April 2, 2023

The Boston Red Sox Home Opener


The Boston Red Sox Home Opener

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 2, 2023

I had the opportunity to visit Boston this week.  
It looked like a fun place to be.

The reason for my trip was to attend the home opener for the Boston Red Sox.  I'd never been to Fenway Park before but recognized I was getting to experience an iconic baseball institution.  I was supposed to go in Gate D so figured when I went to Gate B and then Gate C I was on the right track.  Apparently the alphabet works differently in Boston so I had the opportunity to see pretty much the whole thing before I actually entered.  Which was nice.

Oracle was hosting a suite at the game.  My customer, Gary, and his partner, David, are big Red Sox fans so I was able to join them.  Other than the fact that it was only 30 something degrees outside, we had a great day together enjoying the match between the Red Sox & Baltimore Orioles.

I've been working with Jackson as my partner in crime for the past 9 months as we pursue new opportunities for Oracle Cloud with one another.  This was my first chance meeting him in person.  He's a lot taller than I expected.  It's tough to get that perspective on Zoom calls.

I learned a bunch of fun details about Fenway Park while I was there.  They all sing Sweet Caroline in the 8th inning and the group of seats above the American Flag is known as the Green Monster.  Or Monstah as they call it in Boston.

Baseball had some rule changes this year and also made some improvements to the pace of play.  They've added a time clock which imposes penalties to the pitchers and batters if they don't step up to the plate or throw the ball in 10-15 seconds.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but it went pretty smoothly and the time of the game was noticeably quicker.  Good move, MLB!

The Red Sox fell behind by 10-4 in the 7th inning, so many in the crowd had left probably because they were freezing their butts off.  But we had a crew of us who stuck around to the end and watched the Red Sox hit another 5 runs to almost rally back for the win.  Unfortunately with 2 men on base in the 9th, they got their 3rd out to fall short of a victory and lose the game 10-9.  We still had a bunch of fun, though.  Probably helps that I don't really care if the Red Sox win or lose.

When I came back home to Minnesota on Friday, I had to make a quick turn around from the airport because we had tickets to go see the Minnesota Timberwolves take on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Luke and I were attending our last regular season game of the year.  The Wolves only have a few games left and are in the chase for the playoffs, but the West is so competitive they could end the season anywhere from the 6th seed to being out of the playoffs.  A win against the Lakers was important to achieve.

This game was our first seeing DeAngelo Russell back at Target Center since he was traded to the Lakers.  I always liked DLo so I was glad when the announcer gave him a warm welcome and the crowd gave him a nice round of applause.  Which was nice.   It wasn't his fault he was traded.

LeBron James always draws a large crowd when he's playing.  It actually reminded me of the Vikings Packers game because there were so many Lakers fans in attendance.  It drives me a little crazy, but we endure.

They showed some local celebrities on the big screen including Minnesota Vikings star receiver, Justin Jefferson.  I'm pretty sure he was rooting for Minnesota, but you can just never be too sure.

Apparently there was an illness floating around the team because our star players like Karl Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards were questionable to play until right before the game.  You could tell they were still feeling it, because their game was pretty sluggish all night.

  Despite their efforts, the Wolves couldn't pull off a victory and fell to the Lakers by a score of 123 to 111.  This will definitely hurt them in the standings for the playoff chase.  Luckily for Minnesota, their next game is against the lowly Portland Trailblazers.  There's absolutely no way they could lose to that team...

We may not have had the chance to see a home team victory, but at least I was able to keep my streak alive for getting my picture on the big screen in the middle of the arena.  That's gotta be worth something.

To make our evening even more exciting, we had another 6 inches of wet, heavy snow pour all over us on the 45 minute drive home from Minneapolis.  This moved us up in the record books to make this officially the 3rd snowiest winter in Minnesota history.  Thank God my wife loves to snow blow the driveway for us!!   I don't know what I'd do without her.

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