It seems lame to say — after they swept the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series — that I was pulling for the San Francisco Giants. The odd thing is how I came to care.
Baseball is not generally high on my radar screen. Unlike some of my friends who are fairly rabid fans, my attention to baseball generally amounts to checking the standings every now and then to see how the Atlanta Braves are doing. After the Bravos failed to chop their way out of the first round of the playoffs (again), my interest level dissipated.
But when the World Series started with a game at San Francisco’s AT&T park, I happened to have the TV on, and couldn’t help but notice that the Giants’ public address announcer is a woman, and that was enough to win me over: I have to cheer every small step toward equality, and announcing baseball games has traditionally been a bastion of maleness.
A little research showed that Renel Brooks-Moon, who also hosts a morning radio show, has had the gig since 2000, when the Giants’ moved to the new stadium — and that she replaced another woman, Sherry Brooks, who had the job for the team’s last seven seasons at Candlestick Park (not knowing this previously is more evidence of how little I follow the game).
In any case, that put me firmly in the Giants’ camp and stirred enough interest for me to actually watch parts of every game. That’s when I noticed that the players, as a rule, seemed larger than I remembered. The Giants’ Pablo Sandoval (aka “Kung Fu Panda”) is a chunk at 240 pounds, but still incredibly quick at third base. Across the diamond, Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder weighs in at 275, not counting the full beard. A quick look at the teams’ 40-man rosters showed that more than half of the Giants‘ players weigh more than 220 pounds, while 13 of the Tigers went 220 or better. So much for wiry infielders.
And, while sports fans watched those big boys go at it, a giant storm has been creeping up the East Coast, drawing constant (and apparently deserved) media attention that is bound to continue. “Sandy” (aka the “Frankenstorm”) left a trail of destruction and 65 deaths in the Caribbean before starting its menacing march toward the U.S. mid-Atlantic and northeastern states, where its gigantic storm surge, abetted by high tides and a full moon, is predicted to cause major damage before the storm collides with two winter systems coming the opposite way. The “perfect storm” could then stall for days and dump enough heavy snow and rain to cause stupendous problems that could last for weeks.
Perhaps it’s a good time to offer some giant-sized prayers for those who are in harm’s way.