Well, if heart and soul have anything to do with pitching, I like our chances today. And having watched Strasburg pitch a number of times, I’ll take the fire and moxie from Peavy over the robotic pitch counted Strasburg.
As we know as much or more than any baseball fan, anything is possible. If you had told me when I started the first Flap blog over at blogger.com (as a joke because the Splash blog kept crashing that day) that 6 years later two Giants fans who didn’t know each other would meet at my blog, become proud members of a supernova known as “Flap Nation” and one day meet up in Ho Chi Minh City for a “knowing dude head nod”, I woulda called you crazy….
And yet here they are yesterday (Blade on the right, PaulinAsia on the left with the peace sign):
Let others have the day. We own the night. Flappers around the world, UNITE!!!!!!!!!
I received a bunch of texts last night asking if I was “happy”. That isn’t really the right word. It was as if my friends assumed that a game like last night could kick start a new emotion within me.
Listen up, as far as baseball goes I have been a supernova of happiness since 2010. If I was a desperate Royals fan, an A’s fan or a freaking Dodger fan, a game like last night would probably send me into a long swoon of happiness.
But it didn’t. As a Giants fan, I’m always happy. And whatever happens in this post season is either gonna role off me like water from a stream or just add energy to the supernova.
I am a knowing dude head nod in perpetuity…..
This day went extremely slowly. But finally, it’s almost time to play ball.
My gut feeling today wasn’t good but I won’t dwell on that.
We have a chance, I love our starting pitcher and I feel like we have enough of a line up to not totally surprise me with a win.
Trolls, it would not be a good evening for you to frequent the Flap…..
I just watched the end of the A’s game this morning. WOW. What a resilient comeback from a such a young team. Didn’t see that in them. And a game like that is precisely why I love the wild card format. You START the playoffs with a *game 7* and there couldn’t have been a more exciting way to kick off the 2014 mlb playoffs. Congrats to the Royals, it’s not hard to root for them or enjoy their exciting brand of play. And those fans reminded me of me four years ago.
And for us, it all comes down to tonight. I have no expectations and no feeling for how this game will go. We’ve got the WIllie Mac winner pitching and I’m confident he’ll man-child the mound tonight. I am less confident about who will get the important hits needed to win the game.
I hate having to wade through life’s responsibilities on days like this. Let’s GET IT ON!!!!!!!
Today, I want everyone to look for garbage trucks. If you see one, take notice, you just saw yourself a good luck charm. Notice as many as you can, The Giants need all the help they can get….
But before tomorrow’s game, we have the AL wild card game. It’s shaped up to be quite interesting with Lester facing off against The 29 year Droughters. I think Oakland wins and I think KC plays too tightly tonight. All the pressure is on the Royals and when you’re carrying the hopes and dreams of 29 years gone by for 40,000 fans, that could easily tighten the players up to the point of failure.
So remember, look for garbage trucks today. If you don’t see one before game time tomorrow, we are in big, big trouble….
Edison Volquez, the SP for the Pirates on Wednesday, has had a remarkable career. He was traded for Josh Hamilton in 2008 and promptly turned into one of the most dominant pitchers in the NL. His success lasted exactly one year. After 3 years of injury and mediocrity he was traded to the Padres for Matt Latos where he was healthy for 3 years but still painfully mediocre compiling 20-21 W/L record and an unsightly 4.96 ERA.
In August of last year, the Padres finally released him.
He was picked up by The Art Dealers the next day and started 5 games for them, winning none of them.
And then the Pirates signed him to a deal and he turned into “2008 Volquez* again going 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA.
And now he’s starting a do-or-die playoff game on Wednesday. Weird. Wild. Stuff.
This dude has stuffed like 5 different careers into one career.
Game 162. The final day of the season (likely, for everyone). Again, I will be glued to football.
The Giants get to sit back and relax while the Cards and the Pirates go all out on each other as the NL Central crown is still undecided. The Cards are burning Wainwright and the Pirates are burning Brandon Crawford’s brother in law.
Are you guys happy with where we are today? I am. The baseball season is a grind. Only 10 teams make the playoffs. And this isn’t the NBA, anything can happen in the playoffs.
I’m proud of my team for fighting through injuries and long stretches of general suckitude to persevere this year. So you’re telling me we have a chance?
