Hope On The Field Of Dreams

In the midst of a contentious election, with the mideast on fire, the Chinese dishing up old grudges with the Japanese, and numerous accounts of assaults, burglaries and drunkeness in today’s police blotter, is there any reason to hope for good news?

Yes. The San Francisco Giants appear to be headed for the division title. Across the bay, the underfunded but feisty Oakland A’s are closing in on at least a shot at the American League wildcard. Could there be a rematch of the 1989 battle of the bay World Series?

The last time it happened it was so momentous that the earth itself moved, providing some drama to what was proving to be a rather boring blow-out by LaRussa’s A’s. Californians put aside old rivalries and worked together to save lives and rebuild our broken cities. After a reasonable break, the games went on.

Could it happen again? Hope springs eternal among the faithful. But this time, let’s skip the earthquake.


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25 Responses to Hope On The Field Of Dreams

  1. Ben Emery says:

    All the strife comes from inequality. Promote a more equal society and many of these problems go away. Our system is rigged due to a government that is controlled by the highest bidder. Poor people almost have no representation so the inequality gap widens. We have to ask ourselves- who has more influence in our government, the wealthy or poor. I say the wealthy have much more influence and also say this must be the system the prefer. Since 1980 83% of economic gains went to the top 1% and much of that to 0.5%. In 2o1o 93% of economic gains were taken in by the top 1%. We are at a 60 year low for taxes and US corporations are seeing record profits in the midst of a depression. Other than being a rigged system how can this be?

    • TD Pittsford says:

      Fraud, corruption, and lack of any kind of morals contributed to the fall of Rome. There is no doubt in my mind that the same thing will happen here and to every other superpower in the world. No dynasty can endure once the government thereof realizes it can act with impunity to serve it’s own self-serving agenda. The tragedy is that We the People have allowed it to happen. Can this devastating trend be reversed? God I hope so.

      PS: One nice thing about posting on your site, R.L., is that my addition skills are improving!

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      In other words, the bigger the Federal government has gotten, the worse the inequality as you see it.

      But more government will reverse that? Curious.

      The problem, as described by PJ O’Rourke, is that when buying and selling is controlled by legislation, the first things to get bought and sold are legislators.

      What would be wrong with this one, Ben. Make all dividend and capital gains (indexed for inflation) income taxable as ordinary income. Repeal corporate income taxes. The rich will pay higher taxes, armies of corporate tax lawyers will have to find honest employment elsewhere, and pension funds won’t have the feds skimming their take off the top.

  2. Ryan Mount says:

    The only thing keeping me from 100% liking Michael Anderson is his love affair with the Giants. We ran into each other at the Briar Patch this past weekend. I was wearing my A’s cap as was my boy. There was a pause as we shook hands. Us gin-drinking, cabbage-eating prols on the other side of the bay are a concern for the Peninsula Party Members.

    And the only thing keeping me from engaging him in a heated baseball chat was the fact I didn’t want to distract the burrito makers behind the counter from their tasks. Why is take 20 minutes to make a bean, cheese and rice burrito? I have no idea.

    • Michael Anderson says:


      Even though I grew up on the Peninsula, I was born in Oakland so the place is in my bones. I’ve seen plenty of A’s games in their concrete temple to Candlestick, and I’ve always enjoyed their large watery beers, the dope-smoking hippies playing their cheap drum kits in the bleachers, and the empty seats.

      Hey, it’s baseball. I would LOVE to see another Bay Bridge World Series, and this one w/o an earthquake as well. The games would be fun, but it wouldn’t be a very even match since the orange and black have about 37 more relief pitchers than the guys in the cute Irish togs.

      BTW, the reason it takes 20 minutes to make a burrito at Briar Patch is because each bean and rice grain is individually and serially inspected for pesticides. Maria’s in Auburn is the better choice for burritos.

      Michael A.

  3. rl crabb says:

    Being an A’s fan, I totally sympathize with your concern over those irritating National League ideologues, Ryan. Our boys in the no there-there land have never gotten the respect they deserve, although I believe they would do better if they lost those ugly green and yellow team colors. (Black goes with anything. Green looks good on St. Paddy’s Day and that’s about it.)
    Ben, I’m assuming you meant your comment for another post, although in the world of baseball the poor Oakland A’s are definitely at a disadvantage with the Wall St. Yankees.

    • Ryan Mount says:

      The A’s have traditionally been the farm team for the Yankees.

      I grew up in the Coliseum bleachers buried ankle-deep in empty peanut shells and surrounded by my drunken relatives. (The American League invented the “Big Beer,” I’d like to remind everyone.) Anyhow, my family members would hurl slurs at the visiting team easily loud enough for the outfielders to hear. Sometimes they’d return the sentiment by flipping us the bird. Sometimes, there would be fights. In the bleachers. Between my family members. And don’t start me on Raider games…

      Imagine my surprise back in the dot-bomb era when I received free tickets to a Giants game from my start-up CEO. I made my way to very nice seats at what was then PacBell Park. There was wine, tidy-non-drunk fans, and announcements about how to be nice to each other over the PA. Something about being polite and kind to those around you. WTF?

      I felt about as welcome as a turd in a punch bowl.

      • rl crabb says:

        I don’t follow the teams like I used to in the eighties. Back in ’89 I tried to get to as many games as possible, both at the Collosseum and the stick. Never ran into any trouble, although I did think I was going to die when the Giants were in the last regular season series with the Cubbies. One of my friends, overcome with enthusiasm, jumped up when Kevin Mitchell came to bat and yelled, “Hit it out of the park you black son of a bitch!!!” Fortunately, everyone else around us was thinking the same thing. (And he did hit a home run, which won the game.)

