You may have thought yesterdays playoff game in the Nations capitol was exciting, but only until you stayed awake long enough the next night. The longest game in playoff history gave the Giants a second win after 6 hours 23 minutes and 18 innings. The Giants behind by 1 run(1-0) after the 3rd tied it at the top of the 9th. So it went for 18 innings until Belt belted a homer and let us all relax a bit and prepare for the next exciting game of NLDS championship. World series play early in the post season, with each manager and player eyeing that World Series ring. Another great week of baseball to look forward to.
And now for the ladies view- Loran and I planned on touring the Capitol pre-game, however we opted to do what ladies do when they are exhausted we went and got our hair done. I arrived back just in time to get Bert and head to the ballpark. We took a cab this time to avoid the problem we had the previous day. I went in to the team store after waiting about 30 minutes in line to just get in to the store. Nats fans were buying things so quickly they were wheeling racks of apparel in as fast as it was going out the door. I then had to stand in another line to get to the register to get the stamp for the passport. It snaked all the way thru the store.. I will say it was a great place to watch a ball game even being a visitor. We were treated with respect, and all the Giants fans I spoke with said that any ribbing was purely in fun. The park had families with kids so I would say it was family friendly even during a playoff game. Also the fans love their Presidents Each game 4 presidents race to cheers from the fans. The even have a website devoted to the President’s races.
We were in 114 again and saw Mark and his brother again. They were behind us this game. Russ and Terri from the Giants front office were also there. Even having a fun time at a playoff game they make sure all the fans are happy. Russ even bought Bert a hot chocolate when in was late and he saw Bert shivering. They had to work after the long game, so our sitting in the lounge at the airport seems like a walk in the park.
Bert spoke to Ryan Vogelsongs wife about the travel aspect, and I spoke to her about her handbag. She has a handbag that I had eyed online, but it was to expensive. It was great to see it in person She was also good at leading the fans to cheer the Giants on. The game was incredible and I felt for Huddie pitching in the cold with a sore hip. I didn’t think he would make 5 innings, but I guess champs step up even when things seem impossible.
The Giants fans really do seem like a Giants family, and other than 18 innings and the longest game in baseball history I don’t have much to say.
The 1st game did not permit a lead of more than 2 runs, so it was a nail bitter. The Giants got the clinching run in the 7th when Paniks triple was followed by Poseys RBI. Solo homers by Harper and Cabrera off Strickland then made it a 1 run game in the 7th, and there the scoring ended leaving the Giants ahead 3-2
We are running behind on the blogs but have a bit of time at O’Hare to try to catch things up. It took us 2 hours to make it the 3 plus miles from our hotel to our seats in the stadium. We were supposed to pick up our tickets at player will call. The person directing people at the ticket window sent us all the way around the stadium, and when we arrived there we were told it was back one window from where we began.After a walk to the Muni, changing trains, and a walk to the stadium, the walk around the stadium was too much for Bert and I needed to get a wheel chair for Bert. Game one Peavy was considered our best chance to win on the road per the “experts”. We were in section 114 with the other Giants faithful, Giants family members, and staff. We sat next to Willy Mays nephew on one side and the GM for San Jose Giants and his brother. Mark and his brother made us feel welcome and they had spoken to Righetti and had inside information that Jake was predicted to have a great game. It was an atmosphere that reminded me of a family gathering and I felt like this was the ideal group to share a Giants game with. In front of us was Brig General Richard M Murphy and his wife. They are related to “Murph” from the Giants and were there celebrating his (Richard’s)50th birthday. He was a batboy for the Giants in his formative years. The stories and the people we meet continue to paint and incredible story. The game was a nail bitter and even I was exhausted.
They call it the post season, but for some like Le Anne it is THE SEASON. Is it possible that a baseball savvy adult has never yet attended a World Series game? Surely those who know Bert are aware of his penchant for bringing to fruition someones unfilled desires. So can there be any wonder that this season must reach its fulfillment of this new ecstatic baseball world to satisfy this ambition.
