My latest contribution to Red Sox Nation

Map of the streets surrounding Fenway Park, in which Yawkey Way and Jersey Streets are MislabelledI was using Google Maps the other day when I noticed something strange. Yawkey Way was mislabeled. It is my understanding (as it was before my time living in Boston) that Jersey Street used to run from Boylston Street to Brookline Avenue, past Fenway Park. In 1976, the stretch of Jersey that ran along Fenway Park (between Van Ness Street and Brookline Avenue) was renamed Yawkey Way, in honor of former club owner Tom Yawkey. But in the Google Map, these two streets are flipped over Van Ness, as seen in the photo here. I contacted GoogleMaps with this problem. This morning they let me know that I was correct and that the map will be corrected within a month. I’ll post again when the fix is made.

Now if only Google could go back and correct Tom Yawkey

Update: Google has corrected this issue.

ALDS Game 2 at Fenway Park

Red Sox Nation sent out a dispatch last week about a first-come, first-served contest for tickets to watch Game 2 of the ALDS at Fenway.  This was an away game, so the party was being held in the State Street Pavilion, which are some of the more expensive seats in the park.  I replied right away, as did roryk , and we both got on the guest list.  coco_b  thought it’d be a fun night too, and so we all went over there on Friday night.

It was really a blast..  RSN was giving away some neat prizes, the ultimate being two box seats to tonight’s game (we didn’t win anything, but it was fun nonetheless).  The pavilion is basically a restaurant with glass facing the field, but when you’re actually at a game, you have seats on the other side of the glass to watch the game from.  There were TVs to watch the game all over the restaurant, and we were also welcome to go out and sit in the seats over the field (where there were also TVs).  The food was what you’d expect from a ball park, not great, but definitely a little better than the vendors in the concourse.  There was a full bar and table service, and there were probably about 150 people at the party.   We got pictures with the World Series trophies, but some of them are on Corinna’s camera, so I haven’t gotten them yet.  The ones I took with my phone are up, though.

The game was completely awesome, a little bit of everything..  Started out hot, Angels slowly crept back, the awesome jack by Drew to put the final nails in..  It was so great watching the game with such a group of hardcore fans…   Rory and Corinna really seemed to enjoy it as well, even though coco was pretty tired by the time the late night game ended…


When I watched baseball as a kid, it was a really simple affair which basically boiled down to “I hope the Mets win”.  My friend Matt Hansen and his father were WAY into baseball, and that’s where I became interested.  I didn’t know anything about statistics, rosters, or even the minor league (beyond it’s existence).  We’d watch a game on TV or listen to it on the radio, and occasionally go to Shea to watch a game.  At some point, though, I stopped paying attention to Baseball.  As an adult, I had convinced myself that I stopped caring around the infamous strike, but the math on that doesn’t work out, because the strike was in ’94 and I’m pretty sure I stopped caring much earlier than that.  Regardless of when it happened, it happened.

I managed to avoid Red Sox fever for many years of living in Boston…  When I moved here in 2001, it was amazing to me how serious Boston sports fans were…   The startup I was working for, Rovia, had it’s office right on the corner of Yawkey Way and Brookline, across the way from Fenway (and, troublingly for my waistline, directly above the Best Sausage Company).  It was a madhouse in the summer, you either had to leave the office at 5pm or wait until the 2nd inning or so before the streets calmed down enough to make it to the T.    I’d be walking to the office from the T at 10am on a day with a 7pm game, and I’d already be getting harassed by scalpers (“NEED ‘EM??  GOT ‘EM???).   This city breathes it’s sports, especially baseball..   You see team colors all over the city on game days..   Every bar with a TV is showing the game..   People simply assume you’re at least familiar with what’s going on with the team.

When I was working at Goodrich, I won two sets of tickets to the company seats.   The first was in August of 2004 in what would turn out to be the lead up to their World Series win.  I really enjoyed the game and got my first glimpse into what it is about this team and this park that made people crazy..   But it faded quickly, and even though the Sox were in the playoffs and ultimately the Series, I didn’t pay much attention…  Local friends had parties to watch some of the games, and I attended, and cheered on the home team, but it didn’t stick.

The second set of tickets was in 2006, and this time around things were a little different.  The first game I attended was with coco_b, and neither of us were particularly into baseball…   But when I got tickets to the 2006 Patriot’s Day game, Corinna suggested I bring roryk along, because he was into the team.  It was at this game that the flint was sparked, although it took awhile for the fire to take. 

It was after attending this second game that I slowly started paying more attention to the sport.  It was Spring of last year when I first started to recognize “the symptoms”, but the finishing blow was the new HDTV.  Rory, adamfletcher and friends started coming over to watch games all of the time, and I found myself checking the scores even when I was unable to watch the game. 

I’m fairly certain that the World Series win last year was what set the hook in my cheek.  This year, I followed all of the off-season dealings, watched a bunch of spring training games, woke up at 5am to cook pancakes and bacon for a bunch of guests for the Opening Day game in Tokyo, and have seen or listened to at least a few innings of almost every game this season.  I pay attention to scouting rumors and news, I have read books on the game, I read Baseball Prospectus and the local sports sections baseball coverage, i discuss player statistics, sabermetrics, and scouting rumors…  It has gotten completely out of hand.   And I love it.

My journal, oh how I have neglected you!

I’ve been ultra-busy lately at both work and home, but looking back at the journal, I haven’t written anything other than movie reviews in over a month.  I’m even way behind on the movie reviews! Christ I wasn’t that busy, I’m just neglectful.  I’m sorry journal.

