So much to catch up on! This is the longest blog drought I’ve ever had. But the main reason is because I was busy watching my boys take it all the way to win the World Series! Last I wrote they had just clinched the Division Series against the Nationals. I’m still in shock that they were able to go all the way – haven’t stopped pinching myself. And just when you thought things were getting scary they would come back and make us all proud. What a fantastic post season. And the World Series games (except for Game 6 which was dreadful) were all amazingly entertaining. The Royals were definitely a challenge, but in the end we conquered. I bought my “Kiss the Ring” T-shirt to commemorate the fact that, as Jeremy Affeldt commented during the parade, we are now part of a baseball dynasty. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS AGAIN!!!
I need to step back a bit and tell you about the NLCS game I went to. I had won the Giants ticket lottery and got a chance to buy tickets for this game even before they had won the game in Pittsburg. I got 4 bleacher tickets for Game 5 of this series (about $130 each). For these tickets to even be good, they had to win the Wild Card game, win the NLDS, and then go to a game 5 in the NLCS. As fate would have it, this all happened (because my boys rock!). I attended that game with my brothers Paul and Nick and my niece Lizza. We were all so thrilled to go, especially since they had a chance to clinch that night. I have to admit I had a stomach ache all day worrying about whether they would win or not. We took the train to the game because they were charging outrageous prices for parking (up to $100) and we didn’t want to deal with traffic. We got to the train station right before the train was scheduled to get there, and as we were waiting for a light across from the train station, we saw the train arrive! We had to run to the train platform to try and make it. Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t run. I tried my best to get there in time, but the train left just as I got on the platform! I’m also very superstitious and was concerned that this might be a bad omen. We would still get to the park on time if we got the next train, but we would be cutting it close, especially with the long lines we had heard about. But as our lucky Giants fate would have it, another train came by within 5 minutes! This was the train we had planned on taking, and it was running a few minutes late! So the good karma was there after all!
We got into the park about 20 minutes early, in time to see all the pregame festivities. Joe Montana got everyone amped up before the game. They sang the National Anthem and rolled out the huge flag on the field. And we were there! We got to know everyone around us as the energy in that place that night was amazing. My favorites were two guys that were sitting in front of us. We high fived each other any time something good would happen. And we cheered louder than anyone else around us. One unfortunate thing – I missed Morse’s homerun because I was in the bathroom at the time. I could hear everyone cheering. Bummer! At that point, the game was tied, and everyone was so nervous. The guy in front of me took off his friend’s hat and started massaging his head for good luck (just like the players do). It worked! We held them in the top of the ninth, and then Ishikawa hit his homerun in the bottom of the ninth to win the game! You know how on TV you see the guys all waiting for Ishikawa at home and jumping on him and celebrating? We didn’t see any of that. We were all jumping up and down and screaming and hugging each other and everyone around us and high fiving. It was incredible. I’ve never had an experience like that at a sporting event in my life. We were so lucky to be there. What an absolute thrill!
I also went to the World Series Parade with the same group and my brother-in-law Brian. I wasn’t as close to the action as I was two years ago when I went with Ginny (still wish you went!), but we were close enough to see everything. It was nice that the guys were on buses high above us. Even though we got rained on, it was totally worth it to celebrate the victory with my boys and my family. And it always amazes me that things are so organized and under control with those extra hundreds of thousands of people in the City. Kudos to all the law enforcement on hand that day. After the parade, Nick and I went to the Civic Center to hear all the speeches, the best being from Brian Sabean, Bruce Bochy, and all the players. We had to wait in an hour long line to take the train back home, but it was worth it. I did have to air out my jacket when I got home as it reeked of pot (lots of people getting happy in the City that day!).
A recurring theme at the parade was “Keep Panda.” I know this is something on everyone’s minds right now – will Panda be a Giant next year? He is officially a free agent. Many teams have expressed interest in him, including the Red Sox who are meeting with him this week. Brian Sabean has said that he will finalize trying to sign Pablo before he starts to deal with any of the other free agents (including Ryan Vogelsong, Sergio Romo, Michael Morse, and Jake Peavy). I really want him to stay, but I’m doubting that he will. I don’t think the Giants will offer him enough years to stay as he is a big risk with his weight issues (rumor has it he’s asking for 6 years). And there are other teams out there that don’t have to worry so much about money and would be more likely to take the risk. What do you all think? Keeping my fingers crossed as I love the guy, I think he is important to the team, and I don’t want to retire my panda hat!!
Two of my boys won Silver Slugger Awards last week – Buster and Madison. The Silver Slugger Award is given to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and National League as voted upon by the coaches and managers. I figured Madison would get it with his .258 batting average and 4 home runs (including 2 grand slams). That guy’s got so much power! It will look so nice sitting next to those 2 post-season MVP trophies! And Buster gets to add a second silver bat to his collection (he also won in 2012). Congratulations, Boys! Both of you are going to have to expand your trophy cases after this season!
Just in case you missed it, here’s a link to Madison Bumgarner’s appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I think he did a great job – not easy to be in the national spotlight like that. He’s got a great sense of humor. I love Jimmy, but I was kind of annoyed that there were times when he cut Madison off. I want to hear what HE says! Would imagine he’ll show up on other talk shows in the near future. Looking forward to them. So proud of that kid, and so glad that the nation can appreciate him now as well.
Bruce Bochy is one of six nominees for the Manager of the Year (the others are former Giant Matt Williams of the Nationals, Clint Hurdle of the Pirates, Mike Scioscia of the Angels, Buck Showalter of the Orioles, and Ned Yost of the Royals). I love all the talk about how Boch is destined for the Hall of Fame. I’ve learned so much from the guy about baseball strategy – he’s definitely one of the best at using his team’s assets to the full extent. I’m pulling for you, Boch. The winner will be announced this afternoon. Will keep you posted. Mindi Bach wrote a nice article on what other managers think about Bochy – here it is. Love that guy. So happy he’ll be with us for at least two more years.
Came across a great video the other day. Check this out. Is that guy psychic or what?? And I absolutely love his response. Plus it was nice that they went to Kuip’s call of the play. Baseball is so much fun!
Is everyone having major baseball withdrawal like I am? I’m so sad that I can’t listen to KNBR as much any more as all they talk about are football and basketball. At least there’s still Kruk and Kuip to look forward to in the morning on my way into work. I have the day off work today, and I’m going to go see if I can watch the World Series parade coverage or Game 7 of the World Series on On Demand (missed most of that game as I had to work that night). Will keep my ears open for any breaking news about new acquisitions and the continuing Panda saga. In my next installment I’ll do a spit count summary for the season (I’m sure you’re all waiting with baited breath for that one!). Until next time, GO GIANTS!!