No more need be said. Go Giants!
And now for the ladies view- How did we end up in Pittsburgh? After the Sunday win and the beautiful ceremony the Giants had to celebrate the completion of the 81 we received calls, emails and texts asking if we would go on. Everyone from the Pirates to the SF Chronicle wanted to know. We had planned on just attending home playoff games, however we felt like we had the chance to follow this dream for every fan who couldn’t, so we booked the flight and hotel, and the Giants arranged for tickets.
After little sleep we hopped the red-eye and arrived in Pittsburgh. We stayed at the Renaissance which was convenient. Our pastor Dan and his wife Barbara were in town, so after a nap we met them for a drink then headed to the ballpark. We picked up our tickets and wanted to see Kathy who was the supervisor on the club level who had brought us hot chocolate and James who had put us on the elevator with Kruk and Kuip. Chuck from Pirates guest relations would not allow us to go up to thank them, and we were both disappointed. I would say more than disappointed. Bert and I are not security risks and certainly would not try to grab a seat in the club instead of sitting in our section with Giants family members behind the dugout. I felt this was a move by someone who was in a position of power and he could use it for no other reason than because he liked to. Those two people were some of the 1st to share the passion for the game and to really make us feel welcome at a ballpark. They influenced us enough that in the interviews we always gave credit to PNC and ranked it number one…it is a good thing our 1st experience at PNC had not been with Chuck.
I then had to make reservations. We had a flight booked on United to return to SF. Bert decided he would make this special and we could go on to DC, so I called United. They said they would give us credit, but I would need to have priceline call them. I called Priceline and they said United’s policy is no refund, so we ended up with no refund or credit on the return flight. I decided to book American so we didn’t have an issue going forward. I then booked a hotel, and texted Loran another die-hard Giants fan from Ohio to see if she was going to DC. She said she was so we rode with her. The drive thru PA was beautiful and the trees were red, gold, and green. We ended up at the hotel and after a nap went to dinner. We were recommended a place called Old Ebbitt Grill and food and drink were reasonable and delicious. Bert had wings and I had maine lobster pot pie. Yum.
Well another nap and then off to take on the Nats. We are underdogs again.
We didn’t write the blog on game 82 because the game was a disappointment, and we got home late and then got up early to head back to San Francisco in time for a victory against the Padres. We had visits from people we had met along the way.
We had a message from the Giants office that we should be in the office at noon. It is the 1st time that I had ever looked forward to a visit to the office so we headed that direction around 11:30. We had to stop in and get Bert a new score book so he could score the game, since he filled his last one up. We ran into fans as we headed to the stadium and we felt lucky to be able to represent them in this journey.
We met Terri from the Giants executive offices and she showed us the inner sanctum We then met Laura who was doing an internship with the Giants, and she took us to the field. We got to walk down the same tunnel the players use. It was all like a dream . We were unsure what was happening and then someone from the Giants told our story. Bruce Bochy and Larry Baer( giants CEO) presented us with a jersey that every player and coach had signed. My only comment is wow. We were so overwhelmed that the players and coaches and ownership would honor us for just being regular fans who were lucky enough to see a bunch of games, that we couldn’t even focus on scoring the game. Neither of us took out our score book the entire game. Prior to heading to our seats for the game we got a tour of the media truck. I felt I had entered the starship Enterprise
We then rushed to our seats and had a great view of the team as they won 9-3. Here are a few shots from our seats.
Well it was a great day, and all evening we heard from people via text, blog, and email. We had decided that due to my cousin’s death we wouldn’t be going on to Pittsburgh, but after a night to think about it we decided this isn’t just our journey, this is the journey of every baseball fan. We recieved so many inquiries from people regarding continuing the post season journey we decided we would be remiss if we didn’t finish the fairy tale. We are tired but we will go as far as fate, heart, and the Giants take us. Together we can.Oh, and of course this blog wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the food. Bert naturally went for a hot dog and I naturally didn’t. I had a Caprese sandwich which is mozzarella, tomato, and spice on sourdough. It was a bit messy, but tasty.
