The Giants So Far in May And More…

Well it is now the middle of May, and the baseball season is starting to pick up steam. I am still trying to figure out this Giants team. They are now 1-6 against the Padres, thanks to last night’s win against them, 7-6, in 12 innings, and they are 6-0 against the Astros. Now, I know that the Padres are a better team than the Astros; this is obvious, but one would think that the Giants, with their pitching, would be able to take more than just one game from the Padres. Ugh!!

Watching some of the Giants games have been excruciating. I do love listening to the commentary of former Giants players, Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper. They are both very insightful and knowledgeable about different aspects, and their individual enthusiasm rises and falls during the course of the game. I do love my baseball commentary with a definite high level of enthusiasm. I do love what Duane Kuiper said recently, in a fit of frustration, “Watch the Giants, it’s torture.” The picture that came into my mind at that moment was the horrible picture of a hooded torture victim at Abu Ghraib standing there with a World Series Championship trophy over his head just out of reach. I guess that being a Giants fan for so long has made me a little twisted.

The last two games that the Giants played against the Astros have been of the variety that might cause a person a cardiac arrest. I have a feeling that might be the way that I exit this earth– watching a Giants game in the last inning with the Giants holding a slim lead, and there are runners on base.

By the way, I was at Sunday’s game getting a Willie Mays bobble head of his famous catch in the 1954 World Series.

Barry Zito Photo by Icon SMI

The Sunday game was great!! Barry Zito has continued to pitch well this season to make his record 6-1 this season. Zito gave up only three runs in seven innings, and the Giants’ offense was spurred by home runs off the bats of Andres Torres and Aaron Rowand. Brian Wilson pitched  the ninth inning– retiring the first two hitters, giving up back to back singles to put the tying run on third base, and struck out Kaz Matsui to end the game on seven pitches as opposed to the 15 pitches Wilson used on Matsui in the Saturday game with the bases loaded and the tying run also on third base.

One of the things that I do love about baseball is that it can be a social event. I happened to go to the game with a childhood friend of mine, Jonathon Mitchell. He is one of the two people responsible for turning me on to baseball, along with his brother, Lincoln. We sat and talked about the game, the Giants, our families, and why I would be a better commissioner than the current commissioner “Bud” Selig. I have no “conflict of interest” like the current commissioner; I was never a former owner, and I believe in the game of baseball. I also believe that there are four specific interests involved in the game of baseball– the owners, the players, the sponsors and the fans. I do think that the fans tend to be forgotten in this equation.

One of the things that I love about baseball is the history of the game. I can take pride that I’ve seen some great players– Willie McCovey, Jeff Kent and everyone in between. And it is not just the Giants, I’ve seen great players on other teams from Johnny Bench to Pete Rose, from Nolan Ryan to Mike Schmidt and a lot of players in between. I don’t think that you ever forget the great players or the great moments. Those are players whose legacy will not be tarnished.

I am also a collector– both in autographs and in memorabilia, mostly the SF Giants since they do have a great history. On my wall in my computer room, I’ve got autographs of Bobby Thomson’s home run off Ralph Branca, two Willie Mays autographed photos, one autographed photo of Hank Aaron, one autographed photo of Juan Marichal and a personally-inscribed autographed photo of Yomuiri Giants’ great slugger Sadaharu Oh from a college friend.

I also take a great deal of pride and put a great deal of effort into my autograph collecting. I try to follow certain themes– mostly Giants-related themes. I do have a baseball autographed by Jeffrey Leonard (1987), Will Clark (1989), and Benito Santiago (2002), all three of the Giants NLCS MVPs. I also have a 50th Anniversary SF Giants poster, which I am trying to get signed by all the players on it.  What I do find surprising is that neither Barry Bonds nor Will Clark are on the poster, but Barry’s father, Bobby Bonds and Jack Clark are on the poster. I also think that it must be tough to figure out the final cut of who gets to be on the poster. I only need five more autographs to get this poster completed. The autographs I need are: Felipe Alou, Mike McCormick, Jack Clark, Jeffrey Leonard, and Matt Williams. I am hoping to get Matt Williams’ autograph on the poster at the end of May when the Arizona Diamondbacks come to town since Matt Williams is now the Diamondback’s first base coach. I also have the autographs of the five Giants Hall-of-Famers: Mays, McCovey, Cepeda, Marichal and Perry.

Well, I’ll tell you about my other projects later on. I’m still hoping that the Giants do well for the rest of the month of May. Go Giants!!

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