Rand: Twins might be Giants ... or not

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 29, 2013 - 6:40 AM

Minnesota fans might be able to draw some solace from San Francisco's struggles.

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Giants star Buster Posey broke his bat on a single against the Cubs in San Francisco’s 1-0 home loss Saturday.

Photo: Tony Avelar, Associated Press

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The walk to AT&T Park can take a baseball lover past spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay — glimpses of sea life, water and ships that have remained unchanged for years. ¶ The arrival at the magnificent ballpark, perhaps the best in all of baseball, is equally breathtaking. ¶ But the product inside? Well, that’s more a testament to the harsh nature of baseball and its potential for season-to-season change.

 

In the Bay Area for the weekend, we had the chance to take in a game Saturday against the Cubs. A scalper gladly sold us tickets for below face value even though the Giants announced their 218th consecutive sellout. The die-hards were there in full force, with painted faces, orange pants and “Panda” hats to keep out the chill and honor Pablo Sandoval.

But the on-field product continued a sad trend for the 2012 World Series champs.

In a scoreless game, the Giants squandered opportunity after opportunity. After two misplayed bunts loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth, 2012 NL MVP Buster Posey grounded into a force out at home. Then Sandoval, the 2012 World Series MVP, did the same. After Hunter Pence was retired, the rally was done.

Nate Schierholtz hit a home run for the Cubs in the ninth, setting up one more failed rally: a game-ending 3-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom half. It was a 1-0 loss for the home team, leaving the Giants’ record virtually identical to that of the Twins one year after winning it all.

Fans dejectedly made the slow walk from their seats, into a series of staircases. As the line slowed to a crawl, one impatient fan attempted to circumvent the process by sneaking onto the suite level to find some elevators, only to be met by locked doors. A gloom-and-doom fan behind us took note, jokingly remarking that the Giants wanted the end of game experience to mirror the in-game experience: an opportunity that quickly led to a dead end.

Nobody should feel bad for these Giants fans, of course, after their team took home two of the past three World Series titles.

But if you root for the Twins, the contrast can at least be comforting. The Giants were 90-game winners every year from 2000 to ’04, then lost at least 85 games every year from 2005 to ’08. Then they won two championships, and now they are back down again.

Winning and losing are fleeting, even if the endless water of the bay is not.

 

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Texas 4 Top 5th Inning
Oakland 2
Boston - B. Workman 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - G. Cole
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - S. Greene
Washington - G. Gonzalez 6:10 PM
Miami - B. Hand
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Arizona - V. Nuno 7:40 PM
Colorado - Y. Flande
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 8:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc
Tampa Bay 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
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New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
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Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
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Pittsburgh
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(19) Wisconsin
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Duke
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Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
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East Carolina
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Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
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Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
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New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
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Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
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Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
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