So now we are off to see the stadium where we met Kruk and Kuip. Where we met James, where we were given hot chocolate by guest services. PNC was our favorite stadium (outside of our home park) and we hope we don’t go 14 innings again to beat the Pirates. Thanks for encouraging us when we were tired! We booked the plane and hotel and tomorrow fly all night so we can see one team play one game for one step to one more World Series
Bert and Le Anne
Game 80 away, with 1 to go. It was my 101st game of the season, a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers as they evened this series. The interesting part was it was home run derby day- all 6 runs resulting from 4 baggers. The Dodgers took the lead, and never looked back, with 2 homers for 3 runs in the 1st. Bumgarner, who has been used as a pitch hitter, gave the Giants their only 2 runs, with his 1st at bat in the 3rd inning. The 1st 3 innings had the lead of runner getting on base with a hit, but Madison cashed in, with the only Giants runs for the day.
The Dodgers added the 4th run with Turners second 4 bagger in the 8th. The series is tied, and today we will close it out. The Dodgers have the league lead. The Giants should make the wild card. What will the final league result be? Who knows? I won’t predict.
Where to begin? It is game 80. My cousin Aaron is joining us to watch the game. I got to see a game with his dad in DC and now with Aaron. They both scored the game. I am reflecting on what this trip has meant to me, and I ask is it baseball? family? friends we have met along the way? time with Bert? I guess like baseball it is the entire team that is important- no player more important than the other. I love the Giants! They are a true team, and work hard for a single goal. The trip will be over in one more game. I have mixed emotions about it ending. Both Bert and I are tired,yet I know if there were 81 more games we could make it together, and yet it will be nice not to be eating another burnt Dodger Dog, and to sleep in our own bed.
It was a game of drama. First a lead off homer by Turner, then Bumgarner hitting Puig. Puig charged Mad Bum, and then the benches emptied.
We were surrounded by Dodgers fans last night. They were not the bad, drunk ones, and were fascinated by our 81 adventure. They came around when I told them to watch out for Mad Bum at the plate, and they scoffed. As if on cue Mad Bum homers, and the Dodgers fans are stunned. I am totally bummed by the loss, and again I find myself second guessing Bochys choice of starters in a do or die game against the Dodgers. Huddie has not done well in his last starts, and the Dodgers have the mighty Kershaw pitching. I guess and Bert and Marty Lurie both say “That’s baseball”
I have another cousin who is a Dodgers fan, and he has been trash talking ever since the Giants lost the lead. I told Zach that I don’t believe the Dodgers will go far, because they are impulsive, hot-headed players who forget about team. Maybe by being steady and predictable Bochy brings something to the team that in the long run serves them well. Play our game, and play as a team. We won’t change our game just because it might serve us now. We play together as a team, and build something that doesn’t just serve us for one game. Go Giants! Pull together, and pull out a win as the great team you are.
Bert and Le Anne
Well yesterdays game was 100 for the year, according to my score book, 79 were away games, leaving 2 more in LA to complete the 81 for 93 adventure. We are going to do it! It is a bit tiring we will admit, but what could be more exciting than yesterdays 5-2 13th inning win. It brings us closer to the playoffs, but no guarantee yet.
A 3 run 13th inning was exciting coming down the home stretch. The relievers did their job. Peavy threw his 83 pitches in 7 innings. He was almost matched by Haran’s 100 pitches in his 7 inning. Two more games vs the Dodgers. It could get more exciting before the week is over.
We should mention that Larry Baer invited us to the office proceeding next Sundays home game. What could he have in mind? Whatever it is, we are excited.
