... So [yesterday] morning we're off on a hike of downtown... Then we'll watch the Sabo's Padres at Level 9 bar... and as long as we are there I'll also have lunch at the Hotel Indigo lobby bar...After the game, we'll do a different hike of downtown... then finish off the day off-leash at Grape St in Balboa Park.
We ended up parking at City College. We took a pre-game walk of the compact campus... and then rested a bit under the fateful tree where Sabo hurt me a year ago May Day. Sabo today was just perfect. We hiked down 9th to the Hotel Indigo, and up 6th later before we went to Grape St.
The lovely & talented Amanda had the day off. Although not as easy on the eyes, fellow native San Diegan Jason took great care of Sabo & me at the lobby bar. I can prove we had lunch, *inside*, at the bar, while watching Sabo's Padres... because hotel staffer S asked to tweet a pix of Sabo (hashtag #GoPadres, below). Sabo even got a coupla those french fries seen just over his noggin.
It turns out the Level 9 bar doesn't open until 4pm. However, the rooftop bar area itself is open, and you can carry your drinks up in the elevator from the lobby bar. One reason they might not open the bar in the day time is that it's south facing. It was pretty warm yesterday, and as warned... it was hot up there. So... we had the space all to our own... Sabo could roam free. I'm sure they woulda put the game on the TVs if I asked.They even have a turf doggy comfort station, over by the people facilities. Sabo took a good pee there. I pulled up a chair in the shade... and we watched a few innings of the game.
The sightline is directly over Sabo's shrine, the T.Gwynn Sr statue (my pix yesterday above). It's pretty much the same as watching a game sitting on the grass in The Park at The Park. In both cases, the area from 3B to the right-centerfield side of the 'batters eye', and the RF corner, are obstructed. That's what the video screen on the back of the 'batters eye' is there for.
The difference is, of course, that the T.Gwynn Sr statue is ~650ft from home, and ~200ft from the video screen... while the Hotel Indigo is ~1300ft from home, and ~800ft from the video screen.
For me... even though this was the farthest I've ever watched a game from, I could definitely track the live action as if I was sitting in the Park at the Park. As for actually seeing a recognizable ball-player... well, you're going to need binocs for that sitting in The Park at The Park anyways. I brought mine yesterday, and they work fine from Level 9 too.
For Sabo... there's no way a dog can see 1300ft. After carefully and thoroughly exploring the space... he flaked out in the shade and took a nice nap. Gotta that Sabo !!!1!
Continuing our quest for ways to watch MLB without a ticket... I dredged the memory sink. Back in the day, it was SOP in MLB to open the gates during the 7th inning. I remember actually walking into a coupla games this way at the Q (always by happenstance). Sabo and me tried to do same in the 8th yesterday... no lick. The security guard told Sabo: "Sorry little guy, the Park at the Park doesn't reopen until tomorrow morning".
(Credit: S at Hotel Indigo)
Oh yeah... what about the game? Well, the Card's moved into a three way tie for first (2-0) with a 10-3 pounding of Sabo's Padres (1-5, done ???/?). The next dog game, I promise, is Wednesday the 26th in Cincinnat (3-2). A Dodgers (0-1, elim) win would eliminate the Reds.
Here's a quick survey of ways you can see, or could have seen, MLB without a ticket. Caveat: it's admittedly superficial and anecdotal. Excepting what I blogged last post, I don't have any direct knowledge of any of these scenarios. I'll list those I don't consider viable first (i-x), followed by those which are viable (1-5). FYI: as reference, the farthest seat inside a MLB park is in Denver... 600' feet from home.
Be with The Missile. She was known as 'The Exception to the Rules' after all. Alas, we won't be seeing those days again *sob*.
Walk on in after the 7th. We'll see at AT&T this weekend. However, I'm going to guess this is a thing of the past... killed off as part of a MLB-wide security directive. As for Sabo... even if they still let peeps just wander on in, only the Park-at-the-Park is normally dog-friendly to begin with.
Buy the team.. I gotta imagine the owner can bring his dog into the owner's box. Of course, for most peeps, the most viable way to afford this option is winning the lotto... every single day for a month. Another issue is that every since the Cleveland Spider debacle of 1899, you can't own more than one team at the same time... severely restricting your ability to see all the ballparks this way.
Get Elected Mayor... or get appointed to the Stadium Authority, or whatever. Most MLB ballparks are publically owned, and have an 'Official' (aka landlord's) box, in addition to the team owner's box. I gotta imagine the mayor can bring his dog into the Official Box too.
Lease Some Office Space. Globe Life Park (Rangers) has that CF office building built right into the stadium. In San Diego, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh at least... there are office towers that look into the stadiums. In particular, the above is the view from the brand spanking new Sempra Tower (aka SDG&E, ~1000') into Petco Park.
Get a Telescope. Back when the Q was called San Diego Stadium, and before the RF end was enclosed, there were allegedly a few backyards, high along the rim of Mission Valley, from which you could see down into the stadium. However they would have been over a mile away... a telescope was said to be necessary.
Curry an invitation to the Owner's Box.
Curry an invitation to the Official Box.
Curry an invitation to that Office Space during a game.
Be a privileged employee and get to watch the game from that office space. Be 'A Boss'... and be super-privileged enough to get to bring your dog into work to watch a game.
Knothole Gang It. As today's Wikipedia article explains: "... professional ballparks were first being built with wooden fences. Kids without the price of a seat would find that the wooden fences surrounding the parks provided spy holes to watch the games for free. These holes were created when knots in the wood popped out. Naturally gangs of kids gathered around the knotholes...". Well, the days of wooden fences are long gone. But two ballparks today have purpose built equivalents: AT&T Park, which Sabo will check out Friday... and Camden Yards.
During that bizarre zero-attendance game in Baltimore earlier this season, about a dozen fans were seen watching the game from Camden St (~600ft left-center), through the perimeter fences, and across the LF concourse. My *understanding* is some limited viewing is possible here even when they actually do let spectators into the stadium.
Go to the Bar: Sightlines Restaurant, built info CF at Rogers Center, has a separate entrance. They reportedly charge a $30 cover during the games, but you don't need an actual game ticket. The lobby bar at the Renaissance Toronto Hotel, also built into CF at Rogers Center, is open to the public during games. The Three Sixty Rooftop Bar, 26 floors up at the Ballpark Hilton St.Louis, charges a cover if you you're not a guest, and don't have a game ticket (view two pix above, ~1200'). As these three bars also serve food, they're probably not dog friendly. Besides Level 9 at the Hotel Indigo, the Altitude Sky Lounge, 22 floors up at the Gaslamp Marriott (property not dog friendly), also looks into Petco Park (view above, ~650').
Get a Room with A View. In addition to the aforementioned Renaissance Toronto (dog friendly), Ballpark Hilton St.Louis (dog friendly), Hotel Indigo San Diego, and Marriott Gaslamp, the following hotels advertise rooms that look into MLB stadiums: Fairmont Pittsburgh (view top of post, ~2400', dog friendly), Renaissance Pittsburgh (view below, ~1600', not dog friendly), Cosmopolitan at the 9 Cleveland (~1300' CF, dog friendly), Hilton Baltimore (view above, ~800', dog friendly). There is going to be an Omni hotel that looks into the Braves's new stadium. Most Omni hotels are dog friendly.
Rent a Condo. There's a gazillion condo towers near Petco Park, notably one right on The-Park-at-the-Park (~700' RF). Plenty of those condo units are rented out to transients... a week, a series, maybe even a game. These condo towers ubiquitously have common viewing decks, so even units that don't directly look into the stadium would work.
