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Nothing All That Groundbreaking

So much to talk about, so much to talk about! 

The past few days have been busy ones on the baseball scene and particularly for us Giants fans.  News!  At last!  This is all rather exciting, so let’s get into it, shall we?

First, let’s talk Media Day, which was Friday.  We found out some important things like that Timmy might cut his hair, Pablo might have gained or lost weight or something but everybody’s glasses are broken and nobody’s really clear and Bruce Bochy has taken back #15, now that Beltran is safely parked anywhere but here in San Francisco.  (Otherwise known as St. Louis.  Yeah.)   Conspiracy theories abounded, which prompted me to remind people with wagging tongues that Bochy doesn’t control free agent signings and I highly doubt Brian Sabean cares what number Boch wears, but that ruins all the fun of theorizing, so then I just shut up about it and all the intricacies of front offices.  As I said, important stuff.  Angel Pagan is the new heartthrob of the moment it seems and Buster Posey is completely lovable as usual.

Forget what I said, actually.  Nothing all that groundbreaking at all.

Today, of course, was Fan Fest.  ::shivers::  I was tossing around the idea of going, after the fabulous Town Hall stream last night- more on that in a moment- but then I woke up and had French toast and enjoyed lying in bed far too much and really, why would I drag myself out to be trampled by masses of well-meaning but slightly crazed Giants fans?

If you answered, “you wouldn’t,” then you are absolutely right.  I stayed home.

Speaking of that Town Hall!  It was a really good time, actually.  More concise than usual (says Miss We Need More Extensive Interviews) and they really kept everything moving, which was good.  Kruk and Kuip were in fantastic, awkward form and ugly hoodies and badly fitting jeans abounded on the players.  Pretty much what you’d expect from that sort of event.  But seeing as it’s been months and months since a real, live, actual Major League Baseball games, I was inclined to absolutely adore every moment of it.  And live tweet it, of course.  Sorry, Twitter followers.  I know the revelations on Dan Runzler’s hair may or may not have entertained you.

I also loved the open season on Affeldt.  He takes it like a champ (World Series 2010 champ, yo) and has solidified his position as my Favorite Giant, which changes extremely often but who knows, he might hold it for a while.  His performance last night earned him it, for sure.

Huggles, y’all.  The season is getting close.  I can smell it.  It doesn’t smell like cinnamon and cranberries and pumpkin like the playoffs, unfortunately, but it does smell like fresh flowers and sunshine.  Which is good.  Very, very good.

Diamond Girl

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Revealing the Real Reason Behind Sabean’s Splurges

I am now going to say something I don’t think I’ve been able to say all offseason.  So this is, like, history.  Ready?  Okay.  Here ‘tis:

There is lots to talk about!

I know, completely gasp-worthy.

But with the arbitration deadline looming, Spring Training sneaking closer and today being Official Obsess About Yu Darvish Day (that is, Darvish Signing Deadline Day) it’s actually true.

It would also probably explain why I am in a very smiley mood right this second.  People have actually quit talking about some madness they call “49ers” and are discussing our darling Giants.

Among a lot of people I have never heard of, some guy named Pablo Sandoval settled a three year extension with SF coming out to three years for $17.15 million as well as Nate Schierholtz and $1.3 million, Santiago Casilla at $2.2 million and Melky Cabrera at $6 million.

There was a study a while back that I am having no luck finding (probably because, yes, half the internet is blacked out and pretending to be censored) about how people spend more in the first few months of the year because they’re depressed by the cold weather and therefore reaching for their wallets for some impulse buys.

Let me tell you, we are having some seriously depressing weather in the Bay Area right now.  Blue Monday was two days ago.  It’s no wonder Sabes wants to do some retail therapy.

While he’s at it?  He should, for pity’s sake, give Timmy what he wants.

Okay, fine.  Just kidding.  (Not about Timmy, about the other stuff.)  I know he needed to sign these people.  And aside from Casilla who I am no way shape or form sold on, I’m pretty good with all of the deals.  There is, of course, the fact that the 2012 squad is liable to look a good deal like the 2011 squad, Andres Torres look-alike and possible act-alike (that is, Angel Pagan) in CF and all but it… could be worse than 2011, I suppose.

On the bright side, maybe the Diamondbacks will be terrible!

(Yes, I am being depressing.  I know.  Blame the weather, yo.)

