Two nights ago, there was a bird on the field at Fenway Park, a little black bird who couldn't fly, but who hopped around the bases and along the outfield wall. As the Sox trailed 6-1, the crowd became engrossed in the bird's movements, cheering every time it flapped its wings, trying to get some lift, and groaning as it failed and continued hopping.

At one point, the crowd could be heard chanting, "Bird! Bird! Bird!". A player tossed a little dirt at the bird - presumably trying to move it off the base paths for its own protection - and was roundly boo'd.

Many observers noted that the bird was faster than Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli, and someone suggested he was perhaps a better baserunner than Manny Ramirez.

The Red Sox lost the game 6-3. The bird apparently ended up as dinner for one of the red-tailed hawks that live in Fenway's light towers. I was glad to hear that. A bird that can't fly isn't going to last very long. Meeting a natural death in the food chain seems a good thing.

Toronto-area baseball fans surely remember when, during the 5th inning of a Yankees-Blue Jays game, Dave Winfield hit a ball which struck and killed a seagull that was walking on the field. After the game, the Yankees outfielder was arrested on a charge of cruelty to animals. The charge was later dismissed by a Toronto prosecutor. More baseball-and-bird stories can be found on this entertaining page.

Right now I wish the Blue Jays would get off their asses and beat the Yankees for a change. The Red Sox and Yankees are now tied for first, and the Blue Jays could do us a favour by putting up a better fight in the Bronx. The Jays should just pretend they're facing the Red Sox, and clobber them New York the way they do Boston.


MSS said...

Indeed, who could forget the seagull shot.

I was at the D'backs spring training game a few years ago--standing directly behind home--when a pitch by Randy Johnson killed a bird flying a bit too close to home plate.

Amazing how much a bird in flight can redirect the flight of a fastball!

And I really felt sorry for the bat boy who temporarily became "bird boy."

L-girl said...

Ooo, you were there when Unit killed that bird?! Wow.

He's included in the page I linked to, above. According to SABR, a bird has never been killed by a fly ball - only a ground ball or a pitch.

MSS, today Lidle and Abreu confirmed your sense of the Yankees' recent deal. I'm sure other games will confirm mine, and we'll both feel correct, as is usually the case on these things. :)

James said...

Here is my latest bird. I have to do a write-up on him tomorrow.

L-girl said...

Great shot. :)

Granny said...

All these great minds working together.

The first name I looked for in your link was Randy Johnson. There he was.

I didn't see it live (they don't usually broadcast spring training even for the Giants here) but it's been shown over and over on sports shows.