It’s been a nice 24 hours since the last post, as the Home Run Derby seemed to keep the masses entertained here and then a bunch of us headed over to the All-Star gala nearby. I’ve run into several former Dodgers over the last few days, including Eric Karros, who is working for FOX and Candy Maldonado, who is part of ESPN Deportes’ crew here. There’s never a shortage of ex-Dodgers around and here in San Francisco, everyone gets booed every time they step into public.
During BP yesterday, Russell got booed mercilessly, which he loved. He also had to hit right after Barry Bonds, which is a pretty tough act to follow. Then this morning, we helped set up the parade down Embarcadero with the players, as Saito and his wife and two daughters were in the same vehicle as Russ. According to Russ, they got booed the entire way down the street, which made me laugh.
Brad Penny was with his parents, brother and his girlfriend and said he got the same "royal" treatment here in San Francisco.
By the time we all got here for batting practice, the gates were open and fans were filling in. Eventually the NL took a team photo and it was cool seeing Saito and Barry Bonds interact despite the language barrier. I think Penny served as the interpreter, but his Japanese is about as good as Barry’s. Saito and Barry even hugged in front of the hostile crowd, which I’m sure got them all riled up.
Overall, it’s a hectic 72 hours for these guys, but I have a feeling that for first-timers like Russ and Saito, they’re really enjoying the experience. And for Penny, who was here last year, he can actually step back a little and enjoy it rather than the sensory overload that comes with the first time at an event like this.
The game starts in about an hour and a half and my spot is in the auxiliary press box. Brad told me he’s going to pitch the second inning and only go one, so I guess he and Peavy will start out for an inning apiece and then hand it over to the other guys. Hopefully Sammy gets in te game late, though I’d imagine if the NL has a small, it’ll be that guy down the freeway with 500 saves who gets the ball.