2013 Yankees-Red Sox at Fenway

Just like the new head of EPA, Gina McCarthy, this blogger is a serious Red Sox fan. It's a blood type, not a choice. Each year my good friend Paul and I take us out to the ballgame. We're like iron shavings heeding the magnetic pull of this little green jewel in the heart of Boston: we go because we have to.

Each year, our seats get better and better. This is because as we get older, our priorities become more and more clear.

This year, months in advance, we procured tickets for a Red Sox-Yankees game with seats fairly close to the home team dugout. These seats are hard to get these days. But with a few phone calls and a credit card, all is possible. Again: priorities.

We took our seats. At first all we saw was an excited boy's head.

A boy in the grandstands:

He was looking longingly at the cotton candy marching out of sight:

But soon fresh cotton candy was upon us! It was a never-ending procession that nearly drove the boy to insanity (his father said no; they had to leave in the 5th). So much to see at a baseball game. If the boy had looked beyond the bright fluffy sugar-colors, he'd have seen world-class players tossing the ball around bases. And umpires running to take their positions:

It was way too hot for cotton candy.

"Paul," I asked rhetorically, "have you ever been this hot?"

"Not since last year at Fenway," he grumbled. And it's true — our pilgrimage to Fenway last year was also under abnormally hot and sticky conditions. Well. Buck up. Humidity and bug-spray are the inevitable B-side to the New England summer song. Bite-your-tongue-and-get-on-with-it.

Which is what we did.

Pregame players milling about:

The should-be Hall of Famer Luis Tiant threw the first pitch. He received a standing ovation, followed by a Babe-Ruth-esque exchange with beloved Boston slugger David Ortiz.

Here, Ortiz points grandly to straightaway center field. Is this a foreshadow?

Moments like this are only seen if you're at the ball field. It's a tremendously different experience than watching the game (or some of it) on television. Some say baseball is "boring." That's only true if you're comparing a televised game of baseball to, say, football, which is a)more camera-ready and b)not as long. A live baseball game is one of the most pleasant ways to invest a handful of hours.

David Ortiz at bat — his body positioning reveals that he's about to give Lean In a less business-like meaning. His entire mass is poised to shift all momentum through his bat into the oncoming ball:

And *bam*, in a nod to his pregame point to the outfield, our beloved Big Papi hits a rocket to straightaway center. (Uh, except this one stays in the park. But anyhoo.)

A few batters later, Papi scores:

And that was probably the best part of the game.

The not-so-best-part was when the New York Yankees managed to win. Even without Derek Jeter, and without A-Rod for that matter, the latter being still on rehab assignment for hip surgery, not suspended for doping... yet. (Did I manage to slip that in? Well of course I did!)

So we lost the battle that day at Fenway. Well. Buck up. We won the war: Boston took the series 2-1. And really, nothing is ever lost in a day at Fenway Park.

Already looking forward to next year's game! Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comments, please post below. Cheers.