As for Darvish, Jon Daniels announced that the Rangers and Yu have made a deal for six years, worth $60 million, and although JD basically looked like death warmed over (blame the late night negotiations, not the weather for that one) I was seriously stoked.  For one, that’s a lot of boxes of pasta/BMWs Darvish can buy, right there.  And also, I mean, there’s the little fact that the Rangers have a fabulous new pitcher for their rotation.  Which is kind of good news.  To brighten up the depressingness.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  In case you were left at the edge of your seat from my last post, I will put you out of your misery now and inform you that I am indeed boycotting the Golden Globes for the next hundred years.  Definitely.  Probably.  Maybe.  We’ll see, actually.  No matter what, Howard Shore is still God and still should have won.

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A Word for Billy Beane and Five Things About 2012 to Get Excited For

I admit it: I do not know quite what Billy Beane was thinking with yesterday’s trade, which sent Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow to Arizona.  (Strategically done, of course, after the Winter Meetings because Beane is a spoilsport and doesn’t like doing things at the most dramatic time of year.  Excuse me, I’m in a bad mood with him right now.)  Looking at it unbiased, I would say it’s a gamble on the A’s part, but maybe a gamble that could pay off.

But I do have that bias.  Why, you ask?  I am not much of an A’s fan and really, really not a Diamondbacks fan.  But I am a Giants fan (duh, right there).  And that trade probably just made Arizona, oh, a thousand times better for 2012.  Really?  No slack for your across-the-bay-buddies, Billy?  I may have to renounce my Moneyball/Billy Beane love right now.  Jon Daniels so just got the Best-Dressed GM Award back, without even wearing any fabulous clothes.

After reading up on that trade, I went to look at Rangers news, but that was basically depressing too.

I told you I was having post-Winter-Meetings depression.

I figure if I’m all baseball-depressed, then everyone else must be with me.  So I’ve decided to list 5 things us Giants fan should be excited about for 2012!  Because aside from facing Cahill tons, there really is a lot to get stoked for.  Ready?  Okay.  You sure?  Okay.

5.  Vogelsong/Strong.  Vogey’s amazing breakout year in 2011 was… for lack of a better word, rather amazing.  Being the skeptic that I am, though, I want to see more of that before I go all ga-ga (not in the Lady sense).  I think we’re all really curious to see what he’s going to follow it up with and I, for one, am getting excited already.

4.  All the new wedding rings on the field.  They’ll glint.  In the stadium lights.  I think. 

3.  Angel Pagan.  Yes, I said it before, but I’ll say it again.  He has a fabulous name.

2.  Freddy Sanchez.  Picture him playing ball.  With just that image, are you not excited now?!  I am beyond, beyond excited to have him back out for the Giants.  Things are just sure to get better with him at second base.

1.  [insert cheesy line here about the smell of freshly mowed grass and hot dogs and the crack of the bat]

0.  This bonus one goes to The Dark Knight Rises.  I liked Batman Begins much better than The Dark Knight, to be perfectly honest, and unfortunately, Liam Neeson does not appear to be reprising his role in the new one (I mean, he was in a massive train explosion, but I don’t assume he’s dead) but I’m stoked to go back to Gotham City all the same. 

And, well, duh, The Hobbit.  But that’s so near the end of 2012 that it might as well be 2013.  Still, I am just about swooning over it already.

There we go.  This post just went from “Completely Depressing” to “Basically Upbeat”.  The movie talk and the cheesy line probably helped.

Diamond Girl

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Wrapping Up the Winter Meetings

I am already going into post-Winter-Meetings-depression mode.  That means dried apricots with whipped cream (very good) and staring dismally at the wall and pondering the meaning of life (not good at all).  As I’ve said before, the Winter Meetings are pretty much my favorite time of the year so I’m always sad when they come to a close.  But I can’t lie, right now I’m also a teensy bit happy.  Because all that drama is a little unsustainable, you know?  Which would explain the endless revolving door of reality shows on TV.

Anyhow, now all the GMs can go back to their cool offices and hang out in sporty-wanna-be-sunglasses, communicating by phone and email and all that.  Probably for the best.

Today was obviously a big one, because both Pujols and C.J. have settled on the Angels of Anaheim and signed ten and five year deals respectively this morning.

