Wednesday, August 08, 2007
The dog days of summer are upon me at work. As much as I love my job, I'm getting sick of the same kids for 8 hours a day. Same arguments, same jokes, same reprimands, same Uno games (although I did buy a "High School the Musical" Uno set which seems to really intrigue the kids). Zzzzz. Yesterday was one of those days too....where I didn't feel like being there but had no real excuse or reason to leave early. I grabbed some lunch (same frigging store) and returned to my closet/office to eat. I then got a phone call from an old friend who had 2 CLUB LEVEL tickets for the Giants game.
Now, I had sworn off this sorry excuse for a team upon my return from seeing them in Boston. They frigging suuuuuuuuuuck. They don't even suck in a "hey, we're young and are going to get better" way. They're flat, boring, predictable and horrible. But, Barry was tied with hammerin' Hank and hell, I've seen some pretty cool stuff in my career as a baseball fan and dammit if this crappy '07 team didn't owe me something. So I had my reason to leave eearly and off I went.
I picked up my buddy at his house. He's a union plumber and these are Union Plumbers seats. About 92% of my friends and family are plumbers for some reason. Very, very weird. As I always say, I could be a plumber....all you need to know is shit flows downhill, paydays Friday and don't bite your nails. But I digress. My friend is not a sports fan and he just wasn't grasping the true magnitude of the situation. As soon as we got there, he did. The yard was buzzing.
I hate to be one of those sketchy liar types who say "I could feel it in the air" before something happens. Kind of like people who scream "it's earthquake weather!!" in October or November, almost praying for an earthquake so they can say, "remember when I said it was earthquake weather!?!" But once we got to our (sweet, 2nd row, club level, behind home plate) seats, there was a stillness in the air. It just felt like tonight was the night and I just wanted it to be over. Let me step back for a second.
I know people hate Barry. They say he's a prick, a cheater, he didn't sign their ball, he raped their kitten, he has a recliner outside his locker, he's a showboat...blah blah. I used to feel the same way. Then I realized, the dude is who he is and he simply is not going to change. Not for you, not for me, not for anyone. I totally respect that as long as he's not hurting people. I then realized, the guy has never done anything to hurt his team. Ever. He doesn't get busted at strip clubs or break his wrist doing wheelies on his motorcycle. Hell, he's been on TWO teams his whole career. For a guy thats always been the caliber of a player that Barry is, in the era of free agency, that's nuts. A-Rod is already on his 3rd team and he'll be a Giant next year making it 4 teams. Hell, Barry's only had 4 managers his whole career! What's my point? I guess I'm saying that for a selfish asshole (as he's supposed to be) he sure has shown alot of loyalty. Anywho...
Since I know people hate him and since I have a big mouth, I always find myself defending him. I'm a Giants fan and he is our team. I'll be damned if I'll let someone badmouth the best player on my team. But, it gets tiring and frankly, kind of boring. I, and I think all Giants fans, just wanted the HR chase to be over. I know I did. And I also wanted to see it.
So back to the still of the evening, August 7, 2007. Barry was 2-2 when he came up for the 3rd AB. The Giants were tied and the at bat was a pretty good battle. Then...the swing. The hit. I seriously don't remember any sounds. I just watched the ball and prayed it would clear the fence. It did and it strangely felt like a weight was removed from me. I was so happy for Barry and so happy he became the Home Run King and I was (and am) soooooo happy it's over. Fireworks went off, streamers burst fourth and Barry rounded the bases. When hank Aaron came on the screen to congratulate Barry, I was finally moved to tears. Well, moved to misty eyes. It was a perfect night and the highlight of an otherwise miserable season coupled with what, 9 years of arguing in bars, stadiums, message boards and anywhere else where I couldn't let it go.
No matter what I say, if you think there should be an * or not or if he really is a scumbag or if he's not that bad. No one's going to change their mind this far into the game. There's no new information (although my, Kerry Wood looked slender last weekend) about who did what and all we have now are blowhards on both ends. Think what you wanna think. me and Barry and all us Giants fans don't care.
Congrats Barry. You're the best. Don't ever change.