Tag Archives: 2011

No, That Was a Dream and The Amazing Nerd Paradise That is Google Trends

First, congratulations to Nick Swisher and his new wife Joanna Garcia.  People reports that her veil was by Monique Lhuillier, and his tux was by Burberry London.  Getting married in style.

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I had a dream last night that it was Opening Day 2011 (wishful thinking, huh?) and the Giants were playing the Diamondbacks in Arizona.  I remember how I was just ecstatic, listening to my radio.  Timmy was starting.  So he throws the first pitch and Jon Miller says, “He [whoever the hitter was] hits a high drive… deeeeep to left… way back… it’s gone!”  Oops.  Let’s all join hands, virtually, and channel positive energy so that the first pitch the Giants throw in 2011 will not be hit for a homerun. 

There’s also this thing called Google Trends (www.google.com/trends) which I’ve fallen in love with.  You can search a term and see a graph of how much people are searching it, what cities it’s most popular in, etc.  So what did I do?  I searched “sf giants”, of course.  Here’s the graph.  Any surprises?  The world was fascinated by the Giants this year.

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Incidentally, “sf giants” is most popular in San Rafael, San Mateo, Oakland and “san francisco giants” is most popular in Pleasanton, San Francisco and Stockton.  Which would lead me to believe that people in the latter cities are more into complete words and sentences.  And “texas rangers” has something of a following in France. 

I am a little bit addicted to this. 

So I looked up “mlb” and saw that it usually spikes near the end of the year (around the postseason/World Series).  No surprises there.  The three most popular cities it is searched in, however, are Santa Domingo, the Dominican Republic, Caracas, Venezuela and Waterloo, Canada.  I was surprised by the Canada part.

 

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More specifically, here is the graph for searches on “mlb” in 2010.

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And, lastly, the “sf giants” in 2010.

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I also saw that “cliff lee” is a garnering a fair amount of interest.  But I bet he would get more if he signed with someone.  Taking a long time at first was building suspense.  But now the suspense has sort of disappeared.

I’m thinking Yankees, at this point, and in a way I hope it is.  A seven year, heck-of-a-lot-of-money deal might be disastrous for the Rangers.  It could be disastrous for the Yankees, too, but they have a little more money to play with.

Hope I didn’t alienate all my non-nerd readers.  I promise to wait a few posts before bringing the nerd in me back.

Diamond Girl

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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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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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Diamond Girl’s Retrospective of the 2010 Season

(Quickly… looking through the This Year in Baseball Awards and it’s so much fun to relive it all.  Armando Galarraga.  I’d forgotten about that, can you believe it?  Roy Oswalt in left.  Ichiro and a teenage girl being the ultimate Teenage Girl.  Dallas Braden’s perfect game.  So many fun moments.  Anyway.  Two quick things.  I’ll try to keep them quick.  First- I saw the Ryan Braun’s catch against the Giants on September 17th is one of the top plays.  To be honest, I’d forgotten all about that too but now I’m remembering what a fun day, a highlight of the 2010 season, it was for me.  And how perfect it was for Ryan to make that catch.  Needless to say, I held my “I Love U, Ryan Braun” sign high.  I’m also campaigning for Jon Daniels for Executive of the Year.  If any of you live in or spend time in Berkeley, you’ll know that someone named Josh Daniels was running for school board in the last election, so there were signs for him all over.  Couldn’t we, in true Bay Area sprit, recycle them and make them say, “Jon Daniels for Executive of the Year”?)

 

One week tomorrow since the Giants became World Series Champions and the 2010 season finished.  Time to do my retrospective.  This collage is my photo highlights of things I’ve written about and done relating to baseball this past season.  This collage is joined by three all-important items:  designer sunglasses, a hairbrush (heart-shaped, no less) and a baseball.

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March

Diamond Girl sees video of Zito at Spring Training talking about new socks.  She is puzzled.

Opening Day

Diamond Girl sees Zito’s socks.  She prays that she is hallucinating.

 

Later in April

Diamond Girl visits LA.  LA survives.  Barely.

May

Buster Posey sees ball and hits ball in debut.  World calls NY Times, but Diamond Girl does not.  She is getting a (non-Buster-Posey-themed) pedicure.

June

Diamond Girl gets picture of self with Barry Zito and aforementioned picture sets record for most comments on DG’s Facebook page.  80% female comments.

 

July

When the NL bullpen at the All-Star game goes from a Dodger to a Padre, Diamond Girl begins rooting for the AL.  (Some historians link this to her later switch of allegiances during the World Series.)

 

August

Brian Wilson grows beard.  Male portion of world grows beards, female portion wears fake beards.  Diamond Girl does not.  She is getting a (non-beard-themed) manicure.

September

Tim Lincecum cuts hair.  Diamond Girl calls the NY Times to give a tip on the sensational story but they don’t answer the phone. 
               
Later in September

Diamond Girl luvs u, Ryan Braun.  Ryan Braun ignores.

 

October

Diamond Girl announces that she is rooting for the Rangers in the World Series.  World attempts to call NY Times but they have blocked World’s number, due to the volume of Buster Posey and Cody Ross related calls. 

 

November

Giants win World Series.  World celebrates by setting fires and turning over police cars.  Diamond Girl celebrates by taking off nail polish, straightening hair and eating (non-baseball decorated) vanilla cupcakes.

 

Diamond Girl + World + San Francisco Giants + NY Times live happily ever after.

 

The End.

 

::cue clapping::

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