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Hall of Fame, You Say? Let Me Pluck Out My Eyeballs With a Fork, Please.

Let’s talk about the Hall of Fame for a moment.

I will be straight up with you: I have only nominal interest in the HOF.  Similarly, as many of you know, I have only nominal interest in all of the awards.  It’s always going to be a very subjective reckoning and while awards hold a good deal of significance to players and the Hall of Fame even more, I would imagine, it’s sort of icing on the cake.  Likewise, for us fans, there will always be a player – a player who would never get into the HOF – who matters more to us than 90% of the people who are in it.  A player who, for whatever reason, did something to make themselves unforgettable to us.  We all have a personal HOF and players are in there for a million and one reasons.

Which brings me back to the real HOF.  Everyone and their long-lost brother who’s actually a hockey fan, but still, has an opinion on the ballot.  It’s this way every year, but especially this year with Bonds and Clemens on the ballot for the first time.  I’ve read so many opinions and articles on the topic that I am ready to pluck my eyeballs out with forks.

People, you need to worry less.

The vote belongs to the voters.  The voters, pretty much without exception, know more about baseball than I will ever know, so I don’t expect I’d sway them with my opinion.  To the extent that it’s fantasy HOF, eh, fantasy cooking-an-Italian dinner would probably be more fun.  To the extent that it’s a manifestation of our opinions on stats vs. old-school measurements of success or PEDs are okay vs. PEDs are not okay, pinning the argument on the HOF seems silly.

I see a lot of new movies every year and when the Academy Award nominations for 2012 are announced on January 10th, I am sure to be disappointed.  Some films they won’t recognize because they are too big, too commercial.  Some, because they were too small, too independent.  Historically, many truly brilliant movies and actors who have endured the test of time were never recognized.  But this doesn’t change our experience of watching them now, nor did it when they came out.

And this class of HOF’s will not change the opinion of anyone who’s made up their mind, nor will it change the careers of a select group of great players who are on the ballot.

It is an award.  It is arbitrary.

Diamond Girl

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10 Things I Am Adoring About Spring Training

So!  My fish is now safely back in his bowl and I am ready to rock and roll once more.  I’m catching up on the baseball news I missed while I slept (and slept and slept) and I think things are looking pretty fabulous for the Giants.  Blogging Spring Training is always a very welcome challenge to me, but a challenge all the same.  Aside from (doesnotjinx) injuries (doesnotjinxagin), the Giants always look pretty fabulous to me, just by nature of the fact that they are wearing baseball uniforms and throwing balls and swinging bats.  I mean, would it really be fair of me to demand more of them?  In addition to that, I hate writing Spring Training game recaps almost as much as I hate reading them, so those are out the question for my blog.  Before you snatch my baseball fan card out of my hands for that particular bombshell, allow me to explain myself.  Game recaps tend to be a snooze, unless they have lots of hilarious quotes in them and since I don’t have all-access passes to the stadium or anything, I don’t have my own quotes.  Lastly, there’s a lot of downerness.  Especially when Timmy and Vogelsong and Surkamp are all basically questionable human beings.  (Ballplayers, that is.)

So!  This is all to explain why I’m writing the list below.  To fill the obvious void I see.  Okay?  Okay.    

Let’s proceed, then.  10 Things I Am Adoring About Spring Training.  Here goes.

10.  It’s Spring Training.  And there are bees.  I could just stop the list right here.

9.  The pitchers all throwing two innings and us all whooping like mad.  I totally do it, but it still cracks me up every time.  Let’s just say we get to see a lot of different pitchers out there every game.

8.  It reminds me of the drama of years past.  I’m talking Michael Young vs. Jon Daniels, Albert Pujols vs. Cardinals, Barry Bonds vs. The Rest of the World.  There have been some epic battles and this time of year always brings them back to mind.  There’s no warring quite like Spring Training warring.

7.  The hideous black uniforms.  Just kidding.  I don’t like those at all.  I hate those.  But I had to mention ‘em all the same.  Fashion faux-pas of extraordinary proportions must be brought to light.  Just because I wear all black all the time doesn’t mean baseball players can pull that deal off.

6.   The pictures.  By the time the regular season rolls around, I think the media figures we are over the feel-good TwitPics of assorted players doing assorted things (read: nothing).  But we’re not.  We’re really not.  We love them at all times.  ‘Specially now.

5.  Battles of the first base sort.  I still have an affinity for Aubrey Huff, Brandon Belt poses with baby giraffes, for Pete’s sake, and I have been quite taken with Brett Pill’s game.  So my stance on the 1B battles is TBA.  But I am enjoying the show, for sure.

4.  Half of my besties is back, of course.  Which besties, you might ask?  I’m talking about Jon Miller and Dave Flemming, of course, Baseball Broadcasters and Besties Extraordinaire.  Dave isn’t dropping in until Opening Day, but Jon should keep me going until then.

