by : Steve Tichenor
Not even boring baseball or the return of panda can sour a trip to the bay area. We’re on the last day of our nearly bi-annual family trip to San Francisco, and it was once again fantastic.
We are fortunate to have our Kentfield connection just north of the city in Marin. Our good friends Deb and Steve are wonderful hosts who guide us through the endless adventures awaiting us in the area. We always come out in July or August when the weather is nothing but sensational north of the bridge. 80’s and sunny during the day, 60’s at night with no humidity. I had to laugh when a DJ on the radio called it muggy one day. Sorry man, come to Jersey and I’ll show you muggy!
On the sports front, we arrived in town just in time to take in the Bay Bridge Series, our version of the Subway series. The surprisingly bad Giants vs the not surprisingly bad A’s faced off in a battle of last place teams. This Jersey guy was a Giants fan just for the night so the game was secondary to the stadium experience. And what an experience! AT&T Park is a beautiful venue! It’s worth checking out even if the game on the field is a snooze. We got cheap seats on Stubhub and sat up high in left field where we were treated to spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay. The food was damn good and the local beer, a Lagunitas IPA, hit the spot too. The game? It was 4-0 A’s before I even bit into my hot dog. The A’s went on to win a meaningless game in what has become a totally lost season for baseball in the Bay area. That will change. After all the Giants do not fare well in odd years. With Championships in 10,12 and 14 the saying around here is “Never Stop Believen”
Another development a few nights later was the return of Pablo Sandoval who the Red Sox finally gave up on earlier in the season. After being a total bust and fleecing the Sox for 95 million over two and a half miserable seasons, Panda, the 2014 World Series MVP who was instrumental in the Giants 3 recent championships, was picked up by his former club and signed to a minor league contract.
The Giants called him up from the minors this past week and he doubled in his first game back. Though there were very few Panda hats and plenty of boos mixed with the cheers for his return, if he can perform, all will be forgiven. That’s sports for you! We’ll see if the former World Series hero can muster a second act for the Giants. Don’t ask fans in Boston how they feel about that one.
One bad baseball season won’t bring down sports fans in the Bay area. The Giants won 3 world series in the last six years and the Warriors are on the top of the world, winning 2 championships in the last 3 years. You can’t go anywhere without seeing a Steph Curry Jersey in this town. Football, however is not a feel good story right now. The 49ers have stunk since Harbaugh left town. Across the bay the Raiders, considered a Super Bowl contender are about to bolt Oakland for Vegas in two years. Better hope they can win now.
In the end, whether it’s good or bad, up and down, It’s a great sports town. Bay area fans are passionate about their team and it’s a beautiful area. It’s always worth the trip.
photo: yahoo sports