Official Rooftop Bleachers at Wrigley Field and Busch Stadium. These are two restaurants in St.Louis (~600' LF), and 13 buildings in Chicago (~450' to 600', LF & RF), who sell team authorized bleacher seats right across the street from the stadiums. As for Sabo... they all serve food, and none advertise as dog friendly.
And then there were eight... tonight the Dodgers (1-1 done) eliminated the Reds (3-3) by a score of 7-4. The next dog games are a first in SDDC history, a two-game series: The Cardinals at the Giants... Friday night at 7:15, and Saturday afternoon at 1:05. And... Sabo will be seeing both these games !!!1!
This series could profoundly effect the dog game season. If the Giants (1-0) sweep, every other team except the Braves (1-0) are eliminated. If the Card's (2-0) sweep, only they, the Braves, Cubs (2-0), and Phillies (2-1) remain alive. If the Card's and Giants split, the Giants are eliminated. If, for some reason, Sabo doesn't 'knothole' the Friday night game... a Card's win Saturday eliminates the Giants, while a Giants win Saturday eliminates the Card's and Astros (2-0).
Yes !!!1! It's time for Sabo's Big Summer Vacation !!!1!
As it's the Summer of Sabo, and we have two big holidays coming right up... Labor Day on Sept 8th, and Local Summer on Sept 9th... we're going to declare this a Sabo Big Fortnight™: running from today at noon to Wednesday, Sept 10th, at noon.
What's the theme ???/? Well, that would be the Big Kahuna: Sabo's Surfari III. We'll be starting this SBW™ around noon at OTL Island. I'm finally going to try out that life-preserver I got Sabo last year... again. Then we're off to the Beach Shack for the evening, followed by an early night's sleep.
Bay Bridge, I-580
Tomorrow we'll pile into the already loaded up woody minval, and go out on pre-dawn patrol... the plan being to get through LA before the morning rush hours. Sabo will then be cruising down Grapevine Hill passing (parked) cars like they were standing still... and experience the emptiness of I-5 through the Central Valley. Hopefully, we'll cross over the Bay Bridge (I-580) and into San Francisco before the evening rush hours.
After a nap at our hotel, Sabo is off to kayak McCovey Cove, and hopefully 'knothole' AT&T Park Friday night. Saturday we're attending the game, of course. Sunday, we'll start the actual Big Kahuna: Sabo's Surfari III... with Sabo's 'shooting' of the Golden Gate Bridge supports... then he's off to 'surf' every beach south to the Mexican border.
Bixby Bridge, CA-1
Yes, we're going to take several days cruising CA-1, the Coast Hwy... all the way from San Francisco, through Half-Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Marina, Big Sur, a side trip to Avila Beach, Lompoc, Ventura, Malibu, and Surf-City USA: Huntington Beach in OC.
Then we're going to move our Surfari base back to the Beach Shack in Missile Beach on through the Labor Day Weekend and Local Summer (Tuesday). Where... I'm not saying... but Missile Beach has a bayside sandy shore too, a shore that Sabo hasn't cumulatively scofflawed late at night as of yet. That, and we'll try to actually go to all the beaches we missed on the recent, and only somewhat successful, Surfari II.
And then there were eightseven... If, for some reason, Sabo doesn't 'knothole' the Friday night game... a Card's win Saturday eliminates the Giants...
That's just what just happened. The free RF viewing pen at AT&T Park isn't dog friendly (pix above). Today, with Sabo in attendance, the Card's scored six and shutout the Giants (1-1, done). The Cardinals now have sole possession of first place at 3-0. The next dog game is Thursday in DC: a double elimination matchup between the Braves (1-0) and the Nationals (3-3).
Yeah, Sabo knows that the FBS season opened tonight, and the NFL exhibition season... including perhaps the last fake game ever by my San Diego Chargers... concludes tonight. Happy football season !!!1! Sabo has some big lifestyle news regarding football. Our 2015 season picks are in envelopes that have been hermetically sealed. They've been kept in a #2 mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnalls' back porch since 2:59 pdt today. I'll get to all this soon I promise... but I think we all know that Baseball, and his Padres, and the Dog Day Championship are closest to Sabo's heart.
"And another one's gone, and another one's gone... another team eats the Dirt Sandwich". Tonight, in big dog season game, the Nationals destroyed and eliminated the Braves (1-1) by a score of 15-1.
The next dog game is in almost two weeks... in Pittsburgh on September 15th. A Pirates (3-6, elim) win would eliminate the Cubs. A Cubs win would eliminate every other team except the Card's. Updated Sabo-Metric Prospectus odds: Card's (3-0) 47.7%, Cubs (2-0) 24.7%, Rays (1-0) 8.6%, Nationals (4-3) 8.5%, Astros (2-0) 6.4%, Phillies (2-1) 4.1%.
Cinnamon Stick, aka The Missile,
A Good Little Dog, 1997-5-17 to 2009-9-9
It's hard to believe it's been six years since we sent The Missile onward... and it's now closer to two years than one since Sabo's been Sabo. Just like the pix above... my memories of my little girl are fading out and/or being replaced by Sabo's day to day life. But I still remember the day this pix was taken...
This was taken on the beach in Missile Beach, straight out from the Beach Shack. It was a mid-summer weekend, a glorious day, and it was just after 6pm when dogs are allowed on the beach. This was before Cinnamon moved to the Missile Beach... so she was down visiting from The Valley in LA. I'm holding the leash (which exits the pix mid way up on the right), Cinnamon's Master S took the pix.
The Missile's incredible colors really shown in this pix (now all faded)... but one thing that's still plain as day is the huge smile on her face. She loved the beach... that was one of her words. If we wanted to refer to the sandy shore, and weren't going to immediately begin taking her there, it was necessary to actually say "sandy shore"... because we never teased The Missile.
She's running in about half an inch of water... the details of the sand under the sparkling water, disturbed by the running dog, have all faded out now too. What can still barely be made out is the reflections of her legs in the water... these were clear as day in the original pix, and it looked just like a matching set of upside down dog legs and lower body.
I this pix.
The reason it's all faded is that it was taped to the dashboard of my old red pickup truck. I put a ton of very frustrating and ultimately financially disastrous hours and miles fighting traffic all over SoCal in that truck. Every time I would get annoyed I'd take a peek at this pix, and I'd always feel better remembering just how incredibly happy that little dog was that day.
It's also been six years since I've seen my brotherman, Cinnamon's Master S... and over four years since he went MIA. However, a mutual friend talked to him last month, and got a new phone number to try. Alas... no answer back today when I called and left a message.
In live dog news... Sabo & me returned to the Sabotat this afternoon after 13 nights on the road to San Francisco, and at the Beach Shack. Plenty more details to be blogged... buy suffice to say this was the best Sabo Big Weekend™ ever !!!1!
Yeah, Sabo knows that the FBS season opened... Happy football season !!!1! Sabo has some big lifestyle news regarding football... I'll get to all this soon I promise...
Sabo was thinking about adopting an NFL team this season, but in the end he decided he still don't care about pro football... so no big lifestyle changes.
The first week of FBS is done. Last week was a good week for SDSUs as SDSU (of California) won 37-3, and SDSU (of South Dakota, FCS) beat Kansas 41-38. It was a poor week for USDs as USD (of California, FCS) lost 3-37, and USD (of South Dakota, FCS) lost to Kansas State 0-34. It also wasn't good week for Grambling State (FCS) who lost to Cal 14-73.
