Sunday, December 31, 2006

Cast and Crew: Too Many Mike's

Aside from my good friend, Mike, there were other Mike's in the bleachers. One was a guy from New York, scruffy and wore an old faded Yankee hat. So we referred to him as "New York Mike." When asked one time where he got his hat, he replied, "in a gutter at the corner of 125th and Lexington." This Mike was there maybe '84-85.

Another Mike came along in '86. He was young - a high school junior, I believe. He had longish hair, and he was quite the athlete. He scaled the benches and steps far better than any of us already established batting practice ball hounds. So he kinda took over the shagging bragging rights. We called him, "Young Mike."

Then another came along in '87. He, too, was young, with a good glove, and was further competition for the ball hounds. He wore a new Yankee hat. So we called him, "Young New York Mike." Got all that?

Mike, New York Mike, Young Mike and Young New York Mike: Bleacher bums

Friday, December 29, 2006

Cast and Crew: Kevin

Kevin came into the scene in maybe '86. He also attended both A's and Giants games with us. I even did a down-and-back road trip to Anaheim for a night game with him. At first, he was a bit annoying to some of us. He seemed kind of insecure and clingy, and talked far too much. But after time, and several years in college, he really grew socially, and in the end I was glad I stuck it out with him.

He was a college student. I think I remember him in jr. college when we met him, and then went to a four year school, SF State if I remember correctly. He wanted to pursue a career in sports journalism and his idol was Gary Radnich, a Bay Area sportscaster. Kevin was a lot of fun, enjoyed a good laugh and always liked to talk baseball.

Kevin: Bleacher bum.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Beisbol Been Barry, Barry Good To Me

Okay! We got two Barry's now. Both richer than any other name on the team. Zito is I think a bit overrated, but I'm glad to have him on the Giants. I'm not sure I'd pay him what they did, but at least they've done something this offseason to help the floundering boat to not end up at the bottom of the ocean. And with the length of the contract, maybe they've got plans for the next few years that nobody knows about. Either way, I'll be cheering for him.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cast and Crew: Louie (and Patty)

Louie was another great character in my baseball past. He was one of a handful of people that attended both A's and Giants games with me. I first met Louie because he was sitting with John and Mac just after I got to know them. Patty was his friend who attended occasionally with him, also at both A's and Giants games. I could never tell if they were just friends or had some kind of extra relationship going. Nevertheless, Patty was always more than welcome. I knew Louie from the mid 80's to the early 90's. He usually wore a faded Mets hat, and never shied away from making fun of John and Mac, especially John.

Louie had a wonderful sense of humor. It was often dry and subtle, but he made the dryness quite wet sometimes. He had a unique job. He did room service at the St. Francis hotel in downtown San Francisco, and later on he became room service manager. The same hotel where 10 of the 11 visiting National League teams stayed, the Dodgers being the exception. He had a million stories of delivering something to a room, only to find out that it was a ballplayer. He didn't know who it was until they opened the door. Once he delivered a six pack to a room, and Braves pitcher Terry Forster opened the door. "Hey, aren't you pitching tonight?" asked Louie. "Hey, I gotta get ready!" was the response. He knew many of the players by sight because he was such a fan.

Louie was particularly good at turning a conversation funny, making each subsequent statement slightly more goofy, until we had some kind of dry humor slapstick. An example would be one of the number of occasions we would be seriously talking about potential trades that the A's and Giants might make. We then proposed trades between the teams, like Jose Canseco for Will Clark and a player to be named later. Then one of us would propose an A's/Giants trade of obscure bullpen personnel as something funny. Then it would degrade into "how about Roger Craig for Tony LaRussa?" Then maybe, "JumboTron for Diamond Vision" then "Candlestick for the Coliseum", then "Sarge [head security guard in the A's bleachers] for Bernice [head usherette at the 'Stick]" then certain grounds crew members, then bullpen catchers for baseball cards, parking lot attendants and beer vendors, even weirdo fans. We would laugh for innings.

Louie: Bleacher bum.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Giants Nation Invades Fenway

As Giants season ticket holders, we continually receive email updates and notices from the Giants as to what's happenin'. Today we received one with the usual upcoming events list. NCAA bowl game at PacBell/SBC/AT&T/MarthaStewartLiving Park, spring training ticket opportunities, motocross racing at the ballyard, FanFest, etc.

Then this: "And are you thinking of taking a road trip to see your San Francisco Giants take on the Boston Red Sox in June? Those tickets go on sale via the Red Sox website in late January. The only way to get tickets is through the Red Sox" with a link to their website. Actually WE DID plan that trip for late June. But my last post shows a baby in my wife's tummy that is due July 1st, so we cancelled that trip. It's funny in a way because a trip to Safeco Field in Seattle was cancelled in '03 because of the adoption of our first son. We bought Mariner tickets one day, and two days later I was going to book the rest of our trip. Guess what happened on the day in between? We were offered the opportunity to adopt. So we were stuck with M's tix. But fortunately, our firm has a major client in Seattle and their PM was able to buy them from us.

But the notice goes to show that the Giants have a national following and we are willing and able to follow our G-men around the bigs.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Quiet Status Quo (Bonds Stays)

I had a feeling that the possible signing of Barry Bonds would be quiet. There was much speculation in the news, but both the Giants and Bonds were fairly quiet in their dealings. Just the morning of his signing I saw a headline that said, "Bonds and Giants Miles Apart." Well, somebody hopped aboard the Concorde.

And with Durham and Feliz staying, and Grandpa Aurilia coming back, not much has improved. The Giants will suck just as much as they did last year, in a crappy division, but with Bonds playing, the home run record within reach, and the All-Star game in '07, this promises to be a season much ado over nothing, standings wise.

Here's the rub: The Giants terrible season will be offset by the hype of the All-Star game, and short of a complete miracle, Bonds won't capture the record until late in the season. This of course will numb us to the yet another year of not winning a ring. Every game will be a sellout, though.

In case the slim chance occurs of everybody having a career year at once and actually winning something, the Giants have a PR strategy: "See, we told you so!" And 2007 will go down as the season of a lifetime.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Schmidt A Bum - And Bonds?

Dem Bums signed Jason Schmidt. So my favoritest pitcher of probably my life is now gonna hurl for the enemy. I wanted him to return to the Giants, but there are concerns about his age and arm. So it goes in the grand old game. I just hope he hurls according to the word's other meaning.

With Ned Coletti in LA, there seems to be a few ex-Giants heading south. Would he be so bold as to go after Bonds and the record? Hmmm.