Note: I turned the tables this week and asked Bruce Jenkins of the Chronicle to interview me. This conversation took place before Wednesday’s game at Wrigley Field.
Bruce: You’re traveling with the team for the first time on the team plane, team buses, team hotel. What’s that been like for you?
Marty: First of all, being around the ball club on the road, you travel nicely. The bus takes you to the ballpark. You never see your luggage. It’s taken care of for you. Duane Kuiper gave me the head’s up before we left: No jeans on the plane and no Marty Lurie hats. So I had to get a new hat to wear. And it really feels like a family, from the general manager to the manager to the coach staff, down to every single player.
Bruce: I’ve covered baseball since the 1970s and been in a lot of clubhouses. I truly believe the Giants clubhouse is one of the absolute best I’ve ever seen. It’s so even-keeled, a lot of humor, a lot of laughter. There are some definite leaders and the young guys fit right in. Have you found that to be true, too?
Marty: Absolutely. It’s Huff and it’s Burrell and people like that. Being in Wrigley Field, you find the clubhouses are so small so everyone is pack in there together. I say it’s like playing a game at the Smithsonian. Even for the players, they look at the ivy in right centerfield – the wall is 368 feet away. It looks like the old home run derby that we used to watch on TV. What I also like is that during the game itself, there’s no blaring music. There are no replays. There are no pitch counts. You very rarely can see the speed of a pitch. You don’t know any stats during the game. You actually have to come here and watch a baseball game. It’s organ music between innings. This is the way baseball should be played. So I got a new appreciation for the fans here. They have to know the game to follow it here because nobody’s helping them.
Bruce: What kind of feel do you have for the Giants going into the stretch drive?
Marty: Very good. The Rockies pitching has come down to earth. The Padres have struggled. Pitching, to me, is the key in September, pure and simple. And the Giants can pitch. I think they’re going to get in. I think they’re going to do it.