The San Diego State drubbing of University of San Diego was especially ridiculous. FBS teams have 85 scholarships, your typical FCS team has 65... but U. San Diego plays in a zero football scholarship conference. Because of the zero scholarships the game doesn't even count for bowl eligibility... meaning Sabo's Aztecs will need to win seven to go bowling this year. Here's where/when our teams play this year...
my Golden Bears
Univ San Diego (FCS) W 37-3
Grambling State (FCS) W 73-14
@Cal (P12) 2:00
South Alabama (SB) 5:00
@Texas (B12) 4:30
@Penn State (B10)
Fresno State* 7:30
Steelers MON 5:30
@San Jose State*
Utah State FRI 7:30
@Colorado State 12:30
Bears MON 5:30
(MW playoff) 4:30
@(P12 playoff) 4:45
@Raiders* THU 5:25
* Division Rival. FBS games Saturday, NFL Sunday, unless noted. MW playoff hosted by best record, P12 playoff in Santa Clara. FBS Championship Jan. 11 in Glendale, AZ. NFL playoffs: Jan. 9,10,16,17,24; Superbowl Feb. 7 in Santa Clara.
Now that our FBS teams are done with their FCS warmups... we're on to the big 'house divided' matchup this Saturday... Sabo's Aztecs @my Golden Bears. Here are our 2015 football picks...
Dedication. This trip was dedicated to my late brotherman Robert "Barrister Bob" O'Shea.
Robert William O'Shea
Born: October 25, 1951
Died: March 02, 2009
Robert William O'Shea - Bob O'Shea passed away suddenly on March 2, 2009. Devoted son of "Dottie" O'Shea of Petaluma and the late Dr. William A. O'Shea. Dear brother of David M. O'Shea (Anne) of San Francisco, Stephen E. O'Shea of Petaluma, and James N. O'Shea of Calistoga. Loving uncle of Molly O'Shea and Keith O'Shea both of San Francisco.
A resident of Petaluma since 1957, Robert graduated from Petaluma High School in 1969. After graduation from UC Santa Barbara, Robert joined the Peace Corp and was stationed in Morocco. He then obtained a M.S. in French and TEFL at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT teaching for 5 years in North Africa and the Middle East. Robert then attended Univ. of San Diego Law School obtaining a Law degree and was a member of the California Bar. He... was a practicing Attorney and Real Estate Broker for over 20 years.
I met Bob at the long defunct Newport Annie's bar in Missile Beach while he was attending law school. Another of our friends at the bar (who also passed quite young), who owned a now long defunct bikini store across the street, was also named Bob. To keep things straight, we referred to them as "Bikini Bob" and "Barrister Bob"... the nicknames stuck.
Barrister Bob was a big-time 49ers fan, and they were winning championships while he lived at the beach. But later, he admitted he'd trade the Superbowls for just one Giants World Series win representing San Francisco. He loved his Giants... and we saw them together at the Q, the Stick, Dodger Stadium, and Petco. Of course, when they opened what is now called AT&T Park, he said I just had to come up and see a game there with him... as it was, in his opinion, the best park in MLB.
I never got off my fat behind and made that trip... shame on me. Of course, the year after he went onward, his Giants enter their golden period,... and start winning the World Series every other year. It's enough to make me cry... excuse me a second while I hug my little doggie.
The Missile even got to meet Barrister Bob once... very briefly. This was back when she lived in LA, I lived at the Beach Shack, and Bob lived in Petaluma. One fine day, I was just minding my own business, and... all of a sudden there was frenzy of activity behind the Beach Shack. Out of the blue, Cinnamon's Master S showed up with The Missile from LA... just for the early evening. At the exact same time, also out of the blue, Barrister Bob and his brother showed up in a rental car... they had just flown into town to catch a Giants-Padres game at the Q, and had an extra ticket for me.
Bert Ardantz devoted mother, grandma, sister, aunt, mother-in-law, and friend passed away Monday August 10, 2015, peacefully at her home in Pismo Beach, Calif., after fighting a gallant battle with breast cancer. She is survived by her son, Mitch; daughter-in-law, Krista; granddaughters: Emily, Sarah, and Amanda; her sister, Elizabeth Samuels; brother, Jim Hubbard; first husband, Henri Ardantz, and many nieces, nephews and loved ones.
Born in January 1941 in San Diego, she later moved to Santa Maria, Calif., where she met and married Henri Ardantz in 1961 and had their son Mitch. She moved to Santa Cruz, Calif., in the mid 1960's where she would eventually raise her son as a single mother. She was also a long time resident of [Missile] Beach in San Diego, later settling back on the Central Coast in Pismo Beach.
Raised in the foster care system, she became an advocate for foster children while residing in San Diego. During her twenty year residence there, she worked for the Casey family home as well as her private "Yes U Can" practice, tutoring and mentoring young people. This was her passion in life. In 2006 she moved to the Central Coast to be closer to family, where she began teaching and mentoring students in the Lucia Mar School District, as well as working with the Chumash Tribe.
Up until her passing, she was active within the San Luis Obispo County Women's Shelter program as an "Economic Empowerment Advocate," yet another position and organization for which she was passionate. While living in Santa Cruz, she made an integral contribution to the successful development of UCSC's Stevenson's College where she worked as an Executive Administrator. Furthermore, later in life Bert tried and succeeded in being accepted into UCSC's Education Program and, even more profoundly, winning the amazing award of Co-Valedictorian of her graduating class in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education!
Bert was an avid fan of music, of ALL sorts: attending as many concerts as she possibly could, dancing, playing a mean tambourine, and taking her son and all of their friends whenever she could. She worked hard to nurture the love of music to all those around her, especially her son.
Always thirsting for knowledge, Bert loved to study and read. Fortunately for all of us, we became the recipients of this knowledge and intellect. Always eager to give back and mentor to all, especially young people, Bert had a gift of "connectedness" with youth that was second to none. Bert was a consummate advocate for those in need: Always delivering a positive force in a sometimes negative world; always praising "Yes you can, Yes you can."
We are and will, miss you Mom / Grandma. Missing the morning phone call, the weekend BBQ's, the great conversation and debates. Keep a watchful eye on all of us as we know you will and keep providing that direction for everyone up in Heaven as you did here on earth. We Love You!!!
In lieu of flowers Bert's wishes were for donations to: San Luis Obispo County Women's Shelter, Womensshelter.org, 51 Zaca Lane San Luis Obispo, Calif., 93401. A Celebration of Life will take place on Sunday, September 13, at 11:00am at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, 6464 Ana Bay Dr., Avila Beach, Calif., 93424. Bring yourselves and your stories as we celebrate her life and accomplishments. To leave a condolence for the family visit Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary's website
I've already promised Sabo another bay area road trip to see an A's game. Since I never got off my fat behind to visit Bert either... sadly this next bay area trip will be dedicated also. I'll refer to this upcoming trip as the Bert Memorial Trip.
It's enough to make my cry, again... excuse me while I hug my little doggie, again.
Poker. Wait, wat... poker content in a blog hosted on a poker site, WTF BBQ ??
On Sunday the 30th the sun went down by the time we reached the town of Marina. So... Sabo & me grabbed some luxury accommodations right on the world famous marina itself. Just kidding, there's no marina in Marina, and there never has been. They just thought the name sounded cool back in 1975 when the town was incorporated. We stayed at a chain motel.
Looking for some fun that night, I searched the interwebs for dive bars. I came up with Buzz & Lee's Cocktail Lounge. So off we went. The place had a nice dive ambiance (no food), and when I walked in there was a dude holding a little doggie at the other end of the bar. So... I asked the bartender if I could bring Sabo in. She said no, they weren't dog friendly. So I politely enquired why the dude at the end of the bar had a dog. She said... "IDK, he's from in back", and proceeded to roust him.
