Results tagged ‘ Giants ’

Bad Mood Alert!

Watch out world, I’m not too happy at the moment.

This, of course, is the result of the Phillies lackluster effort against the Giants yesterday. Once again, their bats failed to come to life, as they were shut out 3-0.

What is going on?

One possible explanation: they were lulled to sleep by the most totally un-stirring, un-inspiring, un-energetic performance of the National Anthem that I have ever heard.

I often wonder who chooses the anthem performers for the playoff games. You would think they might try to find someone with ties to the city where the game is being played. San Francisco has a rich musical history – Santana, Journey, Steve Miller, Train, I’d even take Huey Lewis.

But we get someone named Ben Gibbard, of the band Death Cab for Cutie. They are from Seattle, and Gibbard is a self-proclaimed Mariners fan. They couldn’t at least find a Giants fan?

[tangential thought: I know there are some wacky band names out there, but this one stumps me. Who is Cutie? And why is she taking a “death cab”? Is it like the Cash Cab, but if you answer wrong you die?]

So maybe this was all part of the Giants strategy, because the result was this:

sleeping bats copy.jpg

No offense!!!!!

My mood was not helped when rodeo clown wannabe, um, evil elf Cody Ross knocked in the first run of the game for the Giants. Replays showed the pitch was not down and on the inside half of the plate, like the three homers he’s hit so far off Phillies pitchers, but low and away. So how does he manage to pull that pitch and line it into left field?

There’s only one logical answer: someone has been dealing with the devil.

demon spawn.jpg[OK, probably not, but it was fun to deface his picture. I feel a little better now.]

Random NLCS Thoughts (so far)

Games 1 and 2 of the NLCS are in the books, and the Phillies earned a split with the Giants. I’m not going to throw out a lot of stats, or bore you with yet another recap. That’s all available out there in plenty of places. Now, it’s time for my first batch of random thoughts.

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Giants catcher Buster Posey bears an uncanny resemblance to one of my neighbors. I’d post pictures here to prove it, but I don’t have a picture of said neighbor available. In fact, I just checked his Facebook profile, and he appears to have replaced it with a picture of Posey! Then again, it’s hard to tell the difference.

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Cody Ross, otherwise known as my least-favorite Marlin, has hit three (!) home runs so far in this series. Let’s see, Ross is with his fifth major-league team in seven seasons, and the Marlins apparently thought so highly of him that they released him in August, whence the Giants picked him up on a waiver claim. Somehow, he has turned into a post-season hitting machine, hitting .350 so far with 4 home runs and 6 RBI.

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Speaking of Ross (though I’d rather not), it looks like he has jumped on the “Fear the Beard” bandwagon, sprouting some facial hair that was not there when he was with the Marlins. In fact, his clean-shaven self always reminded me of an elf.

codyrosself.jpgProbably a South Pole elf. :-) 

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While we’re on the subject of beards, thanks to the wonderful technology of high-def close ups, I can confirm that it would be physically impossible for Tim Lincecum to grow one, since he appears to have approximately three facial hairs in total.

no facial hair.jpg

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Prior to last night, Jimmy Rollins had not had much success at the plate this postseason, with just one hit in the divisional series against the Reds. His first “hit” of the NLCS came when the Giants infield forgot how to call for a pop-up, and the ball dropped safely in the midst of Mike Fontenot, Jonathan Sanchez, Aubrey Huff, and Buster Posey.

I don't got it.jpgI’m always amused when highly-paid professionals mess up a basic part of the game that even 10-year-olds are expected to execute unless, of course, it is my team that is messing up. ;-)

Later in the game, Jimmy atoned for his lack of production by smacking a bases-loaded, three-run double to bust the game open. :-)

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Ryan Howard caused quite a stir among the Phaithful when he was spotted at Sunday afternoon’s Eagles game. Shouldn’t he have been preparing for that night’s baseball game, perhaps watching film or taking some extra swings in the cage? It’s not like he was ripping the cover off the ball in Game 1, and he would be going up against a tough lefty in Sanchez, against whom he has not had much success in the past.

howard eagles.jpgIf he had looked as pitiful as he had in Game 1, he would have had some explaining to do. On the contrary, Howard had two hits off Sanchez (a single and double), as well as a key walk in the first inning. Maybe Howard should go to a few more football games this postseason. :-)

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Poor Andres Torres! He struck out four times against Roy Oswalt last night, earing the dreaded Golden Sombrero:

golden sombrero.jpgDo I feel bad for him? No, not really.

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No game tonight, as it’s an off day as the series moves west to San Francisco for Game 3.

Let’s go, Phillies!

