Had a great time with Cyn at the Baseball Writer's Dinner Thursday night. We had the usual follies trying to get a beverage during the cocktail hour; for reasons I can't comprehend the various bars in the long, narrow corridor that passes as the lounge open and close somewhat randomly. I understand the two basic principles--open the one in the back first, so folks don't all congregate up front, and close the bars temporarily when you need everyone to sit down for dinner--but every year we walk up to a bar that has just served someone to have it close on us so we have to trek further down the hall. This year we stuck with beverages in bottles so as to avoid last year's mystery drinks (a cosmo made with a heaping helping of Bombay Sapphire, anyone?). I hissed at Dan Shaughnessy as he walked by. Saw my favorite Fenway security chief (he reported he was glad to be working the event but regretted he'd forgotten when he accepted the invite that there would be college football that night). Documenting the dinner with photos is always a little tough for me; the only time I feel comfortable* shooting is during the autograph session, and apparently my flash badly needed new batteries because it took ages to charge up again after each shot. The few I did take are over at MLBlogs. The two things I wish I could show folks were the never-ending Pedroia/Casey gabfest at the head table (particularly the wildly animated portions of said conversation that essentially took place in Jeff Bailey's lap) and the parade of the Rookie Development kids to and from their table. The awards were well and truly earned by the recipients, and both the awards speeches and those given by winners were well done. Richie Conigliaro spoke very movingly of why the award named for his brother means so much--because it's given to those who, when told they can't do something, never give up.
(* Folks--don't shoot people who are eating. Even if they're on display at the head table. No one needs a photo of a player badly enough to take one while he's forking salad leaves into his mouth.)
Friday brought an embarrassment of riches, which meant there was a choice to be made, and we chose to see Bronson Arroyo in Foxboro. I would love to have even a slightly-blurry no-flash shot to post, but Showcase Live security deemed my Canon to be a Professional Camera. Now... I've drooled over pro cameras enough to explain very easily why this is NOT a pro camera, but what can you do? There was nothing on the ticket or the web site to my knowledge to state that any sort of camera was prohibited. Not infrequently in low light at a concert-watching distance you can get shots with a good point-and-shoot that are at least as good as what I would have taken. Alas. In any case, it was fun to be at the show with friends and to see Bronson, who seems unchanging as the years go by. I could kill him for pulling out "Fire and Rain" though--it's a song that for me got attached to the days after I had to put Leo down. I find Bronson at his best when he's either just playing acoustic or just playing with Elan, and thus this was a recipe for me to cry straight through. After the show, as he always seems to, he signed autographs and posed for photos...
Thanks to Cyn and her camera!
I look like hell, but that's par for the course. ^_~
Saturday I made up for missing the Team Store signing by going to New Stars for Young Stars. At the moment the full gallery is on Facebook, with most of the shots also on MLBlogs. Particularly glad that Justin Masterson and Michael Bowden were there! I still get tongue-tied around Bowden (and I just typed "get still" there--apparently he ties up my fingers, too!) and so where I wanted to tell him how happy I was to see him at Fenway, and how I may have been second only to his mother as the most nervous person there that day, I think I more or less said "Hi!" and "Thanks!" I was also thrilled that the development pups who weren't officially part of New Stars were there as well. Mark Wagner is one of the most gracious, outgoing and quick-witted folks you will ever meet, and, not incidentally, has a handshake of iron. ^_^
Unfortunately Cyn twisted an ankle and couldn't join me for Saturday's events... between that and the impending snow I'm afraid I bailed on the Hot Stove concert. Had I realized how little snow we'd actually have by midnight I probably would have gone, but I dreaded the possibility of making the trek home on slippery roads. My bus goes on snow route relatively quickly, and I've taken no small number of cabs that struggled to get up Rt. 2 on dry roads. Ah well. We knew Bronson was in Portland (and thus not making a cameo), and as much as I hoped for the Baseball Project I knew that wasn't happening.
Tomorrow night brings the Lowell Spinners dinner and Jed Lowrie (and why, I ask, are they running an auction to sit with Jed that has to be won by a youngster, hmmn?); next Saturday it's the PawSox Hot Stove party. As always, please say hello if you see me!