

I just thought this usher had really sweet, feathered hair. This was pretty standard for the day. Tangent Alert: I thought there were a lot of physical similarities between Philly folk and Pittsburgh peeps. For instance, all the girls who worked in the McFadden's were what I like to call "Pittsburgh Hot." It's a phrase I coined to describe a girl who was probably pretty average- so-so face, so-so body. Then someone offers her ONE plastic surgery- either have her Picasso-esque face rearranged a little, or get breast implants. Invariably, a "Pittsburgh Hot" girl goes for the implants. You can figure out what the end product looks like. To see "PH" girls in their natural environment, go to a bar calle Hi-Tops next to PNC Park. I think a bottle of Rolling Rock is like $75 there, but nobody seems to care. (Note- the above stereotyping does not apply to my Pittsburgh-born-and-raised wife, who is what I call, "Anywhere Hot.")

This is a blurry shot of Big Papi digging in against some pitcher named "Eaton," which led to a funny exchange between Ryan and I as to whether or not it was Mark Eaton, the 7-footer who used to play for the Utah Jazz. We were pretty sure it wasn't, but after this Eaton gave up six earned runs in three innings, we were also pretty sure Mark Eaton could've done better. Papi took this clown deep to right for a quick one-zip lead.

If you look dead center of this picture, I'm pretty sure that's '80's singing sensation Eddie Money holding the fancy camera. Same hair, at least. See what I mean about Philly? Maybe he and that usher go to the same salon...

This is Varitek about to touch home plate after he took "Don't Call Me Mark" Eaton way back to right. Tek is about to high-five some guy wearing no. 75, so obviously I don't know that guy's name. I think it was Moss, or Scales or something. Look in the Pawtucket media guide, you should be able to find him in there.

I just realized I got no pictures of Dice-K at all. However, this picture of Ryan will suffice, since this is his reaction to Matsuzaka's pitching performance. He walked four batters, skipped two of his first three pitches to the back stop, gave up a shot to Burrell that sounding like a gun went off, and generally looked not as good as $103mil would lead you to believe he is. That said, he covered first base nicely at one point. Very smooth.

This is me. I was giving a really cheesy, two-thumbs up salute to the camera and the Sox' 6-3 lead, to match the really cheesy, two-thumbs up look on my face, but let's just say Ryan isn't winning any photo-journalism Pulitzer's. Neither am I, if you've been following along to this point, actually.

Finally, here's a picture of me and FiNY sharing a pint. She was the only one of the three NYC Sox bloggers I was able to meet up with. Talked to Mighty Quinn on the phone, but never got together. FiNY was supercool, gave a bunch of shit right back to some Philly fans, and didn't get too upset when I asked Ryan if I "needed to crouch down" to have my picture taken with her. It was nice to finally meet someone whose blog I've read for so long. Rock on, FiNY...

All in all, not a bad way to spend a partly sunny, partly warm Saturday afternoon. Got me pretty psyched up for the regular season, which, starts today! Yay baseball.


Blogger Jere said...

Indeed a TJ for them to put the park far from downtown--also, getting there, at least from the north, is like trying to get to the end of Mario world 8-4. North/South/whatever, I swear I didn't pick up any ground for like an hour, yet I was moving the whole time. But, you can see the downtown, you just ave to be in the upper deck. I took this shot last year:

You were eatin the tuna tartare down close:)

Philly fans did indeed live up to their rep the three times I've seen the Sox there (once at the Vet). TJ by them overall.

Your recent posts have been awesome, TJ on not blogging over the winter.

6:56 PM  

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