Sunday, September 11, 2005

Stalking, The Final Chapter

Welcome to Part Three of the stalking adventure at the Red Sox' hotel here in New York. Present for the festivities were me and RebDog. Go to her site, Reb Sox, for lots more pictures. And if you're just joining us, the deal is that I had my video camera, so all my shots are video stills, and she had her digital camera, which she gave to me to get shots of her with players. Scroll down for Part I and Part 2.

Reb chases after Tito, and gets him. See pic of the two of them actually facing the camera at her site.

Tito had sweats on. He was the only person to leave without having that "baseball guy formal" outfit on. I also thought it was interesting that everyone who left on foot went away from Times Square, which is a block away from the hotel. I guess that's to avoid mobbing. But you'd think a guy like Petagine could, and would want to, take his wife right into the center of the world, at least for a glimpse. Or maybe a younger player would be a better example. Or maybe they avoided going that way because the street on the way over to Times Square is actually kind of dark. Anyway, there goes Tito:

Graffanino had actually left and come back, but now was going out again. Here's the moment where he rejects Reb:

With the fauna and the shirt selection, this may look like a picture from Mike Myers' Hawaiian vacation. But it's actually from last night. I was avoiding Myers like the plague, because I'd just seen him at Autograph Alley, and I irrationally feared that he'd recognize me and assume I was trying to murder him. I tried to get this message across to Reb, but when he came by, she couldn't help herself, and I found myself with her camera in my hand, with him staring right at me. So, I did what any babbling idiot would do, mentioning how I saw him a few days earlier, and that "I was the guy in the Bad News Bears jersey!" I figured I'd get it right out in the open to seem, somehow, less crazy. He said "Oh yeah?" So maybe he didn't even remember. Either way, I got a good shot of the two of them, go over to Reb's site to see it.

Papelbon came out, and again he was on the cell. That black nose-shaped object on the top left is a dude's nose. Note the smoke coming out of it:

Here's more of the Papelboy:

And here he is with his girlfriend, attempting to hail his own cab:

What they didn't realize was that there was a line for cabs, and they'd jumped to the front of it, which is why they were being ignored by the cabs. Which led to the girlfriend making this "whoops" face:

Here, they both react to what sounded like someone screaming for their life a few feet away. (Turns out it was someone on one of those party bikes where five people pedal at once in a circle):Reb tried to be nice, and told the bellhop to get them a cab. Papelbon's girlfriend thanked her for this. So we were hanging around them for a while, and I said to Papelbon's ladyfriend, "Am I the first person to call him 'Little Papi'?" She said he's got some thing down his arm (?) that says Pappy. So it's Pappy and Papi. I tried to clarify my "big" vs. "little" theory, while attempting to note that he's only little in relation to the massive David Ortiz. Still, she said, "He's not that little." During all this Papel-mania, we realized we should've invited BSMemorial, who's been hyping this guy since I was in short pants. But we forgot. Sorry, BSM. Anyway, Lil' Papi's girlfriend actually turned back and said good-bye to us when their cab finally came.

Bronson then came out:

Follow the series of events.

"Hey Bronson, I'm putting my hand on you."

"Oh, hey, some random girl. If you were a dude in a Pac-Men shirt who hasn't shaved in a week like that Jere dude over there, I'd probably be kicking your ass right now."

"Will you take a pic with me?"

And here's the moment I took the picture. This is another fortunate time when I actually held the video camera up toward them while I shot a pic with the digital in the other hand:

And here, Reb looks lovingly up at Bronson. The pic I got of them (see Reb's site) makes up for last time, when part of Bronson was cut off:

At this moment, I remembered that I wanted to bring my guitar, and see if Bronson would sign it. Oh well:

Bronson seems either bored or sick, but a good shot of him, I think:

And there he goes:

Youk looked like he was having some trouble with his phone:

This is when the fun began. Keith Foulke appeared in the lobby:

I knew from last time that Keith is a total jokester. Millar may be the clubhouse jester or whatever, but when it comes to joking around and being comfortable with the fans, Foulke takes the Whopper. And yes, I did make that joke, but only to show how things get blown out of proportion. Because after a couple of times experiencing how this guy deals with fans, I know that his Burger King remarks were just that--a joke. Too bad it had to lead to a Dirt Dogs art and comedy blitz. Anyway, since I knew the ways of Foulke, I wasn't afraid to go right up to the glass with my camera. Until he waved right to me:

I gave him the no-longer-as-cool-as-it-used-to-be devil-horn finger motion after he waved.

He was messin' with the weird autograph hounds right away, with the classic "go all the way around" in the revolving door to make them think he was coming outside. I guess he, Shoppach, and Adam Stern were waiting for a car. I made a sign on Reb's notebook that said "We're the only normal people." On the back it said, "Everyone else is retarded." I held it up to the glass. Eventually, when he came out, Reb asked if he saw it. He said he couldn't read it, so we showed him. He laughed. Here he is with Kelly Shoppach:

At that point, I remembered I have a picture of his first major league at bat. Shoulda brought that along. Crap. Anyway, we then showed the sign to Kelly, after he went back in, as they were just waiting around for their ride. He read both sides, and then mouthed "Me, too," impyling he was also retarded. I guess. Here, Foulke takes a quick glance at Reb's, uh, Red Sox T-shirt, as Kelly waits by the door.

