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Saturday, June 26, 2004

The game Eric and I went to tonight between the Giants and the A's was in Oakland, but the tickets were in Dublin, which is in a whole different part of the East Bay entirely. Lucky for me, Eric is familiar with that part of the country, and he knew where we were going.

In fact, I made him drive, partly for that reason and partly because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to stay awake or concentrate well enough to get us there and back. Since we ended up driving almost 200 miles overall, it was a good (if somewhat selfish) decision on my part. We took my car, but I was a passenger, with all the passiveness that implies.

But wait! The best part is that we didn't drive all the way back from Dublin to Oakland. Instead, we took BART from the Walnut Creek station to the Coliseum. It saved us endless headaches, trying to get there on time and trying to squeeze through the parking lot traffic and find a place to park. That would have been a nightmare, and we would have ended up paying more for parking than we did for two BART tickets.

Plus, the train is way cool. I've only ridden on it a few times in my life, mostly because I don't live anywhere near it and generally have no reason to take it. But it was so easy that we're now thinking that the next time we go to a game in Oakland (if ever), we might take BART again, on purpose this time.

Once we got to the Coliseum, there was a ridiculous crunch of people, all trying to get through the two open gates. Why some of the main entrances to the ballpark were closed off I don't know, but it made for massive crowds, with everyone trying to squeeze through the same opening at the same time.

But again, we were lucky. Or we made our own luck. Or something. You see, there was this ramp that people were ignoring. Three or four people started walking up the ramp, and we followed them up. There were three or four more people standing at the top of the ramp, checking tickets and packages. And we walked right in, while all those massive crowds were still being herded around down below us.

Not only that, but we were at exactly the place we needed to be to get to our seats. Our tickets were in the very section that was at the top of this private ramp we managed to find. It was like a miracle or something.

So we were feeling pretty good about ourselves, a couple of Giants fans surrounded by A's fans in their home park. It was a great game, back and forth all the way, with a lot of exciting action and a lot of runs scored. Both sides had reason to cheer lustily (or perhaps not so much lustily as heartily or at least enthusiastically) for their respective teams. But as I mentioned to Eric, we really had the advantage, because we knew that win or lose, after the game the Giants would still be in first place. And the A's would still be in Oakland.

26 June 2004

The view from section 208.

A baseball game is a perfect place for friendly banter. Baseball has such a long, rich, well-remembered history that any two fans of any teams, whether they know each other or not, can find common ground and have something to talk about. And the pace of a baseball game is just right for the give and take of good-natured commentary. Eric and I always play off each other well, because we've seen so many games together over the years. Today's game was one more shared memory to spice up our conversation the next time we see a game together. That's how it works.

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The Giants' six-game winning streak ended tonight, but since every other team in their division also lost, they didn't lose any ground. The A's took a 7-3 lead into the ninth inning, but the Giants rallied to tie it, only to lose it in the tenth inning, 8-7. The Giants had many chances to score, and in fact probably should have won it in the ninth, but for most of the game they just couldn't get the one big hit that would have got them going. I think the momentum is back in their favor, judging by the way they came from so far back late in the game. I guess we'll find out when the two teams finish their three-game series tomorrow.

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