WTF is "in back"... well it turned out to be Mortimer's Card Room (on left in pix above). I went back there to check it out. They didn't have any customers that night, by a very personable floor person said that they have a buy $100, get $125 in chips promo working, and they play 2-6 spread limit hold'em... just like across the street.
WTF is "across the street"... well another bar called Fog Town Bar & Grill. You wouldn't know it, as it has no dining tables, order window, or menus out, but I was told they have a kitchen somewhere behind the scenes. In back of Fog Town is another card room... variously known as the Marina Club and Casino Monterey (on right in pix above).
I walked into the Marina Club just about a minute late for their buy $75, get $100 in chips promo (minimum two hours play) at 10:30pm. Both card rooms also advertised similar buy-in promos in the mornings. All that, together with dropping only $4 per hand (including $1 promo drop), the fact the players that night were really bad, and the laid back family type atmosphere promoted by the local dealers... makes for great cardroom values here in Marina. Here's how I did...
Saturday didn't go so well for Sabo in the big House Divided football game up in Berkeley. His Aztecs scored a quick touchdown... and he started in with some yapping. But my Golden Bears then proceeded blow past them with 35 unanswered points. I've been relentlessly rubbing it in... and Sabo's spend most of the weekend silently sulking in front of the floor fan (although that might also be because of the miserable heat we've been having).
Later that night, across the bay, M.Bumgarner almost pitched a perfect game against Sabo's Padres... retiring the first 23 before giving up a single. That reminded me of an epic Sportscation the boys and me took back in the day. We flew up to the bay area, and went to the SDSU @Cal game on Saturday (1993-9-11: Cal 45, SDSU 25), and then to a Card's-Giants game at The Stick on Sunday (Cards 4, Giants 2). The next year I went to the Cal-SDSU game at the Q (9-10: SDSU 22, Cal 20).
Sabo's going to have to wait till next year. He'll get his chances however ... as my Golden Bears play at the Q (2016-9-10), and my Red Sox play at Petco (2016-9-5 to 7). Until then I have taunting rights over Sabo !!!1! I made sure to taunt Sabo about how he can't ever go to any football games, and how there's no way any of the Red Sox games are going to be dog games. He took it all in good humor. Gotta that Sabo !!!1!
As for my Chargers... well, I'll be honest. Not only did I not have high hopes this season, I'm also well aware of their possible lame-duck status. But after careful consideration over several pitchers this off-season down at he bar... I've decided the best policy is to take a whistling-past-the-graveyard attitude, and not worry about what I can't control. And as for doing what I can, I bought a coupla seats to the Dolphins-Chargers game the weekend before XMas. Oh yeah, my Chargers overcame a 3-21 deficit, and beat the Lions today 33-28.
Sabo & me checked out the Caltrain depot and yards in SF... from the outside, as Caltrain is like Amtrak, not dog friendly at all. We also checked out Santa Barbara's train depot, from the outside, along with the adjacent giant Morton Fig tree... iconic of Santa Barbara. But those weren't the railroad highlights of the trip. On Sunday the 30th, Sabo & me got into Santa Cruz. I had to buy more gas, and driving is always a PITA. So I figured... F-it, let's take the train back.
So we detoured inland to Felton. Felton is the home of the Roaring Camp tourist trains… and is very leashed dog friendly. They have two train rides.
The original ride is a non-historic recreation of a narrow gauge logging railroad, using very historic and very specialized steam locomotives to handle the absurdly steep railroad grades. I rode this train ride back during the Flower era… but in the meantime the two spectacular loop bridges were arsoned, replaced by an even steeper switchback, and the forests in general are said to be significantly regrown. So… it would have been basically a new ride to me. We didn’t take this train.
Instead we took the newer beach train ride, which I’ve never been on… back to Santa Cruz.
This is a diesel powered standard gauge train ride on a real (and historic) railroad. Although short, at around eight miles, it’s a pretty cool ride. It starts going right through the middle of Henry Cowell Redwood State Park, high above the San Lorenzo river, which it crosses on an impressive bridge. Then it goes through a pretty long tunnel. On the other side it runs for several blocks right down the middle of a residential side street. The train ride concludes going down the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk, stopping in front of the famous Santa Cruz roller coaster.
This was Sabo’s first train ride. On the way down he chose to ride in one of the open air cars. These are converted freight cars, with benches along both sides looking sideways. Sabo, and the other little dog in our car, weren’t too happy with the ‘toot-toot’ the engine made right before we started. He also wasn’t too comfortable when the train started moving… our car having freight car trucks gave it a freight car ride, which on the archaic jointed rail, was rough. But he soon got the hang of it, and had a blast.
On the return trip, Sabo insisted on riding in one the the historical passenger cars. These have facing sets of bench seats, looking forward or backwards... and open windows. These cars also had passenger trucks, and gave a much smoother ride. Sabo, now a veteran train rider, was loving it… and spent most of the trip sitting up on the seats looking right out the open windows. The conductor, who also gave a running tour guide on a microphone, even worked Sabo into his routine… stopping and calling out to Sabo “Ticks please, ticks please”.
And then there were two... as tonight, in the second game of a day/night doubleheader, the Cubs completed an undefeated dog game season. They beat the Pirates (3-7) by a score of 2-1. The win eliminates the Astros (2-0), Rays (1-0), Phillies (2-1), and Nationals (4-3). The dog game season now comes down to just one game: If the Card's can win in Pittsburgh on the 29th, they are champs at 4-0... if not, the Cubs are champs at 3-0. The next dog game, without any championship implications, is tomorrow: The A's (0-2) at the White Sox (0-0).
The Cubs would already be Sabo's Dog Day Champion right now if Sabo had been successful at 'knothole'ing the August 28th game at AT&T Park... as the Giants beat the Card's that night 5-4. Since the championship turns on this game not being 'official'... let's examine what happened that night.
Willie Mays, former Met
Our guidance comes from the Competition Committee, of course... who have finally deigned to make a ruling regarding 'knothole' games. The ruling is this: they are retroactively changing the rule from 'attend' to 'see'. However, what constitutes 'seeing' is to be determined by the Competition Committee on a case-by-case basis using a four pronged test: distance, obstruction, duration, and ambience.
The August 23rd Card's-Padres 'knothole' game viewed from Level 9 at Hotel Indigo has been ruled to pass this four pronged test, and is now officially 'official'. Not that it matters... as the Card's would be champs at 3-0 as well. However, the August 28 Cards-Giants game fails both the obstruction and duration tests, and so is not 'official'.
Sabo and me walked to AT&T Park that Friday, getting there just a few minutes before the 7:15 start. We walked right up to the viewing cage inside the RF wall, and I asked the security dude if it was alright to bring Sabo in. He said sure.
The reason I call it the viewing cage is that is pretty much exactly what it is... an empty ~25x75' cement space with three chain-link fenced archways looking into the field, and three matching wrought-iron fenced archways looking out onto McCovey Cove. They let about 50 people in at a time, so everyone inside the cage has a great view of the field... easily better than the far bleacher seats.
Orlando Cepeda, former Cardinal
There are two parts to the duration prong: the one hour rule, and the five inning rule. The one hour rule is inherited from back when I used to keep detailed notebooks when I was a professional gambler. One of the things I carefully tracked for each team was how often I saw them live, saw them on TV, or to listened to the game on the radio. The reason being was to have a way of 'guarding' against a bias for/against the teams I saw all the time -vs- a team like the Mariners, which back in the day you could go a few years without ever seeing on TV... and as a way of quantifying the absurd hours I put in following the damn sport.
