Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Victory Parade

2 Years ago when the Giants surprised the baseball universe by bringing their first  World Series title to the bay area, I was thinking about going to the parade in the city. I decided instead to visit my Dad's grave in Watsonville to spend time with him. And it was a very moving experience. I followed much of the festivities on KNBR radio so I got to there what was going on.  My Dad was a die hard Giants fan. He crossed over in 1994. He was there for Bobby Richardson's catch of McCovey's World Series line drive in 1962. There was the disappointment of the 1989 earthquake World Series loss to the A's. In 1993 he got to see a 103 win Giant team miss the postseason pre-wild card. But the Giants were his team. I remember he took me in 1959 to Seals Stadium for my first Giants game. I was eleven. And we would hit a game or two a year until I got to college. He was a landscape architect and worked outside a lot. So he would have a transister radio connected to earphones and follow the day games that way. There was very little tv in those days. Just weekend games usually featuring the Yankees.

So he missed the last two championships. I think he would have loved this current Giant team. He loved speed and defense and this team won on speed and defense. I think I have always preferred the quick dramatic strike of a home run. He is buried in Watsonville along with my Mom, and my Grandparents on her side. So today was a chance to spend time with my memories of each. Sometimes it is important to connect to your roots. Especially since they have been gone for awhile, my Mom in 1975 and my Dad in 1994, I tend to just get caught up in the moment. But we are each shaped by our memories and our parents are so responsible for those.....My grandmother died when I was quite young. Although I was supposedly too young to remember, I have a fleeting memory of her passing. My grandfather and I used to talk in Japanese and he would tell me stories of Miyamoto Musashi and the great samurai warriors of Japan's history. So there were quite a few memories that came up today. And just driving there to the cemetary I remember the roads my Dad and I would take on some drives. It was quite an experience and good to get out of my normal day to day.

When I would go with Hikitsuchi sensei to Osensei's grave he would always clean the grave and pull out the weeds next to the grave. So I always do that when I go. And I am thankful to him that he passed this on to me......I saw one Giants championship banner put into one of the flower pots at one of the other graves.......Maybe I'll buy one and take it with me soon......

This was quite a run that the Giants made. Two series where they had to win 3 elimination games to go on. Then facing supposedly an invincible team in the Tigers and sweeping them in 4 games. Tonight by chance happened to be the opening of the Warrior season. In 1975 the Warriors won 2 hardfaught playoff series, the first against the then Seattle Supersonics and the second against the before Michael Jordan but still formidable Chicago Bulls. They were heavy underdogs yet won both. Then they faced a Super team in the Washington Bullets(now Wizards) that had dominated them in the regular season. The Warriors of '75 also swept the invincible foe. My mom by the way was a Warrior fan and really followed the great Rick Barry.
So we have seen this before but not recently.

This 2012 Giants playoff run saw many things. A key bunt that stayed fair. A ball hit 3 times by a broken bat that eluded the infielders and brought in crucial runs, countless great defensive plays. But the Giants played almost text book baseball defensively, getting runners in scoring position and delivering. And in the World Series they got an explosive start by Sandoval hitting a record tying 3 home runs. And this team showed such spirit by playing not only with each other but for each other. I  must admit the two 2-0 games in games 2 and 3 were classic Giants torture.....And the final win happened almost as if scripted.......But great moments in sports are that way. Great players and teams realize that they are architects of their own destiny. And in great moments such as those we experienced this past week plus the players and teams are almost creators.......
So here's hoping the Giants continue their run and we get more........

Go Giants!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Go Giants!

I must say that I lost faith. Losing the first 2 games at home. Leaving Timmy out of the playoff rotation.Offense again offensive..........But lo and behold. We go forward. In retrospect there is the serendipity factor. The Giants just weren't going to win either of their home games. So Timmy was available to play a great and vital role in game 4. Even though Zito deserved a start he is not someone who inspires a lot of trust, especially in the Reds' ballpark and against a power hitting team. So having Timmy there in that vital game was a stroke of genius by Bochy, if in fact this isn't just blind luck. The Giants do not make the post season without Zito and his 15 wins. And Timmy had a horrendous first half before rebounding with a strong second half. So both were vital in the Giants being where they are not. Andrea Mallis pretty much called this. Zito has Pluto(power) in his 10th house(career) meaning this was forseen by our Sports Astrologist. A good year for Zito in 2012. And Timmy is a Gemini who had Saturn(misfortune) on his Sun the first half but had Jupiter(good fortune) coming into his sun in the second and in the playoffs. So Andrea called them both. As I write this it is not known which team they will face. Both the Nationals and the Cardinals present problems. And in their championship season two years ago they struggled to get past the Braves before hitting their stride against the Phillies and the Rangers. This year's team lacks the dominant starting pitching of that team. And it lacks a real power arm in the closer spot because of Brian Wilson's injury. But Sergio Romo has that beard and a wicked slider, and the rest of the relievers have been clutch.
That 2010 team got offense out of some surprising players(Ross, Renteria, Uribe, Huff)...This year's offense has better hitters but has been inconsistent. So if we win again it will be with a different formula.But go Giants!

And I would be remiss if I did not mention the great experience the A's gave us. 2 teams on the brink of first round elimination. I watched the Coco Crisp game winner Wednesday night at a restaurant. And I watched the last few innings of last nights elimination also. Improbable. Surprising. Magical. It was touching how in defeat last nights crowd literally overpowered the Tigers' celebration. The love and support that flowed out of the crown was very touching. We have wonderful fans here in the bay area....Go A's...Maybe another Bay Bridge series next year...Sorry....I'm still a Giants' fan....

Here is a video I did recently with another song by Earla Porch, who is a very special talent who sang with the great Chet Baker: