Colombian "Has-Been" Propels Giants to WS Title!!!

The circumstances of the Giants first WS win since Ruben Gomez inaugerated major league baseball on the Left Coast (see Ruben delivering first Giants pitch in Seals Stadium in photo above) inspired me to post the following screed on sfgate:

FIRE Cliff Lee . . . for serving up some late inning slop.
FIRE (most) KNBR hosts . . . for forgetting about anybody who isn't easily repackaged into a soundbite, a nickname or a rave party remix.
And FIRE Larry Baer . . . for picking the wrong South American to immortalize in a washable, wearable $20 stuffed animal.

Edgar f***ing Renteria goes deep, deep in the heart of Texas . . . GIANTS WIN, BOCHY WINS, SABEAN WINS . . . BASEBALL WINS!!!

Read Scott Ostler's column on E-Rent:

Tubesox Nation Stiff-o-Meter

About the stiff-o-meter: Giants management continues doing very little to improve the on-field product (clean-up hitter, anyone?) while expecting fans to pay outrageous prices for tickets, parking, food, drink, and merch. Tubesox Nation says stiff 'em. If you follow any branch of the Five-Fold Path, click here or on the pile of money in the right-hand sidebar to add your DOOSH to the stiff-o-meter and join in the Improbable March to the MLB minimum and beyond.

Tubesox Nation Stiffs Giants Top Brass to the Tune of Four Figures!!! (six if you count the cents)

On May 25th, with the Giants limping back home to The Big Mortgage at 20-23, Tubesox Nation called for loyal fans to move the stiff-o-meter into four figures before the end of the week-long homestand. The response was. . . well, underwhelming. As Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Father's Day, and the 4th on July passed (during which time, the Gyros played 26-15 baseball), the most righteous pile of money in cyberspace remained mired below the one grand mark. But on Wednesday 7/8, a hard-cheering, fast-eating insurgency composed of Tubesox Nation veterans and irregulars visited The Big Mortgage and stiffed the bastards to the tune of 149 U.S. clams, catapulting the stiff-o-meter to the next level. Onward to five figures and the MLB minimum!!!

Blechhh . . . 2009 SF Giants PABAW* Ratio is an Unsightly 0.85

One imagines fourth-generation San Franciscan Larry Baer and brainy, bow-tied William Neukom at the bygone birthday parties of their youth. Baer was the one canvassing the rumpus room as the birthday boy’s mother cut the cake, using reverse psychology to persuade the gullible kids to go for smaller pieces without much frosting. Neukom, for his part, was applying a proto-bundling strategy, quietly promising the weak and the impressionable that he’d let them jump past him in the pin-the-tail-on-the donkey queue for agreeing to take a less desirable piece.
Things have changed over the years. Baer and Neukom have ascended the ladder to become Giants top brass. Birthday cake has been replaced by obscene amounts of money. And those gullible suckers at the party, well, they’ve turned into you and me. But as the four-color pie chart capably illustrates, one thing has remained constant: wee Larry Baer and Little Billy Neukom still like to take more than their share.

PABAW* Ratio is a proprietary metric developed by Tubesox Nation to measure how freely team management spends the money that they ask loyal fans to shell out. It compares opening day payroll to yearly attendance multiplied by the cost of the minimum experience that should be within the budget of a loyal fan (bleacher seat, one beer, one hot dog).

A PABAW of 1.5 is acceptable. For example, if the Giants charged $10.50 for a bleacher ticket, $6.00 for an Anchor Steam, and $3.00 for a Giants dog, their PABAW would be approximately 1.50.

A PABAW of 1.25 indicates inflated prices accompanied by Scrooge-like parsimony. For example, if the Giants charged $14 for a bleacher ticket, $6.50 for an Anchor Steam, and $3.00 for a Giants dog, their PABAW would be approximately 1.25.

A PABAW of 1.0 is considered extortionate on the order of the 19th Century robber barons. For example, if the Giants charged $18 for a bleacher ticket, $7.50 for an Anchor Steam, and $3.75 for a Giants dog their PABAW would be approximately 1.0.

*PABAW = Payroll/ yearly Attendance x [average Bleacher ticket + Ale + Wiener]

**payroll data obtained from Cot's Baseball Contracts

Landfill-Ready MLB Merch of the Week

In honor of our nation's 233rd birthday as well as America's throwaway culture, the commanders-in-chief at MLB ordered a league-wide deployment of "Star-Spangled" garb over the long holiday weekend. Besides astonishing Cubs fanatics and Dodger die-hards by outfitting their teams in red hats, the league's bold marketing approach has solidified MLB's street cred with the increasingly lucrative norteno and mara salvatrucha market segments.

