Monthly Archives: June 2011

If You Look Up “Stoic” In The Dictionary, You’ll See a Picture of Madison. And Sequined Rangers Flip Flops, If You’re Lucky.

Here’s the breakdown of Madison Bumgarner’s season, so far (with a tip of the cap to the people at www.csnbayarea.com who figure out statistics).

13 Starts

2 wins, 8 losses

3.25 ERA

The Giants have had three runs or less in ten of those starts

Two runs or less, in nine of them

One run or less in six of them

In five of them? 

None.

As a Giants fan, what part of that is surprising?   That he had actually had a whole fraction of a Major League season where he got some support.

And that he is unshakably stoic through the whole thing, à la Matt Cain.  He talks to the press every five days with a vaguely amused expression and his NorCarolina drawl and somehow makes you feel a little better about resigning yourself to the fact that he’s that starter on the team right now; the one who the first place team can’t just muster a few runs for.  Eventually, they’ll snap out of it.  If World Series winning/parade/celebrity-hood didn’t initiate you into Giantville, Madison, this should.

The real highlight of last night was, in my opinion, the return of Edgar.

Even in Cincinnati red (I think our colors suited him way better, for the record) he looked and acted and felt like a Giant.  He was injured a good chunk of the time and we all had plenty of complaints about him, but he was a World Series hero.  And his August 30th, 2009 grand slam against the Rockies is one I will never, ever forget.  It was the catalyst moment in that sorta-kinda playoff run and watching it again gives me goosebumps.  You can watch it here.

I feel like we’re overdue for a warm-weather (another sorta-kinda there) offensive outburst tonight.  Anyone with me on that?

Diamond Girl

p.s.   Would you buy clothes from this guy?  Would you buy anything from this guy?  (Even besides the the fact that I wouldn’t buy shirts that say “Designated Kisser” from anyone.)

If you’re looking for a fashionable, summery, feminine way and ever so mildly classy way to show your fandom, try these awesome  sequined Rangers flip flops from the official MLB shop.  I am in love.

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An AL West Moment

First. 99 games left? Does that really mean we’ve played 63? Time flies when you’re having fun.

So I was just going about my business (reading tweets, that is) when “Bob Geren relieved of his managing duties with the Athletics” popped up. I was shocked. It’s not that the idea of firing him surprised me. People have been calling for it/predicting it for a long, long time. I was just surprised that the A’s took the plunge and did it. And I admire that. Personally? I liked Geren. And I don’t think firing the manager is really the answer to a team’s problems. But it may be an answer. And it does, to me, demonstrate some sort of resolve and commitment to moving forward and competing. Happy travels to Bob in the future.

Speaking of travels… Bob and his wife nail airport style here. I love her coat. And his tie.

Speaking of the AL East. Have you, uh, checked out Alexi Ogando? He’s 7-0. With a 2.10 ERA. Which is really something, especially considering that this is his first year as a starting pitcher and he’s come on a long, long road to get here. Read a great article about his journey here. I hasn’t been very well publicized or much talked about, but it’s fascinating. And Ogando has been absolutely dominant this year, putting the Rangers in first place, seven games (seven Alexi games?) above .500.

My “I do that too!” moment? Nyjer Morgan hit a walk-off hit for the Brewers yesterday against the dismal Mets (not so dismal! The Nationals are behind them!), but thought it was the eighth. The other day I did the exact same thing at a Little League game. Except, well, I wasn’t batting or anything. I just collected my coat and blankets (yes, blankets) and started to leave. Not so different, right?

Diamond Girl

p.s. You think Bieber would do me a favor and take off the Rangers cap?

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Jose Who? Five Things I Love About Brandon Crawford

Last year, the only rookie everyone talked about was Buster Posey.  He, uh, panned out.  This year, it was all Brandon Belt.  And as much as I like and respect Belt- and the season is still young, he hasn’t screamed, Impact!  Who has?  The one I lovingly branded (pun intended) The Other Brandon.  I may be speaking too soon, but I think if anyone takes us all the way, it’ll be him.  When Tejada started to be an obvious problem at short, the name Jose Reyes kept popping up.

