Monthly Archives: June 2012

Let Them Be Free and Let’s Play Ball

As many of you probably know, fighting human trafficking is a passion of mine, right up there with Giants baseball, so I’m terribly excited about tonight, which is Human Trafficking Awareness Night at AT&T Park.

The lovely t-shirt comes from a Not For Sale Campaign – you can read all about them here – and Sevenly team-up (it reads “Let Them Be Free” in case you can’t read it through my multitude of hair) and the Giants cap is actually my brother’s, because his is definitely more fab than mine.  Thanks for lending it to me, darling.  It’s for a good cause.

Diamond Girl

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13-Minute Cupcakes and Assorted Rangers Pitchers

When I looked at the probable pitchers for this weekend’s Rangers-Giants series, I was disappointed.  If Twitter is any measure of the general population’s opinions (which it, well, isn’t, but no matter), a lot of other people were too.  Why?  Because we all wanted to see Yu.  Not you.  You’re awesome and all, and it’s not you it’s me… but I’m talking Yu Darvish.  Because he is pretty much the best thing to happen to Major League Baseball since Ryan Braun’s haircut.  When I saw, then, that he was starting in Oakland today, my fingers were on StubHub in record time and soon enough, I had tickets and had suckered my family into dropping everything and coming with me.  I have a delightful family, on occasion.

I got to the O.Co Coliseum sort of, um, early because apparently they open the gates an hour and a half before gametime, rather than two full hours, like they generally do in civilized pla— I mean, AT&T Park.  I’ve never been to Arlington, Texas but I imagine it’s something like it was in Oakland today.  Rangers.  Fans.  Everywhere.  It was kind of weird, but kind of fantastic.

Anyhow, for reasons I discovered and will explain later, My Favorite Ranger Ever (as much as I love Yu, this one goes to Alexi Ogando) was throwing a bullpen session when I did get into the stadium.  I was, oh, four feet away from him and it ranks up there in Greatest Moment of Emily’s Life, right up with the time I made cupcakes from scratch in just under thirteen minutes.  True story.

Pictures or it didn’t happen, you say?  Okay, I say.  I will gladly oblige.

Also, isn’t their Rangers-themed ball bag the cutest thing on earth?  I want one.  Even though I don’t really tote around baseballs.  Ever.  Still, I bet it could double as a fab makeup bag.

I would once more like to say thankyouAJPrelleryouarethebestandsoisAlexitheend.

The game itself was not nearly as fun.  Yu was not in tiptop Yu shape and sort of seemed to forget where the strike zone was, midway through.  Josh Hamilton, in good ol’ Josh Hamilton fashion, hit a double and Beltre singled him in, for the only Rangers run of the game.  I like the A’s just fine under normal circumstances… normal circumstances being when they are not scoring seven runs off of Texas.  I glowered into my avocado sandwich for a while and then the Yu jokes started and I had a good time.

All with one eye, of course, on the out-of-town scoreboard.  Yes, guys, I’m still a Giants fan, believe it or not!  It was getaway day in San Diego and the Giants had their first three-homer game since the beginning of April at Coors Field and they, you know, have a humidor and things so that doesn’t really count.  Today, it was the magical and marvelous combo of Buster Posey, Gregor Blanco and Angel Pagan.  Good times, eh?  The Giants head into this weekend’s matchup with the exact same record as the Rangers, by some fate:  33 wins, 25 losses.

To say I cannot wait would be a massive understatement.  Sure, my loyalties are a bit messy, but the games are also sure to be loads of fun.  And yes, Alexi is starting on Sunday, in place of newly-DL’ed Derek Holland.  Which is why he was throwing a bullpen.  So he can mow down the Giants.  Yep, messy loyalties, indeed.

Diamond Girl

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MLB Draft Day 1 Notes (aka, bestdayever notes)

Seriously, that was the title of my note in my notes app – because seriously, who writes notes without a notes app anymore? – because I love draft week so much that it is somewhat irrational, as I have previously explained.

First, a few notes on the show itself.  The Bud Selig portions kind of grated on my nerves.  If he had addressed some of my concerns, such as why the heck are there two game series’?  Or, why the heck isn’t there Intergalactic Play?  Or, Why do the Giants nev-ah have off days?  Or, Are you secretly the mastermind behind the TSA?  ‘Cause I already know you are.  Yeah.  He didn’t address any of that.  I had my best frowny face on whenever he took the podium, which was kinda sorta extremely often.

The first player who caught my attention was Kevin Gausman who went to the Orioles, 4th overall.  He’s a right-handed pitcher out of LSU and… he eats four powdered doughnuts between each inning when he’s pitching.  Not terribly strong in the math department, but if he were to pitch a complete game, wouldn’t that be, um, 36 powdered doughnuts?  I will not question.  He was drafted 4th overall.  He obviously knows what he’s doing.  But might I suggest he move from doughnuts to brownies?  Brownies are far more delicious, in my humble opinion.

In all of the draft previews I looked at, Albert Almora stood out to me as my absolutely favorite.  He’s 18 years old, an outfielder with a swing that is near identical to Ryan Braun (need I really say more?) and I had this irrational hope that he’d still be around when the Giants picked at #20 overall.  No such luck.  Apparently Theo and Jed and I all have the same taste in players, because he went to the Cubbies, sixth overall.   I hereby renew my prediction that Chicago will win a World Series in under five years.

The A’s went ahead and picked a high-school kid for the first time since the Bronze Age and he’s a shortstop named Addison Russell.  Most embarrassing song on his iTunes?  Mean, by Taylor Swift.  Billy Beane: I do not mean to question your wisdom, but… I totally do.  (I kid, I kid.  He looks pretty spectacular, in reality.)

