Tag Archives: athletics

5 Things I Loved About 2012 in San Francisco Giants-Land

The season is over.  The Dodgers beat the Giants 5-1 and now Theo Epstein And Other Losing GMs Whose Names I Can’t Remember are going into their war rooms/man caves/boring offices and getting ready to tackle the offseason.

Not Sabean.  Not us Giants fans.  The horchata ice cream is on steeping right now – horchata is a cinnamon rice drink from Mexico and it’s divine – and I am celebrating.  Because these playoffs, silly extra wildcard and all, are going to be pretty damn exciting.  There was serious drama in Oakland this afternoon with the A’s stealing the division title from the Rangers at the last moment and Emily, in the car, turning on her radio right before the last out and promptly, oh, slamming it off.

Still, it will be interesting for the Rangers.  They’ve lost in the World Series two years in a row… something had to change.  This could be just the shakeup they need, you know?

(Positive affirmations FTW.)

Anyway, as some of you (a few of you?  Yeah?  Maybe even one?) might remember, last year on the final day of the regular season, I made a list:  162 Things I Loved About 2011 in San Francisco Giants-Land.  I will go on the record as saying that was insane.  It took me a couple of days vegetating in bed and a few more days of H&M retail therapy to recover.  So, this year, I’ve decided to be do something a little… different.  5 Things I Loved 2012 in San Francisco Giants-Land!  (America’s youth is no longer ambitious.  You have proof.)

5.  The Marco Scutaro.  When Sabean picked up Scutaro, there was more than a little headshaking and whispering in this fandom – hey, you did it too, don’t even try to deny it – and then he began to hit and that was pretty much it.  The Marco Scutaro is spectacular.

4.  The Bullpen.  Believe it or not, Brian Wilson went down this season, even though it feels like ages ago now.  And this bullpen has stepped up big time.  Sure, there were bumps in the road, but overall?  I feel good about ‘em going into the postseason.  And that’s huge.

3.  The Buster Posey.  ‘Nuff said.  Also, huge congrats to him winning the batting title.  Hunter Pence is keeping secret what present the Giants got him, but I sure know what I would get him if someone would, um, donate the funds.

2.  The Matt Cain.  Who pitched a perfect game.  (Hey, that rhymed!)  Not only did that provide us bloggers with endless jokes about his perfection, all season long, but it also was, you know, a perfect game.  So there’s that.

1.  Making the playoffs.  There’s a foggy year in there somewhere (every year is a foggy year in San Francisco, but you know what I mean), but the Giants have bounced back big time and I think they’re seriously, seriously poised to do some damage in the coming weeks.  And if possible, I like this team even better than 2010.  Playoffs, here we come.

Also, antlers, here I come!

Diamond Girl

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My Dreams Have Officially Been Crushed

In today’s depressing news, “@Yoenis_Cespedes” on Twitter is not really the Cuban outfielder who reportedly closed a deal with the A’s yesterday worth $36 million.  (You could buy about ten gourmet cupcakes ‘round here with that kind of money.)  Why is this depressing?  Check out one of the account’s recent tweets:

also my fans i will be honest with u on this ok i really like oakland a jerseys and shoes they are very style and miami was just ok really

I was seriously clapping my hands together in glee at reading that.  I was all, “We have someone who is actually vaguely fashion-conscious on a Bay Area sports team!”   (Barry Zito lost that title when he wore this, of course.)  Then Jane Lee, of mlb.com, went and shot down once and for all that that was really his account.  Which was good journalism and everything, but still decidedly depressing.

I do have to agree with the troll- I mean, person- running the fake account, though.  Oakland’s uniforms are a thousand times better than those Miami ones.  Especially those new weird rainbow ones that they’re rolling out with their new stadium which may or may not also be rainbow themed.  Unconfirmed on that, but I’m working on it.  If anyone every did a baseball themed fashion show, I would totally recommend the A’s as a model.  Open for loose interpretation, of course.  Loose loose interpretation.  Just because I said they’re good in the scheme of baseball uniforms doesn’t mean I’m saying they’re ready for the runways.

Anyhow!  The Giants were so kind as to inform me very cheerfully via iPhone notes app that Spring Training is now three days away.

This was the photo reminder.  Instagramed, no less.

Three days!  Staying on the topic of cupcakes, since I can make cupcakes from scratch in just under 13 minutes, I could make about 220 batches of cupcakes, which is about 2640 cupcakes, between now and Spring Training starting.  Perhaps enough to feed the Giants 25 man roster?  Or to open my own gourmet cupcake shop that sells them for a slightly more reasonable price?

That would, of course, all be contingent on my taking no breaks on the baking front for three days.  Not even to check Twitter or scroll through photos of badly dressed celebrities.  Read: unlikely.

Still, this all goes to show that Spring Training is very soon.  To make a long story short.  Which is good news indeed.

