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Murph: On the eve of Game 5, some advice from Will Clark

© Sergio Estrada | 2019 Aug 11

A week ago, the Jock Blog came to you and addressed the Giants-Dodgers Series of the Millenium. 

I hoped, simply, to survive.

Here we are, a week later. Survival — for the Giants, the Dodgers, and my ticker — is still a question.

You feel me? I know you do. You, too, are as hyped/geeked/adrenalized/sleep-deprived as I am.

And we have one more to go.

Which means, it’s time to dig deep, Giants fans.

Will Clark would want nothing less.

“Tell them to get after it,” The Thrill said on our show Wednesday morning, speaking to Giants fans, then repeated, in that Nuschler cadence. “GET . . . AFTER . . . IT.”

That’s it. That’s the Jock Blog.

I know you seasoned Giants fans need no cattle prod to bring your best energy for a Game 5 of a Giants-Dodgers historic season climax. I know you Candlestick veterans need no instruction manual on how to chant, sing song, “JULLLLLLIOOOO, JULLLLLLIOOO, JULLLLLIOOOO…” to serenade the Dodger starting pitcher Thursday night. I know you all feel this in your soul, and to honor Giants fans from 1951 and 1962 and 1978 and 1982 and 1993, you will chant ‘BEAT LA’ all the way up the ramps to your seat and not stop all night long.

But for the new crowd, perhaps spoiled by three World Series championships, let this serve as a reminder. You owe it to The Thrill. You owe it to the spirit of Willie McCovey. You owe it to, as I wrote last week, the BELCH ON WELCH crowd.

This is why the Giants won 107 games, to play the ultimate game at the corner of Third and King, and not in the overrated parking lot known as Chavez Ravine. Every one of those 107 mattered, because the Dodgers stated their home-field case with 106 wins. That one extra win — that one Mike Tauchman reach over the wall, that one Don Solano two-out, two-strike, game-tying bomb vs Atlanta, those LaMonte Wade, Jr and Solano taters that Saturday and Sunday in Oakland — meant the world.

It meant the Giants and Dodgers play for everything in San Francisco.

In.

San.

Francisco.

There have only been two other winner-take-all October games in San Francisco. Only two! 

Ask your grandparents about Game 7 of the World Series vs. the legendary New York Yankees at Candlestick Park on Oct. 16, 1962. Be prepared for your grandparents to experience severe nostalgia and pain.

As for the other? Google ‘Marco Scutaro in the rain’ and thank me later. Yes, Oct. 22, 2012, Giants over the Cardinals in Game 7 of the NLCS was the other, and it was the climax of the Giants’ comeback from a 3-1 deficit on their way to another World Series. Spread your arms wide and smile.

So winner-take-all games in San Francisco happen about, oh, three times every 63 years. 

That means those of us lucky enough to go Thursday night have an obligation.

Bill Plaschke of the LA Times wrote that the atmosphere at Oracle Park in Game 1, when Logan Webb wove his masterpiece, was “intimidating.” He threaded the chant “BEAT LA” throughout his column, mimicking how it wove through the night air. In other words, it worked. What we all brought in Game 1 was enough to charge the atmosphere and help sway things the Giants’ way. This is your charge Thursday night, sports fans.

It’s not about selling your tickets on the secondary market so some Pantone blue-wearing jabroni can spoil the tableau with his Dodger blue Starter jacket. It’s about you honoring the past of this franchise, and the spiritual and communal importance of the moment. 

I’m not totally stupid, of course. I’m only partially stupid. I understand it comes down to how Kris Bryant and Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford attack Julio Urias; how it comes down to Logan Webb and his game plan; how it comes down to one of those slumbering right-handed bats — Darin Ruf, Wilmer Flores stand up — to have the at-bat of a lifetime.

Yes, it’s about baseball.

But it’s also about energy. And particles. And those matter.

Stand up. Wave that orange towel. Chant until your lungs have nothing left. Or, as Will Clark might say: Get after it.

After all, how can you not be romantic about baseball?

 

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