Congratulations on hitting number 755 on Saturday night.
I was actually at Friday night's game and it was quite the surreal sight. Our seats were in the left field stands – first level – and adjacent to that ridiculous rundown building the Padres converted into a luxury suite/bar/team store/eyesore. Every time you came to the plate, a police officer walked down the aisle, then stood in front of the fence with folded arms and one of those squinty "What business you boys got in this neighborhood?" looks.
You were booed pretty loudly, but that's no shock. Though, I did enjoy your occasional turn to the crowd during a break in the action. It gave the idiots around me a chance to really let you have it with their middle fingers and Hank Aaron photo handouts (a typically bush-league tactic thought up by our low-rent local sports radio station). I mean that must've hurt.
Anyways, you went hitless and the Giants lost in 10 innings. But, on the plus side, if you click on the links to the two home runs hit by Scott Hairston, you can clearly see ME in the stands. I'm the tool in the bright yellow A's hat and matching shirt. Good times.
TBG Note: OK, it was much, much clearer on Sportscenter, after the game. But, trust me…that's me in yellow about five rows behind the Toyota sign. Right there. After the walk-off shot.
It sucks for me, but you finally tied everyone's new favorite old Negro with a shot not far from where I was sitting the night before.
Now, I watch a lot of baseball and I've seen more of your at-bats than any other non-Oakland A's player. I've been to the games and heard the crowds. With the sole exception of Dodger fans, Padre fans give you more grief than anyone else.
So, imagine my surprise when I fired up the DVR and replayed your home run in the top of the second inning (sorry, I missed it live…went to dinner with the wife…"no sports bar" rule in effect. Marry a Black woman, huh? You know what I mean. Well, I think you do, but that's another letter…).
Anyways, after it cleared the fence, the Padres fans stood and cheered. Not all of them, admittedly, but it was easily 80-90% of the crowd in attendance. They weren't the loudest cheers you'll ever hear, but it was certainly enough to shoot holes in the media's insistence that nobody wanted to see you do it. It's the greatest record in sports and you just tied it. My reaction would've been the same as those fans, except I was on board from the beginning.
Sorry that baseball commissioner Bud Selig did everything he could to try and mute the moment for you, though. His hands-in-the-pocket response was so obviously orchestrated (he blatantly stole it from Lance Corporal Dawson's refusal to salute Lieutenant Kaffee during A Few Good Men), yet he still managed to screw it up when he had to be told by a colleague that you had homered.
I also apologize for this column from our local conservative rag's sh*tty sports section. It's the usual "joyless pursuit" hatchet job that's been written a million times in the last two weeks, except instead of all the other ones that predicted hellfire, brimstone and fan backlash if you tied/broke the record on the road, this one maintains that stance even after there's video evidence to the contrary. Hell, he was probably at the game!
See what you've done? You've got sportswriters deliberately misstating the facts and manipulating fan response in a sad, pathetic attempt to bury you.
Now, do that thing where the zombie dramatically sticks his hand out of the grave after everyone thought the "good guys" killed him.
The Last Black Baseball Fan