Sunday Night Liveglog Club: Opening Night, 2010

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It has been 151 days since Shane Victorino grounded to second and ended the 2009 baseball season. Tonight, major league baseball returns! Loyal Walkoff Walk reader/lousy Braves fan Matt T. bugged me yesterday about liveglogging tonight's Yankees-Red Sox tilt. Since I'm a sadist, I decided to liveblog the inevitable five-hour snoozefest the two most popular teams in baseball always put on. I also made the above graphic in celebration of baseball's return.

But we all know the real question: How long will it take for someone to say something hilarious on Baseball Tonight this season? Guess what: Not one minute into the first episode, Bobby Valentine compared the start of baseball season with: Easter! As in, they're both "the start of something new."

And, of course, there's the other question: How long until Baseball Tonight has hilariously weird guests? About fifteen minutes into the show!

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Yes, that's Dr. Dre, Lebron James and Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine. They were all shilling Dre's new headphone line. This whole episode of BBTN has been a big shill, with Karl Ravech saying the one thing Red Sox fans love to do is "log on to ESPNBoston.com."

After the jump, let's quit complaining and get into our first regular season baseball action of the year. Game starts at 8:05 p.m.

Oh, yeah: I'm also drafting in my fantasy league tonight, so I will be completely baseball'd out by tomorrow, one of the best sports days of the year. Since it's a Sunday night (and all of you and presumably in front of a television watching the game), I will forgo play-by-play for the menial stuff and attempt to do analysis (by "do analysis," I mean "make jokes") instead.

Pregame

7:37 p.m. BBTN continues to shine tonight, with Tim Kurkjian calling Dusty Baker the manager of the Cubs, then freaking out about it afterward. No more rappers have showed up on the broadcast so far, sadly. It's still nice to have Baseball Tonight back, as it's still probably a must-watch for the hardcore baseball fan.

7:46 p.m. I'm already regretting agreeing to do this. Why aren't I at least using Cover It Live?! I always seem to be agreeing to things I later regret. I'm in so many fantasy baseball leagues I never prepare for any of them, instead of just being in one and prepping for that one. Hmm, this is going to be an existential liveblog it seems.

I'm actually pretty excited for the game. Right now the Red Sox crowd is booing Derek Jeter, about the only time I agree with Sox fans on anything.

7:57 p.m. Crucial pieces of information will get short updates. For example: Curt Schilling's blog is now on ESPNBoston.com, according to repeated mentions on BBTN.

8:00 p.m. This is the first Fenway night opener, which seems completely impossible, but I guess it's true. Then again, earlier tonight we were also told the Red Sox once came back from a 15-run deficit against the Yankees on Opening Day, so who knows.

8:02 p.m. Another short crucial update: Pedro Martinez is here!

8:09 p.m. I was trying to think what percentage of ads during sports games go completely over my head. Beer, food, media, cars, even insurance, I all get. But financial ads I never really understand or ever care about, unless the message is, "Save money for retirement!" (I don't do that, but I get it.) Anyway, I guess my point here is: How can the oil industry in the North Sea impact fishing markets in Japan?

First inning

8:10 p.m. One swing by Derek Jeter, one out! This is on pace to be the fastest season in baseball history.

8:13 p.m. We're not quite on the pace we were after the first at-bat, but the top half of the first is already over. This is still going to be a record baseball season in terms of speed. Looks like Bob Watson is finally doing something!

8:16 p.m. HOLY SHIT DONOVAN MCNABB JUST GOT TRADED TO THE FUCKING REDSKINS!!!

Regulars here should know I'm going to need a few minutes to process this.

8:19 p.m. Actually, all I really had to do was call my mom. She's as confused as I am. Everyone I know who works in media is pissed off they're going to have to work late on Sunday night. So now I have company in late-night writing!

8:24 p.m. It's always fun in the first few minutes when a big story (okay, not really, it is just sports, but you know what I mean) breaks and everyone learns about it and goes, "Gasp!" That's always a blast. I should try to break more news so I can deliver that to people myself. Hmm.

The game has been nothing so far, though the Yankees slowed the game down considerably, as predicted. I learned last World Series that the Yankees are the worst baseball team in the world, as they attempt to play five-hour games every day. Jorge Posada is responsible for at least 15 hours of extra game time per season.

