Tag Archives: all-star game

So Balkin’ Bob Davidson Has a Twin

So I missed today’s Giants game because I was at a mini-baseball tournament (massive tournament for mini-baseball players) with an ump who may or may not have been Balkin’ Bob Davidson in disguise. You know, Bob was suspended a game on May 18th this year and although I imagine he has served that and is back in action now, who knows, maybe he decided to brush up on his umping skills by going back to the basics? It sure looked like it. Over the course of three games in one day, he probably called upwards of six balks, on both teams. It was kind of weird, kind of funny and kind of horrible. Also, yes, there were three games in one day. Why do they put these kids – and, yeah, their long-suffering sisters – through this? One coffee and one overpriced passion fruit-peach-guava juice smoothie later, I am alive and still hearing “balk!” in my head.

I read that Melky was the star of the show for today’s final game in Miami, which the Giants captured by a final of 3-2. That guy is a one man team, for reals. I don’t generally work up the motivation to vote for the All Star Game until the last day or close to it, but I am feeling quite motivated at the moment. Because Melky is that smashing.

I decided to see if I could find a good GIF of Melky and I stumbled across this one on CBS Sports. It made me smile and I watched it, oh, one million times so I figured I should share the love. Grin. Be glad there is only one – scratch that, two – balk obsessed umps on the seven continents. I mean, I haven’t exactly scoured Antarctica or anything, so that’s just a guess. But probably a safe one.

Also! Thoughts go out to my Favorite Ranger Other Than Yu ‘Cause He’s Yu (not you). I’m talking about Alexi Ogando, who’s day-to-day with a bruised right hand. X-rays were negative, so he should be raring to go soon. In the meantime, send virtual blueberry muffins his way.

Diamond Girl

p.s. Hear about this guy who hit a homer by basically hurling his bat at the ball? Interesting new technique. They should introduce Handless Home Run Derby to the ceremonies in July.

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162 Things I Loved About 2011 In San Francisco Giants-Land

In no particular order, in honor of the 162 games of the regular season…

162.  The walk-off on Opening Day for the second consecutive year.  And provided some awesome entertainment along the way as I drove to Fresno to see the Grizzlies Opening Night.

161.  The new and improved Pablo Sandoval.

160.  The rather awesome drama and content they provided for their reality show.

159.  Heck, they had a reality show!

158.  They carried first place for a good long while, even though they didn’t finish with it.

157.  They had All Stars.  A whole bunch of them.

156.  They gave me bragging rights for life.   We got Carlos Beltran.  (Never mind what happened afterwards.)

155.  They kinda massacred the Chamber of Horrors, aka Coors Field.

155.  NATE.  That is all.

154.  Their hitting coach who takes, “Reach for the moon, if you fall down, at least you’ll fall in the stars” very literally.  Like, he’s-going-to-the-moon literally.  It’s sure to bode well for the offense in the future.

153.  They chewed gum at the White House.  It was strangely endearing.

152.  Heck, they went to the White House!

151.  They were so resilient I can’t even express it in words.  Well, maybe I could.  But I have a whole lot more of these to write, so I’m not going to get into it.

150.  Santiago Casilla and his epic and previously undiscovered closing skills.

149.  Brett.                                   

148.  And Brandon.

147.  And, oh, the other Brandon too.

145.  The multitude of B’s!

144.  The incredibly pleasant surprise that was Eric Surkamp in his first start back.

142.  And the incredibly pleasant surprise that was Ryan Vogelsong all around.

141.  Chris Stewart.  And his brainiac-ness.  And his overall awesomeness.

140.  The fact that AT&T Park exists and is amazingly beautiful.  Pays to remember that, every now and then, right?

139.  D-Ro having a few more special moments.  I really hope he’s back next year in some way.

138.  Madison and his trademarked first inning meltdowns.  And yes, that he was otherwise amazing.

137.  Bruce Bochy.  ‘Nuff said.

136.  Conor Gillaspie(The name!  The name!)

135.  Those special little moments when Guillermo Mota came in for long relief and just saved us all.

134.  Getting to see Travis Ishikawa one last time, when he got his ring.

133.  OH!  Yes!  The ring ceremony…

132 …and the mismatched, mint colored boxes the rings came in…

131. …and Sergio Romo goofing off at the ceremony…

130.  …and seeing Nuekom with his adorable bowtie there (though, unfortunately, it wasn’t orange) one more time.

129.  There was also Vogey’s lovely little speech when he got the Willie Mac Award.  

128.  Remember when Tim Flannery, third base coach, sang the National Anthem?  Epic.

127.  The crazy thunder storm/rain delay in Detroit.  And the way the broadcasters filled the empty time.  That was magical.