3.  Baffling, cryptic comments from everyone and anyone.  Am I really the only one who feeds of those hilarious, masked statements from All People Who Have Connections to Baseball?  The offseason drivel just doesn’t hit the spot like this does.

2.  Buster Posey being alive and kicking and baseball-playing.  ‘Nuff said.  Tomorrow, which is supposed to be his first start of the spring, is going to be legen… wait for it, wait for it… dary!  Seriously.  Legendary.

1.  Yu Darvish.  Yep, that’s me, the Giants fan.  But seriously, I was just so absolutely, terribly excited to see his first start and will continue to be excited about his next 500 starts.  I love me some Yu.  And I want to prove that Jon Daniels was obviously completely in paying him a billion and one dollars.  Personal stake in this, y’all.

Diamond Girl

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Why Steroid Crackdown Matters and On The Weirdness of The Franchise Premiere

The latest in the Other Barry’s legal saga ended yesterday.  Was it a waste of money?  Probably.  But unlike a lot of people, I think since Bonds used PEDs (does anyone really dispute that?) he should face legal consequences.  Why?  I have people in my family who have been competitive cyclists and really into watching the pros.  Let’s just say it’s one of the dirtiest sports around.  Everyone is taking performance enhancing drugs and it’s not much of a secret.  These days, cycling isn’t really fun to follow.  As baseball fans, I think we should do everything in our power to make sure that baseball doesn’t revert to “steroid era” or beyond.

That leaves the argument that the sport should be dealing with it, not the government.  I get that, but I disagree.  I think a sport that is very prominent in a country impacts that country.  So if you have to cheat to compete in the sport, I think that has a profound impact on a culture.  I don’t think this is a witch hunt with Bonds, nor do I think it’s unfair.  If he cheated, he deserves to face a sentence as decided by a court of law. 

Moving on, The Franchise (yep, I’ve gotten over calling it the Desperate Ballplayers of San Fran) had a half-hour preview that aired last night.  (You can watch it here.)  Weird programming, to air it at the same time as a game, with an off-day the next day.  I guess in the DVR era that isn’t important?  It was strange.  I didn’t know Bruce Bochy smokes.  And Marc Kroon is interesting but the obsession…?  And I hate watching people work out, so Pablo and Andres?  That was painful.  And why were there so many shots of players talking while driving?  I mean, that’s really strange not to mention really dangerous.  I’m not a reality TV aficionado, so help me out here.  Are driving shots common?  And the way Posey/Bumgarner/Belt interact with Wilson cracks me up to no end.  Different stratospheres, it seems.  Mostly, I thought their choice of storylines was strange.  I do think Freddy Sanchez is underrepresented and his story is sweet, it just seemed a little random.  And Zito’s riffs were really non-descript.  Not blown away by his musical skills, yet.  But I’ll admit that I cried when Brandon Belt got The News and I thought how Bochy/Evans delivered the news to him and Kroon was interesting.  Though am staying the eternal skeptic.  They may have just done that for the cameras.  I guess the real premiere isn’t for a long time, so we have many lonely weeks of watching and cradling this half hour gem.  Or just watchin’ some actual baseball.  I vote for that.

Diamond Girl

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His Name is Bonds. Barry Bonds. And Guess Who Looks Pretty Darn Cool in the Desperate Ballplayers of San Fran Trailer?

(Please send your healing thoughts Eugenio Velez’s way.  A friend who is a Dodger fan- yep, I consort with Dodger fans, on occasion- alerted me about his injury today.  Hope it’s not as bad as it initially looks.)

I always think of Bonds as “the other Barry”.  I guess that was Zito’s title, but I’ve always been a Zito fan and never been a Bonds fan.  And I find this trial really, really fascinating.   I’m not much of a legal buff myself but I’ve found myself following this all closely. 

FAQ about the trial:

*Is Anderson being paid off?

*Bonds didn’t know he was using steroids? 

*HGH isn’t a steroid at all?

*Was that you (Diamond Girl) who arrived late to the jury carrying a Victoria’s Secret bag?

I can only answer the last one and the answer is no.  I am not serving on the jury.  I am not, actually, old enough to serve on a jury.  Even if I were, I am really anything but impartial.  In addition to which I do not shop at VS.  So no, it wasn’t me.

And my answer, which is by no means backed up by anything, to the question about him knowing or not knowing is: there are lies, damn lies and fiction.  That line is courtesy of journalist/writer/professor/connoisseur of strange news Adam Peneberg who is basically a rock star in my mind.  Read Viral Loop.  And subscribe to Fast Company (he’s a staff writer for them).  And hey, if you have the SAT score and the money, go to NYU.  He’s brilliant.

