Tag Archives: angel pagan

The Odds Were Ever In Their Favor

So that was a mixed bag, hm?  (Bag meaning game, of course.  Not a literal bag, guys.)  The Giants edged out a win at 5-2 and in the process, snapped the four-game losing streak.  Plus Ryan Braun hit a homer, so I can’t really complain.  MadBum is quickly proving himself to be the surprisingly fantastic one, although it isn’t really surprising at all.  Still, who predicted him to be the designated stopper in 2012, plus hit splendid RBI doubles?  If you did, feel free to raise your hand.  Fresh brownies are waiting to be sent over to you via the World Wide Web if you have proof.  If nobody comes out of the woodwork, then I will just assume that we are all surprised.  It’s not that he hasn’t been fantastic in the past, because he has been.  But sighing with relief when he takes the mound?  That’s new, at least for me.

Angel Pagan is also making himself known to Giants fans and call me crazy, but I am totally seeing a little rivalry between him and Andres Torres, who were traded for each other over the winter.  Torres has gotten a hit and RBI in every game since coming off the DL in New York and Pagan is currently sporting a 19 game hitting streak.  Remember when Uribe and Huff used to hit back-to-back homers (sort of) all the time?  Friendly rivalries, even if imagined by crazy fans like me, are terribly fun.

Speaking of Huff.  If you haven’t read this piece where he discussed his anxiety disorder with the Chronicle’s Henry Schulman, read it now.  Seriously.  Not only is it very touching, it’s also informative.  As before, we (okay, I here) at Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend wish him all the best and hope that everything goes up from here.

The game today was interesting to me, in that all of the issues from the past few days and the season so far, really, were still there, but they did get that win, by luck or by skill.  Baseball is funny like that, isn’t it?  There weren’t really fundamental changes, aside from a few choice hits with RISP.  More like the odds being ever in their favor.

I admit it.  I said that just for the Hunger Games nod.  But still.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Yesterday, Rivera said to the media, “I’m coming back. Write it down in big letters. I’m not going out like this.”  You. Do. Not. Even. Know. How. Tempted. I. Am.  (To write it down in big letters, that is.  If I can find a big enough piece of paper, I am totally doing that tomorrow.)

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They Will Pitch Well and Make Us All Gloomy with RISP Stats and Other Predictions for the Coming Months

Hello, darlings, and apologies for my semi-accidental absence.  I ended up spending the weekend lying under a large shady tree just bein’ lazy, as Bing Crosby might say, and watching/listening to baseball in the moments that I was not doing aforementioned laziness.  No time for blogging, see what I mean?

Anyway, now that it’s the last day of the first month of the season and we have an off day at last (thank you, Bud Selig, you’re the best-ish), I am back to break everything down.  April has been a strange month for the Giants, but then again, isn’t it always?  You can’t say any of the games mean anything but it is certainly important in terms of getting to know the team’s personality on the field and often, I think, if you look back at April at the end of the season, you’ll see a lot of things that now look like psychic hints, even if they weren’t the least bit apparent at the time.

So!  I’m just going to go on that hypothesis.  If April tells us everything we need to know about this team, what does that mean for them?   Observe, 2012 Trends for the Gigantes:

Hair Will Disappear

Why would I think this, you ask?  Nod to Timmy’s haircut and Brian Wilson’s season-ending Tommy John surgery.  The hair everywhere trend is so 80s, you know.  The Giants are just now getting clued into this and life has never been better.  In that sense, at least.

The Whole Season Will Feel the Dog Days of August, aka WEIRD

I am staunchly convinced that April felt like August this year, so you probably will not be able to dissuade me, no matter what you try.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I direct you to the weird injuries like Buster Posey’s shingles and Aubrey Huff’s anxiety disorder.  Stuff like that is supposed to happen when everyone is wiped out from a long season.  We’re in for that all year, it would seem.  I am going to need to break out my extraordinary multitude of virtual Get Well Soon cards soon.

This Will Be the Year of the Triples

You heard it here first.  Of course, you saw it first on the field with Angel Pagan and Nate Schierholtz and people, but hearing is more important than seeing so I win, in this situation.  Anyhow, I have always been of the opinion that triples are the secret weapon of playing at AT&T Park so they should probably, you know, utilize that.  This year will be the year that Happens with a capital H.