My rule to myself was I needed to pay undivided attention to the game for at least an hour to count as 'seeing it', with no gratuitous switching back-n-forth on the TV to inflate the counts.
The five inning rule is standard baseball... if a game doesn't go that long it isn't official. There's no reason, in the context of Sabo's Dog Day Championship, to count a game as 'seen' if he doesn't actually get to see at least five innings.
At AT&T Park, they kick everyone out out of the viewing cage after the 3rd and 6th innings. However, there wasn't anywhere close to 50 other people hanging around outside the stadium after the 3rd who weren't chain-smoking... so we could have probably turned around and got readmitted after the noobs. Regardless, we would have waited until the 6th, and got right back in then.
Juan Marichal, former Dodger
So... inside the viewing cage easily passes the four pronged test. It's closer than the bleacher seats inside the stadium, there's an unobstructed view from inside the cage, with due diligence, you can get at least six innings in, satisfying the duration test, and it has about as much ambience as you can get in MLB.
Unfortunately, just before the game started, the security dude's boss shows up, tells him the viewing cage isn't dog friendly, and instructs him to give Sabo & me the boot. As it turns out, I ended up spending the last part of the game just outside the viewing cage with a comely MILF who was doing the same... the Giants have TVs facing the cove. She said BS, said she had brought her dog inside for a game before, and was just about to go have a word with the security dude on Sabo's behalf... when the Giants suddenly won the game.
OK, but you can see the field through the two sets of arches from outside the stadium too.
The problem here is that the sets of arches aren't oriented towards home, they face down the third base line. This means the inside arches doesn't line up with the outside arches, obstructing a large part of the field. The parts of the field the inside arches don't obstruct are jammed up with a double row of people standing at the same elevation. Outside the stadium fails the obstruction prong, and it also failed the duration prong that night... as it wasn't worth spending over an hour seeing little flashes of the game between people's noggins.
Oh well. At least this gave us an opportunity to check out the outside of the stadium. Sabo was very impressed that they have basically renamed China Basin (aka Mission Bay) after one of his old Padres... Willie McCovey, a native of Mobile, Alabama. In fact, four of the Giant's five statues honor MLB players from other teams and cities... Juan Marichal, former Dodger and native of Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic; Orlando Cepeda, former Cardinal and native of Ponce, Puerto Rico; and Willie Mays, former Met and native of Westfield, Alabama. Of course, Lefty O'Doul, who the 3rd Street bridge was named after back in 1969, was a former Red Sox... although he was at least a native San Franciscan.
Willie McCovey, former Padre
Sabo enjoyed all the statues... they are all really nice works, with integrated benches like his shrine, the Tony Gwynn Sr statue. But the one he liked best, by far, was the fifth statue: The statue honoring the old PCL San Francisco Seals (pix at top). This is a playful seal, balancing an enormous baseball on his nose. Sabo saw this statue, which isn't on a tall pedestal like the others, and immediately jumped up on it and made himself at home.
After the first inning or so, everyone who was going to the game were already inside. The sea of people that was streaming in from all directions ceased... and we were left with only a few people milling around on both sides of former Padre McCovey Cove. And quite an eclectic bunch of folks they were. We had 20-something hardline baseball fans (reminding me of myself a little, but I would have got a ticket and been inside), drunks (across the cove is a public drinking area), professional beggars, crazy folks, a few tourists like me, families having picnics (across the cove is also a linear park), folks out walking their dogs, and a buncha chain-smokers fixating on their fix.
One drunk, who was also obviously homeless, was quite knowledgeable about MLB. He kept everyone in earshot up to date on the game inside (via radio) while delivering his own quality commentary ... as I said, it was an eclectic bunch.
In front of Chicago's dogs this evening, the White Sox (1-0, done) beat the A's (0-3, done) by a score of 9-4. The next dog games are a doubleheader on Sunday: 10:10 am pdt Orioles (0-0) @Rays (1-0) and 10:35 am pdt Phillies (2-1) @Braves (1-1). None of these games have championship implications.
That's all fine-n-dandy except two little things... (a) my astute (and possibly singular) readers will remember that I blogged the White Sox winning a dog game earlier this season, complete with betting odds, and a final score, and (b) how do we know any dogs actually attended?
Originally Posted by MissileDog
...News of Sabo's
Dog Day Championship...
@ White Sox
Dog Day !!!1!
Probables from mlb.com. Odds from bovada.com 5:10 pdt.
... Right about now the Indians and White Sox play their first dog game of the season at Cell Phone Field. The White Sox start their defense of last year's Sabo Dog Day Championship...
Originally Posted by [MissileDog]
...News of Sabo's
Dog Day Championship.
Last Monday, the White Sox (1-0) beat the Indians (0-1, done) in the 10th, 2-1, to keep their dream of back-to-back Sabo Dog Day Championships alive...
This is kinda embarrassing... but it turns out the first game in question, the 5-18 Indians @White Sox "Dog Day", wasn't really a dog game. It was originally scheduled as a dog game, but that didn't happen. What happened instead? Well, this...
...Officials estimate that about 1,700 animals have contracted the highly contagious dog flu in Cook County alone... several canine events around Chicagoland have been canceled...
The Chicago-area epidemic is blamed in part on a viral strain new to the United States... which is more common in South Korea, China and other Asian countries...
Flu fears have delayed or canceled a slew of dog events across the area, including the Chicago White Sox's annual Dog Day on May 18. Fans won't be permitted to bring their dogs to U.S. Cellular Field, though canines will be celebrated digitally through pet photos splayed across the scoreboard, White Sox spokeswoman Sheena Quinn said.
"Above all, we want to make sure it's a healthy environment for our four-legged friends," Quinn said, noting that the team's other dog event, Bark at the Park, is still scheduled for September.
Cook County forest preserve officials have closed all off-leash dog areas through May 4. A new dog park in Tinley Park was expected to open Saturday, but flu fears prompted Park District officials to reschedule...
This an issue that made The Audit necessary: even if a dog game is scheduled, the dogs might not actually be in attendance. So... how do we know they actually let the dogs in today's "Bark at the Park"???/? Well... we have this report from AP:
Chicago White Sox's Tyler Saladino (18) high-fives Prada the dog while owner Michelle Schwartz, of Chicago, holds Prada during "Bark At The Park" before a baseball game between the White Sox and the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Chicago.
The focus of this trip changed radically after Bert's passing. The original plan was to maximize our time in The City... the final plan was to maximize my time along the drive back. This entailed a conscious decision to not explore San Francisco, excepting SOMA and around AT&T Park.
Sabo did get to see a little bit of The City outside these areas however. From the Ferry Building we walked south along the Embarcadero past AT&T Park, then up the Mission Creek pathway to the Mission Creek Dog Park (fenced run). Also from the Ferry Building we walked Market south to Van Ness. We 'surfed' Ocean Beach, and checked out UN/Civic Center plaza.
We also visited the Half Moon Bay Dog Park. This is an uninspiring ~50x100 six-foot chain-link pen out in an empty field, carpeted a foot deep with wood chips. To be fair, they say it's a temporary location... and Sabo always enjoys getting off-leash for a bit.
Big Sur is spanglish for "Big South", referring to the general area south of Monterey, California's first capital. It typically refers to the coast route between Carmel and San Simeon (Hearst Castle). More particularly, it refers to the Big Sur River, which CA-1 follows inland for a stretch, and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park... including Pfeiffer Beach. Pfeiffer Beach is leashed dog friendly, but is also a hike in.
