We began the day with a delicious breakfast. I had eggs Benedict and Bert had the buffet at the Willard. We walked out the door and we run into another Giants fan so we shared a taxi to the ballpark. We met up with friends Joyce and Gary. They have a home in Napa, and we are hoping their home survived the earthquake. Joyce had a May-December romance and she and I immediately knew we would be friends. She met Gary her second husband playing tennis, and it seems like another match made in heaven. We met thru this trips and will continue the friendship after the 81 trip. We met for lunch, but Bert and I were still full so we had a cupcake.The icing was creamy and had a good flavor, but the cupcakes were dry. Gary had the chicken sandwich at the club and it was “fast food with a bit of spice”. Food in the club was a disappointment, but the company was good. We had seats in 216 row H. It was covered so we had shade. We enjoyed the 1st 6 innings. In the 6th things still looked good. Things in the game were strange including Peavy being tossed from the Giants dugout. If you have details please post them. Bert should get around to updating his part of the blog, but is currently snoozing. What would I recommend with a game like today? We had a glass of wine and in honor of the “Freak” Tim Lincecum I had a Cabernet called Freakshow. It has the worlds biggest label.
We are headed home tomorrow and hop the earthquake activity is done, and people are safe.
Bert and Le Anne
Bert is behind with the crazy chedule we have. He may update latter, but since we need to get to game I am publishing the blog now.
And now for the ladies view – We began the day with a trip to Breadfurst a great place to have coffee and a pastry in a small neighbor co-op. We met Joel Swerdlow and one of his students to discuss the book. His student had grown up as a Palestinian in Jerusalem, so had a good perspective on people. Joel explained the reality of the publishing business, and we have decided to move forward. We returned to the hotel in time to finish the blog, and then it was time to head to the ballpark. It was raining again, and we both missed the umbrella and a bunch of other items carefully placed in Bert’s closet,so we wouldn’t forget them. We walked to the Metro station and grabbed the red line to the green line and walked in the the rain sans umbrella or raincoat to the stadium. Our 1st purchase was a couple of ponchos, and our second a couple of bottles of water. It seemed ironic to be buying water when it was coming down in a steady stream.
We arrived at our seats in section 130 and saw Martha, and angel of mercy, who saw that Bert was winded and wet and would do better seated some place dry. I learned that her son and husband both worked at the ballpark. She and Bert traded pins. It is the only non-Giants pin Bert has on his Giants cap. We were in the disabled row and were dry and Bert recovered from the walk.
We opted for the cheesesteaks, because they were close and we were hungry. They were tasty, but cold by the time I returned to the seats. The row in front of us had a bunch of Giants fans who recognized us from the MLB article. They asked if they could take a photo, and of course we were happy to oblige.
We got to watch the tarping and untarping of the field, and I held my breath that we wouldn’t have a repeat of Chicago.
Timmy was pitching, and although he spent time in Seattle we have heard he doesn’t like rain. We predicted in yesterdays blog that he would not pitch well and he didn’t. Bert gave the dreadful details, so I have nothing much to add. I don’t understand why you force a pitcher to pitch in cicumstances he doesn’t like. He is also missing his favorite catcher, Hector Sanchez, and just doesn’t seem to do well with Buster or Susac. If Bochy had Petit pitch today, based on what we saw, we would have had another W which we badly needed if we are going to beat LA.
On the ride home we met two interesting guys, Jeff and John, both journalists, and both Nats fans. They enjoyed todays game more than we did, but talking about the game on the way “home” made the time pass quickly.
We may be underdogs for the next game, but as a man who has seen more than 80 years of baseball has explained, on any given day, either team could win.
Bert and Le Anne
Even the best the Nats could put on the mound, was not enough to maintain the 10 game winning streak, as the Giants pummeled them 10-3. Nothing lasts forever and so Washington found out. If baseball patterns continue, a long streak, when broken, often starts a new losing streak, so the Giants may induce a series win this weekend, by splitting the next 2, rain permitting. We can only wait and see.
Timmy doesn’t like the wet, or the heat, and he will have both today. The 3 1/2 game gap will shorten if he can overcome that. Only time will tell.
But we don’t have to wait for Joe Panik to make his mark, as we see a new Giants star in the making.
