Minnesota fans might be able to draw some solace from San Francisco's struggles.
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.
|Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply||4||FINAL|
|NY Mets - WP: C. Torres||5|
|Pittsburgh||2||Top 4th Inning|
|Cleveland||21||2nd Qtr 11:30|
|Boston||0||1st Qtr 8:55|
|Detroit||4||1st Qtr 9:36|
|LA Lakers||4||1st Qtr 9:05|
|Phoenix||9||1st Qtr 9:24|
|Columbus||2||2nd Prd 13:41|
|Minnesota||1||2nd Prd 11:55|
|Buffalo||2||1st Prd :56|
|Miss Valley St||75|
|Towson||69||1st OT 0:09|
|Gardner-Webb||72||1st OT 0:04|
|Northern Ill||22||2nd Half 19:08|
|Bowling Green||35||2nd Half|
|Brown||43||2nd Half 15:54|
|Toledo||33||2nd Half 15:53|
|Akron||36||2nd Half 15:46|
|Ill-Chicago||38||2nd Half 16:24|
|Miami-Ohio||34||2nd Half 15:31|
|Columbia||17||2nd Half 15:22|
|Cornell||33||2nd Half 15:03|
|Central Mich||26||2nd Half 17:26|
|Bradley||32||2nd Half 16:26|
|Morehead State||29||1st Half 2:56|
|Yale||2||1st Half 17:01|
|Coll of Charleston||7:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||8:00 PM|
|Loyola Marymount||10:30 PM|
|(21) George Washington||77|
|(3) South Carolina||58|
|East Tenn St||66|
|(2) Notre Dame||77|
|(9) Arizona State||67|
|Miss Valley St||51|
|(18) Texas A&M||65||FINAL|
|(7) Florida State||82|
|Rhode Island||34||2nd Half 12:56|
|North Florida||19||2nd Half 14:30|
|(20) Fla Gulf Coast||41|
|Kennesaw St||34||2nd Half 15:12|
|USC Upstate||21||2nd Half 14:57|
|Lipscomb||37||2nd Half 15:00|
|Nebraska||38||2nd Half 15:39|
|Saint Peters||37||2nd Half 13:27|
|Navy||36||2nd Half 13:55|
|Lafayette||31||2nd Half 14:10|
|Colgate||21||2nd Half 14:18|
|Georgia||16||2nd Half 16:17|
|Dartmouth||52||2nd Half 11:08|
|Penn||29||2nd Half 15:22|
|(13) Princeton||62||2nd Half 7:59|
|Kansas||20||2nd Half 15:53|
|Harvard||49||2nd Half 9:55|
|(15) North Carolina||7:00 PM|
|San Jose St||5||1st Half 18:35|
|Utah State||8:00 PM|
|(8) Oregon State|
|New Mexico||8:00 PM|
|(12) Kentucky||8:25 PM|
|(11) Miss State|
|San Diego State||8:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||8:30 PM|
|Boise State||9:00 PM|
Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?