Baseball Opening Day is the best. Spring has sprung and visions of leisurely days in the ballpark dance in my head. Spring Training happens somewhere else, and there hasn”t been a glut of preseason games televised to take the edge off the opener. Even though I rarely go to Opening Day, it’s an event.
The Giants were scheduled to open on the road, in Dogerland, so the buzz of the home opener was a week away. AT&T Park will be sold out for opening day, even though this year all evidence points to the Giants sucking big time as we enter the Post Bonds era. Hey, they sucked big time last year, with Barry.
But then this ad in the Chronicle Sporting Green caught my eye.
Hey! I could bloody go to the game.
During the off-season the Giants teamed with Comcast to take over Fox Sports Network Bay Area and make it Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area. In addition to the Giants, it will broadcast the Oakland A’s, Golden State Warriors, San Jose Sharks, San Jose SaberCats, and San Jose Earthquakes. As the Giants have a piece of the action, we”ve been told to expect some extras along the way. This must be one occasion.
It was a beautiful day. I parked my scooter a block and a half from the ballpark and walked past McDonalds, a couple of bars and Happy Donuts to Willy Mays Plaza. Banners and bunting decorated the walls outside and a few fans were headed for the gate.
Inside, I got my free hot dog — yum — and before I could see the diamond, I could hear the crack of bat on ball. Folks could sign up for batting practice, a few got a ball or two to the outfield, most didn”t.
On the Diamond Vision scoreboard the Giant’s team was being introduced to the cheers of the fans, these fans here, not those in person in El Lay.
It was great to sit in the warm sun, shielded from the wind and pretend that I was at a real ball game. I heard the buzz of the crowd, appropriate cheers and boos, the aforementioned crack of bat on ball.
Trouble was, I couldn”t see the game very well since the screen, though large indeed, was about 700 feet away. I stuck it out through the first inning. Dave Roberts got a leadoff hit (above) then was caught stealing. Barry Zito served up a 3-2 two run dinger to the hated Jeff Kent. The Giants have been predicted to suck and they”re doing their best to prove the prediction.
All in all, it was a new and fun experience, though I wouldn”t call it “authentic.”