Monthly Archives: March 2011

St. Patrick’s Day 2.0, Me Playing News Anchor and Me Eating Asparagus Dipped in Olive Oil at a Zito Start at The Coliseum

Let’s go in reverse chronological order:

Brandon Belt made the team.  I’m ever so slightly conflicted about that, but mostly happy.  Seeing him the past two nights had me fully convinced that he’s ready.  He looks utterly comfortable on the Major League scene.  And he cried when he got the news.  The sweet kid.  Really sad to see Ishikawa on waivers, though.  He feels like a relic of the pre-Championship era Giants and while it sounds totally crazy, I loved the pre-Championship era Giants.  Happy travels to him, wherever he ends up. 

I also hope Affeldt gets the closer job in Wilson’s absence.  That cuts their number of proficient lefty relievers in half, but I think he’s a good candidate for closing.  And I get this rush of modern-day abolitionist pride whenever he comes out to pitch.  (As I mentioned before, I am currently doing a charity project about slavery in the chocolate industry for my birthday.  Check it out here.)

Spring has come to a close and the Giants are breaking camp looking pretty darn good.  Make that really darn good.

Onto last night.

Who knew it was St. Patrick’s Day 2.0?  So.  Much.  Green.  I caught the end of the A’s Fan Tailgate event and they sure know how to throw a fan event.  It was simple, intuitive and interesting.  And I got four autographs in five minutes.  Conor Jackson (::Diamond Girl faints::), Andy LeRoche, Eric Sogard (he totally has glasses!) and Josh Willingham.  They were all very sweet and so was the length of the line.

The Comcast SportsNet booth was also really great.  They had a SportsNet Central set and people could go on and broadcast a minute-long recap of Dallas Braden’s perfect game.  Me and my little brother did it.

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Aren’t we adorable?  The teleprompter was fun enough to vaguely revive my politician aspirations and the producer was really sweet.  He let me look at his camera and watch them from behind.  Fascinating.

We eventually went in and what followed was 2 ½ hours of a mesmerizing Zito start and asparagus dipped in olive oil with pepper (no, they don’t sell that.  I brought it.  Obviously).  It was a lovely evening and I was reminded why I love The Coliseum.  They just need to rip out the top of the centerfield wall, so that there’s a view of the Oakland Hills.

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Of all the pitchers I’ve seen, Zito carries the most stuff around while he’s preparing for his start.  A jacket, a bag of inidentifed stuff, a juice bottle and a water bottle.

I’m going to do pre-Opening Day predictions really fast now.  I am bad with predications, so take it all with a grain of salt.  I just want to have it on record in case I am, ahem, right.

AL East

Boston Red Sox

AL Central

Detroit Tigers

AL West

Oakland A’s

AL Wildcard

Texas Rangers

NL East

Atlanta Braves

NL Central

Milwaukee Brewers

NL West

Colorado Rockies

NL Wildcard

San Francisco Giants

There you have it.  Opening Day is so soon.  Breathe deeply.

Diamond Girl

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The Exhibition Game With 39,000 In Attendance

No, I wasn’t the girl going up the escalator in the seventh with cinnamon roasted almonds in my hand and tears in my eyes.

Okay, fine.  I was.

Let’s just say I was really happy to be back.  As were 39,000 other people.  39,000 people at an exhibition game.  That’s sort of a lot.  It didn’t seem that full when I was sitting down, but when I walked around, it was a madhouse.  And I can’t even count how many people walked into me.  I’m not that short.  I don’t get why people walk into me.

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If it looks like I think am in an Arctic Winter to you, you are absolutely right.  It was freezing cold.  I am now cured of my wanting those nuts ever again.  Craving is gone.  They were, uh, fine.  Just fine.  And yes, I had almonds.  Because they were out of walnuts.  What else is new?

Right.  Exhibition game.  It wasn’t that different from a regular game except the players were wearing their Spring Training jerseys and there were no photos on the scoreboard.

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That was weird.  It felt vaguely like they were just doing that to remind you it wasn’t a regular season game.  But maybe there was a good reason.  The real reminder that it was March 28th was the fielding.  The hitting and pitching on both teams was basically really good, but nobody could field.  There were no errors but a lot of sloppiness.

