Some great philosopher said, “When we play there is no pretense. We are what we are.” As a guy who has loved sports his whole life I’ve come to believe that’s true, however as a mediocre student, I’ve never been able to find who said it.
When I come down to Fenway for a big game, especially like the ALCS which I’m covering tonight, I get so pumped.
There is a group think among media. There were 100 people on the field before the game, fifty at Alex Cora’s press conference, 150 in the dining room. (BTW, we eat free lobster rolls—not great ones, but I always say you can’t goof up a lobster roll. They basically toasted hot dog rolls with lots of butter and lobster with very little mayo. I thought they were quite good. I had one and half of Jess’s, a rib, a little salad, and a one-inch fudge square because I want to lose some weight.)
We got down about four o’clock and reported to gate B to get our credentials. Strangely, they wanted to know if we had kept our lanyards from game one. Odd. The gate was well organized. We showed our drivers’ licenses and picked things up in less than a minute.
We then checked into our press room. We don’t get seats in the press box. To see the game, we have to roam the stadium. I’ll go out for a while just so I can say I watched the game, but this press room is much more comfortable. We do have seats here, so right now, I’m sitting in a heated room watching on a huge TV. We were early, so we’re in the first row. We’ve got power to keep things charged, which is nice, coffee and snacks.
It’s fun to see who is here. I spoke to some of the people I know, Tom Caron, Steve Buckley, Johnny Miller. I exchanged hellos with Dan Shaughnessy and Bob Ryan who I have certainly worked around a lot, but I don’t know if they know me.
Jason Pelletier, the long-time Sun Journal reporter, has become the Sports Editor at the Boston Herald. Good for him! I love it when a local boy makes good.
It’s funny, he’s got Bruins, Red Sox, Red Sox and Patriots this weekend, but the conversation was mostly about shuttling between Salem, Mass and Lewiston to watch his four-year-old play soccer!
Alex Cora had a press conference at five. He’s very good. He’s smart. He doesn’t duck the obvious. He’s interested in the game and confident. It was really fun and interesting to hear him. He said things like, “Chris will have bare arms tonight because he told someone in Chicago that he would never wear sleeves.” He talks about the cold and acknowledges that you lose some feel in the cold. It was all interesting stuff.
Then David Price came in. He’s not as good in that situation. I enjoyed it, but he’s all over the place with his attitude.
We then went down on the field to do a live shot. Aaron Twombly is our photographer. He had Jess and I lighted and the Green Monster as the background. There were at least a dozen cameras lined up. We were next to Frank Carpano of NBC 10 in Providence. Here’s trivia. He was Rhode Island Sportscaster of the Year in 1984 when I was Maine Sportscaster of the Year. The best part of the three days in Salisbury, North Carolina was the night about six of us had beers and talked about the business in Frank’s room.
On the other side of us was Fox Boston and so it went down the row.
Gerrin Austin who does the NESN sideline stuff is one of those six-footers who wears the big heels. She towers over most of the press corp.
We knocked down the live shot. Jess is great. She tweets, she does blogs (and she’s making me do this one) she Instagrams, she edited a package on the way down. The modern MMJ (multi-media journalist) is much more productive than I used to be or am and I pride myself on being a hard worker.
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I quickly ran up into the crowd to say hello to Bob Frazee and his wife, Mel Lipes. Mel was a Bates classmate of my wife’s and we often go to games with them, mostly because they’re season ticket holders. They are great people and knowledgeable baseball fans.
After dinner, we headed for the auxiliary press box and here we are. We have to plan an eleven o’clock live shot and something to do for the morning shows. The trick on the 11 is we can’t use highlights until TBS finishes its broadcast. If they’re not done, we can’t use video and so that’s always an interesting situation.
Okay, that’s a look behind the scene at what the media is like. It’s fun to be down here. It’s always a thrill to be on the field. I think being around the players, hearing them in press conferences and watching them work is helpful and really cool.