Monthly Archives: May 2011

My Disappointment in AT&T Park Is The Size of a Range Rover

Sean Parker:  When you go fishing you can catch a lot of fish, or you can catch a big fish. You ever walk into a guy’s den and see a picture of him standing next to fourteen trout?

Christy: No, he’s holding a three-thousand-pound marlin.

Sean Parker: Yup!

Mark Zuckerberg: That’s a good analogy.

Eduardo Saverin: Okay, but we all know that marlins don’t really weigh three-thousand pounds, right?

Christy: Have you seen the big ones up close?

Eduardo Saverin: No I haven’t, but I really don’t think the guy’s holding a marlin the size of a Range Rover. That would be a really big fish and a very strong guy.

Christy: You think we might be getting away from the point?

***

There are a lot of jokes you can make about the Marlins, but this one is my favorite and it comes from my favorite scene in The Social Network.  That script is just incredible.  (More marlins and trout stuff here.)

So last night was, believe it or not, my first regular season Giants game this year and I was way excited.  But I’m going to be brutally honest with myself and y’all and say it wasn’t hugely fun.  Actually, it was hugely not fun.  Here’s why:

Imagine you’re at a party that gone too late into the night verging on too early in the morning.  It’s stale and sloppy and though it was a good time at the beginning, it isn’t any more.  Welcome to AT&T Park, 2011.  The kicker came in the 8th inning when a fight broke out across the aisle and several rows up from where we were sitting and one man pushed another who somersaulted, headfirst down seven rows and, unbelievably, landed on his feet.  The usher tried to break it up and took out the girlfriends, but security didn’t show for a good five minutes, until the inning break.  Five minutes.  They first took out the man who was hit and it took them another good five minutes to come back and take the man who had pushed him.  They left his friends who, for the rest of the game, were laughing hysterically and wildly miming the fall with their hands.  And the girlfriends kept going up and down and in and out and up and down and in and out.  Not only was it annoying and distracting, it didn’t feel entirely safe.  As we exited with one of the girls, she lit a cigarette, a few inches away from an usher.  No one made a peep.  AT&T Park is a no smoking facility, in case you were wondering.

In the wake of the Bryan Stow incident and with enormous sellout crowds this year, shouldn’t security be the foremost concern?  I’m not blaming the Giants for having rowdy fans.  But I’ve seen in the past at other stadiums an entire row being ejected, no questions asked, following a minor altercation.   I don’t know if the Giants think a bold security presence is not cool or they are genuinely understaffed or unprepared for these crowds, but either way it is totally unacceptable.  It makes me miss the Coliseum, which sounds crazy, but it’s true.  My baseball game attendance will be there, for a while.

The thing that really bothers me is that this didn’t feel isolated or just drunken.  It’s a vibe at the park and I don’t like it.  And the organization is also responsible for that, to some extent.

Then again, even when there were cat fights bubbling over and I couldn’t feel my toes anymore from the freezingness my mantra was, You could be in Texas, you could be in Texas, you could be in Texas.  My heart goes out to everyone tornado-effected.

Diamond Girl

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It’s Magic Inside, 2.0 and My Ivan Basso Moment

You know the way it feels when you lie down on the beach in perfect sunshine and there’s a bit of an ocean breeze, just so it’s not too hot and you wonder, does life get any better than this?  If that analogy confused you, it’s just that I’m missing the Malibu.  Darren Ford and Manny Burriss combined for the winning run this afternoon and watching minor leaguers have a moment of triumph at the major league level is a feeling like that.  It’s what baseball is all about, you know?   Ford getting a hit and then using his speed and Burriss walking that field at all after all his foot trials and tribulations are just beautiful moments.  I want “It’s Magic Inside” plastered all over those walls again.

I’m sad the Bay Bridge series is over because it is too much fun, but it is another landmark in the season towards the inevitable end that is exciting.  June baseball is comin’ up.  Now I’m hoping for a Giants- A’s World Series.  I don’t think the odds are super high on that (Oakland is in, um, last place.), but I would kill (not literally) to see that.

And then the question of why the heck the Giants walk off so much is still standing.  I am full out of theories.  Which is a first, for me.  I am perplexed, but in a happy kind of way.

I miss AT&T Park almost as much as Malibu.  Actually, more.  So I just bought my tickets for Tuesday’s game against the Marlins, who are a game and a half back in the NL East.  I am confident.  Isn’t it something how fast baseball can turn around?

The damper on the day was the 60 Minutes interview with Tyler Hamilton this evening which I watched because I come from a cycling family and I nearly cried.  It was so incredibly sad.  I never liked Lance Armstrong, personally, and none of what Tyler said came as a big surprise to me.  Cycling is just a broken sport and as a sports fan, it feels cautionary to me.  Obviously they’re different sports but my worst nightmare is watching someone do that about current baseball (leaving aside the steroid era, it’s happened).  Could they at least just not lie so blatantly?  (On a lighter note and speaking of dopers, I stood a few inches from Ivan Basso as he prepared for the San Francisco Grand Prix in 2005 and it was one of the greatest moments of my life.)

Diamond Girl

p.s.  I went thrifting for quirky clothes for a photo shoot the other day and came upon a beautiful Brewers cap and just had to buy it, even if it doesn’t look the least bit (and I mean the least bit) couture.  It’s making its debut this July.