And now for the ladies view- I don’t make any bones about it, I can’t stand driving in LA. We opted for a nap, and overslept. We usually get there two hours pre-game, but it was 5:30 when we woke up. It is only a little over 3 miles so we felt we had plenty of time. Naturally there was a detour getting on the 110, and naturally even Bert could have walked faster than we drove. We arrived at the stadium and dashed in to a prefered lot and hurried to the stadium. There was no time to get the passport stamped, and we hurried to our seats. Harriet and Dave who follow our blog came by to say hi, and sadly we only had time for a brief conversation and a quick photo, and then just about enough time to fill out the line up on the score book. The atmosphere was a playoff atmosphere last night, and the Giants came to play.They looked like a different team from the one we saw in San Diego. The Dodgers had massive cheer squads Frank Sinatra Jr sang the National Anthem and it was Tommy Lasordas birthday complete with a cake and well wishes from Magic Johnson. Lucky for us we came to spoil the party.
As with the 1st visit to Dodger stadium I encountered some less than desireable behavior from Dodgers fans. I took a hit in the back of my knee with a beer bottle and my knee is still smarting. I think that both the Dodgers organization and Dodgers fans could end this type of behavior, and they should. We heard great Dodgers cheers like Giants suck. Some Dodgers fans apologized, but none of them told the idiots to zip it.
The great overtime victory did take the sting out of being hit, as did the comments from a Dodger fan who said I would take Hunter Pence over Puig any day and Brandon Crawford over Hanley Ramirez.
To what do I credit for the win? Maybe the great together we can spirit? Maybe the coaching? The pitching? The fielding, which was terrific? Or the bats that seemed to light up? No- I credit Hunter Pence for the drum playing on Browns head that seems to fire up the Giants.
Oh, and I would be remiss in failing to report on the food.
Like all else in Dodgers stadium dinner didn’t live up to what we enjoy as Giants fans. We both got burned hot dogs.
I got texts pre-game from Giants fans asking us to tell the Giants that they want to Giants to know they still believe. My nieces boyfriend who lives in Seattle sent us a photo of how much he believed
My mom texted she was exhausted but wouldn’t close her eyes until the final pitch was thrown. My dad who has Alzheimer’s took a lap each time the Giants got a hit. My sister rooted them on, and said she believed in the Giants and they would win just like the Seahawks. My daughter joined in listening to every play. Fans like Larry from Texas watched eagerly on MLB, and told us he already had tickets for 2 Giants series next year and wanted to plan a get together. Fans from the blog are already planning when we can get together next year. We also got texts from across the country from as far as Iowa who saw us on TV and reported on Kruik and Kuips commentary.
Bert and I are moved by the people who have become part of the 81 for 93 adventure. Go Giants….together we can! And as if we didn’t have enough fun at Dodgers stadium Bert suggested we just try and go direct to the right field gate instead of retraceing our path in. We got out to the lots and couldn’t find our car. after 30 minutes of walking we did get a cart and described where we had come in, and he took us right to the car.
Bert and Le Anne
We are committed to writing a daily blog. We honor our commitments, but if one is to tell the truth, and one always does so(even when one becomes 2)This a.m. is not condusive to positive thinking. What can one( or two) say when the Padres sweep a series when our guys desperatly need to wind up their mediocre season on a upswing. BTW Webster defines mediocre as average. And of the 3 games, only one of them was even mediocre. Who can we blame? Bochy? Our starters? Vogies reached 100 pitches in 5 innings? Our bullpen? We used 5, even gave Bochy Jr a workout, all to no avail.
So as the season winds down, the only question can be “Will they try and repair the broken wheel?” I am not even sure of that.
And now for the ladies view- I did the stadium tour pre-game and learned a few interesting facts about Petco. The most interesting to me were about the brick that PETA purchased.
Peta wanted a brick that said boycott PetCo and naturally with PetCo spending the millions of dollars for the naming rights, the Padres were reluctant to grant that request. PETA snuck by a brick that spells out the message, but using a seemingly positive message. Read the brick and take the 1st letter of each word and you have Boycott PetCo. The second interesting thing Tim shared was regardinging the earthquake buffers built in to the stadium. The railing has already shifted over an inch.
