Friday, May 22, 2009
Do the Giants have a drinking problem?
I lied to Aaron Rowand. I shook his hand, looked him in the eye and lied. The date was February 8, 2008.
It was the day before Giants Fan Fest out at AT&T Park. That special time before Spring Training when fans can mingle with players, check out the yard, and get fired up before the season.
The night before, I was with a group of friends who decided to go to Bubble Lounge on Montgomery Street in San Francisco. As luck would have it, they don't allow people with Joe Thornton replica T-Shirts, ripped up Nike running shoes and camouflage Chevy hats into this place. I was stuck. All my friends were already inside.
So I said the hell with it, I'll just hit a bar by myself.
So I ambled up the street, looking for a bar. First one I saw was the Hilton on Kearny. I said, "What the hell? Maybe I'll find some hot business chick in here or something."
As I walked by the indoor fire pit, I noticed a large group of loud folks, having a great time. I swore I saw Matt Cain...
So I sat down at the bar and ordered an Anchor Steam. During my second one, my buddy Goose joined me, loose out of his gourd.
I said, "Dude, I think that's Matt Cain over there."
Then, all of the sudden, I saw an unmistakable figure walk past me to the bathroom.
He was short and stocky-- in a powerful way-- and he had a well-groomed goatee.
It was Aaron Rowand, our new prized pick of the free agent class. I nearly spit my $7.00 Steam onto my Sharks shirt.
So I posted myself about 15 feet from the bathroom, pretending to mind my own business.
When, like clockwork, A-Row returned from his urination.
I said, "Holy shit! Aaron Rowand! Dude, nice to meet you man. We're gonna love you out here. I love the way you play, you're going to be an instant fan favorite."
As I shook his badger-like hand, he became fired up as well. He said, "Hell yeah man. It feels great to be here."
I didn't know it at the time, but I had just lied to Aaron Rowand at the Hilton. He was going to be a dartboard used by frustrated fans barely 1 year later.
I was then certain that I did see Matt Cain, along with who I believed to be Kevin Frandsen and Jack Taschner... but I was unable to confirm this.
While casually observing my group of heroes from the bar, I noticed that they were hitting the booze pretty hard, and had been for some time-- especially Cain, who was never more than an arm's length from his 6th Bud Light.
A hungover Matt Cain answers questions with Lincecum in '08 -------->
As I left, I announced to them, "Dudes, great to see you guys, we're going to have a kickass season, I don't care what anyone says-- Matt Cain, love you buddy-- see you all at Fan Fest tomorrow."
Why did I recount that story to you, you may ask. I'm not a name dropper, I have a point.
The Giants are seen in public more than any other team in the Bay Area, save for possibly the Sharks in the South Bay. They are a good group of guys, and they know how to have fun-- but when is it too much fun?
I have heard first hand accounts from more than 10 friends about who they've seen out in public.
Culprit #1? Brian Wilson.
Brian Wilson has been seen twice in the last year by my immediate friend group at Bar None, an early 20's meat market on Union Street in the Marina. Do I blame him for being there? No. There are hot, drunk chicks there and beer pong in the corner.
However, as cool as it is to see Barry Zito, Wilson, Kevin Frandsen, and Kevin Correia (last year) at Bar None, they had a game the next day. They didn't do well.
Zito frequents Marin joints as well, such as the Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur.
Wilson and Aurilia were spotted at Bar None not more than a month ago by some of my best buddies.
Then of course there was the infamous 1 a.m. Twitter tweet by Brian Wilson in Scottsdale, the night before he blew a save to the Diamondbacks.
I have also heard from female acquaintances that Tim Lincecum is quite the drunk... and possibly a stoner (no proof about the weed, but if anyone would, it would be him and Zito).
The point of all this is that the Giants are in the midst of a heinous stretch where they can't hit, aren't taking pitches, and Wilson is blowing saves.
For God's sake, we were just swept by the Padres, who are made up of more fringe Major Leaguers than we are. We just made Chad Gaudin and Kevin Correia look like world beating aces! Scott Hairston looks like he's bound for Cooperstown against us.
All while the Giants are out the nights before games, Aaron Rowand is drawing the intense ire of all Giants fans for his season-long hallucinatory flailing at the plate (despite his recent resurgence), and Kevin Correia is getting through 3 innings on less than 30 pitches against us.
Look, I love having fun and going out partying, Lord knows I do. But I'm also not being paid millions to perform intricate physical activities like throwing a baseball past Adrian Gonzalez or attempting to get (even one measly!) base hit off Heath Bell.
The Giants need to get their act together.
Please share your stories below about seeing them in public.