Instead of hiking into a leashed beach, as a change of pace, we hiked up into a coast redwood forest instead. We stopped at the Big Sur Ranger Station, and hiked the leashed dog friendly Pine Ridge Trail further up the Big Sur River. Not all of it... as it's about 23 miles long, considered a 'advanced' hike, and gains close to a mile in elevation going eastward. We hiked about a four mile round trip, which was relatively flat. When it started to get steep and difficult... we called it quits and turned tail back to the minvan.
Sabo, who I think might be more of a 'Canyon Dog' than a 'Water Dog', really enjoyed this hike into the woods.
Is it an extended Sabo Big Weekend™ when he equinox falls on a Tuesday ??
Normally it's not. But as this is the last weekend of the Summer of Sabo (part of 2015: The Year of Sabo)... of course it is an extended Sabo Big Weekend™.
I can't remember taking Sabo to the local Sabo'hood dog park all summer long... and he used to be a semi-reg there. So this afternoon, after the traditional start to the SBW™ at noon... we're going to the Sabo'hood dog park, followed by dinner at Sabo's favorite restaurant: Bulls BBQ.
Saturday, now that I know Sabo digs train rides... we're going to finally make it to the Poway Midland Railroad, and their train ride in Poway. We also plan on visiting the Poway dog park, and revisiting the Maddux park dog run in Mira Mesa.
Sunday Sabo has his regular IWW meeting to attend. We're still building up to hosting our big Joe Hill 100 Anny show on the evening of November 4th, and the SDEA Union Hall, right near Qualcomm Stadium.
Monday, the last full day of summer, we're going to finally hike the whole main trail of San Clemente canyon... part of the Sabo's Complete Guide to the Tri-Canyon Parks project.
Tuesday, on the equinox itself, we're going end the Summer of Sabo in the reverse of how we started it: we started with a dawn romp at the Capehart Dog Park, followed by an early morning hike of Mt. Soledad. We'll end with an afternoon hike on Mt. Soledad, followed by a sunset (7:02pm) romp at Capehart Dog Park.
To end this SBW™, Wednesday, before the traditional noon finishing time, we'll also hike a side-trail in Tecolote Canyon, as we plan on rededicating ourselves to finishing this Big Kahuna canyon project before winter.
In front of St.Petersburg's dogs this afternoon, the Rays (2-0, done) beat the Orioles (0-1, done) 7-6; while if front of Atlanta's dogs, the Braves (2-1, done) beat the Phillies (2-2) 2-1. The next dog game is on Tuesday: the Mariners (2-1) at the Royals (1-1). None of these games have championship implications.
That's all fine-n-dandy except for this one little thing... my astute (and possibly singular) readers will remember that I blogged the Orioles not having any dog games, and the Rays already completing their dog game season.
Originally Posted by MissileDog
...Unlike last year, you could have driven around to all [20 MLB] dog-day venues... and an undefeated team wasn't guaranteed. But it's too late now to start driving, and the Rays have already finished their dog days at 1-0...
This wasn't a typo... and every other preseason list of dog games omitted this game too. The reason being that it was added after the season started, and after the first Rays dog game on April 26th. This is another issue for The Audit. At least I knew to look for another Rays game being added. When I checked their website in late Feb. it listed their earlier dog game as "Dog Event #1". In late Mar. the "#1" had been removed.
OTOH... the Padres advertised two more mysterious dog events on the 'splash screen' that only appeared after applying for the their regular Dog Day of Summer. No other information was forthcoming, and no such events materialized. I didn't imagine this announcement though... a lady at the Dog Days of Summer said she saw that 'splashscreen' too, and heard they were planned to be bring your dog games, but with no-parade, no-vendors, and not free.
This evening the Mariners (3-1, done) won 11-2 in front of Kansas City's (1-2, done) dogs. However... the big SDDC news is another 'knothole' game has been added to the official schedule !!!1! The next dog are now a doubleheader. That's this Thursday: The Mets (2-2) @Reds (3-3) at 4:10 pdt, and the 'knothole' Giants (1-1) @Padres (1-6) at 7:10 pdt. None of these games have championship implications.
I haven't got around to blogging this yet... but Sabo's taken a lot of static about 'becoming' a Giant dog this season. Peeps have pointed out how he went to every Giants dog game this season, both home -and- away, how he planned his whole summer vacation around going to San Francisco and AT&T Park, how he spend a whole night just hanging around outside of AT&T park, and even how on his winter vacation, he stayed in Scottsdale... the Giants spring home. And now what ???/? He's going to go 'knothole' still another Giants game, and... ZOMG he's even got a brand new Giants leash !!!1!
Worry not, my (perhaps singular) readers... Sabo will always bleed Padres Blue. I can explain the Giants game and leash...
AT&T Park, August 28, 2015
Just like in Scottsdale, and the night before here, that Saturday was a walking-talking sea of Giants gear swirling around the stadium before the game... they really sell that shiz. But just like the night before, and unlike in Scottsdale where there wasn't a D'backs jersey in sight... there were a nontrivial amount of Cardinals fans representing, including a lotta 'mixed' couples. Sabo was wearing his Padres shirt both days, of course... and he got a lotta double-takes and static about being for the 'wrong team'. When I explained the above regarding Sabo & the Giants, universally the Giants fans said Sabo was 'becoming' a Giant dog.
Sabo & me had a wonderful walk to AT&T Park, on a gloriously overcast morning, where we queued up along former Padre Willie McCovey Cove outside of RF. The Giants had strolling staff who collected the inevitable waivers from along the line, which worked very well. I turns out that Sabo wasn't the only dog to go to both Giants dog games this season. A lady & dog in line had also been to the LA game, and verified just how damn hot it was that day.
AT&T Park, August 29, 2015
For the Pet Parade, they let the dogs on the field through the RF wall. We proceeded clockwise around the infield warning track, behind home, and then exited through a gate right at the LF foul pole. Then it was back around the outside of the stadium to the SF Seals statue... where some dog supply vendors had some tents up. But that turned out to be a zero... as none were giving out free samples. Then finally in the CF gate and over to the LF bleachers. Sabo marked the visitor's (1B side) bullpen as Padres Territory, during our parade by.
I invited my old HS friend Jim to join us for the game. We've kept in touch over the years... but it had been over 10 since we've caught up. It was like old times, and that turned out to be the best part of the game. However, I only thought it was fair to warn him about the background of his ticket... as it was symbolically Barrister Bob's, and literally Bert's before. That led to the following email exchange...
Originally Posted by me
... pardon me for asking, you are in good enough health you won't die before the 29th? Or maybe I should say be extra careful this next week... as I'm 0-2 with that ticket so far...
Originally Posted by Jim
Given that we're the same age, if you can make it, I will, though I can't guarantee against hurricanes, plane crashes, or other acts of god before the game...
FYI: Jim's a year older than me, but's he's in better shape than me now... just like he was in HS where he played football. Anyways, right about when the game started the overcast burned off... and my old nemesis, Mr. Sun, joined us big-time in LF. Sabo, and all the other dogs, retired to their places under the bleacher benches... except for the gentle, fluffy, Giant's orange ~200 lb specimen next to us. My (perhaps singular) reader might remember I've had problems with the sun at two earlier dog games this season, and got sunburned at a third. About halfway through this game, I could just hear my skin sizzling. The Giants aren't shy about getting the cash, but you got to give then this: they work hard for that money. They had an army of volunteers making sure all the dogs stayed hydrated... and they have complimentary sunscreen at the first-aid station. So, I left Sabo with Jim to go get some sunscreen.