Predictably, there's a merchandising tie-in, with MLB generously donating a portion of the profits to veterans. Tubesox Nation especially recommends this scarlet Giants lid. Priced at only $36.99, it's just as sure to turns heads at the corner of 2Oth and Mission as at 24 Willie Mays Plaza.

Average Giants Bleacher Seat Price Revealed!!!

After an exhausive study involving a propietary methodology*, Tubesox Nation's research division has determined that the average 2009 left field bleacher ticket at The Big Mortgage costs $21.77. So, on the typical game day, a crisp, new Jackson fresh from an ATM machine is insufficient to score a seat with an unobstructed view of the left fielder's backside.

*Bleacher prices at Regular, Feature, and Premium games were weighted according to number of games, and then averaged. Average does not reflect K-Zone discount offers.

Bronx Bandbox

In an effort to combat the insidious effects of stepped-up steroid policing on home run totals and lemmo attendance, the New York Yankees have downsized new Yankee Stadium, going so far as to make the famed short porch in right field even shorter than it was in the House that Ruth Built. Not that they're copping to it, even as a nearly unprecedented barrage of longballs flies into those $275 seats beyond the right field wall. The official story from Yankee top brass points the blame at a "wind tunnel" effect owing to this or that architectural particularity of their luxury crib. However, this recent AP story suggests although that the Yankees have maintained the illusion of a historically accurate playing field by carefully choosing where to paint the distances on the fences, the dimensions are indeed shorter (click here for a nice comparison sketch on the muckraking blog, Pinetar Rag). How much shorter? Plenty shorter--the AP article also refers to an AccuWeather study indicating that a full 19% of the homers hit through June 9 would have stayed in the old ball yard, meaning more doubles, triples or--the ultimate buzz kill for the lemmos--outs.

Wanted: Hosiery Models!!!

A hearty thanks to Tubesox Nation fan and all-around stylie-boy Bama 'n 23rd for sending a link to a haute couture site (no clue why he was lurking there on a Saturday morning) documenting the latest fashion craze amongst A-list sex kittens . . . tube socks!!! Hmmm . . . I guess if you're that caliente, you feel the need to see if you can still turn heads while dressing as your basic middle school dweeb circa 1978.

Anyhow, if those pale hose-wrapped tibias and fibulas look great at Hollywood parties, think how fabulous they'd look in this testosterone-drenched corner of the blogosphere. And really, what aspiring babe wouldn't jump at a gig as a hosiery model on Tubesox Nation? Sleep in . . . shave from the knee up . . . pose. And honestly, sweetie, the stripes don't make your calves look fat.

Landfill-Ready MLB Merch of the Week

Continuing their tireless efforts to ensure that the next generation of baseball fans can look forward to a world filled with even more crap, the marketing honchos at the MLB Corp. have introduced a line of scratch-and-sniff kids hats including this watermelon-scented Red Sox lid. Not only do these hats look good and smell better, when improperly disposed of in Asian landfills (garbage outsourcing, baby, it's the wave of the future), they make a favorite food source for honeybees, baby pandas and probably sea turtles.

Top Brass Fashion Scoop Part IV

Tubesox Nation East Bay correspondent Gert Stone sends a chianti-stained Polaroid (it crossed San Francisco Bay in a Venetian gondola) of fourth-generation San Franciscan Larry Baer and brainy, bow-tied William Neukom displaying their varied interests while circumnavigating Lake Merritt in search of a Tommy Toy's after last night's series decider against the A's.

MLB's African American Problem?