It was a full day of touring the city followed by a Giants slugfest. We ran into two sets of Giants fans outside the Willard where we are staying. One couple we had met the previous year at spring training when Bert and I were just getting to know one another. The other couple recognized us from Kruk and Kuip’s broadcasts.
Bert and I explored a bit of Nationals Park.
We got tips from a Nats fan that the best food on the club level is outside, but lines are long or inside the club at the hamburger stand.I opted for the black and blue burger and Bert went for the foot long hot dog. We chatted with a couple of Nats fans about the stadiums we had been to. Their favorite was Camden, our PNC. We then went to our seats where the usher wiped down our seats, as it had been sprinkling. Rain just seems to follow us…Ughh!
The Nats fans were almost rooting for the Giants after hearing our story. It was a light-hearted evening. My cousin Joel, a die-hard Nats fan welcomed us to DC. He told us he would do anything except root against his beloved team. I sat between him and another Nats fan who was a police officer. They were good fans, who knew and understood the game. It is fun being with people who understand the game, and have a passion for it. As the game wore on they both put on their rally caps to no avail. By the last inning I was rooting for the game just to end so we could get some much-needed rest.
I would say that National Park is a stadium that could have been spectacular, but isn’t. The views of the river and the landmarks could have been a focus, but instead this stadium is just a circle with a few buildings in the background. It is a shame they wasted a chance to make it special.
Arrived in WA at 12:30 am in Washington and we were glad to get away from a miserable Chicago stay. We could blame it on the weather, on trying to do too much, but we were glad to put it behind us. Since Washington is a 1st time for Le Anne we are looking forward to rekindling our happy days.
And now for the ladies view- flying in and out of Chicago is always a challenge, so this time I opted to try Midway. We left the ballpark before the game finished, and figured we would catch the balance on the phone. Little did we know we would be stuck in some portable with no wi-fi so couldn’t get results until we arrived in DC. We did win the series so I am happy with that. We arrived so late we were upgraded to a suite at the InterContinental. Room price was listed at $1700 so things are looking great today. I want to see DC so blog is short.
Oh, and 160 other Giants fans are staying here(not in our suite). Go Giants
Bert and Le Anne
Things were more like it Wednesday! More to like! The 1st six batters for the Giants ( 5 hits and a SAC fly) produced 4 runs, which eliminated any potential anxiety for the rest of the day. 3 more in the 3rd, 1 additional in the 4th, and an 8-2 lead made the rest of the game boring. The best the poor Cubbies could do against a Peavy who allowed 10 hits was 2 runs. So why complain? I guess there is no way to satisfy a committed baseball fan, who likes the game so much he wants excitement and interest for all 9 innings.
Oh well! You can’t satisfy them all, by just saying “That’s Baseball.” More tomorrow if they play. Rain has been forecast.
And now for the ladies view. We waited for my Iowa cousins to pick us up at the hotel. While curbside we met a couple of Giants fans who recognized us from TV. Thank you Kruk and Kuip! When Roxie and Jeff arrived we discussed how tough Chicago traffic is. It is one of the reasons I opted not to rent a car, and stay near the redline.
It was Star Wars night at Wrigley and the force was with us, and so was Darth Vader. Everything went perfectly for the Giants tonight, including notice that Bochy’s appeal was upheld and we would get a chance to erase the loss. It was a great game if you are a Giants fan. I could talk with Roxie and Bert taught Jeff to score. It has been a lot of fun to see family as we have traversed the country. Last night we had dinner at the ballpark. Bert and my cousins opted for hot dogs and I opted for Giordano deep dish pizza. I would give it an average rating. I assume that it was sub-par because it was done at the stadium and was lukewarm, since Giordano has a great reputation. I was thrilled to have a game that was not exciting, because the Giants were on the winning side of the equation. Today a partial double-header unless it rains, then things get complicated.
Bert and Le Anne
Again, what a day! Up early to get to Chicago in time for a 7 pm start, and just about made it, after allowing for dinner with a relative unseen for 40 years, and then not even a full game. And the Giants did good, even after giving up a 2 run homer with one out in the 1st inning. They out hit the Cubs 6-3 in a 4 1/2 inning rain shortened game to the legal level to create another loss.
I understand Bochy complained about calling the game, after an almost 5 hour wait. The rules put that decision into the sole discretion of the umpires. Once the game starts, the clubs have nothing to say about things like rain. We didn’t object when at 8:40 pm we decided to go back to the hotel. As it turned out, we were glad we did.
