Ready for Spring Training?
Last night I was at the Boston Baseball Writers Association dinner in Boston to do some networking, see who won the awards this year, and of course to see which players showed up and what they were really like.
I arrived early, and promptly changed into my kilt which I wear to such affairs that are dressy/black tie. I don't own a suit. Well, one that fits anymore anyway...
In the lobby of the hotel, Tina Cervasio was providing some live shots from the event. She's even taller than she looks on TV.
As we went downstairs, I ran into some Board Members of the BoSox club who were just fantastic guys, and ended up sitting at their table. I checked out some auction items, pressed the flesh with several folks and listened to the stories from the Championship Season.
Then the guy with the World Series Trophy walks by, and puts it on a table where we could take pictures. Glad I brought my camera so I could get my picture taken with the trophy.
I then helped some other folks operate their cameras, snapped a few pix, and then headed up to the VIP room where you get to interact with players past and present and hang out. On my way in, Jim Rice walks past me close enough to rub shoulders and he looks down and asks - 'You got anything on under that thing?'. Those are fighting words to some of Celtic descent, but I looked at him and said if were a little cuter, I'd let you find out. Laughter ensued. Great moment.
I ran into a bunch of people, only some of who I was able to get pictures with.
Don Orsillo is a class act and the emcee for the event. He rocks, and I think I need to start a fan club for him and Rem Dog, so next season when we're in the playoffs Orsillo and Jerry Remy get to call the games instead of Joe Buck. Orsillo makes Joe Buck sound like Donald Duck in my opinion. Hey, Joe Duck, that's got a nice ring to it. anyway, Don was gracious as could be.
I worked the room and ran into Theo Epstien who was hanging out with Mark Shapiro (pronounced Sha PY ro) the GM from the Indians who was a stand up guy as well. Theo was gracious enough to snap a picture with me, but his condition was 'so long and I didn't stand on my head', quite the negotiator that Theo. He got Mike Lowell back for three more years and got me to not stand on my head. He's smooth.
I also saw John Lester, who I just think is a fantastic pitcher, had a hell of year last year, and he signed a baseball card and was very humble and gracious about it as well. Class act.
Buckholtz was a bit standoffish and wasn't signing anything, but I chalk it up to being a bit overwhelmed which I determined from his deer in the headlights look most of the night.
After we were done with the VIP room we settled into dinner and listened to the speeches, and watched the awards. Mike Lowell, dude, you're as good a guy as I've ever seen in the game of baseball. Justin Pedroia, don't let anyone on or off the field make you feel small. You're a Giant in my book.
In fact the entire Red Sox organization from the top down is a class act. Players talked about it, a ticket taker I spoke to said it, virtually everyone that is part of the Red Sox organization said it - The Boston Red Sox are Champions and the classiest champions in Baseball.
All in all quite a night.