Interleague Play Will Be a Drag

Okay, no proof here.  But it always is, so that’s just a safe assumption, right?  Until they play the Rangers, that is.  That will be wondrous, of course.

They Will Pitch Well and Make Us All Gloomy with RISP Stats

Safe assumption, 2.0.

But really, I am encouraged.  April has not been disastrous, mostly, and blue skies show summer is coming.  Baseball is just getting started.  Restock the orange juice and settle in.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Yu Darvish is on ESPN tonight which means I can fine-all-ee watch him.  I am so excited you do not even know.  The Rangers were also in ESPN last night, facing the Rays, and I remembered that Jeff Keppinger is with them now.  Remember him, Giants fans?  He had an RBI in the Rays 5-2 victory.  This is Emily’s miffed face, right here.

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Well, That Was Better Than It Could Have Been…

…but also, probably, worse than it could have been.  In Dream Diamond Girl world where blueberry muffins grow on trees and my computer never freezes up.  Ah, Dream Diamond Girl world… okay.  Back to the point.  The Giants finished up the (what feels like endless) roadtrip today in Cinci with a 9th inning comeback – hugs, Angel Pagan – and now have a winning record, at 10-9.  Can you believe we’re 19 games into the season?  And if so, can you believe the Giants have only been on the road for less than a week?  It feels like ages, people.

I want to break it all down, because when there are no off-days, I feel perpetually rushed. 

See, I’m pretty bipolar about off-days.  On the one hand, as I’ve bemoaned before, I loathe them.  No baseball?  Shoot me, please.  On the other hand, the chance to sit back and have a mini-offseason to think things over is rather useful.  On that note…

I case you can’t see that, because my camera does night like text, that reads “Dear Bud Selig, The Giants like off-days, too.  Love, SF Diamond Girl.”

Just throwing that out there.

Anyhow.  The Giants have a pretty strong case of very good stuff and very bad stuff, but not necessarily a lot in the middle.  The Sandoval hit streak gets more amazing and weird and wonderful every day and, as it turns out, Pagan has a bit of a hit streak going as well.  The hitting with RISP numbers are still dismal and the bullpen is facing difficulties as well.  The team hasn’t quite clicked out there, save for a few times, and the minor injuries certainly build up to create trouble.  Freddy Sanchez had a setback in rehab and one series away from May, that raises some pretty serious questions.  (And I’m not talking the “Are you related to Jonathan???” kind of serious questions.”

Mostly, though, I am feeling optimistic.  No, really.  I am.  Three-and-a-half out from the Dodgers and the season is progressing.  Basically aside from Timmy’s struggles, the Giants haven’t had any huge surprises, performance-wise.  They’ve been dismal with RISP for a good long while now and as long as the pitching holds up, they are perfectly good.

And if the pitching doesn’t hold up, well, the NFL draft was today and the season isn’t that far off.  The Niners might compete and stuff, especially if they hire me as GM.  Don’t be too depressed, Giants fans.

Diamond Girl

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Diamond Girl’s Most Innovative Companies of 2012 (Okay, Not Really)

Spring training cuts have begun!  This is bittersweet for me.  To some extent, I like the narrowing of the field and removing-players-who-I-never-knew-existed-in-the-first-place, but I also have a bit of a romantic view of Spring Training and seeing all the mini ballplayers (who, granted are not all that mini at all) getting cut is a little sad.  It also reminds me that the season is coming, coming, coming.  Soon.  This is right about when I reach for my flatiron.  I love the season but it makes me terribly jittery.

Anyway!  I am feeling positively optimistic about the Giants at the moment and am I really alone?  Pagan and Cabrera are making me feel like we should have snapped them up and made them play in orange and black a million years ago and you all know how partial I am to Conor Gillaspie.  Starting with the name, ending with the way he plays.  Spring Training is quite probably the only time I will get to see him rubbing shoulders with the big leaguers, so I am soaking it up.  Along with all the rain that is soaking the windows right about now.  To say I crave Arizona sunshine would be an understatement of potentially earth-shattering proportions.  Then there’s Brandon Belt, of course.  Even since last year, I think we’ve all been murmuring conspiracy theories and considering possible terrible punishments for Sabes if he doesn’t treat him better this year.  We will soon know, we will soon know!  Can you tell that I am loving this?  Let’s just say it’s a pretty fabulous break from achy back/editing book/writing new book/working at job/doing this weird thing called school.  Baseball rockz with a  girl band z.  Okay.  Gooey rant finished.