Todays another day- or night- and we will do better. We could have caught up yesterday, but as I always say, “That’s baseball”
We began the home stay with a 1:30 arrival and a 10:30 surgery for Bert. He is fine just a basal cell removal due to many baseball games in the sun. Dr Neuhaus and his team made sure Bert could make the game in Chicago and they put in disposable stitches. Bert requested an orange SF, but they didn’t have orange suture material.LOL We met Natosha on a previous visit prior to the wedding and she was eager to see wedding photos. Her supervisor happened to walk by and recognized us from TV. Even surgery is fun these days.
We began this leg of the 81 adventure with an early morning flight on Virgin America. We met this couple waiting for the flight and they offered to give Bert and I their seats so Bert and I could sit together. I have mentioned this story is not just our story, but the story of others who often show unexpected acts of kindness. We opted to keep the seats we were in because I was happily between two Giants fans and Bert planned on sleeping. I got to hear their Giants adventure, and share ours and the flight flew by. We hit a bit of noticable turbulence outside Chicago, and I shared a story about how when my daughter was young we had hit turbulence I had gripped the arm rest and held on for dear life. My daughter burst into song and sang a song she made up for the occasion “Bumping in the Sky”. I told the woman that my daughter singing had shown me that how one reacts to a situation is a choice, and my daughter clearly had made the situation a light-hearted one. I think of that song any time we hit turbulence. The woman and I then joined in a chorus of Bumping in the Sky” and the turbulence was gone.
We grabbed our luggage and headed to the hotel. We are staying at the Intercontinental. It is convenient to the Wrigley via the redline. Traffic was terrible and it took until after 3 for the taxi driver to reach the hotel. We met up with my mom’s cousin Jean Alan who is a world-renowned interior decorator. I had not seen her in more than 40 years, so we had lots to catch up on. We had lunch/dinner at Eataly. It is an unusual place, and I had a delicious artichoke dish. It was wonderful to go to a Cubs game with family. I had heard stories of my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother attending Cubbies games on ladies day. Going into a grand old ball park that generations had seen was memorable.
We ran into some fans who recognized the 81 couple.
The game is a memorable one because it was decided by the incompetence of the Cubs ground crew. They looked like a comic team as they stood around with the tarp in the downpour, and then couldn’t get the field covered. I have had comments from Giants fans alleging that this was the only way the Cubs can win a game these days. They had mountain sized bubbles in the tarp, and tarped and retarped numerous times. Never have I seen such a bungled job. They managed to dump water all over the field, and the game couldn’t be resumed because despite only a 15 minute shower, the field was to wet and muddy to be safe. I am ready for a better result today.
Our seats are in 216 row 7 seats 7-10. So stop by and say hi
Bert and Le Anne
What do you say about a game where nothing went right. If you are Bert you simply say that’s baseball. We had tickets in section 310 row A this time. We got to see the club level, and I would say this is one of the few areas the Royals lacked. The food was limited to hamburgers and hot dogs, we saw no place to lounge, and the memorabilia was minimal. On a positive note they had the best cup holders of any of the stadiums. They held the large size cups.
We looked over at Kruk and Kuip in the booth and watched as Mike Krukow tossed up a ball. We didn’t hear the broadcast, but I wondered what do you talk about when a game is lop-sided. I have lots of respect for someone who can fill up 3 hours with banter. The Hunter Pence signs throughout the stadium must have provided some opportunity, but other than that I am unsure how they kept things going.
I mentioned that the food was boring on the club level. The only thing I found worth mentioning were the funnel fries- tradional funnel cake in bite size strips. I had a cheeseburger and Bert had a hot dog.
I hope we can turn this around because I would like to see another World Series win for the Giants. They need hot bats and consistent pitching. Injuries have been devastating.
Another disaster was game 59 on the road. The 5-0 loss means only 2 runs scored in the last 3 games. No way will that bring home a division championship. This one had us in some hopes, even after Gordons lead off homer in the 5th, but their 4 run rally in the 7th put it on ice for KC period. When all we can produce are unmatched singles, and a double to lead off the 8th it is hard to wind up with a W. All we can hope for today, if the rain allows the game to go one, is avoiding a series sweep.
So back home tonight( about 1 am arrival), cooler weather and hotter bats next week. We are only 3 games off the lead, and that can be made up, without too much trouble.
