Monthly Archives: June 2011

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About The AL Central (Yes, My Detroit Pride Strikes Again)

What’s that you say?  San Francisco has won two in a row, Timmy is in tip-top shape, Eli Whiteside is maybe-kinda-sorta stepping up to the plate (sorry, lame pun), they’re tied with Arizona for first place and the sun is still rising in the morning and setting in the evening?  Impossible.

Bizarrely enough, it’s true.

Timmy being good is not really surprising at all.  Vogey gets less unexpected by the five days.   Eli, I have always had a deep trust for, so while the rest of the world rocks, I am listening to Enya in peaceful serenity.

That’s why I like the Giants.  Rooting for underdogs is rewarded.  Never mind the waterfall-of-tears-inducing examples of Joey Martinez and Eugenio Velez, okay?

Anyway.  That’s all ancient history.  In reality, the Giants are now going on the road to face the Indians [correction: staying at home to face the Indians!  I was assuming the road, for some reason.], which I am scared about.  The Indians are the team who I cannot name one player from (sad?  Yes.) but who are sort of tearing up the Majors this year.  In case you need your AL Central dose (doubtful) Detroit has given them a bit of a run and they’re currently a game back in second place.  I am, of course, rooting for the Tigers because of Chrysler’s brilliant ad campaign that sparked Detroit pride in me.  I am, of course, rooting for the Tigers because of Chrysler’s brilliant ad campaign that sparked Detroit pride in me.  Weird, I know.  I’ve never been within a hundred mile radius of the city.  I am just an ad lover/sucker.

Speaking of innovative ads and by extension innovative technology?  I got the June/July issue of Fast Company today (Read it.  I mean it.  Best magazine currently on Planet Earth.) and they have an article called “Clash of the Tech Titans” about celebrities breaking onto the social media scene.  Guess who was in it?

They compare his triumphant return to Twitter to “the digital equivalent of watching a supermarket ribbon cutting.”  I agree.  Personally, you know I’m not Wilson fan, but I haven’t heard positive praise for his Twitter from even the biggest Wilson-ites.  He’s a big, popular, profitable personality and I’ve been surprised to see how little he’s utilized his Twitter account.   Bryan Srabian, the Giants Social Media director (I’m going to say it.  Is his name a joke?  I mean, really?  Way to close to Sabean Himself for comfort.)  needs to get on him!

You know what I really want to see?  Jeremy Affeldt tweeting him stuff about human trafficking in Thailand and then Brian tweeting back the clip of his appearance on George Lopez.

Okay, snarkyness over.

Have a great Thursday evening and wish me luck pedal-boating tomorrow.  If I overturn, it’ll be The Sister’s fault, right?

Diamond Girl

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Retraction. Things You Shouldn’t Know About the Twins

They hit.  A lot.  On occasion.  Occasions like last night.  That is something we all wish we didn’t know about the Twins.  Fear not!  I’m going to make you feel a lot better.  Therapy Emily is here.

But first, wipe that horrified look off your face.

Yes, Madison Bumgarner made history as the first pitcher since 1900 to let in eight runs, while only recording one out.  Yes, the Giants, while they got nine hits, only managed two runs.  Yes, it was a basically horrifying night.

But at the same time, it’s an easier loss to take for me as a fan.  Because it was a no-doubter, you know?   Madison was absolutely, utterly terribly.  That’s it.  That’s what went wrong. 

Likelihood is?  He’ll be just fine in the future.  And even if this were to be a signal of things to come for him in the future, I don’t know why people are calling for him to be traded right now.  This is the worst possible moment to trade him.  His stock is at its lowest.  Wait for him to squeeze out some quality starts and then trade him, if you must.  Additionally, I disagree with people saying he should be sent down or skip a start.  His morale is probably also at its lowest.  Unless there’s an underlying, bigger physical or mechanical issue that they know of, I think they should let him take the mound in five days.  And see how it plays out.  Show a little confidence in him.

Zito, of course, took last night to throw a two hit, complete game shutout for Fresno, making a nice little bid for a spot in the wacky rotation.  But Bochy denies anything happening with Bumgarner and says he’s meeting with Barry today, which sounds foreboding, but maybe I’m just paranoid.  We’ll see.

A little brightsideness?  Today is Ryan Vogelsong and I actually think he could be a stopper.  Never thought I’d write those words.  But baseball is a strange game.

Try saying that to Madison Bumgarner.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Dodger Stadium today?  Oh. My. God.  That is so empty it’s not even funny.  And believe me, I find just about everything about the Dodgers funny.

Photo via @dylanohernandez

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10 Things You Should Know About the Twins

So.  Interleague play with the Twins kicks off tonight in San Francisco.  As National League people, I figure we could all use a few facts about our opponent for the coming three days.   Here goes.

10.  They play at Target Field.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Target.  But Target Field?  I can’t like that.

9.  Their slogan this year is “This Is Twins Territory”.  You know the point when alliterative becomes corny?

8.  Their catcher (Joe Mauer, that is.  You may have heard of him?) does commercials for Head and Shoulders Shampoo.  I will love this guy forever.  Too great.

7.  They’re named the Twins like the Twin Cities.  À la “Boy meets girl… Romeo and Juliet… Sampson and Delilah… Minneapolis and St. Paul…” –Groucho Marx

6.  Their General Manager is named Bill Smith.  Search that on Wikipedia.  Because of the number of people who come up, they’re all subdivided into industries.   It’s something to see.

