I was in San Francisco on vacation last week. While I was there, I went with my MetsFriend to a Giants game. Now, I don’t particularly care about the Giants, but I get to see so few live baseball games that I couldn’t pass it up. Here are (more than) a few things about the game, organized using business appropriate bullet points. (If your boss walks in while you are reading this, it will look like a business document! Two can play at this game, CBSSports.com!)
- Walking into AT&T Park, I saw real live Giants fans! To me, Giants fans used to be like Rockies fans or Diamondbacks fans: I know they exist, but I have never met nor seen a single one.
- As I went up the first escalator, I was handed a poster of Tim Lincecum. Looking at the sea of Giants fans in front of me, I saw many, many Lincecum jerseys. They were giving out the Cy Young that night so that explained the poster. I thought it explained the copious amount of Lincecum jerseys. After watching the game, I’m fairly sure that Lincecum is the only non-embarrassing choice a fan could make when purchasing a jersey.
- Did you know that Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young award this year? And that he’s the only pitcher to win it two years in a row? Because the Giants would like you to know that.
- The Giants were facing the Braves. I hate the Braves.
- The National Anthem was played by a violinist with the San Francisco Philharmonic. When he started playing, I was filled with fear; I was waiting for the booing to begin. Much to my surprise, there was no booing. In fact, the crowd held off cheering until the song was nearly over. These were the most respectful fans I’d ever encountered. It was kind of weird, and by the end of the night I suspected that many were pod people.
- In the video leading up to the actual presentation of the Cy Young, there were a lot of Lincecum ass-shots. It wasn’t just that his ass was in the center of the shot. It was in the center, and the camera just lingered there. Seriously, there were at least five separate 3-5 second shots of his ass while pitching. I’m not saying I mind, I’m saying…it’s wasn’t enough. The people long for more views of Tim Lincecum’s ass!
- “On behalf of the Baseball Writers Association of America, Paul Gutierrez, sportswriter for the Sacramento Bee, will now get down on his knees and give Tim Lincecum a luscious, luscious blow job.” Ok, so the announcer didn’t say that. But that’s what he meant.
- The most significant things to happen in the early innings were a very poor fielder’s choice by some guy on the Giants, and an amazing foul catch from the standing room only section. A fan reached out below the railing as the ball was coming to her, and she caught it in her glove. It was pretty fucking cool.
- I was really confused by fans wearing panda hats and carrying stuffed panda bears. Then I caught a look at Pablo Sandoval, who looks like the child of Cheech Marin and a panda bear.
- The game itself was pretty slow going in the first half. Neither team seemed to be playing their best. Despite truly horrid pitching from the Braves’ Derek Lowe, the Giants couldn’t make anything happen. Todd Wellemeyer was pitching for the Giants, and despite running out of gas somewhere in the 5th was kept in to give up 3 runs in the 7thbefore his night was over.
- Jason Heyward reached base in all of his plate appearances, including a 6th inning home run. And the brilliance of Magical Rainbow Baseball Jesus continues.
- The umpires were fucking terrible. The home plate umpire had a huge hard-on for Lowe and the umpire at first base couldn’t see for shit.
- By the way, in case you hadn’t heard, Tim Lincecum won his second Cy Young Award. In a row!
- Between innings, they showed video of the players being asked who their favorite cartoon character is. I cannot imagine Doc or Utley wanting to answer questions like that. Interviewer: “If you could be any type of food, what would it be?” Utley: [Intense stare.] Interviewer: “So you’re saying…kumquat?” Seriously, who the fuck cares if Lincecum likes Stewie from Family Guy or that panda dude likes Go, Deigo, Go?
- By far the most brilliant moment of the evening, or at least the moment that made me think I was on acid, was the “Carlton Cam.” Between the 6th and 7th innings the announcer told the crowd to “Get ready for everyone’s favorite dance craze! Do the Carlton and get caught on the Carlton Cam!” Then, “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones started up, and the big screen showed clips of Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air doing his famous dance before switching to fans around the stadium doing the dance. It was the fucking oddest thing I’d ever seen. Odd, but wonderful. People had obviously practiced the dance in hopes of getting caught on the Carlton Cam. Every ballpark should do that.
- Of everything, I was most fascinated with the fans. These fans were (for the most part) sitting in their seats, quietly watching the game. They were cheering and clapping when appropriate, but there were no “Let’s go Giants!” chants or anything like that. No attempts at the wave. Even the booing was reserved. And they didn’t even boo their own players! When Wellemeyer was taken out in the 7th after giving up 3 runs, the booing was muted. Most people stood and clapped! It was SO STRANGE. Everyone was so polite and respectful and intently watching the game.
- In the end, the Giants couldn’t get out of the hole they’d dug themselves and they lost to the Braves 7-2.
- I had a great time at the game. I wasn’t decked out in any Giants gear, so several people warily asked me if I was a Braves fan. I told them no, I’m a Phillies fan, so I’m rooting for the Braves to lose like the bitches they are. After that, everyone was very friendly.
This may not be the only time I go to a non-Phillies game this season. My MetsFriend has long threatened to take me to a Mets game at Citi Field. As long as I don’t have to pay to watch the Mets do their season-long dance toward inevitable failure, I’m on board. So stay tuned for another installment of Strange Fan in a Strange Land.