Swish is a bit surprised.  So am I.

At first I was in mega-Diamond-Girl-rage state because, yes, Dipoto we know you are new and want to show off a bit, but that’s kinda-sorta extreme. 

But after a little while I went into mega-Diamond-Girl-mellow state and decided that the Rangers still have the division in the bag.  I am sure of it.  Positive affirmations go far, you know.

I was never huge on C.J. in the confidence department anyway and they’re going to have Albert long after the Kardashian’s get pulled off air and skinny jeans go the way of shoulder pads.  This is for the best, Diamond Girl, this is for the best.  (Me talking to myself, right there.)

“Our goal is to win, but within a responsible business model,” says Jon Daniels.

Right.

Everything will be okay.

With the Giants, meanwhile, I can’t say I am sure about everything being okay.  Sabes says they’re done for the offseason (no Christmas gifts for use long-ish suffering fans?!) and that puts more than a few question marks on my world view.  There is, unfortunately, only one first base on the diamond so Huff/Pill/Belt will have to fight that one out in the boxing ring, I guess, and then I’m a wee bit skeptical of Crawford at short and of the Cabrera/Pagan/Schierholtz outfield.  Basically the whole team.  No biggie.

But I’m all into them positive affirmations today, so you know what?  I think the NL West is up for grabs and the Giants could very well grab it.

There.  We are all leaving the Winter Meetings as winners.

Winning.

Yeah.

That.

Diamond Girl

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Eugenio Bitterness, Name Battles and a Little Joey News

I didn’t like Andres Torres, at first.

I saw him- perhaps a little irrationally- as Eugenio Velez’s rival and nothing more.  Every game that Torres played was I game I wanted to see Velez in.  After Rowand was hit by Padilla in Los Angeles (yes, I was there but no, I did not hear the cracking of his skull from where I was sitting) and Velez was slumping pretty impressively in his place, Torres got some more playing time and gradually, I started to fall in love with his game.

I still had a bit of lingering Eugenio-bitterness, but then things heated up and Andres became one of the big faces on the World Series winnin’ franchise and I basically forgot about the rest.

Just about every media source has said this, since the news of his trade last night: it’s hard not to fall in love with him and his game.  He’s fun, magnetic and, sometimes, awfully good as well.

Then there’s Ramon Ramirez.  Any buzz he might have created after his trade to the Giants from Sox Who Wear Red at the 2010 trade deadline was basically extinguished by SF’s other bullpen acquisition at the same time, Javi Lopez.  Even though Ramirez ended that year with a- wait for it- .067 ERA and this year, his ERA was a respectable 2.62, he’s been largely anonymous to Giants fans.  Partially, probably, because his hat sits low on his head so we can never see his face and partially because he’s just not a spotlight player.  He threw me a ball at batting practice one day and struck out somebody I can’t stand, but that’s pretty much the extent of my distinct memories about him.

So that, to make a pretty long story pretty short, is why I met last night’s trade with mixed feelings.  I don’t think Torres or Ramirez are extremely valuable to the Giants organization nor are they irreplaceable, but I’m not convinced Ángel Pagan is anything different.  It seems ever so slightly pointless, a bit like Alderson and Sabes were either both played or both just going straight up, because I don’t think either side really got a whole lot.  Except, of course, that New York filched a reliever along with a center fielder.

Then again, these are the mystical Winter Meetings where GMs are ninjas with secret superpowers, so maybe I have just missed the larger plan/magic at play here.  Maybe it isn’t the moving-right-along-deal it appears to be.

I do have to say, though, that Pagan’s name probably tips out the scales in the Giants favor, as to who got the better end of the deal.  It’ll be much more fun to say, “Ángel Pagan” in center field than “Andres Torres”.  Sorry, Torres.  I love you, just… Pagan has you beat in the name department.

Also!  I have an admission to make: I have been sadly negligent in the whole monitoring-Joey-Martinez’s-career thing.  I searched him last night and discovered that not only was he the MVP of the AAA championship this season, but he also signed a one year deal with the Diamondbacks yesterday. 

The first part is very good news, the second part not so much.  He now has joined the list of Pitchers I Like In Arizona, also including Armando Galarraga (last year- he’s a free agent now).  This means he will be playing against the Giants far too much.  Come on.  Hands off my guys, Kevin Towers.

Diamond Girl

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