Rowand sitting on the bench anywhere near Bochy is like having a slutty undead BB sitting near to Flav. No matter what he’s promised himself, you just know he’s going to reach for it . . .
2) Ferret Head said….”Stop hatin’ on my draft, Flav! Just for that I’m gonna have to kick your…er, Somebody’s ass!!! (hee-hee!) I did pretty much the same thing this year, so suck on it!!! Oh yeah, and FUCK BOZO!!!!!”
Beer and a couple Dodger Dogs: $20
Having every motherfucking goddamn cock sucking Dodger get drafted on your fantasy team: Priceless
4) Sandawg said, on April 4, 2011 at 9:29 pm (Edit)Good point made by someone earlier about the issue of checking out the blog at work with the BB’s on there. I work at a high school and my screen is easily seen by any kids who are in my office. The BB’s did give me pause about logging on to the site at work during the school day.
….Of course they didn’t actually PREVENT me from logging on at work during the school day, but they did give me pause.
I have this John Wooden pyramid of success book on my desk that our principal wanted all of us to read to get fired up for the school year. It wasn’t really my cup of tea (I’m more of a Pete Newell guy), but it did do a good job of blocking the BB pic when I propped it up against my monitor.
Summer of 1978 I took a job as a beer vendor at the Stick. I was assigned the left field bleachers, because that’s where they put the new guys. No one wanted to work out there because the people couldn’t really afford much beer and that’s where all the fights broke out. Plus, you had to haul your ass up all those stairs to get more beer. But I had a ball, especially when the Dodgers game into town.
Most memorable game was the one Mike Ivie hit a grand slam. It was afternoon game against the Dodgers. I remember working in the upper deck that game, and will never forget stopping to soak it all in as the crowd went nuts. Beer sales were brisk to say the least after that blast.
6) A game of inches
Posted by: Orbofwisdom (Berra’s Bombers) Apr 25 5:38am
Orbo loves all things Molina, my backup catcher had a game last night throwing out a reds stealer and a 3 run first pitch bomb na 6th inning of a naughty(0-0) game.
this is fun as the bombers show a flicker of life.
Ugh! Noooooo!!!! Yesssssss!!! Alright!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh no not again!!!!!!! Come on now. . . . . Don’t fuck this up. Bum needs the win, not you, Wilson. My lord not again. Nail it down, dammt. Wow. Wow. I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it.
Giants baseball: not for use by individuals with a history of heart disease or high-blood pressure. May contribute to liver failure. Discontinue use if sudden rash or painful rectal itch develops. May trigger violent outbursts, disassembly of body organs, nervous tics and spousal abuse. Void where prohibited. Batteries not included. Action figures sold separately.
paulinasia said, on July 26, 2011 at 7:51 am
Damn, Craig, since your one-day break from leading the Flap, you’ve had consecutive stellar opening posts. (Not to say your others weren’t…). I’m not necessarily super excited about game 1 as much as I am about the whole series. Phils could come out bombs-away in the first game, but the next two would show who’s in charge as well. Could also go the other way. You are absolutely right, the anticipation is the great drama as things start getting serious now. I’m not big on making predictions, I just would love to see some top-notch games this series, but if I had to predict anything, it would be that our bullpen makes a difference.
You’re also right on about recalling exactly where you were when Wilson struck out Howard. I was visiting the US, in San Fran for a few days but then back east in NJ seeing the folks for a couple of weeks before heading back to Saigon. Field of Dreams scenario, classic Americana, baseball with your Dad … sitting there in neighboring recliners with my 94-year-old father, die-hard Phillies fan for many of his decades, trying hard out of respect to contain my elation with that strike-out. I think all I managed to say was oh…… my…. god….. sorry, Pops.. and then skipped outside to have a smoke and just laugh out loud. My Mom, who emails me often, bless her heart, has already said my dad looks forward to some emailings these next few days, talkin’ baseball. I’m grateful to still have that chance.
10) Brian said, on January 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm (Edit)
Hello, I’m a huge Giants fan and I follow this blog quite a bit but haven’t posted before. However, seeing those names in the retro game of the day line-up, and the pending niner game this Sunday, got me to thinking about Candlestick. Everyone always rips it, but I have nothing but great memories of the place. I grew up in Fresno, and my dad and I (sometimes the whole family) would drive up for games. I always remember the excitement I felt at the point on Hwy 101 north when the stadium first comes into to full view, and you knew you were really close to seeing a big league game. In 1986, if anyone remembers the old Giants tagline slogans, was “you gotta love these kids” or something like that. I got married in the 1990s and lived in Campell. My wife and were both school teachers at the time at had the summers off. We’d drive up to Candlestick, mid-week, tailgate with a charcoal bbq that you were always lucky to get started because of the wind, buy a $5 bleacher seat, and then be in lower box by the 3rd inning and the ushers could care less. And even if you had to sit in the bleachers, it was fun, and you had a good chanced to get a batting practice HR ball if you were there early enough…..Great times. Go Niners!
