Here's a story you never asked for.
That last PawSox game, the one where they played the Durham Bulls and started Charlie Haeger. Bad idea, right? No offense, Haegs. But it didn't look good.
I invited someone to the game with me, but she called me and asked, "Is it okay if I don't go?"
Yes, it's okay, I usually go to games alone anyway. But that night I could have used a chaperone.
It started when Haeger started giving up runs in like the second inning. First inning, I don't know, look it up. I knew the game was going to suck so I started for real drinking. Stayed for the whole thing, decided I needed to talk to some of the players after the game so I headed down to the sawhorses.
Hanging out with the usual cast of Pawtucket 'graphers. Waiting. I am... Not drunk, but getting there. I can't help myself, I start talking to the dude next to me who I recognize as a) a season ticket holder and b) a friend of a friend and c) one of the most notorious McCoy Rats around. This guy has a bad reputation with both the players and the regulars and the staff but I am super-gregarious after a few drinks and I just cannot help myself. (In his defense, he was reasonably cordial.) At some point I give him my email and my phone number so he can send me some pictures of the players for my blog.
Waiting. Heiker Meneses comes out and I got inexplicably excited about this. And so, thinking I am clever, shout out something in Spanish that I think is funny. It is not something you should ever say to a stranger. Meneses looked confused and asked, "Why you say that?"
I told him I was half Dominican. As if that's an excuse. Also, I am not Dominican in any way. I lied. I was rude to Meneses and then I lied to him.
I also saw Hazelbaker but managed to keep my mouth shut. I watched as they loaded the Governors' Cup into a moving van and it seemed to be a real struggle. Rich Sauveur was one of the last guys to leave and he shattered my image of him as an asshole. "Thanks, y'all," he said, waving, friendly, smiling. Love will turn you around.
I got a bunch of players to sign my scorecard from both Pawtucket and Durham. I called over Jeff Levering to sign it as well, which he did, rather coquettishly. Oh, geez, he says. You don't really want me to sign this. I'm just a little ol' radio guy. He must get mad ladies.
I also saw Ben Crockett, Red Sox Director of Player Development. Crockett appears to be at every home game, which must suck all kinds of balls. It is a little weird that I know who he is, but I SEE EVERYTHING AT THAT BALLPARK I AM ALWAYS LOOKING AT STUFF WITH MY BINOCULARS.
"Crockett!" says me. And then I look away, act casual while he's trying to figure out who called him. Sort of like my Kimball Crossley experience that I'm going to tell you about in a couple of days.
At last, everyone's gone but I still want to party so I head to the bar where I am a member of the Beer Club. When I walk in I immediately see Crockett again, in a booth with a couple of people. I head to the bar and within seconds the guy next to me starts a conversation. This is because a bar cannot abide a solitary drinker. It's also because I am a Mysterious Stranger. The guy introduces me to his friends. One of them has just had his car stolen from the parking lot.
"Do you see that bald guy over there in the green polo? That is Crockett and he is the Red Sox Director of Player Development." I mention this to the bartender who says it is interesting, this fact. "Not really," I contradict.
The bartender says I am right, it is not really that interesting, but he felt like he had to say something.
"Go talk to him," Guy at the Bar says. "Just go talk to him." I'm staring at Crockett who's standing up now, maybe getting ready to leave. I try to think of what to say to him. It doesn't help that I can't remember his first name.
"I know. I will go talk to him about Bob Dylan. Everybody likes to talk about Bob Dylan." I've been bragging about my Name That Tune expertise and my championship winning trivia team. But Dylan never comes up because Crockett's heading for the exit and instead I accost him as he passes me.
"CROCKETT HOW'S IT GOING MAN GOOD TO SEE YOU!!11!" followed by the weakest high five in six states. Crockett is clearly trying to remember who I am and how he knows me and he frankly looks a little nervous. Probably because I am Some Drunk Woman. He says something. He exits.
There used to be a pitcher on the PawSox named Marc Deschenes. You probably remember me talking about him. I was a fan of his. I talked to him at a McCoy Christmas party about Keith Foulke and some game in Rochester, Craig Breslow was there, this has all been documented elsewhere.
A friend of mine once stopped Deschenes as he was leaving the ballpark with some friends of his. He asked Deschenes to sign a baseball. My friend requested that he add "Bob Feller Award Winner 1997", like right in front of his friends. Which was excellent, because it likely impressed Deschenes' little crew. And then I went to Van Meter, IA.
I hope that in some small way Crockett's friends were impressed. Also I left my credit card at the bar and had to go back and get it.