Monthly Archives: March 2012

It’s That Time of Year Again. When They Make Roster Cuts and I Ask for Your Money.

First, a little personal announcement before I get into all the fabulous drama that is raging in Giants-land right now.  One of a few reasons I’ve been a bit MIA lately is that I’m doing a project in honor of my birthday, which is coming up on the 8th,and it’s a wonderful time-eater, but a time-eater all the same.  This means, of course, that it’s that time of year again when I ask you for your money and promise you something absolutely irresistible in return.  Last year, it was Fair Trade chocolate and this year, it’s earrings, made by women who have been rescued from human trafficking in Thailand.  Here is my video about it:

It’s a cause close to my heart because it presents economic solutions to the complex issue of slavery in the world today, by providing futures for former victims and alternative industry in the country of Thailand.  And a tip of the white beanie to Giants leftie Jeremy Affeldt for getting me on the modern-day abolitionist bandwagon a few years back.  (Yes, that’s a baseball connection!)  Jeremy is very involved with the wonderful organization, the Not for Sale Campaign, which is a great info resource for learning more and getting involved in this fight.  Their website is: www.notforsalecampaign.org.  

If you feel so inclined, you can donate via PayPal (info on the website at: www.apriceonyourdreams.wordpress.com).   My fish and I would thank you greatly and you or a lady in your life would adore these earrings.  Trust the Lover of All Things Prada on this one.

Onwards to All Things Baseball!  I can’t believe we’re a week away from Opening Day and am terribly excited.  Watching the roster get whittled down to the final 25 is rather nerve-wracking experience for me but fascinating all the same.  It feel s a bit like our fate is being set into stone, never mind the fact the roster will change a thousand times during the year.  This roster setting is still the biggest one.  Until the playoffs, of course.  Of course.

Like all the other legions of Giants fans, I am very, very curious to see what happens with The Brandon Belt this year and also to see if the team can reach a deal with Matt Cain before the season starts up.  The word yesterday that they might go with neither Whiteside nor Stewart as the back-up catcher also made my jaw drop, just a little.  I am partial to Stewart, as y’all know, but if the Giants want to move in the, eh, youthful direction, I am not opposed to that at all.  Which is to say, I suppose, that I also see a potential silver lining to Freddy Sanchez starting the season on the disabled list.  I am still waiting on the silver lining to Vogey being put on the DL as well, but I will let you know if I find one.

If I’m lucky, who knows, it could be a golden lining.  Or a golden ticket. 

Yes, I think I might just be able to get used to that idea.

In the meantime, although I have said I’m not entirely adverse to the idea of Cain becoming a free agent, I think I have grown a healthy dislike of Larry Baer.  I seem to be behind the curve here, but better late than never, right?  Anyhow, Baer is easier to blame than Sabean.  Sabean drafted the Core Four for the Yankees and, yeah, won the Giants a World Series.  That too.  Baer has installed fake falcons.  Which are kind of a cool concept, admittedly, but kind of completely beside the point, too.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  And, hey.  If you any of you are feeling especially generous, you know what I want for my birthday.

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Opening Day, Bud Selig? (A Photo Story)

(No comments on the messy hair or the lopsided handwriting, people.  I am still under a hot chocolate hangover.  You can’t expect me to actually write straight.)

Diamond Girl

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At Turns Banged Up, Cuckoo and Terrible

Just as I was starting to think we might get through Spring Training with minimal disastrousness, everything started to, well, fall apart.  That’s what I get for trying to be optimistic.  The offense has started snoozing enthusiastically, the pitchers are pretty much looking at turns banged up (Vogey), cuckoo (Zito) and terrible (Zito again, plus a bunch of other starters and a few relievers).  There’s no such thing as a free pass, huh?  I am just trying to visualize this as the spring equivalent to the dog days of August and convincing myself that everything will be all ironed out by the Opening Day.

Cross your fingers with me, m’kay?

In other news, I have another example of the strange but undeniable fact that the Giants and I obviously mystically connected.  Case in point?  Just as they get all injured, I get a nasty fever and cold.  Seriously, people.  This is eerie.  I spent last night making pesto with badly ground basil, watching Annie Hall and then promptly sleeping for thirteen hours or so.  The fever has faded now.  The Giants might try that, you know, if all else fails, because I am totally feeling better now.  Who knows, some Woody Allen could do wonders for Brandon Belt’s sore hip!

