This is how they get me.
Among the matters I mentioned Last Week, in Tendown 21 (the great Russell takedown of Boston Rob; Domino's 6 fingered pizza box; the retirement of Shawn Michaels; and a terrific website on television tropes) I noted my plan not to purchase the MLB Extra Innings package this year. This is an extreme, extreme rarity for me; I left the San Francisco Bay Area when I was 11 and, except for a few years in my 20s, I've been an ex-pat ever since. In the fall of 1994, I began my third year of law school (law school's three years) on the first day of a class in Corporations, we were assigned campus email addresses. I know for many the internet was a rolled out enterprise; you - yes, you - may have had Prodigy message board access prior to '94 - but for me, it was not just like one day in 1947 Dad came home with a DuMont RA 102 and I finally got to watch Kukla, Fran and Ollie - it was like I was heretofore unaware that such magical images flew through the air. The experience of being alive transformed for me in a way I had never anticipated.
My very first search was for all matters San Francisco sports (wrestling was second, Elisabeth Shue, third) - and as the media technology advanced; my desire to live as if I was still within driving distance of Candlestick Park increased (My broadcast.com subscription is part of the reason for Mark Cuban making a billion dollars - and I'm still a member of the KNBR fan club).
What that has meant this century is the MLB Extra Innings package, for the past several years through digital cable. I've seen more Giants games in the past decade than the rest of my life combined, and by a significant factor. This year, however, I am planning on moving by the All-Star Break, and perhaps switching cable companies - therefore, I made a strategic decision not to purchase the package, giving up Krukow and Kuiper and the Comcast Bay Area commercials - and just utilize the range of my other technological options to follow the progress of my ballclub.
And then this week happened. And it's the best thing from the past 7 days.
First: Everytime I Think I'm Out - They Pull Me Back In.
At the time of this writing, the Giants are 4-1 and have the best record in the National League.
Here's what those opium pushers at the cable company do - they offer that first week for free; just a little taste - a little taste of baseball; my Giants, on for free, everyday.
Monday - Lincecum whips the Astros
Tuesday - Zito shuts out the Astros
Wednesday - We get 19 hits. I would have gone under on 19 hits as our total for the whole series had I made such a prediction.
Friday - A Bottom of the 9th comeback and a 4 hour 13 inning win. I decide to name my first born son Renteria. If he were to hit that same homer in October, I'll make it my first born daughter.
Saturday - Okay, this didn't go that well. We're only going to play .800 ball this year.
How do you quit that? How?
I mean, I know it's just one week - and later on today, the 10th anniversary of Pac Bell Park (Barry returns! Bar-ry! Bar-ry!) the rest of the sports world will be watching Tiger - me, I'll be charting Lincecum's curveballs - later on today, my guess is we lose - and then by April's end we're .500 on our way to my predicted 81-81 finish, and, as I've said before, we will never win a Series in my lifetime, and I'm just setting myself up for another season (or half a season, until I move) of devastating late inning losses that I watch at 5 in the morning on my DVR before heading off to my demoralizing work schedule.
But - I mean - come on! Come on! I've seen every game this year and we're 4-1 - if I stop watching the games and we start losing - WHOSE FAULT IS THAT? WHOSE? WHOSE?
Hey, I said I didn't believe there was some sort of omnipotent monotheistic divine figure - I never said I didn't believe in the Baseball Gods - I've seen Bull Durham - you have to respect the streak. Respect the Streak!
So, thanks, 4-1 San Francisco Giants. It's your fault I'm out 180 bucks and a couple hours every day between now and the All-Star Break. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
4-1! Madness. After the jump - the rest of the Tendown.