2010 World Series GAME 1 - Giants 11, Rangers 7: My Top 10 Observer-ations
10. Bigger Giants' ass-kicking: New York 41, Cowboys 35 or San Francisco 11, Rangers 7? The football Giants ran off 31 unanswered Monday night in Arlington. The baseball Giants erased an early two-run hole with eight consecutive runs in the middle innings. Either way, ouch. Dare I say tonight was ... wait for it ... ugh-Lee?
9. Couple of signs that told me this wasn't just another baseball game: Just outside AT&T Park's main gate was $80 parking and $800 tickets.
8. Given that Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum were on the mound in an NL park and a pressure situation, I'd have bet my house that there wouldn't be a combined 18 runs scored tonight. I also woulda thunk that 7 runs would be enough for the Rangers to win behind Lee. He was flat-out horrible, but Lincecum wasn't that much better. I know it's only one game, but the combined 2010 World Series ERA of the two former Cy Young winners is currently 17.92.
7. I knew I wasn't in New York anymore when I gave a cab driver a $20, asked for $5 back and got out brain-dead without getting my change. To my surprise, a good three minutes later while I'm shopping for old-school postcards the cab driver pokes his head in the store and hands me - yep - the $5 bill. After initially being stunned, I was soon after grateful. Needless to say the cabbie made an extra $5 and I have a re-booted hope in this cold, cruel world.
6. Biggest pitch of the night was the 0-2 from Lee that hit Andres Torres in the 3rd. Up until that point Lee seemed in control, but an error on a grounder by Michael Young started a rally that Lee nudged along with a rare HBP. A Freddy Sanchez double and a Buster Posey single later and Texas' 2-0 lead had vaporized into a 2-2 tie. After hitting Torres, Lee allowed seven of the next 14 Giants to reach base.
5. Give the Gigantes credit. Nothing flukey about this one. Light-hitting second baseman Freddy Sanchez got Lee for three - three - doubles and San Francisco chased Texas' ace with a two-out walk and consecutive singles by Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff in the 5th. When Juan Uribe greeted reliever Darren O'Day with a three-run homer, the Giants had scored eight consecutive runs and the rest was window dressing.
4. Coolest atmosphere I've experienced at a sporting event in a long time. Outside AT&T Park it was like a Northern California Mardi Gras, complete with random folks selling everything from "Fear the Beard" T-shirts to orange mittens to sunflower seeds to "Let Timmy Smoke" T-shirts, a reference to Lincecum's fondness for the wacky weed. Speaking of, one lady handed me a free pack of gummi bears and a friendly ol' hippie gave me a sticker featuring a marijuana leaf, "Vote No. 19" and a salutation of "Make ours a happier world." And I gotta admit, when the fans sang along in mass to Journey's "Lights" and the video board flashed former lead singer Steve Perry, it was almost as cool as Rangers Ballpark's "Cotton-Eyed Joe." Almost.
3. Not quite as troubling as the 4-run loss or the 0-1 hole, but Vladimir Guerrero looked lost in right field. He got a slow jump on a couple balls early and made two errors late. The Rangers need his bat, but in a tight game they can't afford to give up extra bases. What's more shocking, Texas making four errors or Sanchez getting four hits?
2. I'm roaming through the halls about an hour before the first pitch when I bump into long-time Dallas' Only Daily writer Barry Horn. Soon as I finish my short greeting the guy behind me exclaims to his buddy, "I can't believe it! That was Tony Bennett!!" Love me some Barry, but pretty sure I'd like a do-over. Minutes later I saw ESPN's Chris Berman, Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young and - holy crap - Rangers' manager Ron Washington. Seeing the manager of a World Series team trying to navigate a high-dollar/ high-dorkdom crowd less than an hour before first pitch made me greet him with this knee-jerk blurb: "Get going Wash, you got a game tonight." I know, I suck.
1. You know it's a rough night when Cliff Lee is a better hitter than he is a pitcher. At the plate Lee was 1 for 2 with a double. On the mound he suffered through his worst playoff outing ever, allowing seven runs. Untouchable in three post-season starts in 2010, tonight he managed just 14 outs and allowed 10 base-runners in addition to Young's error.