Tag Archives: San Francisco

Worst Ballpark Food? You Decide ~

Last month ESPN held a contest to decide the “Best Ballpark” in the major leagues.  Miller Park in Milwaukee won the contest while AT&T Park in San Francisco came in a distant second.  You can read about it in the “Related Articles” section below.  But when I read this I couldn’t help wonder if the ballpark food entered into this, because everyone knows AT&T Park is hands-down the winner in that category.  Here’s a sampling of the food at Miller Park I found this morning at “My Boyfriend Fatty’s Blog“.    I would categorize these as  “Worst #1 and Worst #2.  See what you think.

Worst Ballpark Food #1.   This is called the “Crazy Meatloaf Sandwich” from the Comet Cafe, near the Milwaukee Brewers Miller Park.  It may not be the worst, but it sure looks like it!

Worst Ballpark Food #2.  This didn’t actually look too bad until I realized what’s in it.  It’s called a “Pulled Pork Parfait” and I can only begin to wonder what the cream-colored filling is made of.   This little gem is available at a concession stand at the Brewers Miller Park.

Peanuts and crackerjacks anyone?

Capitalism Alive and Well in Baseball!

“Courtesy of Money Ball”

Last week I was perusing the San Francisco Giants website looking for tickets.  I  settled on two $46 tickets in the Premium Lower Box section, went through the hoops and hit the button only to find that the $46 tickets were now miraculously $150!   Here’s the Disclaimer that was shown on the page:

“Market pricing applies to all tickets. 
Rates can fluctuate based on factors affecting supply and demand.  Lock in your price and location today!”

What the heck is that all about?  I mean if you list something for a certain price shouldn’t that be the price you pay for it?   I’m just as much in favor of capitalism as the next guy, probably more so, and I’m not an attorney,  but shouldn’t this be considered false advertising?

I understand having different prices for different games.  For example,  a June 4th game between the Giants and the Dodgers is priced at $56 for a lower box seat but a game on August 3 between the Giants and the Padres is only $32 for the same seat.   I get it.  Nothing wrong with that.  But to buy a ticket advertised at a specific price and then find out “at checkout” that it’s three times the price you agreed to pay for it 10 seconds ago?  I don’t think so.  I wonder if other teams are doing this.  Ticket prices  should be published at the beginning of the season and remain the same throughout that season, or at least until you get a chance to click the purchase button.

“AT&T Park not the only game in town” Photo Courtesy of Gerald Carpenter

Needless to say, I cancelled the order I was working on and instead I’m flying down to San Diego in June to watch the Padres and Rangers at a price we agreed upon.  Okay, I realize with the air fare, hotel, meals, etc.,  it’s going to cost me a fortune.  But this is a protest purchase you know?  And it’s the principal of the thing.  I mean how many times do I have to keep paying for Zito’s salary?  Enough already.

One bright spot in the week.  We received an email from the Oakland A’s a few weeks ago offering $12 Field Level tickets on Mother’s Day.  And that’s exactly what they cost.  These were great front row seats, beautiful weather, friendly fans, and extremely friendly vendors and staff, and a beautiful pink rose to boot!  Needless to say, we’ll be back.

And we’re flying to Seattle and attending a Mariners game week after next.   If this is perceived as being disloyal, so be it.  I love my San Francisco Giants but I love baseball even more and I’m going to the games one way or another.

Like I said, it’s the principle of the thing.

Porking out at the Ballpark on Mother’s Day!

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 Some of the above pictures courtesy of  Fox Sports MLB’s Best Food List.

I just found out I’m going to the Oakland A’s – Detroit Tigers game on Mother’s Day so I went online to find out what’s for dinner!  My search found this great website  with such tantalizing food pictures I think I’ll conjure up some ballpark food for dinner tonight!

One of my favorite ballpark foods is the Primanti Brothers Sandwich at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.  When I was there the fans were lined up around the block for this one.  The special sandwich (pictured above) includes not only the roast beef, but also the salad and french fries  stacked high and part of the sandwich.

And someday I’m going to try those Rocky Mountain Oysters at Coors Stadium.  Or maybe I’ll watch someone else try them but it’ll still be an experience.