      • Ben Emery says:

        A’s and Padres are the farm team for many of the major league teams. Develop young players and lose them to free agency. It is one of the reasons I stopped watching professional sports.

        • Ryan Mount says:


          Occasionally the A’s get an owner or a manager who knows how to capitalize on this farm energy. And it makes for great baseball. Billyball was one of the true treats growing up: suicide squeeze plays, hidden ball tricks, stealing bases for apparently no reason, lob-ball pitches.

          LaRussa was a wild change for his chess-like skill. Not to mention the “Moneyball” years.

          What I’ve grown accustomed to is a lean A’s payroll that somehow makes it to the playoffs only to blow it by playing like they’re drunk. (uh…duh…Am I supposed to run to 1st base on a dropped 3rd strike?) Normally would be congruent with my past A’s experiences. Drinking and all. But I’d love to see another A’s Pennant.

  4. Ben Emery says:

    I most definitely meant it for another post. You can remove it if you want.

    On this post, pitchers are players let them hit. The best hitter of all time started his career as a pitcher. I like both the Giants and A’s but grew up a dye hard Giant Fan.

  5. Ben Emery says:

    Oops die hard, I have tons going through my head this morning and thought a light jaunt through the local blogs might lighten it up a bit, I guess not.

  6. Funny you should mention the ’89 quake today.

    As I was watching Al Michaels broadcast the 49ers game from the Stick last night, I was reminded that he was a about the broadcast the World Series game from the Stick the day the quake hit. Since he had previously spent two years in S.F. as the radio voice of the Giants, he knew the Bay Area well and was able to describe accurately what was happening on the Bay Bridge and in the Marina district of San Francisco.

    As luck would have it, ABC had the Goodyear blimp ready to provide aerial coverage of the game, and quickly deployed it to cover the quake, easily beating all of the other networks.

    Luck also played a role in the coverage by the newspapers. Neither the Chronicle nor the Examiner had adequate back-up power, so both were basically put out of business. The San Jose Mercury had plenty of power and had planned an eight-page wrap-around for the main section of the paper devoted to World Series coverage. That junked and replaced with quake coverage.

    Guess which Bay Area paper won a Pulitzer Prize for its quake coverage?

    The quake also taught me a lesson about how resilient children can be. I was pulling into out garage in Belmont with my 11-year-old daughter when the quake hit, and when it became obvious about an hour later how bad the quake was, I became concerned about how Rosemary would react.

    At that point, she walked out of her bedroom singing the old Judy Collins song, “I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet.”

    • Ben Emery says:

      I remember getting ready to watch the game with my dad at my parents house. He was a truck driver who traveled across the Cypress overpass all the time. I think the world series probably saved many lives. My parents house a cookie jar was broken, my friends who had the exact same house but facing a different direction had everything come out of the cupboards and totally trashed the house. My dad and I inherited my brothers game 4 tickets from my brother who had plans for his birthday. It was pretty cool to go to a world series game despite having the A’s dominate the series.

    • Todd Juvinall says:

      I was sitting in my chair at 5pm during a Board of Supervisors meeting. The place shook a bit and Bill Schultz and I looked at each other and for some reason we knew it was from the Bay Area, We both had daughters there. Later my daughter said she had just arrived back at her apartment complex in San Jose and was walking by the pool when the quake hit. She watched as the water in the pool was thrown completely out of thepool.

  7. Michael R. Kesti says:

    Carole King.

    And, yes, 3 + 3 does equal 6.

  8. rl crabb says:

    I was watching the game at home in Nevada City when the screen went blank and I heard Al Michaels say, “Did you feel that?!” My first thought was; earthquake! My (ex) father-in-law was at the Stick. It took him five hours to get back to his home in Santa Rosa, where he called to tell us he was okay.

  9. Carole King? I stand corrected. I never paid much attention to those folk singers.

    Now for the rest of my quake story:

    My wife was in her office at an ad agency in North Beach talking to a client in San Jose. When the client said she just felt an earthquake, my wife–being a native San Franciscan–yelled quake and got under her desk just before it came rumbling through.

    She worked in a part of North Beach with a lot of brick buildings and I was concerned that she might have been outside when the quake hit. Since the phones were useless, I had no way of knowing.

    With the power out in much of San Francisco and the traffic lights not working, I figured she might have to spend the night in her office. But she knows streets in San Francisco I never heard of, and she managed to weave her way through town and then down El Camino to get home about 8:30.

    Proving once again that you gotta know the territory.

  10. I was working late at Lowell, and holding the lab open for the kids, back then many did not have computers at home, and we all ducked under the tables, and the girl next to me immediately began praying. The building was built in 1962, and they did it right, with amazing amounts of rebar. The company hired to cut the hole in the concrete roof for the air conditioner lost money on the deal, steel every four inches.

    Wife at home in the apartment was totally freaked, took months to repair the place, and less than 200 feet away, building hurt so bad it was torn down. Daughter then 7 was across the street in playground, where we wound up camping out for the next three days.

    And that was only a 6.9 or 7.1, depending on which scale you use.

    And you ask why we moved up here?

  11. My totally unscientific hunch prediction is that when this board is almost completely yellow, and the number of quakes on it drops below 300, the next Big One will occur:

  12. PeteK says:

    If the A’s somehow get a waterfront Stadium in Oakland, the fans will come. I stopped going to Giants games at Candlestick because it was just to damn cold and windy..and that was in summer! RL is right, the A’s could use a uni makeover (color wise) and better marketing. I am a die-hard Giants fan myself but I always wish the boys across the bay success(unless we are playing them..lol)

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