Anyone ever take a season off? Ignore baseball altogether? Too busy with other things like a chick, or the track, or heavy drugs? I may have had a year or two like that, but for so many years following the Giants was 75% box scores, so it wasn’t that life altering. This year I don’t feel like I can handle 2:00 AM 4-5 nights a week anymore…
Pawlie sent me the Sunday “program” from his church, I was humbled to see that I was among those who are prayed for by the parish. I had some physical therapy Friday and the therapist said I was considered a “miracle man”, I attribute much of my good fortune to the prayers and positive energy from many of you. Thanks again..
A small time scam artist and radio personality named Bob Leonard swindled Billy Martin, Whitey Ford, and Mantle. Sold them “futures” in Canadian bomb shelters. I don’t know how much they invested but it was serious enough that Leonard did five years.He got out and lo and behold- he got Billy again on another scam. I hung out with Leonard a bit on that ’65 road trip I took with the team. Men like Leonard can be interesting, even fascinating. Obviously, he was a good talker- and Billy, Mickey, and Whitey were pretty good targets. I can see Mantle and Ford skeptical in a dumb and dumber kind of way and Billy talking them into it…I think I noted before that my Dad once said that he was maybe the only guy to beat Leonard out of something. Dad borrowed some cuff links and Bob died before they were returned… I think I told a shorter version of this before but I know you’ve all been dying to hear more. In Cleveland Leonard couldn’t get anyone to interview with him, so guess who ended up doing it- yep, me. We talked about some of the young guys- I predicted that young first sacker Rich Reese would go 20-80 in ’66
Perspective is needed re: last night’s game. In today’s territory of massive contracts for less than massive talent, we tend to look for greatness, to seek it out. Impatiently. Yet, greatness should be obvious, it shouldn’t need a search party to find it. Gamer gets his $60 million, so where is the production? Sabathia 7 years for $161. He’s one of the best at earning what he gets, but where are all his epic shutouts and no hitters? Vernon Wells 7 years for $126 (yeah, like Zitoid). Where is THAT production? Justification for unbelievable money is sought, but at these astronomical levels, it cannot be found. So, in last night’s game we find solace in the relative scarcity of the two pitching performances, seeking to claim it as epic. Compared to recent history where managers call in relievers if the starter breaks wind in the 7th, yeah, it was a really good game. Unusual. But, in the longer history of the game, eh, it wasn’t that special. Lee was good, but he gave up 5 hits over 9 frames. There’s been plenty of 4, 5 or 6 hit shutouts the last 50 years. Hundreds. He gave up two hits in the 10th, one to that future HOFer Theriot. Is that epic? No. Of course, Cain’s even better concurrent performance adds to the Duel nature of it, but still, the rarity of the dueling aces in these days says more about how starters are managed, about “saving” arms of starters with huge guaranteed contracts, than anything else. If contracts were not guaranteed, starters obviously would have more chances to duel. In 40 seasons, which game will you remember more — last night’s, or that 3-2 Giant clincher in game 6 of the 2010 NLCS against the same opponent? Dirrty’s meltdown, the bench clearing, Affeldt coming in to stop the bleeding — and I will always remember Uribe’s HR to right that barely cleared the wall in the 8th. I won’t remember the 4 DPs Lee got last night, or Melky’s walk off knock to right. Of course, by then I’ll be dead, too…
Years ago, before political correctness and you were still allowed to have fun, I worked in the back office of a Wall Street firm in an area that was called “the cage”. I doubt that term is used anymore. Among my fellow workers were several large bespectacled black men. Some were baseball fans – some weren’t. Regardless, every year for 3-4 years on opening day they would line up outside the vault and enthusiastically participate in my annual “Bob Veale Look-Alike Contest”. And Bob Veale was already long gone…
There weren’t as many “epic duels” as our imaginations conjure up. Just looking quickly at 1965, Marichal pitched in one 1-0 game ( I’ll call 1-0 the standard for an “epic” duel). It was the first game of the year. He lost to Bob Veale of the Bucs in 10. Pirates won it on former “bonus baby” Bob Bailey’s walk off HR in the bottom of the tenth off Juan. BTW, McCovey called Veale the pitcher he least liked to face. Bob threw close to 100 MPH, wore glasses that looked like coke bottles, and had no idea where the ball was going in the first place. The definition of “scary at bat”. Mac was 0-4 with 2 K’s in that game.
It was just such a beautiful day outside, the kind that’s perfect for going out to a ballgame, that I wasn’t about to let a tough loss like that bring me down. And since I’m at work most Saturdays, that made going out to a game even more satisfying.
One more little detail. The minute we stepped off the subway I’m getting heckled by an old woman wearing a Rusty Staub jersey. She says something like, “We’re gonna pound the Giants today,” and I’m thinking WTF is this, but can’t help myself and blurt out, “Yeah, just like last night.” At least I didn’t run into her after the game.
