I have more than 100 reasons to dislike San Francisco Giants Chief Operating Officer Larry Baer tonight, and each has a dollar sign in front of it.
It was Irish Heritage Night at AT&T Park, and I went to the game in search of a Rory McIlroy bobblehead, and a photo-op of him (Rory, not the bobblehead) throwing out the first pitch. I splurged on a seat in my favorite section by the Giants dugout. It’s Larry territory — perfect for photo taking.
Rory threw pretty well for someone who once divulged on Twitter that the only sport he doesn’t care for is… baseball. Then, I couldn’t believe it – he joined us all in Costa del Baerville, taking a seat four rows in front of me, next to Larry!
Unfortunately, this is when the trouble started. It was crazy. Streams of Larry Baer’s BFFs appeared out of nowhere, and stood fawning over Rory and air kissing one another — even after the game started.
For the rest of us, the expectation that one should wait until an at-bat is finished before getting up/returning to one’s seat applies. Don’t time your restroom break just right? You may be forced to crawl back to your seat on your belly.
Not so for Larry and friends.
Baer was positively giddy, glad-handing and moving his friends and family around constantly. At one point, while he was standing and blocking everyone’s view, Melky Caberea hit a smoking foul ball that whizzed no more than five feet from his head. I don’t wish Larry injury, but I’m not sure getting bonked on the head would necessarily do him much harm. (ZING!)
I’ve always been fairly ambivalent about Baer, but after tonight I know this for sure: There is not a down-to-earth bone in his body. He flamboyantly worked the crowd in “his” section. The problem is, no more than 75% of the folks sitting there appeared to be his guests. The rest of us paid a substantial amount of money for our tickets and wanted to watch THE GAME instead of Larry pressing the flesh.
The next time Larry Baer decides to throw a party during a Giants game, I would respectfully suggest that he rent a luxury suite upstairs. He can certainly afford it.
Despite my feud with Larry and his entourage, I would be remiss if I didn’t say… it was a great game for the Giants. I got a bobblehead, albeit a slightly defective one. Rory’s tiny driver keeps falling out of his hand. I think a dab of Liquid Nails may be in order, but I suspect that’s not regulation and the USGA will disapprove.
Madison Bumgarner hit his first Major League home run tonight. How could I stay mad, when I was so happy for Madbum? Brandon Belt hit one too, and more than one helpful fan yelled down to Manager Bruce Bochy — just to make sure he saw it.
Rory McIlroy gives a pre-game interview to CSN Bay Area, before throwing out the first pitch at a San Francisco Giants game at AT&T Park. (June 2, 2012)
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