Shock The World Chronicles: Phillies Vs. Red Sox At Fenway Park On Memorial Day


With the onslaught of the "new old" stadiums erected the past 25 years or so beginning with Camden Yards and Jacobs Field, there are only a precious few historic holy grails left in the sport. The two most famous and longest tenured are, without question, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.

Last summer, I was lucky enough to shock the world in Chicago to see the Cubs take on the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley, and this past Memorial Day weekend, I finally made my maiden voyage to Fenway Park to watch my Philadelphia Phillies take on the Boston Red Sox on Memorial Day night.

Just as Wrigley was everything I imagined it would be and more, so too was Fenway, even if the Phillies didn't exactly make the game itself very enjoyable.

The weekend truly began on Saturday, as I flew up to Boston with some friends to meet up with my old roommate on the shortest flight ever. When we arrived, the weather wasn't very accommodating — cool, breezy and rainy. But we made the most of it anyway, gaining our bearings for a bit, drinking some beers and then heading out to Kings … the bar/bowling alley with a theme centered around the classic, hilarious movie "Kingpin." If you've never seen "Kingpin," do yourself a favor and check it out right now. It's quite literally one of the best movies both Bill Murray and Woody Harrelson have ever been in.


We spent the remainder of the night eating and drinking, as one does.


On Sunday, the weather was a little better so we took a stroll through the city, doing some exploring. The walk through Boston Common was beautiful, highlighted by the sea of American flags planted in the fields to honor the fallen soldiers on Memorial Day weekend. It was a sight to behold.

We also made a pit stop at the Boston Marathon finish line, with my buddy pointing out the area where the horrific bombing occurred just a few short weeks ago. It was remarkably sobering to see both the ocean of flags and the heartfelt tributes to the victims of the bombing on a weekend of remembrance. Being there and seeing those things really made me appreciate the true meaning of Memorial Day and reminded me just how lucky I am to have people who fight to protect our freedoms both in the military and in the police forces in our cities all over the nation.


After that, we ventured through the park on the Charles River before meeting up with the fifth member of our traveling party, who arrived from Baltimore in the late afternoon. Again, we regained our bearings at my buddy's apartment, drinking some brews and watching as Michael Young threw the game away against the Nationals thanks to a live look-in on MLB Network. That's the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies for you.

Then we proceeded to eat an awesome seafood dinner and drink our faces off for the remainder of the night, ending up at the Green Dragon, where the band played a cover of TLC's "Waterfalls." I can't make this stuff up.

After exploring the city and exhausting ourselves on alcohol, we decided that on Monday we'd check out the city on bike, utilizing Boston's bike share on what was supposed to be a beautiful day. And a beautiful day it was, with temperatures in the 70s and the sun shining on Boston. But before we got on our wheels, we went on an extended journey for lunch, finding out that the first spot we wanted to check out was closed for the holiday and then trekking out to the Fenway area before ultimately sitting down for some grub.

Then we gathered up some bikes and took a long, beautiful bike ride through the city, hitting up the spots near Fenway, again riding through the park on the Charles and riding all the way back to the North End to rest up a little before the game. We had so much fun on the bikes that we decided to forgo the T and any other public transportation the remainder of the day and just continue to utilize the bike share.


After a little nap and a refreshing, our group hopped on our bikes and rode to Fenway. A sea of people flocked toward the stadium, and we stopped in at Copperfield's, a bar right up the street, to meet another one of my friends and a former roommate of mine at Penn State. We grabbed a quick drink, then headed into the stadium I'd wanted to check out my entire life.

One of the first things I noticed, besides the street being blocked off and the turnstiles put in before the gates, was how much more room there was in the corridors than used to be at the old Yankee Stadium. Seeing as Fenway was built well over 100 years ago, I figured it'd be cramped like Yankee Stadium was. Not the case, which was a pleasant surprise.

What wasn't so great, however, was that at the concession stands, you had to go to specific lines for beer. At the food stands, you could not purchase alcohol. I've never really seen that before at any of the stadiums I've been to, and it was a minor annoyance, to be honest. But that's about the only complaint I have with the stadium itself.

After grabbing some peanuts and beers, we headed to our seats in Bleacher 36. For the six of us, we had three seats on the aisle in row 15 and three seats on the aisle in row 16 out in centerfield. It was a great view, with the Green Monster to our right, Pesky Pole to our left and plenty of Phillies fans in our area.


Now it was time to sit back and enjoy the game … something that hasn't always been easy this season being a Phillies fan. But we were given some slight mercy, with Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz, the scheduled starter for Boston, getting scratched in favor of Alfredo Aceves.

