Alex Cora is a good sport, let me say that right off the bat.
Aided by seats that were, literally, in the front row and 15 feet from the Red Sox dugout, I had a VERY memorable afternoon today at Fenway Park at Camden Yards.
First off, I won a week’s worth of Royal Farms coffee from Bob Haynie. If you missed it, I bet Bob – on the air – that Daniel Cabrera would give up at least two home runs in today’s game. Cabrera was outstanding again – going 7 innings and walking no one – but much to my delight he’s now “2-Dinger Danny” instead of 5-walk Danny…and Haynie owes me five, count ’em, five coffees from Royal Farms. Funny thing - right before Varitek’s home run, I offered Bob a 3-coffee “buy-out” and he turned it down.
Anyway, with the park jammed with Red Sox faithful, I figured it was appropriate to break out my 1970’s Orioles gray away jersey that has “BALTIMORE” stitched across the front – it was, after all, a semi-away-game for the Birds today, so the away jersey was acceptable.
Not long after we settled into our seats did the heckling begin.
I barked at Cora – “Hey Alex, you’re not gonna let these scrubs beat you guys two days in a row are you?” and he waved me off and shook his head from side to side and mouthed “No Way”.
We berated ManRam every single time he trotted in after the end of an inning, but he must have given his rabbit ears to Cora because The Dreaded One never even acknowledged us.
By the way, that was one helluva catch he made in left field. Spectacular. Gotta give a man credit when credit is due. And, also, he was safe in the 8th inning, but who cares? And why wasn’t Manny tossed when he fired his helmet at the ump after that bad call?
Anyway, back to the heckling. There were plenty of Red Sox fans in and around our immediate area of the stands. Makes you wonder, huh? How did these Red Sox folks get seats in Row C, D, E, F and G of Section 54? I wonder…
At one point, two kids, maybe 12 years old each, sat down behind us and one of them immediately said: “The Orioles suck…” I turned around and said, “Yeah, really? They’re beating your sorry team 6-3 right now.” Imagine that. These two Bah-stun young’uns sneak down into the good seats and start harrassing adults right in front of them. I had to remind them that their team was about to get swept by the team that “sucks”. Consider it a lesson in fan-interaction-education, right?
Cora remained a playful target throughout the game and we gave him an earful every time he went on and off the field. He would occasionally smirk or smile and while they were ahead, it probably WAS funny to him.
It didn’t seem so funny when Jay Payton hit that grand slam to put the O’s up to stay in the 7th inning.
We still heckled him after that but it was all business from that point forward. Cora’s probably a good guy, actually. It was fun “giving him stick”, as they say over in England.
There were some sullen faces in that ballpark as we exited FPACY. I’m telling you, the place was jam packed with Boston fans and they didn’t know what the hell to do.
Swept by the Orioles.
OK, it was only two games, but who cares, right?
Swept by the Orioles.
Right before the final out, I yelled out to Kevin Youkilis, “Hey Youkilis, how do you say ‘we just got swept’ in Greek?”
He looked over at me and scowled. He wasn’t happy. Neither was some guy in a Red Sox jacket who was standing next to Youkilis – a trainer, most likely. He frowned at me as if to say, “Dude, when we come back here in a few weeks your team will be 10 games under .500 and we’ll have a 6-game lead in the division.” It was a snotty look that he shot me, that’s for sure.
It was a lot of fun at FPACY today. A 6-3 win over, say, the Twins, wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun, I’m sure.
Red Sox Nation took over for a day and left with their tail between their legs.
Oh, if you see Haynie, remind him I like cream and sugar in my coffee.