1)Padre Camouflage uniforms--the ugliest ever 2)First view of Petco Park
Usually late season games iffy with all the call ups, but timing was perfect this year. Giants were unwatchable during the first half of the year--no power--no prospects. The crosstown A's were also in transition, but being run by a "genius," and were loading up on supposed "blue chip prospects." Their success was killing the Giants in the local media--and it was constantly getting worse. May 31, A's +6 games better; June 31, A's +9 1/2 games better; July 13, A's +12 games better.
But come mid July Billy Beane finally outsmarted himself with one (or two or three) too many deals of solid young players for prospects. Meanwhile the Giants finally jettisoned some mediocre veterans who had seen better days and started playing some unheralded minor league prospects--like Pablo Sandoval who turns out may be both the most exciting AND the best hitter in the Bay Area. Pudgy, with quick feet, who hacks away at everything and shoots line drives all over the place--he may be the 2nd coming of Kirby Puckett. And in the pitching department while everyone knew Tim Lincecum was good--he may now be the BEST pitcher in baseball. So though the Giants were having a disappointing season in the post-Barry era, suddenly they were hot and only -1 game behind the A's.
We also wanted to see Petco Park--supposedly one of the nicer "retro stadiums" built in a revitalized area of downtown where an old building, Western Building Supply is stuck in leftfield. The Giants hit a grand slam with Pac Bell Park but apart from walking around Pittsburgh's nice PNC Park, I have never seen a game from another new retro park (while I've been to all the classic stadiums and some of the multipurpose horrors), so it would be nice to compare.
Funny things overheard--