On the way back from the first aid station... guess who's in a wheelchair, getting wheeled the other way?
That would be Jim. The third thing I though of was... wow, that ticket really was jinxed. The second thing was... where is Sabo? A team of good samaritan Giants fans took care of Sabo. They said he was just the perfect, and actually sat on top of the bleachers and watched the game while we were gone. Gotta that Sabo !!!1! The first question was, of course... how was Jim?. He was OK. Mr. Sun just got to him this time, and let me off easy with anothor mild sunburn. After about 20 minutes in the shade of the first aid station, the paramedics said he was doing just fine, and cut him loose. However, we did decide to call it a day at this point (the 7th inning).
Oh yeah... what about that Giants game and leash? Thursday is the monthly Canine Cocktails promotion at Hotel Indigo, which I previously promised Sabo I'd take him to. It's just a coincidence that the Giants are at Petco that night. The Giants were handing out the leashes at the gate at AT&T Park. It looks pretty nice... from inside the unopened plastic wrap it came in. Worry not, my (perhaps singular) readers... Sabo will always bleed Padres Blue.
On Sabo's behalf, I'd like to wish everyone a
Happy first full day of Fall !!!1!
To be clear, I'm blogging here about the Solstice Sabo Big Weekend™... 9-18 to today. This was just about the perfect SBW™ to end the Summer of Sabo (part of 2015: The Year of Sabo).
The only reason for the 'just about' quibble was the heat. We've had a miserable hot spell this month... although it moderated a bit this weekend. The only direct effect was Monday, where I once again cancelled the whole hike of San Clemente Canyon. I didn't want to be over two miles from the car just in case we needed to abort. I think I'm going to save this hike for the Grande Finale of the Tri-Canyon project... when I know it'll be cooler.
Originally Posted by MissileDog
... to the local Sabo'hood dog park... dinner at Sabo's favorite restaurant: Bulls BBQ... visiting the Poway dog park, and revisiting the Maddox park dog run... Sabo has his regular IWW meeting to attend... afternoon hike on Mt. Soledad... romp at Capehart Dog Park... hike a side-trail in Tecolote Canyon...
We did all this, just as planned. However, the highlights of the SBW™ was the Poway Midland Railroad ride, Old Poway Park, and Sabo's visit with my good friends from the beach daze, C & D.
Old Poway Park is a sweet little park, with all sorts of stuff to do... including visiting the dog-friendly local history museum like Sabo did. The day we visited was also Farmers Market day... which is a big one, stretches for over three blocks. So... there were all sorts of peeps milling about. Sabo was, by universal acclamation, the most handsome dog at the park that day.
The train ride is a non-historical loop around the park. What a lot of people don't realize, perhaps because it is narrow gauge (42")... is they run real historic railroad equipment. Today, they had their flagship 1907 steam locomotive running, which formally worked an industrial quarry operation in NorCal. It was pulling tiny historic mining cars which have been converted to hold peeps (& dogs)... complete with brand new, and much appreciated, sun canopies.
D paid the train fare for her daughter ($0.50), me ($2.50), Sabo (free) and herself... TYVM. It was some little girl's birthday on the train... so we got to go around the park three times !!!1! Santa Cruz wasn't a fluke... Sabo really enjoyed this train ride too. I promised Sabo I'd bring him back when they are running their 'speeder' ride (pix above, hopefully sooner than the 17 months it took me to bring him the first time, or the 20+ years I promised to bring myself, LOL).
Sabo & me bookended our train trip with a visit to C & D's home. Sabo went from his shy guy routine when we first got there, turning away from being petted... to nonchalantly making himself at home with the whole family when it was time to leave. Except for C... who he immediately jumped up next to and started in playing with, something he's only previously done with his Uncle R. Sabo would have been happy to stay... and I don't think it was just because they have AC.
Oh yeah, C & D have cats. I'd never seen Sabo around a cat before. LOL, sample size of one, but he was perfect. He just simply ignoring the whole situation... including the one cat who inadvertently walked right into Sabo's face. Gotta that Sabo !!!1!
Sabo realizes that his Aztecs needed to go undefeated to get into the FBS playoffs. After SDSU lost to Cal, he set his sights on his Aztecs winning out, and going to the NY6 Peach Bowl (as the Group-5 conference champion). Well... they didn't win out, losing in OT Saturday to 17-point underdog South Alabama 27-34. That dream could still happen for a 11-2 team... but SDSU would need to start by beating Power-5 Penn State in PA this week. Penn State are 15 point favorites.
As for my teams... the Golden Bears luckboxed a missed PAT by Texas to win 45-44. The last game wasn't pretty... but Cal finished their non-conference schedule at 3-0, and start conference play in Seattle this week. My Chargers lost 19-23 in Cincinnati, and play another of those annoying morning games in Minneapolis this week. Cal are 3 point favorites, the Chargers are 2 point dogs.
Thursday evening, in front of the Cincinnati (3-4, done) dogs, the Mets (3-2) won 6-4; also Thursday, with Sabo doing the 'knothole' thingee at Hotel Indigo, his Padres (2-5, done) beat not-his Giants (1-2, done) 5-4. The next dog game is today: The Phillies (2-2) @Nationals (4-3) at 1:05 pdt. None of these games have championship implications.
The graphic didn't specify, but the 5:30 start time coincided with the Washington @Giants NFL game, not the Cincinnati @Memhis FBS game that started an hour earlier... all the tvs were on the NFL game. The Padres game actually started at 6:10, but a clearing accident on the freeway, and parking issues, ensured we got to the Hotel Indigo fashionably late at 7pm anyways.
This month's Canine Cocktail's at Hotel Indigo was nominally football themed (see above). Sabo couldn't really blame them, as his Padres were mathematically eliminated a week ago, and the Baseball Giants @@might@@ be eliminated today. However, nobody paid the NFL game any mind. Including the Jersey dude who game barging in asking "what the Giants score was?". After being met with a reply of "Which Giants?", said said: "Cool, you can watch the Padres game from here"... and proceeded to do just that. The staff was happy when I asked them to put the Padres game on after the NFL was done.
So... how did Sabo like Canine Cocktails? He loved it. They had a gift bag, and a couple of vendors were handing out free samples. But the best part was... it was all off-leash. When we first got there, there were about 30 dogs running about. Once again, the Hotel Indigo pleasantly surprises... I can see Sabo becoming a semi-reg here 'knotholing' next season.
Food & Drink. As anticipated, food & drink are expensive in San Francisco. They aren't shy about gouging down the Central Coast either, as they know you got nowhere else to go along that stretch. Figure adding $2 onto everything, compared to Dago, LA, Phoenix, etc. That being said, I figure I spend less on this trip, compared to just staying home. The reason being is (a) I packed a full picnic basket of snacks/drinks for the whole trip, and (b) I didn't really have much of an appetite. I don't know if it was the relentless heat we had everywhere, or the excitement of the trip, or that bad food I got at a Denny's.
Sabo also didn't even finish a sample-size bag of of dog rocks the whole trip. But that might have more to do with getting spoiled... as he got pretty much all my french fries, and some of my pizza (cheese removed) during the trip. He also ordered off the special 'doggy menu' at one restaurant... and got his own meal of tri-tip steak bites. This isn't all the places Sabo & me visited... for example, we shut down the bars in SOMA both Friday and Saturday nights. With that caveat, here's a list of notable restaurants and bars Sabo & me visited on our trip...
