Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fenway Park Tour

We cannot tell you how excited we were to do a guided tour of Fenway Park. Several people told us that it was the best guided tour in the league, which is believable since it IS the oldest ballpark. Unfortunately, the tour did not live up to the hype. We must emphasize the fact that we were EXCITED to do the tour because we know that we're probably going to get the anti-New York peanut gallery on this one. Our criticism has nothing to do with the team, our dislike of the team, or our dislike of a good portion of their fans.

And now, for our story. It started a few days before we left for Boston.

A little backstory first. We bought tickets to see NKOTB, Paula Abdul, and Boyz II Men at Fenway Park with our delightful friend, Maria. Don't judge us. Just shut up. Since we were going to be in Boston and at Fenway Park ANYWAY, we thought it would be a great opportunity to do the guided tour we'd been hearing so much about.

Fast forward to a few days before the trip. Serena received an email from Fenway Park tour management regarding the tour tickets she purchased. Apparently, due to a "special event" (aka: our blast from the past concert), Fenway Park would not be holding any tours after noon (we had purchased the 1 pm tour). Considering that this so-called special event was on the calendar for awhile now, you'd think that Fenway would've planned for this and simply not offered the 12pm or 1pm tour on that day. Whatever. We can get over that as management allowed us to hop onto one of the earlier tours. The problem with that tactic is that everyone who booked the 12pm and 1pm tours ALSO received that offer.

When we arrived for the tour, the crowd was insane. There was simply just too many people for the tour group to manage. They broke us up into groups, but there was still too many people. In fact, it was clear that tour management didn't know how to handle the situation because our tour guide (more on him later) ended up just letting us wander around half the time without any guidance or input.

Now for our tour guide. He was a nice boy, but he was a complete buffoon. He started his tour by giving us a pop quiz about the ballpark. Sadly, the only quiz questions he asked were about movies that were either filmed at or took place at Fenway Park. That's right, kids. Nothing about the franchise or the oldest ballpark in the league, but about movies. At this point, the five of us agreed that any of us would've been better tour guides. It's worth nothing that none of us are from Boston nor are any of us Red Sox fans. Maria doesn't care about baseball, only Big Papi, Erin is an Orioles' fan, Matt is a Mariners' fan, and then you have us - a Mets' fan and a Yankees' fan.

Our first stop was just inside the concourse. The guide kindly pointed out that it was featured in The Town during the Fenway Park heist. Meanwhile, right behind him was a Boston Strong plaque. That was probably something he should've mentioned, but didn't. He also made sure to spend some time making fun of the Yankees and Yankees' fans. Super cool. Not the we're tooting our own horns or anything, but we assure you that neither Yankee Stadium tour nor the Citi Field tour mentioned any of their Eastern Division rivals.

Then we made our way to the field level section, where the tour group management wasted a bunch of time taking photos of us that they then tried to charge us for later. From our ridiculous photo shoot, we were led to a random section of seats.
We finally got a little trivia about the ballpark from the guide here, but it wasn't anything too impressive. He did mention how the seats on top of the Monster came about and that was cool. Sadly, he had a missed opportunity. Since the field crew was setting up for the concert, you couldn't see it, but directly across from where we were sitting was the section where the Ted Williams' seat is located. Granted, you couldn't see anything because the seat was covered with a tarp, but this was a golden opportunity to mention a little bit of Red Sox history.

From here, the guide led us to the seats on top of the Monster. Also cool. He even talked about the Pesky Pole and Carl Yastrzemski's famous home run. That was the part of the tour where we got the most information out of this guy. It was good information, but that is not the point.

After the Monster, he talked about famous live performances that had been held at Fenway, which is probably the least interesting thing about Fenway. Then he marched us right by a garden, didn't talk about it, and ushered us to the press box. What the f*ck? It's actually pretty cool and warranted discussion. Yes, there was a plaque that we could read explaining the garden's function, but what's the point in having a tour guide if all we're going to do is look up sh*t ourselves?
In the press box, they left us alone for about ten minutes. Said nothing. Pointed nothing out. Eventually, someone (not our guide) came in and told us that it was a just a stop to take photos, nothing more, and could we please keep moving?

