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Mini-Non-Denominational Things That Grow, Cam-Rod in Los Cabos, a Carrot for Brian Sabean and the Haunted iPod

I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I did get a Mini-Non-Denominational Thing That Grows for my desk because I am a sucker for sparkly trees.   And it sheds.  Everywhere.  All the time.  Why did nobody warn me about this occupational hazard of Mini-Non-Denominational Things That Grow?

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Anyway, the only noteworthy thing I’ve found on the baseball news front these past few days is that Alex Rodriguez is spending the holidays in Los Cabos with Cameron Diaz (can we call them Cam-Rod?).  Which is, of course, very noteworthy.  Not.   Hey, GMs, please make something interesting happen.  Diamond Girl is turning into TMZ 2.0.

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And Joe Martinez was designated for assignment by the Pirates.  Not good news at all.  Since Sabean is into the whole rejects and cast-offs thing, maybe he could re-sign Joey?  I’ll make him a baseball shaped carrot cake with wicked good cream cheese frosting if he does it.  Same goes for you, Doug Melvin and Jon Daniels.  Your carrot cake is waiting.

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Good luck to all braving the stores for last minute shopping today.  I braved the Apple store yesterday because my iPod Touch was moving by itself.  The geniuses at the Genius Bar said it was hypersensitive and gave me a new one.  I think it was haunted.  So far the new one is being normal, but I’m keeping my distance.  Freaky iPods are… you know, freaky.

Feliz Navidad and Joyeux Noël, y’all.

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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Confetti Falls from the Sky, Giants Fans Flood the Streets of San Francisco and Something Important and Barry Zito Related Happens

The World Series Champions Parade.  Party like it’s 1954.  But it wasn’t as gorgeously fairytale-like as the title might imply.

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It’s being said that there were over a million people and it sure felt like it.  Some of those people were also spraying champagne, and I, of course, got sprayed.  This is called Diamond Girl luck.  It was at least ten people deep at every point of the parade that I saw and as sweet as it was of some of the players to walk on the street instead of standing inside their bordering-on-incredibly-dorky-cable-cars, no one except those in the front row could see them.  So from my vantage point, a lot of them were MIA.  Still, the crowd was mostly happy and friendly and no denying it; the city was thrilled.  In the BART train, in the mall, everywhere, there were chants and high-fives and random, happy displays of love towards the Giants, the city and each other.  And the confetti falling from the sky was a bit fairytale like. 

A day doesn’t pass where something important and Barry Zito related doesn’t happen, so without further ado…

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(Photo from @bigleaguestew’s Twitter account.)

Hey, Barry.  I hate picking on you.  I’m going to try to be nice about this, because it’s nothing personal.  I just thought we were over any sunglasses that had even a remotely aviator shape to them.  ‘Cause remember?  They don’t suit you.  And you have to un-tuck that shirt collar if you wear it with that kind of sweater.  A splash of color somewhere wouldn’t hurt either.  I don’t know what, if any, is the dress code for the players in the parade, but I think something a little more fun and casual would be appropriate.  Or why not rock a fedora?

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If nothing else, get rid of the sunglasses, okay? 

I hope they’re enjoying the Diamond-Girl-Karma-Infused trophy.  All these player negotiations have made me turn my thoughts to the 2011 season.  May the trophy bring us all good luck in 2011.  I’m pumped- who’s with me?

Diamond Girl

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Is A Sense of Style a Key to Success in Baseball?

Summer has come and passed…

September is here (yes, I am aware that I am nearly two weeks late on that particular profound observation) and I have missed an obscene number of games, in the past week and a half, but I got to watch today.  Other than today, they’ve been playing good ball, which is almost enough to lead me to believe that I jinx them when I watch/listen.  Not really.  I think fans who feel they can jinx a team are being self-centered.  Barry Zito facing his shoes directly south in his locker before a start may have an impact, but what I eat for dinner is unlikely to.

Anyway.  Through this pennant race I’ve been thinking… what really distinguishes one team from another?  Good hitting, good pitching, good defense… they’re all hard to come by, but not that hard to come by.  I’ve become especially aware of this since watching Little League games where you see plenty of physically talented kids but realize that attitude is huge.  And team chemistry, which is tremendously corny sounding but strikes me as true.  As Aubrey Huff said, “I thought last night about what Bengie said to us on the bus when he found out he had been traded and was saying goodbye: ‘You guys have something special.'”

