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Game 124: Giants at Twins

Can the Twins turn this baby around? This baby is in grave danger of being run over.

JT Snow grabs young batboy, Darren Baker and hauls him away from homeplate during the eighth inning of the fifth game of the World Series against the Anaheim Angels on Oct. 30, 2002. Because of the play, Major League Baseball may institute new rules gover
This moment was fun.
Photo by MediaNews Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty Images

Start time: 7:10 Central

Weather: Partly cloudy, calm, first pitch 78°

Opponent’s SB site: McCovey Chronicles

TV: BSN, MLB Free Game Of The Day (out-of-market). Radio: Always free in-market if yours still works

Giants lefty starter (and near-sidearmer) Alex Wood has been pretty effective most of his 10-year career (a few injury-marred seasons aside). His bad nickname is “A-Wood.” His mound opponent, Joe Ryan, has been mostly good this year, although two of his worst starts came in his last 5. So did one of his better starts, though. I don’t know if he has a nickname, yet. 2022 digits:

Wood throws a low-90s sinker, mid-80s slurve, and a change,

Let’s revisit one of the greatest plays in Giants World Series history. No, not “The Shot Heard Around The World” (that helped the Giants win the pennant, it wasn’t World Series), nor “The Catch” (where Willie Mays ran approximately 500 miles into the Polo Grounds’ deep outfield).

I’m talking about the Kid Grab. If you saw it, you remember it:

In brief: With runners J.T. Snow and David Bell on, Kenny Lofton hit a triple. Snow scored easily, and Bell was close behind him. Unfortunately, Giants bat boy and manager’s son Darren Baker, who was all of three years old, had toddled out to collect Lofton’s bat (Lofton was his favorite player). As you can see, Snow quickly lifted Baker out of the way.

Some YouTube commenters point out there wasn’t likely to be a play at the plate anyways, so the situation wasn’t as scary as it looked. But that’s why nobody likes YouTube commenters. (Except Seth Myers.)

Because of this, MLB soon made it mandatory for bat boys/girls to be at least 14. In this almost too-cute-by-far 2003 Associated Press piece, Darren said he planned to be back at it. I like the touch where the author mentions Darren sticking a finger up his nose.

Darren Baker would go on to play college baseball for Cal, at the same time that Snow was doing some broadcasting for the Pac-12 Network. In this clip, Baker tells Snow that he doesn’t remember the play, or much about the series, although his mom plays that clip frequently, as that’s a mom thing to do.

Incidentally, Dusty Baker has said that the reason he made Darren a bat boy was because of a recent cancer scare, which made him want to spend more time with his son.

Anyways, it all worked out fine. Darren was drafted by the Nationals last year, and during Spring Training got to exchange lineup cards with his dad at a Nationals/Astros game. Aww.

Did you know the Giants once considered moving to Minnesota? I didn’t!

This fine short article by’s Chris Landers has the basic story. The Giants wanted out of the Polo Grounds, which had been built in 1890 and suffered various run-ins with Fire. The building was old and poorly-maintained. Giants owner Horace Stoneham thought about Minnesota, which had a brand new building in Metropolitan Stadium (and the Millers were the Giants’ farm team, which gave them first dibs on relocating here).

What really got in the way, though was a ego struggle between Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley and New York City politician Robert Moses. Officially the “parks commissioner” or some such, Moses was for decades the most powerful politician in the city, and had a definite vision for NYC – one that included more space for cars, middle-class car owners, and less space for anyone poorer. O’Malley wanted a huge urban stadium (with an actual dome, and a movie theater, really an entire mall), and Moses wanted none of it. The problem wasn’t funding, O’Malley was arranging that on his own (such were the days, eh?) The problem was transport. Moses preferred cars, O’Malley was fine with subways, and the two didn’t agree.

So when Los Angeles came calling, O’Malley was happy to bolt town. But MLB would only allow it if another team moved to California at the same time. San Francisco wanted a team, too, and that’s why the Giants didn’t move here.

Willie Mays almost played in Bloomington! (He had actually played at old Nicollet Park, but only briefly before getting called up.)

And, finally, this was an A’s thing, not a Giants thing, but what’s a Bay Bridge between friends? (Except during rush hour.)

You’ve probably already seen it, but it’s just too great. Yes, recently at an A’s game, a couple in the upper-upper-bleachers was spotted on camera engaging in Consensual Adult Crotch Fun (this link has some non-blurred video, but it’s still so far away as to be nonshocking).

Now I am no expert in such matters, but I do understand the appeal of Mixing In Some Strange, so I’ll just add one quick thought:

The internet ruins everything!

Listen, when I lived in New York, it was pretty common for apartment dwellers in Manhattan to have a set of binoculars by the window. Because some people didn’t mind being seen.

And I’ll bet you anything this was not the first time people have engaged in this activity while there was an empty crowd at an A’s game. It’s probably happened at some empty Metrodome games, too, and many other public (sp?) venues. Heck, it’s probably happened at baseball games where a camera operator caught it, and the TV crew in the editing van had a good chcuckle.

But, nowadays, you gotta assume that anything which can be filmed might be filmed, and what’s more, posted on the internet – forever.

Worth keeping in mind as a warning to the wise… or, as I suppose, as a little bit of extra motivation to those so inclined.

Today's Lineups

Tommy La Stella - DH Kyle Garlick - RF
LaMonte Wade - RF Carlos Correa - SS
Wilmer Flores - 1B Jose Miranda - 1B
Joc Pederson - LF Gio Urshela - 3B
Evan Longoria - 3B Jorge Polanco - 2B
Brandon Crawford - SS Gilberto Celestino - CF
Thairo Estrada - 2B Gary Sanchez - DH
Mike Yastrzemski - CF Nick Gordon - LF
Joey Bart - C Sandy Leon - C
Alex Wood - LHP Joe Ryan - RHP