Monday, March 31, 2008

This Apocalyptic Day In Giants History - March 31, 2003

This day in Giants history, March 31, 2003. The Giants opened the season on the road. The very first batter in the top of the first on Opening Day, Ray Durham, hit a season leadoff home run to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. And, how fitting that was, because they quite literally never looked back all year long. The first at bat of the season gave them the lead, they won that opening day, and went on to become only the ninth team in major league history to hold first place wire to wire.

They were in first place every single day of the season and clinched the division. They won their first playoff game. From that first homer, they never looked back. Until Jose F***ing Cruz dropped that f***ing fly ball against the expansion wildcard Florida F***ing Marlins and started a World Series derailing collapse for the second year in a row. So much for opening day. ****!

p.s. ****!, #%@&! and #$%@!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Giants Wacky Week

The Giants promise to really suck this year. A few days ago they lost to their minor league team, and their ace Zito was roughed up by a bunch of kids. The Mariners blew them away on Thursday, as the Giants played Little League ball, with a Little League homer by the M's, and plenty of mindless play. Of course it's still spring training. Then Tim Lincecum pitched 5 innings of no-hit ball against the A's. But the two losses this weekend to the A's put the Giants well into the cellar of spring training ball, finishing with the worst record of all. But Opening Day changes into hope, even if for only a day.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A's Fight Back

The Oakland A's fought back in game 2 of the series against the Red Sox in Japan. Good for them. What has been a one-sided media event turned out to be a statement by the A's that they're not to be taken lightly. The four game series continues next Tuesday at the Oakland Coliseum, or whatever the hell they're naming it these days.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Regular Season Games In Japan?

Why are the A's/Sox games in Japan part of the regular season? This makes little sense. Exhibition games would sell out just as easily over there. Plus, the A's lose two games off their home schedule and the game is on at 3am. Both teams now come back to the States and play a bunch more spring training games. The standings sit with two teams at 1-1 for a week. There is no standings competition between any teams during this series. That the Red Sox took first place a week before the season even starts is meaningless. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Claw

When I was a kid I knew that my dad still had his first baseman's mitt from high school. We brought it back out in the mid 80's. It was a 1941 Rudy York model. It had three separate "finger" looking sections to it. It was about two thirds the size of today's standard fielder's glove, but was the biggest thing ever seen back then. My dad let me use it and I brought it out to the bleachers to show my friends. They nicknamed it "the claw." I had it out there for a few games and it paid off big. I caught a line drive homer off Dave Winfield. If you know how Winfield hit his homers (screaming line drives), and that there was only the palm to catch the ball in, then you can figure out that my hand hurt for not just a few hours.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How To Heckle - Doing Your Homework

One of the categories of heckling is the target player's personal performance. They might be in a slump, for example, so knowing that will help generate heckling material. Watching the box scores every day can be a great tool. Let's say Detroit is coming in next week. Watch their box scores to see what each player is doing. If your target is 0 for his last 15, or if he makes a game losing error in Anaheim prior to flying into your hometown, you'll know about it. Reminding him of his recent failures is a good way to get at his inner psyche and cause him to lose again.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How To Heckle - Categories of Heckling

There are four basic subjects in heckling. The first is general heckling of a player. Things like "you suck" or "you're a bum". The second is a personally pointed heckling. Using things unique to that player, but still in a general sense. These two subjects cross over and are blurred in distinction. Each player wears a uniform, and with a number, and has a name. One can heckle using the player's name, like, "hey, Smith, you suck!" in a general sense or in a more specific sense like, "hey, Smith, your baseball card is blank on the back!"

The third is being specific with a player's performance. "Hey, Smith, you popped up so many times yesterday, your new nickname is 'The Toaster!'" The fourth is dealing with a player's personal life. Tabloid news junk, bizarre family stuff, drug problems, trouble with the law, bad blood in the clubhouse, etc. Heckler beware here. For example, back in the 80's when Luis Polonia was caught with a fifteen year old girl in a Milwaukee hotel room, a favorite heckling line of mine was, "Hey, Polonia, fifteen'll getcha twenty!"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tickets Are Here - Draft Day

My season tickets arrived a couple of days ago. Last night the main players (myself, Mrs. Scott, Mike and Nora) had our annual ticket draft party where we divided up games for the season. Each of us has other buyers that take a few, and we speak on their behalf. We had burritos and beer and each kept a list. Mike and Nora each brought their laptops, but I stuck to the pencil and paper. Each year, the four of us take in Opening Day together. We have some "the four of us" games, some "girls night out" games and some "guys night out" games. It should be a fun season watching a losing team play in a half filled ballpark. The beer line will probably be shorter. Can't wait.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Vegas Line on The '08 Season

I heard on the radio, during the Razor and Mr. T sports talk show on KNBR, some Vegas odds on the upcoming season. In the NL West, the odds were reported as such: to win the division, San Diego Padres 2:1, Colorado Rockies 2:1, Arizona Diamondbacks 2:1, Los Angeles Dodgers 2:1 and San Francisco Giants 20:1. Hmmmm. Not only that, but no team in all of Major League Baseball had longer odds (they were tied with a couple of other teams) of winning the World Series than the Giants, 100:1. Got a Benny?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

How To Heckle - Different Reasons For Heckling

There are different reasons for heckling opposing players. One is to make other fans laugh. Another is to set yourself up as one who will regularly heckle. Yet another is to encourage others - even many others - to heckle as well, so that group heckling can occur. But the underlying idea behind all of it is to make the atmosphere as uncomfortable as possible for the visiting player (within reasonable limits), so that his performance is lessened. This adds real meaning to the term, "home field advantage." Fans doing what they can to help their team win is a mark of good fans.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cast and Crew: Centerfield Bums

Just as there was an identifiable group of left field bleacher bums, there was one in center field as well. They sat just on the left field side of the "tunnel" in straight away center field. This tunnel was the gap between bleacher sections that provided the hitter's backdrop and the path for bringing things on and off the field through the center field gate.

Anyway, we could hear the centerfield bums yell, not always being able to make out what they yelled, and they had everyday regulars, just like we did. Before I got to know any of them, I knew them by nicknames given to them mostly by John and Mac. How these nicknames originated were sometimes beyond me and even beyond John and Mac too. Nicknames like Walsh, Grip and Mom. Mom was easy to understand because this lady always brought lots of kids to the game. I later found out that she ran a daycare out of her home, sometimes with special needs kids, and would bring them all to every day game. Walsh, whose name was really Dave, was the main heckler and the leader of group heckles. He always wore an old, faded felt A's hat from the early 70's, and was a hippie Berkeley attorney. Grip was a high school kid from Oakland. I later found out that Walsh had a brother there (the family name was White) who called himself Egg. So he was Egg White, and had an annual brain teaser trivia quiz. Another woman was Pegirae. There were a number of others who were there all the time that I never got to know. They had their special heclkings and group cheers, many of which we adopted.

Later on in the late 80's/early 90's another centerfield group arose, just on the right field side of the tunnel. They were early 20 something's who worshipped A's center fielder, Dave Henderson. They called themselves "Hendu's Bad Boy Club" and hung signs from the front row railing. They got to know Henderson personally and went out drinking with him, etc. I never got to know any of them. They were young and rowdy but had no sophistication beyond yelling "ooh, ooh, ooh" with their arms pumping like apes, as was the pop culture fad of the time. They also had the lowered Japanese pickup trucks with the loud subwoofers and the "bad boy" icon stickers (crew cut, scowl and protracted Popeye forearm.)