Saturday, January 27, 2007

FanFest 2007

So, it actually looks like Blogger might work. I'm using Memo Pad since my Enter key dosen't seem to work in my PalmOS web browser with Blogger.

It's about 8:20, and the first hour in line sorta flew by. I guess that's what happens when you sit next to Corco. There definitely seems to be fewer people here. What do you expect, when, really none of the "cool" Mariners are here. Except, of course, for Felix.

We're sitting beween Reed and, as Corco just pointed out, the new Batista wall. Dave and I got here around 7:30, and I'm not concerned that we're about 15 people behind where we were last year. I'll take the extra 30-40 minutes of sleep, Chuck.

Hyutler (or however it's spelled) just started spewing the propaganda across the PA...

Corco -- you got anything to write?
I haven't typed anything here in over a year. That said, this is fascinating . So many people here. I never imagined so many would wake up so early. I barely could myself. That said, this is a neat experience and I am looking forward to seeing what all this hype is about.

//end Corco.

So, after trying unsuccessfully several dozen times to copy/paste the rest of that into Blogger from my MemoPad entry, I've finally finished it at home. Starting to upload pictures, and other stuff. First things first.

The reason why I went this year was twofold: 1) to see Felix, and 2) to ask Bavasi my question about Vidro. I'd printed up 3 copies of the flame picture, and ended up giving one to Felix. He was starting to sign a second copy that I'd brought, but I'd only pulled it out to show him (and the people helping with the session took Felix's copy before he saw it), and they told him not to sign it. Dang. Two Felix autographs would've been SWEET. Didn't happen, though (sorry T2!).

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to take pix of Felix during the Dugout Dialogue session -- looking at Deanna's D50 LCD, though, I can tell she got some fantastic shots. I think she's busy this afternoon and tonight, but keep an eye on Marinerds for her FanFest report (Yaaay, Deanna's report is up!). Actually, I'm counting a bit more on her notes, because I didn't really take too many myself, and I was waaaay too tired to remember things by the end of the afternoon.

But, going back to the Felix autograph session -- I showed him the flame picture, and he smiled, and then I shot this one of him signing my picture:

Again, I'm hoping that Deanna's shots of Felix turn out waaaaay better, because I had my hands full and was rushed through the line. Focusing a manual-focus lens without a flash all while being rushed through line carrying a ton of stuff is really, really hard. I got two shots off, and that one is the better one. Fortunately, the picture he signed turned out really flippin' sweet! Here's the final product:

(oh, and while waiting in line, I got this totally sweet picture of Corco trying to figure out what to do with himself, standing right outside the women's restroom, whatever that means:)

After hangin' out with Felix for 30 seconds (literally), we went downstairs, and to kill time waiting for more Dugout Dialogue sessions (and to meet up with Deanna), I had to make a fool out of myself (and the two Daves with me) by stopping at the KOMO radio booth where you could choose between four replays and pretend you were either Rick Rizzs or Dave Niehaus -- recorded on CD for you to save forever. After asking whether or not you had to stick to the script, I developed a few ideas for improvising the scene last July when Raul Ibanez robbed Jamey Carroll of a leadoff HR. So, I ran some ideas by Corco, including a ribbing on the times that USSM is always arguing with people that Raul Ibanez can't play defense. I figured I could MP3-rip the CD audio, and, sure enough, I was able to. I don't think they'll have any problem with copyright, since it was my improvised script, and I could've just done the same darn thing with my own mike plugged into the computer.

Like I said earlier, I really hope other people took good notes during FanFest. I asked my question of Bavasi, phrasing it pretty much like I did in my original LookoutLanding diary. Of course, as others suggested he would (since I phrased it in a way to give him many ways to avoid the question), he seemed to dodge the question, and didn't answer it until, perhaps, later. Since some USSM folks were there, and it's appearing in the comment threads around the blogs, I should mention that off the mike, I asked Bavasi if he and Dave Cameron were on speaking terms again. At first he thought I was asking about Mike Cameron, and seemed puzzled, but when I clarified that I was talking about the USSM guys, and how they'd been pretty critical of Bavasi -- especially after he'd traded away their favorite player. He laughed and said that the USSM guys should be critical -- everyone should be critical of them until they get back on the winning track. He did acknowledge later that he was going to appear at a USSM feed in Peoria, mentioning that they needed to bring some pizza. Dang, I wish I'd've had an "Antonetti in '08" button...

