Got back yesterday from another amazing baseball roadtrip with 3 of my siblings, this time to Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. So many wonderful experiences crammed into those 7 days. I feel a list coming on – here are just some of the fantastic memories I have from this trip:
- What more can you say. We attended both Giants games there. Just being in that place for the first time gave me goosebumps. So much history in that aging building. And the fans were amazing. So loud. I think the acoustics there increase the level of loudness. Thank you, Red Sox fans. Except for the guy I yelled at for being a jerk, you were very friendly and full of info about your beloved park and team.
- Lobster rolls. They even sell them at McDonalds!
- Boston itself. One of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. So much history and beautiful buildings. And so clean!
- While walking the Freedom Trail in Boston, we ran into Renel! We spoke with her and took pictures with her. She was so friendly and really appreciated our compliments.
- Making fun of the Pet Brock giveaway. Dumbest giveaway ever. Here’s a pic. And it’s not even a rock – it’s plastic. They gave this out at the game on Tuesday. Many fans left theirs behind in the stands.
- Got to watch Mac Williamson go for broke and tumble over the bullpen wall at Fenway while attempting to make a catch in person. We were sitting in seats right near where this occurred, so we got to see every detail. Still can’t believe that he didn’t break something. And he didn’t even catch the ball.
- Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. We attended a Marlins vs. Phillies game there to cross an extra park off our list (Nick and Paul had been to the old Phillies ballpark). My favorite feature was the lit up Liberty Bell in center field. When the Phillies got a homerun (they scored 2 during that game), the bell would light up, swing back and forth, and gong. So cool! Too bad the fans were absolutely dead. The park was only about half full, and no one was cheering. Saw Barry Bonds in the Marlins dugout.
- Philly cheese steak sandwiches. We did the taste test and compared Pat’s to Geno’s. Pat’s won. So very delicious. Who would have thought cheese whiz could taste so good?
- Taking the Finnerty’s bus to the Giants vs. Yankees game on Friday night. In case you don’t know, Finnerty’s is a bar in Manhattan that caters to Bay Area sports fans. They show all the Bay Area team games in the bar, and local folks who are fans of these teams can cheer for them without feeling uncomfortable. This was a mixed bag because the bus to the park had no air conditioning (it was 95 degrees outside and the ride was 1 ½ hours – yes, it was HOT!), but Finnerty’s refunded our money because of it, so I’m emphasizing the positives about this experience. It was fun watching a game at another team’s stadium while being surrounded by Giants fans. We were really loud, and we didn’t have to worry about Yankee fans being annoyed with us. The Finnerty’s crowd took up two entire sections of the park! Met some great Giants fans, one of whom kept us in stitches for most of the game with his rantings. Also ran into my old neighbors who now live in New York. So great to be able to connect with them. Yankee Stadium overall was kind of just big and boring. And we missed seeing all the statues there because they close them up an hour before the game. What is up with that??
- Met Brian Murphy from KNBR at Finnerty’s. He also went to the game on the Finnerty’s bus. He was very friendly and took a picture with my sister and me.
- Watching the Giants game from Finnerty’s on Saturday. We met up with my friend’s daughter who had just recently moved to NYC and watched the game from there. So much fun to hang out with all the Giants fans from all over the country and share that experience. Since we had to watch the local feed of the game, they played “Bye, Bye Baby” in the bar between innings after Mac Williamson hit a home run. Just like home!
- Even though we didn’t see a game there, I got to go to Citi Field, home of the Mets. They were out of town, so we could walk right up to the stadium. It’s a beautiful building from the outside, and we could even peek into the entry rotunda which is dedicated to Jackie Robinson. Shea Stadium used to be in the parking lot there, and they have markers where the original bases and pitcher’s plate used to be. So even though I couldn’t officially cross this park off my list, I did get to see it.
- Hanging out with my siblings. This is always one of the highlights of these trips. We all get along great and enjoy being together. Plus on this trip, we all became addicted to Pokémon Go! Caught lots of rare ones on the road!
Of course, in being positive, I’m not mentioning the fact that the Giants lost all three games we attended (and won the one we didn’t attend – exactly what happened to us during Spring Training!). They’ve definitely been in a funk since the All Star game. They’re having issues everywhere – with their starting pitchers, relief pitchers, lack of offense (well, except for Mac Williamson), defensive errors (Brandon Crawford made 3 errors in one game – what is this madness?), and base running errors. So many guys left on base with no one there to bring them in. Even situations where the bases were loaded and no runs were scored. Sheesh! It’s really tough, but I have to keep in mind that all teams go through this kind of thing at some point. We know these guys are talented and this slump won’t last forever. RIGHT?? I’m hoping that we’ll get Joe Panik, Matt Duffy, and Hunter Pence back soon and that will spark something in them. And staying with that positive attitude, at least we’ve managed to stay in first place through all this, as the Dodgers haven’t done much better.
I got the privilege of watching Aroldis Chapman, the Yankee’s closer, in person. That guy is incredible – so fast! It was rumored that the Giants had interest in obtaining him, but it was announced today that he’s going to the Cubs. Great. Not only did we not get him, but a team that we may see in the playoffs did. Sigh.
Did you hear of the escapades of White Sox pitcher Chris Sale this weekend? He didn’t like the throwback uniform his team was supposed to wear, claiming it was uncomfortable. So he took matters into his own hands and cut up everyone’s uniform! He was not allowed to pitch in that game, and he was suspended for 5 games as well (meaning he’ll miss an additional start). What craziness!! Really?? There are ways to handle disagreements, and having a temper tantrum to get your own way is not one of them. Very glad that the White Sox organization responded to this insanity. In my opinion, if a team is paying you that much money to play for them, you abide by their rules and wear the goofy uniform.
With the trade deadline nearing (August 1st), rumor has it that the Giants continue to look for someone to bolster their bullpen. With Chapman gone now, I wonder who they’ll get, if anyone. Andrew Baggarly mentioned a few possibilities include Jeanmar Gomez of the Phillies and Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith of the Brewers. Will keep you posted. Wouldn’t want to be Bobby Evans right about now.
At least the boys are back home now, starting a series against the Reds tonight. Hoping the Bay Area fog will do them some good. I have to say, that humidity did a job on me – I can only imagine what it was like to have to play in it! Will be watching tonight and doing a spit count, so be on your best behavior, Boys! Then I’ll be attending the game tomorrow night with Ginny – her first one in a long time. Really looking forward to watching a game back at home. Come on, Boys! Get back in the “swing” of things tonight! Get out of this funk! Until next time, GO GIANTS!! SHAKE OFF THE EAST COAST BLUES!