According to tradition, a shout-out also has to go out to Stephen Piscotty who went 36th to the Cards as a compensation pick for Pujols.  He’s an engineering major from Stanford the only guy in the whole entire draft who was wearing a suit in his headshot.  Future fashion icon right there, guys.  And you heard it here first.

Courtney Hawkins, who went 13th to the White Sox, won the Best Draft Moment, hands down, with a backflip on live TV.  I sincerely can’t wait until he makes it to the Major Leagues because I have an inkling he will be loads of fun to watch.  I was terrified as he backflipped, but in retrospect?  Brilliance.  If baseball falls through, he can just become a full time internet sensation.

Joe Torre kicked off the compensation round and his “now on the clock” is infinitesimally better than Selig’s.  If I can’t be the new commish, can he, please?  He’s a veritable teddy bear, now that he’s not managing the Yanks or Dodgers anymore.  I have rapidly growing adoration for him.

If you’ve gotten to this point because all you really want to read about is the Giants pick, then you’ve finally gotten to the right place.  They took a right-handed pitcher out of Mississippi State named Chris Stratton.  I haven’t been able to get a terrible amount of info about him, so for now I’ll just welcome him to the Giants and say that, really, SF is not as beastly cold and foggy as they.  We have, like, one sunny day a year and it’s glorious!

I leave you with this MLB Network jewel…

Harold Reynolds:  If you look at his statistics, he’s just not quite there yet.  [on newly drafted player]

Other Analyst Whose Name I Don’t Know:  Well, obviously, clubs don’t draft based on stats.

Harold Reynolds:  *stony stare* 

Me:  Er, what do they draft based on then, Einstein?

Diamond Girl

p.s.  *cough* What is an “upside guy”? *cough*

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Why IAmSoExcitedICanBarelyWrite

If you asked me to pinpoint the moment that things started to turn around, I’m not sure I would be able to.  But turn around they have.  After a lovely 2-0 win against the Cubbies yesterday (one more game in that series today, if the rain holds off, which seems doubtful), the Giants sit at 30-24, only 3 games out of the first place Dodgers.

Nothing huge has changed, maybe, but a lot of little things have.  The pitching is just better enough that it’s really, really good and the defense has cleaned its act up, too.  The hitting isn’t blowing up the charts or anything, but it’s tidy.  It is all enough to get wins.  (Against the Cubbies, who are cake, but that’s beside the point.)

Zito has gone a long way towards proving his wonderfulness is not a fluke and everyone else is doing a pretty good job convincing me that the Rest of This Season Which I Block Out Of My Memory was indeed a fluke.

This Monday is kicking off rather nicely, isn’t it?

More importantly (who am I kidding… most importantly):  todayisMLBdraftdayohmygodyesitisexcusemewhileIgodie.  Not really going to go die, don’t worry.  If I died I would miss the draft.  But I am so excited I can barely form a coherent blog post.  Well, my blog posts are never really coherent.  But this one might be less than usual, even, because my fingers are dancing a celebratory dance all their own.  I am doing nothing from 4:00pm onwards, except reaching my hand in and out of the saltwater taffy bowl.  Saltwater taffy and the draft are my personal tradition and a total match made in heaven.

Now I’ll just go get the rest of my jazz done, if nobody objects, so I will be free to vegetate this late afternoon.  Catch y’all later.

Diamond Girl

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[Insert Verb] Like It’s 1912

My heart rate from last night’s 9th inning had barely gotten back to normal when today’s game started up.  I was panicking like it was 1912 last night.  (Anyone mind if I just tack “like it’s 1912” onto the end of every sentence in this blog post?  No?  Good.  Because I’m doing it either way.)  By some luck which has evaded the Giants for most of this season, that game actually went our way.  Although MadBum lost what was about to be his first complete game – a shutout, no less – the bullpen was able to do the job eventually and San Francisco took Game 1 of the series.

Game 2, of course, was Gimmick Game of the Year.  I have the utmost respect for the Giants promotions department, whom we have to thank for the spot-on-location-targeted Giants Belt Buckle giveaway, ‘cause Californians love their belt buckles, as well as Orange and Black Fedora Giveaway (Which Unwittingly Teaches the Youth of San Francisco That It’s Okay to Be a Hipster).  Let’s not even talk about the Orange Texting Gloves – aka, fingerless gloves ­- giveaway.

Point is, Turn Back the Century game was quite an, er, sight.  We’re talking no video scoreboard, uniforms that were supposedly retro but let’s face it, just looked like the Yankees, and select stands with 12 cent peanuts.  I was basically channeling my inner Grinch Who Stole Cute Gimmick Game.

Let’s just say 1912 isn’t really my era.

I know this was 1910 and it was England (and and it was filmed in Hollywood in 1964) but seriously, bad fashion?  Check.  Bad music?  Check.  The Giants were absolutely marvelous that year but I would guess that was the highlight of being alive in 1912.

I still vote for Meditation Day at the ballpark.

On to the actual game, Matt Cain was wonderful because, you know, he’s Matt Cain.  I was also completely astounded to see that his career record now is now a cool 75-75.  Scratch everything I said.  I would tolerate everything about 1912, not to mention sell my soul to the devil, if it meant a winning record for this guy.  Still, his comment about the win-loss record is a sage one (from the San Francisco Chronicle): “I could care less what my record is as long as we’re winning.”   And win they did.  The final was 2-1 and it was a good, tight game.  The Cubbies might not be the cake I previously envisioned, but with two games left to go in this atrocity we call a four game series, I am feeling rather good about it all.

Party like it’s 1912, guys.  Never mind the bad fashion and bad music.

Diamond Girl

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