And the moment when Tejada and Sandoval ran out into shallow left to try and catch a ball and Burrell just stood there with a “battle it out, brothers” look on his face.  Nobody caught it.  That was one pitch after the exact same thing happened in right.

It was a really good game and a good night.  Now if you’ll excuse me… I’d better go do some Normal Person stuff before heading over to the Coliseum later this afternoon.  It’s Zito vs. Gonzales.   I. Am. So. Excited.

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Isn’t that most beautiful view?

Diamond Girl

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Goodbye Spring Training, A Semi-Original Poem

The Giants arrived in San Francisco last night which is so exciting I can barely write.  And I am going to the ballpark tonight which is also so exciting I can barely write.  Cinnamon roasted walnuts, here I come!

 

But before we get down to Bay Ball (nod to Mychael Urban), I want to give a quick goodbye to Spring Training.

 

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Goodbye Arizona
Goodbye Spring Training
Goodbye people playing who I’ve never heard of
Goodbye Scottsdale
And Surprise, too

Goodbye split-squad games
Goodbye cactus
Goodbye scorpions
And goodbye beautiful weather
Goodbye strange jerseys

And goodbye games that don’t matter
Goodbye static-y broadcasts
And goodbye lawns in the outfield
Goodbye no pressure
And goodbye nostalgia of last year
Goodbye questions about the rotation

Goodbye Brian Wilson
And goodbye to the old beat writer
whispering “it’s just Spring Training”

Goodbye Arizona
Goodbye Spring Training
Hello to baseball everywhere

 

We’re close.  We are so, so close.

 

Diamond Girl

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Give Me Your Money And I’ll Give You Free Chocolate. This Is Not Spam.

Yes.  I am asking for your money.  No, not for me.  I wouldn’t make my greed that obvious. It’s for a really great cause.  Allow me to explain.

My 14th birthday is 13 days from now, so yesterday I launched this project, Raise the Bar 14, which is supposed to raise awareness about slave and child labor on cocoa farms.  For the two weeks leading up to my birthday, I’m going to be posting information and interactive stuff at the website, http://raisethebar14.wordpress.com/. 

The whole time, I’m asking people to donate $14 and I’ll donate all the money at the end to the Not For Sale Campaign.  If you donate, I’ll send you a bar of Fair Trade chocolate.  And I tasted lots and lots of brands to decide which was the best to send to y’all.  See, I have a rough life.

So it’s really simple.  Just send me a PayPal payment (email address on the About page of the blog) and I will love you forever and tell everyone that you are a superhero (you can specify what superhero power you want me to describe you with in the comments).  That’s a promise.

Not coincidentally, Not For Sale is a cause that Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt is very involved with.  I discovered the organization about a year ago through him and have been really impressed by the way they approach the issue.  It’s pretty eye-opening.

If you aren’t able to donate, I hope you’ll still read up on the subject and tell your friends about it.  Awareness is huge, here.

As is the fact that I am offering you a free bar of chocolate.  I’m not really impartial here or anything, but I think that’s pretty irresistible.

Diamond Girl

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In Which Zito Channels a Disgruntled 50-Something Business Man

Wait.  Seriously?

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(Photo from the Twitter account of @mdoeff.  Much thanks for capturing this pure Zito moment.) 

I feel like I say this a lot (okay, I know I say it a lot) but that is atrocious. 

It ages him a million years.  He looks like a disgruntled 50-something business man who’s never really been the boss and probably never will be.  The mustache would best be paired with a sort of outdated suit and slightly battered briefcase.  Everyone always says Zito seems young so maybe the aging thing is on purpose.  Lindsay/Britney/Miley Syndrome.

It was really nice to get to watch the game today.  This may be unpopular, but Gameday makes me incredibly sleepy within about ten minutes.  Not to mention distracted.  I always forget to check it and then I look and too many things have happened with people I’ve never even heard of.   All spring I’ve been busy on the weekends and not able to listen to the games on the radio, so it was nice to be able to really follow a game, play by play.  Lots of interesting stuff out there. 

And you know how everyone’s saying the season is starting next week?  I don’t buy it.  It has been raining here for weeks and it is showing no signs of stopping.  No way can baseball happen here.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Has anyone else noticed that Minor League baseball players have the best names ever?  Funny that Major Leaguers never do.  The guys with the good names must not make it.

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