"Tijuana on our night off. Tijuana better be awarded the next expansion franchise."
"The way each park reflects each city—from the friendliness of San Diego to the arrogance of Orange County."
"Yes. Fascism is alive in Orange County. It's alive in the ushers at Anaheim Stadium."
Tab Taber—Tab Taber, man; is that California, or what?—is a 26-year-old high school teacher from nearby Sunnyvale who organized this trip for his friends. They range in age from 25 to 36 and have come from as far as Jamaica. Just how do they know each other? "Basically," says Taber, "we all formed quality friendships through baseball."
There is one other thing Taber would like to say. He says it in much the same way a Marine might say "Semper Fi." It is very important to him, as a Californian, to make this point. "We never came late," he says. "And we never left early."
We watch the Giants lose 4-3 to the Braves. But Clark, perhaps buoyed by the barley we sent him last night, goes 2 for 4 in his first game after missing three with a rib injury, a fact that makes our six-hour, 380-mile postgame drive down 1-5 to Greater Los Angeles fairly fly by.
Our inland route is no U.S. 1—the majestic coastal highway that snakes past Big Sur and Hearst's San Simeon manse—but it does afford views of sprawling vineyards, land the color of wheat, skies like a bad starving-artist painting, the garlic capital of the world (Gilroy), NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Magic Mountain's hideous Viper roller coaster, which is so nasty that an L.A. traffic-helicopter pilot once got nauseated on it. Otherwise it's just pretty much San Dimas, where Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure was set, and the Richard Nixon Library, in Yorba Linda, before we roll past Disneyland and into the Anaheim Marriott, where I fear that I may be pitched from my bed.
Wednesday, July 1, Anaheim
The pancakes are the size of an on-deck circle. "You order an eclair there, and it weighs, like, seven pounds," Roseanne Arnold has said. It isn't on the menu, but I am fairly certain they will give you a side order of pure cholesterol, if you ask. I am talking about Belisle's in Garden Grove, five minutes from Anaheim Stadium. It is where American League umpires meet to eat red meat.
The Texas-Style Breakfast comes with, among other things, a dozen eggs (any style) and a 26-ounce sirloin steak. It retails—I'm not making this up—for $49.95. "The last time I ordered the meat-loaf at Belisle's," says Angel trainer Rick Smith, "my family ate for a week afterwards. We had meat loaf burritos, meat loaf chili. I'm serious."