You may have thought yesterdays playoff game in the Nations capitol was exciting, but only until you stayed awake long enough the next night. The longest game in playoff history gave the Giants a second win after 6 hours 23 minutes and 18 innings. The Giants behind by 1 run(1-0) after the 3rd tied it at the top of the 9th. So it went for 18 innings until Belt belted a homer and let us all relax a bit and prepare for the next exciting game of NLDS championship. World series play early in the post season, with each manager and player eyeing that World Series ring. Another great week of baseball to look forward to.
And now for the ladies view- Loran and I planned on touring the Capitol pre-game, however we opted to do what ladies do when they are exhausted we went and got our hair done. I arrived back just in time to get Bert and head to the ballpark. We took a cab this time to avoid the problem we had the previous day. I went in to the team store after waiting about 30 minutes in line to just get in to the store. Nats fans were buying things so quickly they were wheeling racks of apparel in as fast as it was going out the door. I then had to stand in another line to get to the register to get the stamp for the passport. It snaked all the way thru the store.. I will say it was a great place to watch a ball game even being a visitor. We were treated with respect, and all the Giants fans I spoke with said that any ribbing was purely in fun. The park had families with kids so I would say it was family friendly even during a playoff game. Also the fans love their Presidents Each game 4 presidents race to cheers from the fans. The even have a website devoted to the President’s races.
We were in 114 again and saw Mark and his brother again. They were behind us this game. Russ and Terri from the Giants front office were also there. Even having a fun time at a playoff game they make sure all the fans are happy. Russ even bought Bert a hot chocolate when in was late and he saw Bert shivering. They had to work after the long game, so our sitting in the lounge at the airport seems like a walk in the park.
Bert spoke to Ryan Vogelsongs wife about the travel aspect, and I spoke to her about her handbag. She has a handbag that I had eyed online, but it was to expensive. It was great to see it in person She was also good at leading the fans to cheer the Giants on. The game was incredible and I felt for Huddie pitching in the cold with a sore hip. I didn’t think he would make 5 innings, but I guess champs step up even when things seem impossible.
The Giants fans really do seem like a Giants family, and other than 18 innings and the longest game in baseball history I don’t have much to say.
Friday May 9 2014
Typical Giants-Dodgers game. Although there is an occasional hitting breakout, most games are low scoring, and won by 1 or 2 runs. This one kept us on edge most of the way, until some relief, as usual in the late innings. Giants are still disappointing with men on base. There was a LOB in each of the 1st six innings, with men in scoring position in 3 of them, with zero or one out. Fortunately, Vogey, (no decision again) was at his best, with a solid 100 plus day on the mound.
The Dodgers stadium still leaves much to be desired, nothing to see, bad food, etc. One would think that with new management spending at the top-level, they would give some consideration, to the comfort and extras for their fans. Oh yes, the give away was an inflatable chair from Coke.
And now for the ladies take on the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The good- the 1st pitch was thrown out by a UCLA grad who won the Boston marathon and he was 39. He made a grand entrance from the outfield and threw a decent pitch. Brandon Belt did two good things fan related. I witnessed Brandon don a giraffe headband complete with the giraffe ears for a die-hard Belt fan, and take multiple pictures with her and her family. I also saw him take the time to autograph a ball a young Dodgers fan, and take time to speak to him. IMHO this is what baseball should be. Michael from fan services did bring us a gift bag to welcome 81for93 to the stadium. The next nice thing I would like to mention is 3 staff people actually welcomed us to Dodger stadium. My third comment was on the nice security officer who went out of his way to help me find a place that sold hot chocolate. And last but not least a Giants win, and good game by Vogey.
The bad- Dodger food. It appears that the Dodgers have gone to the dogs literally. You had choices of the Dodger dog, the Farmer John dog, the Kosher dog, the Super Dodger dog, the Veggie dog, and the Xtreme bacon dog. It is disappointing in a city like LA this is the best they can come up with. Another fan summed it up you can choose lots of choices of hot dogs, a few types of burgers, or Nachos. I can now see when I asked fan services for tips on what is good to eat at the park, they didn’t have a suggestion other than check out the guide to the ballpark.
