Off Base
What I Did on my Christmas Vacation

January 2, 2010, 11:50 a.m. And if you look closely, I think you'll agree I put at least some of it to good use.

San Francisco for the holidays, visiting the in-laws with the Main Squeeze. Behind enemy lines, you might say.

And because one of the most prominent changes in the city since my last visit over a decade ago was and is the current home of the San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park seemed like a good a place to start.

Check out the photos below.

AT&T Park, December 27, 2009, the day after the Emerald Bowl


Park crew, a little late with the cleanup


Photo is neither upside down nor backwards. The out-of-town scoreboard, as stored for the winter, viewed from behind the right field bleachers. While it appears the Dodgers lead Arizona 6-2 in the seventh, the clubs did not play in late September, and the totals appear to be random.


Street sign, around the corner from AT&T Park. City officials, apparently optimistic in thinking they'd need game parking "thru October."


Willie McCovey's bronze foot, with commentary.


The Golden Gate Bridge, with commentary.

Speaking of the Giants, whatever you think of the Dodgers' offseason to date, our neighbors to the north have accomplished less. In fact, they're moving backwards.

San Francisco's infield now consists of 35-year old and in-decline third baseman, Mark DeRosa, 34-year old and already-declined shortstop Edgar Renteria, 30-year old and never-really-was, especially from a defensive standpoint, second baseman Juan Uribe, and the marginally-thinner-but-excellent-hitting first baseman Pablo Sandoval.

Fine, so Freddy Sanchez is in there too. BFD.

All I can say is, the Friscans better start watering down the diamond now, because Tim Lincecum and his rotation-mates are going to be sporting the only range in evidence in 2010.

And it's not like the Giants are building an outfield to make up the difference. I had some concern that Brian Sabean might reel in Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, but watch as he settles for Rick Ankiel, Brian Giles or Gary Sheffield. Just watch.

Consider that the first of my 2010 predictions. The full slate hits the stands in April, but let me just follow-up with this: Neither Jamie nor Frank McCourt will be the Dodgers' majority owner by the end of the calendar year.

To be even more precise, let's put the odds at 10% the club gets sold before the 2010 season begins, 50% the sale goes down during the season, and 95% we exhale next winter...

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

What Barry Bonds Did on his Christmas Vacation: Disneyland, for one. Friends Brett, Cole and Joni Warburton shared a Disneyland Hotel elevator ride with Bonds the evening of December 30. Oh joy for them. Brett noticed the former Giants' outfielder looking slimmed-down, minus the over-sized neck and chest that might come from ingesting (or injecting) one thing or another…

Media Savvy: Belated congratulations to former Daily News reporter and IBWAA founding member, Tony Jackson, for landing the Dodgers beat writing gig with Tony's voice was sorely missed during the 2009 season, and we're both grateful and fortunate to have him back.

Thanks to Jon Weisman, of the LAT's Dodger Thoughts blog, for the heads-up re Donny Baarns' neat Visalia baseball website. Great stuff.

And double-thanks to Jon for the shout-out in his "History of Dodger Blogging" blog last week. It's nice to be noticed as the first and longest-running Dodgers site on the planet.

Ten Years and Going Strong: We're celebrating our ten-year anniversary as a publication in March, and taking suggestions as to what to do about it. At the moment, we're thinking about auctioning off some memorabilia, perhaps Sandy Koufax-related, a pair of Opening Day tickets, and whatever else we can scrounge up, with 100% of the sales going to charity. I'm not sure if Think Cure will still be around, but if it is, that's what we'd like to do.

If you have an item for the auction, or ideas for the celebration, please contact me personally.

Oh, and rather than bore you with a year-end or decade-in-review piece, I invite you to bore yourself with a look at our archives. Click around ten years' worth of Off Base columns, Where Are They Nows, Media Savvys, and if you've missed Some More Stuff, there's a serious piece or two in there you might like. Or not…

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

And remember, glove conquers all….








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