I had withdrawals today since the Rockies game was rained out, so I’ve decided to relive the joy that was a Dodger’s sweep. Wasn’t that amazing??? Did any of you predict that? I sure didn’t. But there’s just something about that rivalry that brings out the best in the boys. And since that series, I’ve decided that this team does have what it takes to make it this season, especially since they’ve shown they can do it even without Hunter. Just think what they’ll be like when he comes back! I’m loving the top of the lineup with Aoki, Panik, and Pagan. And I don’t have that yucky feeling at the bottom of the lineup anymore that they can’t get a hit and keep the line moving (well, maybe with McGehee, but I’m confident he’ll figure things out). Lots of potential. Plus Maxwell has been amazing! What a nice surprise he’s been. Hoping his hitting prowess can continue through the season. Bochy said he’s going to have some hard choices to make once Hunter comes back. And the pitching seems to be coming together as well – much better starts from the guys recently.
Thanks to my amazing brother Paul and my tutoring coworker who covered for me last minute, I was able to attend the Dodgers game last Wednesday night with my brother Nick. Yes – the Bumgarner/Kershaw duel. And it was Club Level seats to boot! What a great game – my first of the season. Probably one of the best games I’ve seen at AT&T, and we won! It was so great to see my boys battling and keeping the line moving. That 2 run homer by Guerroro to tie it up was definitely ulcer-inducing. Seems those boys can’t win a game without making it “exciting.”
I had some interesting experiences during this game. First off, before the game, we were walking around the Club Level and I saw someone I recognized. It was Chris Gargano, Senior Director of SFG Productions and Entertainment. I recognized him because he does the G-cast interviews with all the players during Spring Training. Here’s one of him with Timmy (when Timmy still had hair). I told him I knew him, and he looked like he was trying to figure out who I was. I then said that I recognized him from the G-cast videos, and his face lit up. I think he was surprised that someone recognized him. I was surprised at how short he was – he is always sitting down in the interviews. But he has beautiful eyes and he was very friendly and spoke with me for a while, then he said, “Thanks for making my day, and I really needed it!” Aw! Sounded like he had had a rough day, so I asked if he needed a hug and we hugged and then he went off to do his thing. I think during the games he works with Renel. Nice encounter!
Then we went to our seats and were sitting next to these two guys. We started talking to them and they were very friendly. At one point during the game, I was booing the Dodgers, and one of the guys said, “You’re killing me!” to me. I was confused and asked him what was up, and he said, “You’re booing my guys!” He was a Dodgers fan! I asked how he could be a Dodgers fan while wearing a Giants beanie, and he said because his head was cold (he got the cap from his wife who’s a Giants fan). He also said he was wearing his Dodger blue under his jacket so he wouldn’t get killed. I told him Giants fans aren’t that bad. Anyway, in about the 6th inning, he and his friend got up to leave their seats and he asked me if it was OK if he left his blanket on the seat. I said, “It’s your seat – you can do what you want! But I’ll watch your stuff for you while you’re gone.” They left and came back a couple of innings later, and he put two Giants scarves on my lap and said, “Thanks for watching my stuff.” WHAT?? I hadn’t even realized that he had left his backpack behind. The scarves are totally cool! What a nice guy! We thanked him 10 million times over, and then they left. So great! I’ll remember that game every time I wear that thing. Take home lesson – Dodgers fans ain’t so bad!
There were two plays during that game that were controversial, and since a big part of this blog is about learning how the game is played, I figured I would do some research and share the knowledge. First off, Aoki almost got tagged running back to first base, and the Dodgers said he had run out of the baseline to get back. What is the official rule on this? According to rule 7.08a “Any runner is out when he runs more than three feet away from his baseline to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s baseline is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely.” So the line is not a straight line from base to base like you would think, but a line from where the tag attempt was made to the base. According to this rule, I don’t think Aoki was out (he didn’t seem to run that far out of his original path), and he was called safe by the umpire. Here’s the play – you decide. Don Mattingly sure didn’t like it.
