24 April 2011

You really can't start worrying yet.

Seriously. It's just as reactionary as getting all hyphy 'cause your team jumped out to a hot start. Admit it: If the Giants were cruising through the first few weeks of the season, you'd be all over Twitter and the blog comments talking nonstop smack about how the Boys were on their way to a repeat and y'all better watch out! And if they were barely scraping by like the, ahem, Red Sox Nation, you'd be paging Chicken Little and devising new and exciting ways to kill yourself... slowly. But everybody regresses or progresses to their natural mean at some point. Everybody's gonna win 60 games. Everybody's gonna lose 60 games. It's what you do with the 42 in between that counts.

IMHO, over the 2011 season's first 20 games, the Giants have played 6 of the Middle 42, and they're 4-2 in those games:

09 April 2011

Tiny Miracles

It was like a tiny miracle. After the pomp and the circumstance, after the game ball was presented to the fans, and the flag was presented to the team, and Brian Wilson made his mad dash to the flag poles in center field, and the crowd roared as it was raised into the crisp cobalt blue sky on one of the prettiest San Francisco days you'll ever see...

Like everything else about the 2010 Giants, one of the final codas came together like a fine cocktail or a tasty salsa. As the words of Freddie Mercury rang throughout the park, the air was still over McCovey Cove, and as the music behind the words swelled to a crescendo, and the orchestral choir joined in to sing out "We are the champions!" a breeze caught the banner and set it ablaze in a wash of orange and black, and the words "2010 World Series Champions" unfurled for the 43,000 faithful to admire and enjoy. And we did bask in the glow of the achievement of our baseball-loving lives. And the air smelled sweeter. And the sausages were delicious.

And then, they played a game. I'm not going to bore you with the particulars of the 5-4 epic battle that took place by the shores of San Francisco Bay on April the 8th in the year 2011. I'll leave that to scribes more talented than myself. Like this guy. Or this guy. Or this guy. If you want to know what I thought of the game, you can check my Twitter timeline. I will say this: No matter how much we want to ditch the torture idiom, it will always be there for this team. We are not Red Sox Nation. We'll never blow anybody away with our talent on paper. But boy, when this team comes together, they can do just about anything at any given moment. And they did it all yesterday.

I feel kinda bad for Eli Whiteside. Poor dude was the only guy on the 25-man who didn't get into the game. But that happens when you're the backup catcher to the reigning Rookie of the Year. And I have a feeling he was just as keyed up as anyone else in the park. He'll get his chance to contribute to this season's success or failure. Baseball finds everybody on that bench sooner or later, and makes them answer for themselves.

It also finds new ways each and every day to make you turn your head and say to the person next to you, "Damn, I've never seen that before." Case in point: Tonight, we #PutARingOnIt...

05 April 2011

The Wrath of Chavez Ravine

It could have been any of us. I've been going to Giants games at Chavez Ravine for 15 years. I've seen some crazy shit. I've seen enough to keep me from being surprised when things like this happen. It's the cost of doing business when your target market is alcoholic thugs. Yeah, I said it. But they're just words. Much as I'd love to sometimes, I know that it's just not right to crack a Doyers fan over the back of the head and kick him while he's down. It's just not right to shank a guy in the parking lot because he's wearing a different jersey. It's just not right to shoot another man over baseball...

Yet all of this and more has occurred at Doyer Stadium in just the last eight years. And that's not to mention a million tiny slights, thousands of needless confrontations, and hundreds of unprovoked assaults. I've seen the way we treat their fans in our yard. Once, at Candlestick, I saw a Giants fan boo a little girl in a Doyer hat. But I've never seen a 10-year-old Giants fan call a grown woman a "motherfucker" and flip her off while his father cracked a prideful grin. Yet that happened to my friend on Thursday night, the same night Bryan Stow was beaten, dropped, and kicked until he was thoroughly broken.