The Nation Reports

Behind Enemy Baselines: AT&T Park (Chris)

[Edit. Chris Scharmen has lived in the Bay Area for 46 years but has been a Reds fan for decades. He has endured the harassment of Giants fans over the years. Chris attended the Saturday night game at AT&T. Thanks! — spm]

I’m a Bay Area native (46 years) and have been enduring Giants games most of that time. Traditionally the Reds do not perform well out here both due to the West Coast time issues and with the swirling winds of San Francisco, tough for visiting teams to overcome. I was primed for a loss and told my Giants friends they picked a good game to come with me because my attendance would almost ensure a Reds loss! Ha.

Once we got to AT&T Park the crowds were already lining up. Apparently free Bobbleheads of either Brandon Crawford (traditionally their #8 hitter) or Brandon Belt (part-time 1B who is currently rehabbing in A-Ball) gets the home crowd to come out in droves.

The line out front three hours before first pitch:

The_line_out_front_three_hours_before_first_pitch

As you can see it was a GORGEOUS San Francisco summer day. We decided to avoid the crowd and head around to the back entrances. Apparently, many of the crowd also had the same idea. Oh well.

Back entrance line for those free mediocre player bobble-heads:

Back_entrance_line_for_those_free_mediocre_player_bobble-heads

Once inside we came across the park’s brand new organic garden. Only in San Francisco. I’m not quite sure what they’re plans are for this in the ballpark, but it’s a great place to hang out and hope a batting practice home run doesn’t doink you on the noggin.

Here are some examples of what they’re growing (no cannabis, yet):

Here_are_some_example_of_what_they're_growing_(no_cannibus,_yet)

The view from the garden looking up at the iconic coke bottle and baseball glove:

The_view_from_the_garden_looking_up_at_the_iconic_coke_bottle_and_baseball_glove

Here I am in the Giant’s dugout store proudly displaying my Reds shirt:

Here_I_am_in_the_Giant's_Dugout_store_proudly_displaying_my_Reds_shirt

The view from our seats (below). Seriously, perfect day and venue for a ballgame. The dude a row below us in the Pence jersey wanted me to high-five him when the Giants went ahead 1 – 0. I made him return the favor when BP gave us the lead in the top of the 9th (only to have to high five him when Posey tied up the game). By the end, he refused to take a picture with me. Losing will do that to a man.

As for the game itself, I was frustrated almost the whole night. Especially considering that Bochy seemed to want to give us this game for free (a bunch of sub .250 rookies, NO Buster Posey in the lineup). The Reds should have been up 4 – 0 by the end of the 4th inning. We had five straight innings with runners on second base (four times with less than 2 outs) with nothing to show for it. Cain’s off-speed crap definitely kept us off-balance. Stupid miscues were consistent ALL NIGHT (Hamilton gets picked off second in the 1st inning, Cozart TAKES strike three with Ludwick lumbering and getting tagged out on a “hit-and-run”). It was awful.

Thank goodness Romo allowed BP to get his glory swing in the 9th. The worst part was seeing Chapman up in the bullpen in the top of the 9th. What on earth was Price thinking?? I told my Giants friends it was asinine. Not only has he pitched several days in a row, but if the Reds don’t score, you had him throwing bullpen for nothing! If the Reds tie it, are you bringing him in against the closer role and with no break day? If we take the lead (which we did) he still is pitching more consecutive days than he should. So before one pitch was throw in the TOP of the 9th I was furious with Price but hopeful he knew what he was doing. Of course, my fury was accurate.

Side note: Being a stadium on the bay is perfect for the view (notice the view of the stadium on the Jumbotron and the garden area directly below):

Being_a_stadium_on_the_bay_is_perfect_for_the_viewHowever, being a stadium on the bay also has its disadvantages. The gulls know when a game generally ends, and begin to fly in whether or not it’s extra innings. When they come flying in, their poop comes raining down. We covered up. This picture doesn’t even do justice to the reality that was what looked like billions of birds above and around us:

being_a_stadium_on_the_bay_also_has_it's_disadvantages._The_gulls

Overall, it was a great night for baseball made even better watching Giants fans head for the exit before their team batted in the bottom of the 11th. So enjoyable.

Overall,_it_was_a_great_night_for_baseball

 

11 thoughts on “Behind Enemy Baselines: AT&T Park (Chris)

  1. Nice to see pictures from around the park, inside and out, rather than the usual batter swinging/ pitcher pitching/ fielder fielding.
    Funny to see the group all bundled up in near-July. I don’t even know where my fleece is at this time.
    What’d you end up doing with your bobblehead?

  2. Thanks! Ya, it wasn’t TOO cold that night (had another jacket all prepared just in case). In fact, the years going to games at Candlestick Park were even worse. Those night temperatures would drop significantly along the Bay front. Yikes!

    They randomly handed out the bobble heads so you weren’t sure which one you’d get. Since on of my friends (Giant’s fan) got Crawford, and I got Belt, I gave mine to her. Though seconds after I got my bobblehead, a fan inside offered me $20 for it. Wow. Could have paid for my ballpark dinner!

  3. Thanks Chris, great reporting.

    Never thought about the seagulls with that angle – not pleasant. I have always rated AT&T as the nicest park, now I’m not so sure!

    • I moved from SD to SF and lived literally a block from the ballpark in both cities. For my money, Petco >> AT&T. Petco is really unique with the Western Metals building and the fans are generally into the game during the game. SD deserves a better product than what they’ve gotten during the past few seasons.

  4. Thanks for the write up! My friend who lived in SF for a while also tells horror stories of the gulls. He tells a tale of a game with a rain delay AND extra innings. By the 12th, there were only a few hundred people left in the stadium and they were literally fighting birds in order to continue enjoying their peanuts, etc.

  5. Nice piece. I am a Cincy native and Reds fan living in the Bay too. While AT & T is a fantastic venue, Giants fans for the most part are annoying. They pay more attention to their cell phones than the game and they treat visiting fans poorly. Thankfully, there are thousands of Reds fans who show up whenever the Reds roll into the Bay, so it often feels more like a home game…especially when the Reds are winning and the Giants fans start heading for the exits. There are some good people who support the Giants, but way too many 20 something knucklehead drunks ruin the experience. Last, but not least, they have the most obnoxious PA announcer in the history of the game. She is HORRIBLE! Voice is like nails on a chalkboard!

    • Nailed it re seagulls, fans, and PA voice. Also nailed it about Reds fan turnout. During the 2012 NLDS I was impressed with how many Reds fans there were. My wife and I actually sat next to Dusty’s family during Game 1.

  6. As a former resident of both SD and SF who was lucky enough to live within a block of both ballparks (literally), I really enjoy these posts and the comments.

  7. I was going to add to the piece that when I used to go to Candlestick Park back in the early 80’s I’d be one of the few wearing my Reds cap and holding a Reds pennant (do they still make pennants?). I remember having a mustard pack thrown at me (hit that beautiful pennant) and having to endure the taunts of drunken Giants fans:

    “Mario So…to! (long pause) Drives a De…Soto!”

    Looking back their taunts weren’t all that great:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s