I Can’t Watch, But I Must

April 20

It’s one of those nights where I can’t bear to watch, but will be forced to do so out of necessity. Damn sports talk job! It’s so hard sometimes …

The Giants are close to unwatchable at the Little Petco Shop of Horrors. 2010 Giants, meet the 2009 Giants. At Petco, the Giants can barely move over a runner much less score a run. Awful at-bats, swinging at pitches out of the zone, poor situational hitting.

We’ve seen this movie before, and we’ll see it again, and again and again. It’s like when my wife complains that I’m watching “Casino” for the 43rd time. You know that Nicky is going to put the guy’s head in a vice, and Ace is going to survive the car-bombing, but you watch anyway.

Petco is a nice-looking park, but it’s the most awful place this side of Houston. While the makers of Minute Maid Park threw in everything but Candyland, Petco is a Calvinist’s delight. There will be no pleasure, only workmanlike 2-1 games in which there will be no fireworks, unless you’re David Eckstein. You think A T & T is a pitcher’s park? Petco makes it seem like Coors Field circa 1997.

Sharks playoff hockey is equal in its ability to torture, and yet you can’t turn your eyes away. It’s like “Hostel” on ice. New ways are constantly found to inflict pain, although I doubt the Marquis de Sade could find anything worse than Game 3 Sunday for the Sharks.

The Sharks always seem one step away from disaster, and then they take the final step. Disappointment is always just a slap shot away — theirs or the opponents’. Of course, that’s what makes playoff hockey great, in the same way that the old “Condor” ride at Magic Mountain was great. Nothing like spinning around 500 feet in the air. It’s horrifying yet irresistible.

The Sharks are clearly the better team, but that doesn’t matter in hockey if the other team’s goalie is wearing a Patrick Roy costume. The Sharks have been peppering Craig Anderson with shots, but they need to create more chaos by creating traffic in front of the net. That means you Patrick Marleau. Patty? Patty?

That’s going to be a must, because the Avalanche probably aren’t going to take the pucks out of the humidor anytime soon.

The Sharks are also beating up the Avalanche, and you’d like to think eventually that’s going to take. Hopefully, “eventually” is not too late. After Game 4 tonight would be too late.

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