Monday, March 10, 2008

Let's play a game: Was J.D. Drew safe, or was he out?


Above: Red Sox third baseman J.D. Drewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, as fans call him each time he bats, readies to swing the bat. Below: He hit a soft little ground ball into the infield. But because it was soft, Drew had a chance to beat it out. What do you think? Was he safe, or was he out?



The final hours are winding down on the Los Angeles Dodgers' storied history at Dodgertown, the Vero Beach complex that is known for its family friendly atmosphere and that still conjures the old, high-socks days of Major League Baseball.

Sunday's game against the Boston Red Sox was a perfect opportunity to see the packed Holman Stadium for myself and to see the Sox in action for the first time. I have been a fan my whole life, but Sunday was my first game. And it counts, too, even if it was just an exhibition.

The place was full. Even the berm in the outfield was covered with baseball fanatics - most of them rooting for the Sox, of course. Because it was one of the final games at Dodgertown for Los Angeles and that it was against the Sox made it theeee place to be.

I saw people from Maine, New Hampshire - you know all those cold places up North. It was good to be among folks speaking Boston and Down East accents again.

The Sox lost, 4-0. But it's just spring training: It doesn't really count.

Manny Ramirez showed some good hustle at Dodgertown. Of course, my seat was kind of in a poor location in the left-field corner of the outfield stands, so he's the player my camera and I became the most intimately involved with. In these photos, he makes some nice plays on a few lazy fly balls. Below, he had to run almost 10 yards to catch this one. He just got there for it, but center fielder Joe Thurston made it all the way from right-center to offer his support.


Now, this is a ticket I would support: legendary Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy for president. The Massachusetts native played second base for the Sox in the late 1970s and early '80s: the kind of resume fit for the White House.

David Ortiz smacks a double to the center field wall. The hit came on the first pitch after an infielder dropped a pop fly on the third base line, giving Big Papi a second life.

Daisuke "Dice-K" Matsuzaka had somewhat of a poor showing, giving up a three-run homer in the second inning to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. The Sox hitters didn't give him much run support, though. In fact, they didn't give him any.

Terry "Tito" Francona gives Dice-K the hook, as Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli gives the strikeout prince a tap on the bottom with his mitt.

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