Now 11:45am Sunday morning in Saigon, 9:45pm Sat. in the Bay Area, and after a loss, Flappers often disappear into that good night by now, so perhaps I’m just talkin’ to myself, but hell, I do that all the time anyway. I hate the fucking Mets. I’ve always hated the fucking Mets. Growing up as a young Jersey boy idolizing the Mantle/Maris Yanks and then those no good newcomers, the Mets? What kind of name is that. The Jets? The Nets? Have you idiots no imagination? All my boyhood friends became Met fans, so obnoxious, especially when they beat Baltimore in ’69, and then of course later in my life living in Boston, watching the Sox cough it up to… the fucking Mets. I still cannot watch a replay of the ball going through Buckner’s legs while Ray Fucking Knight dances around 3rd base to home.
And what weird shit seemingly continues to happen when SF plays the Mets.. bad calls, brain farts deluxe… Benitez double-balking, which mercifully resulted in his release… the grossly incorrect “out” call on Ishi at the plate that one game we should’ve won (and the umpire amazingly stupidly said afterwards something like “well, I was watching the catcher and he gave it a good effort, so I called the runner out”. Huh?). Now Huff acting on years of instinct (so he says) moving the wrong way (yo, dude, my little league coach drummed it into our heads to ALWAYS, before every pitch, envision in your mind what you will do if the ball is hit here, hit there, hit anywhere), and some bad calls at first base, all seemingly going against the Giants, yada yada yada….
Sounds like some rainouts coming, but if they get to play two more, I really really hope Tim and Madbum just grind those shits into the ground, take the series, and get the hell out of the Big Flush. Fucking Mets.
Thanks, I feel better now. Baseball as therapy? How ’bout Flap as therapy for baseball, sometimes…
I have always trusted the season start to be a showcase for those ready to excel. Batters always ahead of pitchers. That is how the season begins.
The big inning belongs to no one, excepting unexpected ones. Baseball is new again. go figure.
Catching up on some of the articles in the SF Gate and read this . . . “The fans are not booing Barry Zito anymore. On Sunday, they jeered Bruce Bochy for yanking Zito with one out and one on in the ninth inning.”
This captures what “sport” is all about. I love the fact that a player as despised as Barry Zito can achieve redemption . . . even if it’s for a moment, game, season, or hopefully, even longer. Sports movies such as Hoosiers and Rocky illustrate this and that’s why they are so popular.
Damn, I love baseball. Even if you lose, there’s another game tomorrow . . .
21) TedSpe said, on June 12, 2012 at 9:34 am
There is no death for the Flap. There is only a transition to a different sphere of consciousness. The Flap is not like those other it’s with. The Flap is a living presence in their spiritual earthbound plain. They are attracted to the one thing about The Flap that is different from themselves – its lifeforce. It is very strong. It gives off its own illumination. It is a light that implies life and memory of love and home and Mays, McCovey, Bonds, Clark and earthly pleasures, something they desperately desire but can’t have anymore. Right now, The Flap’s the closest thing to that, and that is a terrible distraction from the real LIGHT that has finally come for them. You understand me? These souls, who for whatever reason are not at rest, are also not aware that they have passed on. They’re not part of consciousness as we know it. They linger in a perpetual dreamstate, a nightmare from which they can not awake. Inside the spectral light is salvation, a window to the next plain. They must pass through this membrane where friends are waiting to guide them to new destinies. The Flap must help them cross over, but for now The Flap will only hear Craig’s voice. Now hold on to yourselves… There’s one more thing. A terrible presence is in there with The Flap. So much rage, so much betrayal, I’ve never sensed anything like it. I don’t know what hovers over this blog, but it was strong enough to punch a hole into this world and try to take The Flap away from us. It keeps The Flap very close to it and away from the spectral light. It LIES to oneflapdown77, it tells it things only a Giants fan could understand. It has been using The Flap to restrain the others. To Flavor Nation, it simply IS another Giants fan. To us, it is the BEAST. It is….the depraved denizens of The Splash
Interesting to compare to J. Sanchez’s game. Both had a great play in the outfield, and both had a tricky play at thirdbase. In Sanchez’s game, Uribe made the decision to go for the do-or-die short-hop, and it didn’t work out; and Arias chose to back up on his play. I thought his play was going to be closer than that, but it turns out he threw him out with plenty to spare. Congrats to the Cainer. Everybody wanted it so bad for him. Everybody appreciates all this guy has done for the Giants over the years, and the steady presence he’s been for the team, and he’s basically still a young player.
And nice call, BF! There’s just something special about the Flap. From the time you started this blog, it just seems like it’s something meant to be, and it coincides with so much success from the Giants. All these longtime Giants fans from around the world needed a place to come together and share their experiences and these good times.
The Flap can’t close down. Sometimes it’s all I have.
