Sunday, July 23, 2006

First Place Lasts 20 Hours

The Giants' four game series with the Padres was a success... the first three games. Entering play on Thursday night, 2 1/2 games back of the Pads, if the G-men could win the first three, they would be in first place. This they did, and we were there Friday and Saturday. Saturday night's game was a close one, 4-3, and the Giants took over first place. But they lost to SD today, and spent only 20 hours in first place. It was fun while it lasted. The NL West might just pull two playoff teams as the rest of the divisions suck below the leaders. Hard to imagine, but we'll take it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

No Indictment? Leak Investigation?

A grand jury session supposedly passed without an indictment against Barry Bonds. Will it ever happen? Hmmm.

Oh, and any day now we'll hear how the investigation into the felony leaks of the grand jury testimony is going. Any day now.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

My Baseball Life: Cast and Crew

I'm going to talk about the other people with whom I have shared my baseball life. There are several categories, the largest being the people who sat in the bleachers at the Oakland Coliseum for A's games. There are also people from Giants games at Candlestick (several are co-members of the first group), and from Giants games at the new PacBell/SBC/AT&T/Viagra Park, and a few others who don't fit into any of these categories. These groups include friends, fans around me, ushers, security guards, vendors and concessionaires, grounds crew, team employees, maybe some others. I won't tackle all of these in one entry, but I'll start with the 1981 season, my first year of going to the games on my own.

Although much of the '81 season I spent going to games with friends largely from a church group I hung out with, three stood out as repeat attenders in my presence; two guys named Ken, and one named Bert. One Ken did some yelling at the opposing players and I credit him for much of my bleacher bumming spark, while the other Ken was completely mellow, did anything you wanted, and old enough to buy beer for the rest of us. Bert should have ended up being a comedian if he didn't already.

In 1981, I went to 11 A's games and 3 Giants games. I didn't go to any games with any of the guys in this first group past 1982. I think all 3 Giants games were with the mellow Ken or Bert.
Other people in the near future were far more interesting and stories get really funny. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Interleague Shortcomings

Well, another year's worth of interleague play is complete, baseball's tenth such year, and I'm not satisfied. I never bought baseball's promises of interleague joy nor its manipulation of statistics to show just how successful it really is. Let's can this thing before it does some real longterm harm to the game. I've decided to take this post to debunk some of the popular claims and myths of interleague play.

You'll get to see teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, or Giants and Dodgers.

After ten years, Giants fans still haven't got to see a single Yankee game on our soil, and Bonds still hasn't stepped to the plate at Fenway Park. Besides, for every great matchup between these great teams there are ten matchups between teams nobody could care to see. Ya just gotta be there when Tampa Bay invades Coors Field. Or how about that clash between the Pads and Jays? Oooh, Twinkies/D-Backs; baseball's next great rivalry. Can't wait for the Nationals to hit KC. M's/Phils? Sellouts, all.

Fans never get the chance to see teams from the other league, so this will solve that.

Baseball's 30 teams play in 25 metro markets. The five markets highest in population each have two teams; one in each league (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and DC/Baltimore). These top 5 markets make up 46% of baseball fans that live in a market with a team. So half of all fans already live in a market where the opposite league is easily available. Another 8% live in markets within an hour and a half drive of the opposite league. These are Philly(drive to NY or Baltimore), San Diego (drive to Anaheim) and Milwaukee(drive to Chicago).

Interleague attendance is very high. This proves its success.

All interleague games are played during the best weather, late May to June, when school is out. The "rivalry" series are played on weekends, which reflect better attendance. No interleague games are played in the first few cold weeks of April or in September after school is in and most teams are out of the pennant races. So naturally attendance figures look good.

I'll address more problems in a future post.