5.04.2008

"Oh, I love that dirty water..."

Now that's how you start off a trip!

We woke up to cold, wet Boston morning but no amount of chill or precipitation could damper our spirits...this was going to be a great vacation and today was going to be a perfect outset.

We walked to the adjoining restaurant to our hotel, where my dad and I met up first with Jared Porter, Director of Professional Scouting for the Red Sox and his cousin, our host, Patrick "Sully" Sullivan, who is a co-author on my dad's website. (Classic story: Pat took a cab from his apartment to the restaurant. Moving past Commonwealth Avenue that morning was a Walk for Hunger...apparently Pat's cabbie not only didn't know what the mass of people were, but what they were doing, as he complained that all the marchers, who caused the street to be closed therefore screwing up cab routes, "don't care about anyone but themselves." How funny is that!) We sat down for breakfast and were soon joined by Bill James, Senior Adviser for the Red Sox. I don't know if you can appreciate what it meant for me to not only meet Bill James, but talk with him over breakfast. It'd be a like a professional dancer spending two hours with Fred Astaire. An aspiring singer hanging out with Michael Jackson. A stripper getting a bikini wax with Jenna Jameson. Bill James is the forefront leader in new era statistical analysis for baseball and had single-handedly changed the way baseball is studied, watched, analyzed, etc. It'll be one of those moments I will never, ever forget.

After spending a two hours with two of the leading minds in the Red Sox front office, we walked down the street to Fenway Park -- to which we said goodbye to Jared and Bill, because, well, they were off to work! (Whatta life!) Jared was nice enough to comp us four tickets on the field level. Joining me, my dad and Sully was Johanna, Sully's wife. Johanna and I go way back...fifteen years to be exact, where we went to middle school together and shared social circles. Johanna went from Long Beach to the Ivy League where she met Sully at Penn. The two married last year and now live in Sully's hometown of Boston.

Anywho, we caught Scott Kazmir's season debut, where he showed some signs of brilliance, but he still wasn't 100%, only maxing at 93 MPH. Unfortunately against the lefty Kazmir, David Ortiz sat to rest his knee but the rest of the Red Sox team didn't disappoint...Manny Ramirez had a double off the Green Monster, Kevin Youkilis went deep to dead center, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia looked great at the plate and on the field and in the end, saw Jonathan Papelbon record four straight outs to preserve the 7-3 Red Sox win.

After the game, we got some drinks at The Baseball Tavern, then took a cab to Union Park, the quaint neighborhood Pat and Jo live near downtown Boston. We took a quick tour of their apartment (gotta love the brownstones!) then took a cab to the north end, were we walked a bit down The Freedom Trail, seeing Paul Revere's home and the famous "One if by land, two if by sea" church. We had a delicious dinner at Cantina Italiana and spent a great three hours drinking, dining and discussing. It was a great day from start to finish and quite a fantastic start to our trip.

Tomorrow we head on out to Cooperstown in upstate New York to partake in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cheers!

2 comments:

ac said...

Missin' Boston myself, so glad you're having a blast Joe!

Kory said...

What the hell!? Why are you not at the golf course, Joe!? Who knows what is going on there right now! Shannanagins! Tomfoolery! Ballyhoo!! Cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!!!