What is the something special?  Obviously not good fashion sense.

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Aubrey Huff at the annual Play-Ball Luncheon in his famous (or should I say infamous?) purple plaid pants.

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And Brian Wilson in his not-so-famous but equally hideous turquoise shirt at the same event.  I commend him for his obvious knowledge that turquoise is the color of 2010 but… not on you, Brian.  Sorry.

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Tim Lincecum at the All-Star game.  Three words for a hat at a press conference: it ain’t cool.

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Not just a hat.  Not just a white hat.  A white hat on TV.

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My theory is supported by the fact that the Yankees are a good team but don’t know how to dress.  The sunglasses.  The handkerchief.  The pose.  

So if it’s not fashion, is it something intangible?  Or is it just who is bought with the cold, hard cash?  What really distinguishes a winning team from a losing team and at what point does a team lose their “winning team” title?

I think money and acquisitions definitely play a big part but I think there’s also a big intangible part.  I loved the part of the Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon where they talked about baseball as a miracle.  It is.  And we are watching something really miraculous unfold in San Francisco right now.  (Other miraculous thing?  I added the “cisco” part to San Fran.  That’s a first.)  I think the “It’s Magic Inside” ad campaign was remarkably on the mark.

I’m curious to hear all your opinions (not just on the clothes, on what distinguishes teams).  And I want to be in San Diego for this final game of the series.  Wearing something beautiful.  Aviator Prada sunglasses are on the top of my list.  I tried them on at Saks Fifth Avenue a few days ago and… wow.  The design of those is miraculous, too. 

Diamond Girl

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And the MLB Hair Awards Go To…

The Giants walked off against the Padres on Saturday.  Very exciting.  But what were the first words out of my brother’s mouth when the team stormed out of the dugout? 

“Look at Burrell’s hair!”

Explanation needed, right?  Because earlier in the broadcast the play-by-play guys had said that Burrell keeps his hat or helmet off in the dugout because he thinks he has the best hair in Major League baseball.  ::Alarm bells go off in Diamond Girl’s head::

 
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I couldn’t find a source on Burrell’s quote on the internet, so don’t hold me to it.  But I, of course, thought, “no way!”  So here are my MLB hair awards.

Best hair:  CJ Wilson, of the Texas Rangers

I have become a Rangers fan.  Not just ’cause of Wilson’s hair.  Bengie is there too.

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Most in Need of a Hair-Cut: Tim Lincecum, of the San Francisco Giants

Here’s the deal: Tim Lincecum has a long face.  Long face + long hair + long pants = you look long.  Which is a style, I guess, but I would at least recommend a trim, if not a serious navy cut.  I think he’d look great, like that.  He could also use shorter pants, but we’re talking hair, here, not fashion. 

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Best Electrocuted Hair: Freddy Sanchez of the San Francisco Giants

As mentioned in my last post.  Gotta wonder how much gel he uses, because it stands up even after hours under his hat.  If he ever needs a new gel, though, I could recommend some fantastic stuff that I use from time to time, to hold curls.  I’ve tried it out to spike my brother’s hair a little and it works well for that too.

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Wickedly Craziest Hair: Barry Zito of (who else?) the San Francisco Giants.

On his website bio, Zito says, “the owner of some wickedly crazy hair.”  This photo is from his website, evidently to illustrate his point. 

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Most in Need of Growing Out Hair:  Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees

Picture is from the Eclipse premiere.  Yep, the Eclipse premiere.  Is A-Rod Team Jacob or Team Edward?  I have some issues with his sunglasses as well, but again, hair not fashion.

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Most in Need of a Haircut and a Shave: Corey Hart of the Milwaukee Brewers

I could not, unfortunately find a picture of him sans hat or helmet, but this should give you a sense.

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Most in Need of a Dye-Job: Juan Uribe of the San Francisco Giants

He doesn’t just need a dye job, he needs dye job to replace this one.  Come on, why blonde hair, Oo?

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Hair: Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants

Hair.  Not best, not weirdest.  Just hair.  The t-shirt is fantastic as well.  It’s vote for Row.  As in Rowand.  But the goatee is basically horrible.  So ’08. 

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Okay, gals and guys.  Here we go.  Who do your hair awards go to?  They can be from any team and in any category; new categories are fine, as long as it’s someone who has spent time as a major or minor league player. 

X’s and O’s, friends.

Diamond Girl

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