Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Kaleidoscope Team

Well.  Wow.  What to say?  It was just me and my dad at home when the Giants clinched but we had the radios on in my room, his office and the room in between so that we wouldn’t miss a moment while we walked back and forth.  And there was lots of hugging and a few tears (those were mine) when the Giants clinched.  I was actually pretty mellow the whole game, surprising for me and I did not flatiron my hair or make brownies, though I did chew an undisclosed amount of gum.  Those are my three ways of dispelling nervous energy- what are yours?  I will need them a lot in these coming weeks.

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I adore this photo.  Just had to include it.

Of all the fantastic articles and great quotes published in the last 24 hours, this part of Andrew Baggerly (San Jose Mercury News) was my favorite by far…

For the first time since 1971, the Giants clinched a postseason berth with a victory in their final regular-season game; Juan Marichal pitched a five-hit complete game that day at old San Diego Stadium to make the Giants NL West champions.

“Yeah, but he didn’t hit a triple,” said Jonathan Sanchez, chin raised.

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I think that triple was so perfect for the last game of the year and the clincher because it really speaks volumes about the team.  I’ll admit, it always worries me when a hit by the pitcher or Aaron Rowand, for example, wins the game.  Because I wonder, If we’re relying on these unreliable hitters to win, what will happen when they do the expected, and get out?  I’ve basically come to terms with just being how the teams is and it works.  My new name for the 2010 Giants is “The Kaleidoscope Team”.  The definition I got on the internet for kaleidoscope is, “a complex pattern of constantly changing colors and shapes.”  Isn’t that so the Giants?

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I’ve also always marveled at how much a team comes to resemble its city, though most of the players and coaches are not even from the city.  But the Giants are just like San Francisco; diverse, a little quirky, but at the same time successful and classy.  The Yankees are a lot like NYC.  No explanation needed, on that.

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Corny as it may be to include a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, a giant red bridge is kind of indicative of this beautiful city.

I’m proud of being a fan of the kaleidoscope team and living in the kaleidoscope city.  Let’s take this show on the road and display to the world how San Fran does things.

Diamond Girl

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On the End of the Season, Barry Zito Second Career Idea, Coming Right Up and My Thoughts on All Things Contractual

Quickly… I’m honored and flattered to have my blog on the front of MLBlogs.  Thank you, people who decide those kinds of things!  But could you have chosen a picture where I wasn’t having a bad hair day?  That was a Bad Hair Day with capitals.  Do you think that’s why Ryan Braun didn’t come over?  Never mind.  Let’s have this conversation another time.

I want you to know that this game is giving me nightmares.  It’s not like I’ve never dreamt about baseball before.  Last offseason I dreamt that Barry Zito was having Thanksgiving dinner with my family and he kept falling asleep on his plate of noodles, and he didn’t look great with tomato sauce on his face, but this was different.  (That dream does beg the question: “Why were you eating noodles on Thanksgiving?”  Good question.  Don’t know the answer.)  Last night I dreamt that the Giants last game kept going on and on and no one would tell me the Braves score.  I was running around the house yelling, “Did it go final?”  I think it’s time for the regular season to be over.

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Photo not by me.  I don’t really eat noodles that much.  I just dream about eating noodles.

The regular season and the playoffs feel really different from each other, obviously, and today feels like the end of the marathon, which has literally lasted more than half a year.  It still feels less like a marathon, though, because it’s about one game or three games right now, so we’re getting a taste of the playoffs, instead of the “lots of time” mindset.  It’s going to be fun, no question, but I’m still sad for the endless every day spring and summer games to be over.  It drizzled today.  Where did the year go?  Did this go as fast for you as it did for me?  I’m looking at the year and it reminds me of Zito’s start yesterday.  A kind of, “Oops, that happened too fast, can we go back?”  It was ugly, yesterday.

My assessment about the Willie Mac Award has always basically been that 100,000 fans opinions are equivalent to one Barry Zito opinion.  Literally, they are, because the winner of the fan vote counts as one, just each player or staff member vote counts as one.  Self-esteem denting much, fans?  But those 100,000 fans together might pitch a little better than Zito did yesterday.  At least they might throw strikes albeit strikes that would land in McCovey Cove.  As we always say to console parents whose kids are getting snowed at Little League games, “At least he’s throwing hard.  At least he’s in the zone.”  When they start walking in runs, we say, “Does he play soccer in the offseason?”  (Just kidding, about that, by the way.  We actually nod soulfully.)