And now for the ladies view- We began the game in search of barbeque. We are in KC after all. We found the barbeque shack next to Rivals. We got to the stand and they were disorganized. Bert thought 1/2 rack of ribs would be the perfect way to enjoy lunch, however after a 20 minute wait in the hot humid sun, it no longer had the appeal. We took the ribs to a table, but the only tables were in the sun. The humidity was 93% and we wilted. The ribs were a single slab and they gave us a plastic fork and knife to cut them. They were not the tender ribs I am used to from Texas, and it took all my effort to saw threw them. Bert was steamed by that time and only ate one rib, and I finished what I could and we went to our seats. I would give this barbeque a thumbs down.
I couldn’t figure out why Royals fans were wearing red Royals shirts, until they announced it was Nebraska day at the K(Kauffmann stadium) and chants of go Big Red filled the park.
Since the game was a snoozer if you are a Giants fan the only other thing of note was that there was a fan from Korea, here for the series. He threw out the 1st pitch yesterday and was being photo’d by media during the game. I understand from fans in the stands that it was on his bucket list and he got people to sponsor his trip. I would post more details but the wi-fi at the Staybridge suites is so spotty I can’t get the Internet up in time to look it up to make the game
The losses are taking a toll on us. I expect wins, and a 2 game loss on the road is a real bummer. Michael Morse needs 2 homers to reach the 100 home run milestone. I am rooting for that. Pablo needs 14 doubles to reach 200 double marker. Hit away Pablo. Timmy needs 2 wins to reach the 100 win milestone. May today be the day he gets one of them. Go Giants!
Bert and Le Anne
We shudda won! We didn’t! 8 hits in the 1st 3 innings. 5 hits in the 3rd. We were certainly disappointed, having 2 men thrown out and home in that inning, so only 1 run scored. Obviously the Giants were disappointed too. They could only squeeze out 4 singles for the rest of the game.
Butlers homer in the 1st was all the Royals needed to coast the rest of the way. Bumgarner did a fine job following that 1 mistake. He went for a complete game loss throwing 123 pitches in 8 innings. He faced only 3 Royals in each inning after the 2nd. Another wasted superb performance although it did require 4 KC relievers to protect their early lead. They did so while striking out 5 Giants to match the starters 5 K’s for a total of 10 Giant strikeouts.
The Tim boys-Hudson and Lincecum will now have to win the final 2 outings to grab the series. We will be there, then return home for a week before hitting the road to Chicago and DC back east. This will complete 9 of the 12 trips in the 81 adventure.
And now for the ladies view- Grrr I am still trying to get online, and the annoyance of not being able connect to wi-fi is making me about as happy as last nights loss.We arrived at the stadium and we met outside by Giants fans Liz and Larry. Larry even had orange shoes. We then went to guest relations and they are the best guest relations dept we have met so far. We not only got the passport stamped, but were given the press notes on both teams, a tote to carry everything, and they even tracked down a scorebook since Bert had run out of pages on his. They also gave us hints on food, and we were not disappointed.
The Mac and Jack sausage with pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, bacon, barbecue sauce all over a sausage was delicious. Bert opted for a hot dog which was grilled, a little burned, but warm and tasty. Bert chased the dog with a beer
The stadium was great for the market size of the Royals. Creative finishes such as the crown on the scoreboard, and the water features that can be lit were attractive. The scoreboards provided all the info that anyone wanting to score the game needed, and the scorer was responsive in getting scoring decisions on the scoreboard.
Jim and Jennifer tricked us by telling us they were seated right behind us. They are new Giants fan friends. we were lucky enough to have Giants fans next to us. They even scored the game We had a visit from Carley and Sara who recognized us from Kruk and Kuips broadcasts.
The game was a big disappointment. Madison Bumgarner gave a super human performance with 123 pitches. The play was sloppy and we could have easily taken this game so the loss is even tougher. Giants players are playing to hard and just need to relax. I was happy that Morse and Perez had better games after being so gracious to us yesterday. Of note was an unusual play by the ump at 3rd. He was calling a Giant safe and was so enthusiastic he fell on his rear. It will certainly make the bloopers list.
I am a big Bumgarner fan and it was sad to have 3 Giant errors, a slide by Pence into 3rd which was called safe then overturned, and a call on the Royals which was overturned in their favor- nothing seemed to go our way.