In his Three Dot Blog today (6/9), the SF Chron's Bruce Jenkins takes a slight detour from a right-on screed against ridiculous MLB signing bonuses (e.g., the $50 million demand from Stephen Strasburg, the #1 pick in today's draft) and wonders if large bonuses might serve a positive end by stemming the loss of "African-American kids, whose numbers are dwindling in the major leagues." Although this was admittedly a brief aside, over the years I've read/listened countless times as Jenkins and other "well-intentioned" sports commentators have attempted to solve this "crisis" and it always yanks my chain. This time, I decided to respond (read slightly edited version below):

Interesting stuff, however, I can't agree with Jenkins that MLB has a
significant "African American problem" (and certainly not one of a magnitude
that might justify the obscene contracts that Bruce rightly bemoans). Although
the percentage of blacks in the majors has certainly declined over the past few
decades, I believe that it's roughly in line with the percentage of blacks in
the general population. If anything, baseball has become more racially diverse
(and dare I say, more competitive) with the influx of Latino and Asian
ballplayers in recent times (many of these Latino players have partial or full
African heritage). So are we really supposed to convene a task force because
American-born blacks aren't OVER-represented in an American pro sports league? continue reading

First Premium Series of Season is Approaching--Let's Stiff the Bastards!

Like an irresistable 28-26 object meeting an immovable 24-30 force, two Bay Area baseball juggernauts will soon collide in San Francisco. Beginning next Friday night, the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics will square off in a three-game series at the Big Mortgage. In honor of this titanic struggle, Giants management is offering "Premium" ticket pricing to fans . . . meaning $34 to sit in the bleachers, $32 for view reserved, $52 for lower box, etc., etc. (Beers and hot dogs are still a reasonable $8.75 and $7, respectively.)

Tubesox Nation urges all Giants (and A's) fans to unite in marking the first Feature series of the season by paying Giants management absolutely nothing.

Stiff the bastards!
Follow all five branches of the Five-Fold Path!
Accumulate lots and lots of DOOSH!
Don't be a lemmo!

Top Brass Fashion Scoop Part III

Tubesox Nation Washington D.C. correspondent Barry Marion sends a slightly blurry (he was feeling jittery) photo of fourth generation San Franciscan Larry Baer and brainy, bow-tied William Neukom displaying their varied interests while scouring K Street for a Tommy Toy's following the Big Mullet's 300th win over the Nationals.

Tubesox Nation Bay-Cott #5: The Mayor of Ingleside

Match-up: Cardinals-Giants
Date: 5/31
Weather: Overcast, 59 degrees
Five-Fold Path adherence: cycle
DOOSH: $120.50

The Mayor of Ingleside was in town, so in spite of gray skies, the four of us descended on Willie Mays Plaza. South of the Slot had wildcatted, leaving his car on a street not far from where he grew up, Sutros-Sutros had jumped off the N Judah, and the Mayor of Ingleside and I had rolled down from Potrero Hill. We had traveled different paths, but each of us had done the right thing by stiffing the management.

A few minutes earlier, the Mayor of Ingleside and I had run the 3rd Street gauntlet. First, we'd approached the Peanut Man's cousin, positioned way out near UCSF to catch the exiting freeway traffic. No tickets. Next we'd tried some other ambo who wanted $60 apiece and then, when we stopped listening, $30 apiece. By the time we finally got around to negotiating with the Peanut Man, he was equal parts cocksure and scolding.
Never mind the rest of them, you come to me first.
But I had to check in with your cousin, right?
Never mind him either, I'm the reason you met him.
And then the Peanut Man headed off in search of some tickets, leaving us in charge of his snack buckets and a jacket-wearing dog named Alfalfa; by the time he reappeared with our four-pack, I'd sold four bags of sunflower seeds.

Our seats were scattered all over the park, but sure enough, we found room in the left field bleachers and watched as the Giants took the lead, lost the lead (another poor outing for Kid Sanchez), and tied things up at three in the sixth. In the seventh, the home side went ahead for good, thanks to a Rich Aurilia solo shot which, if memory served, was the first Giants homer I'd witnessed this season (memory didn't serve, back in April, Bengie had gone yard during the Dodgers game I'd attended). Five out of six on the homestand; not too shabby, considering that the number five starter was on the hill in two of those games.
Afterwards, there were sea gulls, dozens of free plastic souvie cups (the Mayor of Ingleside lives in North Carolina, where BBQ means vinegar and San Francisco means Gomorrah, but he misses no opportunity to spread the Good Word about the simpler pleasures of his home city), and an unscheduled incursion into the mini-ballpark behind the bleachers. The Mayor of Ingleside looked positively Ruthian among his six-year-old playmates. Next time, I'm betting, he'll hit one out of the park.

