21 September 2010

150 down. 12 to go. Where have you gone, Butch Husky?

I must've looked like quite the obnoxious American fool: perched at one of four hotel lobby computers, utilizing the gratuit internet that came with 100-plus-Euro-per-night fares, watching the final Giants-Fathers contest at Petco play out on MLB Gameday and the requisite Twitter feeds, following the 0's as Big Time Timmy Jim finally found his mojo and los Gigantes finally found a way to beat the other team from down south. When the final out came through the digital pipeline, I rose half out of my chair and pumped my fist in the air... "Stay classy, San Diego!" Oh, Jesus, did I just say that out loud? Must have, 'cause now the Brazilian, French, and Spanish guests at the other three computers are all looking up from their email checking and Facebook stalking to regard this curious person in a two-tone baseball cap and peace sign Army surplus t-shirt, doing a jig like he just won the lottery or the girl of his dreams said yes to his proposal of marriage. Yes, it's a different world in l'Ile de France, a world I wouldn't at all mind visiting again — during the offseason of course. As my buddy Grant at the McCovey Chronicles noted yesterday, Giants baseball is a lot of things, but it's certainly not fun. Yet when given a chance to escape from the day-to-day torture of our inconsistent but infinitely loveable 2010 team on a vacation halfway around the world, some of us choose to stay up until 3 in the morning watching little blips flash across a computer screen, hoping that the last blip will say: "In play, out(s)." Because of 4 a.m. Paris start times for 7 p.m. West Coast games, doing this on a regular basis was fairly time prohibitive, especially if I wanted to be fresh for daily 3-5 km walks in search of another slice of history. But that one early Monday morning tells you all you need to know about the heart of a baseball fan. No matter the obstacle, I will find a way to follow my team. No matter the success, I will always be waiting for the other shoe to drop. No matter the heartache, I will always come back for more. Because in the final analysis, what else am I going to do with my spare time? Play video games? Get blotto at the bar and go home with strangers? Read a book? Yeah right. 12 games, ladies and germs. 12 games to decide the fate of our emotions for the next six months. Win 8, and we go to the promised land. Fall on our faces, and it's a long, long, long winter ahead. And now I'm struck by the notion that these last two weeks will resemble a Giants fan's version of Groundhog Day, an extended holiday of anticipation. Employers: Don't expect much from your troops in the days ahead, particularly the ones who come to work in orange ties and striped socks. Our allegiances are directed elsewhere for the time being, for better or for worse. #WinTheWest

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