They call it the post season, but for some like Le Anne it is THE SEASON. Is it possible that a baseball savvy adult has never yet attended a World Series game? Surely those who know Bert are aware of his penchant for bringing to fruition someones unfilled desires. So can there be any wonder that this season must reach its fulfillment of this new ecstatic baseball world to satisfy this ambition.
No more need be said. Go Giants!
And now for the ladies view- How did we end up in Pittsburgh? After the Sunday win and the beautiful ceremony the Giants had to celebrate the completion of the 81 we received calls, emails and texts asking if we would go on. Everyone from the Pirates to the SF Chronicle wanted to know. We had planned on just attending home playoff games, however we felt like we had the chance to follow this dream for every fan who couldn’t, so we booked the flight and hotel, and the Giants arranged for tickets.
After little sleep we hopped the red-eye and arrived in Pittsburgh. We stayed at the Renaissance which was convenient. Our pastor Dan and his wife Barbara were in town, so after a nap we met them for a drink then headed to the ballpark. We picked up our tickets and wanted to see Kathy who was the supervisor on the club level who had brought us hot chocolate and James who had put us on the elevator with Kruk and Kuip. Chuck from Pirates guest relations would not allow us to go up to thank them, and we were both disappointed. I would say more than disappointed. Bert and I are not security risks and certainly would not try to grab a seat in the club instead of sitting in our section with Giants family members behind the dugout. I felt this was a move by someone who was in a position of power and he could use it for no other reason than because he liked to. Those two people were some of the 1st to share the passion for the game and to really make us feel welcome at a ballpark. They influenced us enough that in the interviews we always gave credit to PNC and ranked it number one…it is a good thing our 1st experience at PNC had not been with Chuck.
I then had to make reservations. We had a flight booked on United to return to SF. Bert decided he would make this special and we could go on to DC, so I called United. They said they would give us credit, but I would need to have priceline call them. I called Priceline and they said United’s policy is no refund, so we ended up with no refund or credit on the return flight. I decided to book American so we didn’t have an issue going forward. I then booked a hotel, and texted Loran another die-hard Giants fan from Ohio to see if she was going to DC. She said she was so we rode with her. The drive thru PA was beautiful and the trees were red, gold, and green. We ended up at the hotel and after a nap went to dinner. We were recommended a place called Old Ebbitt Grill and food and drink were reasonable and delicious. Bert had wings and I had maine lobster pot pie. Yum.
Well another nap and then off to take on the Nats. We are underdogs again.
Game 80 away, with 1 to go. It was my 101st game of the season, a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers as they evened this series. The interesting part was it was home run derby day- all 6 runs resulting from 4 baggers. The Dodgers took the lead, and never looked back, with 2 homers for 3 runs in the 1st. Bumgarner, who has been used as a pitch hitter, gave the Giants their only 2 runs, with his 1st at bat in the 3rd inning. The 1st 3 innings had the lead of runner getting on base with a hit, but Madison cashed in, with the only Giants runs for the day.
The Dodgers added the 4th run with Turners second 4 bagger in the 8th. The series is tied, and today we will close it out. The Dodgers have the league lead. The Giants should make the wild card. What will the final league result be? Who knows? I won’t predict.
Where to begin? It is game 80. My cousin Aaron is joining us to watch the game. I got to see a game with his dad in DC and now with Aaron. They both scored the game. I am reflecting on what this trip has meant to me, and I ask is it baseball? family? friends we have met along the way? time with Bert? I guess like baseball it is the entire team that is important- no player more important than the other. I love the Giants! They are a true team, and work hard for a single goal. The trip will be over in one more game. I have mixed emotions about it ending. Both Bert and I are tired,yet I know if there were 81 more games we could make it together, and yet it will be nice not to be eating another burnt Dodger Dog, and to sleep in our own bed.
It was a game of drama. First a lead off homer by Turner, then Bumgarner hitting Puig. Puig charged Mad Bum, and then the benches emptied.
We were surrounded by Dodgers fans last night. They were not the bad, drunk ones, and were fascinated by our 81 adventure. They came around when I told them to watch out for Mad Bum at the plate, and they scoffed. As if on cue Mad Bum homers, and the Dodgers fans are stunned. I am totally bummed by the loss, and again I find myself second guessing Bochys choice of starters in a do or die game against the Dodgers. Huddie has not done well in his last starts, and the Dodgers have the mighty Kershaw pitching. I guess and Bert and Marty Lurie both say “That’s baseball”
I have another cousin who is a Dodgers fan, and he has been trash talking ever since the Giants lost the lead. I told Zach that I don’t believe the Dodgers will go far, because they are impulsive, hot-headed players who forget about team. Maybe by being steady and predictable Bochy brings something to the team that in the long run serves them well. Play our game, and play as a team. We won’t change our game just because it might serve us now. We play together as a team, and build something that doesn’t just serve us for one game. Go Giants! Pull together, and pull out a win as the great team you are.
