Bay Area Reporter for permission to reprint it in full:
Baseball thrives on superstitions, from never speaking about no-hitters when they are in progress to coaches skipping over the third baseline when approaching the pitching mound. From playoff beards to victory thongs, players are reluctant to change anything after a win or to continue anything after a loss. Statistical coincidence is mentally morphed into a double-play combo of cause and effect.
Thus, I note that the past three LGBT Nights at AT&T Park, the San Francisco Giants lost. In 2009, Tim "Timmmmmmay!" Lincecum, on his way to his second consecutive Cy Young Award, started well but the defense collapsed in the late innings. In 2010, Jonathan Sanchez, who struck out 200 hitters that year and pitched the victory that put the Giants into the postseason and on their way to the World Series championship, pitched eight shutout innings, but the Colorado Rockies rallied in the ninth against ace closer Brian Wilson. Last year, Lincecum got bombed like a Haight-Ashbury junkie in a five-run seventh inning by the Chicago Cubs. (Yes, the Cubs!)
Had they won all three times, we'd probably see the players this year wearing the fabulous promotional rainbow-logo hats they gave away at last year's game.
For this year's LGBT Night Out on Tuesday, May 29, the G-men are taking no chances. They put Wilson on the disabled list, ostensibly for Tommy John elbow surgery, but no doubt just as a superstitious precaution. They traded away Sanchez for Melky Cabrera, who has provided lights-out hitting in right field. And Lincecum, who has struggled unfathomably this season, is not scheduled to start in the game. If the pitchers stay in their normal scheduled rotation, we'll see last year's surprise sensation Ryan Vogelsong, who led the team starters going into this week with a 2.27 ERA and a 2-2 record.
All 1,000 special LGBT Night tickets were sold out two weeks ago according to Doug Litwin, marketing officer for the Federation of Gay Games, who said partial funds raised by the ticket sales will go toward the scholarship funds of Team SF and the FGG as well as the San Francisco Gay Softball League.
"The SFGSL was added in 2012 in honor of their 40th anniversary," Litwin told the Bay Area Reporter.
Last year's beneficiaries were the FGG, Team SF, and the Gay Straight Alliance, who equally divided $3,700, Litwin said.
Several LGBT sports organizations will have informational tables. This year, the tables will be located in the Community Clubhouse area, which is on the Promenade Level (main field level), right behind home plate.
A retrospective tribute to the 40th anniversary of SFGSL and the 30th anniversary of the Gay Games are scheduled to be shown during the sixth inning, and the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco will lead the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch.
The Giants are fresh off the first of their two Bay Area series interleague battles with the Oakland A's, who took the finale against Lincecum in his latest tortured outing Sunday. The teams are following bizarrely parallel courses this year, and the Bay Bridge Series is always a delightful torment for bi-bay fans.
Last year the teams promised high and delivered low. Many had them picked to win their divisions; both finished abysmally out of the running. Familiar faces from the vaunted pitching staffs were traded away and have been replaced by players who, when the planets are aligned just right, deliver improved offense. Both have been hobbled by crucial injuries and both have mucked around the .500 level all season.
But hope springs eternal, and for the first time in recent memory both teams have speed on the base paths. If they can survive the injuries that have beset them thus far, we may see them challenge the Dodgers and Rangers down the stretch.
If not, bring back the victory thongs and get Madonna to pitch in next year's LGBT Night.
Watch this blog for photos and videos from the LGBT Night Game on 29 May.
|7-9 September 2012|
Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.
Learn more HERE.
|26-28 October 2012|
The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.
Learn more HERE.
|17-20 January 2013|
Sin City Shootout
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.
Learn more HERE.
|13-16 June 2013|
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.
Learn more HERE.