It was a tough night for the Red Sox at Petco last night, as Tim Wakefield pitched four solid innings before the Padres tagged him for six runs, and the Padres went on to win, 6-1, before a spirited crowd of Red Sox and Padres fans last night.
There was plenty of controversy, as it appeared to me sitting in the stands (I was sitting in the top deck behind third base) that Manny Ramirez made a diving catch, but the umps got together and reversed it, and it led to a San Diego run. The next inning was more controversial, as Josh bard hit a ball that appeared to be a home run but was called foul. Again, the umps got together and reversed it, giving the Padres a 5-0 lead. I turned to my friend Ken and said, "I hope the umps got both the calls right."
We saw the replays later, and they did indeed get it right. I like the fact that umps now get together to get close calls like this right. But once again, I believe that the umpiring is getting worse, despite the umps now getting together to talk about controversial, close calls. It got Terry Francona tossed, and I think it may have been more out of a frustration and to motivate the troops as opposed to anything else. By the end, the game was out of reach, so the Red Sox fans (and I bet some Padres fans) began chants of "Yankees Suck!" (Something I guess we could all agree on.)
Ken and I took the Petco Park tour, and it was a blast. We were showed some of the posh places in the yard, and we also passed the visitors clubhouse. We hoped a Red Sox player would pop out, but no luck there. As we walked away, Jason Varitek walked on by on his way to the clubhouse. The fans we were with (almost all Sox fans except for Ken and one other guy) called out to him and he acknowledged us with a wave.
We also went up to the 100-year-old Western Supply Company building to check that out. It's built into the park, and we got to walk around that place. As we were walking out, Theo Epstein comes walking by, talking on his cell phone. He seemed rather lost in conversation, but did briefly acknowledged the fans who recognized him.
The tour was great, and Petco is a lovely park. At 5 PM, the tour ended, and we got to sit behind the Red Sox dugout for the next hour and watched BP. We got to see a whole slew of people connected to the Sox on the field: from Tina Cervasio (even more attractive in person, and she waved to the fans who called out her name) to Dan Shaughnessy (even more uglier in person if you can believe it, and ignored the fans who called out his name). John Henry and Larry Lucchino were there along with Luis Tiant and Don Newcombe, who were honored on Negro Leaguers Night. (A nice commerative pin was handed out.)
It was great watching the Sox taking BP, with Big Papi using a metal bat to hit bombs into the seats. Julian Tavarez was joking with the fans, and was enthralled by a young Red Sox fan, about 7 years old, who was in a wheelchair on the field. He really seems like a good guy.
Anyway, the series concludes today with a titanic matchup: Josh Beckett vs. Jake Peavy. More on that tomorrow as I'm off to Petco in a few minutes.
Go Red Sox!!