Jose who?

We have a shortstop.

From, Single A.  Who hit a triple that was as close to perfection as anyone comes on a baseball field?  Keep Jose, Mets.  It would be weird to see him wearing other colors anyway.  This coming from a rabid 2007 fan of yours.

And Matt Cain’s game wasn’t perfect, but it was a beauty.  Five hits, one run, complete game win.  ‘Nuff said.

Anyway, since I can’t get over Crawford, I have made a list of five things I love about him.  Besides his obvious baseball chops.  Read on.

5.  The Hair.

I think he works hard at it.  It pays off. 

The best part?  Curly hair doesn’t seem to equal curly brains, because…

4.  He’s Got Brains

You know how people always go ga-ga over actresses or models who graduated college?  Granted, many more baseball players graduate but for whatever reason his major is on his Wikipedia article and it’s physiological science.  I don’t quite know what that means but it sounds brainy.  Interesting.

3.  He Signs…

…autographs.  Because he remembers being in the position of wanting ‘em.  I don’t begrudge players who don’t like to sign, but I do give points to people who go out there and do it.

2.  FISU World Champion

Whenever I hear about an MLBer who’s had success in another league, I am intrigued.  I know Nate Schierholtz competed in Beijing and that’s always been one of my main associations with him.  Crawford was on the US team when it won FISU World Championship in Havana.  Which means he’s ready to be a champion again, right? 

1.  He’s Toolsy

Fine, just kidding.  I’ve been watching the draft for three days but that doesn’t mean I use that word.  He’s just a flat out ballplayer.  I don’t know of any other way to say it. 

I think good things are in the team’s future.  But speaking of shortstops?  I really hugely miss Edgar Renteria.  So these next few days may be emotionally difficult.  Bear with me, okay?

Diamond Girl

p.s.  If I’ve failed to mention that I want a name like Conor Gillaspie, I will say it now.  I want a name like Conor Gillaspie.

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127 Hours? You Got Nothing On Me.

Okay, you have something on me. But not a whole lot. After watching 3 ½ hours of the draft and a 4 hour, 29 minute Giants game I had just enough mental capacity to squeak out, Yes, I would like a saltwater taffy. My arms are, thankfully, still connected to my shoulders, though.

Now that the hangover is starting to wear off, I am ready to break it all down. It was a great baseball day.

The first round of the draft is good and bad. The five minutes in between each pick give the hosts time to break down each player and even interview a few of them. I had a good sense of just about all the 33 players who were picked. The compensation round, with a minute in between each one, was a little bit painful because the hosts were talking just as much, but with no time, and the representatives who announced the picks instead of Selig didn’t seem really suited to public speaking. Today, it’s all audio, no show, and it’s going down so fast I can’t keep up. It’s good and bad. I dig the brevity, but it’s so impersonal.

The people who stood out to me in the draft? (Disclaimer: I know nothing about any of these people. These are just guys who happened to stand out to me. )

Number 1, overall, was Gerrit Cole who’s reportedly Brandon Crawford’s sister’s boyfriend. Keeping this in the family, are we?

Number 3, Trevor Bauer, went to the Diamondbacks. He’s being called Tim Lincecum 2.0, both because his motion is similar and he’s known for his quirky personality. I was kind of pumped to have him in the NL West until Andrew Baggarly suggested that he could potentially come to the Majors in late 2011, if the Arizona is making a playoff run. Against the Giants. Forget it. I wish he was in Kansas or something.

 

Speaking of Kansas! The sweet story of the first round was Bubba Starling, a KC kid who was drafted by the same team. The media was eating it up. I was much more interested in Brandon Nimmo, the highest draftee ever from Wyoming (11th, to the Mets) and Jose Fernandez “Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion(14th, to the Marlins) who is a Cuban defector, who has already faced a lot of adversity to get here. I am calling a majorly successful career for him. He seems to have a head on his shoulders.