Bert and Le Anne
So we won 2 games of the Tigers interleague series. The Giants 4 runs to open the game in the 1st inning gave Madison the opportunity to get away with a mediocre performance. 100 pitches in 6 innings. The tigers 3 homers accounting for their 4 runs, still allowed him to capture a win.
Our boys have now won 8 of 10. They are keeping up with the Dodgers, although they still need 2 games to catch up. So Go Giants!
And now for the ladies view- Baseball has become all-consuming. I feel for Botchy. We began with a discussion with a Giants fan from KY at breakfast. He says he became a Giants fan at age 8, and listened to the Giants, read the Giants, and now is attending more Giants games at AT&T than many locals.
We then proceeded to the game and Rick and Rene came up to meet us at our seats. They were the couple who gave us the great tickets for Sundays game. My family is excited because they may actually get to see me at a game, and not just rely on my text updates. We learned we both have daughters who dance. Rick is a great advocate for the Steinbergs. It was great to have an opportunity to get to know them a bit, and like the other friendships we have started along the way I hope it continues. For me the family, and friends are as important as the baseball on the 81 adventure.
There was a young couple sitting next to us. They made the same mistake we did when booking tickets. To us the club level is a premium place to watch a game. In all other stadiums( or stadia as Berts says) the club has perks in this ballpark the tickets are in the nosebleed section. We were in 330 and had a good but high view of home plate. For fans wanting club seats at Comerica they called Tigers den and are wide padded chairs.
We had the $5 value menu which was a hot dog, chips, and a small pop. We followed it with ice cream. After the great victory we went to a local place for dinner. I thought that this was a better outing for Mad Bum than Bert did. He gave all he had as he always does, and we had a win.If everyone did that every game we would beat LA.
Well, Sunday we will be behind home so watch for us on ESPN.
Bert and Le Anne
We shudda won! We didn’t! 8 hits in the 1st 3 innings. 5 hits in the 3rd. We were certainly disappointed, having 2 men thrown out and home in that inning, so only 1 run scored. Obviously the Giants were disappointed too. They could only squeeze out 4 singles for the rest of the game.
Butlers homer in the 1st was all the Royals needed to coast the rest of the way. Bumgarner did a fine job following that 1 mistake. He went for a complete game loss throwing 123 pitches in 8 innings. He faced only 3 Royals in each inning after the 2nd. Another wasted superb performance although it did require 4 KC relievers to protect their early lead. They did so while striking out 5 Giants to match the starters 5 K’s for a total of 10 Giant strikeouts.
The Tim boys-Hudson and Lincecum will now have to win the final 2 outings to grab the series. We will be there, then return home for a week before hitting the road to Chicago and DC back east. This will complete 9 of the 12 trips in the 81 adventure.
And now for the ladies view- Grrr I am still trying to get online, and the annoyance of not being able connect to wi-fi is making me about as happy as last nights loss.We arrived at the stadium and we met outside by Giants fans Liz and Larry. Larry even had orange shoes. We then went to guest relations and they are the best guest relations dept we have met so far. We not only got the passport stamped, but were given the press notes on both teams, a tote to carry everything, and they even tracked down a scorebook since Bert had run out of pages on his. They also gave us hints on food, and we were not disappointed.
The Mac and Jack sausage with pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, bacon, barbecue sauce all over a sausage was delicious. Bert opted for a hot dog which was grilled, a little burned, but warm and tasty. Bert chased the dog with a beer
The stadium was great for the market size of the Royals. Creative finishes such as the crown on the scoreboard, and the water features that can be lit were attractive. The scoreboards provided all the info that anyone wanting to score the game needed, and the scorer was responsive in getting scoring decisions on the scoreboard.
Jim and Jennifer tricked us by telling us they were seated right behind us. They are new Giants fan friends. we were lucky enough to have Giants fans next to us. They even scored the game We had a visit from Carley and Sara who recognized us from Kruk and Kuips broadcasts.
The game was a big disappointment. Madison Bumgarner gave a super human performance with 123 pitches. The play was sloppy and we could have easily taken this game so the loss is even tougher. Giants players are playing to hard and just need to relax. I was happy that Morse and Perez had better games after being so gracious to us yesterday. Of note was an unusual play by the ump at 3rd. He was calling a Giant safe and was so enthusiastic he fell on his rear. It will certainly make the bloopers list.