I'll probably jot a few things down in other FanFest conversations. And I'll probably add a photo album of some pix. There's one more, though, that I want to share before I finish. See, since Rick Rizzs is a favorite of my brother-in-law, Dave, I had to counter-act some of the "Evil Rick Rizzs" stuff out there (even though I think it's brilliantly funny myself) just because I care about Dave's feelings. So, without further adieu, I present to you:

Saint Ricco

Update: Sunday just after noon. A few more pix and links...

So, I've gotten a little bit more of a chance to sit down and sift through my pictures and read others' reports of FanFest. I remembered I had two other cool Corco shots that I just had to post here. Here's Corco in the visitor's dugout:

And here's Corco trying to find his way into the Umpire's room (notice the braille on the sign, lending further evidence that, indeed, there are some Umps who truly ARE blind!):

Fortunately, Corco was busy remembering what we did, and taking great mental notes. I'll forgive him for posting his totally sweet wrap-up on his own blog, rather than the Morsels.

I already mentioned that Deanna's got her wrap-up, too. Good thing she took great notes. Indeed the M's blog-o-sphere was well represented in the Dugout Dialogue sessions. And, anything that Deanna or other folks might've missed during those sessions, was probably captured by Kirby Arnold's article. Unfortunately, the Olympian writer didn't add in my plug for GS52, but I'm about to go find out if Corco is in the picture that the TNT photographer took while we were waiting in line (and I was trying to blog). My sister e-mailed me this morning and said Dave (my brother-in-law) and I were pictured, and I'm pretty sure Corco would've been, too.

Oh, and I finally added a shot or three of Safeco to my photog portfolio. I need to get some better shots, but for now, this one will work OK:

I'll probably have some more pictures of Seattle up on my Photo blog soon, too, since that's what Dave & I did after leaving FanFest.


At 1/27/2007 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you by chance check out the team store? Do they have any new Mariners shirts in yet?

At 1/27/2007 11:21 PM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

Unfortunately, no, I didn't make it into the team store. My brother-in-law and I decided to go out and take some pictures of Seattle, and we figured it'd be crowded anyway. I did forget to mention that I picked up an Adam Jones (Spring Training?) game-used batting helmet. That was pretty cool -- I'll try and get it autographed in Tacoma this year at some point, I'm sure.

At 1/29/2007 10:10 AM, Blogger Terrence O'Leary said...

Good report Paul. I'm really going to try and get over to Cheney Stadium for a couple of games this year - hope to run into you there.

At 1/29/2007 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw your quote in The Olympian and it's amazing how you and Corco are the only ones who made any sense! Those other "GMs for a day" made me LOL for a day!

At 1/29/2007 3:17 PM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

Ah, come on, Conor. Dave's comment about Ichiro made sense, too. I'd also do what I could to keep Ichiro around.

iron tech -- Thanks! Indeed, we'll definitely have to hook up at Cheney. While I love Safeco, I still actually prefer both the drive and the environment at Cheney. The baseball is a little more pure and raw. It's great!

At 1/29/2007 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, totally. I was talking about the girl wanting to trade for Santana, "I'd trade Yuniesky for Jose Reyes. And get Ryan Howard." and "I'd get Barry Zito - somehow."

At 1/30/2007 8:40 AM, Blogger Snave said...

Wow! Lots and lots of fun! A new baseball season is ALWAYS something I can be excited about, even if the new starting pitchers are Batista, Ramirez and Weaver and even if the new DH is a declining Jose Vidro. It's baseball, anyway, and that is usually enough for me. And you guys are great fans, not just of the Mariners but of the game itself!!

Great Felix photos!

Only a couple of weeks until pitches and catchers report! We're almost there!!


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