While looking for Giants articles, I came across this one that's not so much about baseball, but a big gushy love letter to San Francisco. It made me a little weepy with love. :)
San Francisco set to showcase its heart
By John Schlegel / MLB.com | 10/26/10 11:05 PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- They call it The City.
From the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, past Fisherman's Wharf, around the Embarcadero, to the bayside ballpark where the World Series comes to town on Wednesday, its very nickname embodies one of the finest and most fascinating places on the face of the Earth.
The City by the Bay -- or, really, just The City -- is uniquely San Francisco, and unquestionably a fog-draped gem without compare.
As the late columnist Herb Caen, who loved San Francisco three dots at a time for decades, once wrote: "One day if I do go to heaven I'll look around and say, 'It ain't bad, but it ain't San Francisco.' "
Heaven-on-Earth's team is in the World Series for the fourth time since its famous move to the West Coast in 1958, leaving New York for perhaps the only other place that could take on a team called the Giants and live up to the name.
Not once has the World Series trophy taken up residence in San Francisco, as inviting as it might be, with each of the Giants' three attempts containing an incredible amount of drama -- no more so than the 1989 Bay Bridge World Series, which was interrupted by the deadly Loma Prieta earthquake.
Eventually, it was in that Series that the baseball denizens of San Francisco's fraternal twin city, the Oakland A's, collected their fourth World Series trophy since moving to the Bay Area a decade after the Giants -- a cruel and enduring twist, indeed.
Ah, but San Francisco does endure, along with its Giants, having survived the 1908 and 1989 earthquakes and many other travails, and lives and thrives as one of America's greatest symbols of natural beauty and urban development working in harmony.
And here it is, in the World Series, with its beloved Giants.
"A lot of people say San Francisco's too sophisticated to be a big baseball town, or it's too transplanted," says Giants president Larry Baer, a fourth-generation San Franciscan. "But what we've found over the years is that there are deep roots for the Giants, and a deep longing for success. Even when we were at Candlestick, TV ratings were high, and the depth of interest was there.
"San Francisco's a different sort of city than it's perceived to be, and it's a different city than what you'll see in other parts of California. It's an older town, and probably shares more in common with cities like Boston than L.A., if you look at the architecture and things like that. This is a city that was formed around the Gold Rush."
Indeed, the financial and cultural center of the West since California gold drew settlers to a place where many other resources and riches would be found, San Francisco is much more than just one thing. Known for its free-spirited, tree-hugging ways -- and rightfully so, especially after the 1960s -- San Francisco is just as much about big business on the Pacific Rim, fine dining of every flavor imaginable, five-star hotels and, in this day and age, the Internet age, birthplace of endless computer companies and now home to Twitter and Facebook.
It's a business suit in the Financial District or beads and sandals in the Haight, a tofu burger or a perfect porterhouse on one hand, world-class sushi or a great seafood cioppino on the other, and it's all rolled into one tie-dyed bundle. It's a place where the romantic, the weird, the mystical and the alternative haven't just been appreciated but celebrated, and where life is seen from many angles but all with the same beautiful backdrop in the place you'll leave your heart.
Tourists flock to the tip of the peninsula year after year, enjoying the micro-climate of rain and fog and brilliant sun, depending on what comes through that magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. The man-made marvel's orange hue, when it's not obscured by the ubiquitous fog, reflects throughout the city and right onto the Giants' uniforms, and it's a sight and an attraction unto itself.
"When I cross the Golden Gate Bridge, it's almost like it's sculpted out of ivory," Baer said.
People come from all over the world to see that bridge, and to visit The Rock -- Alcatraz Island, where Al Capone and other nefarious criminals were kept within earshot of the parties at Aquatic Park. They come to taste the sweetness of Ghirardelli chocolate, the savory fresh seafood at Fisherman's Wharf, the wide range of culinary creativity of its hundreds of fine restaurants and pubs across its mosaic of neighborhoods, from the Sunset to the Castro to the Mission. They come to take it all in, hopping on cable cars for a real San Francisco treat, taking a white-knuckle ride through the hilly streets in a taxi or getting around town on MUNI or BART -- really, the only West Coast metropolitan area that enjoys a substantial level of viable public transportation.
And San Francisco takes them all in, the proverbial melting pot of race, ethnicity, orientation and ideals. From its museums and performing arts to its street musicians and sometimes racy parades, San Francisco is always teeming, always up to something, always being San Francisco.
"Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart," the venerable broadcaster Walter Cronkite once said. "You want to linger as long as possible."
What's also so special about this tip of a landmass, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the San Francisco Bay on the other, linked by that ever-magnificent bridge, is that it's right at the heart of so much that surrounds it.
Drive a few hours to the northeast, and you'll be at Lake Tahoe, one of the most spectacular natural and all-season settings in North America. Drive a few hours to the southeast, and you'll be at Yosemite National Park, with its magnificence enjoyed by Teddy Roosevelt, Ansel Adams and millions of others since. Drive south and you'll be at the Monterey Peninsula, where otters and seals and whales hang out with the birdies and eagles on golf courses.
Or stay close, with a drive north to the world-class wineries of Napa and Sonoma counties, where almost all of the best wine in North America is grown, harvested and made. Or simply head across the Bay to Berkeley or historic Oakland, or down the peninsula to San Jose -- all bustling with life, and their own unique history and personality, separate yet always somehow attached to the city they call The City.