20 Stadiums in 20 Days – Pacific Bell Park

In June of 2000, we had planned to take another organized baseball tour, much like the one we took in 1997. But not with the same tour operator! So we put a deposit down on a West Coast tour with Broach Tours. The tour was scheduled to hit all the West Coast ballparks, if I remember correctly. Unfortunately, a month or so before the trip, we received a call telling us that the tour was being cancelled due to a lack of interest. Aargh!! (we did at least get our deposit back)

So since we’d already planned on that vacation time with our respective workplaces, we decided to just take a trip to San Francisco, and see the Giants and the A’s on our own.

pacbell1.jpg2000 was the first year of the brand-new Pacific Bell Park. So as much as my husband sometimes dislikes ordering tickets in advance, we realized we would have to if we wanted to get into any games at Pac Bell. Of course, there were no single-game tickets to be had. But then we noticed that the Giants had a feature on their website that allowed their season-ticket holders to resell any tickets they weren’t going to be able to use. Perfect! So we searched available tickets to find ones that weren’t being offered for an arm and a leg (just a forearm :-) ), and sat through the interminable wait while our dial-up internet service submitted the information, then submitted our credit card info and mailing address, only to be told at the end of the whole process that, due to the laws in certain states, Pennsylvania being one of them, that we couldn’t buy the tickets.

Outrage! Shouldn’t they have stated this rule up front?

Then I had the bright idea to try and have the tickets sent to my husband’s brother in New Jersey. Maybe they didn’t have that law! Apparently the Giants’ system was not set up to realize that the billing and mailing addresses were different, and it went ahead and processed the transaction. Yay! Then my husband made sure to warn his brother that he would be getting something in the mail from the Giants, but not to throw it away, because it would be our tickets.

The first of the two games we attended was on July 16, an interleague contest against the Texas Rangers.  The weather this day was cool but comfortable, and a bit overcast. Most mornings we woke to thick fog, which would eventually burn off, though this day it kind of lingered.

pacbell4.jpgOur seats were down the right-field line, about 15 rows back from the field. Not too bad! This was our view [Sorry Rays Renegade! I don’t know what it is about these giant Coke bottles everywhere!]:

giantscokebottle.jpg

In the foreground is Texas starter Esteban Loaiza, warming up prior to the game. Shawn Estes would be on the mound for the Giants.

Midway through the game, a foul ball came down the line, aimed directly at my husband. According to him, he would have caught it except for some knucklehead who stuck their hand in front of him. Yes, that knucklehead was me. If it’s any consolation, my pinky hurt for the rest of the game. The ball, by the way, deflected off my pinky and ended up a few rows in front of us.

J.T. Snow and Rich Aurilia each hit home runs for the Giants this day. The Giants won, 6-4, with the win going to Estes and the loss to Loaiza. San Francisco closer Robb Nen got the save, coming in to pitch not the ninth inning, but the:

nenthinning.jpgFour days later, on July 20, we were back for our second game. This time our seats were a little further back from the field, but closer to home plate (still on the first base side). The San Diego Padres were the visitors today. This was a much sunnier day. A statue of Willie Mays stands outside the main entrance gate:

pacbell2.jpg

Kirk Rueter was the starter for the Giants, and Woody Williams for the Padres. Rueter’s nickname is “Woody”, because he resembles the character Woody (the cowboy doll voiced by Tom Hanks) from the Toy Story movies. So this game was a Battle of the Woodies.

My husband got another chance at a foul ball, off the bat of Rich Aurilia. This time I wisely kept my hands to myself, and he made a barehanded catch of the ball while it was on the fly. The elderly women seated in front of us thanked him for saving them from injury – they were ready to duck and cover had he not caught it. Here is a picture of Aurilia:

aurilia.jpgWoody Williams hit his first career home run in this game. He would end up with a ******** total of 4 in his 15 year career.

[OK, that word is supposed to be wh-pping, with an ‘o’ in the middle. Since when is this considered a bad word???]

Of course, you-know-who was playing for the Giants back in 2000:

bondsondeck.jpgBarry Bonds. This was when he was merely annoying, and not yet the pariah he is now. Odd, he looks like he’s actually smiling and interacting with the fans.

Jeff Kent and Russ Davis would homer for the Giants, to help lead the SF “Woody” to victory. Rueter got the win and Aaron Fultz the save in a 7-3 Giants victory; Williams took the loss for the Padres.

Pacific Bell Park is no longer called Pacific Bell. In less than 10 years of existence, it is on its third name. It is now AT&T Park, after going by SBC Park in the interim. This is why I hate corporate naming! Frequent name changes, and the name has no real tie to the team or its location. AT&T Park could be located anywhere! Aargh!

Nonetheless, it is one of our favorite ballparks that we have been to so far. The location is amazing, with great views of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco Bay beyond the outfield. And there were these really yummy garlic fries at the concession stand! Definitely a ballpark I would go back to!

Fun non-baseball things to do in San Francisco and vicinity: Ride the cable cars. Go to Napa for a day and get a buzz off the free wine tastings. Drive up the coast to Muir Woods and marvel at how tall the redwood trees are. Visit Alcatraz. Go to Ghirardelli Square and eat so much chocolate before lunch that you decide the chocolate is your lunch! (yes, we did do all this)

In my next entry, we venture across the bay to Oakland, and visit Network Associates Coliseum.

(all photos mine)

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