bunt sign

Friday, March 30, 2001

Without benefit of any substances foreign or domestic, my mind is, if not quite fried, at least poached. Boiled into blandness. I was so useless all day today that I made up for it by working until seven o'clock on a Friday night, doing things I should have done yesterday. Not that there's any particular deadline I missed (this time), but having one task hanging over my head has a way of keeping me from moving on down the list to the next item.

It all started with a poor decision. I was getting ready to go to bed last night, flipping through the channels one last time, when I landed on a movie starring Samantha Mathis as a hooker with a heart of gold. I don't know what channel it was or the name of the movie, but I know it didn't end until two in the morning. And it still took me an hour after that to get into sleep mode.

Since my alarm goes off at seven, that gave me four hours of sleep. That should be enough, but apparently it wasn't, at least according to the information I got from my body all day long. Heavy eyes, heavy legs. With any less energy, I risked being swept up and dumped with the trash at the curb. I didn't get any work started until about five. I didn't get any gardening done at all.

Baseball returned to television tonight. Nothing says "spring" like the sudden proliferation of televised games. I signed up for all the extra games on satellite. It costs, but I'll get to see local broadcasts from all over the country. I'm most interested in the Giants' games, of course, which are free anyway. Well, not exactly free. Half of them are on a regular (over-the-air) channel, and the other half are on Fox Sports cable.

There are a couple of new ballparks opening in baseball this season. None of them can touch Pacific Bell Park, which opened in San Francisco last year, but the best feature of all of them, and some of the reconverted older parks, is that they have natural grass fields.

After the Giants game on TV tonight, I found the Milwaukee broadcast of the Brewers' first game at Miller Park. That's a perfectly acceptable name for a baseball park, especially in Milwaukee. The new one in Pittsburgh is called (and I really don't know for sure) something like PCP Park. Really. That's not it, but it's something like that. PNP? Whatever, it's a lousy name.

Compaq recently bought the naming rights to the San Jose Arena, where the Sharks play their hockey games. The fans call it the Tank, and when the new Compaq name was first announced over the PA system earlier this week, it was loudly booed. It's not as bad as the reception 3Com got when they changed the name of Candlestick Park, but baseball has a longer tradition here than hockey, and some of us baseball fans are happily stuck in the 1950s (even if we don't remember them).

Eric and I are headed on the special bus to Pac Bell Park tomorrow for the first time this year. These games don't count yet, but it's still baseball. I'm excited enough to be able to tell you that I doubt I'll get any more sleep tonight than I did last night. The tickets were a birthday gift from Mom, to both of us. Eric will turn 25 Tuesday; I'll be the obverse a week from Sunday.

One of the things I'm excited about is that the ballpark now features Krispy Kreme donuts. And they'll have twice as many stands selling garlic fries this year, by popular demand. Also, more urinals in the men's rooms. (Well, where else would they put them?)

Until the Giants moved to the new park last year, they played at Candlestick, infamous for its frigid weather. That park's signature was the fog rolling through the stands and across the field. At Pac Bell, that's been replaced by the steam from the garlic fries, which seems to be everywhere, especially on breezy nights.

The Bay Area is supposed to reach record high temperatures tomorrow. I don't know what the record is for San Francisco on March 31. Something like 65°F? From our experience last season, I can tell you that the weather is always perfect at Pacific Bell Park.

I actually watched parts of three preseason games today. After the Milwaukee game ended, I switched to the game from Oakland between the A's and the Cardinals. The Giants are playing the A's tomorrow, so I had to do some scouting. Real games don't start until Monday, except for one game in Puerto Rico Sunday.

new today, I swear

Don't worry. I don't plan to write about baseball all the time. You didn't see any scores in the paragraphs above, did you? This is just what was on my mind today, after I finally got it limping forward. You can probably expect something about my day at the ballpark in tomorrow's entry, too.

It's better than politics, right? Especially when Mike Reed does it so much better than I ever could.

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