We didn't even see our tour guide again until we managed to stumble upon him. He didn't say anything to us. Just offered to take photos of people with the three World Series trophies that they randomly set up in an arbitrary location. He didn't even talk about the trophies or the series that they came from.

After milling about this section for a few minutes without any guidance, our guide announced that it was the end of our tour. What???? We've been to several guided tours, so this was not our first rodeo. This could NOT possibly be the "best guided tour in the league." Serena grabbed the tour guide's assistant and point blank asked him if this was what a typical tour would be like without the concert. His response was disconcerting. "Oh, no. Normally, we would've gone on the field and inside the scoreboard. But I think they tried to make it up to you by taking you to the Green Monster and the press box. They never do that. That was a treat."

Wait, what? Okay, we understand why we couldn't go on the field or in the scoreboard because of the concert set up. Totally. We get it. However, the team dugout was police barricaded. They could've taken us to the clubhouse and the dugout, if not the field. There was no game, therefore no team in either clubhouse. What's the big deal? Every tour we've ever been on took us down to the field. They can't blame it on the high number of attendees on the tour because that was Fenway Park's fault. To be frank, since it was their mistake, they should've given us a partial refund. The tour was on the pricey end of the spectrum as far as tours are concerned ($20/each + fees, which means the five of us spent at least $100 for this tour in our group alone). They shouldn't have had those late afternoon tours on the schedule available for purchase in the first place. Secondly, why the hell AREN'T the Green Monster seats and press box included on the normal tour? The Green Monster is iconic and the most recognizable part of Fenway Park. Again, every tour we've ever been on included the press box. It's absurd to think that you wouldn't include either of these things.

As we exited the stadium, we passed an entire wall of framed jerseys. Each jersey was from a different era in Red Sox history. Again, a missed opportunity. Our guide had a chance to stop here and talk about each uniform and the team's history during that time period. Instead, he didn't even acknowledge their existence. He just walked us out the door. Two thumbs down.

We do think that the tour probably deserves a do-over on a day when there is no event, but we can't help but be extremely disappointed.

Here are some photos from the concert, just so you can see what a concert at Fenway Park looks like:

Yankees vs. Blue Jays 7-4-17

Again, two games in one week. Like champions. Unfortunately, we had to watch the Yankees play one of our most hated AL opponents - the Toronto Blue Jays. It's not the team we hate so much (though Jose Bautista needs to suck a bag of d*cks), but the fans. We're not saying that all Blue Jays fans are front runners, but let's face it. A huge portion of them are. We've been to their ballpark and despite seeing two games there, failed to witness a single sold out game. The stands were empty. Why? Because they're hockey fans. Yet they have no problem traveling to other people's ballparks and behaving like complete and total a$$ clowns. Explain.

But this is not about the Canadian invasion. This is about the birth of our nation and how patriotic we are.

Major holidays always bring out the jack wagon drivers, so we chose to take the train to the game. It was a lot better than anticipated and we only met one insane person screaming about us all being trapped in a cage and only one person that pooped his pants. Which is a pretty excellent day as far as we're concerned.

Once inside the stadium, we went in search for food. It took us a little while because we simply couldn't decide what to do. We wanted the Frank's Red Hot mac and cheese, but didn't want to keep eating the same thing. We tend to do that. We circled the Frank's Red Hot Terrace a few times before finally settling for the AT&T Sports Lounge. They served beer, had tables, and included a pop up Lobel's stand. Next door is a Mighty Quinn's stand, so we ordered burnt end sandwiches. At the Lobel's stand, we ordered a plate of potato wedge fries topped with steak and gravy. Then we got beer. So, basically we spent a sh*t ton of money on total nonsense.
 The sandwiches were AMAZING. Super tasty.
This was delicious, but it was not the platter we thought we were ordering. We THOUGHT we ordered a plate of french fries topped with steak. We apparently ordered chopped cubes of meat piled on top of potatoes. In the defense of Lobel's, the sign clearly stated what it was when we chose it, but we're idiots.