The Ugly- It was inflatable chair give away, and despite being asked not to open the chair at the stadium, multiple fans inflated the chairs and tossed them around the stadium. Dodgers purchasing thinks marketing shirts that say Giants Suck is a good reflection on the Dodgers. I also was not happy to see black market Dodgers apparel being sold in the parking lots and on the streets just outside the stadium. And then the Dodgers code of conduct includes a request not to barf in the neighborhoods around the stadium. Then the last item I would like to lay on the table is the ushers are not the well trained knowlegable staff we have seen at other ball parks. The young kid who directed us to our seats had us go to the wrong side of our section so we had to walk past others rather than 2 fans if we had been directed the correct way. The ushers seem to do nothing to keep unauthorized people out of a section, and they don’t seem to do anything to keep things under control. I feel as if they should call security when fans inflate seats and toss them, or fans are out of control. Last night in our section there was a drunk Dodger fan who was using the F-word and threatening to beat someone up. Yes you can text security, but then what happens? security appears at the seat of the reporter, which can put you in a very uncomfortable situation, especially if you are a Giants fan reporting on a Dodger fan, and surrounded by Dodger fans.
Until tomorrow, and hopefully another win,
Bert and Le Anne
Wednesday April 2, 2014
One up, one down-Baseball. Just about a reversal of opening day. Brandon Belt’s 3 run homer gave the Giants the early lead, but they went flat for 5 innings after that, with no base runner.
We will see Tim Hudson’s new season tonight with some great seats behind first base, front row, club level. Last night a man in the row behind us managed to make a beautiful catch. He and Bert enjoyed a great discussion of baseball. He had played in minors for the Twins playing both 1st and 3rd base. Bert gave him one of his baseball cards, and between scoring and discussing the greats of the game, the game was entertaining. Le Anne was disappointed that neither Hunter Pence nor Juan Perez got hits last night.
We had dinner at the Arizona baseball club last night. We figured it would be a great place to see a game next trip. You can buy the cheapest seat and enjoy a buffet dinner all game long. The food was reasonable and given the fact that ballpark food isn’t cheap, this option seems a great value. Shelly gave Bert the attention any 93-year-old fan deserves, and reserved us a window table for our next trip.
Today we hook up with Le Anne’s moms cousin Marilyn Denton for lunch at Sams cafe. It has been at least pre 1988 since Le Anne last saw Marilyn and Bill so lots to catch up on for the two of them.
Tuesday, April 1 2014
What a 1st game! Typical 2012 Giants story: lose the early lead, catch up in the 7th or 8th inning, and cause the fans to suffer “closer heart failure” before winning in the 9th. Posey and Belt woke up.
Tonight we will see Matt Cain on the mound. Temperature should be highs in mid 70’s and lows in the mid 50’s.
Chase field is larger than AT&T. In case you didn’t know: The red brick and green steel beam design was chosen to tie in with existing architecture in the area. They even incorporated the Arizona Citrus Growers packing house into the stadium. This may account for the fact that the stadium takes up 3 blocks. It was the first stadium that incorporated a retractable roof, air conditioning, and natural turf. The roof itself is 9 million pounds of steel. Two 200 horsepower motors can open the roof in slightly over 4 minutes. The roof is 517 feet across and when retracted has an opening of over 5 acres. A ball would have to be popped up 245 feet to hit the highest point of the roof. More facts tomorrow about the ballpark originally called Bank One Ballpark or “BOB”. Capacity is 48,633 and last night it was officially a sell out, but looked like about 3,000 seats were empty.
Last night Bert went for the traditional hot dog and I went for the Bratwurst with peppers, onions, and spicy mustard.
So Far, so great!
Bert and Le Anne