There is only one thing that is certain when you live this “baseball life”- nothing is ever certain. Just when you think you know where his career is going, everything changes upside down. July 31st marked the MLB trade deadline, in which teams are free to trade players with no restrictions (you can trade players after this deadline, but it’s complicated and requires its own post later). I had never really paid much attention to the trade deadline until last year, because it normally affects players in the higher minor leagues and major leagues. There were 7 girls that went to dinner every road trip and had a potluck at my house; after the trade deadline 2011, there were only 2 of us left. So this year, I was prepared for a little more activity, either with Ryan or with some of our friends.
Well, 4:00 pm came and went and nothing happened. To say we were all disappointed was not only an understatement, it was crushing. I’ve never wanted something for someone more than I wanted a trade in Ryan’s favor to get him up to the big leagues. But, you don’t get to write much of your destiny in this game. Ryan called that night to tell me about the events, the emotional roller coaster, and a quick venting about his frustration. “Oh, and by the way, they are flying me to Boston in the morning” he says rather unenthusiastically.
Now you can imagine me, alone, in Pawtucket, screaming and crying and jumping up and down… but you’d be imaging the wrong thing. Sometimes you get this call and nothing ever happens. You sit, wait, and end up going back to your team and playing that day. So the events were rather calm as I packed at bag at 1:30 in the morning to go up to Boston after work. But yesterday was not that day. At 4 pm (the magic hour it seems) Ryan got the call to get his butt to Fenway and suit up! He was activated to be on the roster!! (Now you can insert the jumping and screaming).
You never know how long it’s going to last, so we decided to celebrate his hard work with a little date to Mike’s Pastry after the game last night. (Don’t forget people, this blog is an entree of food and a side dish of baseball). Mike’s Pastry is a renowned bakery in the North End (the Italian section) that is crammed pack with sweet tooth lovers seeking a variety of baked goods. The cannolis are incredible, the cupcakes weigh about 2 lbs each, and the cookies are delectable. We decided to go with a red velvet cupcake and a marzipan strawberry. If you’ve never had marzipan, it’s sweetened almond paste that is morphed into shapes like little fruits and animals. I wouldn’t eat it just anywhere, because it’s done so well at Mikes’ that I’d have a hard time eating it at a less authentic pastry shop. As we did our little pastry cheers outside, someone walked up to us and said “Mike’s Pastry?! You need to go to Modern Pastry. That’s the best.”
Flashback: Ryan’s major league debut 2011. Kansas City BBQ. Our cab driver insists that we go to Gates BBQ, a much better barbeque restaurant. So we went and waited TWO HOURS for arguably the best barbeque I’ve ever eaten. Thank you cab driver. So, random pedestrian on the streets, we will gladly take your advice and stuff ourselves yet again at Modern Pastry just down the street.
Modern Pastry doesn’t have the glitz and glam, or the crowds, that Mike’s Pastry has. Their display is a little smaller, but much more intriguing. I was the one to ask the usual question, “what is the best thing?” and I was directed to the pistachio torrone. I’ve never heard of this rather creature-like looking pastry, but I am told it’s nougat and marzipan made of pistachios instead of almonds. Ummmm, yes please. I think I will. Ryan had a chocolate cannoli that was creamy, chocolatey in every perfect way, and the perfect ending to our crazy few days.
Some lessons learned in the past two days: life changes on a dime, always be ready and willing to pack for an adventure. Lesson two: celebrate the small things, because you never know how long it’s going to last. And three: always, always listen to random cab drivers, pedestrians, or anyone else who feels the authority to interrupt your plans for their favorite restaurant. Usually they know what they are talking about.