Second inning

8:29 p.m. Oh, look who slowed down this game considerably? Jorge Posada. He homers to deep right field, off Pesky's Pole. Yankees 1, Red Sox 0. Incidentally, Lebron James predicted a 7-5 Yankee win before the game.

8:31 p.m. Oh, crap. If Curtis Granderson is going to be hitting home runs every at bat (on pace for it!), the Yankees are going to be even better than last year. Yankees 2, Red Sox 0. On the plus side, Jon Miller just said "420" on air.

8:40 p.m. Josh Beckett finally gets an out after allowing consecutive singles after the back-to-back homers. This game has been kind of fun to watch, because I like when both the Yankees and Red Sox get scored upon.

8:49 p.m. If I had to come up with one quality that effects a player's popularity, I'd go with chant-ability of name. Are there any unpopular players with easily chantable names? Scientifically, Clarence Weatherspoon's popularity was increased 35.6% due to the ability to yell "Spoon" when he got the ball. Anyway, Kevin ("Yoooooouuuuk!!") Youkilis doubled to center and eventually came home on a long Adrian Beltre fly-out to center. Yankees 2, Red Sox 1.

Third inning

8:53 p.m. Jon Miller just gave a pretty hilarious description of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.

9:00 p.m. Okay, let's discuss the new ESPN score bug.

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Ugly, right? MDT wrote it "looks like something out of a first-person shooter," which is definitely right. I don't know whether to boo Jeter or fire the BFG-9000 at him.

Fourth inning

9:11 p.m. Joe Morgan just expressed excitement about meeting Dr. Dre on the field today.

9:13 p.m. Jon Miller said people keep scorebooks more at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium than elsewhere. Hmm. Possible, but: Do we really know if this is true, or is it anecdotal? I demand sabermetrics in all facets of my baseball broadcast.

9:17 p.m. By the way, thanks to hilarious autodraft rankings, I got Albert Pujols fourth in my fantasy draft tonight. I hit autodraft a while back, too, so I could focus on bitching at people on Twitter, but I got Pujols with the fourth pick! Who cares?

9:23 p.m. With two outs, Brett Gardner singles to right and Granderson scores. Yankees 3, Red Sox 1. Then Jeter singles through the middle and How I Met Your Mother guest star Nick Swisher scores. Yankees 4, Red Sox 1.

9:25 p.m. Ha! Derek Jeter breaks for second, Victor Martinez throws right to second and Brett Gardner steals home. Yankees 5, Red Sox 1. The top of the fourth ends on the next pitch, but it was still a pretty hilarious half-inning. Now the Yanks need to give up a grand slam this inning to keep the schadenfreude fun going.

9:33 p.m. Kevin Youkilis, who has the only hit for the Red Sox tonight, pops up to end the fourth. Sabathia (aka King Hippo) is cruising.

Fifth inning

9:35 p.m. It's a Terry Francona interview, a half-inning after a Joe Girardi interview. Is there any person anywhere who likes the in-game manager interview? I have never met one.

9:45 p.m. Melky Cabrera Robbie Cano (duh) hits a bomb to right, but watches it as it bounces off the wall. J.D. Drew gets it in very quickly, and Cano's held to a single. It's a moot point after Josh Beckett walks Posada, and Tito's pulling Beckett. Scott Schoeneweis, of all people, is coming in to pitch.

9:51 p.m. Schoeneweis strikes out Granderson. He was actually cut by the Brewers this Spring and blamed it on prejudice against his wife dying of a drug overdose last year. Yikes.

9:59 p.m. In just two short hours, this game went from breezing along to among the slowest in major league history. (Note: This may be incorrect.)

10:04 p.m. Signs of life from the Red Sox! Consecutive singles from J.D. Drew and Mike Cameron extend the fifth inning, while Joe Morgan and Co. babble on about ESPN's new replay toy. Meanwhile, more signs of life: Marco Scutaro (late of the Blue Jays) lines it to left. Drew scores and everybody moves up on a wild Gardner throw. Yankees 5, Red Sox 2.

10:06 p.m. Orel Hershiser has accused Gardner of not making a "decisive decision" on the previous play. Ellsbury K's to end the fifth.

Sixth inning

10:11 p.m. "A reminder you can watch UConn and Baylor on ESPN..." UConn is up 25-8. Who, exactly, is going to switch over right now? I guess it's the same people who enjoy in-game manager interviews.

