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Friday, May 11, 2001

Riding down Highway 101 toward San Francisco on the bus this afternoon, I almost seemed to be watching spring turn into summer. The hillsides are changing gradually from the lush green of April to the California golden brown of June. The sky today was dappled with clouds, so the blue and white above matched the mottled blend of green and gold in the hills and fields below.

Eric worked in Novato today, and the bus picked him up there. By the time we got to Pacific Bell Park, it was a pleasantly chilly evening. Eric didn't have his jacket, so he bought a sweatshirt at the ballpark. It wasn't a night to be without protection, although it wasn't remotely as cold as it used to get at Candlestick Park. The winds were whipping the flags around, but our section, in the top deck above home plate on the first base side, was somewhat protected.

The Giants called this game a sellout, but there were a lot of empty seats around us. The people who were there were a genial group, a nice mix. We had a few loud-but-not-obnoxious class clown types. But we also had some dry humorists with enough knowledge and perspective to be witty. Eric and I provided our usual running commentary for those who cared to hear it. We even questioned some of the decisions made by our beloved manager, something that runs close to heresy.

And then there were the kids. Three boys about ten years old sat several rows in front of us. Well, they sat some of the time. They also danced and chanted and led cheers and generally made themselves the center of attention without getting on anyone's nerves. They were obviously having the time of their lives, and they took the rest of us along for the ride.

The game went quickly for the first six innings, and then became a battle of missed chances and intense confrontations. It slowed mightily, but the drama of it kept it from dragging. The crowd was greatly appreciative of the efforts made by the players on the field. We had many chances to come to our feet and encourage the team. It was the kind of game, with so many moments that can turn it either way, that makes baseball a great sport to watch.

In the end, the home team won in dramatic fashion, making it a satisfying night for most of us. There were in fact a few Mets fans around, and they were respectfully derided by the rest of us.

Pacific Bell Park and San Francisco Bay, about half an hour before game time

The game went into extra innings, and it was one o'clock in the morning by the time I got home. Even after the long bus ride, I was too wired to sleep right away. That means that my Saturday will start late, but I have plans. I fully intend to root out the rest of the obstructing blackberry brambles.

That's tomorrow. I'm almost ready to sleep tonight, I think.

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