My three favorite things about the game last night:
- I got to watch the danged thing. It's ridiculous how much baseball I've written about without having watched the sport in months. I realized how absurd my winter lot is when Ray Durham stepped up to hit. I tried to follow along with his thought process. Was Haren going inside or out? Soft or hard? Pitching for contact or pitching to get the hitter to chase? Durham fouled a pitch off, trying to keep his head still throughout the swing. He eventually made a weak out. Didn't matter. For the first time in months, I was actively watching an at-bat, and it felt goooooood.
- The vintage spring training clips were phenomenal. The Giants owned their own Arizona resort, Casa Grande? Who knew? Dusty Baker giving hitting advice to Matt Williams...Willie Mays telling Kevin Mitchell how to time homer-robbing leaps...there has to be a way to cull 90 minutes of spring training footage over the years and put it on a DVD. Heck, I'd pay $80 for a Ken Burns-sized multi-volume set.
- Listening to Bochy talk was a treat, even if he wasn't exactly revelatory. It's just nice to have a different voice in the dugout. No offense to Felipe, who is a genuinely interesting man at times, but his act was a little stale by the end. Bochy sounds like Sam Elliot, and I'm not used to his answers quite yet. Even if I wasn't starting to like Bochy as a manager, I'd still be excited about change for change's sake. That Bochy is saying a lot of the right things is gravy.
- Those stupid hats.
- Watching Lowry sail through two innings only to have control problems. Seen that too many times....
- Benitez hanging a breaking ball like it stole cattle, and the pitch going into a fielder's glove at Mach 4. All things being equal, I'd prefer that he doesn't hang the things. But if he has to, it should at least be noted on the statistical record.