In the past month, I’ve been working on a fun project at work that has occupied quite a few cycles.  My plan is to finish it by the end of June, and I don’t think that is an ambitious goal.  The sin-laws visited over the Memorial Day weekend, and while it was part social visit, it was clearly also part indentured servitude.  coco_b has wanted to better utilize the awesome evening light that was hitting the street side of the house, but much of it was sequestered in the front bedroom (which is her little yoga/reading/working/office/chill space).  After some discussions, we decided to replace the lame slab door (in the distance in that photo) to that room with a set of french doors.  This way the room was still a defined, separate room, yet open or closed, we still get the beautiful evening light and both rooms seem bigger.  Corinna’s parents have done a ton of work on their home, and her stepfather does cabinetry and woodworking as a hobby.  Even better, they always seem willing to help us out on whatever crazy projects we dream up.  :)

So they drove all the way down (er, over?) from Michigan, arriving Thursday evening…  We figured that if they were coming to give us so much free labor and advice, the least I could do was make sure they were well fed while they were here.  The night they arrived I whipped up some cheese fondue from scratch and we had some fresh bread from one of the local bakeries.  Even if it isn’t hip anymore, Fondue is a great way to eat and socialize at the same time.  Over the weekend I also made my signature pasta+cauliflower+cheese+onion dish, as well as some mediocre skewers, swordfish provencal, and I don’t remember what else (if anything).  My vacation time isn’t as copious as Corinna’s, so I worked on Friday while they begun demolition at the house. The door was significantly wider and a bit taller than the existing door, and we also had to relocate a light switch.  While I somehow optimistically thought that this would be a one or two day project, it ended up taking the entire weekend (not including jointing and painting).  We still managed to have fun, watched a few movies, ate lots of food, and just hung out, but I still think it’d be nice if we didn’t enslave them next time they visited. :)  Corinna finished most of the finish work this past weekend, and the end result is awesome.

Last Friday, jeffm was in town, and he suggested we all go to Fenway to see the Sox.  While this SHOULD have been awesome, the lineup was a little shaken up with injuries, and they got completely destroyed by the Mariners.  It was still a fun time, I had never been to Fenway with such a large group (8 people) before..  Afterwards we hit up Precinct in Union Square, which was quite a bit of fun, although it was a little out of the way for roryk and I.  Jeff’s friend Christen went to the game with us and works there, so we got a serious hookup.  New people, old friends, and good drinks ALMOST make up for shitty baseball.  Almost.

Busy day!

I woke up this morning at 6:30am, but called BS on that right away and stayed in bed until 7:30am, when I gave up trying to fall back asleep and got up.  After puttering around for an hour or so I took a shower and ran out to Home Depot to finish the order for our french door.  coco_b placed the order earlier in the week, but she was unsure of the jamb size, so she put it on hold until we could measure it and get back to them.  While I was there I got a new shower head as well as a new motion sensor for the back stairwell.  I came home, made pancakes for breakfast, and then we took a solid nap.

When I woke up from our nap, I saw our downstairs neighbor Greg in the back yard preparing to rake the lawn.  We totally slacked off last fall and never bothered to clean up the yard before the first snow, so it was time to take care of it.  I joined him, and it only took us a few hours to polish the whole thing off.   At some point I also installed the new shower head and the motion sensor.  Not to mention cooking (ok, reheating) dinner.  I was pretty friggin’ productive, eh?

On an unrelated note, I received a letter in the mail from the Red Sox Ticket guy, thanking me profusely and containing a gift card to the Halfway Cafe, which is pretty awesome!

Catching up

My birthday was bad-ass, really went above-and-beyond to make me feel like my birthday lasted forever. She had already gotten me Rock Band earlier in the month, which we’ve been playing the hell out of. She also threw me a killer birthday party, where a bunch of people joined us for a bit of the game as well as the final “Greatest Action Movie Showdown of All Time” between “Die Hard” and “The Bourne Identity”. Coco has maintained for quite some time that Bourne was superior, but we all know the truth. I think everyone had a blast.

On my birthday, Corinna got me yet another birthday present, a Japanese Peace Lily. Admittedly, I was unable to identify the plant on my own, but as soon as she clued me in I started dying. I got a bunch of other gifts as well, including a meat manual and a few more seasons of South Park from the fam.

Other than that, the baseball season has finally fired up. The Sox opened the season in Tokyo a week ago, which meant for very early games here in the States, 6am. To help celebrate the Great Day, I woke up at 4:45am and whipped up 40-sum pancakes (from scratch) and 3.5 lbs of delicious bacon. 10-12 people joined us in watching the Sox win. Afterwards there was Rock Band to be played and we took a trip to Kelly’s Roast Beef for the goodness. Sorry if I wasn’t able to invite you, but our living room is only so big and it was tough enough managing three electric griddles…. I was pretty much at the limit of my pancake fabrication abilities (18 pancakes at a time).

Tomorrow I’m heading out to Austin for the nuptials of Nate and Lilly. I’ve never been to Austin before, and I’m expecting it will be more enjoyable than that of my other trips to Texas.

Assholes Anonymous

Hello, my name is Sean and I am a recovering asshole.

[Hi, Sean!]

I have been an asshole for nearly 31 years now, but I’m finally feeling like coming to these meetings is starting to help. For instance, today I came home to find a FedEx envelope addressed to some stranger at my address. I opened this envelope, sent by StubHub, to find two standing room tickets to the Red Sox vs. Cardinals game on June 21st of this year. I’m not sure what came over me, but after a few seconds of internal deliberation, I decided to do the “right” thing and contact StubHub so these tickets could find their way to their rightful owner. At first, I felt like a chump, but after speaking on the telephone with my sponsor, , he suggested that I simply realized that there are some things in life which are just sacred, and the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park are but two of them.

I’m not sure if I would have behaved the same way before I started coming to these meetings, but I certainly appreciate having all of you wonderful people support me. One day at a time.