Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hounding Report: Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox, May 4/5

Photos are pretty light on this one.  It's hard to take photos of guys signing when they don't sign.

Controversial statement of the day: as a whole, Red Sox fans are worse than Yankees fans.

Sure, I can find examples of good ones and bad ones on both sides.  But as a whole, Red Sox fans make me want to stab myself in the face repeatedly.  For a team that has a whole two World Series wins in the last 90 years, they really have a pair of brass ones.  That's the same amount the Indians have won, but yet were we as annoying as Boston fans during the years when our squad was good, but not great?  I don't think so, and I sure as hell hope not.

Yankees fans, you expect to hear stuff from them, and frankly they've earned that right.  As long as they're legitimate Yankee fans, and not some bandwagon-jumping asshats.  As long as you're from Yankee territory (which I mark as New York itself, Connecticut, New Jersey, and we'll allow Rhode Island as a disputed territory; and I even will let some slide in areas of their farm teams), fine, you have that right.  But if you're from Ohio, California, Texas, anywhere outside that area, then you can go fall off a cliff.

Ditto on Red Sox fans.  If you're from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, okay, fine.  I'll allow it. Anywhere else, go play in traffic.

But seriously.  Red Sox fans as a whole have become so incredibly arrogant and ill-informed over the last 5-10 years.  Standing there hoping for players to stop and sign (which for the most part didn't happen; the fans' arrogance has rubbed off on the players and coaches), I heard one guy calling out repeatedly to Cody Ross, telling his son that he's the Red Sox backup catcher.

Good luck getting Cody Ross to stop and sign at a Rangers-Red Sox game.  He's playing in Arizona.  And if he's catching, something has gone SEVERELY wrong-- probably injuries to the starter, backup, all emergency catchers, and every right-handed player on the team.  Learn your players, chief.  That was DAVID Ross.  Cody is a lefty and an outfielder.

I used to be a Red Sox fan.  But as a Cleveland native, 2007 ruined that for me.  Jonathan Papelbon dancing on our grave (literally), and the overall assholatry of Boston fans as a whole just drove me away from them.  That was the year of the 19-0... err, 18-1 Patriots, and the Celtics' first championship season since 1985-86.  Back on the old Simply Drew, I even wondered aloud a bit if I ever really was a Red Sox fan, or if they were just the most easily available prostitute as my marriage to the Indians seemed to be on the rocks.  I still don't know.  All I know is I'm sure as hell not a fan now.

The Ballpark in Arlington was filled with the latter of the aforementioned types this week-- almost as many Red Sox fans were there as there were Rangers fans.  Oh boy.  I have been through some tough crowds there, but anything I ever say is "tough" is nothing compared to this.  Fans were three to four deep most of the way down the line from the dugout to the corner where the stands go upward.

But first, let's look at the tunnel.

I arrived a little before noon, with Arron and his mom arriving soon after while I just hung out with Tammy, Randy, Seth, and their friend Searn. For the most part, it was a really slow day.  Few players stopped, but at least those who did stop were rare signers out there.  Craig Gentry-- whom I had never seen stop in all my time out there-- stopped and signed everything.  Unfortunately I only had two cards and gave one to Searn, so I just got the one done.  I'll need to add him to my shopping list.

Later Joe Ortiz stopped, but I had nothing for him.  The third and final one was a big one though-- Joe Nathan, who signed one-per for everyone lined up.

After most of the crowd dissipated, Tom Grieve came through and we got him to stop, finally getting my four 1970's cards signed by him.  Arron had a 1972 one that he got signed-- I may have to search for that one next since I love the delightful tackiness of the '72 design.

Anyways, from there it was on to the inside and the madhouse that was the third base line.  We briefly debated going over to the Rangers' side and trying for Yu Darvish, but decided against it, hoping that maybe Dustin Pedroia or David Ortiz would sign again-- they apparently did on Friday.  Pedroia did, but made a little shitty comment about "seeing all of you here yesterday."  He signed for about 7 people, at least three of whom WERE there the day before (two of whom were dealers, the third of whom was Seth), while skipping everyone else, including a number of fans in Sox jerseys.  Most undeserving MVP since Joe Gordon in 1942.

Making a long story short, I got Koji Uehara on two cards and Franklin Morales on a team card.  Stiffed across the board the rest of the way, even by the usually-reliable Andrew Bailey.  I wasn't expecting a whole lot from the Red Sox, but I certainly figured I'd get more than just three.  Not even coaches Torey Lovullo, Juan Nieves, or John Farrell picked up a pen.  Next year if I get season tickets, the Red Sox and Yankees games will almost be guaranteed to go into the sell/give away pile.

On the plus side, I did add a third ball to my collection.  David Ortiz ripped one into the stands a few feet from where I was walking and after it bounced and rolled a bit, I beat a couple others to it.  Just to add to the cluelessness of the Red Sox fans around me, one told me I should go over and get Ortiz to sign it.  I said that's alright, he won't do it.  His response was "Sure he will, they'll let you on the field to have him sign it!"  Well, imagine that!  They'll let me on the field so he can sign it!  Guess what boys and girls, we've just been wasting our damn time asking players to sign from the stands since they'll just let us on the field now, apparently!

Sunday was more of the same.  Only Leonys Martin stopped at the tunnel-- yet another player I have nothing for, mostly since he has so few cards.  Spent most of the time chucking a ball around with Arron, Seth, and Searn.  My elbow will be killing me tomorrow, I'm sure.

Inside-- as you might expect, still more of the same.  Ryan Dempster was a two-per signer, but that was it.  At least I got him on a couple that I'd had sitting here since the Rangers picked him up last season.

Overall, I ended up with 11 autographs in 2 days of work. Red Sox get a grade of "NEVER AGAIN."

For those looking for the most recent Wednesday Friendsday, we're pushing it back to this coming Wednesday, May 8.  Might be light on the photos, but long on the answers and a great read for sure.

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