The Royals fans we met were welcoming, the stadium is family friendly, and if you enjoy a park off the beaten path KC is a good place to visit. I would come back in the future. Now we just need a couple of wins and I will really like it! It only took me 2 hours to do the blog today due to slow internet at the Staybridge Suites… Grrr
Bert and Le Anne
Just another game, that followed the old pattern of some early action( 6 hits in the 1st few innings)but not one extra base hit when needed. It was not a long ball day and no small ball attempted. Peavy couldn’t complete 6 and came up with his 3rd loss as a Giant, with no wins. He allowed 9 hit( 4 doubles) to give the Brewers the 3 runs needed to take the game. A lost series, although the 33-23 away record, is still a good one. Le Anne and I are willing to take Larry Baer up on his offer to watch more home games from his owners box. We would be glad to bring our 81 for 93 magic and turn around the unsatisfactory home record. Le Anne will be waiting for Larry’s call.
The ladies view-I am sitting here trying to remember what happened yesterday, and it seems like a long time since the loss of yesterday. Of note was a gracious conversation with Morse and Perez, followed by a picture together. The reason for the trip in the 1st place was Bert’s dream to live the life of a ball player and the guys really made him “feel like one of them”. As for the game we began with lunch- Bert had a turkey wrap and I had cheese curds in a canoe. They are a typical Wisconsin treat and reminded me of mozzarella sticks
I sat next to an obnoxious Brewers fan who continued with berating comments the entire game. I thought Peavy was much improved and I expect a win from him soon.
I went to the ladies room, and this is noteworthy in that in the majority of cases each time I leave my seat and go to the ladies room the Giants get a run. Bert thinks it may be 100% of the time. I told him the Giants needed help so I was going and sure enough they got their only run. I also got us Blue Belle turtle pops while I was up. It was something sweet to concentrate on, instead of Mr. Mouth next to me who didn’t have a nice thing to say about my beloved Giants the entire game.
Our seats were good but for a day game the seats between 1st and home plate are better because they are not in the sun. We were in section 225 row 14 this time. The view was reasonable except for 2 ladies with tall straw hats which partially obstructed the view.
After the game we scrambled for the bus, but arrived in time for the last bus, which we knew from the previous night wouldn’t leave until 30 minutes after game time, and it is a generous 30 minutes. We opted for a cab, and apparently Bert was slow because after missing 2 of them, we thought we were next and so did another couple. They were staying at the same hotel so suggested we share. It was a delightful conversation, then we hurriedly scrambled for the luggage and a cab to the airport so we could pick up the rental car at the Enterprise. The cab driver was a Brewers fan 1st, but a lover of the game of baseball 2nd. He and Bert had a lively discussion about the game and we arrived at the airport quickly.
The Enterprise car rental experience was not the best. We rented a car from Milwaukee to KC and it was pricey because we were dropping it off in another location. The lady at the counter wouldn’t help me link this reservation to the one in my previous name. She was rude, and if this had been my 1st experience with Enterprise I wouldn’t use them again. I also asked if she could speak to KC Enterprise location and arrange for us not to have to return this car and pick one up. We knew we would be getting in between 2 and 3am, and to drive this car to the airport, and pick up an identical car so we could pay local rates instead of the inflated long distance rate seemed like a courtesy they could extend to a loyal customer, especially since it would cost them nothing. She wouldn’t help on this either. We got the car and arrived in KC at 230 am and checked in to the hotel. We had breakfast at IHOP then headed the 45 minutes to the airport to exchange the car for a like vehicle, then 45 minutes back to the hotel.
We chose the Staybridge Suites because they advertised they were minutes to the stadium. We will be lucky if there is no traffic to be able to make it parking lot to parking lot in less than 30 minutes. They also advertise free Wi-Fi. In my opinion they are misleading on this also since you can’t get wi-fi on your cell phone. I complained and the manager did say they are investing in upgrading the routers, and he allowed me to use his personal hot spot to try to upload photos for the blog. Unfortunately only about 1/2 uploaded, and the wi-fi on the laptop in so slow I have given up until I get home or some place where I have real wi-fi. I am grabbing an hour nap and the off to the stadium. Go Giants! From the time we left the Pfister in Milwaukee, which was my favorite hotel, things have taken a plummet. A win tonight and this annoyance will be forgotten.
Bert and Le Anne