Thursday, April 26, 2007

Schmendrick Update

I first saw the Gatorade commercial the day after the Angels left town. Now maybe I can go to an Angels game when they come up here later so I can heckle Lackey.


Three Game Sweep! In Dodger Stadium. It doesn't get any better than this. Well, it does if you make the trip down there.

Map of Dodger Stadium

From the McCovey Chronicles. Somehow the teetotaling conservatives were left out.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

John Lackey Is A Schmendrick

Some TV commercials are good enough to make me remember the content of that commercial, but not the product it was designed to sell. I searched for and found this one on YouTube, and discovered that it was a Gatorade commercial. Hmmm, coulda fooled me.

Derek Jeter starts the commercial out by hitting a single off the Angels' John Lackey. Actor Harvey Keitel then walks on the field, with aura mafioso, and plays the dark side of Jeter's conscience and convinces him to steal second base. Keitel refers to Lackey as a schmendrick. (I looked up Lackey, too.) Once stolen, Keitel glories in the concept of theft. This is classic. But I'll never buy Gatorade as a result. View it here.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Molina, Molina, Molina

Seeing all three Molina brothers start for their respective teams at catcher in one day was pretty cool. Not sure even their mom has done that. All three Alou brothers started in the same outfield one day for the Giants back in the 60's. I enjoy special things like this.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Double Header the Hard Way

A few days ago on Wednesday, a rare occurrence occurred. The A's and Giants played home games on the same day, the A's a day game, the Giants a night game. Every off-season when the next year's schedule comes out, I check it to see if this occurs, and plan to buy tickets. This doesn't happen every year, as baseball's schedule makers make a point of scheduling teams that share a metro market with opposite home/road schedules. So the A's and Giants rarely play any home games on the same day, and it's even more rare for them to play at differing times during that same day. But this year it did. What a day it was.
I took the day off work, and took the train to both games. The A's beat the Angels in the afternoon, while the Giants squeaked by the Cardinals in 12 innings in the nightcap. That's 21 innings of baseball. Pujols and Bonds both went very deep, with awesome shots each. It was a cold windy day, and even colder night. It took a while to thaw out.
The A's game took only a bit over 2 hours to play, so I got to The City really early. I took in some BP from the knothole area in the first few archways until the gates opened, which is 2 hours before game time. Once in, the Giants were still taking BP, and I caught a home run ball in the bleachers, right in my glove. I didn't even have to move. I couldn't tell which player hit it, since they were wearing their warmup jackets.
I sat in the bleachers for the A's game, and there weren't that many fans there. There were enough vocal bums there for some good heckling. Garrett Anderson, the Halos' left fielder, was a choice target. A good time was had by all. I had a guy right in front of me and another behind me (on the aisle), and we talked some good ball all day. All of us had a bag of spits, and we even compared seed brands. The Giants game proved good for heckling the Cards' bullpen, too. To tell a pitcher that Bonds is gonna go yard on him, then to see it that inning is pretty fun. As an added all-time record, set by me and anybody else who went to both games, I saw all three Molina brothers - Jose (Angels), Yadier (Cards) and Bengie (Giants) start at catcher in the same day.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I Forgive You Jackie Robinson

In one of the greatest one-sided trades in history, the Brooklyn Dodgers traded Jackie Robinson to their hated cross-town rivals, the New York Giants. Robinson was traded for Dick Littlefield and $35,000 in cash. The deal was nullified only a few weeks later when Robinson retired. He coulda been a Giant.

Jackie Robinson and Civil Rights

Baseball is celebrating the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut in the major leagues as the first player to break the color barrier. Baseball is closely tying this to the concept of civil rights. Now, I'm not the world's foremost historian, even in the realm of baseball, but I can't help thinking that Robinson's introduction into the bigs was mostly a business decision by Branch Rickey. It had more to do with freedom of association than it did with government laws forcing people to do things against their will.

Either way, Jackie Robinson was a great player, and the decision to sign him paved the way for the great baseball we have today.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Are The Giants Kidding?

Okay, the Giants team this year really isn't an improvement over last year's. With the greatest slugger since Ruth, and playing in the weakest division in history, two consecutive sub .500 seasons isn't promising for this year.

Bonds has been moved up to 3rd in the order, but lacking Alou's bat this year, they've scabbed Durham as cleanup and Aurelia batting 5th. Not exactly the protection, nor the pop, that the middle of the order needs. With Bonds, we need somebody on the order of Manny Ramirez, ARod or Ryan Howard to protect. Of course, we need two of the same kind. Roberts is a good addition to the lineup, but he simply replaces what we thought Randy Wynn should have been, and much was made about Finley's physical shape and his ability to still play center field. First base is both an offensive and defensive question. We still have plenty of old guys to round it out.

On the hill, we now got the other Barry, but he isn't as great as his contract says he is. He's a replacement for Schmidt. Much is expected from Cain and Lowry, but if these guys don't shed their streakiness, we don't have much hope of improvement. The bullpen is so messed up, they didn't even have roles assigned by the final week of spring training.

If the Giants play .500 this year, it will be an accomplishment.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Opening Day From Hell

As a big baseball fan, we waited all winter for yesterday, Opening Day for the San Francisco Giants. They signed Barry Zito, and he was starting. Usually, Mrs. Scott and I sit with each of our best friends, who buy most of our tickets, on Opening Day.

Mrs. Scott's difficult pregnancy kept her home, so I took our 5 year old. Our 2 year old gets sick, and she takes him to the doctor just after we leave, instead of to my mom's for babysitting. We always take the BART train on Opening Day, but for some reason, I had to drive to four different train stations to find a parking space! Unbelievable. In the mean time, my kid barfs in the back seat and becomes ill. After station number two, I met Mrs. Scott at the doctors' a few minutes before their appointment, eliminating her plans for a day off.

With all this, it might seem the best thing to do is to just go home. But my friend couldn't pick up his tickets a couple weeks ago, so I had them, including that game's. He couldn't get in without me. I also had about $5000 worth of his tickets that I carried on my person. I finally got a parking space an hour and a half after we left. But a police search of our train delayed us even more, and a horrible connection to the SF Muni train, another 20 min delay, made things worse. My friend said he'd watch the game from the free knothole area behind the right field fence until I showed up. I hadn't pee'd all day, so I had to hit the marina restroom before heading behind the park. My friend couldn't get to see after all because the line to get into the free space was so long.

I finally made it to my seat in the top of the 4th inning, with all the Opening Day calendar freebees gone. The Giants got killed by the Padres 7-0. My sausage's bun burst open, creating a mess I had to eat with my fingers. I also forgot napkins. Thanks be to socks. My kids were diagnosed with walking pneumonia and a double ear infection, respectively. Can't wait for the All-Star Game.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

All-Star Ripoff

I received an email from the Giants explaining what All-Star week will look like as San Fran hosts this year's All-Star game. It turns out to be much more than we bargained for. We've been looking forward to this game for quite a few years now, and we've yet to receive our invoice. So the Giants released information about tickets to the game.

Not only do we get to buy tickets to the All-Star game, but we are also required to buy tickets for the All-Star workout and home run derby, the futures game (kids they think will be stars someday), the legends and celebrity softball game (if you can freaking believe it), the All-Star fan fest (not even held at the ballpark) and an all-star week program. All this adds up to nearly 2 1/2 times the price of the game itself.

I don't even care about any of this other stuff, except the home run derby, yet we're required to buy all of it. My partners and I are kinda pissed. I just wonder if it's the Giants bright idea, or whether MLB dictated this from on high.