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Your Choice

Apparently, the Giants failed to notice the part of yesterday’s blog post  where, after I detailed how they could train wreck the rest of the season, I put a disclaimer.  In case you missed it too, it was: “Note: I am not endorsing this or recommending this.”

They are rather stubborn, this bunch, and they don’t hit ever, in the same way that Facebook doesn’t crash ever.  (Yep, I quote The Social Network when I’m depressed.)

Bochy named this as the Official Low Point of the Season, though frankly, I could think of some other ones, like the day when everyone got injured or the day when… well, you get the point.  This has been a season with a few ups and a whole lot of downs.

It’s not over, of course.  There are still a fair number of cold hard baseball games to be played and the Giants still have some great pitchers and, you know, Carlos Beltran.  None of that has changed.  They’re not brilliant, but in my opinion, they weren’t last year either.  There are the obvious differences like lack of Buster and Freddy, but stranger things have happened.

As much as a part of me wants them to just quietly slip off the map now, another part of me thinks that I’d sure as heck like a good show in the last month of the season, whether or not they end up in the playoffs.

I don’t think the team has changed that much.  I think it’s our perception.  The orange-tinted glasses have fallen off in a hurry and the Giants need to clean up the pieces.

I’m sure there are a lot of people who are just settling in for the wait until Opening Day, 2012, but that feels beside the point.  The season isn’t over until the last pitch is thrown, bottom line, as this team proved last year and until then we just need to ride with it as fans.

Or find an ocean paradise and sunbathe without a radio/TV/internet connection for a month and just forget Giants baseball exists.  Your choice.

Diamond Girl

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I Propose Two Options

We are, somehow, one series away from September baseball.  The Giants are going to be playing only other NL West teams this coming month, with six games against the arch-nemesis Diamondbacks and seven against the Rockies, who may contend a little down the stretch, just ‘cause.

Which means the Giants have 27 innings and three days to figure out what the heck they are doing this year and they’ll be doing it against the Cubs, starting tonight.

I’m not an absolutist and I do believe in fairies (I do!  I do!) but I think there are really just two options at this point.

First!  (Note: I am not endorsing this or recommending this.)

The Giants could fade away into the sunset that is the end of the baseball season and the hugable moments that were Eric Surkamp and Mark DeRosa on Saturday night will fade into the good-but-not-great memories of 2011.  This team has had a lot (a lot?) of injuries this year, after all.  This is a legitimate option.

Second!  (Note:  I am totally endorsing and recommending this.)

The Giants could realize that the darkest time of night is right before dawn and all that and the hugable moments there were Eric Surkamp and Mark DeRosa on Saturday night will soon be regarded as just predictions of what was to come for this team.  This team has had a lot (a lot?) of injuries this year, but they are mega-resilient, too.  This is way beyond a legitimate option.

So.  I think you can tell where I stand on all this, but as to what will really happen?  I’m stumped. 

In any case, I got a little lone-Barry-Zito-fan-happiness out of hearing that the ankle is doing a little better and he’s optimistic.  I’d like to see him back this year.  Yep, after all that.  I still would.

And speaking of the ankle!  Did anyone else see the photo of it they had on The Franchise last week?  I’m not prone to saying “ew” but for lack of a better word… ew.  They shouldn’t be allowed to show that kind of thing on TV without warning me or something.  Just an, “Emily- enormously swollen ankle, coming up next!” text would have done the trick, you know?

And no, I won’t show you a screen-grab of it.  Because I’m nice to my viewers, like that.

Diamond Girl

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Settling the No. 5 Spot the Old-Fashioned Way

Can you jinx something if you were really, seriously, totally joking?

(I was when I predicted the sweep, in case that wasn’t clear.)

Anyhow, the Giants sure looked like they’ve been jinxed. I am a sort-of eternal optimist, but not only has the offense been snoozing with RISP, the pitching was more than a little shaky too yesterday. The Phillies are making life hard here in San Francisco.

Understandable, then, the real news from last night was the brawl. I mean, I’d rather talk about a brawl than a 9-2 loss too. I’m not usually into fights, but that one was kind of great to watch. Whiteside, for whatever reason, always struck me as really mellow. I was surprised by his involvement. And the Phillie who put him in a headlock. Good television. Unlike the rest of the game.

I think the big questions that came out of the game, though, are, Major funk? (to which the answer is: yes.) and is Jonathan Sanchez really a step up from Barry Zito? I can’t decide. They have a bigger investment (ahem, very big) in Barry but Sanchez is younger and has more potential. Plus the no-hitter, which earns anyone a few brownie points. It’ll obviously depend on Sanchez’s other starts before Zito is eligible to come off the disabled list, but the whole fight thing got me thinking: we should settle this the old-fashioned way. One-on-one combat.

No, not combat like that. No fighting involved. Like a cook-off. Or a sing-off. Or a design-clothing-off. Iron Chef, American Idol and Project Runway all wrapped into one, starring two San Francisco Giants. I bet the ratings would beat The Franchise by a mile.

