May 27, 2006

Roaming In the Land of Barry Bonds

As mentioned previously, we had a rare opportunity to attend a Giants game in San Francisco tonight. With my A's in the midst of losing the team's seventh straight contest in Texas, at least one Bay Area team could try and make headway in the win-loss column, even if they were wearing black and orange, not green and gold. A vendor from the office had offered a free game with all the amenities possible, and we agreed to go, even if we still demanded to wear our A's cap and A's sweatshirt - both essential elements at every good ballgame.

The seats, in a depressed area alongside first base and the visitors bullpen, were very interesting. Though closer to the players than any other seats I've ever attended a game in, they didn't offer the clearest view, surprisingly, as the angle meant some pitches or plays were obscured by a thick, padded bar running along the top of the fence. Despite that annoyance, we were close enough to the action to fear the occasional foul ball, and we could see Barry Bonds grin as he trotted to first base on a walk, and we could judge how ballplayers' uniforms looked - from the old-school approach preferred by Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, sporting knee-high socks, or the baggy jeans look preferred by Rockies relievers.

In fact, at one point, a sky-high popup made its way toward us, and I had my glove in the air, only to see the ball drift further back and out of reach. A minute later, my phone rang, and a colleague, seeing the game on TV, said, "Why didn't you catch that?", having spotted my A's cap when the overhead camera traversed our area. She was teasing, but it was fun to see we had made it on the big screen, even if only briefly.

In great contrast to the A's struggles, the Giants never trailed in the game, and finished it up strong, pulling away en route to a 9-0 victory that saw great hitting, not only from Bonds, but from a rookie first baseman, Travis Ishikawa, who after limited plate appearances, is now sporting a .667 average, and is slugging 1.000, sporting 2 doubles and 2 singles in 6 at bats. Meanwhile, Jason Schmidt continued his hot pitching, following last week's 130+ pitch effort against the A's with seven shutout innings. Barry didn't hit 715, but there were fireworks after the game of the real variety, as to celebrate Memorial Day, San Francisco's night sky lit up with bursts of color, previewing what will very likely be quite a similar show in Oakland this next Monday.

Though I had a good time, no amount of free food and excellent seats can obscure the fact that this wasn't my team on the field. The A's weren't there, and as a real fan I should not have enjoyed the Giants game any more than if I had stayed at home to see the A's fail on television, and surprisingly, in some ways, that's true. But I'm glad we went.

Listening to ''Perfect Silence (Album Mix)'', by Blank & Jones (Play Count: 4)

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