Don't take Jonny Gomes' presence at Saturday's Granite State Baseball Dinner as a sign he's forgoing offseason training for the post-World Series banquet circuit. In fact, the Red Sox outfielder said, he's already spent time at the famed Athletes Performance training facility in Arizona, where he ran into a couple of good friends.
"While I was out there, so were Ells and Nava," Gomes said of 2013 Sox outfield mates Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava.
As for whether Ellsbury will remain a teammate in 2014, Gomes said he's hopeful the Sox retain all their free agents, including Ellsbury, shortstop Stephen Drew, first baseman Mike Napoli and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
"We're trying to bring all the guys back," Gomes said. "Dustin (Pedroia) has been doing his homework, calling guys on the phone, working on them about returning."
This year's dinner was a sellout, with an attendance of 1,200, and Gomes' presence no doubt contributed to filling the Radisson-Manchester Expo Center. In addition to Gomes and recently retired former Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter, other featured guests included Tampa Bay pitcher Alex Cobb, 1975 Red Sox World Series hero Bernie Carbo, two-time Cy Young winner Denny McLain and Hall of Fame hopeful Fred McGriff.
The last two players introduced at the start of the dinner, Gomes and Carpenter both received standing ovations.
The stellar guest list and sellout crowd enabled the New Hampshire Fisher Cats to announced they've raised more than $1 million for Children's Hospital at Dartmouth, the Ted Williams Museum and the Fisher Cats Foundation in the 13 years they've hosted the dinner.