After eating entirely too much meat, we headed for our seats. It hurts to walk up the stairs because our pants were too tight from all the meat. Our seats were pretty awesome. Great view of the field.
As you can see, we're very adorable and patriotic.

The downfall? Hot. As. F*ck. No coverage. All sun. No breeze. It was like someone decided to roast us like pigs on a stick at a luau. We smelled like barbecued chicken.

Unfortunately, there isn't much to discuss regarding the game except for the a-hole Blue Jays' fans. And there really isn't much to discuss regarding them either except that they were a-holes. Aaron Judge scored the only run for the Yankees with a solo home run. CC Sabathia crapped the bed.

As we walked to Penn from the subway station, we passed a drunk man with puke in his beard.

On the LIRR, we got bored and Lisa played with her Snapchat filters:
You're welcome.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mets vs. Phillies 7-1-17

We scored these tickets from one of Serena's awesome clients. She's the nicest. And the coolest. And she never throws her favors back in our faces because she is a class act. We decided to get to the game somewhat early because it was Asdrubal Cabrera bobblehead day and Lisa really wanted her first Mets' free giveaway of the season (that she earned herself as opposed to being given to her by one of Serena's co-workers). We arrived, opened a bottle of wine, and sat back for a few minutes, thinking we had plenty of time.

Then it happened. The sky opened up.
Assuming there would be a rain delay, we decided to finish the bottle of wine (for the record, the car was not running) instead of dashing to the gate for our bobbleheads. Once the weather cleared up, we headed toward the stadium, confident that the rain chased away all of the bandwagon fans.

Thanks to our fancy tickets, we were permitted to enter the ballpark through the Gil Hodges' gate, which is reserved for cool people and the media. We are not only cool, but we're pretty much the media as well. Lisa made sure to take photos of this momentous occasion because we behave like tourists in our own hometown.

It was when we reached the main concourse level that we realized that we had missed out on getting the bobbleheads. Fail.

Our disappointment did not prevent us from eating. We hit up the Blue Smoke stand in center field near the Shake Shack and ordered a shit ton of food. Each of us ordered brat sandwiches on a pretzel bun topped with cheese and carmelized onions. In addition to the brats, we also ordered a platter of mac and cheese topped with brisket. Soooooooo f*cking good.
While shoveling food into our faces, a large crowd approached. We didn't react at first because we were too busy inhaling our meals like pigs. Then the crowd parted and the greatest thing the Mets have ever given us began to emerge. Two giant white balls. We quickly polished off our food (god forbid we leave one crumb uneaten) and joined the line forming to get a photo taken. Second best moment of our TBB career. Guess what our first one was. We will give you a hint. It was NOT the failed photo of us with the Phillie Phanatic.
After our delightful photo shoot, Lisa wanted to check our the giant mitt that she always saw in right field near the Coca-cola sign (in what used to be the Pepsi Party Porch). Turns out that there's quite a little set up in the Coca-Cola Corner. We're a little disappointed that we didn't check it out sooner.
No children were harmed in the taking of these photographs.

By this point, the game was underway, so we chose to head to our seats. Which had a KILLER view of the field.

You'd think that the downpour of rain earlier would cool things down, but no. It made things worse. It was horrible. There was breast sweat. Ass sweat. Back of the knee sweat. Head sweat. Hat hair. It was very close to being worse than our trip to Atlanta.
Terry Collins calling on Jacob DeGrom to pinch run for Wilmer Flores in the 7th inning was probably the highlight of the on field action.
What. The. F.

It gets better. Because immediately following this decision, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a home run, forcing DeGrom to actually round all of the bases. All of them. As a pitcher, how often do you think he's required to do that?

It started to rain heavily again in the 8th inning. The Mets had finally taken a 7-6 lead. They pulled the tarps to cover the field and we decided it was best to just check out. We chose to believe that the Mets would take the victory and we chose not to get soaking wet.