Then there’s the whole personal element.  Even though the Giants are generally in my very own city of San Francisco, they feel closer and more homey when they’re in Arizona.  (Don’t question my logic, I’m terribly sleepy over here.)  I think it has something to do with all the sweet stories of nice autographs to little kids and meal money and Chipotle.  Lots of Chipotle talk.  Because apparently it’s all baseball players eat ever.  I swear, they could do a whole ad campaign based on hungry baseball players.  They’re already one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2012 (you can read that piece here – it’s fascinating) but they only clocked in at #34.  This could totally push them over the edge.  Take ‘em to #1.  They also might make it onto Diamond Girl’s Most Innovative Companies list.  Which hasn’t even been made yet, but there is a first time for everything. 

Okay, time to write a pitch to Chipotle.  I should get going.  And smile in a misinformed way about the NBA news that Andrew Bogut was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to my hometown Warriors.  The one basketball game I’ve been to was Clippers vs. Bucks and I have been rather partial to Bogut ever since.  So partial that I just found out last week that he fractured his ankle in, oh, January.  Furious Warriors fans, no need to jump on me.  Misinformed is an understatement.  Still, maybe I’ll run into him at a gelato place I frequent in Oakland or something.  If we can get over the height difference, who knows, we might get along?

Diamond Girl  

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Brandon Belt’s Not-So-Subtle Message of Mayhem

As those of you who have been reading this blog for a year or more know (if you are one of those, well, thank you!), the beginning of Spring Training can be a jittery time for me.  It’s just like seeing someone you haven’t seen in a long while and wondering, Will we still like each other?  I mean, I’m completely in touch with my Giants over the offseason, but that moment of the first pitch is still another whole ballgame.  No pun intended, believe it or not.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised this year to find that my usual jitters had disappeared in a poof! of orange and black smoke.

It probably helped that my first game was actually the second game overall.  Blame the people over at Little League ump training who are quite probably A’s fans.  (Just kidding, people at ump training!  Sorta.)  I thought I would get to hear some of the first game, but the clock was not on my side and I ended up clean missing it.  I came back to a nasty sunburn and no ballgame.  Talk about buzzkill.

Upside?  When I settled in with my Giants fleece blanket- in the 80 degree weather.  Yeah.- for today’s game, I wasn’t scared in the least.  I was just so completely ready to get this game started that my nerves flew out the window and instead I ended up grinning like the crazy fish lady that I am and whooping my heart out when Joe Martinez came in to pitch.  Yeah, I know he was pitching for the Diamondbacks and all, but in my mind, he’s a Giant forever and always.  I hope he does smashingly well this year, against everyone but us and most especially against the Dodgers.

I also whooped my heart out for, well, everyone on the Giants, in case you’re wondering.  Even the ones who I wasn’t sure I’d heard of.  Hey, as long as they claim to be Giants I’m down to be a fan of theirs.  Such is the way of the Kool-Aid we call Spring Training.

And, oh, can we talk bees for a second?  If you haven’t heard the story yet, I’ll clue you in quickly:  a swarm of bees decided to make the field their new home for a cool 45 minutes or so and left pretty much everyone at the stadium in either the get-me-out-of-here camp or the get-them-out-of-here camp.  United we stand and divided we fall.  So we fell for a while.  A boatload of people and fire departments later then, they were disposed of.  We stood again.  It did, though, take multiple attempts to goad the pesky bees with lemonade and cotton candy.  No joke.  I told you Spring Training is weird.

Angel Pagan also got me as a fan for life with this quote (quote and photo from MLB.com): “I didn’t know what to do.  If I get stung by one, that means I’m going to get stung by a million. I was right next to the bathroom in case I had to lock myself in.”

I.  Love. This.  Guy.

Personally, I am of the opinion that those killer bees were none other than our own killer B, Brandon Belt, who is obviously a werebee and is sending not-so-subtle messages to Sabes and Boch that if he doesn’t get more play time during the season, mayhem will follow.

Yeah, that sort of mayhem.  Pre-cise-ly.

Lastly!  Kevin of www.westsideculture.mlblogs.com sent in this photo to me from Saturday’s Spring Training opener for the Giants.  I could not, obviously, pass up a chance to talk about Chris Stewart, so here ‘tis.  Chris Stewart rocks, mais non?

Diamond Girl

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