I am a big Bumgarner fan and it was sad to have 3 Giant errors, a slide by Pence into 3rd which was called safe then overturned, and a call on the Royals which was overturned in their favor- nothing seemed to go our way.
The Royals fans we met were welcoming, the stadium is family friendly, and if you enjoy a park off the beaten path KC is a good place to visit. I would come back in the future. Now we just need a couple of wins and I will really like it! It only took me 2 hours to do the blog today due to slow internet at the Staybridge Suites… Grrr
Bert and Le Anne
Another Bumgarner marvel- 2 hits, 10K’s, 1 walk, and 94 pitches for a complete game. To be sure there was little pressure on him. The bats were working early, scoring in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings for a 6 run lead. 4 homers didn’t hurt- 2 from Pence, also Posey, and Belt- the usual 3 dependables for the long ball.
The win guaranteed another “no loss” series. No worse than a split, and hopefully another away series won. Even the commentators are giving credit to the Steinberg 81 for 93 adventure producing the favorable 30-20 away record of the Giants this season. We will accept the ego building aspects.
We gained a game back on the Dodgers so I am happy. We arrived at the stadium and took a couple of photos, then headed for the store to get the passport stamped.
We then arrived at the seats in section 328 row 10 seat 15,16 in time to grab a Nathan’s hot dog and to fill out the score book. I haven’t mentioned it but if you score the games like Bert and I do, then watching at Citi Field is better than many parks since they post the line up early.
Mad Bum looked relaxed and I predicted he would win the game prior to the start of the game. He didn’t get rattled when Morse misjudged a hit. It was nice to be able to just savor the game. I wish we could save some of those runs from today for tomorrows game.
Thurs July 24th
Wednesday was a different day, and a different game- even if it lasted almost as long as Tuesdays 14 inning, 5 hour plus one. This time nature- thunder, lightning, and rain can be blamed. The game was halted for an hour, and then, very surprisingly, started up, and continued during the same rain, thunder, and lightning. It was truly surprising that the players did not object and walk off the field. But I could only think of 1.5-2 million in receipts forcing the game on, until those 4.5 or 5 innings were played which avoided rain checks. A more consumer ignored event I have never seen.
As for baseball itself, it was an 8 inning scoreless gem from Bumgarner and Burnett(who threw 131 pitches). Papelbon, still a trade possibility, blew the game for the 2nd straight night, allowing 3 runs in the 9th. Another Giant road win 3-1, for a possible 4 game sweep on the Phillies.
And now for the ladies take on the game. We began with dinner with Dylan and Amey at McFaddens, a sports bar attached to the stadium. It was loaded with TV’s and as Bert noted, cute waitresses. Bert had wings, Dylan the pulled pork, Amey a greek salad, and I cheese steak Nachos. I was disappointed with my nachos having read rave reviews about them. They were a lot of chips, moderate cheese sauce, and minimal meat. The onions were not cooked and didn’t add much. Amey’s salad was chopped iceberg, and she said she liked the feta and olives. Bert’s wings were meaty and would have been enough for both of us. Dylan didn’t comment on his meal, but finished it.
It was warm and muggy so we enjoyed the air conditioning until close to game time. Dylan’s law firm was generous enough to give us tickets again. We had Jersey Giants fans behind us. They had never been to AT&T and volunteered to come back with us so they could see the stadium. It was a good pitching duel, but suddenly the air began to cool and I knew it would it was going to rain. Dylan has a good sense of humor and was good-natured about me joking about a rain delay, and extra innings. Since the previous game had gone past midnight I am sure he and Amey were exhausted. You would have never guessed it.
The rain began, and out came the tarp. We have now had enough rain delays that I could participate in tarping and untarping. They used a different system in Philly to untarp and wrapped it around a big section of pipe. This seemed awkward vs simply folding it, but I am sure there is a reason for it. We went up toward the concourse and found a seat for Bert and after he spent 2 minutes chatting with the people, they moved over so we could all sit together. I learned Amey has a Chicago Cubs tradition in her family, as I do in mine. It was pleasant to get to spend some time visiting. After the rain delay Dylan took over scoring for Bert. He stepped in because the lighting was poor in the upper row close to the concourse. Like many of the Sternbergs, he learned his scoring from Bert. The thunder and lightning continued, but the bats remained quiet until the 9th. Hunter Pence tripled and the rest was history.
Bert and Le Anne
Sat July 19th
Even if Madison didn’t need the 4 or 5 days off to keep his form, the rest of our guys seemed to benefit from the break, to come back with the 1st laugher in a long time. I kind of feel guilty not to have to worry, or be on edge for a change, while watching a game. It will be fun to be able to continue our “away” fine record. We will see today- and it will be very good to watch, in an enclosed stadium, saving us from the 93 degree humid weather outside. Wouldn’t a sweep be great as we head tomorrow to Philadelphia on the red-eye. We will be joined there by grandson Dylan and his wife Amey at the ballpark. Le Anne will bring you up to date on the last few days.