We have a chance……
I am totally fine with a road wild card game. I think I almost prefer it. AT&T has been a gorilla on the back of our team for going on 2 years now. I’m not talking so much about our home record which is ok (although much better in years past). I’m talking about the general malaise that oozes from the crowd with each failed at bat. It’s just a drag, man. We don’t need that negativity for a game like this.
If we’re on the road and go a few innings without hitting I feel like we have a better chance to *bat out of it* than if we were at home stuck in that quicksand vibe that you know we would be getting from our fans. Don’t get me wrong, Giants fans are great–as long as the Giants are winning. When there’s adversity, I’ll give them credit, they don’t storm the exits. But they don’t do too much to help, either. They usually go straight for their cell phones or the garlic fries. And there is a lot of *crowd sighs* every time one of our players strike out. Ten thousand A’s fans make more noise than 40,000 Giants fans. It’s true.
And I just don’t think that’s what a weak hitting team like ours needs right now……
Well, I’m excited, I really am. Wild card, shmild card. Yes, we have won 2 of the last 4 World Series. And while teams like the Dodgers look at us green with envy (having just about no recollection of the last time they won) we can’t worry about that now. The wild card game is a playoff game and after missing the playoffs last season, I am more than ready to gear up for another game and, possibly, another world series championship.
I don’t care if it’s the Pirates or the Cards. I don’t care how many of our players are hurt or sucking. I don’t care if it’s just one game. I just want to feel that buzz again…..
Tonight, the WIllie Mac Award will be given out. It’s anyone’s guess as to who will win. Lots of deserving players. My vote would be for Petit. I think what he did this year was critical and under appreciated. Today would be a great way to honor his contributions.
Well, that’s out of the way. Time to move on to the wild card.
The Giants have more pressing issues to sort out–like who is going get hits, drive in runs, etc. Because it damn sure hasn’t been Hunter Pence or Pablo Sandoval. And we can whine all we want about the pitching but without Pagan and Morse (and, essentially, Pence and Pablo) we can’t lay all the offensive expectations at the doorstep of Chris Dominguez.
So who’s going to step and drive in runs for this team?
You can’t win a baseball game with hope and magic.
I still can’t get over what a self-absorbed pussy Yasiel Puig is. There is nothing lamer than a guy who mills around waiting for an umpire or a catcher to get in his way before going bezerko. He’s just a joke. And no, I wouldn’t want him on my team. He’s got a golden arm, that’s true. But his hitting is overrated. He’s got one more RBI than Brandon Crawford and he usually hits in a much better RBI spot. His babyish attitude about literally everything makes him not worth the hassle. Now, if he turns into a 30-30 guy somewhere down the road, I would change my tune about wanting him on my team.
Ask Matt Kemp if he wants Puke on his team and I think we all know what the answer is.
I admit it. I didn’t watch the whole game. Getting up at 4am has it’s limitations on when you ultimately shut your eyes to go to sleep.
But I caught the end of the game on mlb.com.
Glad we won, now I feel that we can at least relax a little on the wild card.
The baseball gods are shinning down on Gregor Blanco. He IS the White Shark once again.
He’s gonna have to be if we want to make any noise in the post season this year. I have counted out Pagan and Morse for the rest of the year…..
someone took a picture of Strickland and it looks like a painting. Check it out
Not a lot to say about this weekend series vs the Padres. It’s difficult to win when you are playing your bench players. And Belt just isn’t ready to be out there. But it is what it is.
Me? I’m watching football today.
Jesus, last night’s game was frustrating. That Padre pitcher was lit up for 6 straight starts. The he faces the Giants and I’ve got to listen to Krukow wax poetic about the loads he’s firing off in the broadcast booth about this guy.
And while I appreciate Pagan trying to play, anyone who saw him get up after that stolen base could see he’s not right.
Every time I feel like this is over the Giants win and the Dodgers lose to suck me right back into believing again.
So maybe that will happen again today…
Seeing as how Kershaw gets to take Edwina Jackson out to the woodshed today, it’s safe to say that Tim Hudson needs to bring his A-game to his start v San Diego. At least we’ll have the crowd on our side and while I haven’t heard from him, I’m trusting that my main man on the San Diego scene, San Dawg, will be storming PetCo Park at some point this weekend.
I’m watching the A’s free fall and wondering something: If Beane screwed this up in New York he’d be gone a day after the season ended. But if the A’s miss the playoffs, he keeps his job, right?
