Hot Stove Cold Beer!!!!
Part 1: Lucky Rabbit's foot
Ian and I met in Woburn before heading to the Harpoon Brewery for the Hot Stove Cold Beer event. We jumped on 93 south, heading into Boston to start our journey. It was about 6:00 and the south bound traffic was thick in spots and the north bound traffic was all jammed up (this was typical rush our traffic).
I moved into the left lane, knowing that we weren't exiting for a while, and all of a sudden Ian and I saw sparks on the right of us. There was no one next to us, but there was a car in the second lane and the first lane was a small pickup truck. The sparks were coming from the first lane, like their muffler was dragging.
We were a car length behind them and I started to slow down, not knowing what was happening.
Then their front left tire came off.
This is where it became surreal. We watched the tire go from right to left, right in front of us. Then it hit the concrete barrier at 60 miles an hour, rolled up the barrier and hit a light pole. Thank got it hit a light pole (The light poles are ~50 feet apart). If not, it would have landed in our lane or on top of the heavy north bound traffic.
OK... so the tire hits the light pole at a very fast speed. It then travels about 30 feet up the light pole and OH BOY... It's coming back our way. Being in the far left lane was a help. It went over our head (this is when I sped up)... almost landing on the car in the second lane and nearly missing a motorcycle.
We were in shock. I wish I had a camera out.. cause you wouldn't believe what we saw. The driver was able to take the truck into the breakdown lane. We don't think that anyone got hurt.. but we aren't really sure.
Part 2: An Evening With Peter Gammons for Some Hot Stove, Cold Beer
Information from Harpoon:
Harpoon is honored to welcome back friend and baseball expert, Peter Gammons, for our third annual "Hot Stove Cold Beer With Peter Gammons". It will be an unforgettable evening with the sports writing legend and Baseball Hall-of-Famer. A homerun-of-a-night, if you will! Now that we have seen a month of the baseball season unfold, it’s a perfect time to get Peter’s unique perspective on everything baseball. And what could be better than doing that while enjoying a fresh Commissioner Pale Ale, specially brewed for this event, with "The Commissioner" himself? Not much.
Not only will it be fun, but it’s for a terrific cause. All ticket sales will benefit The Foundation to Be Named Later.
The event didn't start until 7:00, but Ian and I arrived around 6:30. Peter Gamans had arrived at the same time and we were allowed to go inside early.
This was amazing. There were about 5-6 people all hovering around Peter Gamans asking him questions about baseball and listening to his stories. It was so weird to hear: "When I was speaking with Derek Jeter yesterday, ...." or the Dave Roberts story about getting ribbed by his 2007 teammates (San Fran. Giants) for being in the Redsox hall of fame and never getting an at bat in the post season.
When the event started, Peter spoke in front of the 70 person crowd telling stories for about 45 mins and then a Q/A session. The Q/A lasted for over 1.5 hours. It was great!! Honestly, I felt 12 years old and going to my first Redsox game. Baseball chat for two hours. This was an awesome event. Thanks Harpoon!!
Also, we would like to thank Harpoon for providing light appetizers, pizza, and a 22 oz bottle of the Harpoon Commissioner Pale Ale, a beer created exclusively for Peter
Please check out the pictures in the gallery:
DRINK CRAFT BEER!!!!
I'm adding my thoughts from the evening, as it was such a memorable evening for me. I'll echo Sean's sentiment that I felt like a 12-year old at my first ballgame. It was just awesome listening to Peter speak, and engaging him in conversation one on one. It was like sitting on the set of Baseball Tonight, listening to him provide insight and wisdom. Some of the questions he fielded when he did his Q&A with the whole crowd were:
Q: What would you do on your first day as the Commissioner?
A: First of all, he said he'd never want to be the Commissioner, because he couldn't deal with all of the owners. He jokingly remarked that he would drive to Baltimore and beg Peter Angelos to sell the Orioles.
Q: Who is the next great position player that we've never heard of? (my question)
A: Justin Upton, who's in the Arizona minor leagues. He's BJ Upton's (of Tampa Bay) younger brother, and is better overall that his older brother.
During his commentary, he talked about what he loves most about the game this year. To him, he's so happy to see younger African-American players embracing and learning about the African-American players that laid the foundation for them to be able to play. He once asked Gary Sheffield if he could do what Jackie Robinson did, and Sheffield looked at him and said, no way. According to Peter, the percentage of African-American players in MLB has dropped from 20-something percent in 1995, to 8 percent today. But, what he's seeing is that as it was decades ago, baseball is again becoming a forum for civil rights activism.
He said Jason Giambi is an idiot for opening his mouth. He said the Yankees are in big trouble because their outfield is playing like they're 50 years old and can't catch fly balls. He projects that Mark Texiera will be playing first base for the Yankees next year, and that that has been set in stone for three years. Jose Reyes is his favorite player in the game today. Alex Rodriguez and Theo Epstein had a deal in place to bring A-Rod to Boston, but Larry Luchinno and the players union had to shoot their mouths off, and the deal went south. He predicts that A-Rod will opt out of his contract with the Yankees this winter, and become the shortstop for the LA Angels of Anaheim, where he will break the home-run record in about 8 years.
It was a very insightful, enjoyable, and charitable evening, and it is one I will not soon forget. Listening to Peter, drinking an IPA, was just remarkable.