And for dessert it’s a toss-up between those yummy looking cupcakes at Safeco Field in Seattle and the  funnel cakes at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

If you don’t have plans for your mom, your kid’s mom or someone else that’s really special on Mother’s Day why not consider taking her to dinner at the Ballpark!  You’ll get to enjoy the camaraderie of some the greatest fans in all of sports, hopefully a great game and some really terrific food.

Best Food at the Ballpark in 2012? ~ You Decide!

"Strasburg: Last year's version with butterflied hotdog on top"

I found a great little ditty this morning at the Washington Post.  The Nationals are going to highlight special food from the visiting team’s home town each time they play in Washington.   I recommend you take advantage of  San Francisco’s special food “Garlic Fries” this year, especially since the Giants will be playing at Nationals Park on the 4th of July, and not just because they’re our namesake, but because they’re really, really good!

But for sure you gotta love the special food presented by the Washington Nationals this year, honoring their special pitcher, Stephen Strasburg.  I hear it includes 12 pickles, representing the twelve strike-outs the Stras got in his first outing.   Great article written by Dan Steinberg, from the Washington Post.

Nationals Park introduces 8-pound ‘StrasBurger’

By , Washington Post  Posted at 02:06 PM ET, 03/12/2012

 

The new 8 lb. Strasburger includes fries and a coke! Courtesy "Yardbarker"

(Marvin Joseph – TWP.) As the baseball season approaches, you know what that means on this here blog: lots of updates on the concessions available at Nationals Park.

Our first update concerns the Red Porch, and a brand-new menu item that will get lots of attention from media and fans: The StrasBurger. Via my favorite friends in Nats PR:

Weighing eight pounds total (including toppings), the StrasBurger is a monstrous all beef burger (combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs). The burger is served on a large burger bun with our secret sauce, American cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, pickle chips and served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and a pitcher of your choice of soft drink. This signature dish is the perfect entrée to share at this affordably-priced family restaurant.

In case you missed the key phrase, this burger WEIGHS EIGHT POUNDS TOTAL, which is a lot of pounds. Even if some of them are onion pounds. Every TV station in this market will have hosts merrily attempting to grapple with the StrasBurger next month. At least, I hope so.The Red Porch will also feature special food and beer pairings that will spotlight area brews, including those from Dogfish Head and Flying Dog. Any time I get to type “Dogfish Head,” I consider that a win.

Also, the Taste of the Majors stand — which has spotlighted a few items from other MLB cities — will now feature a special dish from the city of each visiting opponent while they’re actually in D.C. Those items will all be limited time only offers, obviously.  The list:

Atlanta:   Smothered Fried Chicken Platter
Baltimore:  Pit Beef Sandwich Platter
Arizona:  Dog Platter
Chicago:  Dog Platter
Cincinnati:   5-Way Cincinnati Chili
Colorado:  Mile High Burger
Houston:  Houston Nacho
Los Angeles:  Dog Platter
Miami:   Cuban Dog
Milwaukee:   Beer Brat Platter
New York (Mets and Yankees):   Coney Dog Platter
Philadelphia:   Philly Chicken Cheese Steak Platter
Pittsburgh:   Pitts Burger Platter
St. Louis:   BBQ Rib Platter
San Diego:   Fish Taco Platter
San Francisco:   Garlic Fries and Shrimp Platter
Tampa Bay:  Salty Dog Platter

Geez, this is all making me hungry!  Only 23 Days to Opening Day ~  See you at the ballpark!

“A Game for Bryan Stow”

Bryan Stow with his children.

I grabbed this gem from the internet.  It’s written by  Michael who  grew up a Mets  fan, but quickly acknowledges he’s a genuine fan of anything baseball.

A Game for Bryan Stow

Written March 7, 2012 by Grubby Glove

A Heartbreaking Anniversary Is Approaching. On Thursday, March 31, 2011  after the season-opening game in which the Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants 2 to 1 in Los Angeles, Bryan Stow, a father, husband, paramedic and Giants fan wearing his orange and black colors, was viciously beaten by two men in a parking lot outside Dodger stadium. A reaction of universal condemnation was immediate. People everywhere showed their support. Many fans attending the next game at Dodger Stadium wore the colors of both teams.

