Tag Archives: 2010

Why Barbra Streisand is a Better Awards Show Host than Harold Reynolds and Greg Amsinger

They should have just re-named the This Year in Baseball Awards the Giants Rule the Universe Awards, for 2010.  Seriously, we stole the show.  I agreed with most the selections, although I think Madison and Cain are overlooked way too much.  In my mind, one of them should have been Postseason MVP (or, you know, that guy named Cody Ross who hits homeruns obsessively?) instead of Timmy.  Not to say Lincecum didn’t do well- even very, very well- but in my mind he wouldn’t be the postseason MVP. 

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Cain and MadBum seem happy enough, though.

And then I sort of think looking at the 2010 payrolls (from US Weekly’s website) tells its own story:  one of the teams in the World Series had the ninth highest payroll, one had the 27th.  Sabean was brilliant about handling his team, no doubt, but I think Daniels should have been Executive of the Year. 

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The dorky player photo thing obviously transcends the field.  It applies to the front office too.

What really annoyed me about the Gibby’s, though, was how the hosts of the presentation show, Harold Reynolds and Greg Amsinger, announced a winner and then explained who they thought should have won and showed a highlight reel for that person.  Then they talked briefly about the actual winner.  Can you imagine if Barbra Streisand had announced Kathryn Bigelow as Best Director and then explained why James Cameron should have won and shown clips of Avatar?  Not cool, MLB.  Not cool at all.

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Diamond Girl

p.s.  Utterly off-topic, but The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the best Narnia movie yet.  King Caspian lost the Spanish-ish accent (and upgraded from his title of Prince) and it’s absolutely beautiful and very funny.  It’s slightly overdone at points, but if you need some offseason distraction, Diamond Girl says check it out.

And the Teenage Girl with Ichiro Being the “Ultimate Teenage Girl” should have won Fan Moment of the Year.  Ichiro ran into her trying to catch a ball and she is decked out in tons of Mariners gear.  Bo the Bailer has a lame nickname and no girlfriend.  Obvious winner much?

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Brad Pitt as Billy Beane is like Hayden Christensen as Stephen Glass + Three Pearls of Wisdom from Moneyball

And the Winter Meetings are flyin’ by…  I am loving the fact that baseball is once again at the forefront of people’s minds although, as numerous people have noted (Mychael Urban and TR Sullivan both wrote great articles about this) there seem to be a lot of weird rumors coming this week, perhaps perpetuated by bored beat writers.  No matter.  It’s very fun for me to watch general manager after general manager interviewed because I’m a player transaction geek.  I am now stalking Jed Hoyer.

But who chose the hotel?  There are so many shots of it on the MLB Network and pictures of it everywhere.  They could at least have chosen a pretty building.  To me, the happiest place on earth would not have hideous architecture. 

I would also just like to say that I think Brad Pitt as Billy Beane is ridiculous.  Billy is more charming and better looking, to boot.

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Though I know I am obviously in the overwhelming minority of the female population when I say that.  It’s like Hayden Christensen playing Stephen Glass.  Except I like Christensen, so I don’t mind.  And Shattered Glass is an incredible movie so I can forgive it.  I’m not really sure how Moneyball will be as a movie, but I’m looking forward to it.

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The real Stephen Glass on the left, Hayden Christensen, of wood-board Anakin Skywalker fame, on the right

So this all reminded me how much I love the book Moneyball and the three pearls of wisdom I always remember from it.

“‘Why should noise have any more effect on the hitter than the pitcher?’ says Billy, a little testily. ‘If you’re playing away, you can just pretend they are cheering for you.’

Haven’t we all wondered this?  I sure have.

“‘In the last ten years guys started covering their lips with their gloves,’ snaps Billy.  ‘I’ve never known a single lip-reader in baseball.  What, has there been a rash of lip-reading I don’t know about?’

And last but not least…

“The new pitcher, Ricardo Rincon, gets two quick outs and gives up just one run on a sacrifice fly: 11-7.  With two out and runners on first and third, Art Howe [the manager], walks out yet again.  This time he calls for right hander Jeff Tam, newly arrived from AAA, to face the right-handed Mike Sweeney, who is, at the moment, leading the American League in hitting.

“‘ Why?  [says Billy] They take all this lefty-righty crap too far.  What’s wrong with leaving Rincon in?’”

Now I’m looking at the movie’s IMDB listing and seeing that someone named Sergio Garcia is playing Jorge Posada.  This is getting weirder by the second.  I need to go back to reading that Alex Rodriguez is going to get traded for Joe Martinez.

Diamond Girl

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Olives, Life, Baseball and Sunglasses, Feat. Jon Daniels in D&G Sunglasses (Yes, I Edited It)

My little brother was trying to wake me up this morning and having a bit of a difficult time.  So he said, “Emily, Matt Holliday was traded!”  “Mmm… to who?”  (It should have been “to whom”, but I was half-asleep so my grasp of the English grammatical system was slightly impaired.)  “The Mets!  For Johan Santana!”  I sat up straight.  “No way!”  Yeah, no way.  He wasn’t traded.  But I am awake now.

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So then I was eating olives and thinking about life.  And baseball.  And sunglasses.  And I realized that although Jon Daniels is obviously a good GM (Executive of the Year, people!) he has some style issues.  Namely, the sunglasses.

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They are atrocious, in my humble opinion.  Too small, too tight, too wannabe sporty.  So I decided to find some better ones.  These D&G frames are a little larger and have a hint of aviator, which is flattering to some face shapes.  Since he might not want to fork down the money for D&G sunglasses, there’s this guy in the Westfield Shopping Center in San Fran who sells fake designer stuff, who I’d like to recommend.  He tries to sell me a different designer every time I go there.