While we rest up today, I call on the Cubs to rise up and do what they did for us back in 2010.
The good news: The Dodgers have the worst VMI number on the board today (-21.73).
The bad news: They are facing T. Wada who is just not a very good pitcher.
If you want to learn more about the fascinating impact of visual memory index on hitters and pitchers, check out this site:
I am going to trust in guys like Javier Baez and Jorge Soler to stay hungry and focused, not get intimidated by Zach Greinke, and do enough to beat the reeling Dodgers like the drum that they are…..
I hadn’t stopped to think about the impact of the Ryu injury, but it could be a big deal. The Dodgers are going to come out of Colorado like most teams, with a chewed up pitching staff. Then they have to go to Chicago, a team filled with a bunch of young, strong power hitters who are looking to make a name for themselves, not quit on the season.
Two day games today and if all goes right we’re two games out? With a Dodger team that now has only 2 reliable starting pitchers?
This isn’t over……
Good day for a Peavy start. He’s one of the only pitchers I trust these days.
The Giants have hit another patch of quicksand. When I was a young lad and watching Gilligan’s Island and Batman regularly, I would worry a lot about quicksand. It seemed to always be quite the problem on those shows. I worried about how it would impact my life as I got older. Turns out quicksand wasn’t something I needed to worry much about as an adult.
But it’s a big deal in the Giants season. They’re stuck in it right now. And the season hangs in the balance.
This weekend sucked for Bay Area sports. I’m still doing a slow burn over that pathetic Niner game that was gift wrapped for the Bears. And after we took the first game of the series 9-0 I had dreams of a sweep. 17-0 was a quick wake up call and Kershaw is starting to piss me off. And what’s up with Puig sucking against every other team in the NL West except the Giants?
Gotta re-start the drive tonight in Arizona but I’m not gonna lie, I’ve got a bad feeling about this…..
9-0 and then 17-0. Two weirdo games that you really can’t make anything of except each team won a game and each team lost one.
Kershaw v Yuzzie-Pet today…
Like most of you, I’m still living off the high of that game last night. Easily my favorite game of the year. It wasn’t just a W, it was an *in your face* win. It was an clear announcement that this isn’t over yet. And getting a win to start the series might take off any pressure that would have been on had we lost and been forced to beat Grienke and Kershaw to take the series….
It’s really amazing. No Belt. No Morse. No problem. This September run is so different from 2010 and 2012 but it has a great feel to it.
Can’t wait to watch the rest of the month unfold…..
There are a lot of games that, on paper, don’t really interest me.
Tonight is not one of those games….
It’s nice to see the D-backs staying focused and professional through the end of the season. Jeez, what happened to professionalism? These guys are laying down like dogs. I suppose I should be happy about it, these wins go straight in the bank and at this point in the season each one is like gold. I just have no respect for them.
Remember in 2010 when the Cubs took out the Padres near the end of the season? I think they might have swept them or something like that allowing us to still have a chance on the final game of the season.
Now THAT is a team to respect and honor.
Remember that game back in 2010 vs the Dodgers where the Giants hit 4 home runs and won? I’m pretty sure Burrell hit one and Uribe might have hit one to win it. Well, last night’s game didn’t remind me of that game at all. But I remember the feeling after that 2010 game and it was like, “this could be a special year.” And frankly, last night’s game didn’t give me that kind of feeling either.
But last night’s game was pretty cool–about as cool as a second baseman who’s hitting ,327 (an average that would lead the NL by a wide margin if he had enough at bats).
…about as cool as a scrap heap starting pitcher needing only 84 pitches to fire a complete game.
….about as cool as a September stretch run against the boys bathed in blue…..
This was a pretty fun play to watch:
Giants face Wade Miley tonight– a lefty I’ve never really been too impressed with but he does pop in now and again with effective appearances.
But tonight, we must crush him.
And so it has come to this. Nineteen games remaining. All against the NL West. As it should be. If you’ve resigned yourself to the wild card being the more attainable goal, you have to feel pretty good about our standing. If you think the NL West crown is still a possibility, you’re right, it is definitely a possibility.
All I know is that I’m happy to be done with AL ball. At least until October….
I’m excited that the Giants game is this evening because otherwise, I might not watch it. Today is Christmas and the Breeders Cup all rolled into one. There is nothing like Week 1 in the NFL. Fantasy football is the king of all games fantasy. I’m not going to disclose how many teams I’ve got going at fanduel.com today. I played almost everyday in baseball this Summer and never came close to this number. But there are simply too many angles this week and too many noobes trying the daily game out for the first time. It’s free-money Sunday.