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10 Possible Reasons the Giants Walk Off So Much

10.  They are being paid off to do it. There are a lot of suspects for this.  The TV networks.  Or B-Squad players who want more innings and opportunities.  Or ridiculously wealthy season ticket holders who want excitement and a little more bang for their buck.  Or, of course,  Showtime.  My suspicion lies there.

9.  They have a strange condition like Bella Swan (Twilight, anyone?) that leads them to thrill seek.

8.  Jed Hoyer/Ned Coletti/Kevin Towers/Daniel O’Dowd put their heads together and put a spell on the Giants so that they would always lose painfully in extras.  But it went awry and instead they always win in extras.

7.  It’s totally random and there is no explanation.

6.  Walk-off win years happen every so often.  I’m not real strong on math, so maybe some probability experts could take it from here?

5.  They are on a mission to prove that 2010 was really, really not a fluke, so they are trying to win heroically and as dramatically as possible.

4.  They’re borderline losers who can only squeeze out wins.

3.  They’re slow starters.  By inning 10 the bats start to heat up.  Go figure about inning 18, if that ever happened.

2.  Wearable blankets just have that effect on people.  (Unlikely, seeing as they’ve had lots of walk-off wins and tonight was the only one featuring the dreaded snuggies).

1.  It’s something in the water.  My vote goes to that.

Dark chocolate is good for the heart and my heart is way over-stressed.  So I’m going to break into the chocolate stash.  Catch y’all later.

Diamond Girl

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Where Is PETA When We Need Them?

Is this the cutest photo ever or is this the cutest photo ever?

Speaking of animals… (Although Po doesn’t really count as an animal.  He is a kung fu artist filled with Awesomeness.)

Yesterday:

Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs)
5/19/11 4:51 PM
Presented without comment: Brian Wilson appears to have a large cheetah or leopard hide hanging across his locker. Head included.

Today:

Top 10 Veg-Friendly Major League Ballparks, topped by the San Francisco Giants

Does anyone else sense the tiniest bit of irony, there?  I have no idea if Brian’s cheetah/leopard hide is real but it still feels like the kind of thing that might set PETA off.  If I were the Giants (which I am not, in case you were wondering) I would respectfully suggest that he puts his cheetah/leopard hide out of sight when reporters are in the locker room.

In other news.  The Giants finished off the roadtrip with a tiny series sweep in Los Angeles and I’ll just say I’m glad for this trip to be over.  And really glad for Madison to get that first win.  The Cubs/Rockies/Dodgers series have been more freaky than I care to remember and I’m ready for some nice normal baseball tonight as we kick off Interleague Play with the A’s.  I’m not really huge into playing people who have incredibly antiquated things like designated hitters, but I do love it when the A’s face the Giants.  And to people who are sad that the Cahill vs. Lincecum match-up won’t be happening?  I think Cahill vs. Vogelsong might be pretty darn fun too.

There’s something else I want to mention, but in a totally not-complaining non-jinx kind of way.  Our pitchers have been hitting real good.  I love it.  It feels a little anti-AL.  But still.  It’s a little weird.

I am going to be volunteering (at a carnival!  With cotton candy and dunk tanks!) for several hours tomorrow, but I cleverly put my shift so that I will be all done by gametime.  It isn’t easy, but if you try hard enough you can be a nice person and a baseball fan at the same time.

Diamond Girl

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Happy Anniversary to Me! And The Scoop On The Really Very Odd Roadtrip.

I can’t believe it’s been a year.  It’s been an incredibly fun- and fast- 12 months for me and my blog and, you know, the Giants.  They, um, won a World Series.  I harbor a (secret?  No longer.) belief that it has to do with me and my li’l blog.  But don’t tell anyone I said that.  I’m also guessing the Really Very Odd Roadtrip is somehow attributable to me.

They won in an injury-ridden train wreck tonight in Los Angeles, as luck would have it.  No wonder Bochy is so into leaving his starters in too late.  Wilson blew the lead and then came back, got maybe injured, and got the win.  Huff made atrocious defense plays.   But people hit, which is always in improvement.  And Rowand got injured.  I hope it’s not serious.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Then there was Mark DeRosa weirdness.  Everyone’s saying that’s his last Major League at bat, but I’m hoping against it.  The Giants still owe him piles of cash and it’s in everyone’s best interest if he’s available to perform in some dimension.  Never mind those 0-fer numbers.  I’m aware.  But him and his freaky wrist sittin’ out all year just isn’t a positive alternative, to me.  We shall see.

Otherwise, today was depressing because Armando was DFA’ed (something I blissfully failed to notice until my brother broke the news to me, with remarkably little tact.  He could have done it more gently).  Remember when I said the Giants should pick him up in one of my personal favorite blog posts (check it out because it’s my anniversary and I can bully you into anything for a few more hours) that I’ve written?  Same thing applies.  They can ditch MadBum or Vogelsong or Lincecum or whatever and make room for Armando.  Okay.  Maybe not.  Now that I think about it, the Giants probably aren’t the best fit for him right now.  But I hope he finds a job.  And succeeds.  I really do. 

And then I read that Billy Beane had shoulder surgery today.  I’ll resist the insane urge to make some cracks about the A’s (hell, look at the Giants) and their injuries and suffice to say that I hope he gets better real fast and that when he becomes a total celebrity after Moneyball comes out, a la Mark Zuckerberg after The Social Network, I will say I was a fan before.  You’ll vouch for me, right?  Thanks.

And I ever so slightly retract my sarcasm about Cody Ross’s brilliance.  I see it, a little.  But don’t say I told you so.

Diamond Girl

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