We got to explore all the nooks and crannies of the park including the Fox cameras.
Loran the Giants fan from Ohio went on the tour with me, since it was about 6 miles of walking according to the guide. Bert wasn’t up to 6 miles yet.
I am continuing to battle a dying computer, so will have to post the rest of the photos after it has cooled down in LA.
After the tour I headed back to the Omni to grab my backpack and Bert and head to the ballpark. We were on the elevator with Brian Sabean, and one of the Giants scouts. Bert and the other people on the elevator were oblivious. They discussed the Giants play and I just smiled at Mr. Sabean. He didn’t comment.
We met a nice Dodgers fan who took photos for us and had a mix of Padres and Giants fans around us. The discussion was friendly, and other than the loss the game was a good social experience. We shared our generous portion of shrimp and fries with the Padres fans next to us. Late in the game a few Padres fans had a few to many beers. After multiple warnings they were ejected.
Coming back we met the Gamer Angels and we took the elevator back up to our rooms. We ran into Tim Lincecum. I asked if he would be offended if we took a photo. He immediately took off his headphones and posed with Bert 1st and then the Gamers Angels. We all talked about the hope we still have for the season. I guess that is the difference between Bert and I. I remember the warm conversation and the fact that we all believe including Timmy. Bert remembers the Padres sweep. Well shutting off the computer and hitting the road for LA to see how much the Giants want to win.
Until Bert and Le Anne
Game 98-77 away- It was another one we would like to forget! In a way I can’t wait for the next 4 games so that I may be relieved of the 81 weight I seem to be carrying on my back. Promises are promises. Expectations must be met. So with all the glamor, and excitement that the 81 story has engendered, how may I plead not to just being tired, but being tired of the travel. The day does not now pass when Le Anne and I are not stopped, admired, or congratulated on what we are doing. I am wondering what it is we are doing to engender these reactions.
Winning or losing baseball games, no longer seems the issue, in attempting to comment on the game, or what tomorrow may bring. The many reactions and friendly discussions we are having in all of our travel, have made us realize how much a sport- including baseball of course, breaks the ice among people to the point of molding and melding attitudes about all our lifestyles, different as they may be.
We have learned from others, that these interactions have been helpful. We have learned so much about others as we travel. What else could be better? So the Giants were swamped by the Padres. The friends and relationships created on this trip make that fact seem immaterial. Who would have thought?
And now for the ladies view- We met Loran for lunch at the terrace. On the way we passed a display with a baseball from the 1800’s.
We had our burgers and beer, and then came back to watch a rare Cubs come from behind finish. We gained on those Dodgers, and were full of hope as we headed to the game. I am limping thru trying to publish the blog since my laptop battery is dying. I have a new one on order, but I won’t have it until I get home. We had a great group of Giants fans around us in 113, but even with all the cheering we were unable to pull out the win. Buster had a good outing as predicted by the game notes, and Hunter had a better than expected outing. We came up one run short. Petit pitched a great game. We desperately need a win today. I am rushing out the door for a stadium tour, the blog is late, and Bert is planning a power nap. We did make it on TV. Bert will discuss the game.
Bert and Le Anne
Away game 76, with 5 to go, did not get off to a good series start. It was all over after Hudson’s disastrous 1st inning, allowing 4 hits, and a walk, which gave the Padres all they needed to coast all of the way, which they did. Despagne pitched a scoreless 7 innings with 94 pitches. The 3 relievers kept the game scoreless for the Giants, who could only get 3 hits and 1 walk, for a no spark offense. So there is not much to talk about. There were only 4 innings when more than 3 Giants came to the plate. Those innings had one 1 extra batter. So it was a 5-0 stinker, to open the series. Hudson settled down, but the Giants could not come up with the big hit- or any hit.
We will have to win the next two, to come off with the series, which is always our prime continuous objective.