Also during this game, there was some controversy over coach interference. Here’s the video for this one. Blanco was rounding third, and third base coach Roberto Kelly wanted him to stop, but Blanco ran into him. Don Mattingly again came out of the dugout and was complaining that this was interference and Blanco should be out. What’s the rule governing this one? Rule 7.09g states “It is interference by a batter or a runner when in the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base.” The penalty is that the runner is out and the ball is dead. Again, the umpire ruled Blanco safe. Kelly did stop Blanco, but Gregor was obviously already slowing down, and even if he didn’t stop him he would have gotten back to the base safely. The funny thing was when this all happened, all of us watching the game in person had no clue what was going on, and everyone was calling Mattingly a baby. He does have a reputation for whining a lot, and Dodgers games are some of the longest in the league. So ha ha on both counts, Dodgers! And now your baseball knowledge has been expanded!
I enjoyed watching the Rockies games Friday and Saturday, but I heard Dave Fleming make an interesting comment on KNBR about Coors Field, the Rockies home field. He said that the baseball they play there is not real baseball, referring to the fact that the ball is so affected by the altitude that everything about the game is different there. I started thinking about the ramifications of this, and they are numerous. Since all the Rockies play half the games of the season in that stadium, the batters all have inflated batting averages (the ball travels a lot further at altitude), and all the pitchers have higher ERAs because of it. Isn’t that crazy? Dave also mentioned that the fans are some of the most loyal because there aren’t any other major league teams anywhere near there, and some people travel over a hundred miles to get to the games. Kind of sad. Those folks don’t get to watch “real” baseball. Also must be really hard for the Rockies to attract good pitchers.
Did anyone else feel really sad for Justin Maxwell yesterday when he hit that home run? It hit a small fence in the outfield above the yellow line that marks the homerun limit, making it look like it hit off the wall. Poor Justin was doing his victory lap, but the umpire stopped him before he reached home saying he was out. Poor guy! It was appealed and shown to be a true home run, but Justin got gypped out of his home run glory strut! The guys in the dugout did all slap him around when the ruling came down.
Also during that game I had a sad Andrew Susac revelation. He had just hit a home run, so the cameras were all on him in the dugout. As he was getting his catching gear on, he obviously put a pinch of chewing tobacco in his mouth. NOOOOO!! I’m going to have to talk to that boy (or maybe I can get Gregor, the non-spitter, to).
And what is it with the Rockies mascot? Does anyone else hate him? He is so annoying! While the Giants were pitching, he would sit right behind home plate with only his goofy head showing so that the pitchers couldn’t help but gaze upon his goofiness. How distracting for them! Isn’t there some rule about mascots distracting the pitcher? If I ever make it to Coors Field, I’m gonna punch his lights out! Don’t mess with my boys!
Had to share this video with you. It’s a pitcher getting creative to make a play. Here you go. The ball got caught in the pitcher’s glove, so he threw the entire glove to first base to make the out. Quick thinking, Lester! I love this game!
I recently sent out my spit certificates – the four that went to non-spitters Gregor Blanco, Michael Morse, Matt Cain, and Joe Panik. Spit Master General Tyler Colvin won’t be getting his until he settles somewhere – he is currently a free agent and not connected to any team, so I don’t have an address for him. I wonder if this will be the first year I’ll get some sort of response. Still haven’t heard from anyone. Will keep hoping. Also, I realized that my blog made MLB.com Blogs Central Top 50 list for websites by fans last October. Here’s a link to the page where I’m recognized. I noticed that someone got to my blog through this site, and lo and behold, there was Giants Fan Carm listed at #28! WOOHOO! For some reason, I got a lot of traffic to the blog that month. Wonder what was happening last October that I was blogging about?? Hmmm…..
I’ve got a new spit count that I’ll post later this week. Until then, looking forward to my boys taking on the Dodgers again, this time on their turf. Hopefully the extra rest they got today will serve them well against their dreaded rival. Until next time, GO GIANTS!! SWEEP LA – AGAIN!!