Off Base
Our Civic Nightmare Continues

October 27, 2010, 4:08 p.m. The San Francisco Giants are in the World Series. Let me repeat that. The Giants are in the Series. This is not good.

And please, before you say, "if it's not the Dodgers, who the hell cares," well, imagine your Bay Area counterparts with the situation reversed. We're talking, "Expletive the Dodgers" t-shirts being sold on every street corner and people jumping off bridges.

In fact, I think the motivation for the Bay Bridge was to give locals easy access to leaping, what with the Blue poised to win championships in 1959, 1963 and 1965.

If there's one thing Friscans do better than Angelinos it's hate the rival baseball club, and all it stands for. They've had enough practice, sure, but they've really nailed the concept.

Not that I'm suggesting that hate is a good thing, but would it kill you to show a little spirit, Dodger fans? Root for the Texas Rangers, at the very least. Shoot, pray for them if you have to. That's what I'm going to do.

As I've walked in L.A. – yes, there is walking in L.A. – wearing Dodger gear this week, I've been greeted by a few savvy fans who get it; who comment about the importance of San Francisco losing the Series, and by sweep if at all possible.

Unfortunately, I've also heard the "California team" or "National League" excuse (and it is an excuse) as reason enough to pull for the Giants. Sorry, people; but in the words of the immortal Kevin Kennedy and oh-so-many of his broadcast colleagues, "that's not gonna get it done."

Come on, Los Angeles, root for the red, white and blue Rangers, for the eyes of Texas. Say it with me, now: Go Rangers! Beat the Beard! Run circles around those fat left-side-of-the-infielders. Defeat the Freak and keep the streak!

Fifty-six years between championships is not nearly enough. It doesn't get it done, OK? We need more.

So sing it loud: "Cliff Lee! We love it! Vladimir Guerrero, we love it! Sixth Street (between Dallas and Fort Worth, there's got to be a Sixth Street, right?) we love it! We love it! We love it! We love it!!"

And to think, the one year the NL gets home field in the World Series, we have Jonathan Broxton to thank for it. Or Marlon Byrd, I should say, because Broxton actually started his second half collapse during the All-Star Game, getting but not earning a save for the Senior Circuit.

Equally as disturbing, the Giants are winning pennants lately. Those zero trips to the Series from 1963 to 1988, which literally was a lifetime for many of us; now that worked. It was bliss, is what it was. The Dodgers won eight league crowns and four rings during that time.

Now we're staring at three Giants pennants – 1989, 2002 and 2010 – in 22 years, which coincides precisely with the Dodgers absence from the Fall Classic. Not good.

Frisco losing to Texas is solace, my friends. It's not much, but it's all we've got at the moment. And I'd be lying if told you I wasn't worried about an SF victory. I'm thoroughly nervous about it. Fine, I'm mortified at the prospect.

And so, I root for a team I normally care nothing about. I root big-time. This is not so much a prediction as a call to the baseball gods for help. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the World Champion Texas Rangers.

Please, please, please God. Make it so...

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

I Stand Corrected: Oh man, is this painful, but truth in journalism, right? If you can call what we do here journalism, that is. Anyway, in my first column of 2010 – "What I Did on my Christmas Vacation" – I shared some winter photos of AT&T Park, with the requisite snarky comments I couldn't help but post.

This one in particular, with the following caption, stands out now as particularly unfortunate: Street sign, around the corner from AT&T Park. City officials, apparently optimistic in thinking they'd need game parking "thru October."

Media Savvy: Remember Tom Singer, of the old Herald Examiner? Well, he's with now, and has a must-read-for-Dodger-fans-pining-for-1988 article, comparing Cliff Lee and Orel Hershiser.

And a piece from the always-interesting Jeff Pearlman, of the "Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero" book fame, re Jim Bruske, at…

Walking in L.A. While strolling along Ventura Blvd. in Studio City Saturday night, minutes after the you-know-who's won the pennant, the Main Squeeze and I popped into a gallery called The Art District. It's a cool space, manned by the equally cool and baseball savvy Mark Matkevich. He's a Philly fan, actually, so we all cried together.

On exhibit now is the work of New York artist Bruce Rubenstein, which includes Baseball and Birds below. It's a mixed media collage on canvas and wood, 57 1/2 x 48 inches, and comes with an artist's original Cal Ripken bobblehead. You gotta see this thing in person. Selling price, $10,500…

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

Remember, glove conquers all….









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