126.  Kepp’s walk-off vs. the Astros.  So there, Houston.

124.  Crawford’s grand-slam in his first game against Milwaukee.  Remember that?  Goosebumps and smiles.

123.  The prank Ross et al. played on Huff.  Which we got to see because of aforementioned reality show.

122.  Did I mention, THE GIANTS HAD A REALITY SHOW?

121.  When Brandon Belt met a baby giraffe and took pictures with it.  That may actually be my favorite moment of the entire year.  Seriously, how utterly fantastic?

120.  That they never missed a beat, even after the loss of Posey and then Sanchez.

119.  Timmy back to being Timmy, for the most part.

118.  And Timmy and Matt Cain both reached 1000th career strikeouts, which was fabulous.

117.  Finishing ahead of the Padres.  Vendetta?  Yes, vendetta.

116.  Romo shaving.  Because that may imply that other people will shave soon.

115.  coughcoughBrianWilsoncoughcough

114.  NATE.   Again.

113.  And Nate’s upper deck shot in Colorado that his brother got.  Too many awesome things about that to mention.

112.  Slightly irrelevant, maybe, but Jon Miller not doing ESPN any more meant that he broadcasted for KNBR on the weekends.  Which was enough to make the season, right there.

111.  Together, We’re Giant.  It actually grew on me.  (But It’s Time is still, and always will be, better.)

110.  The “sellouts”.  Because they seriously cracked me up.  Especially when the upper deck was e-m-p-t-y.

109.  The little Sabean moment in Moneyball.   When Billy Beane totally played the Giants.  My rational mind was outraged and the rest of me was snickering.

108.  Watching Pablo’s defense just reappear before our very eyes.

107.  Being there for Carlos Beltran’s 300th career homerun.

106.  And speaking of homeruns… Brandon Belt had a couple to remember.

105.  And when Brandon Belt made the club out of spring training and it felt like nothing could possibly go wrong.

104.  The fact that some people didn’t get injured.  Can’t think of any?  No, I’m sure there were a few.

103.  The fact that Aubrey Huff always has good years after bad ones.  Most definitely.  This bodes well for 2012.

102.  While I hated that the cost for parking doubled, I think it was because they won the World Series. And I do love that.  So, by extension, I love the new parking rates.  Sort of.

101.  The Churros guy.  If you’ve ever been to a Major League ballpark, you know what I mean.

100-50. Looking at the new lineup every day, usually with my mouth gaping wide open.

49.  The few nice Zito moments.  They were there.  And they were smile-inducing.

48.  The fact that the year after the championship, while it wasn’t exactly a success, was not a collapse either.  This was a pennant race right down until the end.

47.  Can I just say one more thing about Chris Stewart?  His first Major League homerun rocked.

46.  When Edgar came back, if only for a bit.  *sniffles*

45.  And remember when Uribe came back?  *sniffles again*

44.  I also liked riding my first roller coast (no, really.  It’s related.) because it drove home that this season was like a roller coaster.   Which is to say seriously headache inducing, but fun afterwards.

43.  I don’t know how this all worked, but I’ve been hearing Giants ads for the Not For Sale Campaign.  If they’ve partnered, then that is most certainly something I love.

42.  Jeremy’s rebound year.  Minus the frozen burger patties.

41.  That they didn’t do anything silly like start the season in Taiwan.

40.  That they rocked their doubleheader at Wrigley.

39.  Matt Cain ruled overall, as always.

38.  That they let themselves get swept by Milwaukee in May.  I’m sure they have a crystal ball and knew they wouldn’t get into the playoffs, but the Brewers could, so they gave them that series.  Very thoughtful, you know.

37.  When Pablo Sandoval decided to retweet people who said nice things about him making the All Star team and he retweeted me.  It made me a lot happier than it rationally should have.

36.  When Bruce Bochy got congratulated by Ryan Braun on winning the World Series (minute 1:40.  I know you want to see it.)  This is what I call icing on the cake, people.

35.  NATE.  One last time.  Sorry.

34-20. This is when Diamond Girl had to leave unexpectedly to sniffle in the closet for a bit at the realization that this is really the end of the 2011 season.

19.  Okay!  Back.   Let’s do a silver lining thing now: not winning the pennant means the target-on-back will lessen or disappear.  And these Giants do better when there are no Great Expectations.  Sorry, Charles Dickens.

18.  They also helped me and my new fish bond.  I am quite positive that the reason my fish seems to be liking me more is that we’ve endured the torture holed up in my room (yep, I said torture) together.

17.  That, by some luck, these players channeled enough thoughts about balking to Bob Davidson that he actually called a balk on that fateful June day.  And also gave me a great photo-editing opportunity.

16.  Emmanuel Burriss’s nickname-picky mother.

15.  That they did not take me up on my Hawaii Vacation/gold watches offers.  Which means they didn’t do that well, but it also means I won’t be in debt for the rest of my life.