Oakland had the 18th pick and they went with Sonny Gray, a right handed pitcher who I fell in love with after a minute long feature by MLB Network. A) He’s 5”11. At first claimed to be 6”0, then 5”11 ½. I love little guys. B) He sings. He was in High School Musical. C) He has a contagious smile and seems comfortable in front of a camera. The only thing that put me off was his affinity for the movie Sandlot. I hated that movie. I know that’s a terrible baseball fan sin, but it’s true. Sorry.

And then the Rangers pick at 37th, Zach Cone, intrigued me because he was the only guy in the whole draft whose photo was not of him in a baseball uniform. He was wearing a suit. Interesting. You know how Teen Vogue does “style icons of the future”? I have an inkling that he could be a baseball style icon of the future. At least he’s off to a good start.

Then, of course, the important one. Our newest Giant. Joe Panik, a shortstop “with power” out of St. John’s University. Other than his hard nose (thanks, Baseball America! Useful info.) and his unfortunate (well, fortunate for the people who write headlines) last name, I don’t know a whole lot about him. Except that I’m not panicking- sorry, I had to- and he deserves a nice big hug and welcome to this family. Bye-bye, Brandon Crawford. You were fun while you lasted but we have a new shortstop now! Just kidding.

I’m at 650 words here and so my analysis of the game is going to be sort of second round draft-ish. I.e., fast. Timmy’s 1000th strikeout, while glowing and exciting, was overshadowed in my eyes by eight beautiful shutout innings from the bullpen, the birthday boy (Jeremy Affeldt) swinging for Mars and then getting a walk and, of course, the eventual walk-off hit by Freddy Sanchez. He is so underrated it’s not even funny. I love him to death and am reconciling myself to a summer of walk off wins. Could be worse, right?

Now it’s time to plug in my earbuds and get back to the grainy audio of the 500th round. Draft week is too much fun. Congratulations to all who have been picked.

Diamond Girl

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I Am Irrationally Excited…

…about the draft tonight. And all the gossip. I even watched a painfully boring, but still kind of interesting video about the top 50 prospects and I have popcorn waiting to be popped in expectance of the show at 4 PT. MLB says this is the deepest draft ever and Jon Daniels/Kip Fagg seem to imply the opposite. I can’t decide who I believe. Probably the Rangers. Neither the Giants nor the Rangers are picking anytime near the beginning, but I do have a Pirates soft spot, so first overall should be fun (but shame on you, people who leak who’s going to be picked. It takes away all the suspense!). You know what won’t be fun?

The coming weeks in Giants rotation news.

I’m scared. I really am.

With every beautiful Vogelsong start that makes me warm and fuzzy I am reminded that Zito and his pesky foot are getting a little closer to being better and that at some point (sooner rather than later?) Sabes et al. are going to have some choices to make. They say they are going to “get creative”. I say, if that includes glue and feathers then Zito should definitely get the call. If it includes pitching? I vote for Vogey.

Or maybe the A’s are in need of starting pitching and the Giants will eat the cash, get rid of him and I can still see him sometimes. Is that selfish? Don’t answer that question. Really, I don’t think it would be smart (or viable) for Giants to get rid of him. It’s called “insurance”, my friends, (not to mention piles of cash) and with our injury luck that rotation doesn’t feel safe. So I’ll just have to sit tight and wait until they decide to put their creativity on display (in a case? On a table? Mounted on the wall? Anyone’s guess.).

The bats aren’t exactly on fire, but they’re doing a decent job and the team seems dead set on looking only forward, which I am loving. The Nationals, who are in last place, nine games out, are coming to town tomorrow and Arizona is ever-so-vaguely skidding so now seems like a good time heat up.

Even though here in the Bay Area we are all walking around under a ceiling of fog in winter coats. That has got to make it a little harder to play baseball.

Diamond Girl

p.s. I don’t mean to be a fawning fan girl. I really don’t. But aren’t Brandon Crawford and his fiancé the cutest couple ever?

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