If his pitching career fails, I’d like to suggest a new career as a nail polish namer.  I’m not really clear on how you get into that industry, but name recognition might help.  Do you think people who hire nail polish namers would be familiar with a Cy Young Award winner?  You never know.  Anyway.  The reasoning behind my idea is in his nicknaming of Pablo Sandoval which has becoming one of the great marketing tools of the Modern Era (I’m talking about Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval, not Pablo “Strand-Em-All” Sandoval) and his naming of his sporadic radio show “The Unicorn Hour”.  That might have been dreamed up by a brilliant young marketing executive at KNBR, but it kind of sounds like he came up with it.  And if he ever lacks inspiration, he could just dig into his 126 million dollars and hire someone to come up with ideas for him.  Take it from someone who spends a small fortune (a small fortune in my terms.  Not even on the radar screen in terms of 126 million dollars) on nail polish.  They need some fresh blood in the naming process.

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Photo by me.  One of my favorite ways to waste time is to photograph bottles of nail polish from interesting angles.  For once, I am not kidding.

It may sound like I’m picking on Zito about his contract, so I want to make it really clear that I’m not and I’d like to take this time to state my opinion on all things contractual.  Let’s say the thought process goes like this:  Coming home from a hard day of work to your family, who you are desperately trying to support in tough economic times.  You turn on your radio and hear, “And Zito walks in another run.”  You think, “God, how long would it take me to make as much as he makes in one GAME?  I hate Barry Zito.”

That’s where the thought process goes wrong.  I’d like to put us all in a room, getting offered 126 million dollars for doing nothing.  I think we’d all say yes.  Zito got offered that money to do what he’s probably wanted to do since he was a little kid.  You can hate the industry of baseball for how much its athletes get paid or you can hate Brian Sabean for signing someone to such a huge contact for so many years, but why hate Zito himself, exactly?  Take Aaron Rowand as another example.  The guy is notorious for working as hard as he possibly can to do his job well.  And some General Manager offered him financial stability for the rest of his life.  Why hate Aaron Rowand?

All kidding and hard stuff aside, though, I still believe in Zito, if only because he seems programmed to contradict people, like the rest of his current team.  He’s been Gollum for a while now, but he could still become “a light when all other lights go out.”, if given the chance.  To take a page out of NY baseball lore (since we’re the mercenary Yanks now):  You Gotta Believe.  Or, you know:  You Gotta Bereave.  We’ll see.  Stay tuned, darling people.  The marathon is going… going… gone…

Diamond Girl

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Zito-Gollum + Meditation Day at the Ballpark + My Suggested Ballpark Menu

I didn’t think they were going to clinch last night and sadly, I was right.  I think the men in orange and black have trouble with expectations.  They were expected to win last night, so they lost, of course.  I also think last night’s game was influenced by the FOX people.  They may not have been in town yet, but you know, the evil spirit of Chris Rose may be far-reaching.  The crew also might have had voodoo dolls of Matt Cain, or something.  This is, of course perfectly planned for them. 

 

You know what else is perfect?  The comparison of Zito to Gollum.  Greatest article I’ve ever read… http://www.csnbayarea.com/10/02/10/SNC-Daily-Rundown-10-2-10/landing.html?blockID=323239&feedID=6900.  It’s by Brad Weimer of Comcast Sportsnet and I keep reading it over.  Perfect observations.  LOTR and SF Giants fans unite.

 

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The yard is loud, these days, by all accounts.  Which is why I think this is just the time for me to pitch my new promotional day idea:  Meditation Day.  This might not catch on for other MLB teams, but I think it would work really well here in San Francisco.  It would be a game where cheering is strictly prohibited and talking too, for the most part.  There would be no PA and little or no scoreboard stuff, so that there would be minimal distraction from the subject at hand.  It would offer the opportunity to center oneself and remember what baseball games are really about: the game.  Pumped crowds are fun for the first few innings, but not so much fun after God-knows-how-many beers in the late innings and in the parking lot afterwards.  I think a meditative crowd at an important game would be fascinating to see.  Some would argue that the team would have trouble playing without the vocal support of the crowd, but I think the silent, mental support would be very powerful.  Security would escort you out if you start cheering.  What do y’all think?