Big Algo Tweak of the Week

With Albert Pujols and the rest of the hard-slugging, steroid-scorning Cardinals rolling into town and the spring winds blowing reliably out in left, Giants top brass is launching a smarter ticketing program. Keenly aware that the Bondroids are addicted to thunderous moon shots, they've entrusted their new Chief Algorithm Officer with inputing weather service forecasts into the team's super-secret pricing algorithm. After pulling a couple of all-nighters, our brilliant young friend succeeded in tweaking his binary code. At only two additional dollars per 5 mph of wind speed, this "dynamic" pricing package will allow the whole family to enjoy what promises to be an onslaught of jacks, big flies, and dingers at still reasonable prices.

48 Hour Notice--Time Running Out to Make Your Voice Heard!!!

Two days left to vote for Garlic Fries Boycott Day and only 19 votes. Two days left before the Great NBC-11 Experiment and zero volunteer experimenters. Maybe I'm not doing a good job of inspiring what Mahatmas Gandhi and Bert Convy used to call direct audience participation. Or, perish the thought, perhaps I'm the online version of the Florida Marlins.

Introducing the Giants New CAO!!!

Leveraging their proximity to Silicon Valley, the Giants ticketing office has hired MLB's first Chief Algorithm Officer. Our brilliant young friend promises to use his super-secret algorithm to help the Giants customize ticketing in ways you never thought possible!

Objective for 5/25-5/31 Homestand: Four Figures of DOOSH

The Giants are playing entirely missable baseball right now (9 losses in last 11 games) and the SF weather is atrocious (on the north slope of Potrero Hill, it's currently a balmy 54 degrees in the fog). But the team is town for six games, and Tubesox Nation continues the Improbable March to the MLB minimum and beyond. However, we can't get to six figures until we get to five figures, and we can't get to five figures until we get to four figures.

To all loyalists planning on attending a game(s):
1. stiff the management by following one or more branches of the Five-Fold Path.
2. add your DOOSH to the Stiff-o-Meter.

Let's get this baby into four figures before June!

The Great NBC-11 Experiment--Volunteers Needed on 5-29!!!

With the digital TV transition impending, time is running out to document an important chapter in the screwing of The Fans by fourth generation San Franciscan Larry Baer and the greedheads at Comcast.

Friday night's Giants-Cardinals game will be the final NBC-11 broadcast prior to the transition to digital. Tubesox Nation is searching for Bay Area baseball fans experiencing crappy NBC-11 reception who can take a brief break from their Friday night plans to take a photo(s) or brief video of the game as it appears on their TV screen. Documentation of associated gizmos/techniques used to improve reception will also be helpful. The data will be collected into an an easy-to-use pin map and statistically significant musical slideshow to be emailed to the aforementioned greedheads.

Click here for eligibility requirements. Eligible parties who are willing to participate in this important exercise in democracy should confirm participation by leaving a brief comment here (catchy cyber alias, SF district or other city name, diagonal inches, color or b&w).

Multimedia Pin Map of the Month: Phantoms of Mission Bay

View Phantoms of Mission Bay in a larger map

A few years back, in Dave Flemming's early days in the Giants broadcast booth, he was paying homage to >The Big Mortgage and its environs when, inexplicably, he said something along the lines of: and the incredible thing is, before the ballpark, practically nothing existed in this part of town. With all due respect to Flem, something did exist in the Mission Bay area before the ballpark and >il Baer-McGowan Galleria came along. This multimedia pin map of bygone dives, diners and whatnot only represents the tip of the iceberg . . . happy clicking. (note: distance between closely spaced pins has been increased slightly to facilitate clicking . . . pin location may not be accurate at higher zoom levels)

Memorial Day in Wildcatter Nation

Tubesox Nation Lunch Buffet . . . All-You-Can-Eat . . . for one low price of $8.95. Or at least that's what it felt like as I combed the weedy back streets of Mission Bay on Memorial Day, channeling my inner mom and pop [insert favorite ethnicity] restaurant pamphleteer and spamming a hundred-odd wildcatter windshields with homemade flyers (free advice: a few of you might consider checking your wipers before the October rains). And it was good times, once I got past the initial flood of middle class neuroses--I'm a university graduate, goddammit, a university graduate who's old enough to worry about October when it's still May, so why am I, of all people, doing a wannabe busboy's job?--the sun had returned to San Francisco and I was energized by the steadfast refusal of Wildcatter Nation to consider any parking spot too crappy, too tight, or too far from The Big Mortgage as long as they were stiffing the management to the tune of 25 U.S. clams. And suddenly I realized that pamphleteering wasn't beneath me. Wildcatting was a righteous cause, and I was doing heroic work recruiting wildcatters into Tubesox Nation. Yes, each time I pulled rotten rubber from shatterproof glass and inserted my manifesto, I was channeling the legacy of Martin Luther and Thomas Paine, not some pimply teenager working for sub-minimum wage. Fal-lump . . . another wiper snapped into place and another flyer flapped in the breeze. I heard a mighty roar issue from The Big Mortgage, and then another, and for a moment, all was not wrong in Giants-land.