The thing that’s really been on my mind lately, though, is the peculiar phenomenon of the Overperformer in Spring Training Who Makes Opening Day Roster Against All Odds.  John Bowker comes to mind, but there’s really one almost every year.  If I were not still groggy and sick, I would try to get some statistics on this front, because I am honestly extremely skeptical of these guys.  Really, how often do they end up succeeding?  Is there any good reason to believe that a little while longer in the minors would be terrible for them?  I’ve been thinking about this, of course, because of Hector Sanchez, who is, admittedly, tearing it up with the bat and the Giants need that badly.  But I think I am rooting against him playing in San Francisco on April 9th all the same.  If nothing else, it makes for a much better story for the papers/Tweeps if he comes up in May, a la Buster Posey.  And if something else, he might do a thousand times better.  Stewart and/or Whiteside can do a perfectly good job keeping the bench warm, while Sanchez gets ready.  This is what I vote for.

Diamond Girl 

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Fabulous Noses and Fluidity in Pitching (AKA, the Alexi Ogando Post)

So it’s less than two hours until game time and to say I am amped would be an understatement.  I am so amped it is not even funny.  (And I only had one coffee today, so this ain’t a caffeine thing.  Probably.  It was a big coffee, after all, so you can never be sure.)  As you probably know by now, I don’t have cable, so tonight’s Giants-Rangers matchup is going to be the first game of the year on TV for yours truly.  As if Giants-Rangers wasn’t exciting enough to start with.  Seriously, these people are trying to give me Baseball Fan Collapsing Syndrome or something.  I have my mini blueberry muffins and a glass of milk and my flat iron at the ready, just in case it gets real close and I need some stress-relief.

The icing on the cake, in a purely non-actual cake sort of way, is that Alexi Ogando is pitching for Texas. (Texas in Arizona, that is.  Spring. Training. Is. So. Weird.)   He is currently sporting a 7.20 ERA, but I have serious faith all the same.

Let’s just say I adore him.  Even aside from the obvious fact that he has a fabulous nose, there is his long and fascinating story to the big leagues (which you should read about here, if you haven’t already) and then the actual fact of watching him pitch.  The fluidity of which returns all my childlike wonder about pitchers and how they move.  For lack of a better way to say it, he is ah-mazing.

But this does, of course, lead us to the usual quandary: who am I rooting for?  So I’ll just give the usual answer: that remains to be seen.  I cannot promise anything right now.  When I get plopped in front of the telly, my Multiple Fandom Disorder tends to kinda-sorta-really rear its head and there’s nothing I can do then, right?  Right.  I should probably get a shrink.  But it will have to be after a bunch of mini-cupcakes and one heart-wrenching baseball game.  Maybe then.  I’ll be in a better state of mind and actually able to discuss normal things like Ryan Vogelsong and Freddy Sanchez and DL stints and train wreck games (cough, last night, cough). 

My very favorite train wreck photo, used with alarming frequency last season.

For now, though, I am pushing train wrecks from the mind and baseball as the rain blows in.  I love you too, San Francisco weather.

Diamond Girl

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My Garden Gnome Phobia Explained

I have to tell you, I don’t usually consider myself to be a shallow person (except when you dangle D&G sunglasses under my nose, but that’s a different story) but there’s been one rather shallow thing that has been bothering me all spring.  See, I should be worried about Brian Wilson’s kinda-sorta injury.  Or Freddy Sanchez non-existent progress.  But what am I worrying about instead?  A giveaway.  That the Giants are doing this year.  In my defense, they post about it c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y on their Facebook page.  This kind of thing leads to nervous breakdowns, people.  I see stuff about the antagonistic giveaway every time I log in to go stalk someone who I might maybe know from something.

Which giveaway am I talking about, you might ask?

The insert-player-name-here gnome giveaway, I would answer (through strongly clenched teeth).

You might still ask what I am talking about, if you live under a rock/do not like the Giants page on Facebook.  So for that minority of the population, I will provide explanatory photos.  Here you go, People Who Live Under a Rock:

Pablo Sandoval on the left, Brian Wilson on the right.  In case you find them unrecognizable, like I do.

They’re giving away the Pablo Sandoval one in September and the Wilson one in May, if my memory serves me correctly.  Which is may or may not.  The point is, I do not like this one bit.  I saw Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (commonly known as simply Amélie) at a young and impressionable age and what really stuck with me from it was the whole garden gnome thing.  It even has a Wikipedia article.  It might have been a sweet element in the film, I honestly don’t remember.  But it struck me as incredibly, unshakably creepy.  I have never gotten over that.

Don’t you think the Giants should be doing a little more research to be sure that their mega-fans don’t have phobias of things they plan to give away?  And also that it falls below 100% on the Creep-O Meter?

For those of you who want to know why this made such an impression on me, the scene about the garden gnomes is on YouTube.  I’m too scared to watch it, so if a weird laughing cat appears in the middle or something, blame YouTube, not me.

Diamond Girl

 

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