On Saturday, for the second straight night, I watched the Giants by checking my phone. Due to my buddy Sean’s bachelor party Friday night, and the 90th birthday of my grandmother (who we all call Nana) on Saturday, I missed the carnage. Not that I was upset about that, with the Giants losing 6-0 and 7-5 to the lowly Houston Astros.
As I belatedly write this post late on a Sunday morning, a Brandon Belt 3-run homer just put the Giants up 3-0. So, maybe better times are ahead, even though Brian Wilson was placed on the 15-day disabled list today. But last night, on my Nana’s 90th birthday, the Giants lost another series after spending the entire season taking series after series like it was nothing. Nana is as big a Giants fan as I know, actually keeping score for every game. The fact that she was able to witness last year’s World Series victory was as satisfying as getting to witness it myself.
But baseball, like life, doesn’t end with one great accomplishment. Which is why even though Giants fans have no room to complain about things like “torture” after such an amazing 2010 season, the Giants’ offensive futility and veteran-addicted stubbornness when writing lineup cards still causes pain. And on Friday, during what has to be considered rock bottom for the Giants in 2011 (because if it isn’t, they’re in really bad shape), my uncle told me that Nana did something I’ve never heard her do in my entire life.
On Friday night, Nana turned off the Giants game in the 7th inning and watched Jeopardy instead. This might not sound strange to some, but this is a woman who has watched every inning of every possible game for decades. The only games I’ve heard of her missing were ones like last night where we were at the house of my aunt and uncle who don’t have cable. Last night she asked me if I’d heard the score of the game long after it ended, if it was really true they had lost … again. It’s bad enough when the Giants lose twice in a row to a team like the Astros who are staring 110+ losses in the face. It’s even worse when you have to explain to the Giants’ biggest fan on her 90th birthday that even though they’re still easily within striking distance of the Arizona Diamondbacks, they’re also still playing like they did in 2008.
Now, in the process of writing this, Dan Runzler just got pulled after 1 2/3 innings, and a little Guillermo Mota magic later, the 3-0 lead became a 4-3 deficit. C’mon Giants. A woman just turned 90, and she had a Giants-themed birthday cake. She deserved a sweep this weekend, but she’s hardly a spoiled fan (she watched the Giants at Seals Stadium, so she’s seen some ups and downs over the past 53 seasons). She’ll be happy with a win today. And so would I, if we’re being honest.