It is very much California, but it is not Los Angeles, nor is it "Frisco," a name Caen reminded brings shudders to anyone who resides in the city limits. It is not like anywhere else you've ever been, unless, of course, that place is trying to be like San Francisco.
As a sports town, it has been to the pinnacle and back in every endeavor. Though San Francisco's Giants have gone 0-for-3 in the Fall Classic thus far, the 49ers of the NFL have won all five of the Super Bowls in which they participated -- the last in 1995. The Niners have given us Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, one of the greatest quarterback-receiver pairings of all time, plus Bill Walsh and Steve Young. And "The Catch," Dwight Clark's touchdown grab against the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game in 1982. The area's universities, those pesky A's and even the Warriors of the NBA also have brought home championships.
When it comes to baseball in The City, it's not just the Giants but the Seals, one of the original Pacific Coast League teams. And it's not just them, it's Joe DiMaggio and his brothers, a long history with and a love of baseball even before the Major Leagues arrived in the Golden Gate.
"I'm proud to have been a Yankee, but I have found more happiness and contentment since I came back home to San Francisco than any man has a right to deserve. This is the friendliest city in the world," DiMaggio said on the occasion of his 50th birthday.
The Giants and Willie Mays played at Seals Stadium, at the corner of 16th and Bryant, for their first two years before moving into Candlestick Park, where the windy and frigid conditions would be hallmarks of their 40 years there -- eventually begetting the Croix de Candlestick, buttons saying "Veni, Vidi, Vixi" -- "I Came, I Saw, I Survived."
Longtime fans can still feel the thud of their hearts hitting their stomachs when Willie McCovey's rocket line drive with runners on second and third was snagged by Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson, preserving a 1-0 victory in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series. It was 27 years before they returned to the Fall Classic, and the 1989 World Series became historic in a much bigger sense than baseball.
When the Giants returned to the World Series, in 2002, it was in the bayside ballpark they now call home, opened in 2000, and behind Barry Bonds' powerful bat, they went to seven games again, getting to within five outs of victory in Game 6 before falling to the Angels.
"I was a senior in high school when we were in the World Series last, and that World Series killed me to watch," said Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz, a local product fortunate enough to share the clubhouse with Mays and McCovey, who attend home games often. "This is my hometown team, and it's so awesome just being here now I have to keep pinching myself."
Where else can you have a cast member of "Beach Blanket Babylon" sing "God Bless America" while wearing a hat depicting the San Francisco skyline? Where else would living members of the Grateful Dead sing the national anthem during the playoffs?
And where else can you munch on garlic fries and bundle up for a baseball game hoping for a Splash Hit to go flying into McCovey Cove?
Why, in The City, of course.
I think it's the description of how you have all these different things coexisting here that gets to me.
Lincecum still misses Molina
Henry Schulman, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Two revelations from Tuesday's media day demonstrate the bond between Tim Lincecum and Bengie Molina and illuminate rumors that Lincecum initially was not keen about switching to the rookie catcher.
Buster Posey told one group of reporters he felt Lincecum was the last of the starters to embrace him, and Lincecum did not deny that.
"You get stuck into patterns or routines or kind of comfortable things where I had Bengie back there every game, or just about every game, calling the pitches, taking care of stuff," Lincecum said. "It's kind of tough to get on the same page with a new guy coming up."
He said his working relationship with Posey "came around a little bit later than we hoped, but we figured it out."
Second, Molina texted Lincecum during his 0-5 August to offer support and even specific advice.
"He was just reaffirming to me that I should be confident, don't forget what I've done and just keep remembering that because I'm still the same pitcher," Lincecum said.
This just all sounds so awkward and uncomfortable. :( For me, that is.
Oh wow, it gets even more horrifying:
On what he told the Giants: "The first time I was up, I wished Posey luck and he wished me luck. Then I looked out at Lincecum and touched the bill of my cap, and he touched his in response. I had as special a relationship with Timmy as I have had with any pitcher. Maybe because he was so young when I began catching him and I became a mentor to him. We have texted since I was traded but I had not seen him or talked to him in person until the game yesterday. I had heard he had said really nice things about me to the press."So to summarize, they looked at each other and touched themselves, and Bengie had a "special relationship" with Timmy because he was "so young" and then he called him his boy and Timmy said that he loved him. I think I watched an episode of SVU like this once.
On what he told Lincecum: "When he came up to bat for the first time, I stood and told him, 'I want you to know that hits or no hits, win or lose, you're my boy.' (Lincecum said:) 'Hey, Be-Mo, I love you.' "
Also, apparently Josh Hamilton smelled pot in the outfield, LOL.
"I could smell weed in the outfield," Hamilton said. "It was crazy. I was looking at the cops a couple of times during the game."I don't remember ever smelling pot at a Giants game, but it is the World Series; it's a special occasion! Also, that's kind of more a Berkeley cop thing to do, I think. One of my friends was smoking pot in Berkeley and a cop asked him to go over the hill to a road that was less busy. :P
It was the second straight day Hamilton ran into weed smokers.
"My wife and I were walking down the street [Tuesday] and there was a guy smoking a joint with a cop 50 yards away," he said.