2009 San Jose Giants Experience
(originally written 8/28/09)
On August 27, a friend and I attended the minor league San Jose Giants game versus Lancaster. The only reason anyone in the world, besides their employees, should even know a Lancaster team exists is because Roger Clemens' oldest son Koby is their star catcher.
This unplanned, free event was memorable for a variety of reasons, least of all which was the 4-0 victory the first-place Giants recorded.
I'll start from the beginning.
Our seats were in the RF bleachers, which are large enough to comfortably seat, oh, the state of Delaware.
No sooner than our butts touch metal do four college-age girls plop down within three feet of us.
No sooner than THEIR butts touch metal than they kick off what will be three hours worth of clueless cheers, taunts, and most notably, "WOOOOO"s.
Mind you, the game has not even started yet.
We, within five minutes of waiting in vain for them to get tired of blustering, move halfway up the bleachers. The pain is eased slightly.
These groupies, I do have to credit them, because they do at least know who some of the players are and do understand the game.
When I call them clueless, it is because they have no clue how annoying and irritating their "spirit" is, and they cannot seem to realize they are the only four people in the whole stadium out of about 2,500 that are so disruptive that even Pope Benedict would consider running them over after the game.
I'll list some examples...
(Darren Ford is announced)
(Darren Ford takes a ball)
(Darren Ford goes yard)
(The umpire dusts off home plate)
Ok, I made that last one up.
But it wasn't that far a reach. From start to finish, three of the four girls WOOO their way into everyone's contempt—especially when Giants C.J. Ziegler and Nick Noonan (who each gave autographs before the game and happen to be cute enough to attempt to con into marriage) come up.
The fourth girl, however, doesn't woo so much as she trash talks the opposing team, namely #23 their starting pitcher who was struggling early and deserves a Medal of Honor simply for not turning around and firing a fastball at this chick's smirking face amidst her ongoing taunts, which include "That's why you're in the minors, you're a pussy, you suck," etc.
What made the situation especially confounding was that this girl looked a lot like pre-coke Lindsay Lohan, but sounded exactly like Newman from Seinfeld.
Moving on, finally...
In the first inning, a Lancaster batter hit a very high pop-up. I mean, it was HIGH. So high, in fact, you half-expected Robert Gates to order it shot down. If you've played the game, you know that high popups are nowhere NEAR as easy to catch as the pros make it look, and that most players would rather tackle a 110-mph liner than one of those. This batter had a legitimate shot at being the first player to ever have his bat checked for cork after popping out.
Paul Oseguera, the Giants starter, mowed through Lancaster so easily that SJ officials had to resort to gimmicks to keep the masses entertained. One such gimmick is a common one at ballparks—play a song (in this instance, "YMCA") and catch dancing fans on the video scoreboard.
One older man shown on the scoreboard seemed to be dancing against his will.
He looked 100% bored and outright disgusted at the same time as he forced his limbs to cooperate.
"I thought when the 70's ended I wouldn't have to DO this anymore!" you could practically hear him thinking.
Another gimmick showcased San Jose bench players taking aim at the headlights of a carpet delivery van with baseballs, teaching vandalism to hundreds of young children at an early age while also giving them the impression that it is to be celebrated.
Also, San Jose commemorated their 200,000th fan of the season, one Ramon Valle. That sounded more like a place than a person. It's possible he filled out the form incorrectly and in the spot "Where are you from?" he put "Dave Wilson".
One thing I could not understand: when Ford and Ziegler each hit solo home runs, the umpires made it a point to practically straddle them as they rounded the bases. This is one instance where lying is appropriate—if the ump is literally unable to see a runner touching a base during a HOME RUN TROT from less than two feet away, he needs to pretend that he does. I know I, after that display, didn’t trust any other calls he made—would you, for example, trust your financial advisor if you caught him ripped off in a crooked back alley card game?
In the 7th, we got a temporary reprieve from the "WOOO" girls when a man sacrificed one of his young sons to distract them. For a whole inning, the groupie brigade's focus was on that of this kid (Brandon) who so bravely took one for the whole team. It almost cost him his little brother, though, as Dad stood up to tell the girls his name and VERY nearly sat back down on top of his toddler who'd crept in under him.
As you might have guessed, the Woo-Woo Sisterhood was back at work to close out the game in the 9th, and so was Oseguera. #48 was totally dominant in what would end up a complete game shutout, giving up three hits and whiffing 15 against a Lancaster team whose uniforms looked a lot like those of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D'Backs also K a lot. Has to be a connection somehow.
My final assessment on the Giants game: Even though I failed in my mission to catch a foul ball, manipulate the SJ staff into giving me one of their $23 BBQ plates for free, win the I-Pod that was being given away, and explode the WOOO girls' heads through telepathy, I guess it still beat being in the house.