KingMidget's Ramblings

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Tag Archives: SF Giants

A Random Thought

As June leans towards July and the San Francisco Giants struggle to remain relevant, that they can’t beat the lowly Marlins at home suggests it’s time to think about 2014.

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A Peek Inside (including a thought on writing)

For years, I depended on the alarm to wake me up. You know. BZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!. Snooze. Seven minutes. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!! Snooze. Seven Minutes. BZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!. Snooze. Okay, I think you get it. Then, one day, I started waking up before the alarm went off. And … staying … awake. My god, what had happened? Unfortunately, this became my new reality. I no longer need an alarm to wake up at the “regular” time. What had this horrible world wrought upon me. For years now, I’ve been awakened somewhere around 6:00 – 6:30 without benefit of that infernal alarm. I rise, read the paper, play on the internet, and eventually assume my day’s activities. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing. These early morning hours, when the rest of the house slumbers, have become somewhat of a refuge for me. But, if I had one wish … okay, never mind about that … among the many wishes I have is this. I would like to be able to sleep in. Just every once in awhile. When there’s nothing to be done and no reason to wake up at that infernal time. I figured out how. Go to the Giants game, have a blast, not get home until after 1:00 in the morning, don’t get to sleep until 2:00 in the morning, and … WA- f’ing- LA … 8:30 is my friend. Note to self: can I get to work at 10:00 in the morning and keep my job if I make a habit of this. Certainly was nice to sleep in for the first time in years.

I’m pretty sure that this is a sign that tattooing has gone just too far.

Back to the Giants for a moment. Maybe you need to be a sports fan to understand this. Maybe you need to be a long suffering sports fan to understand this. Say a fan of the Cubs or the Indians. Maybe it’s something particular about baseball. Maybe it’s just the glow of two World Series wins in the last three years. Maybe I’m just blowing it all out of proportion. But, there is something special happening in San Francisco these days. Went to the game last night with a friend. It was Orange Friday, when the team wears Orange jerseys and fans deck themselves out in orange as well. The opponent was the Dodgers. Dodgers-Giants is one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports. The Dodgers have become the Yankees of the West Coast, spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy a championship, while the Giants play baseball in their jewel of a privately-financed stadium. (Please, let me know what other major league sports franchise has gone the private route.) So, the stage is set. The side of evil versus the forces of good. Evil has a pitcher who throws heat. Good has a pitcher who lobs the ball up and as it darts through the strike zone on a curvaceous path, hopes the bat won’t make contact. Evil plowed through the first five innings. Good labored but held on for an unsteady deficit of 1-0. In the bottom of the sixth, the forces of good forced across a run. And, so it remained until the bottom of the ninth inning. As the Giants’ first batter came to the plate, one could only wonder whether this would be one of those moments. Buster Posey. Rookie of the Year in 2010 and integral part of that first World Series for the franchise since 1954. A season ending injury in 2011. Followed by a return to form in 2012. Another World Series championship and an MVP award for him as well. After a couple of fouled off pitches, as well as a couple of balls, he worked the count to 2-2 or 3-2. And with a most Posey-like swing of the bat launched the final pitch of the game over the field wall. It’s remarkable. Incredible. It is Giants baseball.

And for my final thought. I had lunch today with a woman who is becoming a dear friend (my next post will tell more). She is a writer as well and I’m helping her self-publish a novel. After we worked through some of the mechanics of that, we spent some time discussing our various writing projects, as well as our frustrations. I told her something I don’t think I ever told anybody else before. It’s what came to me as we spoke. It’s the thing that pushes me away from writing these days. Where I can find an easy avenue with blogging and this and with that, I have built a wall around my fiction writing. A wall, with an alligator-filled moat in front of it. With guards at the top. Huge vats of hot oil waiting to be poured on the marauding invaders. It’s is a fortress designed to protect me against this most simple thing. Fear of failure. I have these three (actually four) works in progress that, to me, have started off so well, I’m afraid that, in the completion, I will fail to achieve the vision I have for each of them. So, I find reasons avoid them. What about you? Does fear of failure keep you from your efforts? From your dreams?

A Peek Inside

Do those dryer sheets really do anything to soften our clothes?  I mean, really, come on.  When I was a kid, my mom put liquid fabric softener in the wash.  I remember her not putting it in with the towels because it apparently had the opposite effect on towels.  My wife puts white vinegar in the wash and we use the dryer sheets.  For what?  Is this all a myth?