To any wildcatter who might be reading this because you received one of the aforementioned flyers: thanks for visiting . . . pardon my spamming . . . please recycle flyer or affix to refrigerator . . . enter your DOOSH in the stiff-o-meter . . . Go Giants!

Cooder Nation

Perusing the June 27, 2005 issue of The New Yorker while in the reading room recently (I get mine third-hand), I chanced across a fine story by Nick Paumgarten entitled "Stadia Mania." In it, Paumgarten touches briefly on various ongoing or stalled stadium projects in the five boroughs before discussing the birth of Dodger Stadium from the dust of a bulldozed L.A. neighborhood called Chavez Ravine: soon the Ravine’s former residents were referring to the locations of their old homes according to the geography of the ballpark: right field, third base, bullpen. Specifically, he considers "Chavez Ravine," an album by musician Ry Cooder which seeks to bring the old neighborhood to life. Paumgarten quotes Cooder:
There is no talent involved in buying big cheeseburgers and big Cokes, going to
the mall . . . You talk about heritage, man, it was there. They find a bowling
alley, chop it down. Interesting old apartment house, chop it down. Then they
give back stuff with zero content, buildings with no past, a useless present,
and no future at all. Where nobody is going to get together, where no memories
will be created or associations made, or good times. They will simply be
directing you into the act of taking your credit card out of your wallet, with
that glazed look on your face. So, you see, I’m not a fan of that.

Though I start losing Cooder when he goes on to dismiss the value of ballparks and ball games (to my mind, memories, associations and good times are a big part of ballparks and ball games), for a moment, I think, he's describing Tic-Toc, Lowdown, Baja King Street and then il Baer-McGowan Galleria and it's pure genius.

Top Brass Announce No-Zone Discount Ticket Promo

Following on the heels of their altruistic K-Zone promo tying bleacher prices for a future game to strikeouts recorded by all pitchers in a particular game. ($6 bleacher seats to Tuesday's Braves game, while they lasted), Giants top brass have launched a No-Zone promo where future prices fluctuate with the number of walks issued by the Giants staff over nine innings. The first No-Zone game will be the Memorial Day game against the Braves, with all discounts applicable Field Club seats for a September 15 pennant race tilt against the Rockies. With Kid Sanchez averaging four walks over 5 1/3 innings on the season and the Giants bullpen capable of nibbling at the corners with the best of them, bargain hunters should be able to scoop up Field Club seats for the scarcely believable price of $70 or less.

Well-placed sources report that the launch of the promo followed an acrimonious dust-up between fourth generation San Franciscan Larry Baer and brainy, bow-tied William Neukom at Sea-Tac International Navigator's Club. Although Neukom, a former Microsoft exec, is no stranger to corporate generosity, he initially refused to stand for a culture that rewarded failure. But the ever-pragmatic Baer insisted that giving the fans something to cheer about besides the big screen shenanigans was paramount to the Giants mission. Baer's persistence apparently wore down the mentally agile yet older Neukom; as the men were finishing their second highball, sources witnessed them coming to a handshake agreement.

Top Brass Fashion Scoop Part II

Tubesox Nation Northwest correspondent Dick Puget sends a slightly hazy (he smears Vaseline on the lens to flatter his subjects) photo of fourth generation San Franciscan Larry Baer and brainy, bow-tied William Neukom displaying their varied interests while scouring Pike Place Market for a Tommy Toy's after tonight's toughie against the Mariners.

This One Kinda, Sorta Goes to 11

Fact: In November 2007, the Giants negotiated a deal with NBC-11 TV, giving the San Jose station sole on-air broadcast rights to Giants games.

Fact: In December 2007, the Giants became part owners of Fox Sports Net Bay Area, which is under majority ownership of Comcast, the major cable provider in San Francisco.

