Thinking About Tomorrow 

I've been away the past two weekends, first at a wedding in the shadow of The Steel, then at my own bachelor party, and I missed the Giant front office going on a PR offensive.

First, Peter Magowan gave a state-of-the-Giants interview to John Shea of the Chronnie. Then Brian Sabean chatted online on Friday.

I was going to fisk the Sabean chat, but I see that Martin the OGC has already posted a thorough point-by-point analysis, and without the cruel snark I would have applied to it -- which says a lot about Martin's common decency and fairness. It takes a cool cat to read Sabean's pablum without getting too dandered up. It's also hard not to be cruel and snarky. I am a bad man. I am El Lefty Malo.

My lack of piss-take notwithstanding, the Magowan-Sabean double dip is instructive in several ways.

First, the five days between publishing dates seems a lifetime. Shea starts the Magowan piece with this: "Once the Giants' so-far-disappointing season ends in six weeks, everyone knows what's next."

Shea, like every other Giant pundit including myself, was ready to bury 2006. One week later, the Giants are within a weekend sweep of the Dodgers. Lesson: if a National League team isn't mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, keep hope alive!

Second, both gentlemen use the same phrase to describe next year: "a younger and healthier and stronger team," combined with the insistence on competing every year, not rebuilding, etc. No grand revelation, but it underscores that the Giants, like most corporate entities, will go to great lengths to keep customers buying their products.

Third, take a close look at who gets open votes of confidence. From Magowan, it's Sabean and Sabean only. He'll be back in '07, and Magowan even dismisses Sabean's critics. In his chat, Sabean skirts the question of who's coming back -- including Felipe Alou. This isn't the same as pushing the old codger under a bus, but with all the Respect, Honor, Tradition, History, and Leadership the Giants have been flinging around the pasture since they hired Felipe, the lack of glowing endorsement just sits there in the middle of the room, taking up space.

Excuse me, what? Did someone say bachelor party? Sorry, folks. What happens in Downieville, stays in Downieville. I can tell you, however, that the grandest, weirdest, slimiest debauchery of the weekend occurred not among my friends but when a local chapter of E. Clampus Vitus, in town for its semi-annual meeting, marched its handcuffed initiates to the pebble-lined confluence of the North Fork of the Yuba and Downie Rivers, made them lie in the hot sun, and sprayed them with condiments. They stuck with the basics -- mustard, mayo, ketchup -- as it wasn't really a walnut pesto or lemon aioli kind of crowd.

The Clampers also hired a professional karaoke duo to provide their nightly entertainment. It was like listening to Regis and Cathy sing on top of pre-recorded versions of "Proud Mary," "Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)," and best of all, "Legs."

Walnut pesto, not so much; ZZ Top, yer darn tootin'!

Best of all was when my man Elbo tapped the shoulder of the male karaoke-ist, who for some reason was taking a break during "Don't Stop," and asked to step in. Sure. Why not?

So Elbo proceeded to belt out the backups, egging on the lady lead with a few well-placed whoops and fist-pumps. Just call him the Lindsey Buckingham of Sierra County.

Countdown to the wedding: T-minus 18 days. (Giants at St. Louis.)


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