All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Behind Enemy Lines, Part II


"I'm in hell, and it's full of Red Sox fans..."


On July 22, I went Behind Enemy Lines to see Louisville at Pawtucket. I enjoyed it so much I went back the next day.

But first, I went in search of Lovecraft's grave (again). The day before, I ended up at the wrong cemetery - the Old North Burial Ground, not Swan Point Cemetery.

This time, I found the right cemetery, which is farther back from the interstate, as well as newer and larger. Unlike the North Burial Ground, Swan Point is still in current use. There are new graves with very old ones. It's a beautiful cemetery, and immense. About 70,000 people are buried there. There's a kiosk at the front, where you can get directions to graves, including Lovecraft's. I had come prepared, though, with a printout of the directions from this site. It was still a little confusing, because many roads have no signs, and they curve all over the place. Eventually, though, I saw an obelisk labeled Phillips, and knew I'd found it. (The P in "H.P. Lovecraft" is for "Phillips.")


There used to be an ancient and gargantuan beech tree behind the grave. Fans referred to it as "The Tree That Feeds On Him," and it was carved with Lovecraft-related graffiti. It blew over in a storm a few years ago, though.

Lovecraft shares the monument with his family. (His name is on the back of the obelisk, and he is presumably buried under it.) But in the '70s, some of his fans decided he needed a headstone of his own. They paid for it, and it is now installed in back of the obelisk.

That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.

Actually, it reads, "I am Providence," something he once wrote to a friend in a letter. The stones on top and the white rose on the ground in front of the headstone are offerings from fans.

After paying my respects to Mr. Lovecraft, I drove around Providence and saw some other sights, including Prospect Terrace Park, where a statue of Roger Williams overlooks the City. It was one of Lovecraft's favorite places. I also saw the famous house on Benedict St. that was the inspiration for his short story, The Shunned House.


It's not shunned any more. It's well-cared for, and probably very expensive. (The city sort of grew up around the former farmhouse, which is why it's so awkwardly placed on the lot.)

Then it was time to head to McCoy Stadium. It was a rainy Monday night, rather than a sunny Sunday afternoon, so I didn't expect much of a turnout. To my surprise, it was pretty crowded. Gotta give those PawSox fans credit. Because of the rain, there weren't as many people sitting on the berm and in the bleachers, but other than that, the stadium was pretty much full.

I sat on the third base side last time, so this time, I picked a seat on the first base side.

McCoy Stadium

(I know it looks empty in the photo, but it was taken well before the game started. Many people showed up very late - the 4th inning or so. Either they got out late from work, or they were waiting to see if there would be a rainout before they came out to the park.)

Though the view of the mostly left-handed Louisville batters is better from the third base side, the first base side gets a lot more action, plus the visiting team warms up in right field. Being a night game, and cloudy, it was harder to get good photos. Not enough light for action pics. But I tried.  

First out on the field was catcher Ryan Hanigan. He batted seventh, and went 1 for 4.

Hanigan puts on his gear

Dewayne Wise has been on the DL three times for the same problem this season (hamstring), but he was playing right field in this game.

Wise warming up

Mark Bellhorn was given a day off Sunday, but was back in the lineup on Monday, to the delight of the local Red Sox fans.

bellhorn

Victor Santos started for the Bats. He pitched 3.1 innings, giving up 5 hits, two runs (both earned), a walk, and a home run. He had three strikeouts. The Reds have since called him up.

Victor Santos

Leadoff hitter and left fielder Chris Dickerson was 1 for 3 with a walk.

Chris Dickerson

He's out! PawSox third baseman Ed Rogers is caught stealing.

Bellhorn gets the out

Larry Dewayne Wise had a rough night. He went 0 for 4 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Dewayne Wise

Joey Votto's night was worse. He was 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts.

Joey Votto
Votto at bat
Votto at bat

DH Jesse Gutierrez singles, then takes second on a throwing error. He went 1 for 2.

Jesse Gutierrez

Bellhorn was 0 for 3 with a walk, but was loudly cheered every time his name was announced. He was later called up by the Reds, then sent back down again a few days later.

Bellhorn

Mark Bellhorn

Anderson Machado squares to bunt. He went 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts.

Machado squares to bunt

The struggling Paul Janish went 1 for 4.

Janish at bat

Ed Rogers is caught in a rundown.

It's a rundown!

Jason Kershner entered the game in the 4th inning. He pitched two innings, giving up four hits and a walk. The Bats released him a couple of weeks later.

Kershner

Gary Majewski came in in the 6th. He pitched 1.2 innings, giving up only 1 hit and 1 walk, with 2 strikeouts. He's since been called up to the big club.

Majewski

Jay Bruce was 1 for 4 with a triple.

Bruce at bat

Bruce's two-out triple in the 9th raised the hopes of Bats fans, but Bellhorn was intentionally walked, then Travis Hughes got Hanigan to ground into a forceout.

After the inning-ending forceout, Janish brings Bellhorn his hat and glove.


Janish brings Bellhorn his glove and hat

Bill Bray pitched the 8th and 9th innings. He was packing some 98mph heat (at least according to the radar gun), which impressed the PawSox fans. He has since been called up to Cincinnati.

Bray

It was three up, three down, for Bray in the bottom of the 9th. Free baseball!

Brian "Love Shack" Shackelford came in to pitch the 10th. He's sort of the Colter Bean of the Bats - the record holder for most games played. Little did I know it would be one of his last appearances in a Bats uniform. (He was dealt to the Devil Rays a few days later, as part of the Jorge Cantu trade.) He gave up three hits, one run - and the game - while getting only one out.  

Shackelford

The winning run, in the bottom of the 10th. David Murphy (who would be sent to Texas a few days later as part of the Gagne deal) scores on a Brandon Moss single. Wise had a chance to throw the runner out at the plate, but his throw was offline. Pawtucket 3, Louisville 2.

The winning run scores

If there's one thing worse than losing in extra innings, it's losing in extra innings while surrounded by the enemy. Most of the fans left after the 9th, but the few who remained were ecstatic. Hugging total strangers kind of ecstatic.

Thanks a lot, Shack. They should trade you to the worst team in baseball or something...

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posted by BubbaFan, 5:46 PM

4 Comments:


cool pics
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, August 14, 2007 2:56 AM  
Hey, I bet Damon was steaming when he was called back for Duncan. >=)
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, August 14, 2007 4:53 AM  
where is paul janish from? there was a janish who played @ rice, a while after bubba had been drafted.
if i remember right, he might have also played for bellaire. rice gets a few bellaire boys every season or two. the third or 4th time bellaire went to state in recent years, there was a great booster t shirt. the front was "we are bellaire baseball"
and the back was "who are you?"
still have it :)
thanks for all the pics. think you'll ever steel yourself and worship@ fenway? those paw sox have a nice field; the sea dogs are nice up here in maine too.
commented by Anonymous lisa, August 15, 2007 10:54 PM  
Yup, it's that Janish.

I think there's another Rice alum or two in the Reds system as well. And a lot of Texans.

I'll consider going to Fenway if Bubba ever plays there. :-)
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, August 16, 2007 12:05 AM  

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