Monday July 7
Well! We did it again. Back to the good ole days of a month ago and the , we hope, of the Giants winning ways–especially on the road. It was a great day, a great feeling, to take two straight from the Padres and Timmy continuing his mastery of the not-so-bad San Diego team. I will leave the telling of the disastrous 12 hours following the game (our return drive home) to Le Anne . She did a masterful job of staying behind the slow-moving wheel of the Prius from 4:40 p.m. Sunday to 4:30 a.m. Monday to get us home to the condo.
I know she will cover that — and, I am sure, also the 4 1/2 minute story that KPIX (Channel 5) ran on its Game Day program last night at 11:30 p.m.
I’ll try to stick to the baseball part of these reports. Yesterday’s game made it possible for me to prove to Le Anne (even if we did not agree) of the machinations of our professionals running our favorite sport.
Le Anne has never hesitated to concentrate and remark upon the various disagreements she has had with our manager, including this last one –putting a batter like her favorite Giant, Hunter Pence, into the lead off spot. I must let you in on a family secret despite Le Anne’s veto power . Last week, after Larry Baer had invited us to join him in his owner’s box at A T & T,and when this lead off change was announced, I had suggested she call Larry (now that we had met him, etc.) and offer to save Larry what must be a rather extensive salary being paid to Bochy. Obviously, she could tell him, of the terrible mistake being made in moving Pence up. Also all the others that he has made which have induced our slump.
Fortunately, our travels have prevented her from doing so as yet — Yesterday when he hit 3 for 4, including scoring from first on Panik’s double, and being responsible (with Panik’s help) for 3 of the 5 Giants runs — he showed what he could do in the opening spot. Despite Le Anne’s unmatched ability to convince anyone of her deep beliefs, he might not have listened. Any way, who knows, by the time we meet Larry at the Miami series soon, she may have some right to her position. (How’s that for family and marital harmony?)
And now for the ladies view-point. I am writing the blog in a fog…a mental fog from being worn out. We were supposed to be in section 310, but it was hot, and Bert is supposed to avoid the sun due to his past melanoma, and I tried the seat upgrade on the MLB ballpark ap. I don’t know why but couldn’t get the seat upgrade to go thru. We were sent by Padres personnel to Membership services, and although it was not their job, Stacey Hallam helped solve the problem and we moved to section 112 row 40. Kudos to the Padres for helping us. We settled in the seats and decided to go for hotdogs and a big drink pregame. We opted for the Kosher dogs which were grilled, and for hotdogs good. Bert likes a hot dog, and considers it and integral part of baseball.
The game was great and Pence did an awesome job in the lead off, so their goes my opportunity as Bochy’s replacement. I texted updates to friends and family in Seattle, and they were on the edge of their seats until the final out. I was thrilled that the Padres were able to find seats out of the sun, however I would recommend against seats in the higher rows in 112 because you have fans up and down the aisle the entire game, and can’t see the entire board. If you are their for a social experience rather than a diehard fan who scores each pitch these seats are great.
After the game we headed across the street to the garage and hit the road around 4:30pm. We figured we could make it thru LA and then decide if we should stop and find a room, or head for home. With as much time as we spend on the road, I had made up my mind I wanted to go home if I was safe. LA driving is always frustrating and to drive it at the end of a holiday weekend is no fun. I was mentally prepared to be a road warrior, and we survived that part of the trip. We needed gas and dinner, so spotted an in and out burger drive thru. My daughter has recommended them, and Bert and I decided to give it a try. We got gas and head to the in and out only to see a long line, so headed next door to Carl’s Jr. We had burgers and a salted caramel shake which was surprisingly good. Happy and ready to face traffic again we got back on the road. We were zipping along at about 75 mph and I was expecting we would still be home by 12:30 or 1 am. About 15 minutes later we hit traffic and it was stop and go for 3 hours. I think I averaged 9 mph. I was ready to pound my fists in frustration. I tried sports Radio to relive the Giants victory, but all I could get was world cup, I tried talk radio and all they were talking about was marijuana, I then tried country music and had the top 40 countdown which distracted me for a bit. Both cell phones were at critical charge levels so I couldn’t escape the traffic jam because I had no way to navigate. Bert tried playing a CD of love songs, which was sweet, but he will tell you when I am in stop and go traffic jams I am challenged to think about love. Well I finally told Bert than I would drive until 4:20 am and then I was concerned about safety, so he would need to take over. Lucky for him, we arrived at the garage at home with about 4 minutes to spare. We unloaded and flopped into bed. We knew KPIX was doing a show on us and were excited to see it, but sleep took priority. We got up and dashed to the TV to see the show. We had gotten texts with Kudos on the piece, so it was the first priority this am.