10:21 p.m. Sabathia walks Pedroia to start the bottom of the sixth. We just got a Harry the K reference on the broadcast, so I am happy.

10:23 p.m. After a Victor Martinez double, Youkilis hits one to right. Swisher kind of misplays it into a triple and the Sox are only down a run. Yankees 5, Red Sox 4.

10:30 p.m. David Ortiz... let's say, fists a bloop toward Robbie "Melky Cabrera" Cano, who can't get it in the air but holds Youkilis at third and gets Ortiz at first. Sabathia is done for the night. Kind of short outings for pitchers as good as the two starting tonight, even for the first game of the year.

10:33 p.m. First pitch by David Robertson is smacked right back into center by Adrian Beltre, and it's tied. Yankees 5, Red Sox 5.

10:36 p.m. Robertson gets the next two guys (Drew and Cameron). To the seventh! Since quitting a Walkoff Walk blog is a tradition, I've obviously never done it except maybe that playoff game last year I went to go watch the Phillies during. Anyway, Rob always says it's okay to quit, but that's quitter talk. (Um, obviously.) So I'm going to finish. I told you this would be an existential liveblog.

Seventh inning

10:39 p.m.

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Ahh, I will never tire of fans giving the finger on live television. (via)

10:40 p.m. Meanwhile, A-Rod doubles to left and it's second and third with nobody out. Hideki Okajima comes in to relieve and face Cano.

10:44 p.m. Cano grounds out, but Teixeira scores and A-Rod heads to third. Yankees 6, Red Sox 5.

10:45 p.m. Posada (Public Enemy No. 1 in Philadelphia from last year's World Series) singles to center. Yankees 7, Red Sox 5. Hershiser says "there's not a nicer human being in the world" than Curtis Granderson. What about the Pope? Wait, bad example.

10:50 p.m. Okajima gets a double play to end the top of the seventh. Now we're going to hear Steven Tyler sing "God Bless America." On Walkoff Walk, you're going to hear this song:

I guess this song is a list of all the drugs Steven Tyler regularly does.

10:52 p.m. Here's a game I've been playing for years: Was that Steven Tyler's wife or daughter? I think it was wife this time, but if I'm wrong and somebody can correct me, please do.

10:55 p.m. Lebron James predicted this game would end 7-5 Yankees on the pregame show, incidentally.

10:56 p.m. Here's the new toy Joe Morgan was gushing about before:

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It's called ESPN Axis. I like it, but only because it allows Morgan to describe basic infield strategy. He's better at that than any other type of analysis. But the technology isn't all that fantastic. I don't know why the announcers acted as if this were Instant Replay Part II.

11:00 p.m. Lebron is wrong! Lebron is wrong! Chan Ho Park hangs a breaking ball to Dustin Pedroia and he deposits it over the Monster just down the line. Yankees 7, Red Sox 7. This game is going to last until 10 a.m.

11:05 p.m. Kevin Youkilis is winning the opening fantasy night for teams. He doubles off the Monster after a Martinez groundout and Park's night is over.

11:08 p.m. Damaso Marte is in, and his first pitch goes to the backstop. Good start.

11:11 p.m. Passed ball, and the Sox take the lead. Red Sox 8, Yankees 7. Ortiz walks afterward.

11:15 p.m. Joba Chamberlain is in to pitch, and some dude is chanting his first name loudly enough the TV mics are picking it up. Like "Darryl, Darryl" (suggested in the comments), these are exceptions to the chantable name rule.

Eighth inning

11:20 p.m. Daniel Bard opens the top of the eighth and gets Gardner to ground out to second.

11:24 p.m. Aww, Donovan McNabb gets his own tab on the ESPN2 bottom line just like Tiger Woods! I'm so proud of him. After a Jeter out, Bard walks Nick Johnson. Mark Teixeira is up.

11:27 p.m. Three down, so it's "Sweet Caroline" time in Boston. It's actually Neil Diamond singing it tonight, so it's extra horrible. A friend IMs: "It's like the Red Sox actually want us to hate them more." Agreed.

11:30 p.m. What do you think that Sony Playstation guy did to get banned from Mexico?

11:35 p.m. Here's another question: Does anyone buy a credit card or open a bank account because they can get a Red Sox logo on a credit card or check?

11:37 p.m. Mike Cameron singles with one down against Chamberlain.