Here’s how I’m imagining it would play out:

Round 1, Cooking:

Zito: Cooks lumpy looking omelette. B-

Sanchez: Heats up noodle soup in microwave. F

Round 2, Singing:

Zito: Sings Crash Into Me, Dave Matthews Band. Slightly painful. But playing of guitar slightly redeems performance. C

Sanchez: Sings the Giants win song. Gives a whole new meaning to painful but receives points for cute choice of music. D

Round 3, Designing Clothes

Zito: Designs an odd plastic-y yellow suit, somewhat resembling a raincoat. He says it’s high fashion and leaves it at that. C

Sanchez: Designs a cool looking street-punk-trendy outfit. B

If you put it that way, I think we have a clear winner in Barry Zito. Or if you’re more of a traditionalist, then maybe we could just do a pitch-BP-and-players-rate-who-does better thing?

This afternoon’s game is nationally televised and the Giants are now .5 a game ahead of Arizona. Deep breaths, people. Deep breaths.

Diamond Girl

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There Are Many Reasons I Do Not Like Cincinnati.

There are many reasons I do not like Cincinnati.  One of the things is that I always forget about them, when I’m trying to list all the teams.  I also (embarrassing confession here) confused them with the Twins for more years than I care to remember.

The foremost reason, though?  Their weekend sweep of the Gigantes, culminating in a dismal 9-0 victory in which someone actually struggled as much as Zito did.  I mean, not one person.  The whole offense.  It was a game that made you wonder why on earth Sabean thought Beltran was enough.  Kind of, Why not Pujols and A-Rod and Reyes and Braun and Ethier while you’re at it? feeling.

Maybe it didn’t make you wonder that.  But trades have infected just about every moment of my awake time and I have started to dream about them at a startling rate as well.  The upshot of all of this end-of-July craziness is that my quintessential Rockie, Ubaldo, is in Cleveland and my quintessential Dodger, Rafael Furcal, is in St. Louis.  And that the Giants- other than Zito and our offense saviors 0’fers since being traded- are in a nice spot.  Sure, this upcoming series against Arizona is scaring my hair into being curly again, but the fact is the Giants took one of the premiere hitters off the trade market and are legitimately poised to defend that- ahem, is this a total jinx?- championship.  Same on the Rangers side, actually.  Their brilliant bullpen bolstering will make them a real serious force to be reckoned with, I think.  I’m happy with how this trade deadline has played out.

Weirdness?  Tomorrow is August.  Dog Days.   

This season is going by in a heartbeat.  I know Sabean better than to think this is the team we’re going to have down the stretch but… who knows.  This could be the team we’re going to have down the stretch.  I better settle into spelling Keppinger’s name.

Diamond Girl


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3 + 3 = 3 Wins + Mandatory Low Point In Trailer When Main Character Cries Or Almost Cries If He Is Tough Guy Brad Pitt So He Can’t Actually Cry

I don’t drop “Baseball Gods” a whole lot.  But when people hit triples, they always feel like little gifts from Baseball Heaven.  And has anyone else noticed that they do tend to come to people who really, really need them?

Like Pat Burrell  who is rumored to be the odd man out later this year and Eli Whiteside who has, well, big shoes to fill.  And he isn’t really fillin’ them.  Then Billy Hall’s (am I coining Billy?) magical half hour with Bam Bam seems to have paid off, which comes at a nice time when Freddy pessimism is at a 2011 high.  I am all for the holistic, natural approach and have (some amount of) total confidence that the shoulder can heal on its own but it’s good to have some, ahem, backup.

Which means that this night of three basers notched MadBum his third win of the year and a 3.21 ERA.  Sometimes I have the urge to bang the heads of the offense together but then I remember that they do things like hit key triples and I go to my punching bag (laptop keyboard) instead.

We are on our way to sweeping the Diamondbacks, which is a phrase I would have been petrified to utter a few days ago.  This is good.

Zito is moving up in the world and will be starting in AAA Fresno tonight.  I guess this must be his first time pitching for the Grizzlies and I think he’ll fit in.  No snarky-ness there.  Barry and Chuckchansi Park just seem like a match made in heaven.  Still, I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel like the clock is ticking down to doomsday.

The first Moneyball movie trailer hit the web yesterday my skepticism about it is fading.

I think it looks really good, actually.  The hairdresser captured Billy Beane’s vaguely volumized hair perfectly and even if they look nothing alike otherwise (yeah, that’s a big cause of mine) they do kind of make the same expressions.

And am I the only one who thinks doing this looks incredibly fun?  Even if that is the mandatory Low Point In Trailer When Main Character Cries (Or Almost Cries If He Is Tough Guy Brad Pitt So He Can’t Actually Cry).  So I don’t think it’s supposed to look fun.  But it does.

Someone else commented that the field looks suspiciously dark in this walk scene and why doesn’t the stadium have any lights?


I will be in the theater opening day, I think.  I’ve only done that for one other movie, Takers, and it was unwarranted.  That was a terrible movie (not to mention Hayden Christensen’s character was the first of the bank robbers to die, which tempted me to demand my $8 back, but that seemed petty).  I have hope, though.  I kind of think this might be my first baseball movie love.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Congratulations to former Giant/Grizzly Jesus Guzman on his call-up to San Diego!

I remember seeing him during his two weeks up at AT&T Park in 2009 and enjoying watching him play.  Wishing him much success.  I mean, some success.  Enough for him to have a happy career but the Padres to keep on their last place, sub-.500 ways.

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