Perhaps someone can explain this to me, to borrow a line from Denzel Washington in “Philadelphia,” like I’m a 6-year-old — because there’s an element to this that I just can’t get through my thick skull: Why exactly are so many people up in arms over the new-look AT&T Park? After all, it is springtime, right? So why should the San Francisco Giants not be permitted to do a little spring cleaning like the rest of us? You know, time to get out the scrub brushes and wash the layers and layers of filth away from our homes, so we can get a fresh start as a new season dawns … right?
I don’t know about you, but when we pulled back the curtains at our home last weekend, the dust we found on the windows that had been locked tight since November was thick enough to write your name in. Actually, one of my kids did just that, which was all the prompting I needed to bust out a new can of cleansing spray and wipe the dirt away. Put some real muscle into it, I did, to make sure there was no trace of the grime left. And I gotta tell ya, it was a rather satisfying feeling when I was done, seeing everything shine like new. You probably know the feeling, right?
Which is why I ask you now: If you and I can do it, then why can’t owner Peter Magowan?
Seems that Magowan and the Giants’ brass turned the key to the door of their summer rental on Willie Mays Plaza and checked out the ballpark for the first time since September, and what they found was a lot of grease and slime on their walls, too. For instance, there was this big, ugly, tarnished mural of some kind splattered on the left field wall. Well, the Giants couldn’t have that muck out there when they started having people over, so they washed it away. What’s wrong with that?
And then there was this old-looking “career home run” counter thing that had been left in place way too long, and was only dirtying up the joint, so they called the maintenance crew and wiped that one out, too. Big deal.
Those big banners hanging from the light poles? Litter. Had to clean that stuff up or the place would have looked cluttered.
And any graffiti that may have been scribbled on the walls, especially the spray-painted numbers “756” and “762” … that may have been the work of vandals … well, that had to be polished up as well.
Yet, for some reason, there seems to be a lot of consternation on the part of some of the neighbors who wanted the Giants to leave the filth untouched for all to see. Seems they had some sortof emotional attachment to it. Can’t figure out why.
They claim some famous guy named Bonds was largely responsible for some of that dirt and that in their eyes, it wasn’t dirt at all. Some sort of abstract art, I’m told. And I’ve heard them prattling on about the team making money off that dirt in the past, and that removing it now would be somehow disingenuous — maybe even hypocritical.
The way I see it, houses get dirty all the time, and sometimes even the homeowner is responsible for the mess. And while they can’t always wash away the memory of their own filthy behavior, they can at least scrub away the mud that’s been left behind.