Thursday, May 18, 2006

Baseball in San Francisco: They're not worthy

Just one other note about San Francisco: The city doesn't deserve baseball. I always thought it was a form of selfcongratulation when people would talk about how Boston fans were rabid and loved their team and other places weren't like that. Based on what I saw at Pac Bell Park, it's totally true.

I decided to get tickets for a few reasons; to see the park, to experience one of baseballs biggest rivalries (The Dodgers were in town), and to see that fraud Barry Bonds.

During the game, I had noticed the guy next to me had a dark blue hat, so he wasn't a Giants fan, and the color was too dark for the Dodgers. During the middle of the third, he got up and took his windbreaker off, and then I saw it: A "26 rings" Yankees shirt. I was sitting next to a Yankees fan. He started jawing with the older couple in front of me and the lady said something snide about the Yanks (with a smile. These people were all season ticket holders).

So I said "I can't believe I flew 3,000 miles to see a ballgame, and they sit me next to a Yankees fan." The guy turns around and says, "Are you from Boston?" Yeah, I am. It ends up he's a transplant to the West Coast, and the lady in front of us is originally from Attleboro. Small world.

The Yankees fan and I chatted it up the rest of the game. He said it was actually good to sit next to a Boston fan, b/c people from San Francisco really weren't that into baseball. As the game progressed, I could see that was true. These people were committing every ballpark sin imaginable: Half the place showed up late, at least a thoudans people were out on the shoreline, with no view of the game, they talked during balls in play, walked up and down the aisles during the game, left early, the whole nine yards.

When Bonds grounded to first to end the eighth inning, the Yankees guy elbowed me and said, "Now watch the stands." I looked up, and I swear to God, a third of the place emptied out. The Giants were only down by three to their biggest rivals, the Dodgers, and they had their 4-5-6 hitters up next, and everyone was leaving. Friggin bandwagon.

But they're the ones who missed out; The Giants rallied for four runs in the ninth and won the game. And with about 12,000 non-fans now out of the park, the people left were like a distilled version of the crowd; These were the people who really do like baseball, and weren't there just for the Bonds spectacle. So in the end, it felt like a real ball game. But for like 20 minutes. The rest of the time it was like watching a movie outside.

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