My life has been pretty shitty lately. A few months back, as an upwards career move, my girlfriend decided to move to San Jose. That may not seem too far but now all she does is work, go home, eat dinner and go to sleep. She doesn’t have time to even talk on the phone any more. So that’s basically over. My new job’s becoming overwhelming to the point I’m not sure I can function. People have been quitting left and right, they don’t get replaced because the new CEO has made HUGE budget cuts and they’ve been dumping some of these duties on me. And I’ve got Federal examiners coming later this month and I KNOW they’re going to find a bunch of shit to criticize because I’m always playing catch-up. Last night I went out drinking with some friends. When I got home I popped on a DVD and fell asleep in front of the T.V. This is one of those DVDs that when the movie’s over, the DVD just keeps running with the theme song playing over and over and over again until you actually shut it off. So there I am, passed out and apparently the TV was on too loud. Two of my neighbors at the apartment made written complaints to the apartment manager this morning and she called me to tell me that she’s going to start eviction proceedings if there’s ever another complaint about me. And I’ve been living there for 20 years!!?? And this is the first moment I’ve had to even get a chance to post here I think since Sunday. At least it feels that way.
Hopefully this will make some of you guys feel better. A chance for a little Schadenfreude. But no, please don’t shut the Flap down.
24) eddacker said, on July 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm (Edit)
[knocking, a slit in the door opens]
“Is this the Cult of Nate?” “My name is eddacker and Berger sent me”
In the bar a few hours ago somebody played the song that Wilson & Cody did the video of with the kid with the glasses. I looked up at the TV screen and Andres was batting for the Mets in the 9th. I started crying…
Sung to the tune of “Love and Marriage”:
Dodgers losing, Dodgers losing
Makes ya think about Lasorda snoozing
This I’ll tell ya,yooooou bu..uh.uhms
Ya can’t just win the West with just a…..
A shitload of money poured in on a bunch of fucking mediocre fuckheads anyway with just HamRam or whatever the fuck his name is but the rest of it was just a joke and you can kiss my ass and smile with your shit eating grin and go fuck yourselves and goodnight nurse Magic Johnson and all the rest of you La La Land fuckheads what annoy me to no end and…end…
27) snarkk said, on September 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm (Edit)
Congrats to the Giants on a great stretch drive and division win.
I’ve been out all night on top of Mt. Diablo with the Snarkettes and friends, looking at the stars through some cool telescopes. Listening to the game on the Walkman as I looked at the M13 star cluster, I heard the clinching out hit to Pagan. I walked over and looked across the Bay from 3200 feet up, and could see the bright outline of ATT, glowing like the Ring Nebula. And more stars inside…
I can’t say much. I’m spent. Overwhelmed. But let me say this much: Today was a day I wrung joy out of every morsel and molecule of my Life. Greetings to Blade’s aunt. Breakfast at the Crepevine in the Sunset District. Lunch w/ TedSpe. Meet with Magnus and survey the AT&T demesne, and its lambent waters, like Roman kings. Meet Micah and his dad, Joe, on Micah’s birthday. And, hours later when the recording of Tony Bennett’s anthem played at AT&T Park I sat *alone* on a mostly empty row of metallic bleachers in Section B142, Row 28, bowed my head, covered my face, and rocked my universe with grateful sobs.
One of my most favorite things that the Giants ever gave me was a print that had replica tickets (with my own seat numbers) for the last game at the Stick and the First at Pac Bell. The last game in 92 I cried and cheered that team on the final day. The team was kind of dazed and after realizing the team was going to move and yet the fans were giving them a standing O, did the first lap around the field that I can remember. The fact that they stayed made that 93 season so magical for me (well that and winning 103 games). The last game at the the Stick where they flew Home Plate to Pac Bell – unbelievable. My buddy Stan (grounds crew at the time) running out to LF to pull down the number one (days until they moved) FANTASTIC. Oh yeah, the game after it was reported that the Magowan group had bought the team, Magowan came into the stadium with a standing O for him.
Z – You brought tears to my eyes just bringing up that time.
JBat said, on November 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm (Edit)
I just wanted to throw out my two bits on the Affeldt signing. I DVR’d all four games of the Series and have watched each a couple of times now, just to break down the games without the stress of watching them live. For any questions about Affeldt’s worth to the team, just watch the 8th inning of game 4 a few times. Utter domination, and as filthy a left hander as I’ve seen al year. Leadoff walk to Garcia, then a 3 pitch SO of Cabrera, otherwise known as Superman, a 4 pitch K of Fielder with one breaking ball just jelly-legged big Prince then blowing a heater by him, then coming out in the 9th and fanning Dirks for his 4th straight K before getting Peralta on a well-struck fly ball.
His breaking pitch can only be described as filthy and his fastball was just jumping on the hitters. That night at least, Jeremy was untouchable. A lefty like that is a valuable commodity coming out of the pen. Like all the guys on the staff, he’s a bulldog and I love that about our pitchers. No more Sean Estes or Atlee Hammaker head cases, just pure fire.
I think 2 years would have been a more sensible plan for the G’s, but the guy has been a valuable piece of 2 WS winning teams. I can live with the signing and be happy about it.
Watching the games again just makes one thing clear; this is a great team, regardless of what all the east coast idiots say. They’ve killed the Rangers and now they’ve killed the Tigers and, frankly, they’ve made it look easy. What a stunning turnaround for a franchise that for the longest time was identified with playoff heartbreak.
