Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Reds 11 Giants 10

Well, I got my first taste of SBC Park at China Basin in San Francisco. For those that are thinking about it, I highly recommend the experience of going to a Giants game.
My wife came across three bleacher tickets for almost nothing, so we decided to take in a day at the ballpark. It was an added plus that it was July 4th and the promotional deal was a salute to the military. So we hopped in the car and drove to The City on Monday. The drive down was terrific, only about 90 minutes from my door to the south side of the Golden Gate. To get to SBC, the directions tell you to go along a route that is besides the bay from the Gate to Fort Mason, then it cuts inland and makes a beeline on Bay Street to the Embarcadero near Lombard. Then you drive along the Embarcadero until you hit the park. It was easy in, and easy out as I will explain later.
The park itself is a beauty to behold. Candlestick was a dump to play baseball in, windy, cold and huge. SBC is simply "a yard". The views from all over the park are excellent. The brick architecture gives the venue a classic feel that makes it seem like going to a baseball game is a very special event. Our seats were almost dead center, about 25 rows up in the bleachers. While my wife had to strain to see balls and strikes, I was fine. Both of us had no complaints otherwise, although it was almost impossible to see the Astrovision screen.
The game was a typical Giants game for this season. The G-Men jumped all over the Reds in the first and came away with a 6-1 lead. Kirt Rueter couldn't hold it and eventually it was tied 8-8. LaTroy Hawkins (the bust that we traded good young arms for) gave up a 2 out triple and the Reds took the lead. It got exciting in the ninth as Ken Griffey Jr. misplayed two balls in center field and the Giants cut the score to 11-10 with a man on third. But the Orange and Black didn't finish it up and lost the game. The middle innings were a little slow (both teams have awful pitching), but the game picked up in the 8th when a drunk fan leaped over the center field fence in front of us, did the 'worm', and mooned the crowed. The idiot surrendered quickly and we saw him enter the 'paddywagon' on the way out of the park.
Going to a game in the future? Here are some recommendations:
1. Don't sit in the bleachers. You can't see the Astrovision, and you can't tell who is batting.
2. Don't park in the SBC parking south of the park. It is $25 and a nightmare to get out of. For $20 or lower, and an easy out of SBC, park from Brannon St. north to Lombard and walk. Brannon is about 3 blocks north of the park, $5 less and it is a breeze to slip right onto the Embarcadero to head home. Want to plan way ahead? Park at the Safeway near Fisherman's Wharf, pay $8 parking, and take Muni to SBC.
3. Don't get your garlic fries from the Gilroy Garlic booth. They skimp on the fries! Instead, find a hot dog booth or the Gorden Birsch booth on the main level. They pile'em on!
4. The park is great for kids. Take them around by McCovey Cove, then inside to the Coke Slide. Next, let the little ones play in the small whiffle ball field (complete with jumbotron), finally, let the kids take four balls for $2 to try and 'strike out' a batter (complete with radar gun). I pitched the four and hit the batter twice. The idiot was crowding the plate and he looked like Shawn Green.

In other news, someone visited this blog after Googling 'Mr. Silva-Brown' and 'Coach Silva-Brown', and they read for awhile. Its a good guess that students know that this is here. Oh well, all they will read is what it is like from this side of the desk.
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