11:43 p.m. With two down and two on, Pedroia lines one to right. Cameron scores. Red Sox 9, Yankees 7. The Sox are on an 8-2 run.

11:47 p.m. Jorge Posada mound conference No. 34. A new Opening Day record!

11:48 p.m. We finally head to the ninth. A-Rod, Cano and Posada are coming up.

Ninth inning

11:50 p.m. "The energy drink for your feet." Advertisements confuse me.

11:51 p.m. ESPN goes with the Dropkick Murphys interlude. Edgy.

11:52 p.m. Two quick outs to open the ninth. The game is going to finish before midnight!

11:54 p.m. Uh-oh. I spoke too soon, as Jorge Posada singles to center. It's always Posada. Always!

11:56 p.m. Just in time! Phew. Game over. Go to bed and get ready for work, everyone. I'll clean up.

FINAL: Red Sox 9, Yankees 7.


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87 Comments

The guy in that Swisher espn ad is the weaselly husband from "Tell Me You Love Me", IS HE NOT?

Yep, I believe that was Adam Scott, Gorge.

Wow, SportScience is far less entertaining when nobody's getting hit in the sack.

This is SCIENCE, kids!

These segments always remind me of NBC-era Letterman getting interrupted in his dressing room, while rocking the Selsun Blue (Tegrin?) half-and-half shampoo scalp. "This is science!"

I'm all aflutter

Are those post-op thingies under Schilling's eyes? And, MY GOD is he all blowed up. Mix in a jog, Curt.

Gooooooo Meteor!

Thanks, Jerkwheat. That show was one that always seemed to be on when I was on the road for work.

ESPN crew calling the game from a prison phone visitation cubicle.

I remember when I'd buy baseball gear based completely on Ken Griffey's say-so. Those days are looooong past. I'd trust his suggestion for a good OTC painkiller, though.

That looked like a fastball to me!

NOBODY LOOK AT NICKY, YOUR VISION WAVES ARE STRESSING HIS JOINT PASTE

Dr Dre looked like shit.

BTW, we all think Pedro is going to pitch again at some point, don't we? I don't know that I'm ready for a post-Pedro world.

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Why aren't I at least using Cover It Live?!

Because Cover It Live sucks.

GO SOX 8==========D

That's a new bug for ESPN, right? I don't think I'm a fan, too many colors.

movin rt along fozzie

Ooh, I can't wait for McNabb to be brutally underappreciated in MY market, too /nolovefortheredskinsanyway

I don't like the new bug either. It looks like something out of a first-person shooter.

Morgan and Miller are in midseason form already, the tv has been muted.

CURTIS GRANDERSON DRINKS YOUR MILKSHAKE

Jerkwheat is crying somewhere.

Buddy BiancaLAHHHHHH-NAHHHHHHHHH

@dhm DARR-YL. DARR-YL.

are you suggesting the reason that people hate AJ Pierzynski because of his name, not because he's a huge cunt?

For the curious lot of you not in the Tri-State area, Michael Kay is in homerific mid-season form. I really wish the carbon monoxide had got him.

Red Sox radio broadcast is dropping last year's OPS numbers for some players.

They must've read the Sports Fella!

I don't know 'bout the espn bug, but locally I was creeped out by some carribean shoe com

Annnnnd, I agree to let my girls watch High School Musical 3.

@ Liakos - r u nesn-less again?

Apparently, Ken Singleton and Doc Rivers are cousins. That doesn't explain much, but it explains enough.

Fourth? I am not down with whatever syndrome affected the person responsible for those rankings.

I got Pujols and Utley and somehow still had enough money in my auction draft to not have replacement level players elsewhere.

Pedie beat fatty - c'mon!

And we have a DEATH TO FLYING THINGS acknowledgment.

DEATH TO FLYING THINGS

@DMAC - can we start a petition? the ingame interview is a terrible beast

see? that int caused Tito to pull JB @ 4 2/3

My dad just asked "Who is that fat tub of goo on the mound?"... I love baseball season.

"Cameron with his first hit as a Red Sox." -Michael Kay

I thought Gardner's decision was very decisive. He decided, decisively, "I'm going to throw this ball 30 feet right and 15 feet over the cutoff man, allowing both runners to move up a base."

It was Cano that hit the single off the wall. Melky was traded as part of the Vazquez deal.

Dan McQuade: Horrible Racist.