I wonder how fantasy games have come to affect the attitude of the players. This has become an enormous business. I watched a regular Joe win 1 million dollars a couple of weeks ago on a single day of fantasy baseball. And make no mistake about it, the players know about the action on them. They play it themselves on the “other” sports in their home games. There are not one but TWO million dollar tournaments today at fanduel. After Kaep runs for a TD and he’s doing his kiss-his-arm thing, is he thinking, “I just helped someone win a hundred grand with that run.”
The impact of the players scoring individually has turned into a billion dollar legal industry. And it’s only going to get bigger. The NFL (and all sports) love daily fantasy games. It’s been a boon for them with fans who normally wouldn’t care about a game suddenly glued to the tv to root for an outcome. Everyone wants a piece of this action and you can see the explosion of advertising on the radio, tv and internet.
Daily fantasy sports has been a revelation for me and with my favorite team choosing to start a domestic violence perp in Dallas today, I’m happy to be able to distract myself from my pathetic Niners with a real interest in pretty much every single other game out there. Let’s get it on….
See ya around 5:07pm….
For you late West coast sleepers, you get to roll out of bed this morning to a MadBum/David Price showdown. Not too shabby for blowing off that worm.
What can you say about Jake Peavy except that he’s one of our MVP’s this season. Not only has he pitched brilliantly but he’s clearly a *clubhouse guy* and with Cain going down and Timmy pitching like shit, this staff probably couldn’t have weathered his absence.
Detroit must have looked at last night’s humble line up and remembered 2012 and just said to themselves, “Who ARE those guys?”
I can’t keep logging in and looking at that anymore so here’s a pm thread with no game for no reason other than to get that fat fuck Dodger fan off the main thread……
Niners are screwed this weekend, by the way. Dallas is going to beat them. I know, it’s hard for me to admit it. Hope I’m wrong…..
Also, this is fantastic. Submitted by “Team Lukie” who refuses to post here but reads the Flap every day.
I choose not to discuss the Sherpa land train wreck today. Instead, I am posting a thread about this guy. Someone on the internet called him the Dodgers “biggest fan.”
This pic makes me happy inside. Jesus, think about how much volume is *inside* this guy. Little known fact: Elvis Presley died on the toilet with 20 pounds of shit still inside his body. I think there is now physical photographic evidence that this guy has him beat…….
Niner Thread because I’ve been disturbed by this since I found out about it over the weekend……
Jim Harbaugh was on KNBR this morning proclaiming how he’ll never tolerate domestic violence from any player on his team. It was a cute speech. Forgive me if I gag. Why is Ray McDonald still practicing with the team? Why hasn’t he been suspended pending this investigation? Pay him, I don’t give a shit. That’s what they do with cops and other people who get suspended during an investigation.
There is no time to wait for this to work itself out in court. That could take a while and besides, the NFL isn’t bound by the legal system when it comes to suspending players. Ray Rice didn’t get convicted of shit. So, regardless of what you think of his absurd 2 game suspension, waiting around for the legal system to sort this out and THEN react is idiotic. And unnecessary.
The Niners have a terrible track record with addressing their out of control players off field behavior. Example: Aldon Smith left a drunk tank at 11am and then practiced THAT DAY. And he played every snap of the game that week. Despicable. He was asleep at the wheel at 6am on a residential street doing a 16 inch burner in some dudes lawn for 3 minutes. And a point of interest: Ray McDonald lives on this street…..
They fucked up then and they are fucking up now. Suspend McDonald immediately. There is ample evidence to do so. His pregnant girlfriend has bruises all over her face and neck. How did they get there? I don’t know but that is enough evidence to suspend him. Suspend him while you are doing due diligence. And it should have happened immediately upon his arrest and the pics of his pregnant girlfriend. The New England Patriots cut Aaron Hernandez THE DAY he got arrested…..
The Niners need to act right now, not spout off bullshit about how “domestic violence will never be tolerated.” Please. Who the fuck DOES tolerate domestic violence (or support it)? Words mean nothing. Act now or the easy going Niner fan base is going to react with a severe backlash. Mark my words, this will affect them at the gate and elsewhere if the team allows this dipshit to play this weekend……
A question I’d love to hear Harbs answer: If Ray Rice was on your team, would you let him play? Or would you release him since you have no tolerance for domestic violence? And yeah, it was your own bro who fucked that one up.
