For those of you wondering if you can come to Los Angeles and watch a game at Dodger Stadium between the Dodgers and Giants and stay alive, RELAX. It’s nowhere near as bad as they say. If anything, the Giants fans in my section were more obnoxious than the fans wearing blue caps.
It probably helped that Madison Bumgarner showed everyone that Clayton Kershaw isn’t the only ridiculously talented lefty in the National League West.
How many great things happened tonight? We sat next to the Giants bullpen, which I highly recommend because you get to see Jeremy Affeldt throw sunflower seeds at his teammates and coaches. Poor Billy Hayes:
You always hear about how bullpens mess around, but watching the Giants relievers for nine innings showed that despite all the money, pressure, agents and stats, being a part of a bullpen can be a hell of a lot of fun. Just look at Sergio Romo after they started playing Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” for goodness sake (I’m still kicking myself for fumbling around with my camera’s lens cap while Romo was playing air guitar).
This scene took place about a half hour before Romo notched his first save of the season.
There can be no doubt, when the Giants decide who to stash in that pen they do not ignore personality. Santiago Casilla is a perfect example. I wish I caught this scene on camera but I didn’t, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that Affeldt spent a little while resting BOTH of his feet on Casilla’s thigh during the game. And if laughter is any gauge, Chad Gaudin already fits right in. Javier Lopez is the one guy who seems a little out of place, leaning forward on every pitch. Such a goody-two-shoes.
Another thing I’ll remember after sitting in Sec. 52 was watching Bumgarner and Buster Posey interact before the game. A lot has been made about Posey and Tim Lincecum and whether or not they like each other. I think it’s relatively normal for two professional athletes to either not like each other or at least be indifferent about one another’s existence. What’s rare was what I saw before today’s game. Posey and Bumgarner genuinely enjoy being around each other. Watching them play catch before the game from 40 feet, then 60, then 80, then 100, then back to 60 … it was just fun for everyone, players and fans alike. Just two guys playing catch. Both players have now been locked up by the Giants for several years and millions of dollars, and strangely that was almost impossible to remember while watching them get ready for Game No. 2 of the 2013 season.
Alright, maybe the photo above isn’t the best representation of the boys of summer, but baseball also includes awkward moments of cup adjustment. That’s why we love it.
Also, Bumgarner was sensational on Tuesday night. No walks and two hits allowed over eight shutout innings, and he had the kind of stuff that makes you wonder if he’ll follow his buddy Matt Cain on the road to perfection. Spring Training let us know once again that Brandon Belt can mash Cactus League pitching, but it also taught us this:
- Matt Cain is good
- Madison Bumgarner is good
- Matt Cain is really good
- Madison Bumgarner is really good
- No, really … Cain might win a Cy Young one of these years
- Bumgarner may beat him on that one, chief
I’m kind of skirting around the main issue. Yes, I wore some Giants gear in the right field bleachers that weren’t actually bleachers because the seats were pretty comfortable. I laughed when the Giants fan next to me made fun of the morbidly obese Dodgers fan on the other side of the Giants’ bullpen who heckled the girl with the Giants jersey who got ejected from the stadium in the sixth inning (the words “2000 calories per day diet” may have been uttered). I sat silently every time the fans in our section tried to get the wave going, even though one Dodgers fan tried to hype us all into “waving” a couple times.
I was off the clock. Plus, I owe no one anything in the way of journalistic integrity when I’m at Chavez Ravine. I’m only here because my sister-in-law is getting married next weekend in San Diego, anyway. If I want to laugh at the Dodgers for trying to tell us Brandon Crawford made his MLB debut at age 14, you can’t stop me.