Maybe it was the impending snowstorm, but the crowd at last night’s Hot Stove, Cool Music was subdued at best. When in past years, they were beyond ecstatic for Red Sox cameos (see Tim Wakefield, Todd Walker, and [shirtless] Johnny Damon et al, circa 2003), this year’s 250+ in attendance didn’t seem to know why they came. It surely wasn’t the music; most didn’t seem to grasp the cute coincidences among American Hi-Fi, Letters to Cleo, Boston, and Hannah Montana. Despite the half-assed attempts at humor by Theo Epstein and comedian Mike O’Malley, clever insight into the upcoming baseball season also seemed to be an afterthought, although the crowd noticeably hushed when NESN’s Heidi Watley arrived to tell a lame story about poker games on the team flight.
No Red Sox deigned to make an appearance this year, although the MLB was represented by Fernando Perez, a Rays outfielder who last came across our radar when he scored the winning run in game 2 of the ALCS. The crowd could hardly muster a boo; at least here was a ball player, afterall, who apparently is also a writer and Ivy league graduate.
“Give that guy a contract!” we cried, for it was cold, the club was half-empty, and no one else seemed to be dusting off the cobwebs of their alterna-pop-music memories, as we were, rediscovering the simple fun of watching Stacey Jones — 80 lbs of pure energy — bounce around the stage and sing about Nintendo.