Now for the ladies view- It was a busy day for the Steinbergs. San Diego is the Giants home away from home. We explored the Omni and Bert envisioned himself as the big leagurer he always wanted to be.
We met one of the pitchers wives, and she and her family were gracious enough to spend their lunch hour talking to us. We did confirm that our take on the celebrity status of being a major leagurer was not fun. Having to stay in a hotel room except when you are working, is life being in prison, albeit an upscale prison. You have to choose between not being hounded, and not leaving the room.
We met a bunch of Giants fans pre-game and were all hopeful for a Giants win.
We arrived early and hoped for an autograph, but there were so many Giants fans in the stadium I gave up. I did watch Bochy’s son warm up. Given the outcome of the game he would have been a better choice as a starter last night.
We watched the pregame tribute to the Native Americans pre-game.
The Padres mascot just doesn’t seem like a mascot you can play with. I grew up in the Catholic church, and having a care free time and a religious figure seems out-of-place at a ball game.
We were pleased
to see that the gamer “Angels” who sit behind us at AT&T were behind us a Petco. It made us feel at home.
Bert had a Friar frank for dinner, and had a bit of a belly ache afterward. I opted to wait for the cake we had back at the room. It was not a healthy eating day, but the diet begins after the 81 adventure.
We ended up with a loss, but began with a greeting by a young fan who recognized us from TV. Hope he brings us the luck we need to get a win.
After game 75- we have 6 road games left. Time to start our bragging. Everyone knows that a 50-50 record on the road is the best one should expect. As of today, the Giants have a 42-33 away record. We would like to believe that our following them for all 81 on the road is a contributing factor. Even if they lose the remaining 6, the season shows a better road record than would be expected. With a positive home record the division lead still is a good possibility.
Bumgarner had another good game, pitching 100, but he only lasted 6 innings. He left with a 2-2 tie, preventing a decision for him. It took 2 hits, mixed with 2 walks to produce the 4-2 lead for the Giants in the 9th. Casilla closed out the bottom 1/2 which could have been a 1-2-3 shot, except for Pablos error, which extended the inning 1 batter. Casilla got the win. It was a long 3 1/2 hour game, but with satisfying results. Today is a travel day, and tomorrow we take on the Padres.
And now for the ladies view- We were staying at the Clarendon Hotel, and if you want a place to swim, this was a good place to stay. The breakfast was also very good here. If you wanted a nice big room this was a bit disappointing. The internet was spotty, and they said it was due to an upgrade in progress. They did install a booster so we did get some internet, just not enough to get photos on the blog or to listen to Tune in radio.
We went to the stadium and met up with Loran again. She had tickets on field level and offered to share. Bert doesn’t like sitting past the baselines so after realizing there was no batting practice we headed up to our seats in 208. You have a good view of the entire field, and Posey even hit a ball into our section 1 row and 2 seats to far for me to make the grab. The usher in Loran section was a knowledgeable guy and even told us about the group of students there today, solving physics problems involving baseball.
Mad Bum as always kept us in the game. I watched as the Rockies racked up runs against the Dodgers and wished our bats would catch fire like that. With Pagan, and Morse out we needed a spark, and Brandon Belt came in for 1 rotation to get the crowd and the Giants ignited. We managed to break a 2-2 tie and get a much-needed victory. We are only 2 games behind the Dodgers in our division and I am still smelling a victory for the Boys from the Bay. We had burgers for lunch. They were big and messy, and Bert was not thrilled. He doesn’t like risking spilling on the score book.
We went to the Old Spaghetti factory for dinner, and Bert satisfied his pasta craving. By the time we got home we were too tired to write the blog.
This morning we wanted to hit the road early, so we could avoid the remenents of the Hurricane so we got a reasonable start. As we left the Clarendon we met two Giants fans who recognized us from Kruk and Kuip. We arrived at the Omni a little past 2 and had lunch and Bert is currently snoozing. He is resting up for the final 6 on the road.
Bert and Le Anne