Everyone’s been slamming Tejada these past few days about his marginal spring.  I obviously haven’t seen him play, but I am guessing we should get used to it.  I don’t think he’ll be terrible, this year, but I don’t think he’ll contribute a whole lot.  He’s too normal.  Which sound terrible, but it’s the truth.  He was just a middle-of-the-road free agent and the Giants team is basically Wack Land.  I just don’t think Tejada was a good fit, playing-wise(it’s not like his play has surprised anyone this spring, really) or clubhouse-wise.

That said, I don’t think it’ll stop the Giants from competing (not gonna say winning, people, so give up on that hope) in 2011.  The pitchers might just want to work on pitching the strikeout/fly ball/groundout-to-anything-other-than-short.  Not too hard, right?

Diamond Girl

p.s.  I saw the first trailer for the Desperate Ballplayers of San Fran (actually named “The Franchise”.  Lame.) today and I have just two things to say:

a.  Is that all Pat Burrell can do?  Drink water/beer/unidentified substance while obviously thinking he looks very cool?

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b.  Barry looks cool.  Really cool.  The hair is fascinating.  What else is new?

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Day One in Snowflake Earrings Retrospective: Black Friday Wishlist filled with Rangers Toaster, “Don’t Ask Me, Ask Barry” Tees and More

I am in a good mood today.  It’s Day One in snowflake earrings.  I have these snowflake earrings I adore, but I only wear them from the day after Thanksgiving ’til the beginning or March or so.  I am savoring every day.

So here I am, sitting with my laptop  checking store websites to see if there are any good deals.  So far: nothing.  Nothing that incites me to scream and click “checkout”.  Not even anything that incites me to scream under my breath.  I am disappointed in Black Friday.  It strikes me as a bit like Body Scanner Opt-Out Day… way media hyped and not really that huge a deal.  Correct me if I’m wrong, Black Friday-ers!

Anyway, just because I’m not buying doesn’t mean I’m not oogling some stuff.  So I decided to make my holiday wish list.  Baseball themed holiday wish list, that is.  I’m telling the people in my life to buy me silly things like an Evenstar necklace pendant and a Sephora 30 color eye-shadow palette.  But this list is just a lot of things I don’t need (I do need an Evenstar pendant, you know) but think are adorable and worth staring at for a few minutes.  And a few things I think are too funny not to share.

(I would also like to note that I currently have a Cubs Christmas tree ornament.  It’s a little snowman, with a Cubs logo on his front, came straight from Chicago.  Very sweet, but I’m not a Cubs fan.  So it’s on my dresser.  Sort of hidden.)

The Good

Texas Rangers L-O-V-E T-shirt by Majestic Athletic

$21.99

shop.mlb.com

 

I’m not usually into using something other than a team color to make a shirt more feminine, as I discussed here, but this one is just so adorable.  The pink makes sense, here.

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San Francisco Giants Women’s “Get on Board” T-shirt

$21.99

shop.mlb.com

 

Aside from the giant faux-pas of using a font that is/resembles Curlz MT, which is almost as overused as Comic Sans (have I mentioned that I am a font geek?), I want this shirt now.  It’s unique and has a San Francisco flare which I love.

 

 


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Ask Barry T-shirt

$35.4

zazzle.com

 

Back in the day, the story goes, Barry Zito and Barry Bonds had lockers next to each other and at Spring Training one year, they wore these t-shirts.  “Don’t Ask Me, Ask Barry” is a great way to answer people.  And an even better way to answer people is to, you know, point at your shirt.  So I want one.

 

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Tickets to the Giants vs. Brewers (@ SF) games, July 22nd, 23rd, 24th

Price depending on how generous the giver is. 

sfgiants.com

 

I luv u, Ryan Braun.  ‘Nuff said.

 

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San Francisco Giants Dangle Earrings

$17.99 $7.59

amazon.com

 

If someone gave these to me, I might actually take out my snowflake earrings for a day during Snowflake Earring Season.  Might.

 

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 The Funny

 

Boelter San Francisco Giants Personalized Bowl

$39.99

shop.mlb.com

 

a. I will not pay 39.99 for a bowl.  b. Does it come with pretzels?  c.  PERSONALIZED BOWL? Not cool, darling people.  Not cool.

 

bowl.jpg

 

Pangea Texas Rangers ProToast Toaster

$34.99

shop.mlb.com

 

How do they come up with these things?  And I’m taking votes: who thinks they made a piece of toast with the “T” on it and who they thinks they just Photoshopped it in?  And why do they sell a Rangers toaster and not a Giants one?  Do they think people in Texas eat more toast?  Or people in San Fran are all on non-wheat diets?

toaster.jpg

So who went shopping this Friday and did you find anything incredible?  And what’s on your holiday wish list this year?

Will report on Day Two in Snowflake Earrings.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Apologies for the oddness in the font, bolds etc.  MLBlogs is being a little weird.  I will try to fix it again later.

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