Here's some more of Reb and I chillin' with Keith:

Adam Stern came out to join the Kelly/Keith Krew. Since I went to the same school as him, I went right up to him and said "Adam, I went to Nebraska, too," only with more stuttering, and he shook my hand and we started talking about it. All of a sudden, Keith Foulke was yelling "Jere!" I guess Reb had decided to get a pic with him at that moment, and didn't realize I'd gone off to talk to Stern. So she started calling me over, at which point, everyone else, including Foulke, did the same. I got there and Foulke was like "Where were ya, man?"

Talking to Adam Stern, where else? So, I actually had to tell a ballplayer to "hold on." After I took the pic (again, see Reb's site), I went right back to Stern, and we continued our chat. I told him it was great to have a Husker on the Sox. He talked about how him and Erstad are a rare breed of MLB Nebraskans. I told him Erstad played there when I was there. Anyway, I eventually got my pic taken with him. It should be on Reb's site. (I'm the guy who isn't Adam Stern.) Here's some video footage I got of Stern (he's right of center, facing camera, talking to Shoppach):

Youks came out again, and I took a shot of him and Reb. My video camera captured his beer belly while I took the pic with the other hand:

Then Kapler and Mueller came out. When Reb sees this, she'll really wonder how she didn't see Mueller:

After hearing about a picture, to be taken by me, Gabe surveys my scrawny ass, and decides that it should be okay:

Then my camera cuts off his head, while I take the pic with the other camera, which, again, will be on Reb's site:

At this point, you've got the Kelly/Keith/Stern crew still waiting, and Mueller, Youk, and Kapler now outside as well. Leading to this shot, which I'm sure Reb, and possibly Sam, will treasure forever. Shoppach, Stern, Kapler, Youk, Foulke, two kids, and Rebecca:

And here, they scatter, as all the cars seemed to arrive at once. Some backpack guy, Shoppach, Youk, Stern, Foulke, Mueller, Kapler. Six Red Sox running amok in the streets of New York:

And a final shot of Kapler, as Reb and I are left behind, still tryin' to play a phonograph record with a peanut, so to speak:

The last hurrah was when Ortiz showed up. He walked through the lobby, before having a seat with...

the Shaman! Who is this guy??

Here's Reb with David Ortiz (and the Shaman), with only a thin layer of glass between them.
And that was when we called it a night. Like last time, we got to the point where we thought some guys might start coming back, and seeing us still there. Which would make us seem even weirder than we already are. We noticed that Wakefield and Mirabelli stayed in that night, probably studying hitters in their rooms. Or looking at snuff films, who knows, but Timmy really twirled a gem the next day, so I'm guessing it was the former.

On our way back, I got a shot of Reb under "her sign." Unfortunately, our Red Sox stickers have been removed.

I almost forgot. Right before we left the hotel, a huge group of Amish people came down the street, bibles, beards, and all. I instinctively started taping them, before remembering that that they don't like to have their picture taken. Whoops. Them's the breaks. And they better get used to that when they start roaming throught the big city. (Then again, it could have been a cast from a play, but I think they were actual Amish...I wonder, did they take horse-drawn buggies all the way here? And maybe change to a bigger, faster buggy in Jersey City?) Here they are:

And a fine job you did, Evan. My bad.
Evan, Jere was singling BSM out mostly because he lives in the city and easily could have joined us, if around.

Jere, //Reb looks lovingly up at Bronson// um, that's my sweet and super-appreciative look. It's called a smile. I do this when I look up and thank the player who just posed for a photo with me.

And I'm not nearly finished reading this. I'm laughing so hard that I am tearing up. //Here, Foulke takes a quick glance at Reb's, uh, Red Sox T-shirt, as Kelly waits by the door.// classic. and as I scrolled up to get that quote, I saw the Mueller pic, and now officially want to kill myself.
Yeah, it wasn't like I would've invited anyone from around the country. It's cuz I was out Papelbonning IN the city of a Papelbonian and realized I should have invited him.

And, uh, I didn't mean "looks up lovingly" as a bad thing. That's how I always look at the guy, anyway.

Also, no offense was meant by saying you were blonde. Terrible job by taking some.

Oh I was not offended, I was just saying. But we really could have used some offense today; why did you not call me a blonde earlier in the day?
Too bad the Shaman didn't do a "Score Some F*cking Runs" dance before Sunday's game.
my god, you brave girls! i cannot believe you just went right up to them like that. esp. foulkie. the pic of him giving reb the once-over is f'in priceless. love the sign idea, too.
Beth finally acknowledges my existence....and calls me a girl.

That's what we on the rag-tag side of Red Sox Blog-Nation call a "terrible job," Beth.

I'm a dude.
sorry. revolting development after you gave me hardcore foulkie love. :-(

will you ever forgive me?
Sure, it's not like you called me a yankee fan or anything.

And there just happen to be a lot of Foulke pics, but glad you liked them.
whether coincidental or not, it was pretty much a foulke overdose for me. and i thank you.

I guess I spelled it wrong on one of those links, and the other became obsolete when she updated, I think. They all should be working now. Sorry.
"Youk looked like he was having some trouble with his phone, as seen by Emily Rose."
And if you blur your eyes, it looks like he's a fussy baby holding a rag doll.
Wow, excellent stalking skills! Didn't mean to offend by thinking you were anti-Adam! It's just that we are rare, especially in Red Sox Nation. Your blog is awesome -- keep it up. And some insider's info: one of our members lives in Ft. Lauderdale, so hopefully we'll have some personal ST pics of him sometime soon.
Thanks. No offense taken. Glad I've got company in the Adam world.

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