Mother Murphy and Dominoes
Coors Field is one of the most beautiful parks I’ve seen. Wide open concourses. Very easy to get
around. A lot of help from the staff there. The outfield is tremendous -
wide-open power alleys, the grass is in great shape. You get the sense that
this is a park where you have to have a lot of speed to play in the outfield.
I didn’t get to see the humidor but talked to a lot of players on both sides
yesterday. During the game, a lot of people had their binoculars on the Rockies
dugout to make sure the baseballs coming into the game were the ones that were
in the ball bag. But nothing could be seen that was out of the ordinary.
I did learn from one of the Rockies players that during batting practice they do
not use the humidor baseballs. And they put on a big display of hitting. He
said that if by accident a non-humidor ball gets used in a game, you can tell
right away because the ball just jumps out of here.
It’s a lot of fun before the game going into the clubhouse. Mike Murphy, who’s been
running the Giant’s clubhouse for half a century, is the calmest man in
baseball today. He always has a smile, always upbeat. Heck, he’s been there for
Mays, Cepeda, McCovey. Jack Clark, Tim Lincecum. Murph always has the answer if
any of the players needs anything – which is why he’s known as Mother Murphy.
Just a great guy. Never gets rattled or angry no matter how many players and
coaches are asking for this or that.
In the clubhouse pregame, with one look at the room, you get a sense of the
character of this team. There’s Aubrey Huff in his red thong just walking
around as if it were the most normal thing in the world- his way of bringing a
little humor and irreverence to a pressure-packed pennant race. You see Juan
Uribe and Brian Wilson deep into a dominoes game, with the tiles slapping on
the table and dollar bills changing hands. Some players get massages before the
game and you can smell the liniment from the trainer’s room.
I’m not sure what the players are eating, but the pressroom has got to be among the
best in baseball. Prime rib last night with baked potato, cauliflower au gratin
and array of desserts that looked like Willie Wonka put it together.
Dave Fleming, what a day he’s got today. He flew to Chicago this morning and driving
to South Bend, Indiana, to do the Stanford-Notre Dame game. He drives back to
Chicago after the game and flies back here to Denver Sunday morning so he can
do the Giants game. Dave was trying to talk Jon Miller into going with him and
watching the Stanford game before Jon had to fly onto wherever his Sunday night
ESPN game was. Jon was actually considering it. Not sure what he did but
considering how much travel these guys do all season, it says something about
their friendship that Jon would even entertain the idea.
Last night’s game was a pleasure to watch. Lincecum was hitting 95 mph, a perfect
game through five. This pitching staff is unbelievable. Eighteen games in a row
giving up three runs or less – you have to go back to 1917 to find a similar
streak, and that’s when the balls where about as lively as balled-up socks.
OK, I’m heading out of the hotel and walking with Mychael Urban to the park to do
my pregame show on KNBR. Only eight games left. The Giants are in great shape, but
it’s not over by a long shot.