Last Friday, I was spending a quiet night at home, making a chupacabra pinata, talking on the phone with a friend, and listening to the Giants game on the wireless . . . what's that, you say? What's a wireless? Well, it's a box full of transistors, made in an Oriental sweatshop, and when you tune it just so, it sure sounds fine.

Well, anyway, I was making this chupacabra pinata and talking to my friend on the phone, when he says something about a play in the Giants game he's watching. And that surprises me since I know, like me, he's not paying what Comcast is asking, and nowadays, not paying what Comcast is asking means a virtual Giants blackout for those of us Giants fans unlucky enough to live way out here in San Francisco. See, my friend tells me, I can kind of get the Giants on Channel 11. His tone is upbeat, almost grateful.

Fast forward to tonight. The Giants are playing up in Seattle and the Big Unit is on the hill. Meanwhile, I'm staring at a computer screen and listening to the game on the wireless--in other words, all systems are normal. But suddenly something tells me to step out of my comfort zone, something tells me to push the electromagnetic envelope. So I leave the computer and the wireless behind, grab a hank of aluminum foil in the kitchen, and walk with some trepidation towards the TV room. I stick the foil on the antenna, say a short prayer to Marconi and Philo Farnsworth, and punch in "11" on the remote. . . and there, in a wigged out splash of psychedelic hues, is Aaron Rowand. And, like my friend last week, I feel almost grateful.

I have to check myself. Why am I feeling grateful for kinda, sorta being able to watch the hometown nine on TV? I mean it wasn't always this way. As far back as I can remember, the Giants broadcast 25-40 games a year on KTVU-2 out of Oakland. You could count on Channel 2, like you could count on a Maytag; the signal was clear, the late Gary Park was way too tan, and Dennis would be on afterwards, giving us the 411 about Frisco and Fruitvale and the far-off reaches of Contra Costa County. But in November 2007, the Giants inked the deal with San Jose's NBC 11. "The Giants and NBC 11 share a strong presence throughout the region," enthused fourth generation San Franciscan Larry Baer, "and our partnership will go a long way in solidifying and building our fan base for the future." But meanwhile, a significant minority of hometown supporters have been sentenced to at least three seasons of rooftop gymnastics, rabbit ear prestidigitation, and desperate measures involving aluminum foil.

addendum: My crosstown friend emails with this description of his "magic trick" for watching the games on Channel 11:
in a nutshell, the "antenna" is a (dead) coax for cable tv that comes out of the wall, attached just so to the back end of the receiving port on the tv. enhancement can be achieved sometimes (as is the case tonight) if a "secondary antenna" in the form of the cable from an old video cassette player sitting just underneath, is pulled over the top of the tv and secured by tucking it under whatever's up there (currently, an old non-digital disposable camera, perhaps from a trip to the orient years ago, also from walgreens i think).

What's good for Comcast is good for the Giants but not necessarily good for the fans . . . thanks a bunch, Larry.

Humm-baby, you gotta love these blogs

Across the vast reaches of the blogosphere, you'll find a good many Giants bloggers who have been at it a lot longer than Tubesox Nation . . . here are a few of the dandies:

Over at Nuschler's News, Fireman Jim douses the flames of controversy with spot-on analysis (based on real data!), and isn't afraid to take on Giants management . . . as a matter of fact, he's up on his soapbox right now, taking a stand on the Nick Johnson Question. And here's to you, Jim, for plunging bravely into the Tubesox Nation Stiff-o-Meter and entering your DOOSH.

And although I suspected I wasn't the only person who was hip to fourth generation San Franciscan Larry Baer's master plan to fleece us fans for every last dime and use the profits to open a chain of Arctic superstores selling ice, I was unprepared for the depth of analysis at the excellent Only Baseball Matters, where a certain commenter alludes to storm troopers, KNBR stooges, and a juiced-up in-stadium radar gun for the benefit of the "quiche eaters." Best of all, there's even vague instructions for making a DIY Larry Baer bobblehead. Give that man a lifetime membership in Tubesox Nation.

Finally, a tip of the Tubesox Nation cap to one of the honchos over at Raising (Matt) Cain, who makes the effort to do a little first-hand reporting on the SJ Giants rather than just citing stats from some seam-head website. Love those San Jose Muni prices . . . at five bucks for a pint of Bud, I might just give up my contrabandista ways.

