Went beer tasting yesterday. OK, that’s not really accurate. When you go wine tasting, they have those buckets you toss your unused wine into. “Hmmm, this one is too young. No thank you, wine pourer. I’m leaving room for the food you aren’t providing.” (Yes, you’re going to have to make believe that there are people who actually commit this crime of wasting drinkable wine.) But when you go to breweries or beer-centric pubs like we did yesterday to supposedly do some beer tasting, the expectation is you’re going to drink faster in order to try different beers. And if you pour out your excess beer, that makes you the kind of person who goes to a brewery and orders one small glass of Kiwi Tangerine Beer Cider or something.
So we strolled to the Haight, where I figured we could combine pints with Giants baseball among the masses of dirty 17-year-olds and tourists looking for vintage Pumas. First up was Magnolia, which actually brews its own beer — which is the only legitimate excuse for speaking lovingly of and charging $5/pint for beer that was so aggressively mediocre. And…no TVs anywhere. Here’s how lackluster the experience was: the three girls next to us had cappuccinos and bowls of what looked like carrot soup or something. I expected Paula Cole to be playing in the background. A quick exit was required.
From there we headed off to Toronado, a place that mixes the brashness of bikers with tons of tattoos with the pretentiousness of the shiniest Napa tasting room — only instead of a pour bucket there was the smell of last night’s puke in the corner. But they had a television, it was playing Giants baseball and the fans watching were comically drunk and unhappy with the home plate umpire. It was the 10th inning by the time we got there, so I missed the whole Phil Cuzzi experience. Saw several strange ball/strike calls, but that’s pretty common in the extra innings of a getaway game in a 4-game series. Everybody gets irritable and inconsistent, weird things happen. But wow, that call on Travis Ishikawa’s slide at the plate, that was, well, that was pretty silly. Oh well, I couldn’t have been the only one shocked that the game was as close as it was. And after multiple “tastes,” it’s tough to get too upset about winning 3 of 4 against the Mets. Bring on the Trolley Dodgers.
— Mullet braid: check. Head tat featuring what looks to be a hastily drawn team logo: check. Classy city abbreviation underneath: check (check out the sweet curls at the bottom of the “S” and on top of the “o”!). Thanks to my buddy Carp for the picture; according to him this guy’s hair was short and spiky in the front. Tennessee Waterful, baby. This picture is the only thing keeping me going today.
— Do you think Marty Lurie’s constant harping on the Giants to give every fan in attendance a bobble head is going to send him into the Damon Bruce zone? I’d love to see Larry Baer ask Dave Flemming to start doing 5-hour postgame shows AFTER Mychael Urban on the weekends.
— Even after watching Barry Zito have the outing of his Giants career on Friday night, is it sacrilege to admit that if the Giants made the playoffs, Zito’s start would be the one I’d look forward to most? OK, maybe I’d look forward to Tim Lincecum’s second start the most, because in his first he’s going to be so geeked up I’m going to be nervous just watching on TV. Maybe I should stop using the words “Giants” and “playoffs” in the same sentence. Forget I mentioned this.
— Anybody give a s— about Tiger Woods right now? I’ve heard more people talking about Udonis Haslem in the past month than Eldrick. Just shows that unless you’re winning more frequently than anyone in history, it’s still just golf.
— Travis Ishikawa better keep hitting. Brandon Belt, a 6-5 1B who weighs only 195 lbs (in other words, about a fifth grader less than Pablo Sandoval), is mashing his way through the minors and will probably see action with the Giants in September.
— Bethlehem Shoals on DeMarcus Cousins: “That attitude we heard so much about? Damn right it’s there. But it’s fire, intensity, and the desire to flat-out destroy his opponent, especially other big men. It’s exactly what so many other bigs are lacking, and why they end up a very different kind of bust. Cousins rages because he cares. It’s that simple.”
— I was as anti-Cousins as a guy could be before the draft, figuring he was Zach Randolph with the Calipari stamp of approval (which on its surface sounds even worse than Randolph). Now the fact the Warriors got pushed down to pick No. 6 looks especially regretful, and that’s before considering Ekpe Udoh’s catastrophic weight-lifting injury or whatever it was. Oh wait, Cousins wanted to go anywhere BUT Golden State before the draft. Never mind.