P.S. One of my favorite moments in the Series, Theriot singling in the top of the 10th in game 4, then coming around to score on Scutaro’s single. He didn’t play much in the playoffs but he’ll always be the guy that scored the Series-winning run. So much contribution from so many guys.
Thanks Craig. For all the Flappers he’s referring to my wife having a bun in the oven. Yep, I knocked her up again. With our move back to California, change of jobs and general craziness of life being unsettled, 2012 has been a hectic year for us and it isn’t even over. We are so happy for this news and my heart is swollen in anticipation of an addition to our family this spring. In a strange demented way you guys are all like family to me to and I wish you and yours a happy thanksgiving.
I’m sure at some point between now and opening day 2013, someone at ESPN or MLB.com will compare the Giants and Dodgers, “on paper”, position by position, and come to the conclusion that LA will run away with the West. But obviously there’s one problem with “having an All Star at every position” — that just makes it an All Star team, not a real team that plays for each other over a very long season. Greinke certainly makes LA’s rotation that much better, but I like the competition that arises. Didn’t Vogelsong match up against Kershaw a few times last season and won every time? We can do that…. makes beating the Dogs even more satisfying. Detroit was dead in the water when Pablo hit 2 HRs of of Verlander. Yep, we can do that…
Who goes to the Hall of Fame? Any of you ever go as adults? I went once, as a starry-eyed 8 year old, when the world and baseball were both pure in my innocent eyes. No one, except kids, can believe that baseball is pure and untainted, because it’s not, just like everything else. For the writers to be trying to “bring back” purity and “integrity” to the game with this vote, it just deepens and extends the denial and hypocrisy and delays any true reckoning that fans really will have to come to terms with about “cheaters” in baseball. If any of those writers ever voted for Bonds as MVP (7 times, no less) or Clemens for the Cy (7 times, no less), then they’re just masturbating their own self-righteous egos and relegating the Hall to a joke. “I was for Bonds/Clemens MVP/Cy Young before I was against them”… “I’m shocked, shocked! to find out there’s cheating in this establishment of baseball”… sheesh.
Barry Bonds has provided me with a challenging set of issues to translate. What the fuck can you do but look at the problem as an opportunity? After the BALCO revelations my older kid decided to stop wearing his home 25 jersey around the East Bay. Just too much trouble. He was still ready to get into it with anyone who insulted Barry, however. His younger brother was more reserved. He just didn’t understand how Barry seemed to go from hero to villain overnight.
If I’ve told this part of the story before, I’m sorry. That first Halloween after the indictment I talked to the little guy about the costume he had to put together for the “parade” at school and for his nighttime stroll around the block. I wanted to keep it simple, and when he understood my idea, he was in. He would wear one of his Giants hats and his brother’s old 25 jersey. He said everything went fine at school. His Giants-fan teachers liked the costume. It was easy to put on and take off, and so forth. That night I went around with the other parents in the neighborhood and watched the kids go up to front porches to get candy. My kid looked like a penguin in a bathrobe as he went down the walkways. The jersey nearly reached the ground; the sleeves stopped just short of his wrists. That sight alone was sort of amusing. For a while I was too far away to hear his conversations with the people giving out cand, but he was getting some laughs so I figured he was doing ok. Then the kids approached a front porch close to the curb. The man at the door said, Cool, a Giant. Who are you, Willie Mays? Tim Lincecum? Turn around. When he saw the back of the jersey, he pretended to be outraged. Whoa! Barry Bonds? No, said my kid clearly, I’m Barry Bonds without steroids. It took a moment. Then the guy laughed hard and looked toward the interior of his house, yelling: Come here, come here! You’ve got to see this. Barry Bonds without steroids!
I’ve noticed something in the last few months that you guys out on the West coast who live among Giant fans may not necessarily have experienced. You gotta remember as a Giant fan I’m all alone here – at least in the immediate neighborhood. I’m well known for it. Anyway, ever since championship # 2 when I wear my Giant stuff (almost every day) I actually feel like fuckin’ royalty – almost God-like – almost 5 feet tall. Doesn’t matter if it’s a jacket, a hoodie, or just a couple of pins. I feel like I personally achieved something special that took me almost half a century to earn. And the people who know me know it and they respect it. I can feel it and I see it in their eyes. After the first one in 2010, it was like the little maniac finally got lucky just once. People were genuinely happy for me. (I’m quite popular) It’s different since the second one. Now I can just put on a pair of black mittens with that spectacular orange SF logo and I fuckin’ own everything – like I knew something all along that they didn’t. I could only imagine how the team and members of the organization must feel.
I still have the last glove I bought in Alaska, when I played in the SB leagues there in 91. Naturally enough, I hadn’t packed a mitt when I left Calif. Those people in Anchorage play 24/7 in May and June, and they have many many fields. Lot of fun. I am attached to that glove. But buying gloves over the years for my kids was the best. My younger son, who made his way onto all star and traveling teams, really hit the prize. He deserved it. I remember going into West Coast Sporting Goods and telling the guy — show us your best. He laid about five gloves on the counter. I really liked the kangaroo skin number. Seemed perfect for a middle IF. But the kid wanted top of the line — a pro-style Wilson with the fancy laces that were just starting to show up on nat’l tv broadcasts. Turned out to be a great glove, after we broke it in and had a knowledgeable trainer tighten all of those complicated laces.