Diamond Girl

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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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Why I Think AJ Preller is in Mongolia and Baby Giraffe Refers to a Viral Video of a Yawning Giraffe

I decided it was time to escape from the torture and I was missing my Texans terribly, so I snuck off to the O.Co Coliseum this morning and spent the day there.

It all started off very well, blow-out style, with the A’s walking in a run in the first and I was perfectly prepared to sit back and eat french fries that, yes, tasted a bit like gasoline. Then things got a li’l tense. Make that very tense. Eventually, the Rangers untied it in top of the 9th and after an iffy bottom, I went home with a heart rate slightly elevated and a 7-6 victory. They won and the Angels lost, which is the bottom line, but couldn’t they have just done it 10-0 or something, for this long-suffering San Fran’er?

I do have to the give the Rangers credit, though. They were the sweetest away team I’ve ever seen and I got an autograph from the former Best Hair in the MLB King, CJ Wilson (he might get that crown back, because now I’ve seen the hair up close) and their adorable pitching coach, Mike Maddux, the owner of a rather impressive mustache. Josh Hamilton also gave a bat away to a kid (the word is that he does that at every game) and signed for nearly 20 minutes, which is not exactly easy with the A’s dugouts. He was totally personable and nice to everyone. Love that guy.

The Maddux ‘Stache

I was secretly sneaking glances around, trying to spot AJ Preller (Rangers Senior Director, Player Personnel and former frat brother of Jon Daniels) but I figure he was probably on the Mongolian planes or something scouting around for awesome talent, not hanging in Oakland so I didn’t spot him. Better luck next time, when the appeal of throat singing has worn off, maybe.

Anyhow, I got home and saw a lot of things about a “Baby Giraffe”. At first I thought it was a viral video of a baby giraffe yawning or something (not irrational of me, there are loads) and then I realized that it actually had to do with one Brandon Belt. He, eh, hit two home runs. I don’t need to explain what that all means. Belt has been mismanaged this year no question, I think, but what’s done is done. I want to see way more out of him like that. The Giants are still very much in contention and if Brandon can help out with that, fabulous. I, for one, or maybe one million, am very glad he’s here. And glad to have a taken a series. (Taken a series! How foreign and fantastic that feels to type.)

And I finally got to test out a line I’ve waited a long time for. When the A’s mascot walked by, I was all, “Can somebody get this walking carpet out of my way?” Just, you know, channeling my inner Princess Leia.

Diamond Girl

p.s. When Alexi Ogando walked by, I nearly fainted. And when Mike Adams walked by? My mind screamed, “Giant killer!”. But my face just smiled politely, in case you were wondering.

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(More) Diamonds! Piles of Gold! Armani Suits! Swiss Watches! Hawaii Vacations!

Read this and then continue.

Dear Offense,

Look.  I am of the opinion that slumps should be as coordinated as color blocked outfits; if Aubrey’s slumping, then Andres is tearing it up, you know?  The whole concept of the Giants is that when the people who are supposed to perform don’t, someone else steps up.  But it’s not happening.

As much as people gripe about the starting five and the bullpen, they’re basically keeping us in games.  But you, offense?  You are here (::points to the ground::) and you really, really need to be here (::points to the ceiling::).  Or at least here, in some sort of mid-point.  Conor Gillaspie, Hector Sanchez, heck, Joe Panik?  Where are you guys? 

Maybe you need a little encouragement.  Here goes.  I have some really awesome rewards for you (Diamonds!  Piles of gold!  Armani suits!  Swiss watches!  Hawaii Vacations!) and I’ll do my best infomercial imitation voice when I give ‘em to you, but there is one little catch aside from the fact that you’ll go bankrupt from the taxes, we’ll send you spam for this and four more lifetimes, the diamonds are fake and we’re flying you luggage class.  Other than that.  You have to hit well.  You can’t hit double play balls.  You can only rarely strike out.  And you really can’t get out on one pitch in, oh, 5 seconds.  Work opposing pitchers, you know?  Even if you can’t get people to score, at least put them in scoring position or something?

I get that you’re trying.  Really, I do.  If the incitement of the prizes doesn’t help, I can also recommend inspirational music and great, energy pumping foods.  We are only starting to crack the surface of my advice cauldron.  Giving advice is right up there with walking on the beach in a storm and eating brownies in my life.  But I’d rather if you straightened this out on your own.

Fact is, I’m not as worried about you as I may sound.  The only team with a division lead larger than two games is Philadelphia.  There is some all around mediocrity going on and no one is running away with divisions.  And you are, a little unbelievably, still in first place (what?  Yes, it’s true).  The definition of a slump, as I love to say, is that you get out of it.  This offense isn’t Texas or anything but it can hit better than it’s letting on and sooner or later we’ll see that.  How about… sooner rather than later?  That would be nice.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  What is it with parents of Emmanuel/Emanuel?  My brother has that name and my parents are equally anti-Manny.

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