14.  Totally random memory:  Pat Burrell and Eli Whiteside both hitting triples in one game.  Weird and great.

13.  The promotions their awesome TV network came up with.  Especially the Ultimate Tim Lincecum one.  (Which I, eh, won.)

12.  The players designing endearingly horrific t-shirts.

11.  That they drafted another good-name player in the draft.  That is Joe Panik.  If only for the name, it was a good pick.

10.  Walk-offs!

9.  And more walk-offs!

8.  And even more walk-offs!

7.   The power outage in St. Louis.  Now I really credit the Cardinals (read: Tony LaRussa) for that, but it was a Giants moment anyway.  And a darn memorable one, too.

6.  When Cainer demonstrated he actually does have the ability to dress well.

5.  All the opportunities they gave me to use my dearly beloved balloon-popping set of photos from Despicable Me.  Because seriously, I love those photos.  Even if it meant they broke my heart.

4.  Last thing about Chris Stewart!  I promise!  But I remember the first time I saw him do a throwdown to second.  And I think I thought it was cupcakes and brownies and cinnamon roasted almonds all mashed into one.  (And yet it was good.  All those foods mashed together probably, um, wouldn’t be.)

3.  Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you shouldn’t let your kids watch baseball!  It’s educational!  I mean, this year I learned what “contusion” means.  Overandoverandoveragain.

2.  It was like a magical realism book (what is a magical realism book, you ask?  Read here and be enlightened.)  Stray bits of left over magic were everywhere.  And that’s even better than full-on magic, somehow.  (Although, yes, I like full-on magic when it means winning the World Series. But don’t interrupt my poetic-ness, please.)

1.  They gave me a lot to blog about.  A lot, a lot.  So I thank them for that.  And I thank you all for bearing with me and my weirdness and my love of strange foods and for reading and commenting here as well.  It’s been a brilliant, crazy year and more fun than I can possibly express.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to go reminisce for a bit more and then find my antlers and morph into Ranger-Girl.  Bye-bye, 2011 season.

Diamond Girl

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Some Unique First Hai– I Mean, First Half Awards

What did I take away from the 2011 All Star Game?

Justin and Jessica are having issues.  On-again-off-again is off right now.  So much for them eating tacos together, TMZ et al.  He was acting psycho.

(Note lame Fan Cave promos everywhere.)

Seriously, I was hoping he’d at least have a snappy outfit in the Bad Clothing Center of the Play aka the All Star Game, but no such luck.  His hat was nearly as terrible as that shirt.   Anyways, he’s now confirmed he’s a Dodger fan, so my Timberlake moment is over.  Flashing lights and all.

Anyway!

The game itself was kind of boring, except for Ogando and Gio pitching back to back.  That was fun.  But even when Wilson came in, the drama felt 100% manufactured.  I didn’t know who to root for, because I can’t decide how I feel about home field advantage and also because I actually liked more people on the AL squad, because the Giants don’t really play them so I have fewer negative memories of them hitting homers off us or whatever.  You know.  So I rooted for individuals and mostly just enjoyed all the players smiling at each other.  That’s so cute.

So I figure now that’s all over, I should do some mid-season awards.  Here we go:

First Half MLB Awards

Most Improved Hair: Michael Young

As previously discussed, the haircut goes a long way to making Michael look less like an evil blackmailer of Jon Daniels.  I’m liking him quite a lot right now.

Most Improved Facial Hair:  Barry Zito

I hated the ‘stache from moment 1.  The silver lining to Barry’s injury was that the superstitious baseball player that he is, he shaved it off.  And has come back lookin’ and pitchin’ better than ever.

Most Worsened Facial Hair:  Prince Fielder

This goes out to Wilson too:  beards like that make you look homeless.  Not to mention 10+ years older.  Bad idea all around.

Best GM: Theo Epstein

First everyone thought the Sox were going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Then everyone thought they were going to be a total bust.  I think we’re back to the greatest thing since sliced bread stage now.

Giant MVP: Nate Schierholtz

‘Nuff said, Giants fans.

Moment That Doug Melvin Outed Himself as a Shopaholic:  Ryan Braun’s Extension

I just can’t get it out of my head that they’re paying him through 2030.  Who knew that Doug and Rebecca Bloomwood are kindred spirits?

Best Brandon Moment: Tie between Brandon Crawford’s Homer in Debut and Brandon Belt’s Opening Day Call-Up

Our Brandons have made for some pretty great moments this year.

Worst Brandon Moment: Brandon Phillips Hit Which Resulted in Freddy Going Down

Other people’s Brandons?  Not so much.

So what are you awards and strongest memories from this 2011 first half?  Tell me, just because there’s been no real baseball for days and I am going through withdrawal.  Thanks.

Diamond Girl

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“Disgusting!”