 

The other thing I want to talk about is, you know, food.  At the game.  These next few games may get pretty tense and if we get into the playoffs, that will for sure be tense.  And what do we all do when games get tense?  We buy more french fries.  Not me, actually.  I’ve sworn off all ballpark food, except a warm hot dog when I can’t feel my toes anymore.  But I could lose my life savings if I bought all my food there and it’s also not, you know, tremendously healthy.  So here’s what I usually bring to a game:

 

-Sandwich

-Broccoli (cooked and drained)

-Celery

-Grapes

-Brownies

-Water

 

You can say that I should just let go and eat whatever’s there, but if you’ve never munched piece after piece of celery at a ballgame, you seriously need to go do it.  It rules.  Never mind if you feel like a donkey.

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Okay.  I’m going to go patronize the satan-worshipers.  FOX it is, today.  Clincher?  Maybe.  Torture?  For sure.

 

Honestly, I think it could be the clincher.  As I tweeted earlier, “A day may come when Zito will fail at his goal… but it is not this day!  The words of Aragorn transcend time and universes.”

Diamond Girl

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Why I am in the Radnich Camp, Celebrity Sightings, Dave Flemming’s Coat & Why Mat Latos was Right

I went to the Giants vs. Diamondbacks game last night and also watched FP Santangelo and Rich Aurilia doing Chronicle Live, the Giants pre-game show.  You know how everyone has been saying the energy level at the stadium is really high?  I didn’t notice that as much inside as outside, on Willie Mays Plaza.  It was electric out there.  That might have had to do with the lights and mics and cords everywhere, but I prefer to think that it had to do with the crowd’s mood.  Mid-way through, a man in a suit started weaving through the crowd.  As he walked past me, I had an Omigod, is that…?  moment.  It was Gary Radnich, about to go on air with Chron Live.  Being the chicken that I am, I needed a little egging on, but I eventually asked him to sign my ball and he was very friendly and his unmistakable voice is even more unmistakable in person.  He told me that he can only stand Ralph Barbieri once a month, which I basically get, and posed for pictures and was totally nice to everyone.  I am firmly in the Gary Radnich camp from now on.  If you don’t like his show, switch your dial to 102.1 KDFC.  It’s what all the radios in my house were set to, until I changed them to KNBR 680.  Needless to say, there was some resistance to that.

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FP, the groom, with his best men.  That’s what their suits looked like.

Other celebrity sightings of the day are…

-          Dave Flemming, in the dugout wearing this beautiful, black coat.  He is the best dressed broadcaster, for sure.  I seriously nearly fainted when I saw him, just 20 feet away or so.  I listen to him every day.  I love him.  And his coat.

-          John Shea, in the press-box.  On computer.  Looking riveted.

-          Sean Astin.  Who I, sadly, did not actually sight.  But he was there.  That almost counts as a sighting, right?  I am not waiting for your answer on that one.

-          The Public House Patio.  That place is legendary.  It counts as a celebrity.  This was the first time I saw it.  Have not been on it yet, but that’s my next goal.

My brother also got a ball from Ramon Ramirez and I got a Darren Ford autograph.  Those don’t count as sightings though, because they weren’t incidental.

It was also save #47 for Wilson.  ::Cue House of Pain::

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This really deserves its own blog post but I want to talk about it in a timely way: Mat Latos’ controversial quote to the press.  “Baseball works in funny ways.  The only way I could honestly put it is, we could be like the Giants and go and change our whole lineup, put guys with ‘San Francisco Giants‘ across their jerseys.  We didn’t.  “We added two guys (Miguel Tejada and Ryan Ludwick).  We’ve been the same team all year.  We haven’t just gone and grabbed guys from other teams.”  You can hate me forever for saying this, but I basically agree.  It’s actually okay with me.  That’s how baseball works and it doesn’t make me angry, but it does make me a little bit sad.  The line-up is so different from opening day that it feels a little strange when Cody Ross hits a homerun.  Should I really be cheering for this guy?  For me, there’s no chemistry with the new guys (Cody Ross, Jose Guillen, Mike Fontenot, Pat Burrell are who I consider the new guys).  Everyone says the chemistry in the clubhouse is good, which is obviously what matters but I honestly have a hard time believing that.  I imagine some days it would feel like, Who are these guys, anyway?

I don’t think Latos was having sour grapes.  I think he was speaking his mind to the press, which may or may not have been the best thing to do right now, but I do agree with him.  What do ya’ll think?  And who’s going to listen to Uncle Gary tomorrow?

Diamond Girl

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