Jim Harbaugh is at a critical point in his career right now. This will affect his legacy and everything he does going forward. This has nothing to do with the legal system and/or Ray McDonald’s rights. The NFL isn’t bound by that system or his rights anyway.
The Niners have the ball right now. And so far, they are engaging in a long, slow fumble……
Romo’s slider doesn’t slide in Colorado and even though Bochy knew this he was forced to have to use him. Predictable results ensued.
I had a fantastic Labor Day dinner and didn’t sweat that loss one bit.
We still won a game yesterday.
And my glass half full approach to life continues on……
I’m not sure, but I think 15 runs is the most runs I’ve seen the Giants score (in person). I’m guessing I’ve been to 250 games or so in my life. I vaguely remember being at a game in the 80’s where Darrell Evans hit an absolute BOMB into the bleachers (and a second one later in the game) and the team won 18-1. But I might have just dreamed that.
There is a fairly hilarious video taken of me dancing inside the stadium. If my buddy decides to send it to me, I’ll post it here. It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself.
Headed into altitude now. And I’m not just talking about Coors Field. This team is flying HIGH these days!
interesting observation about the Lincecum appearance. When he got called into the game the crowd went INSANE and gave him what felt like a one minute STANDING ovation. After Braun hit that monster bomb there was barely a low groan from the crowd. But every time he would throw a simple strike they erupted in celebration. It was the oddest scene—40K literally trying to will their former hero back to glory…….
as many of you know, my daughter doesn’t give much of a shit about baseball. That always makes taking her a bit of a financial grind since I know she won’t appreciate the seat she gets ($350 for the 6 of us to sit in the center field bleachers) and I know going in that I’m on the hook for buying her some gear once inside the park because she likes the “look” of a Giants fan.
So around the 4th inning she’s bored and wants to shop. Check out how many freaking people are in this store in the middle of the game! If anyone wonders how much dough the Giants haul in with merchandise sales, well, they just shouldn’t wonder anymore….
I got out of there pretty clean– 1 tank top for $32 and arm socks for $15. At least she LOOKS like a fan. :) Cute as hell too.
Jake Peavy with the Giants: 2.66 ERA. I’d say that’s a move that’s work out quite nicely. In fact, where would we be without Jake Peavy?
The Giants pitching has straight BROUGHT IT on this home stand and it’s time for MadBum to put the cherry on top.
I will be at the game today. We have a solid chance to pull within 1.5 of The Art Dealers.
13-2? These threads just sort of write themselves, don’t they?
Panic 4 hits? He’s hitting .312 and doing a better impression of the best Scoots ever had to offer than Scoots himself.
Buster 5 hits? He’s as locked in as he’s ever been.
Hey, Milwaukee doesn’t suck and the Giants just took a 15 game winner out to the woodshed.
The only thing I have to complain about is figuring out how to get to the game tomorrow. 280 is closed and I heard that fans at the game last night had a terrible time getting into the park on time. Could be a Caltrain game….
Excited to head into Milwaukee. It’s a great yard to hit in and Voggy has been “lights out” for most of the year. We are only 4.5 games off the Dodgers and the focus should still be on winning the division, not a wild card spot. The rest of the season starts NOW.
Congratulations to Yuzzie-Pet for achieving his unreal record of 46 straight hitters in a row. It’s more impressive, to me, that he did it over so many different appearances. You don’t always head out to the mound with your best stuff.
Have you guys noticed the idiotic new tradition in mlb where players violently rip off a guy’s jersey after he hits a walk off home run? It doesn’t always come off during the first rip, it usually takes several guys to tear it off the player. Someone is going to get injured by this, mark my words.
Fast forward to Buster Posey after he blasted the Giants to another victory and you’ll notice that his jersey is still neatly worn even after the celebration at home plate.
Are mid-game threads allowed to call out what a shit-fuck offense we have? And SHIT FUCK doesn’t really get to the heart of it.