I’ve never been a camera buff. But I have all the gloves my kids out grew as they played up through the leagues. A glove is worth a million words.
Last year had the most dramatic postseason of the two here but no championship will ever top 2010 for me- and I include those by the Bucs in 1960 and the Twin’s titles. 1960 would probably be the choice but really I
wasn’t old enough to truly appreciate it. No game is better suited for us old(er) farts than baseball. Mazeroski’s HR was *exciting* 5 decades ago, today it’s historic, if you understand what I mean. So it’s with those decades behind me that the true uniqueness of 2010 becomes that much more to savor- using a Packer analogy- the 2010 Giants were more Chuck Mercein than Paul Hornung…the pitching will always be what the scribes will write about but the heart of that team were those misfits- a “washed up” Burrell, born again Uribe, the unlikely brilliance of Vungo, the maligned Renteria, Freddie with his only chance to shine-and he glittered, Huff putting it all together just for us and never again, Ishi, Nate, Ross- the guy we didn’t want-… that title was about those guys, men who somehow were better when it counted than they ever were before and would ever be again. That was truly special, a championship dedicated to the thousands of players who had just a cup of coffee, a title for the Phil Nastu’s who played the game…
Tonight’s game makes me want to reach around to my remote control, and blow off the game, because the score is too much to swallow.
I spent an eye opening 12 hours on a summer night train once from Bordeaux to Madrid, over San Sebastian. In my compartment was a 21 year old french guy and a 40 something S. African woman. Let’s just say that these Strangers on a Train became close friends as the Spanish train tracks got bumpier and as the hot Spanish night wore on. Next early morning upon arrival in Madrid central station, like a Euro movie, they parted ways like the strangers they had been 12 hours before…
Aren’t you really asking what does it mean to be a fan? Age-old question. It’s like asking what does it mean to be a parent or spouse or friend. Everyone has a slightly different take, and some arbitrary and capricious assumptions can develop, but deep down we all know what we’ve agreed to. Loyalty to the team fighting to win, even when they lose and lose a lot, is essential. I’m not sure how that virtue relates to our own lives, our own fights; or maybe I just can’t articulate it. But elite sports offer more than entertainment. If you’re really aware of a team’s day-in-day-out successes and failures, and if you really care, the seasons, even the off seasons, provide a sort of essential counterpoint to your own life. Or so it seems to me. I think it’s understandable that a few seasons of absolute triumph have changed the way we’re experiencing this disaster of a first half now.
We are experiencing it, though. No doubt about that.
As I have acknowledged in the past, and as my predictions show, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to Zeke and Mickey, as well. I am very grateful for the support I have received from customers, bloggers, and most of the neighbors (Get over it, Winnie). Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – and they are legion. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, my recipe for the batter for perfect pan fried chicken should have read TWO TEASPOONS black pepper, not two CUPS…now please, can it with the hate mail, it was an honest mistake…
Sadly kind of agree with Craig’s comment about this team just not being hungry for it this year, once they got down to the bottom.. just requires too much effort and luck to get back to the top again. In my pre-season picks (which are still meaningless with many games left to play), I picked the Giants to finish 2nd to the Dodgers and get a wildcard berth. IMO, there’s no catching the Dodgers, who ARE hungry to win and obviously have the talent to do so, and the Giants are even further out of the wildcard than they are behind LA. I would not be too depressed about not making it this year if they actually play fairly well the rest of the way and do come out hungrier next year, and I do think we’ll see some good baseball the rest of the way.
As for the stats discussions here, and what caused the free-fall, stats do not (IMO) explain the free-fall, especially the talk about the pitchers being the reason the team is out of it, since the team was still winning when the pitching was sucking through mid-May, and the team has been losing since the team stopped hitting around the time Pagan went down. If I had to pick one critical point, that would indeed be it, as some others here say while others disagree. Pagan went down, so did the team. Intangibles ARE meaningful. Two years ago, go figure the team starting to completely suck when Beltran joined the team. These guys are humans, not machines… they’re more *analog* than digital. Stats are digital and only represent something that has already happened on the field. Well, everyone is searching for a reason for this season. The Vietnamese have a saying… “po tay”… means, hands are tied, nothing we can do. So we look for reasons, and individually we find one that suits our point of view. And we just continue to watch and hope to see some life in these guys. I’m guessing the players themselves realize it’s all on them, and hopefully they’ll show some pride and spunk these last couple of months. In the end, we all just still want to be proud to be Giants fans and have some reason to continue our knowing nodding.
I have this vision that, in the future, we’ll all be able to download our minds and personalities directly into the Flap, so that we can debate baseball for a billion years into the future, until the sun’s loss of mass causes it to expand and burn up the Earth, leaving the Earth a frozen piece of charcoal floating through space.