Anchor Steam Beer Garden @The Yard. This is directly across McCovey cove from AT&T park. Very dog friendly outdoors BBQ and Anchor Steam tasting venue. We watch the first few innings of the 8-28 game on TV here... there was about a 15 second delay on the broadcast, so we'd get a audio 'heads up' from the fans in the stadium across the bay whenever something big happened.
Public House, AT&T Park. This restaurant is built right into AT&T Park, and has a dog freindly patio right on Willie Mays Plaza. After the game started on Friday 8-28, the entire Townsend side of the stadium was abandoned, including W.Mays plaze. So Sabo & me enjoyed a couple or three 'cold ones' on the plaza. FYI: we didn't go inside, but while the restaurant has no views of the field, we were told it does have it's own entrance into the stadium... and you can bring your (cheaper priced) beers from the restuarant in with you.
Mars Bar, SOMA. Although mainly a bar, they do serve food. No dogs inside, but they have two patio spaces... a smoking side patio (ick), and a real cool space in back, dog-friendly with water bowls down, and non-smoking.
Rumors, SOMA. Also mainly a bar, they also serve food. They have no patio... but are still very dog-friendly. Sabo and me shared a personal sized pizza at the bar, with Sabo standing on my lap. So... that's twice in a week we've eaten *indoors* at a bar, which I didn't believe was even possible until very recently.
Our bartender was the lovely and talented Eve... who is a San Diegan who just moved to San Francisco. This was a definite motif on this trip, as almost everywhere we went, we ran into San Diegans, people who used to live in San Diego, or those with some significant San Diego connections. In fact, outside AT&T Park, Sabo was sporting his Padres shirt of course... and we had several people ask "what's with all the San Diego peeps in town?".
Cameron's Inn, Half-Moon Bay. This admittedly eccentric English themed restaurant and campground, just down the block from the Half Moon Bay Dog Park, is locally famous for being dog friendly. Sure enough, they had a patio full of dogs, and even offered a special dog-only menu. We only had enough time for drinks however.
South Beach Pizza, Santa Cruz. Dog friendly patio... an oasis in a generally non-dog-friendly area.
Customs House, Avila Beach. Dog friendly patio.
Mr. Rick's, Avila Beach. Dog friendly patio. I'd never been to Avila Beach before... as it's off the main road down a dead-end. However, even if I had... I wouldn't recognize a thin. Pretty much the whole downtown was over a toxic waste plume, and was obliterated, including these two iconic eateries, a few years ago and completely rebuilt to remediate that situation. The little town, with it's three block boardwalk, is now quite nice. So nice, that after enjoying lunch at the Customs House, and then visiting the two nearby leash-free beaches, we stopped back in at Mr. Rick's for a few cold ones on the way outta town.
Brewhouse, Santa Barbara. Located right across the RR tracks from Santa Barbara's iconic giant Morton Fig tree, this is another establishment that is locally famous for being dog friendly on their patio. This is where Sabo ordered the tri-tip bites. The special doggy menu says "dogs only", and I can see why... as it looked like plenty good people food at a lower price point. The lovely and talented Maria was our server... and she can verify the following.
I was occasionally giving Sabo a tri-tip bite while I ate my lunch... but in the end I had a buncha french fries left over. So I tried offering Sabo a french fry (which he normally loves) instead of a tri-tip bite. He turned his nose up and rejected it. He really can be a picky eater. So I tried an experiment. I started offering Sabo a french fry with one hand, and a tri-tip bite with the other... switching them up randomly. To my surprise Sabo started picking either the fry or the steak almost randomly too (he picked the same hand as before about 2/3 of the time). He definitely knew he was always offered steak. Maria speculated that since he pretty much knows he's going to get both eventually, he might just be playing me along to keep the experiment going and get more steak. Sure enough... after I put the remainder of the tri-tip bites down for Sabo, he once again had no interest at all in the fries. Gotta that Sabo !!!1!
Ye Plank Inn, Imperial Beach. Our original plan was to enjoy lunch in Coronado on the patio of the Coronado Brewing restuarant. This time, there wasn't anyone on the three table patio. But... they've had a change in policy, and are no longer dog friendly. We cruised down to Imperial Beach to verify the Coronado Brewing restuarant there doesn't have a patio... it still doesn't. So we drank lunch on the dog-friendly patio at Ye Plank Inn instead.
Saturday, in front of the DC dogs, the Phillies (2-3, done) lost 1-2 in the 12th. The final two dog games of the 2015 season are the Cardinals @Pirates, today at 4:10 pm pdt; and the Nationals (5-3) @Mets (3-2) Friday at 10:10 am pdt. Only the Cardinals game has championship implications, and dog-gone does it, as it's for the whole ball-o-wax... Sabo's Dog Day Championship itself.
Last season the championship game was on September 14th. If Sabo's Padres could have won, they'd have been champs at 3-0. Instead the D'backs won, crowning the White Sox champs at 2-0. Sabo attended that game in Phoenix to cheer on his Padres... and was crushed when they lost. The same dynamic plays out today in Pittsburgh. If the Card's win, they'll be champs at 4-0; if the Buc's (3-7) win, the Cubs are crowned champs at 3-0. Well, it's almost the same dynamic... except Sabo won't be in Pittsburgh.
The Cubs, who've had a no-pet policy since before 1945 (top staged pix), got to the brink of championship by winning in front of Pittsburgh's dogs. Three Tuesdays they went into Pup Night at PNC Park and beat the Buc's: on April 21, Aug. 4th, and the second game on Sept. 15th. Now they need their Huckleberry Pirates to beat the Card's on this final Pup Night at PNC Park Tuesday. The Cardinals got to the championship game by beating the Royals June 13th in their uniquely named Pooches in the Park. Then they beat Sabo's Padres at Petco on Aug 23rd, in the first official 'knothole' game, and dodged a bullet when Sabo couldn't 'knothole' their Aug. 28th loss. The next day, with Sabo in attendance, they beat the Giants at AT&T Park.
cr Wacha (17-6 3.15)
pr Morton (9-8 4.54)
The Card's, Pirates, and Cubs are all in the playoffs. However, besides deciding the SDDC, this game matters for playoff seeding. The Card's have the best record in baseball, but need to lock up their division to get the first round bye, and #6 seed (#1 in the NL... the NL lost the All-Star Game). The Buc's have the second best record in baseball, and are looking to swap their current #9 seed with the Cards. It'll be hard... the Pirates are four games back. The Cubs can't catch the Cardinals, but they can catch the Pirates... and host that wildcard game. I'll be hard... the Cubs are 3½ games back of the Pirates. This means diehard Cubs dogs are against the Cubs winning Sabo's Dog Day Champion.
Cool blog MD, you're the man. Your thoughtful dedications to Bob O'Shea and Bert Ardantz stand out. Class act.
TYVM. sir !!!1! I'm glad you've enjoyed my scruffy dog's tale.
And yes... my brother and sister folk have gone onward, but they still live in memory. I had plenty of time to tell Sabo some of their stories during our recent drives up and down the coast. He listened thoughtfully and gave me comfort the whole time... while still watching the road ahead, like always. In fact, right now as I typed this (and shed a tear)... Sabo just got up, came over, and snuggled in across my leg. Gotta that Sabo !!!1!
So... I guess I can retire my "(perhaps singular) reader" routine now. Seriously, I encourage comment here at the Sabo Blog... it means a lot knowing that someone actually reads this shiz. And... if you know Sabo IRL, just send me a comment and/or pix by email, and I can post them here for you.