I work in downtown San Francisco, on 4th and Market. That means I’m only a 1.3 mile walk from Mays Field, according to Google Maps. It’s a pretty easy walk, too. Mostly downhill. The Giants play today at 12:45, with a chance to clinch a regular season NL West tie with the Padres. So should I do it? Should I take off from work for an extended lunch break and check out the action from behind the right field fence with the Cyclone Gang?
While growing up, I would have hit my future self in the face with a Nerf Turbo football for even asking the question. (Side note: Old Nerf Turbos, the ones with the air channels that were small and dense enough to throw 70 yards in the air and make you feel like Dan Marino, were the best footballs ever. I just did a search and to my dismay, all Nerf makes now is something called the Nerf Turbo Jr. Football. And it’s only $3.99, so it’s probably the size of a tennis ball. Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t feel like throwing a ball so small and light that I have to make an appointment with Dr. James Andrews immediately after playing catch.)
In the days before laundromats and paying rent, I would have envisioned my adult self calling in sick and finding any way possible to not just get into the park, but get a pretty good seat in the bleachers. Back when I started high school, I actually considered attending San Francisco State and buying one season ticket for myself at Candlestick (in Upper Reserved so I could afford it), with visions of spending afternoons doing homework while watching baseball with 13,000 other fans on a weekday. Can you imagine, watching Mark Carreon face Mark Portugal with a Psychology textbook in my lap, trying to study for a test? Kind of gives you a glimpse as to how much I cared about school when I was 14 or 15.
As we stubbornly refused to worry about boring things like “responsibilities” or “plans,” my friends and I did anything we could to make it to Giants games, even though we had school and part-time jobs to worry about and lived in Eureka, which is 300 miles away from Candlestick Park. My friend Carp and I were experts at dropping everything and heading to Giants games, a habit my dad didn’t necessarily approve of.
“It’s a 12:35 start, which gives us 12 hours and we both are working tomorrow? No problem, we’ll get friends at work to cover our shifts and leave at 7 am, which should get us there a half hour before first pitch, give or take a stop at Taco Bell or Burger King in Willits.”
(Oh, the crap I used to stuff myself with when I was in my teens/early 20’s.)
Now I’m what I would have considered as “old” back when we took all those road trips while in college. I’m going to get married in just over a month. I know the difference between a Pinot Noir and a Pinot Gris. I have many paperbound books and my apartment smells of rich IKEA. And nothing makes me feel older than knowing the Giants will be playing an incredibly important game on the last day of September, and even though I’m only a 15-minute walk away, I not only don’t have a ticket but I don’t even know if I can ditch my desk for an hour or two to check out the action for myself. The Giants are on the verge, and I couldn’t be closer to the game if I tried.
So what do you think? Should I ditch work like back in the old days, if only for 90 minutes or so if things are going well in the later innings? Ouch!!! I just got hit in the face with a small spongy football! I think I might have to take a walk this afternoon.
IT’S ROOKIE TIME!!!
Current stats: .278/.394/.457, 18 HR, 10 SB, 3.1 UZR/150, 4.4 WAR
Last night:Â 0-for-3, 2 BB. Braves won 5-1 over the Marlins, who are doing a real nice job of lying down as the season has progressed, going 3-9 this month against the Braves and the Phillies. Great job, Florida! Enjoy those two World Series titles! (Giants fans reading that, try not to grind your teeth too much or you’ll have to visit the dentist and get one of those mouthguard thingies.)
Chances of winning NL ROY: 50%
Current stats: .311/.364/.504, 16 HR, 0 SB, 22/60 CS, 3.8 WAR
Last night: 0-for-3, BB, R. The Giants won 2-1 in Colorado on a Pat Burrell 2-run homer following a walk to Posey, while I was trying on suits for my upcoming wedding. Some Bay Area Sports Guy I am. Sorry, that was the one I copied and pasted from Saturday. This time Posey walked and scored on Burrell’s 3-run homer to give the Giants a 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks. You can see why I’d experience a little deja vu there.
The bats seem rather heavy for the rookies these days. Not much solid contact, a few walks and some above-average defense is about it. Sure, Posey’s walk last night was huge, but only people who watch every minute of every Giants game would let that sort of thing factor into who they’ll vote for.
Unless either the Braves or the Giants take a dive and miss the playoffs, who gets the award may be the one who has one good game between now and Sunday. 3-for-4 with a homer, that might be enough. And for those ready to jump into the comments section and berate me for stating that a full season award can come down to one game, calm down. I’m talking about how I think the voters will handle this, not how it should be handled. That’s what the percentages I scientifically (Ha!) come up with. And at this point, it’s a toss-up.
Chances of winning NL ROY: 50%