One thing that was certainly better back in the day was pocket schedules. Those great little tri-fold Giants schedules that you could pick up off a pile at your local Chevron or neighborhood liquor store. Then they got scarce--the small-time merchants didn't have them anymore. You had to go to the mall, or the dugout stores, or the ballpark, where you had to pester the ushers to bring you more. It used to be I'd whip out my wallet and Giants pocket schedule when anyone asked me "what'cha doin' this weekend?" I'd mull over the little color-coded boxes inside the big rectangles and mutter something like "well, they're outta town, back east, New York, that's three hours ahead, so the game's early . . . " and they would walk away, shaking their heads sadly. I'd barely notice that they'd gone, too engrossed in schedule/life/work permutations to care. Yeah, like I said, the good old days. One in the car, one at work, one on the refrigerator, one on the wall. I loved those things. Now they are twice as big and have four times the info! No one is going to whip out a double-layer six-fold schedule these days fer chrissakes, you need a goddamn clipboard to get the thing flattened out! An equivalent 21st-century fan would have his smart phone calling him with reminders to run his MLB app. Or something. I'm still not sure--my cell phone makes people under thirty laugh. But the internet has a way of coming up with new things to make technological immigrants* like myself feel more at home every day. I'm talking about printable schedules, of course. I love printable schedules. I put them everywhere. I don't carry 'em around in my wallet and whip them out anymore, which I'm sure makes the world a better place. But I've got one posted close by. And with DishTV and CSN-BA, I can always answer "uh, the game's on" and be mostly right about what my weekend looks like.
So now that I have my printable schedules, what do I see? Pull yourself up to the computer and print one out and we can go over it together, eh? I like how the Giants open the season--four games in Chavez LAtrine, a day off, two in San Diego, a day off, and then home for three each against the Cardinals and those same LAtriners. Then another off-day, then on the road for six against Arizona and Colorado. That's the just the first inning, the first 18 games (1/9 of 162). Last season, the Giants set a modern record with a stupendous run of great pitching. It was 18 games where they yielded three runs or fewer to the enemy. I call it The Streak™. Have I talked about this already? Skipping ahead to September, I see 25 games, all against NL West teams. The Diamondbacks at home, the Padres on the road, the Dodgers and Padres at home, the Rockies, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks on the road, and the last three at home with the Rockies. That's going to be quite a stretch! Imagine that, the entire month of September against only NL West foes. I like it.
*I took my first computer class at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley in the spring of 1976 when I was a junior in high school. We sat at teletype machines and entered lines of BASIC. There were big rolls of yellow paper that everything printed on. I remember playing a Star Trek game where you got to fire photon torpedoes at Klingons. Later, as a Berkeley student, I learned how to punch cards with FORTRAN commands and hand them to an operator and wait in line for the oversized printouts on perforated folds of green-and-white lined paper. I remember using a modem (a foam-lined cradle for a telephone handset) in a dorm utility room to connect a remote terminal to the mainframe and bang out some crap in UNIX and then try to learn machine code. You had to log on after midnight when traffic was low. If it didn't work you hauled yourself up to the basement of Evans Hall (smack dab in the middle of campus) where all the other pasty-faced nerds were trying to get their CS homework done in the "off-hours." No wonder I got out of that field--it wasn't going anywhere.