From the Bird’s Nest: The last two days
Early games mean two things. One, after the game is over, you've got the rest of the day to get out and do things.
Two, it means an early wake-up call.
The game was scheduled for eleven am with a departure for the stadium at 8:45. The opponent was UC-Santa Barbara out of the Big West Conference. We got to the ballpark at nine and set up equipment. I went downstairs to interview Robe for the pregame show. Nice chat. Too bad it never made it on the air. When I got upstairs and was ready to use the interview, it woudn't play. This particular brand of mp3 player has a play switch that breaks sometimes. That would mean no recorded interviews the rest of the tournament.
I visited with the play by play man from UCSB. He was a young fella, probably a student. He talked about downloading the electronic scorebook which enables him to keep score on his conputer. Ah, technology. I showed him the manual scorebook that I use and he said it was impossible for him to keep score manually because he missed too much action. He couldn't believe I was able to do it.
I can't believe he uses a computer. Nope, for me, the old way works fine.
What a frustrating game it turned out to be. The Cajuns fell behind 4-0. Jordan Nicholson overall pitched well and gave the Cajuns a chance to win. But the offense did not. Cajuns had the bases loaded with one out early and didn't score. Cajuns got men at the corners and hit into a double play. Cajuns in fact, has four double plays turned against them, the final one in the ninth. After Daniel Nichols' pinch hit single got the Cajuns to within 4-2, a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play ended the game.
After that, it was necessary to drown a sorrow or two.
Our interactive producer, Dawn Richard, along with Baseball SID Mett Hebert and Atlhetics Trainer Brian Davis met up at a sports bar. It was getting close to St. Patrick's Day and the celebrations had already begun in San Francisco. Someone released the hounds.
The Irish Wolf Hounds. One of these babies was just 13 months old and already weighed in at 150 pounds.
After a round we were ready for lunch. By this time it was 2:30. We had decided to take the F train to the Castro section of San Francisco to check out Ike's Place, a famous sandwich shop. I saw it featured on "Man vs. Food" some time back. We had to wait about fifteen minutes to get into the restaurant...it's a pretty popular place. Their signature item is something called "Ike's Sauce" which they put on every sandwich.
Dawn ordered the meatball sandwich.
.....and enjoyed it.
Matt had a barbecue sandwich, Brian had the Philly Cheese and I had a one pound turkey burger.
Hey, it was a TURKEY burger. Healthy, right?
Now, for those of you who are uninformed, the Castro area is the predomanently gay section of the city. If you aren't comfortable with that, you probably don't want to go. But for us it was no big deal. Everyone on the street and in the restaurant was having a great time, in fact, I think it's the place where I saw the most people having fun.
As we were waiting for the bus to take us back to the hotel, an attractive young woman approached me and asked for a cigarette. I obliged and we talked for just a second. Then she introduced herself as Vicki and extended her hand. I introduced myself and we shook hands. And, I then realized that Vicki was a guy. You could have knocked me over with a feather.
Ah, San Francisco.
Now, we weren't out late Saturday night, but it had been a long day. I left the other three early and turned in. We were going to lose an hour's sleep because of the time change and I put in for a 6:00 am wakeup as we were going to be leaving for the park at seven. I had to check out of my room and leave my suitcase at the hotel while we were at the ball park. I was already ready for a nap by the time we got to AT&T Park.
Evidently the team was as well. The Cajuns were shut out on three hits and lost 4-0. The only bright spot was T. J. Geith pitched well, giving up two earned runs in five plus innings. He retired the first twelve men he faced before giving up two runs in the fifth. But the team was lethargic all day and left the ballpark 0-3 for the weekend, and 1-5 on the overall road trip.
After the game we hung around outside for awhile. Ran into Taylor Hubbell's parents. His girlfriend Heather was also there. Now, I knew who she was but Dawn did not. And sure enough, she told Heather "you look just like that girl on Glee." Heather responded quietly, "I am." She's a regular on the show. Now, I don't watch Glee, but I knew of Heather. That was pretty cool.
We walked back to the hotel from the ballpark where I dropped off my computer and equipment. Then it was a walk to the Powell Street Cable Car that would take us to Fisherman's Wharf.
I had seen a couple of signs during the trip that said "Boudin." And, I new enough from previous trips to SF that it wasn't what we know of as boudin, but rather a sourdough bread. When we got off the cable car it was lunchtime and we decided to eat at the original Boudin Restaurant.
What I didn't know was that Boudin was actually a real person. Isadore Boudin came over from France and started to make his special sourdough bread and he became famous doing it. In the restaurant it was explained just how it was done and you could watch the bread being made. Oh, by the way, it's pronounced Boo-DEEN in these parts.
We then hit Pier 39 for awhile. It's actually quite touristy, but we had time to kill before the Alcatraz tour. I went into the College/NFL apparel store to look around. I was looking for something in particular and found it. It's a T-short from UC-Santa Cruz. Why that shirt, you ask. Their mascot is the Banana Slug. I had to have a shirt.
But got a special treat as well. A couple of the Raiderettes were on hand selling their calendars. Yes I bought one. You would have, too.
We had a root beer float at the sports bar there just as the NCAA brackets were being unveiled. Eleven Big East teams. UALR playing UNC-Asheville in a First Four game. No St. Mary's. Boo.
Then it was time for the Alcatraz tour, something I didn't partake in on my previous visits to San Francisco. It was pretty interesting and pretty strenuous. You have to walk up a steep grade that's equal to walking up thirteen stories. My calves were screaming by the time we reached the cell block.
By the time the tour was over at 7:30 we were exhausted after a long day without a lot of sleep the night before. We left the wharf and took the bus back to Market Street and walked back to the hotel. We had some time to kill before heading to the airport for our red-eye flight, scheduled for 12:30. Visited with Taylor Hubbell's mom and Chase Traffica's parents and grabbed some dinner. I went outside and just for grins, checked my flight tracker app on my iphone.
The flight was going to be delayed until 1:45. Great. Won't affect our connection in Houston, though.
So as I sit here at San Francisco International Airport writing this, it's 11:25pm. Still two hours before the plane leaves. And, there won't be nearly enough time to sleep on the plane.
I'll see everyone Monday night for Tony's radio show at Walk-Ons. Come on out and join us.