We managed to extract the FanFest pics from the memory card of our busted camera, so you'll find those at the bottom of the page. However, perhaps the weirdest thing was the photo Chris took of me with Brandon Webb, which appears to show...well, let's just take a look, shall we? [click to enlarge]
Now, note that Tony Peña, on the left of the shot, is not in any way affected. Whatever the cause, it is only myself and our Cy Young winner who are subject to it. And let's just say, seems most unlikely to be your humble author who's emitting any kind of divine glow: a pic of me alone, taken less than five minutes later with the same camera, was perfectly fine. But, hey, we thought: it's probably just a temporary glitch, a freak combination of circumstances which affected only that image.
And then we looked at the next photo...
Again, Peña is fine; even the person standing directly behind me is untouched by whatever the cause was. But both Webb and I appear almost to have been erased from the picture. I should stress these are exactly as the photos appear, without any retouching or alteration. The original print and negatives are on file in SnakePit Towers, and available for investigation, should the Vatican require them. ;-) It gets creepier. Guess what was the subject of the final picture, taken by our digital camera, before its inexplicable total seizure?
Yep. Brandon Webb. [And you thought only a Randy Johnson scowl could destroy photographic equipment at 50 paces. ;-)] Realizing that, in addition to what happened when we turned our lens on Arizona's ace, set the hairs on the back of our neck tingling. Maybe it was the choir of ominously-chanting monks, who had apparently materialized out of nowhere, and were holding a vigil outside our window. Or the line of pilgrims, there to worship at the holy shrine of St. Brandon of Ashland. Or the sale on Ebay, of a game-worn Eric Byrnes jersey, where the grass stains mysteriously form the shape of Webb pitching a one-hitter against the Cardinals.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves: you need three miracles to be proclaimed a saint, and so far, Webb has only got two. I'd certainly class his first start - seven innings of three-hit shutout ball, against the Mets in Shea Stadium - as a miracle. And then there's him winning the Cy Young in 2006; an undeniably deserving choice, sure, but with the lowest win tally by a starter over a full season in the history of the award, and the highest ERA by the NL winner since 1970? Truly, the voters were touched by the hand of...well, someone. Of course, leading the Diamondbacks to the 2007 World Series would be the third miracle, especially if he did so with Arizona's returned Prodigal Son alongside him in the rotation. Do that, and there would surely be no longer any doubt about it, even among the most sceptical.