Right before that happens, the Flap can be downloaded into some kind of space probe and sent into other galaxies, where aliens with 8 legs can be taught baseball and what OPS means.
It’s a truly grand vision.
Early April of ’61 was anything but classical baseball weather when Dad took my younger brother and me to the very first Twins game at Metropolitan Stadium. Temp was in the upper 30′s or so, skies were overcast and there was a brisk wind amidst all the grey. But the toughest part was standing in the ticket line. When Pedro Ramos took the mound the mood was “take me out to the ballgame” and all else was forgotten ~ particularly when the Twins walked off the field with a “W”.
Times change and so has Minnesota weather. Sour days in early April are rarities nowadays, though hardly unknown. Up here in the great Northwoods, beyond even, the source of the Mississippi, we had a balmy, sunny 48 degrees yesterday and we lost all our inch or so of snow which had arrived over the previous weekend. Today, it was just a few degrees cooler, winds light and variable, sunny off and on and quite adequate for baseball and paradisical for football.
California, like the rest of the Coast, will soon be “blessed” by the plume of radioactivated water from Fuck You Shima. I wouldn’t touch Alaskan salmon any more with a ten foot dildo. All that fun stuff is seeping broadly into the pacific and unseen particles are wafting beyond the Sierras and the Rockies to join up with chemtrail central spreading all across the fruited plain. I would not care to be five years old right about now but do find it comforting to bee ess about baseball and the other finer things of life.
Lizzie, Cristy, Karen, Linda, Deb, Cynthia.. these are the women at my grocery store. They’ve all been there as long as I’ve been here. They know me, they’ve seen me when I was well and they’ve seen me when my hair fell out, seen me when I walked in and when I’ve been wheeled in. They’ve seen the paramedics take Merna away, and when they drove me away. When I weighed 200, when I weighed 120. When I had to point to the vegetable I wanted. Christy has cleaned my house, she’s brought me wood. Lizzie has brought our groceries home. Deb has brought preserves and delicious little buns. They’ve packed my food basket for me and put in my lap for my ride home in the scooter. They’ve cried for us when it was dark and laughed with us when the sun came back out. I’m telling you all of this because Cynthia did a nice thing for me today and it made me laugh. And because I’ll never see a young girl again, one who was “all that” and more than all that. She didn’t die- not that I know of, she’s just gone away and thinking of these wonderful young women makes me feel a little better. I love to see them, they remind me of what love is all about and why that even when life just seems, just seems SO hard, there are beautiful people who will make you want to go on just to see them smile and hope it’s because they’re happy to see you, too.
As you all probably saw, Zumiee and I had some contentious exchanges and I think you should know that he’ll be back soon and we’ve hit the “reset button” on our blog relationship. He’s such a valuable part of this community that I was delighted to find that he agreed with me to start over. But first I have to take a break myself, for the last several days, (weeks?) I’ve been posting all over the WWW like I had to store words for the winter. You guys deserve a break, the prizes have all been delivered- so I think I’ll spend a little more time by the pond-which is crystal clear this time of year, watching the fish dart about before they get ready to hibernate for the winter is a lovely way to spend some time after yelling at the paperboy-again. The fish have been trained long ago to swim to the pond’s edge when I tap my fingers on the water and they eat from my hand. Quite delightful. See ya later.
So many memories of the Stick, good, bad and ugly. Oh yeah, and a lot of weird. Who could forget Little Joe’s home run. Or how about Scott Garrelt’s first start where he loaded the bases (hit the batters or walked them) for the first couple of innings until fans started yelling “Don’t walk him, hit him” or the infamous “Beam him up Scotty” chant, from the 2,000 or so people there that night. Raining baseballs against the Braves, the 84 All-Star game, the 89 earthquake. Little Joe behind me in line to get a polish dog before a broadcast, Jerry Brown pointing at my band tee shirt and asking “What’s that?” and my smartass reply “It’s a tee shirt Jerr”. That last game in 92 when we thought the Giants were leaving SF, the final game before moving to the new yard. Many football games, Montana’s last as a 9er against the Lions (I think it was Charlie Garner, after catching a TD pass said “Hey, that guy is pretty good”), the Ditka gum game, a SFPD friend telling me to go out the back door of the Hobrau and back to me seat so he didn’t have to bust me. Passing out in the Stadium club while the Stones were playing, blah, blah, blah.
I was happy when the Giants moved, hell I bought in before they laid the first bricks, but I’m one of those weirdos that really did love that strange world called Candlestick Park.
I never understood those who complain that the game is too long…Baseball is my escape from reality. So if that means I don’t have to take out the trash or change a diaper for four hours, so fucking be it. Kind of like when I play golf, except I play fast and I despise slow golfers. However, if I finish in 3 and a half hours, that just means more time I can spend at the nineteenth hole.
The real humidor procedure at Coors:
1. Each shipment of baseballs received is immediately put into a closed room off of the Rockies training area.
There, in the middle of the night, the shipment is split in half by two Rockies employees into separate bins named “Rockies” and “Chumps”.