Top Brass Fashion Scoop

Tubesox Nation's Tijuana-San Diego correspondent Sam Ysidro faxes a slightly grainy photo (he carries an East German-issue spy cam) of fourth-generation San Franciscan Larry Baer and brainy, bow-tied William Neukom displaying their varied interests while scouring the Gas Lamp District for a Tommy Toy's after tonight's toughie against the Padres.

Milestone Giveaway Update

With $126 million man Barry Zito notching his 10th career complete game (and first since 2003) tonight at Petco Park, well-placed sources expect Giants top brass and eBay to announce a date for a commemorative four-color souvenir pin day sometime during the coming homestand.

In contrast, although middle reliever Bobby Howry achieved his 150th career "hold" in front of a rapt national television audience on Sunday night, he is still a dozen odd appearances short of the 700 appearances needed to gain membership in the exclusive 700/150 club. But with the Big Mullet and Kid Sanchez struggling and summer's heat soon to take it's toll, look for "Boch" to rely increasingly on Howry's proven ability to eat up innings at the major league level.


Original subscriber Joe Strain floats me an electronic knuckleball from the other side of the International Dateline containing a link to a recent NY Times article on the private baseball life of proto-blogger Jack Kerouac . . . seems young Jack decided to stiff Strat-o-Matic and All-Star Baseball (remember Ethan Allen's game with the spinner and player discs?) by inventing his own game . . . Pancho Villa roaming centerfield, the crack of a toothpick as a marble is launched across the backyard, and more off-kilter stuff from the ol' dharma bum:
read NY Times article

Meanwhile, up here on Potrero Hill, avid reader Mississippi Burning threw me some high, hard cheese with a link to a yesterday's NY Times story on MLB ticket prices. Turns out that the piece focuses on the Giants "smart-ticketing" system . . . hate to play the Carnak card, but it was a week ago that this blog was referring to the Giants' "super-secret algorithm" for setting ticket prices and now, lo and behold, the Giants are discussing (with a level of smugness that would do Google proud) the use of an algorithm to achieve "dynamic pricing." Russ Stanley, the Giants' veep for ticket services, goes so far as to lament not jacking up ticket prices as Barry Bonds approached various home run milestones earlier in the decade . . . those greedheads deserve every bit of DOOSH that the Nation can throw at them:
read NY Times article

muchisimas gracias, guys . . . and keep 'em coming . . . this thing depends on collaboration.

Ex-Microsoft Exec's Gaffe Spoils Top Brass Powwow

During a recent Giants management offsite at Tommy Toy's, fourth-generation San Franciscan Larry Baer was visibly chastened when brainy, bow-tied William Neukom shanghaied a break-out session on the codependence of garlic fries and the Giants Fan Experience by bringing up the "undeniable synergy between Windows Vista and Explorer 7.0" yet again.

Giants to Mark Milestones with Four-Color Souvenir Pins

Though Giants top brass flubbed a golden marketing opportunity when Rich Aurilia's 750th career RBI passed without fanfare during Saturday's 9-6 loss to the Mets, Tubesox Nation sources indicate that plans are underfoot to partner with eBay to commemorate the lifetime achievements of several stalwart veterans who are approaching rarefied statistical heights.

Among planned milestone promotions, the Giants and eBay will offer four-color souvenir pins to the first 20,000 fans entering The Big Mortgage following:
-Middle reliever Bobby Howry's induction into the exclusive 700/150 club (700 career appearances, 150 career holds).
-Shortstop Edgar Renteria's 400th career double (398 currently).
-126 million dollar man Barry Zito's 10th career complete game (9 currently).

With Randy Johnson sitting at 298 career victories, the Giants are furiously collaborating with veteran Bangaladeshi sweatshop empresarios to celebrate The Big Mullet's entrance into the elite 300 club, projected to occur in June 2010, with the rollout of a bobblehead sporting an anatomically correct "Livermore neck-warmer."

Tubesox Nation Bay-cott #4: Encounters with the Wildcatter

Mssrs. Maloney and O'Doul by Night

Match-up: Mets-Giants
Date: 5/14
Weather: Windy, 61 degrees
Five-Fold Path adherence: cycle
DOOSH: $35.50

Tubesox Nation rocketed past the Mendoza line in style tonight (see Stiff-o-Meter) while the "dollars to Giants coffers" needle remained stubbornly pegged on zero. Zero. As in zip, zilch . . . yes, Billy, it's catorce de fucking mayo and we still have no bananas.