Anyway, this is a mid game thread and I’ll bounce right back to puppy dogs and cotton tails tomorrow. At least until 9/1 when I will let the swear words FLOW………
Last night’s 1 hitter was just a dominant performance by MadBum. Even though it wasn’t a no hitter, it was a better overall pitching performance than either of Timmy’s no hitters. I think the most dominant outing I’ve ever seen was probably Timmy’s 14 strikeout performance in the 2010 NLDS vs the Braves. He gave up 2 hits over 9 innings complete. But it just never felt like they Braves were going to score. Plus, the Braves were a very good team making it feel that much more dominant.
What’s your “most dominant” pitching performance you remember watching? (tv or live).
Just looking at our recent history, you have Dirrrrrty’s no hitter, Cain’s perfecto and Timmy’s 2 no hitters. And then you have last night’s dominant gem.
But there are others that I’m sure I’ll be reminded of in the comment section below…….
That was not a fun game to watch. And this thread is not going to be fun to write. But here goes:
I stole this from Carl Steward but it’s the most positive thing I can find this morning. The Giants are 5 games out. On this date in 2010 we were 6.5 games out.
We get to play Colorado again today and I truly believe we will get back on the beam with a win.
Oh, and Timmy is now in the bullpen so that has to make many Giants fans happy. Right?
Normally, I would be bummed about the Giants returning home for a series since they’ve sucked so badly this year at AT&T. But today, I’m excited. Colorado has the worst visual memory index number of any team in baseball today at -25.97. Peavy should toy with them.
VMI is a fascinating tool I’ve used this year to assess pitchers and hitters on a daily basis. It factors in changes in altitude, humidity and temperature and how those changes affect a player’s visual memory and muscle memory. I encourage anyone interested to check out the VMI website at http://www.baseballvmi.com
Colorado is throwing a very bad left handed pitcher at us today. I expect all our hitters to feast on him and a handy win is likely forthcoming…..
I just saw a tweet that has to be wrong: Petit is 7 hitters away from the all time record of 45 consecutive batters retired. Wow. That’s incredible.
Feeling REALLY good about today’s match up. Voggy is tough as nails and while Strasburg is good at home (and in general) he’s still just a man. We have a team full of men.
Hope everyone out here made it through last night’s quake ok. It woke me up but we’re 70 miles away so it wasn’t a real big deal. Kinda reminded me of back in the day with the ladies. Hey now!
All right, the weather is clear in DC, no rain on the way, and our sunrise continues to rise high in the sky.
What a win last night. What a glorious, unexpected, needed win last night.
Joe Panik has become one of my favorite players and a reminder to all of us that our minor league system is developing more than just roster fillers.
Michael Morse is a beast.
Buster Posey could care less about pain and jacked out his 2nd bomb in as many nights.
I feel like this team has really turned a corner and I can finally stand behind them with genuine belief that they’ll be in the race all season.
My old man was mistaken. That wasn’t a sunset he saw. It was a sunrise.
Here’s a clip of the text exchange I had with Pawlie Kokonuts last night and today. PK was at a minor league game last night and watched Nate S play.
and this morning:
The Giants “Rain Train” across America pulls into DC today to take on the pesky Nats. We never play well here and (surprise!) there are thunder storms forecast for the game. Huddy is probably the only guy who got 30 winks as the rest of the team flew in late last night after splitting 1.5 with Chicago yesterday.
But these are professional athletes and their level of conditioning should power them through tonight and, hopefully, a series win.
So, of COURSE thunderstorms are forecast to be blowing through Chicago today. Pressure is on the Cub groundscrew, eh? I sure hope they spooled that tarp back correctly.
Today is set up to be a total clusterfuck. And with the team headed to play the Nats tomorrow in Washington, always a challenging place for them to play, it makes me wonder if today’s suspended game is even worth it.
Hey, maybe it will all work out. But my pessimistic side says that this day is going to be more trouble than it’s worth. The last thing the team needs is to play a game and a half with a couple of rain delays before a red eye flight to Washington.
Good luck in Washington. They’ll need it.
I had the game on with no sound last night, getting stuff done, and all of a sudden I looked up and saw the tarp on the field. It was like it just came out of nowhere. I was shocked as I didn’t see any of that coming on the radar leading up to the game. And because I play daily fantasy now, as opposed to the season long fantasy, I have become somewhat of an expert at reading radar at weather.com. But clearly, I missed something last night.
After the tarp went on the story of the bumbling grounds crew came out and I sat there watching in disbelief as they tried in vain to rake up the lake that had formed at shortstop.
I live in California, I don’t understand weather like that….
