August 28, 2010
We met at the Willie Mays statue starting at 6:45. Giancarlo was the first to show, followed by Michael (thisfool) and Bryce (nixonthegrouch) + his ladyfriend. Michael and Giancarlo got hepped up on a free Monster Java energy drink while I willcall'd some extra tickets for my friend Peter. We made our way into the stadium just about the time of the first pitch, and by the time we made our final approach towards our bleacher seats, some jerk on the Diamondbacks jacked a 3-run homer into the cold waters of the bay. So far, off to a bad start.Â
Now, for some reason they were checking tickets for people entering the bleachers section. I guess they wanted to prevent anyone who paid more money for a decent seat from sneaking into the cheap seats. This caused a bottleneck, but we made it through and found our seats. Well, more or less. As it turns out, nobody in the bleachers actually sits in their assigned seat, so we just sat in a chunk of open seats near where our tickets pointed us. We settled in for the remainder of the first inning before heading to the concessions for beers and cheesesteaks.Â
Apparently there is a ballpark rule that on Fridays you can only purchase one beer per person per visit. This rule is in place to prevent anyone from having fun. We managed to bypass this rule somewhat by placing our first beers upon a table with friendly supervision before visiting a second vendor to purchase some additional cold ones. For reference, decent draft beers were $9.75 (not $10!) and cheap beers were $8. I'm not sure if this is a standard pricing scheme these days, but COME ON!
The middle of the game passed without much fanfare. The Giants failed to achieve in any reasonable manner, and the Diamondbacks sat on their 4 run lead for most of the game. In fact, the highlight of the game was probably when Lincecum made a successful sacrifice bunt, advancing runners to second and third while taking the first out of the inning himself. Obviously, the next batter popped out to third and the one after him grounded out to first, so no the achievement was wasted. We managed to consume some beers and share some laughs, and spent as much time observing our surroundings as the game itself. The bleachers are a unique subset of baseball fans: in this case, the majority were high schoolers. Or at least we thought they were high schoolers; we learned later that it was college night, and that we were very old because we couldn't tell the difference. Most of the kids were pretty hepped up, but probably more from energy drinks than from booze (kids these days!). Those who were hitting the sauce were frequently escorted out by an usher who had a knack for sensing underage drinking. In one instance he took a bottle of Fiji water away from a kid, sniffed the contents (presumably vodka), and gave him the boot. When I was a kid, such inquisition was unthinkable. That was the point of using a water bottle! Of course, I never personally smuggled booze into a ballgame (I think thats actually true, I'm not just covering for my younger self.). In any case, these kids spent more time cavorting amongst each other than paying attention to the game, but I can't blame them given the outcome on the field.Â
As the seventh inning stretch grew near, we finished our beers and sought out refills. We also made our first trip to the bathroom, and found that the line for the mens room was exceedingly long (longer than that of the ladies room!). However, there was a sign advertising an "express bathroom" under the bleachers. We were already line-committed, but the concept of an express bathroom was new and different. Michael was outwitted by the garlic fries and chicken tenders combo, and ended up spending several dollars more than expected, even though he had been trapped by a similar "bargain" before! Fool him twice, shame on him. However, they were delicious, so please keep on fooling him as long as I am around to share.Â
In the top of the 9th, the Giants executed some ill-advised intentional walks, and wound up giving away a few more runs. The stage was set for a 6+ run rally in the bottom of the 9th, and in fact an impressive majority of the remaining fans in our section had equipped their rally caps, but it was to no avail. Los Gigantes finished the game the way they played the rest of it: failingly. We exited the park, stopping by the express bathrooms for a pit stop and stopping by the stadium shop so that I could pick up a panda hat for my absent lady. We bid adieu to Bryce and Giancarlo, and then rather than battle the crowds around the stadium, we made our way up towards market street until we found a suitable tavern for some post-game drank.Â
While the home team utterly failed to achieve, it remained an enjoyable evening for our heroes. Until the next meetup game, when we will probably enjoy a perfect game on the mound and 20 runs from the offense, we shall simply consider ourselves to be running way under expectation!