Dan McQuade: Doesn't pay enough attention to the American League. Fixed!

Since somebody has to: YOOOOOUUUUUUK

I went for the lucky walk the dog walk - sucess!

@ Ed - oh, plenty have! YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK!

Nastia Liukin is the only one in that commercial I want giving me a five-dollar footlong.

five five from fenway f*ckin fun!

I really wanna do it with alyssa milano.

The YES Network crew just showed us the WB Mason sign on the Green Monster. WHO FUCKIN BUT, DAMN IT!!!!

When you look at the WB Mason logo, isn't office products about the last fucking thing you'd think they do?

PEDIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah, Phony. I look at that logo think of, like, carnival food or tobacco...

Where did WB Mason come from? I never heard of it until they started advertising in maybe 2003 or 2004, exclusively and extensively during baseball games, but it's an old company.

From Wiki: It was founded in 1898 by William Bradley Mason in Brockton, Massachusetts, where its headquarters are still located. It began as a rubber stamp company, which thrived in the Brockton shoe industry. A year later, W.B. Mason introduced free delivery, using his horse-drawn wagon with his face painted on the side to cart product around downtown Brockton. In 1987, W.B. Mason became the largest office supplies and office furniture company in southeastern Massachusetts.

Still looks like they sell nerve tonic.

Phony Gwynn saves the day! As a person living in the western side of New York state, I had never heard of W.B. Mason until my cable provider started to carry the YES Network. So, sadly, my knowledge of the company's existence is mostly Michael Kay's fault.

4 all their baseball ad $, we still use staples up here

Is W.B. Mason the real-life equivalent of Dunder Mifflin? That's kind of what I've always thought.

I think Damaso Marte might be my new favorite pitcher. That was SPECTACULAR!

You know, DMac, the WB Mason guy does look like Steve Carell with a moustache...

I think DMac is on to something here. Company that we constantly hear about but aren't sure it exists (I mean, I've never seen one)? Guy in the logo looking like Steve Carell with a mustache? I can go with this...

I have seen W.B. Mason trucks and delivery guys, and worked at a place that used the company for its office supplies. I was thinking more specifically: They're a small, northeast US paper company without a retail division like Dunder Mifflin!

I can dig that.

Unfortunately their shenanigans aren't cheeky and fun like Dunder Mifflin's. They're cruel and pathetic.

We should discuss Cust getting DFA'd here.

Maybe it's hallucinations from the 7 lbs of Easter Candy I ate today, but is everyone else seeing Neil Diamond on their TV right now?

Why did Neil Diamond's jacket say "Keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn" on the back? It was a sportcoat, so I think he had that custom embroidered. Why did he wear it to a Red Sox game? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON

What... He's singing "Sweet Caroline" down a full step?! Weak. Guess he's lost the top part of his voice range or something...

SOMEONE TELL NEIL IT'S NOT 1957

I had some kickass circus peanuts shaped like chicks and bunnies, and at least they had the decency to keep ole Neil short n sweet 2night, he did the 4th of ju-rye fireworks show last year in a painfulway

@Ed
He lost most of his range when they peeled his old face off and put Pete Sampras' 1998 face in it's place. Jesus, Neil, even Morgan Fairchild thinks you've overdone it.

If I ever sing at a baseball game, I'm wearing a "Keep the Athletics in Philadelphia" jacket.

@DMac
To stay in line with Neil's relevance, you'd have to wear a "Keep the Braves in Milwaukee" jacket.

@ DMac - wear it anyway!

I saw Enos Slaughter's "Keep the Blacks in Indianapolis" jacket on eBay.

Aaaaaaaaaand I killed that joke.

Nice work, Phony. Killed it dead.

aaahhh, now THERE'S a thing I didn't miss in the off-season: the "fake to third, fake to first" move. Pitchers who do that should burn in hell.

I don't think I've ever seen that move work. Anybody?

i would like to do it with neil diamond

Not in the pros. But it's worked quite a few times in the adult wood-bat league I play in. Probably because most of us are over 30, fat, and usually hungover.

Nope. Never. I wonder if it could be called a balk...

Good way to start the year: a Yankee L. Buenas noches, amigos.

Oh, and thanks DMac. Personally, I love your AL naivete.

Thanks for the killer glog, DMac!

Glogging is more tiring than one expects. I'm beat.

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