Playing the Field: When lengthy pre-game ceremonies are OK

The video screen in center field at Fenway Park shows images of the Boston Marathon bombing moments before survivor Jeff Bauman throws out the ceremonial first pitch. (Getty Images)
The video screen in center field at Fenway Park shows images of the Boston Marathon bombing moments before survivor Jeff Bauman throws out the ceremonial first pitch. (Getty Images)

You know that thing where the NBA or NHL or MLB tells you that a game is supposed to start at 8 p.m. but instead it starts at 8:12? That sucks, right?

It’s a real inconvenience, especially because you know that means that 12 minutes were just tacked on to your night and with the threat of overtime or extra innings, there’s an even greater chance that you’ll be late for work the next morning.

What goes on in those 12 minutes are typically this: networks trying to squeeze in big money commercials when they have everyone’s attention while inside the arenas there is typically just a lot of noise. Fireworks, a screaming PA announcer, a mini smoke show, a drawn-out national anthem.

Still, once in a great while, those extra few minutes matter.

Last night at Fenway Park, Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in one of the blasts, and the man who saved him, Carlos Arredondo, threw out the ceremonial first pitch(es) prior to a Red Sox-Phillies game. The Red Sox catch a lot of flak for “overdoing” ceremonies but this one was right on the money. Goosebumps everywhere.

In another moving pre-game ceremony, the genesis of which is for entirely different reasons, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera threw out the first pitch at Citi Field, home of the Mets. It’s certainly something when a Mets fan cheers a Yankee, but Rivera has earned EVERYONE’S respect over his peerless 19-year career.

Here’s a goosebump moment that hasn’t happened yet, but I assume will. So there’s this dog on the internet named Ray Charles, right? He’s cute as hell by all standards (I’m not even a dog person, but click here for all the proof).

Here’s the thing about the aptly named Ray Charles … he’s blind. But he wants to drop the puck at a Bruins game and there’s an online petition going around supporting this budding internet darling. What a sight it would be for Ray to melt the hearts of 17,000 drunken, bearded men prior to Game 4 of the Bruins-Penguins series.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.