You pay me (well, you don’t pay me.  Hint, hint.) to be honest so that’s what I’m going to be:  the band who opened the Home Run Derby was painfully bad.  I don’t know who they are because I turned it on in the middle, but I promptly turned it off then and waited for the real thing to start.  The pitchers who were supposed to be live tweeting from the sidelines had bad phone reception (think: roof closed) and so their tweets were delayed about an hour.  Not so live.  And the first round was mind-numbingly boring.  I munched on my licorice and cherries and sketched heart shaped faces with different haircuts while I watched.  All I remember is the strange broadcasters yelling, “Disgusting!” after one particularly impressive shot.  They were… strange.

Then came the second round.  That was a little better.  Fewer people, more drama and the broadcasters had run out of home run calls so they piped down a little.

Then came the third round and that was actually way exciting.  I have a bit of a Gonzalez vendetta (vendetta may be a strong word, but first he was on the Padres, now the BoSox.  Needless to say, I can’t stand him.) and I really like Robbie, not to mention the sweetness of his dad pitching to him.  So Cano’s come-from-behind victory was dramatic and lots of fun.

The other really sweet thing about the HRD was how many of the players had their kids on the field/in the dugout with them.  Matt Cain, his wife Chelsea and their daughter Harley Mae for sure won the prize for Cutest Ever.  Gotta love that darling headband.

This isn’t the first time Cainer or his fam have rocked the orange and black tastefully.

Maybe he’s a sleeper for the Best Dressed MLB’ers.  Who would have thought?

Carlos Beltran is fueling his own little The Decision fire, dropping hints about teams he would waive his no-trade clause for but I think the absolutely beautiful way he says “Pablo Sandoval” is a sure sign that he’s harboring a deep wish to come to the Giants.  I’ve read up about him a bit and I hope they let him sleep for part of the flight because he loves sleeping and I also hope they served him rice, beans and pork chops (favorite meal).  Playing Marc Anthony wouldn’t have been too bad either.  That’s his favorite singer.  If the Red Sox get him or something, I will blame it on a lack of rice, beans and pork chop on the charter plane.

The main event is tonight.  I think I need to go stock up on licorice.  I already miss Ryan Braun.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Dave Robertson in the All Star parade.  I’m not usually a squee person, but… squee.

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It Never Rains But It Pours and A Special Happy Birthday

I’ve had a great time in Detroit.  I mean, vicariously.  Through the Giants.  I love their hyper-emotive pitchers.

And their torrential rain storms and orange skies that follow kind of rule too.

(Photo from @hankschulman, which is basically to say I am not responsible for the quality.)

We have a lot to talk about so let’s jump right in…

I called that offensive explosion, didn’t I?  I actually said there probably wouldn’t be one.  But that meant that the thought crossed my mind when everyone else was just talking about them having no offense.  So I kinda-sorta called it.  15 runs, in all.  And six shutout innings from Zito after pitching on (short) three days rest and (long) three hour rain delay rest.  I can’t say I agree with his rapper choices (Mac Miller?  Really?) but hey, if it works for him.

Today was depressing with a capital D.  There was the whole hitting with RISP and the whole Pitchers Are Supposed to Throw Strikes thing, too.  Then again, this was a happy day- win or loss- because it signals the end of Interleague Play and the Giants taking two out of three left Detroit only half a game back in their division, which is good.  My money and heart are still on the Tigers to win the Central.  San Francisco finishes the roadtrip with a winning record and a lead in the West.  What more can a girl ask for?  (I mean, aside from hitting with RISP and strikes and maybe some D&G sunglasses.)

Today was also All Star Sunday.  I am appropriately indignant about several players (where is Elvis?  I mean, really?  Not on the roster?) because that seems to be a mandatory thing about being a baseball fan, but overall fine with the rosters.  Ryan’s the starting left fielder and he always promises to put on a good show, the Yankees cleaned up and I am in denial that someone I’ve never heard of beat out Joe Mauer, so all is well in the world. 

We also have a special birthday to celebrate- aside from, you know, the country’s birthday tomorrow- and that is the 44th of GM Extraordinaire #5, Brian Cashman!   Incidentally, Brian Sabean’s was on July 1st, but I was unaware.  So happy belated to him as well.  I think I need to make a calendar of GM birthdays.  This is unscientific, but they seem to mostly be born in December.  This is weird.  I need to investigate.  Catch y’all later.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  I know I am way too deep in Little League mode when I paste a smile on my face and say “Nice catch, Tiger” after Ryan Raburn’s catch.  I needed to remind myself that this is not LL and being nice to the opposing team is not necessary.   But that got me thinking that it’s actually a nice gesture they ingrain in the kids, like high fiving the opposing team afterwards, win or lose.  The fact that they mutilate that into high fiving their own teammates on the field afterwards at the Major League level has also struck me as strange.  Selig, are you listening?  Forget about the protecting the catcher rule change.  We need a rule change right here.

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