First contact with the ambos was abrupt tonight. Biking into the north wind, I spotted the Peanut Man's cousin on a deserted patch of sidewalk and pulled over to negotiate. He was either hard-up for buyers or heading into UC-land in search of some of that good stem cell mojo. Figuring it was the former, I offered twenty. Without hesitating, he handed me a ticket that said "LB 125, $39" . . . "LB" as in lower box. I blinked once, thinking that it must be the hard evening light. It still said "LB." Suddenly, I had visions of a half-empty stadium, but it was too late back out, so I bought it. Further up the street, I came across the reassuring sight of the Peanut Man, working the crowds as they passed to the ballpark. We said our hellos and I purchased a bag of nuts more as a courtesy than anything else. It was only a dollar, but the Peanut Man threw in a complimentary pack of sunflower seeds, because that's how we do business . . . shades of what they call lagniappe in New Orleans, I thought, wondering if maybe his family came from Louisiana. Whatever the case, I was glad that I hadn't backed out of the deal with his cousin. And then I pedaled off across the Lefty O'Doul Bridge and through the shadows of il Baer-McGowan Galleria to join my friends in catching the dying rays of the sun at the Hotel Utah, a well-watered oasis of what used to be along the phantom shores of Mission Bay. We file in during the bottom of the first, taking our seats in the single white guy section adjacent to the Korean heritage section. The clacking of the thunder sticks was awesome.

Metropolitans 7, Giants 4. No HRs, but plenty of screaming liners off the bats of the Mets, mostly.

Cruising along a scruffy stretch of Mission Bay back street after the game, I chance upon a wildcatter who's loading his bike onto the back of his vehicle. continue reading . . .

Tubesox Nation Bay-cott #3: Arcadia

the view from the arccade
Match-up: Nationals-Giants
Date: 5/13
Weather: Sunny, 66 degrees
Five-Fold Path adherence: cycle
DOOSH: $15.75

An abbreviated sortie today . . . I arrived in the sixth and the ambos were long gone. After various fruitless attempts to scrounge an extra ticket from late arrivals (although one guy did offer me a lit reefer instead of a ticket), I phoned a friend inside the stadium and he said they'd scored $7 tickets at the ticket window.

Hmmm . . . decision time . . . not. A midweek tilt against the Nats is no time to lose focus and diverge from the Five-Fold Path. So, I ended up catching the final three innings from the freebie standing area under the right field arcade with a bunch of true fans. continue reading . . .

Spicy Asian Heritage Week Rumor

Attendance at The Big Mortgage continues to do a passable Benjamin Button imitation, steamrolling backwards towards zero. Monday's Indian Heritage Night crowd flirted with the high teens before settling for a new China Basin low of 23,934.
For much of the game, fourth-generation San Franciscan Larry Baer chewed thoughtfully on a cold naan while giving the serious stink-eye to a section of empty seats down the right field line. At one point, Tubesox Nation sources report, the ever-pragmatic Baer was seen leaning closer to brainy, bow-tied William Neukom and mouthing "Three words, Billy. Gandhi fucking bobbleheads."

Tubesox Nation Bay-Cott #2: Gaming the Algorithm

Match-up: Dodgers-Giants
Date: 4/29
Weather: windy, 57 degrees
Five-Fold Path adherence: cycle
DOOSH: $54

It's a cold Wednesday night in San Francisco, a night fit for torching a couple of Duraflame logs or turning the toaster oven to broil and pretending to forget about it. But cocooning is for losers and besides, down in China Basin, the Little Mullet is taking the hill against the hated Dodgers. Giants vs. Dodgers, it's a rivalry that's spanned a century, crossed a continent and, according to the super-secret algorithm of the King Street bean counters, deserves Feature game status. Translation: the Giants are charging $25 to sit in the left field bleachers and enjoy an unobstructed view of Manny Ramirez’s dreads. Twenty-five dollars. You could fill up your Prius for that kind of money. In Tiburon. It's pure unadulterated extortion and in Tubesox Nation, the response is sudden, knee-jerk, practically reptilian. continue reading . . .

The Not-So-Roaring Twenties 4-23

Twenty-six thou and change at The Big Mortgage to watch Zito hit 89 on the radar gun and the Giants win it in 10. The first south-of-30k attendance in the history of the China Basin ballpark. And remember, this was the attendance that the bean counters announced . . . who knows how many butts were actually in the seats read more on sf gate . . .