Turns out, it didn't matter, because Phillies starter Tyler Cloyd, making just his third start of the season, went out there and tossed batting practice for two-plus innings as the Phillies got trounced 9-3. It was a painful game to watch … and that's without even being able to see the most painful play of that game. That came from Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere, who made a tremendous catch in center but also went down hard, running right into the only place without padding in the centerfield wall. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the play once the ball went deep from our seats. Great catch though, as the highlights show.

Since the Phillies were down 3-0 after one inning and 6-1 after three, we spent most of the game just taking in the atmosphere and talking about the fans we saw around us. For the most part, there was no real animosity from the Boston fans toward the Philadelphia fans in attendance, though we did see a two people escorted out in the section next to us. Other than a couple of guys on the street during our ride out to the park telling us to "go home," we had no problems.


There were some things of note, however, even if the game itself was complete garbage from a competitive standpoint.

For starters, even though former Red Sox closer and current Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon got booed last night in his first appearance in Boston since leaving for Philadelphia via free agency — notching a save following a dominant performance by Cliff Lee in a 3-1 victory — he actually got a raucous cheer from the Fenway faithful on Monday when he was shown on the big screen. That was pretty cool to see and I'm sure pretty cool for Pap, who did win a World Series in Boston after all.

Also, besides "Sweet Caroline," which I cannot stand mainly because it was played at Penn State games for absolutely no logical reason, the music at Fenway is way superior to that at Citizens Bank Park — or any ballpark I've ever been to. Instead of playing shitty popular music, like the worst song in the history of the universe "I Gotta Feeling" (I fucking hate that song more than anything ever in the history of music), they played classic songs from all genres — rock, hip-hop, R&B. Even the Red Sox players had cooler intro batting music than the Phillies do for the most part. Gotta hand it to Boston there.

Then there was the wave guy who was incredibly drunk and kept trying to get people to do the wave. Listen, when I was 6 years old, I thought the wave was cool. Then I started to actually understand things and began to go to sporting events to, you know, actually watch the game. The wave is for idiots who do not actually enjoy watching the game and instead want to make a spectacle of themselves. It's the lowest form of fan participation on the planet. If you are the fan who tries to start the wave, I hate you more than any fan there is. If you are a fan who enjoys the wave, I don't ever want to sit near you at a sporting event because you should be embarrassed of yourself. The wave is the fucking worst. So are any fans who try to draw attention to themselves, as one fan a few rows in front of us wearing a David Ortiz jersey repeated tried to do throughout the game. Here's a newsflash for the fans who think people are there to be entertained by their antics: No one is there to see you, asshole. They're there to see the game. So knock it off and stop ruining everyone else's good time.

After the first three batters or so, the Red Sox didn't even try to hide the fact that they were swinging for the fences with Cloyd in the game, who got rocked for six runs on 9 hits in just two and a third innings of work. Tyler Cloyd is not a major league starter.

I noticed that Stephen Drew wears No. 7, the same number his brother J.D. Drew wore as a member of the Red Sox. That is annoying on so many levels for Phillies fans, as I'm sure you can imagine given the history. For those of you who don't know, J.D. Drew was drafted No. 1 overall by the Phillies, refused to sign and then re-entered the draft the following year. Then some stupid Phillies fan threw batteries at him at the old Veterans Stadium, furthering the Philadelphia fans stereotype. So not only did Drew refuse to play for the Phillies, but he also helped the neanderthal fans who give us all a bad reputation continue to give us all a bad reputation. So fuck J.D. Drew and fuck Seephen Drew too.

A Fenway Frank tastes just like every other hot dog at every other baseball stadium I've been to. True story.

A guy sitting behind us, apparently at the game by himself, turned to the ladies sitting next him and said, "I need to go soon. I'm not doing so well." Then got up and left. This was around the fourth or fifth inning. That was kind of weird.

Fenway Park is cool as shit.

That's what I noticed during that terrible drubbing. All in all, a very enjoyable experience so long as you take the product on the field by my favorite baseball team out of the equation.

Following the game, we rounded up some more bikes and rode back to the North End, stopping for a couple more drinks and munchies before getting some shuteye.

We closed out our stay in Boston with a delicious breakfast, and I stopped by Paul Revere's house because of course I did.

Then it was back on the short flight home, back to Philadelphia in my normal, much more dirty surroundings, where I watched Cliff Lee dominate the way that Tyler Cloyd could not even a little bit the night before, while passing out well before the game was over from exhaustion after such a fun, beautiful Memorial Day weekend in Beantown. I can't wait to go back.

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