Sept. 26, 2010
GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEOMychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com
DENVER -- Prior to departing for Chicago on Monday, it had been almost a year to the date since Id been on a multi-city road trip. I did the road thing for 10 seasons as an As beat guynational writer for my previous employer, and I have to admit that I didnt miss it at all during the first five months of the 2010 season.When the calendar turned to September, though, it was obvious that I needed to get back out there. The Giants are better than theyve been in years, and you simply dont have any credibility as a baseball writer -- or TVradio broadcaster -- if you arent with the team while its playing its most critical games.Thus, it was decided that I would accompany the team the rest of the way, starting with the series in San Diego a couple of weeks ago. And today, as the Giants play their final game of a six-game trip through Chicago and Denver, and their final road game of the regular season, I offer to you some of the highs, lows and in-betweens of the past week The Giants were off last Monday, and I got into the Windy City at about 9 p.m. local time. By 10:30, I had been hit up by no fewer than 35 people asking me for money, and most of them wanted at least 1. When did the begging rates increase? On Tuesday I toured Wrigleyville and was blown away by how many Giants fans were there. Im not talking transplants, either. These were people who made the trip from the Bay Area -- tons of them. I knew thered be a lot of Giants fans in San Diego, but all the way out to Chicago? Thats passion. The Giants won my kind of game Tuesday night, Matt Cain and Carlos Zambrano took turns shoving bats up butts, and Buster Poseys solo homer to dead center was the only run in a 1-0 final. In short, a nice little signal that its about playoff time. The Cubs won 2-0 the next night, and all of a sudden it was panic time again in relation to the Giants offense. Makes me wonder if the teams fans suffer from collective short-term memory loss. Its not like we havent seen this before. It was the 16th shutout loss of the year! One of the things I really wanted to do at Wrigley was check out the bleachers, but my ALL ACCESS press pass wasnt enough to get me out there. What a joke. Im still bitter. Weve seen this quite a bit before, too: The Giants bounced back with a 13-0 win on Thursday to claim the series victory. The Giants must have short-term memory issues, too, and it works rather well for them. Note to self: While staying out until 5 a.m. is absurdly easy to do in Chicago, it is not required. My professional idol is Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle. His father, Gordon Jenkins (about whom Bruce wrote a phenomenal book), was a brilliant musician who worked with, among others, Frank Sinatra. So imagine the rush it was for me to hang out with Bruce in a Sinatra-themed bar in Chicago, listening to Old Blue Eyes. Incredible. Friday brought with it my first-ever trip to Coors Field, and Tim Lincecum held the Rockies to two hits in a 2-1 victory. As I walked the six blocks from the ballpark to my hotel, I wondered, Whats the big deal? Coors Field is overrated as a launching pad. And then came Saturday. Oops. Is that humidor thing broken? You know what needs to be broken? Dingers legs. The Rockies Triceratops mascot somehow gets away with standing behind home plate and waving his stubby little arms while the opponents closer is in his windup. So bush league its ridiculous. But not as ridiculous as the notion of a mascot running around without pants and spinning his head like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. That thing is going to traumatize children in the Mile High City for life if he isnt stopped. Troy Tulowitzkis walkup song is Party in the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus. Hey, when you hit a homer and drive in three runs every day down the stretch, you can pretty much get away with anything.