Tragic Consequences. The fact that this occurred to Bryan Stow is a tragedy, but it didn’t happen to just him. It happened to his wife, children, mother, and friends, young EMT’s he would have mentored, his ambulance partner, the patients who would have benefitted from his skill and countless others. A man who had dedicated himself to responding to and assisting others in moments of great duress requiring immediate, life-saving actions was himself rendered to a condition where his very hold on life was tenuous. He has been hospitalized since that moment. One estimate has his medical treatment costing in excess of $50 million. *

A Random Act. I am not pointing my finger at the Dodgers players, fans or its community at large. I have lived in Los Angeles and know firsthand its citizens are decent, law-abiding people who love their teams and are passionate about them. Take a heated rivalry, factor in a close game on opening night, mix in hatred and an absence of respect for human life, and you have the makings of a beating.

A Larger Community. Although we all root for different teams, we are more alike than we think. Regardless of your team, we share the same passion. Each fan believes his team is the best. What happened to Bryan Stow could have happened to any one of us. Bryan Stow is any fan, in any city, rooting for any team, and wearing its colors that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is part of larger baseball community. He’s your Dad, brother, husband, friend, you or me. He’s family.

A Game for Bryan Stow. Bryan Stow attended one game and nearly lost all. He may never be the man he once was. I am asking that this season, we each pick one game to give back to him. Instead of purchasing tickets for the game, please consider forgoing the game and donating those funds to assist with his medical treatment. Our baseball community is tens of millions strong. If we each give Bryan Stow one game in this fashion, we can make a huge impact. Thank you.”

Donations can be made here: http://support4bryanstow.com/

* source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/09/bryan-stow-medical-costs.html

A SABR Day in Sunny San Francisco!

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I’ve been a member of  the Lefty O’Doul Chapter of SABR,  Society for American Baseball Research, for a year now and this was the first function I’ve been able to attend.   I mention this because I wish I’d attended all the functions this past year and I had this thought that,  if you were exposed to the idea, you’d probably like to do the same thing.

Our day included a tour of AT&T Park, a video conference with the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown,  special guest speakers Henry Schulman, sport writer for the SF Chronicle and author Michael Duca, Chapter President, Marlene Vogelsang  and SABR National Director, Paul Hirsch giving us lots of good timely information.  It was a very good day in San Francisco!

So in recognition of  SABR Day in America 3″ this is an open invitation to anyone interested in finding out more about SABR to please check it out.   You’ll meet some really great baseball fans and be able to talk baseball all you want without having to deal with eyes rolling back in the head indicating “oh boy, here we go again”.  These guys get it! And so will you!

Pitcher Makes Unassisted Triple Play! ~ Whodathunkit?

Well, okay.  Maybe it’s  not your ordinary triple play in the true sense of the word but you gotta admit it’s pretty darn unusual!  “Triple ka-thud” as Krukow puts it.

Cody Ross of the San Francisco Giants gets hit with a pitch thrown by Clayton Mortensen of the Rockies, and the ball pinballs off Ross’s arm, catcher Jose Morales’ helmet, and umpire Tim Tschida’s face mask. From the Giants-Rockies game May 16th, 2011.  SF Giants announcers Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper on the broadcast.   YouTube Uploaded by “hat301” on May 17, 2011.

The World Champs ….. Taking a Break in 2011!

Giants & Padres at AT&T Park

The 2011 postseason began today but something’s different this year.  One of the most exciting times in baseball all of a sudden seems like it’s just another day.  Could it be that I still haven’t recovered from the postseason play of 2010?

The media had been inundated with the 2010 San Francisco Giants Cinderella story.  It was magic.  But the stories of late haven’t been so much about the magic of  last season as it is about the everyday mundane normalcy of this season.   How could this happen or more-so why did it have to happen?   I have a theory.