Speaking of myths, what about dentistry.  The whole gum disease leads to heart disease thing.  And all of the things they do at the dentist’s office to scrape and clean and policy and protect.  I’ve bought into the gum disease equals heart disease and will kill you thing.  Well, sort of, I’m convinced it’s going to happen to me just like I’m convinced cancer is lurking inside me.  But not convinced enough to do what they suggest.  A few years ago, for the first time, I finally started flossing regularly.  I stuck with it for a couple of years, but now I’m struggling with it again.  Why?  Because it didn’t make any change in the scraping and digging when I’m in the hygenist’s chair.  And it didn’t make any difference with the stupid probe readings.  And there’s where the next myth comes in.  What the hell is the deal with the probe?  What does it actually tell them about anything?

To my fellow WordPress bloggers, are you having a problem with the Notifications button?

Is there a tipping point?  (More on this later)

Do opposites attract?  If so, why?  And, if so, is that such a good thing?  Doesn’t it really lead to greater potential for conflict and disagreement?

Does anybody else sweat like they’re in the middle of a spin class when all they’re doing is vacuuming the house?  Or have I discovered a great new form of exercise?  Of course, I’m the person who sweats just thinking about exercise, so maybe it’s just me.

Is there anything better than a Sunday that began with a 22 mile bike ride, progressed through lunch and a nap, aforementioned vacuuming and four loads of laundry done, with the Giants winning 5-0, plans for baked carbonara for dinner, and maybe an opportunity to work on one of those dreaded novels I’ve got in progress?  By the way, Weed Therapy is inching closer — the interior is basically done.

Hope you’re enjoying your Sunday.

Day #7: The Poetry of Baseball

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Say Hey

Stretch

The Dominican Dandy

First the Gothams

Than the Giants

First New York City

Than the City by the Bay

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Baby Bull

The Ancient Mariner

Matty, Felipe and Jesus

The shot heard round the world

The screaming winds of Candlestick

Christy and Stu, Robby and U-Ribe

And above it all, Johnnie “Boo” Lemaster

The Count

The Ripper

Will the Thrill

Pacbell, or AT & T, it’s a park

Green grass, blue sky, wheeling gulls

Flapping flags and banners, two new

Mementos wiping clean 55 years

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Kung Fu Panda

The Rally Thong

Fear the Beard

These are the Giants

Of the City by the Bay

History, memories, a game

Tradition and treasures.

A Peek Inside

Throughout the day, every day, little things happen or random thoughts pop into my head and I think, “I should blog about this.”  Then, as the day progresses, those thoughts disappear and I forget at the end of the day what I had thought of sharing.  So, herewith, based on the list I kept throughout the day are my random thoughts for January 10, 2013:

Willie McCovey turns 75 today.  For those who don’t know, McCovey was the first homegrown San Francisco Giants hero.  Yes, Willie Mays was there and incredible, but he came over with the Giants from New York.  McCovey, on the other hand, made his debut with the team after they arrived in San Francisco and became a Hall of Fame player with the team.  He is one of those rare players who is most well-known for an out he made at the plate.  In 1962, the Giants made the World Series against the hated Yankees.  In the bottom of the ninth of the seventh and final game, the Giants trailed 1-0 but had runners on second and third with two outs when McCovey came to the plate.  According to Bob Gibson, the most feared pitcher of the 1960’s, McCovey was the “scariest hitter in baseball.”  He hit a “scorching line drive” that Bobby Richardson snagged at second base, ending the game.  I was two years away from life when this happened and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a video or picture of the line drive, but it is always described as one of those miracle plays.  An inch or two to the left or right, or higher or lower, and the Giants win Game 7 with bottom of the ninth heroics from a quiet and humble, yet powerful man.  Forty-eight years later, the Giants finally won another World Series.  McCovey went on to hit 521 home runs in a time when that was monumental – in an era when pitchers dominated the game.  He hit more home runs at Candlestick Park than any other player.  And was a first ballot Hall of Famer.  The award the Giants give each year to their most inspirational player is named after Willie McCovey and a statue of the man stands guard over McCovey Cove next to the stadium.  Willie McCovey is one of those historical sports figures who can transcend generations and are part of the legacy of what makes baseball such an incredible sport.

