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How can you not be romantic about a May midweek series in Pittsburgh?



The NFL is king.

The NBA has singular superstars like no other sport.

But I dare either of those sports to take a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Pittsburgh, PA in May and make you feel like baseball just made you feel.

Or to put it another way: How can you not be romantic about three days in May in Pittsburgh, PA?

It was nutty and inexplicable and emotional and at times it twisted you into fits of rage. 

May 23, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; San Francisco Giants third base coach Matt Williams (right) congratulates left fielder Heliot Ramos (17) heading to home plate on a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

You swore off Giants baseball for eternity, or at least until the next game.

Marco Luciano’s glove! Luke Jackson’s arm! Blake Snell’s full counts! Mason Black and Joey Bart! 

To quote noted baseball fan Charlie Brown, and to fulfill my generationally-dated pop culture reference quota for the Jock Blog: GOOD GRIEF.

But, baseball.

Three days in Pittsburgh, PA also left you inspired, delirious and plain-old jacked. You couldn’t wait to put on your Cody Ross 2010 gamer and pound beers in the kitchen.

Matt Chapman’s glove! LaMonte Wade Jr’s bat! Matt Chapman’s bat! The fact that Luis Matos, Heliot Ramos and Marco Luciano are giving you hope! Brett Gosh Darn Wisely!

As I was just saying to my good pal Tim Lincecum: F YEAH. 


It was a lot, and it proved once again that, when it comes to matters of the soul, nothing nourishes you daily like baseball.

That is, unless it’s platoon-and-openers baseball. Then it nourishes you like a rotten apple.

A theory, perhaps, on what we just witnessed after blowing a four-run lead Tuesday, then overcoming a five-run deficit Wednesday and a four-run deficit Thursday — is the Humm Baby spirit taking hold?

When the Giants hired Bob Melvin and Melvin hired Matt Williams, the 1980s crowd rejoiced. Here were descendants of one of the most colorful eras in San Francisco Giants history. The “Humm Baby” era was marked by a resurgent pride in the orange and black. The Giants had been adrift since the 1971 NL West title. Willie Mays became a Met. Juan Marichal became a Dodger. (I’ll pretend that never happened.) Willie McCovey became a Padre — though he would return for one of the only bright spots of the 1972-1985 corridor.

And then manager Roger Craig and general manager Al Rosen came to town in 1985 and decided, for lack of a better word, to start kicking ass. It didn’t result in a World Series title, but it resulted in a World Series berth and immeasurable pride in the fan base. Melvin and Williams were part of that.

Now, what that has to do with Randy Rodriguez and Jorge Soler and Brett Wisely and Sean Hjelle is debatable. And when the Giants lost their first five to the Dodgers, and got absolutely tattooed in Philadelphia, it was all highly debatable.

But when I see Matt Chapman forcing his will on the game as he did the past two games, I see strains of the Humm Baby gene he inherited from Melvin and Williams. When I see the Giants coming back twice from huge deficits to change the narrative of a season, I see the Humm Baby gene.

Then again, I’m romantic about baseball.

So we gather as Giants fans for a weekend in New York vs the Mets, and we do so with a renewed vigor, even though Blake Snell just walked a guy.

They say you go to the ballpark, you might see something you never saw before. Even on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in May in Pittsburgh, PA.