Historically the World Series champion has only won back-to-back championships on three separate occasions with exception of the Yankees.  They don’t count.    The returning 2011 Giants were basically the same team that won the 2010 World Series.   That 2010 team played their heart out.  When they realized in August they had a shot at the division title they went for it.  They scratched and clawed and mowed down everything in sight and they won.  And then they won again and again and they won the Pennant.  Then they won again and again and again and they won the Championship.  And then they returned to the adoration of a million fans screaming their hearts out in appreciation of what they had done.   After it was all over in mid-November, they went back to their individual homes across the country and they collapsed.  They were exhausted.  They rested for 6 weeks and then they started all over again.   And they were still exhausted.

And I believe that’s how it is for World Series Champions historically.  I understand all of this because, you know, I was exhausted too.  As fans we went through all of those torturous games with our teammates and we laughed and cried and shared the joy of the entire experience with each and every one of them and we were tired, worn out, and exhausted too.

I’ve been reading a lot of gibberish this week about the fall of the San Francisco Giants kingdom and it’s just that.  Gibberish.  It seems everyone’s placing blame somewhere, on someone, and it’s getting really personal, you know, about individual players.  They’re paid too much, not paid enough,  too slow, too fat,  too lazy.  Ugghhh!

The 2010 Giants were not an extraordinary team.  They were an okay, average team with a really good pitching staff.   The reason they won their division had more to do with the San Diego Padres choking  than it did with the Giants winning.   But they did win and found themselves in the post season and we were thrilled.

But now its over and its okay.  I’ve written comments throughout this season  exclaiming my euphoric state and happiness that the Giants were World Champions and if they never ended up in post season play again, ever, I could easily rest  on my (well okay, “their”) laurels.  It was that good.

And I think maybe the San Francisco Giants may have felt a little of that too as they began spring training, not really sure what had happened that previous season, and not really wanting it to end, still in a euphoric state of mind, just needing and subconsciously taking a little break.

At least that’s what I think probably happened and that’s how I’m going to always  remember it and its cool ~ the San Francisco Giants just taking a little break in 2011.

The Intentional Walk ….. And “Walk’r” the Chicken!

  “We weren’t trying to walk him; he just wouldn’t swing at any bad pitches.”  -Bobby Cox, on the Braves walking Barry Bonds 7 times in a series

There’s nothing that irks me quite as much as the intentional walk.  I’ve always wondered how the pitchers feel about it.   If  the batter’s a real crackerjack, would they be glad they don’t have to pitch to him or would they welcome the challenge?   If the pitcher is a really good pitcher, and has a lot of confidence in knowing he’s a really good pitcher, wouldn’t you think he’d welcome the chance to get a strikeout, knowing he had the competitive edge?  You know the saying, “Good pitching beats good hitting anytime”.    Personally, if I were a pitcher I think I’d be a little insulted if the manager gave me the signal to walk a batter. I’d think he probably didn’t have enough confidence in me to be able to get the guy out.  But that’s just me.  On February 4, 1956, the  American League announced it would begin testing the automatic intentional walk during spring training.    I don’t know when the National League jumped on the bandwagon, but at some point they definitely did.   Before that time, I guess the pitcher always pitched the ball and the batter swung,  or not, depending on the pitch.  Geez, what a novel idea huh?   I think here in San Francisco we’ve had a belly-full of the stuff and that’s why I’m a little antagonistic on the subject.  Back in 2004, ESPN reported the Giants concessions would start  selling “rubber chickens” , appropriately named Walk’r, to protest the number of walks at AT&T Park.  The chicken was an instant success and the chickens, if necessary, are still evident in the park today.  To illustrate how bad it had become, you might be surprised to know that Barry Bonds today still holds the career record for most “Intentional Bases on Balls” (since 1955)  with a startling 645 intentional walks.   George Brett  is second with 229.   It’s highly unlikely Bonds’ record will be broken anytime soon.   Here’s some statistics on Intentional Bases on Balls Records, provided by Baseball Almanac:  