Which lead me to this thought … For the second time in the last three years, the Giants won the World Series.  Just as with the 2010 version, they weren’t expected to.  They were underdogs in each of their three postseason series.  That they made the postseason at all was probably considered an overachievement by most baseball experts.  I loved seeing all of those “experts” pick against them.  First against Cincinnati, then against St. Louis, and finally against the mighty Detroit Tigers.  So much for the quality and value of expert opinions when it comes to sports.  But, that’s not what I thought of.  Instead, I did a little math.  The Giants had eight home games during the post season (two against Cincinnati, four against St. Louis, and two against Detroit).  They packed in more than 43,000 fans into the stadium.  Assuming that the average ticket price (what the Giants charged and received, not what scalpers or StubHub charged) was $100, that means the Giants made $4.3 million in additional revenue on ticket sales for each post season game.  I believe that assumption is conservative.  So total additional ticket revenue was at least $35 million for the eight games.  Add in, again a conservative estimate, of $50 per person on food and souvenirs and you have another $17 million.  So, just on ticket revenue and stadium revenue from food and souvenirs, the Giants made an additional $52 million this year by winning the World Series. It’s a pretty stunning number.

* * *

Here’s a thought for tailgaters everywhere.  Not the type who have tailgating parties at sporting events.  No, I’m talking about the yahoos of the world who insist on creeping or speeding up to my car and following a few feet behind.  My message to you is this – keep doing it, don’t back up, and I’m more than likely to slow down.

* * *

I went to see Lincoln a few weeks ago.  It’s an excellent movie and re-kindled my interest in reading well-written books about American history.  Ever since I was seven and we took our vacation across the country, including numerous stops at Civil War battlefields and other monuments to American history, I’ve been interested in that time in our history.  The movie claims to be based in some way on Team of Rivals, the story written by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  I downloaded the book and started reading it.  Weeks later, I love the story, but I‘m not sure I’ll be able to finish it.  Why?  Because it’s sooooooooo damn long.  There are things I haven’t done the past few weeks so I can devote more time to reading this incredible story.  No yoga, no exercising, no real writing.  I’ve spent less time on my laptop so I can spend more time reading this book.  And, with all of that time put into it, my Kindle says I’ve read only 27% of the thing.  I don’t know how much more of it I can take.  It’s a fascinating, well-written story.  History written as story rather than as a research project.  Exactly the type of history I like to read.  But … my god!  I didn’t realize reading it would require a dedication of a couple months of my life.

* * *

So I heard this song on the radio and thought, well, it’s today’s song.  I waffled a bit.  It prompted me to think of another Tracy Chapman song, and then I thought of a Norah Jones song that seemed appropriate, but then, I thought, no, it’s gotta be the song I actually heard on the radio on my drive in to work this morning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjRo_CHSdt0
* * *

I’d like to know what the deal is with restaurant chefs who believe Caesar Salad should be served with whole lettuce leaves rather than with bite size chunks of romaine.  Yes, I know it’s probably trendy, it’s what all the cool places do, but really.  I need a knife and a fork to eat my salad?  I’d like also to know why the chicken on a Chicken Caesar Salad has to be dry and have black grill marks that taste of burnt chicken rather than reasonably grilled chicken.  I’d like to know why … well, I’d like to tell you that if you’re ever at Firestone in Sacramento, do not get the Chicken Caesar Salad.  This is what I get for trying to eat something healthier for lunch today than my usual cheeseburger and fries, or pizza, or massive burrito.

* * *

My friend Jennifer got some partial news today.  The biopsy showed that the polyp was precancerous.  However, because of the type of polyp it turned out to be, her doctor expressed some continued concern about her situation.  She’ll be having a CT scan to verify whether there is cancer anywhere else and surgery to remove the portion of her colon where the polyp was.  I want to thank all of you in my blogging universe who either commented and offered your prayers and thoughts or remained silent but still prayed for her.

* * *

And, finally, another reason I have a man-crush on Andrew Sullivan.  Today, in the middle of posts about marijuana legalization, Chuck Hagel, the Trillion dollar platinum coin, and everything else, he linked to this video.  Watch closely you might miss something.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEcXR5b8HyY

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