Fight Night: Giants-Dodgers, and it means somethingAuthor: AnnKillion | Filed under: Bay Area Sports
Back when I was a young, Candlestick Park was a nasty place. You had to wear a puffy down jacket to ward off the chill. You had to bring the scratchy wool car blanket, one that was probably covered with burrs from the last picnic, out of the trunk. If you were of a certain age – and I don’t mean 21 – you had to brink a flask.
And if the Dodgers were in town, you had to watch your back.
AT&T has a much different vibe. It’s not as cold. It’s not as nasty. And the Giants haven’t completely sucked for as long as they had back in the day (though, in truth, they’ve been pretty sucky lately – just in a nicer environment and with better pitching). But tonight the vibe could get downright Stick-ish.
That’s because this is finally a game with real meaning and urgency between the Giants and the Dodgers. It’s been a long time. The Giants haven’t had many meaningful September game recently; these are not only meaningful, but basically must-win games.
Last time the Giants had a must-win game against the Dodgers? Oh, you don’t want to remember. Steve Finley grand slam off of Wayne Franklin on the second-to-last day of the season.
The Dodgers won the division. The Giants finished second.
Since then, they’ve finished third, third, fifth and fourth. September hasn’t held a whole lot of meaning.
But tonight it does. And despite the $8.75 beers, and the coke slide, and the Cha-cha bowl and the lounges where everyone’s far too comfortable to start a brawl, there should be an edge to the crowd. For one thing, far too many Dodgers fans have felt perfectly comfortable invading China Basin in recent years since tickets have become readily available. That always the recipe for fights – sitting too close to a fan of a different religion.
So there’s going to be plenty of fans in both teams colors. It’s a Friday night, in an economy that’s even worse than the late ’70s, with a bunch of thirsty people who not only want their team to win but are wondering about Buster Posey, worried about Tim Lincecum and irritated by the inability of the team to execute the most fundamental play in baseball.
Dodgers-Giants. And it means something.