Tonight was the press opening, by invite only. Ming Tsai was there to check out the competition. But the free food and drink were only the icing on the cake. The real fun was mingling with the Red Sox players who were there. The team got home from their horrible road trip last night, and tonight was an off night.
Big Papi was in full bling, with a white coat that had black western-style piping, lapels and elbow patches. He worked the room, chatting with guys and hugging girls. I told him it the place looked great and it was an excellent opening and he thanked me and said he appreciated us coming.
Had a nice chat with Jacoby Ellsbury and Jason Bay about their days playing in the Cape Cod League. Jacoby mentioned that the Cape League all-star game that was scheduled for Fenway that night was probably rained out. They both told me they worked at summer camps on the Cape, and I mentioned that my daughter worked at a Yarmouth camp and two YD pitchers worked there as well. One is in the White Sox system. Jacoby guessed a name, but it was wrong. I told them about the 2003 YD-Wareham stat sheet with all those players now in the majors that I wrote about in an earlier blog, and they both knew them. Both of them – Jacoby in particular – were very good at friendly chat and looking you in the eye when they answered.
I met Nick Green, who sat with Kathy while he ate a slider, and told him he had to be the surprise of the year. He definitely enjoyed hearing that. I said, “Welcome back” to Jed Lowrie and he responded, “Thanks, it’s good to be back.” I told Jonathan Papelbon that I was the one who suggested to Tom Bergeron after the 2007 victory parade that they should have him on “Dancing with the Stars.” Tom said they’d love to have Papelbon, and the producer contacted the Sox front office, but it didn’t work out because they rehearse and shoot during the season.
I went up Mike Lowell and introduced myself, saying that my daughter is his favorite. He said, “Oh, yeah?” and I realized I’d said it backward. He’s her favorite. He chuckled and said he appreciated it. On the way out we were handed a bottle of Big Papi En Fuego Hot Sauce (1st base version, meaning mild).
A fun night. They were all nice, and it was only ten minutes from home.