Sunday, December 30, 2007

Candlestick Snow Globe

Candlestick Park was notorious for being windy. Not like in Wrigley Field where the wind blows either in or out, but it would blow in every direction at the same time. It swirled. The wind would come in over the hill behind the park and drop downward into center field. It would hit the enclosed center field stands and split into two, each half of the wind rotating around the stadium until they collided behind home plate. The result of the collision was wind that swirled in every direction, filling the rest of the ballpark.

One night it was very warm, about 70 degrees, and the wind was the strongest I ever experienced at the 'Stick. At a typical Candlestick game, all the hot dog wrappers (which then were 8" squares of wax paper) and other garbage would be blown by the wind and would collect in the front rows several inches deep. Most of the garbage would end up in the left field corner, sometimes a foot or two deep. On this night, the wind blew quite a bit of the garbage up into the air, and was quite a spectacle for the fans. Random flying shopping bags and hot dog wrappers swirling everywhere.

Then a few fans in the front row got the idea to throw handfuls of collected garbage up into the air. This caught on and hundreds of fans started doing it. The result was an incredible scene and the fans were cheering wildly. Candlestick Park looked like a huge snow globe that was freshly shaken. It was so awesome I got the idea of selling Candlestick snow globes with a caption that had the word "snow" crossed out and "hot dog wrappers" written in. I never followed up on my invention and kick myself. It coulda sold thousands.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Is The A's New Stadium For Real?

A good question to ask is if the A's new stadium is for real. Is it? The owners seem to impress upon the media that it is. Unlike the Nationals, Yankees, Mets and Twins, the A's have no definitive date for the opening of their new yard, Cisco Field. Sometime in 2010 or 2011, I guess.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Giants Season Tickets Available

If anybody is interesting in sharing in a partial season ticket plan for the 2008 Giants season, please contact me through a comment. Up to a quarter of the season is available. Some of our ticket partners have cut back this year on how many tickets they want, so there are some available.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cast and Crew: Other Characters

Many other characters inhabited the left field bleachers at the Oakland Coliseum. Among them are a couple named Alan & Halle. Alan was as much a real life hippie as there is. (See him here in a bleacher picture) He made his own tie-dye t-shirts, and for other people too. Halle was a folk singer who put out an album and performed in local clubs. They were funny and fun to talk with. Wendy and Doc were a lesbian couple. Wendy was a huge baseball fan, and when weather permitted, she wore a bright blue Cubs jacket and/or hat. She was a social worker, and Doc was a doctor who, if I remember correctly, worked in medical clinics. Wendy had a great sense of humor. Dennis and Priscilla were a married couple. Dennis was a particle physicist at a big lab, and I forget what Priscilla did. Jay was a carpenter turned contractor who always had time to come to the game. He was a ball hound and always wore an Orioles hat. He was a friend of Young Mike.

Marvin and Evelyn were David's parents. They attended quite a few games and always had opinions on players and strategy. Others included a guy named Kevin and a friend. They always heckled Phil Bradley. Early on in the early 80's, a girl named Desiree was there. We had a nickname for her: the bleacher queen. Occasionally she would wear a halter top, shorts and high heels, attracting attention. Also Rick and Myrna.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mitchell on Steroids

So former Senator George Mitchell released his "independent" report on baseball's steroids situation. Independent? Yeah, right. Commissioner Bud Selig hires a politician who works for the Boston Red Sox to investigate baseball. His "findings" aren't in the least surprising, despite the attempt of the media to make it look like it. The "list" consists of mostly aging or retired players, or nobodies. No Red Sox and tons of Yankees at that. The "proof" comes from putting the squeeze on a former bat boy. So gossip and hearsay are okay to skewer players in the court of public opinion? That's why Selig is a spineless weasel and Mitchell is a wanker politician. But the players' "crimes" occurred mostly while steroids were completely legal in baseball.

And completely known. We've known about the rampant use of steroids since the 80's. Owners like Bud Selig and commissioners like Bud Selig purposefully ignored the "problem" as it certainly didn't hurt the ticket sales. Now, President Bush is troubled by the findings. He said, "The players and the owners must take the Mitchell Report seriously. I'm confident they will." It's too bad you didn't take the issue seriously, Mr. President, when you were the owner of the Texas Rangers. Remember your star player Mr. President? Jose Canseco? The player for whom the "steeee-roooids" chant became popular even before then? Maybe a member of your staff can remind you.

The biggest problems by far are the hypocrisy of baseball's leadership and the zealousness of the feds' prosecution Nazis. Leave Bonds, Clemens and F.P. Santangelo alone and take a look at Selig, Mitchell and the prosecutors. Spring training is a few months away. Let's have a cold beer and watch some baseball.

Giants Newest Centerfielder

The Giants recently signed Aaron Rowand to a contract. He joins Randy Winn, Dave Roberts, Rajai Davis and potentially Fred Lewis in centerfield. I know Willie Mays was the greatest centerfielder ever, but there really is something to the saying that quality is better than quantity.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bonds to A's?

There was an article in the paper a few days ago stating that the A's were interested in Barry Bonds. This makes sense. He would instantly be their best hitter - or one of the best, could DH without any requirement to play the field. He could even play the outfield in NL cities during interleague. He wouldn't have to move. The A's are in need of attendance as they ready themselves for their new yard. Many Giants fans would show up in Oakland to see him. The A's may work out some kind of non-guaranteed contract in case he shifts to pursuing the prison softball home run record. It's a win-win idea.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Big Red Machine

A friend reminded me of the Big Red Machine today. They played during my fever pitch collection of baseball cards. I knew the lineups of every team, including the Big Red Machine. I can rattle off - completely off the top of my head - the 70's Reds in the field. Bench, Perez, Morgan, Concepcion, Rose, Foster, Geronimo, Griffey. I can vividly remember each player's batting stance and swing. Concepcion's one-hop throws to Perez off the gawd-awful astro-turf. I also remember those awful double-knit polyester pullover pajama uniforms and the symmetrical outfield fence with that stupid yellow line at the top.