2. The balls in the Chumps bin are all stamped with a UV/black light stamp entitled “Fuck U” that can only be seen under black light. The balls in the Rockies bin are not touched.
3. All balls are then brought into the humidor. Rockies balls are placed on the top rack, the “Fuck U” balls are placed underneath on the second rack. This occurs the same way on the other two racks in the humidor.
4. On the day of a night game, or night before a day game, Rockies employees take half of the expected balls needed for the game from the Rockies rack, and put them in several ovens in back of the concession area at 165 degrees for four hours. The baked Rockies balls are then cooled and returned to the humidor room for the mud treatment, which is applied at the same time to the other half of the game balls taken from the racks with the Chumps balls. For Giants’ series only, before the mud treatment, the half from the Chumps balls are thrown in the Rockies training room jacuzzis for a half hour soak, then toweled off and returned to the humidor.
5. Before game time, Rockies employees put the baked Rockies balls into regular ball bags, and soaked Chumps balls into regular ball bags that also have an invisible UV/Black light stamp. The employees have a small black light embedded in the bill of their caps, which MLB auditors cannot see even if they witness the balls being loaded into the ball bags.
6. Using the UV/black light ID process and their special caps, the Rockies employees make sure that the Chumps ball bags and balls are given to the bat boys so that they give them to the home plate umpire during the half inning in which the opposition bats.
7. There may be overlap between half innings and ball bags where the Rockies employees can’t switch bags and balls, but in most cases, the Rockies are hitting the oven-treated Rockies balls, and the opposition Chumps are hitting the jacuzzied “Fuck U” balls…
James, I don’t know how we got to team chemistry and coding software, but OK, whatever. One can reduce a lot of human endeavor to statistics, and baseball surely is susceptible of that for analytical purposes. I’ve got an appreciation for stats in baseball, but not to the point where the big picture of stats renders secondary, for me, the drama of the game itself and the humans playing it. My point being, the main reason I enjoy baseball is the human part of it, the human story told daily over the 162. The story of the individuals and of their team, their failures, their successes, and my own perceptions of how that story unfolds. The daily baseball journey is what has kept my interest and love of the game for 45+ years as a fan, not the inexorable development of new statistical metrics that seem to be developed just because they can be — with all the game’s observational advancements we’ve made.
When I was a kid, Apollo 8 reached the moon and first came around it in lunar orbit at Christmas 1968. The astronauts communicated back the first photos in human history, taken by humans, of Earthrise above the moon’s surface. http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/features/bm_gallery_4.html One could reduce that iconic, historic moment to appreciating the big picture combination of mathematics and engineering know how of NASA that pulled that feat off. Fair enough. Or, one could do what the astronauts did. In their own anecdotal bullshit moment, they marveled at and were humbled by their humanity and all of ours — living back on that beautiful blue orb floating in the cold, black desolation of space…
When I was playing high school basketball, we played a game somewhere up in the foothills and stopped at an A&W afterward in Jackson, I believe. I always wanted one of those bad ass mugs, so I stuck mine in my bag after polishing off the root beer. Someone ratted me out and the head coach pulled me aside for a talking-to. I felt like crap, but he handled it real well. Everyone was on the bus except for me and him. He lectured me a bit and then said he was going to leave it up to me to do what I thought was best with the mug-he said he wasnt gonna check my bag later. He then got on the bus. I returned the mug. That whole deal made quite an impression on me and I did less stupid shit like that from that day forward.
I wrote this yesterday, it seems in line with the tenor of this mornings comments. BTW, Steve and Paul- where may I find your Fountain of Youth, you guys look great…
“We’ve all come about our love for baseball in our own ways. I loved it as a boy and playing it made it even better. Then for many years it was a sometime diversion as my work took 12-16 hours of my day. I had season tickets for over 3 decades but my friends and customers went more than I did. Baseball as the National Pastime is a thing of the past- life is faster now, so much is available with a click and a tweet. I liken baseball to the foods of the Shaker women- the cuisine was in their heads and hearts, not put to paper. It was up to the food historians and writers like Ronald Johnson to find what was in their hearts and preserve it for today. And so it is up to those of us who remember the game of our youth, to pass along to a new generation the joy of baseball when it was the game that little boys dreamt of, when small towns were abuzz as the World Series approached and *everyone* wanted to see the powerful Yanks humbled.
Which brings me to today. I rediscovered the game when I grew older and my health deteriorated. I became a NUT, a FANBOY-and miraculously became a young boy again. I often dream of the game, I remember the players of my youth in Pittsburgh. For years I had remembered what we now call a “walk off”. A player named Johnny Powers hit one of his few home runs into the teeth of a strong wind and raised his arms high into the air as he soaked in the cheers. It wasn’t until many years later that I found out that it wasn’t Powers, it was Bob Skinner. And then I realized that it didn’t matter, what mattered was that it made me recall what the game once was and I why I loved it as a boy and now again in my older years. It slows life down, it’s a game that you can savor as you savor a fine wine or a walk in the woods, a doze in a hammock, it’s a game that makes us realize that life is to be enjoyed slowly -as it passes by all too soon.”