With gall bladders on short supply for Flappers across the nation, the Giants begin a critical series in Chicago. This is an opportunity to keep momentum going and take advantage of another bad team.
Having never been to Wrigley, I will re-post Pawlie’s epic tale about a trip he took to Chicago in the late 70’s. Enjoy.
Never been to Chicago? Here’s a redacted [to protect the guilty] morsel from my book-in-progress of my first visit there. Feeling positively chirpy today because I’m sending the MS to my friend Dan Valenti, author and editor. I have been ensnarled on this project. It is devolving. I need his help. I feel free just printing all 200+ pages. So, here’s a worldwide Flap exclusive sneak preview for an off-day:
“Midnight (And Later) Run
Alcohol is a strange fuel, and an even stranger GPS.
“Let’s go to Wrigley Field.”
“Okay. Why not? Let’s go.”
Who cares if it’s the middle of a booze-sodden night in a bar in Dayton, Ohio? Who cares whether the Cubs are even in town? What does it matter whether we have money, tickets, hotel, or brains? Worst of all, who are we to let a nearly catastrophic mishap hold us back? (More on that in a bit.) We are young and invincible. And we are baseball fans.
We in this case are your author, his brother just graduated from the University of Dayton, and his brother’s Jersey friend, Steve. We did at least have a car, my (and my wife’s) little green Subaru, in 1978, when most Americans barely knew how to pronounce the automaker’s name.
Earlier in the evening, a celebratory and under-the-influence Jersey Boy had commandeered some of Dayton’s municipal signage to play drunken warrior with. He uprooted a street sign and made believe it was a lance, maybe a javelin. Boys will be boys. When you are young and drunk, this strikes you as hilarious if for no other reason than that it’s outrageousness. Plus, he looked like a young Elvis Presley, so that made it more incongruous. Worst of all, in the post-graduation romp, my brother mistook a cellar door for another door and hurled himself down a flight of stairs to the basement, cutting his head and probably suffering a concussion. To this day, I regret I did not insist on a visit to the hospital, yielding to his resistance. The nasty injury was not enough to wave off a middle-of-the-night barroom plan to head off to Chicago to watch baseball the next day.
Jersey needed money. On second thought, I’m sure we all needed money, but I was content to live on plastic and borrowed time, as suited the nature of my life then.
“Wait here,” Jersey Boy instructed us as we sat in a parking lot near an all-night eatery and near Jersey’s place of employment, a Hess gas station.
“I’ll get some money. I have the keys.”
Great. So, now I’m an accomplice, a driver in a getaway car. Perfect.
After too many minutes – was it five? ten? fifteen? – we see Nolfi come running in the night, laughing and frantic. He jumps into the car.
“Hurry. Let’s get the fuck out of here.”
“Are you kidding?”
“No, the cops came, but I told them I had the keys and needed to get this jacket. Come on, let’s go.”
How did we find the highway? Did we have a map? Did it matter? Our adventure was now both funny and dangerous. Onward to Wrigley Field! None of us had ever been to Chicago, except for a layover at O’Hare, which could have been anywhere.
The humor began to wear off in Indiana as not-yet burgeoning cornfields and silos sailed past us in the May night. It was no longer a novelty, and we were not in manic phase of inebriation anymore. But let’s be honest. We had a few six packs accompanying us, despite the danger, the foolishness, the recklessness, and collective self-will run riot. We had an inanimate companion on the journey, The Sporting News’s latest edition of The Complete Baseball Record Book. It helped to keep us awake. It was a fantastic conversation aide. Maybe it saved our lives by keeping us alert enough to drive.
Catching the first hints of dawn somewhere in Indiana, as I was pretzeled in the back seat of the two-door, my sane self shouted: what the fuck have we done and why? We’re going to a game in Wrigley Field? The one in Chicago? Today? This afternoon? Are you shitting me?
Gary, Indiana, looked smokey and menacingly industrial, wrought of iron and hard work. Odd that such a machinery-ish and metallic place would have the name “Gary,” but it did and it does. (It reminded me of my life-long friend Gary Velez, a baseball fan who was with us in spirit., but back in stamford corporeally.) As we entered its environs, the Windy City lived up to its name, rocking the car with gusts as we came down the Loop.
So this is Chicago.
Here we are.
Is the wind blowing out or in?
I think it’s in.
No, maybe out.
What the fuck do you know?
The intellectual conversation of hung over, actually still drunk, white boys in their twenties.
