In light of the recent news that Pat Burell is retiring for good…
A few things that are now on my mind…
Firstly I have no excuse like I did last year. I am available, I know where and when it is happening and cannot claim to have had an aunt in a freak skydiving accident, because some number of y’all have seen Confessions of a Shopaholic and would catch me in my lie.
Secondly I do know not whether it is Fan Fest or FanFest. A quick search on my blog demonstrates severe schizophrenia on my part as to this particular dilemma. Now how I can I go if I don’t even know how to spell it? This could be a good excuse. Another quick search shows that the Giants call it Fan Fest- two words- while the A’s, contrarians that they are, spell it as one word, FanFest. What to make of it all?
This is the official logo which, of course, conveniently evades the issue by making it completely unclear whether or not there’s a space, with their cute logo. Which is cute. But that’s beside the point.
Thirdly I miss my KNBR fix and if I stay home, there is the upside of following the whole thing on the radio, rather than braving the sandy field in my fabulous boots and the lines as long as the playoffs Bud Selig is proposing/promising/guaranteeing. I repeat, we need a new commish, people.
But fourthly Fan Fest is the baseball equivalent to a horrible family tradition that you do just so you can show your battle scars in the future and be all, I survived!
This is all to say I am, as of yet, undecided. Perhaps if I make some cupcakes and listen to lots of calming Enya beforehand I will go. Or perhaps I will make some cupcakes and give them out to add positive vibes to the event and play Enya over some portable speakers, to amp up the whole positive vibe thing even more.
No one will mind if I wear my antlers too, right?
Yes, it’s Instagramed. Yes, I am occasionally a hipster. And a Rangers fan. That too.
For today, I am just going to hand off this this gold nugget of an interview from ESPN Dallas, with Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. It’s forty minutes long, so they go more in depth than is usually possible in a radio interview and it also means that you need to go devote forty minutes of your life to it (time well spent, trust me) so I should probably let you go.
But first… I snorted noisily when I heard him say they were committed- again!- to Neftali starting and Joe Nathan being the closer. My sister, sitting nearby, inquired as to the noisy snorting. When I told her, I also added a choice, Who even likes Joe Nathan?! (Sorry, Joe. I’m sure you’re a wonderful guy. I was just annoyed at the moment.)
Anyhow, a few minutes later, I got an email with this screen grab from aforementioned sister.
She has appointed herself president of the Official Joe Nathan Fan Club, too.
Don’t I possess a fabulous sister?
p.s. Go listen. Seriously. Or I will track you down and feed you cupcakes until you die.
Dissatisfied baseball players.
You know of whom I speak. Not to, well, name any names but you know them. They’re the baseball players who, while they do love baseball and all that, really wish they could do something else. They’d trade their Cy Young Award for a Grammy (sorry, Barry) or gladly spend their summers zooming around in a strangely shaped race car (sorry, CJ darling, but now that you’re an Angel my ripping license has arrived). There are more of them. And while we can tolerate and snicker occasionally, it’s generally no biggie. Baseball players have a knack for being dissatisfied. We know this.
But how to deal with it, when it get especially maddening?
(To be clear, I’m not talking about baseball players who have interests aside from throwing a ball around on a grassy field. I’m talking about those players who make it really, painfully clear that this is merely a day job and their true talent lies somewhere else. See above photos for some cases in point of this phenomenon.)
Aside from kicking them out of the ballpark and denying them dinner for a few nights, which does seem like a rather appealing option at certain, particularly terrible moments.
But short of that… what about a more politic solution?
Here’s what I‘m thinking: a Baseball Players Get Out Their Other Job Complex Night at the ballpark! The crowd buys tickets like usual and takes their seats but the ballplayers, instead of playing baseball, display their alternate talent that they have been craving to try out.
This will achieve two things! First of all, it would be endless comedy for the viewers. Sorry, MLBers. You look funny doing anything other than playing baseball and most especially when crooning country music. The other thing it would achieve is assisting ballplayers to get this alternate talent out of their system. Once they do it in front of a crowd, they’ll realize that they vastly prefer playing baseball and perhaps weren’t even that good at the second thing to start with.
And if it goes fantastically and they don’t come to that conclusion?
No prob, y’all. After BPGOTOJCN (which is, in case you were wondering, the acronym for Baseball Players Get Out Their Other Industry Complex Night) the unions could make a new rule that would allow for players and teams to get out of their contracts, no strings attached, and the players can then go and pursue their other dream.
And there’d be another clause in there that allows the player to come back begging for that contract to please come back, for a maximum of three months after. I, personally, would put money on 99.9% of them utilizing this clause, but that’s beside the point.
The point is that we’d have a really, really great night at the ballpark and, oh, TV networks? A whole lot of viewership, too.
Should MLB hire me as their special events planner (in addition to commissioner, of course) or what?!
Rhetorical question, by the way. Don’t bother answering.
Let’s do a little hypothetical game here called, “Tigers vs. Giants”. Now, this never happens, except in times like last year’s Interleague Play, but that’s no matter because I’m not talking about a game game between the two. I’m talking about the rosters, lined up next to each other and Dave Dombrokswi and Brian Sabean, nose to nose.
First off, I’m a Giants fan, not a Tigers fan. (Well, duh.) So I am slanted to believe that the Giants are the absolute best team ever and all that. But like many San Fran’ers at the moment, I think, I’m a little frustrated and not completely believing that despite myself. Make that mucho frustrated, Los Gigantes.
The two big MLB deals that went down yesterday were interesting juxtapositions, in that sense. In case you missed ‘em or just like my fabulous recaps:
The Tigers signed first baseman Prince Fielder to a nine year deal, worth $214 million dollars. Close your mouth. I know that’s a big deal, but it doesn’t suit your face shape.
The Giants, meanwhile, reportedly reached a two-year deal with our resident oddball (one of many, that is) Tim Lincecum, worth $40.5 million, which sets him as the highest paid Giant ever, per year’s salary. The Giants could very well still lock up Lincecum for many more years, before he becomes a free agent, but for now, it’s two years.
The deals are obviously different, in that Prince was a free agent and Timmy was not, Prince is a hitter and Timmy is not. (No, really, he’s not. Have you seen the clips of him trying to hit?) But all the talk about the Fielder deal- from both the supporters of t and the people who think Dombrowski is more than a little nuts- has raised some interesting questions.
Some people say this kind of move by the Tigers is a statement that the organization is in it to win it and has a strong commitment to the team and the fans. Just about everyone says this makes the Tigers a whole lot better.
I don’t believe that teams should make moves to mollify fans or make it seem like they’re committed- sometimes the best commitment management can make is to sit back and let things evolve. But there is still something there, in the Giants management, that reads distinctly like, “We have no plan,” to me, myself and I. And no plan = no good.
I know that a big part of the Timmy deal is that he doesn’t want a long-term contract and there’s nothing we can all do about that. (Except make him cupcakes. That might work, actually.) But maybe, just maybe, that has something to do with the dragon that cannot spit fire that is the San Francisco Giants right now. Not to say the Giants should sign a hitter for $214 million. I don’t think they should, in fact. But if they’re not going to do that they might, er, explore other options?
And I’m not talking about breaking Orlando Cabrera out of retirement here.
In the end, it’s not really Tigers vs. Giants. More one philosophy vs. no perceived philosophy. You can guess who wins.
Dear January 24th in Giants history: you may now go disappear. Thanks. xoxo.
p.s. Not to be all downer on you today, but Posada retirement? Sniff-sniff. That is all.