5.  They are in second to last place in their division…

4. …but are 9-1 in their last 10…

3.  …and on a 7 game winning streak

2.   Then again, they last played the Padres and we all know how easy it is to beat San Diego.  I mean, just look at the Giants record versus them last year!  Okay, forget it.  Don’t.

1.  Despite how scary the last few Facts About the Twins might seem, they are human.  Very human.  Make that 31-39 on the year.  So, you know.  Not too scary.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Speaking of totally great commercials?  I know I’m a little late to the party, but the MLB Always Epic campaign is brilliance.  Minus the strange Wilson one.  But Fielder’s ball flying over Mongolia and Ubaldo’s overall adorableness?  Perfection.

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(More) Diamonds! Piles of Gold! Armani Suits! Swiss Watches! Hawaii Vacations!

Read this and then continue.

Dear Offense,

Look.  I am of the opinion that slumps should be as coordinated as color blocked outfits; if Aubrey’s slumping, then Andres is tearing it up, you know?  The whole concept of the Giants is that when the people who are supposed to perform don’t, someone else steps up.  But it’s not happening.

As much as people gripe about the starting five and the bullpen, they’re basically keeping us in games.  But you, offense?  You are here (::points to the ground::) and you really, really need to be here (::points to the ceiling::).  Or at least here, in some sort of mid-point.  Conor Gillaspie, Hector Sanchez, heck, Joe Panik?  Where are you guys? 

Maybe you need a little encouragement.  Here goes.  I have some really awesome rewards for you (Diamonds!  Piles of gold!  Armani suits!  Swiss watches!  Hawaii Vacations!) and I’ll do my best infomercial imitation voice when I give ‘em to you, but there is one little catch aside from the fact that you’ll go bankrupt from the taxes, we’ll send you spam for this and four more lifetimes, the diamonds are fake and we’re flying you luggage class.  Other than that.  You have to hit well.  You can’t hit double play balls.  You can only rarely strike out.  And you really can’t get out on one pitch in, oh, 5 seconds.  Work opposing pitchers, you know?  Even if you can’t get people to score, at least put them in scoring position or something?

I get that you’re trying.  Really, I do.  If the incitement of the prizes doesn’t help, I can also recommend inspirational music and great, energy pumping foods.  We are only starting to crack the surface of my advice cauldron.  Giving advice is right up there with walking on the beach in a storm and eating brownies in my life.  But I’d rather if you straightened this out on your own.

Fact is, I’m not as worried about you as I may sound.  The only team with a division lead larger than two games is Philadelphia.  There is some all around mediocrity going on and no one is running away with divisions.  And you are, a little unbelievably, still in first place (what?  Yes, it’s true).  The definition of a slump, as I love to say, is that you get out of it.  This offense isn’t Texas or anything but it can hit better than it’s letting on and sooner or later we’ll see that.  How about… sooner rather than later?  That would be nice.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  What is it with parents of Emmanuel/Emanuel?  My brother has that name and my parents are equally anti-Manny.

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Well, We Had That Coming

So that’s how it feels to be walked off against!

I don’t know about you, but I prefer walking off ourselves.

Still, didn’t we sort of have it coming after walking off against everyone else?

The irony was, of course, that Vogelsong was starting for the Giants and Zito for Fresno on the same night.  Ryan was good, Barry was fine.  The Giants seem to be giving the “take your sweet time” message to Zito, but he’s not buying it and claims to be all ready to go.

I think the Giants just have no idea what to do with him.

Even if he came back as a reliever, they’d have to get rid of someone in a somewhat stellar bullpen.  Santiago Casilla is on the front of my mind (he, you know, let in the winning hit last night) but his ERA is at 1.80, so that’s unfair.

There’s simply isn’t room.

Not to mention that Barry is the polar opposite of a reliever.  I don’t doubt that he’d try his best, I just doubt he’d do it well.  If this were a youth play (I’ve done my fair share) they’d “split the role”.  It’s maddening, but nobody’s feelings are hurt, right?  So Zito could take four innings and then Vogey could take four and then a bullpen guy could take the ninth.  The rest of the bullpen would be all rested for the next day.  Takes teamwork to a whole new level.

In all seriousness, I am stumped.  Sometimes this team feels like a maze/wreck.

Until we play the A’s.  Then I see how good we have it.  It’s good for my soul.

Speaking of which… I keep trying to figure out why I feel like we’re going into a big series.  This is Interleague Play (read: meaningless.  Yes, I said that, Selig.) against the last place A’s.   I think it’s because a) There is really something of a Bay Area rivalry b) They’re a team I’m familiar with which always scares me because I know what to look for and c) It’s now or never for Oakland.  Not really.  It’s June.  But it’s now or not for a while.  The A’s are only six games back and I, for one, still think they have a lot in them.   Check out this little gem of an interview with Billy Beane.  They have spirit, they just need a little breath of air to get ‘em going.

And just in case you were wondering, since this is the FAQ during every Bay Bridge series?  No, the Giants do not stay in hotels.  Or fly from SFO to OAK.  But they do get meal money.  So that they can go out on the town in Oakland, I guess.  It’s a really exciting city.  I totally want to go out on the town there.

Sarcasm, people.  Sarcasm.

Diamond Girl

 

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