Baseball Glorious Baseball
By Paul Mahaney
What a great day for baseball. Blue skies, mild temperatures, and lots of fans all dressed in green and gold. Coming up on the parking attendant—who is handling every car with a smile—I give him a $20.00 bill and he gives me the change with a thank you, I’ll use it as a down payment on a beer.
My youngest son is marveling at the A’s stadium and how great it looks—he has been here before but he was much younger—and I must admit it does look fabulous today, but then the A’s have been playing great of late and its Saturday, so what’s not to like right, the plumbing?
My oldest son—who is a huge A’s fan is along with us for the game today, complete with his beat up A’s cap and washed out white elephant logo—comments to my wife, “Mom I can’t believe you are going out for a boring ball day, (she finds baseball boring) to which she responds, “I can’t believe it either”.
As we enter the O. Coliseum, we are greeted with the amazing array of scents from baseball cuisine served all along the concourse. I want to stop for a beer, but my wife wants her seat, that’s okay as once we’re seated she’ll send me for takeout anyway.
As we emerge out of the concourse, and into the sunlight, we are greeted with the A’s in their throw -back uniforms from 1969. Both my boys and I love the sleeveless Fort Knox Gold uniforms, trimmed in Kelly Green and Wedding Gown White with the white cleats. My wife is asking why all the bananas?
The Angels are in there uniforms from 1969 also, which I also like, complete with halos on the top of the caps, but they’re no Angels. They would like nothing better than to rain on a great day under the sun.
My oldest and I run upstairs to grab some drinks, hot dogs, and nachos with cheese for my wife. Finally we are back in our seats only now the A’s are trailing 1 to 0 in the 3rd inning. We didn’t mind not seeing the Angels score; however we did mind the line we were in for food. Why so many Angel fans?
The A’s aren’t hitting right now and we have made it to the bottom of the 7th when finally Derek Norris unloads a 2-run homer to left, that leaves the field-of-play like a Saturn Rocket to the moon. Yeah bedlam follows.
The A’s tacked on another run and we slid towards the exit to get a head start out on the packed house at the end of eight and two thirds innings. We managed to only make it to the upper concourse before the crowd erupted for the final out. The wife says, “Told you we should have left an inning ago.”
So one Saturday afternoon American League game down, one National League game under the lights to go, and it’s just across the bay. Having both teams home at the same time is something rare.
San Francisco never looked more glorious while we crossed the Bay Bridge, and the tower on the new Bay Bridge—opening in the fall—seems even higher than I remembered during the last Giants home stand. My wife wants to know how much longer, because she has to tinkle.
After paying $25.00 to park about a mile away we begin the sprint for AT&T Park. Usain Bolt can be grateful he didn’t have to race my wife on this day, because he would have lost, not to mention he wouldn’t have got into the ladies room anyway.
After the pit stop, and some grumbling about food (mostly from our stomachs) we race over to our seats along the first base side of the field, and yep, time for more takeout. The aroma at AT&T Park is to die for and running for food a strong motivation.
Back in our seats by the bottom of the 3rd inning—again with the 3rd inning—but we have missed nothing as the score is 0 to 0. It appears Madison Bumgarner is in fine form yet again, but again the Giants bats are using silencers.
By the eighth inning the lights have long since taken effect and the magic that is AT&T is in full glow. The magic that is the Cubs is courtesy of the Giants. Again lack of run support (run being singular) by San Francisco has given way to Sergio Romo in the ninth, again being asked to work without a net, this is better known as zip.
Naturally it would be a former Giant, Nate Schierholtz, doing the damage with a homerun. What a shock, the Cubs can find a way to score a run in the ninth but the Giants couldn’t tell you what one run looks like. The awful Cubs win, these days the Giants could even make the Marlins look like the Red Sox.
As we leave the park I hear Giants fans saying everyone but Posey—I would add Bumgarner— is trade bait. However it should be noted that who would want what we have, and besides GM Brian Sabean is content, but of course he would be and why not we are in last place 9 back of the Dodgers, Giants fans live for stats like that (just a hint of sarcasm).
We make it to our car (you can drive dear) and our sons marvel at how beautiful the city looks on a Saturday night. As we cross the Bay Bridge for our little over an hour drive home, I reflect upon a full day of baseball with the family.
I comment to my wife how lucky we are to have both brands of baseball in the Bay Area, win or lose. And my wife responds with, “Yeah, yeah I need to find a bathroom.” And I respond, “Watching the Giants will do that to you, and she says, “I was being sarcastic.” and I reply, “So was I.”