We took to singing Sinatra over and over. “CHIC cah go, my kind of town.”
We found a motel, in downtown, not far from the elevated train. It offered a scenic panorama from the window on the ground-floor room. A beautful view of . . . a Dumpster. It was in the morning. We took a nap. How did we sleep? Three to a bed? Two beds and a cot? You might wonder how we checked in before noon without paying for two nights. Let’s merely note that we discovered later our half-star motel seemed to feature hourly rates for select clientele.
The train to Wrigley was abuzz with fans parading to the afternoon game. (This was ten years before the Cubs surrendered to Modern Life and put in lights.) We walked around the hallowed grounds of Wrigley, busy and loud with fans. I had not yet developed my habit of buttonholing fans wearing Giants gear in strange cities. If I did, I don’t remember any incidents from this voyage. We were hungry. We entered Ray’s Bleacher Bums restaurant. I would have to classify this as my first sports bar. There were no franchise sports bars in every American city in 1978. The place was like spring break in Daytona Beach (I guess). A loud, raucous carnival atmosphere rocked the joint. We may have eaten a hamburger. More likely, we just resumed our drinking. It was easy to meet other partying drunks. Babes, lots of babes. (Isn’t everyone a babe when you are drunk?) We had a camera. We took pictures of the three of us in alternating poses with party-animal ladies. Tourists outside the gates of baseball’s Mecca, partaking of the fleshpots. Nothing “happened” at Ray’s. No indictment-worthy infidelities, beyond those of the will. But the capturing of photographic evidence of our antics was not smart. Less smart was my propensity to share these images with my wife, in my allegedly more sober moments, weeks later, not having fished out the accusing photos. Worse yet was sharing these with family and friends weeks later.
“Look at these pictures from our trip to Wrigley Field!”
And then for me to wonder at the awkward response of those viewing this booklet of developed carnage.
I was married nearly a year at the time. This is not the sort of bedrock on which to build marriage number one.
The grounds around the stadium and within looked worn and littered and dingy. These were harder times for baseball. Then again, maybe it was merely the fact that we were dingy and littered with the detritus of a night’s drive from Dayton.
We sat in the bleachers, either by choice or necessity.
The bleachers did not disappoint as a venue of unique perspectives and atmosphere. One regular bleacher bum roamed his kingdom, standing on the wall, juggling, and chanting like a shaman. He repeatedly yelled out the name of the Cubs’ (and later the Giants’) second baseman, Manny Trillo: “Tree oooh. Hoooooh. Treeee ooooh. Hooooooooh. Tree ooooh. Hooooooooh. Tree oooooh. Hoooooooh.” This was a few years after outfielder Rick Monday, then with the Cubs, famously rescued an American flag from being burned by protesters on the field during a game at Dodger Stadium. Monday was now with the visiting Dodgers. (Monday reportedly still owns the flag he rescued.) Our juggling high priest of the bleachers added to the canon of his litany “Hey Monday hey Monday hey Monday hey Monday hey Monday hey Monday” in staccato fashion.
But all was not holy, by a long stretch, in the bleachers of the Friendly Confines on that afternoon. It was wickedly cold in early May. There was sleet or snow mixed in with cold rain. It was teeth-chatteringly cold, with or without Jersey’s Hess jacket. Not having planned this trip in the least, brother and I were lucky to be wearing sweaters, never mind winter coats and gloves. Some of our fellow bleacher denizens sported t-shirts or no shirts. That’s what you did. Although we were on a drunken binge, I have a distinct memory of succumbing to reason and buying a cup of coffee, just to keep the hands warm. (I wasn’t a coffee drinker then; strictly tea when not imbibing alcohol.)
Tell me again: why were we doing this?”
The Phillies stink but we seem to be slightly better than they are, at least at AT&T. I’m not sure how Lincecum managed to secure a W yesterday but he got it done. “The ultimate five and dive” according to Schulman.
But you know the old saying, “ya gotta beat the bad teams to….prove you aren’t a bad team, too?” Something like that.
The Giants are off to Chi town, a place I’ve never been….
What a weird game. The 5th inning ended. We were down 5-1 to the pathetic Phillies. Flappers around the world were signing off in favor of something, anything to do, other than watch the train wreck that the SF Giants have become in 2014.
Then they score 4.
Then they score 1 more.
And Romo of all people comes in to shut the door on the season closing on us.