To win at home Giants need to change their tune…by David Bush in the Examiner
The Giants have trouble winning at home, and I think I know why.
An even .500 on the road, they are ten games under at AT&T Park as they open a series against the Cubs Monday night. Their team batting average at home .256 is nine points lower and their team ERA 4.45 is 0.38 higher. It’s a great ballpark so what’s the problem?
It’s that song.
After every victory at AT&T Park the team turns on the stadium P.A. and unleashes the sappy “I Left My Heart in San Francisco’’. No wonder the players don’t like winning there. You have the thrill of victory and the agony of listening to Tony Bennett.
Even those who like that piece of music must admit it is ill-suited to salute a victory in a baseball stadium. It might be fine in a concert hall, a night club or on a saloon juke box. But Bennett’s lamenting just doesn’t work in a noisy ballpark.
The idea of a city themed victory song was popularized by the Yankees, but at least they had something to work with. Following every home triumph the crowd and players in the Bronx are treated to Frank Sinatra singing, “New York, New York.’’ That’s a song with a little pizzazz that fans are probably still humming as they make their way across the Tri Borough Bridge or along the Grand Concourse. While Bennett is busy not caring that the morning fog fills the air, Sinatra is waking up in a city that doesn’t sleep.
If the Giants really want to make some stirring noise after a victory they should adopt the rousing “San Francisco,’’ sung by Jeanette MacDonald in the movie of the same name. I believe that at one time this was the city’s official song, and it really captures the personality of the town.
“….Open your Golden Gate, don’t let a stranger wait outside your door.’’
That gives a lot more flair than those silly little cable cars going halfway to the stars. Nothing every was halfway about Jeanette MacDonald’s singing and this time she is celebrating San Francisco’s resilience in the aftermath of the Big Earthquake.
Maybe that’s why the Giants are staying away from this particular song. In the film Ms. MacDonald is in full voice, entertaining the patrons of Blackie’s (Clark Gable’s) bar when the chandeliers start swaying as the Big One hits. The Giants have already been through a temblor at the ballyard during the 1989 World Series and perhaps fear triggering another one.
But they do need to shake things up, figuratively speaking, at China Basin, and the manager, players and coaches say they are fresh out of ideas. Why not try this?