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I was going to give Jayson Werth some sunglasses advice, in honor of his, you know, huge and basically endless contract until I remembered that no matter how good the sunglasses are you have to look good underneath.  So step 1 is to cut his hair and shave off the beard.  After that, I can give some advice.  I’m thinking Versace.

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The.  Winter.  Meetings.  Begin.  Tomorrow.  Be excited.  Be very excited.

Diamond Girl

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This is for you, Eugenio (and a little bit for you, Executive of the Year) and Why Dave Groeschner is Due for a Mohawk

So this post was going to be for Eugenio Velez and then I read that Jon Daniels was named Executive of the Year by Baseball America and so I had to mention that first and foremost.  Congratulations to Jon and the whole Rangers organization.  Very much deserved.  It’s Time, and all that.

Anyway.  I miss Eugenio already.  Which is weird, because he hardly played last year, but I still miss him, you know, being there.  I know there is still the possibility that the Giants will sign him to a minor league contract, but I doubt that will happen.  At first I was very sad to hear they had non-tendered him but I’m trying to look at a bright side.  Hopefully he will find an organization that does need and want him now and has room for him in the majors.  I think if someone puts some confidence in him and gives him a real chance he will be a strong MLBer.  (Don’t breathe a word about his bunt attempts.  Seriously.  Don’t.)  And I do have a few teams on my wish list of who signs him.  Ahem, Doug Melvin or Jon Daniels?  Y’all should sign Eugenio Velez.  To see him in Brewer Blue or Ranger Red would make me very happy. 

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Meanwhile the Giants did tender Andres Torres, Jonathan Sanchez, Cody Ross, Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez and Santiago Casilla.  Ray and Velez are the two who were not tendered.  Both Burrell and Fontenot were signed to one year, one million dollar deals.  It looks to me (and probably to everyone else on the face of this beautiful planet) like Sabean is trying to re-sign everyone and keep the idea the same.  The problem I see with that, as I’ve written about before, is they’re not misfits anymore.  They’re players who won the World Series and are earning some nice money now.  Will it work again? 

Then again, there might be some big moves still ahead for the Giants.  Sabean tends to surprise us like that.  So you know when we’ll find out?  Yeah, you guessed it.  The Winter Meetings.  Three days.  I am still giddily excited.  Stay tuned.

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And it’s Day 8 and the snowflake earrings are still in my ears, in case you were wondering. 

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Dave Groeschner is due for a mohawk.  In the Inside the Clbhouse:  Hitters from January, he tells Pablo that if they go to the World Series, he’ll get one.  They went to the World Series.  Heck, they won the World Series.  He totally needs to get one now.

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Baseball is a Business. Rinse and Repeat.

Repeat it one hundred times and you may start to feel a little better about Uribe signing with the Dodgers.  As lovely as it would be if he had looked at $21 million over three years to wear Dodger blue and said no, it’s not reality.  Rinse and repeat.  This is therapeutic for me. 

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As I get my therapeutic shampoo, I chant one last Oooo-ribe in my head.  I’ll never forget doing that with 40,000 other people.  Magical.

The question this all brings, of course, is, Who now?  I vote for Ryan Braun at shortstop.  Kidding!  The Wall Street Journal reported that the Giants and Jeter’s agent have been in contact but I think that’s an atrocious idea.  For starters, no one really knows how he’d react out of the beautiful place that is NYC and additionally he’s not, um, extremely young.  He’s also looking for a lot of money which the Giants might be able to give, but you know, just because one has money doesn’t mean one should spend it.  Then there’s Miguel Tejada who batted .269 with 15 homers last year.  Not exactly a tremendous amount of pop at shortstop. 

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I’m honestly not totally sure what Sabean’s plan is for 2011.  It’s very early in the offseason, of course, but the odd way the team meshed was, well, odd.  And magical.  It’s hard to repeat magic and even if Sabean re-signed everyone, it wouldn’t be the same.  Perhaps he’s planning to start the year like he did in 2010, with a mediocre set of fielders and bullpen and hunt down some new mis-fits during the year.  If so, it’s a gamble at best.  If he’s trying to form a solid team with some big names, then the large contract Huff got is just the beginning.  What do you think Sabean’s 2011 plan is? 

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If I were Sabean, I think I’d be looking ahead towards 2012 when several prospects are projected to be ready for the majors.  While I understand baseball is business (rinse and repeat) and the win-now mindset is prevalent, I think signing older players into multi-year deals isn’t a good idea.  The Giants may contend in 2011, but I think 2012 is the year they will be contenders again and the long-term success of the team is more important, in my opinion, than the win-now thing.  But baseball is a business (okay, I won’t say it) and I think the Giants will be trying to defend the title it 2011. We shall see.

In Texas news, the Rangers signed Torrealba to a two year deal.  I was thrilled to see that.  While everyone’s been saying Lee is really important for the Rangers- and I don’t discount that he is- I’ve been saying, Catcher, catcher, catcher.  It seems to me that the toehold of Wilson and Lewis is still a little wobbly and a veteran catcher who can handle that staff is a top priority.  Good news down south.   Now I’m hoping Lee will, out of the goodness of his heart, sign with Texas.  And mostly that the Rangers keep that core strong and I think they will contend in 2011.

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Those’re my wish lists for my teams.  What are yours?  Just remember: Baseball is a business.  Rinse and repeat.  Be realistic.  And give it to Santa in time for Christmas.

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Hugs to all and enjoy the end of your Thanksgiving leftovers, if you still have any.  I think I’m all through.  I miss cranberries already.

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Diamond Girl

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