 
Intentional Bases On Balls Records
Records Only Kept Officially Since 1955
Single Season Records
Record Lg Name(s) Team(s) Data
Most
In A Season
(Top 100)
AL John Olerud Toronto 33 1993
Ted Williams Boston 1957
NL Barry Bonds San Francisco 120 2004
Most
In A Season
By A Lefthander
AL John Olerud Toronto 33 1993
Ted Williams Boston 1956
NL Barry Bonds San Francisco 120 2004
Most
In A Season
By A Righthander
AL Frank Howard Washington 29 1970
Frank Thomas Chicago 1995
NL Albert Pujols St. Louis 44 2009
Most
In A Season
By A Rookie
AL Alvin Davis Seattle 16 1984
NL Willie Montanez Philadelphia 14 1971
Most
In A Season
By A Switch-Hitter
AL Eddie Murray Baltimore 25 1984
NL Tim Raines Montreal 26 1987
Most At Bats
In A Season
No Intentional Walks
AL Kirby Puckett Minnesota 691 1985
NL Jose Reyes New York 696 2005
 
According to Baseball Almanac, the one event in baseball that signifies true respect is the intentional walk with bases loaded.  The implication, I guess, is that the pitcher is showing respect to the batter by walking him instead of pitching to him, out of  fear he might hit the ball.   Personally, I’d  like to see the pitcher, pitch to the batter and strike the socks off  him, or not.  Now that, my friends, would command some real respect, don’t you think?

2010 Sports Illustrated “Year in Sports”

I thought this article was interesting probably because I’d already blogged on several of  the top 10 items as they happened( See my previous blogs on the Giants, Jim JoyceStephen Strasburg, the Managers and the players salaries).   This article from Sports Illustrated was well written and I wanted to share it with you.   GFBB
Written by:  Al Tielemans, Sports Illustrated December 22, 2010

1. A title for San Francisco. The Giants won their first World Series since 1954, but their first since moving from New York to San Francisco for the 1958 season. After torturous World Series defeats in 1962 (losing Game 7 to the Yankees with the winning run on base), 1989 (when an earthquake struck before Game 3) and 2002 (losing a potential Game 6 clincher after holding a five-run lead with nine outs to go), San Francisco rolled through the postseason on the strength of dominant homegrown pitching and a sprinkling of long-awaited good fortune. The Giants secured six of their 11 postseason wins without scoring more than three runs. Six games out of first place as late as Aug. 22, the Giants’ 32-15 run to the title Continue reading

SF GIANTS! 2010 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS! YEE HAW!

THE SF GIANTS ARE FOR REAL ……. THE TORTURE’S OVER!

SF Giants 2010 World Series Champions!

I had to play this great song one more time!  It’s much more appropriate to hear it as the World Series Champions!   The SF Giants won the 2010 World Series in 5 games, in grand fashion tonight,  beating the Texas Rangers 3-1, behind the outstanding pitching of  Tim Lincecum .   Here’s some possible headlines I considered:

  • Thank you Giants
  • Thanks for the ride!
  • Believe!
  • Torture to Rapture!
  • Diamonds in the Rough!
  • Beginning of a Dynasty?
  • Say Hey!
  • I left my heart in San Francisco!
  • The Texas who?
  • The eyes of  Texas are upon us!
  • Oh it’s good to be back home again!

Six months ago I booked a 2 week vacation that begins tomorrow!  Can you believe this?  I mean who in their right mind would have thought the Giants could possibly be playing in the World Series in November?   I’ve been on pins and needles all week thinking the Series would go to 7 games, putting it into Wednesday and Thursday of this week, at which time I’d be on the road and in the air enroute to Panama!  But the Giants had other plans, (to accommodate me I’m sure), and decided to call an end to this ordeal in Arlington, TX, and come home tomorrow as World Series Champions!   The only problem is that the parade is going to be Wednesday 11AM in San Francisco, for those of you who’ll be lucky enough to attend.  Unfortunately I won’t be one of them.    So hats off to the SF Giants who’ve played their hearts out all season, and have been rewarded mightily with the Championship Trophy!   The details of this final game are outlined in related articles below so I won’t get into the nitty gritty but I do want to mention that Edgar Renteria who was mentioned in an earlier blog, and is considering retiring after this season, (say it isn’t so Edgar!) was named MVP of the Series. 

A note to the Giants:  Whew what a ride and I enjoyed every minute of it.  But would you mind next year  maybe averaging more than 3 runs per game?  I’m getting too old for this stuff! 🙂