Monthly Archives: June 2011

Moral of the Story? Chill the Heck Out.

I was going to say that Panda was not at all express and he took his sweet time, but look what happened when he finally did arrive but that seems in poor taste now.  Seeing as the Cubbies won.  After all that.  Wilson blew the save and then Ramon Ramirez blew whatever else there was to blow in the 13th.  The offense crossed the line from “sleepy” to “fast asleep” and Matt Cain’s performance of seven shutout innings was largely forgotten.  Not to mention his 1000th strikeout.  That was entirely forgotten.

There.  Did I cover it all?

No, I think I missed this part: the Giants recently went on a seven game winning streak.  As we end June and sneak up to the All Star Break, they’re in first place, two games ahead of Arizona with 46 wins and one of the best records in Major League Baseball.

Moral of the story?

Chill the heck out.

Yep, the game was basically terrible and your totally staunch closer blowing a save would make any division lead feel insanely tentative, I think.  Don’t panic yet, friends.

Bochy promised “changes ahead”.  I can’t decide if that’s a tactic to comfort the homicidal/suicidal Giants fans after a game like this or he really means it.  I also don’t know whether I like it or not.  If he means stirring the pot a little, mixing up the lineups, getting a few fresh faces in there and demanding an answer from Sabes about why he likes Bill Hall, I’m all for it.  If it means mini-trades (not Nate!  Not Nate!  Not Nate!), acquisition of DFA’d players or something else like that, then I’d rather he just stuck with talking about it, not doing it.

By the way, the mini-Uribe drama the other day got me looking at his stats and… oh.  I’m sad to see him in a, um, slump like that.  But still glad he isn’t going to be back in orange and black in the imminent future, seeing as there’s a lot of money to be paid to him.  Incidentally, I don’t think what Sabean said really totally shot down the rumors.  He said he hadn’t spoken to Ned Colletti in weeks.  But if it’s true that he doesn’t answer his phone, then maybe Ned left messages offering Uribe or something and he just hasn’t called back?  Sorry.  I had to throw it out there.

I have to check out now.  I did the PA announcing for a Little League All Star game for the first time last night (yes, someone dropped Renel on me) and that somehow qualifies me to teach another person to do it tonight.   Wish me luck with that.  I am armed with a kid-friendly playlist featuring lots of Owl City and some other secret weapons in case things get ugly with the parents.  I mean, how am I supposed to know there are that many ways to spell the name “Rider” and they’re all pronounced the same way?

Diamond Girl

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My Crystal Ball is a Lemon But I Am Now Able to Exhale

Where to start?  (Other than the fact that my crystal ball saw the, ahem, opposite of wins in the future for the Giants in the double header.  But we’re not going to talk about that.)

Maybe we could talk about the 30 hits the Giants had yesterday.  Maybe the fact that San Fran outscored the Cubbies 19-10Or maybe that fact that although Vogey was iffy, he got the win and that Zito’s comeback was a good as it was unexpected.

I, of course, missed the Barry’s brilliance because it was a Tuesday and there are an awful lot of Lord of the Rings movies and AMC was showing ‘em all in June.  Four and a half hours and many tears (this was the last one!) later, I got home to see the box score and exhaled.  Who knows where Zito will go from here but this felt a tiny bit like make-up for that dismal day against San Diego last fall.   He came back and just did his thing.  He was acting a little odd (case in point: “For me, a lot of focus is required to do that.  I might be more emotional tomorrow.  Talk to me then.  Postpone the interview.”)  I mean, if it works for him, that’s good by me.  And if the fuchsia pillows work then emotional detachment isn’t a long shot at all.

Me and my inner skeptic are very skeptical about the offensive wonderfulness, but it’s still fun while it lasts.  Timmy can deal with minimal run support, so I think either way tonight will be a good game.

The team showed resilience in a pesky doubleheader (I hate DHs.  Sue me, but I am not old school and I don’t see the point.) and I also came to the realization that Reed Johnson is on the Cubs.  That may not seem like a big deal but I seriously though he was still on the Dodgers.  The world was off balance for a little while there.

But then Zito got a win and Brandon Crawford was characteristically lovely and the world became right again.  There’s more Chicago-ness tonight.  Remind me why we play them so much?  This had better be it for the year.  I am so ready for Detroit.

The other thing that’s intriguing to me are the interviews with just about all of the General Managers and they all say (read: whine) that the market is hard because very few teams are out of contention or willing to admit they are.  It’s early, of course, but I don’t see this trade season being a frightfully exciting one and either way, Sabean’s not really a blockbuster trader.  Which is why I am having a hard time explaining my giddy excitement for July 31st (only a month away!).  I am only supposed to have this level of excitment about the Winter Meetings.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my aforementioned crystal ball keeps showing Ryan Braun going to the Giants despite his no trade clause/the fact that someone’s gotta pay him through 2032.  I think that thing’s a lemon.

Diamond Girl

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If This Doesn’t Teach You That a) Patience is a Virtue and b) Flukes Happen, Nothing Will.

A picture perfect day in the Bay Area is ending and we have three picture perfect people to discuss:

3.  Chris Stewart

2.  Jeremy Affeldt

1.  Madison Bumgarner

They’re each perfect for their own reasons.  Stewart is the quintessential underdog getting a back-up chance because of an injury.  Maybe he hasn’t made himself invaluable, but he’s certainly making a case for valuable.  His hits are rather timely and his cannon is… a cannon.  For lack of a better word.

Affeldt has had his fair share of struggles and doubt from fans but his dominance today was something to watch and it couldn’t have been better timed.  He is beautiful.  Not the weird beard, or anything.  His presence on the mound and his pitches are what I talking about.  And, you know, for every strikeout he records he donates money to Free2Play.  So this was kind of a good day for the fight against human trafficking.