Now for the ladies view
I am not sure where to begin. We missed a post from the last Oakland game. We missed breakfast this morning. Oh, and we missed the downpour last night at the game. I guess I should start with the Oakland game. It was a dreadful loss and I am trying to wipe it from memory, but there is one story I believe worth sharing. We were crossing the overpass from O Co and a man came running after Bert yelling Pops, carrying a Giants cap. We naturally were in no mood to look at new hats after the loss, but the man carrying it shouts “I saw you on TV and I want you to have this” An A’s vendor was kind enough to give Bert a brand new cap and just wanted to let Bert know that he admired a man of 93 who was pursuing his baseball dream. He saw Bert on TV and recognized he needed a new cap.
We took the red-eye to Ft Lauderdale, and this season every flight we are on seems to be late coming in or out of SF. This flight was no exception. I was unable to get a good internet connection, and then learned there is a virus being spread thru Windows. Last night I couldn’t get my phone to work, and if there are no pictures that is why. We were on a Jet Blue flight and the crew was pleasant, they provide us with a snooze kit, good drinks and snack, and TV. The leg room was better than most flights, and it was nice not to have the seat in front of me literally in my face. We did hit a bunch of turbulence, but I managed to get 3 hours of sleep and Bert is such a good sleeper he didn’t even know about it. We got to the airport and I had reserved a shuttle called Express Shuttle. I was told to call a cell when we landed and when we picked up our luggage. The voicemail was full and we had to resort to plan B. We took a taxi and it was almost $70.
We arrived to the hotel just before 9:30am and they were accommodating. They gave us a nice room, held our luggage and sent us for breakfast. We are staying at the Springhill suites on 10th. It isn’t fancy, but huge room, and everything was clean and modern. The staff getting us a room early and then making breakfast available was also a plus. I would stay here again. We were told to take the free trolley to the stadium. We were not told that we have to change trolleys, but the 1st driver dropped us at the stop for the stadium trolley and it was a free ride on a clean trolley with friendly people. The second trolley the driver didn’t speak english but passengers told us where to get off. It took about an hour to go the 1.3 miles from the hotel to the stadium, but we got a good view of the medical centers and Little Havana.
We arrived at the stadium. Miami Marlins Park is a new, fun stadium. It is clearly Florida with bright colors and pink flamingos, and a fun place to watch a game. We got dinner before going to seats, because the vendors on the main floor are good, but the club level concessions are lacking. We had Cuban sandwiches and plantain chips. One sandwich would have been enough for the two of us. It had pork, and I think ham, with pickles, cheese, and mustard, and was served hot. We had a water to go with it. We walked by the oyster bar. Food at the stadium seemed good and fresh, and for stadium food reasonably priced.
We sat in section 220 row 2 seat 24,25. The seats were in the club level. The first thing I noticed is how empty the stadium was. There were as many Giants fans as Marlins fans. In the row in front of us were Marlins season ticket holders. Stephen and Nick were both knowledgeable fans. Nick had an autographed Barry Bonds bat hanging in his room. Stephen had almost as many baseball stories as Bert, and was generous enough to treat two Giants fans to a drink despite the discouraging play of his Marlins. The club section had comfortable padded seats, and a good view of the field. What it was lacking is Marlins fans. The stadium was covered and as a joke they post zero rainouts since 2012. Showers are frequent in Miami. Last night was no exception. It poured and has lightning for much of the game. The large windows provided a good view of the downpour and the retractable roof kept us cool and dry. I think the ownership is trying hard to provide a great experience for the fans. The new stadium had fun features like a colorful flamingo and dolphin display which moved when a player hit a ball into it. They close the upper deck because sales are so pathetic. Attendence last night was 23,017. They have also shut down many of the vendors on the club level as a result of low numbers. They have fish tanks behind the plate with bullet proof glass, and many unique features. The fact that they are Miami Marlins Park means they are not getting enough community support to have a corporate sponsor. I asked fans why the Marlins don’t get enough support while waiting for a taxi after the game and was told management trades away all the young, quality talent. It is a problem. If fans don’t attend then management doesn’t have the money to pay for the talent. I say support your team Miami. You have a 1st class stadium, so step up, and you will get the 1st class team to match it, and you can keep the young talent. They even have a quality dance team. I wouldn’t mind having some of the hot Marlins bats on the Giants. We hope all is well with Dave Righetti. It’s almost time to head back to the ball park.
Bert and Le Anne