We got to know the film crew Tony and Brian and think they did a great job of telling our story.
I got an email from James today and he shared a photo from Petco. It is a joy sharing the journey with fellow fanatics.
Sat April 19, 2014
Despite the loss last night, it was a great baseball game for baseball aficionados. I can’t remember seeing baseball with a “mirror image” like this was. Both teams played an identical game in all ways. The only difference was the botchy play in the 1st inning. Both starters had 9 K’s, a total of 20K’s including the relievers. Equal in hits, and LOB’s, the relievers giving up homers. It was a great game to watch. I think this bodes well for Cains revival.
An interesting sidelight; Le Anne decided to learn to score while we in Phoenix. Last night she scored the entire game, and did very well despite a recurring liability to confuse 4 and 6. For you neophytes, that means 2B and SS. She is a fast learner indeed.
After we take the series, we will head on to Denver.
Bert and I got a good look at the park. Bert thought the park had no continuity. I thought it had many micro-environs. The true fans welcomed us, and it seemed there were more Giants fans in the stadium last night. We met two couples, one a Giants season ticket holder who had tickets in section 202, and the other from Sacramento. People in general seem fascinated by Bert’s long roots in baseball, as well as this dream trip. By the next game trip we will have cards so Bert can share the blog, with those interested.
As for the food update: Bert had a Kosher dog. He said is was as good as AT&T. I had a chipotle chicken salad. My salad had greens, a generous portion of carrots and chicken, and a dressing that was spicy enough to leave my nose running. I saw some good-looking barbecue at a place called Phil’s. I am thinking about the ribs, but am wearing light pants since it should be about 70 today. It will be a game time decision.
As for my scoring I know Crawford is 6 and the short stop, so get frustrated when I get things wrong. I have changed scorecard designs 3 times in the 3 series, and Petco has a very dated electronic scoreboard. We are spoiled at AT&T. The lineup was announce quickly, to quick for even a skilled scorer like Bert to get it down on the 1st try. Attendance was 34,839 and not a sell out.
Our seats were in section 207, row 2. The seats were great and about 36 feet from the field accoring to info I read online. They were great until the people in row 1 showed up and the girl in front of me kept readjusting her bun and tossing her baby. It was a hard game for this novice score keeper. Unlike Bert who is a seasoned fan, I was disappointed in the outcome. Give Matt Cain a break and win one. He pitched a near ideal game. If Posey had been catching we would not have had the passed ball, and the game would have gone into extra innings. We need Pablo and Pence to step up to the plate, and hit!
I wanted to explore the ballpark, so we headed there to arrive 2 hours prior. As Bert said the park is sprawling and in his opinion disjointed. We learned that they don’t allow admission to the stands until 1 1/2 hours to game time, so we spent the half hour visiting with some fans from Fresno. They were there with their teenage daughter for spring break. She was not as thrilled as her dad was to be at the game. By the time we got to the opposite side of the stadium, the Giants were taking batting practice, and I elected to watch that since the seats were so close. We got to see the Padres mascot who is called the Swinging Friar. I am somewhat surprised that they chose to embrace the religious heritage of the area. It is also a title that sets itself up for jokes. They also had another person dressed up in a Lion costume and I initially thought this was the mascot. Perhaps this was a tie in to the San Diego Zoo?
Well I hope we take the series. Hudson is pitching for the Giants and has been brilliant in the starts so far. The Padres are starting a leftie, Eric Stults. I hope he has a start like his last against the Rockies, and that the Giants get the bats producing. Go Giants!
Arrived in San Diego yesterday, and watched the Dodger SF game sadly using our phone and the TV. We couldn’t watch the televised version because they have direct TV and the Dodger and direct are in a squabble. Tonight we will resume our win streak because we will be in Petco park dawning our orange. Cain will come through. The two games he has lost were with us watching. That streak must end!
San Diego and the historic gas lamp quarter is active, interesting, and we are walking distance from Petco. More tomorrow. We had spaghetti last night at the old spaghetti factory. Bert was amazed that two of us could eat and drink for $43 for bread, salad, an entrée, a glass of wine, and spumoni. For me it was a walk down memory lane with dinner and a ball game. We looked at the menu and Seattle was one the first locations. We have met many friendly locals who were happy to give us ideas.
I am happy at the Hilton which is across from the convention center. Bert found that the Marriott is closer than our condo is from the ballpark and will check into it for our next trip. It is across the street from the ballpark.
Bert and Le Anne