Speaking of dominance?

This post goes out to the People Who Wanted MadBum to skip a start.  If this doesn’t teach you that a) patience is a virtue and b) flukes happen, nothing will.  That is all.  His performance speaks for itself.

So the Giants just swept the Indians.  I type that in ever so slight disbelief and a huge, huge smile on my face.  And I am not a huge smiler, usually.  The great thing about that is that it catapults the Giants into first place, a game (and nice li’l .5) in front of Arizona and the Tigers into first place, a game ahead of the Indians.  This is called a double whammy, people, and I am loving it.  Four more series to go before the All Star Break and I am feeling positive beyond belief.  Maybe it’s that raspberry sorbet popsicle I had during a Palo Alto pool party (way too Social Network reminiscent for my taste, I kept quoting Sean Parker).  But I’m inclined to think it’s a team called the San Francisco Giants.

Sweet dreams and happy summer.  It feels like it’s finally here.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Good choice, ESPN!  Or maybe they enlisted help from Frank McCourt’s guru on what game to feature and it wasn’t their idea at all?

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An Open Letter to Mr. Balkin’ Bob Davidson

Me saying, Peace out! and check out my ump themed tote!

Dear Mr. Balkin’ Bob Davidson,

I’m going to be honest here.  I’d never heard of you before today.  When the broadcasters read out the umps name, they go blissfully into one of my ears.  And then out the other.

You may have a secret passion for indie bands or a strong preference for black olives over green olives.  Your favorite movie may be Jaws or maybe you’re actually a rom-com guy and you loved Bride Wars.  You may not find it the slightest bit suspiciously coincidental that movies called Horrible Bosses and Bad Teacher are coming out within a few weeks of each other.  You may even live under a rock and be unaware that the Giants became World Champions for the first time since moving to San Francisco last year (pardon me if you actually umped the World Series or something) and are desperately, (dare I say it?) tortuously trying to defend that title right now.

Whoever you are and whatever bands you like, I have two things to say to you.

a)       That is the loosest definition of a balk I have ever, ever seen.

b)      Thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.

See, today kicked off with the announcement that J-Sanch is on the disabled list with – cough, cough – bicep tendinitis- cough cough.  I am very skeptical.  I think they’re just giving themselves 15 days to figure this mess out.  The other part of the announcement was that Barry Zito was activated.  Per the earlier statement, he will be starting the second game of the double header in Chicago on Tuesday.

So this is sort of an emotional time for me.

Don’t laugh!

It really is.  I hate seeing Sanchez struggle and even more I hate doubting that he really has tremendous ability inside.  If you look up “maddening” in the dictionary, there is so a picture of him.  At the same time, I am a huge Zito fan (you can say duh if you want to) and cautiously thinking this could be The Moment for him.  A triumphant return.  A fairy tale ending to the contract saga.  Heck, a quality start.  He hasn’t pitched for the Giants since, what, April 17th?  That’s a long time.  I am sort of mulling some “Barry” cupcakes in honor of the occasion.  And crossing my fingers.  Big time.

Anyway.  That was all just to say, a win, albeit a terrifying 1-0 win, was very nice today.  ‘Preciate the help, Bill.  Er, Bob.  Whatever your name is.

We part as friends, right?

Diamond Girl

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Well, I Stopped Boycotting The All Star Game + Another Awkward Jon Daniels/Michael Young Conversation

I boycotted All Star voting for a while because I wanted to make a point about the whole World-Series-home-field-advantage thing, but then I saw who was leading the voting and realized the world is insane and can’t be trusted to choose , because if given the chance it will choose endless Red Sox.  (Incidentally, we have the Giants PR partially to blame for that, because of their extremely odd “vote Giants/Red Sox campaign.)  So I got mad and voted.  Opinion seems to be divided on whether people should share who/what they vote for in general, but I figure this is just the All Star Game (yes, Bud, I said just) so I’m sharing my ballot (which, yes, I submitted 25 times). 

You all need to go vote.  And I wouldn’t object to you copying my ballot or anything.  The only one I’m not sure about now is Michael Young, because every time my father sees him he says to me, “Good thing Jon Daniels didn’t mess that up!” and you can just imagine (or read here) how I feel about that.  So if he makes it into the ASG, I’ll be hearing that comment a lot.  JD and Michael never aired their dirty laundry in public, but I have to wonder what their conversations go like when they run into each other in the tunnels or something.  I imagine something like this:

JD:  Michael!  Nice batting average you got there.  (JD probably adds something here about siddin’ down and talking about it, because his One Phrase is always “sidown and talk about it”.

MY:  (Gives dirty look) Thanks.  (Mutters) I still want to be traded…

JD:  Mmmmhhhhmmm.  Well, I gotta get going.  See you around!

MY:  (Mutters) I still want to be traded…

JD:  Bye!

Anyway.  My All Star ballot.

American League:

1B – Moreland, Mitch

2B – Kinsler, Ian

SS – Andrus, Elvis

3B – Rodriguez, Alex

C – Torrealba, Yorvit

DH – Young, Michael

OF – Crisp, Coco

OF – Cruz, Nelson

OF – Hamilton, Josh

Write-in – N/A

National League:

1B – Pujols, Albert

2B – Sanchez, Freddy

SS – Reyes, Jose

3B – Sandoval, Pablo

C – Molina, Yadier

OF – Braun, Ryan

OF – Huff, Aubrey

OF – Torres, Andres

Write-in – N/A

Go vote, now.  It’s your moral/legal/something else obligation.

Diamond Girl

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