October 07, 2012

October returns

It's October again and harvest is on. Already I have half my Pinot Noir in the winery, with the rest coming Monday and Wednesday. But more on that later. First I need to look back a bit, in wine and baseball.

I wrote earlier this year about October 7, 2001, when I first made my own wine. I suppose this could be the eleventh birthday of Vincent Wine Company. It was the final day of the San Francisco Giants season and began my pseudo-scientific theory of Giantdynamics where grape picking should happen on the last day of the Giants' season. I haven't figured out if that day should be the start of picking, or the end, or the height, or just a day you want to make sure you bring in grapes.

Where did this theory come from? 2002. Giantdynamics seemed to happen by accident in 2001, then history repeated itself in 2002 and I saw a pattern. Only, I found myself picking on the final day of the infamous 2002 World Series, when the Giants lost Game 7 and the Series after leading big and losing Game 6 the night before.

This was my heartbreaking moment in baseball, as a fan anyway. I grew up an LA Dodger fan in the 1970s and 1980s. Who was my favorite Dodger? Dusty Baker, the same Johnnie "Dusty" Baker who managed the Giants in 2002, long after my conversion to the SF club. I loved it. My favorite Dodger, my original "guy," Dusty managed my favorite team.

Only Baker went to the mound in the 7th inning of Game 6 in 2002 and took out a dominant Russ Ortiz, and HE GAVE ORTIZ THE GAME BALL! I don't normally say this kind of thing, but that was an omen. That was a move against all that could possibly be good. I screamed at the tv "No! What are you doing??" Obviously it had no effect. The game wasn't over, far from it. The 5-0 lead quickly became a 6-5 loss, and the next day I picked grapes. And the Giants season ended.

So what are Giantdynamics? Essentially, good Giant seasons might be consistent with late harvests. Think 2002 and 2010. With the Giants playing late into October, so the grapes may have to wait. Then there are years like this year, a good to great year but one that is rapidly ending. Hot weather late in the growing season has rushed the onset of harvest. Meanwhile, the Giants easily made the playoffs only to be sitting down 0-2 in a best of 5 series against the Reds. And who's managing the Reds these days. My guy. Johnnie "Dusty" Baker, who somehow ended up in Cincy.

So I'm picking Monday and Wednesday this week. Looks like Wednesday would be Game 4 in the series, if it goes that far. I'm guessing it does, only to end that night, with all the grapes just in the barn and everything right in the realm of Giantdynamics.

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