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May I Just Say That Cries Of “Fire Sabean”, “Get Some Darn Offense” and “The Giants Can’t Repeat” Are Totally Unwarranted?

So the day got off to a rocky start for me with the headline:

Giants lefty Zito taken to hospital after car accident.

The actual news stories added the unimportant fact that he was also released from the hospital.  He’s okay.  Neck brace and precautionary MRI, but he’s okay.  It took me a few hours of Enya and Owl City to calm down.  These things strike at the weirdest times, don’t they?  I hope he’s good to start on Sunday.

The fact that Real Live Baseball That Counts happened today lightened the mood, although the last 45 minutes before the Giants game were torture.  I’ve lasted months and months without baseball, but somehow the home stretch felt very long.

The other thing that was torture?  Yeah.  The game.  There were good things about it and there were bad things.  As an eternal positivist (sort of), I’m going to start with the good stuff.

Brandon Belt looked good.  He looked confident and ready to go and totally above the hype.  Half of me is 110% sold on him, even though half of my brain says it’s too early for that.  Overall, I think we’ll be seeing him at first base for a long time to come.

Tim Lincecum.  I was worried he was going to melt.  His hair looked really long (was that just me) and he looks borderline vampirical in heat.  And though he didn’t look totally tip-top, he wasn’t worrisome to me.

Buster was, a little bit.  He felt out of it.  He was one for four and, of course, had that play with Sandoval at third.  He might just have been tired or something.  The whole defense looked like it did at the exhibition games, which is not surprising since it’s only two days later.  But it’s ever so slightly more troublesome on Opening Day.

And do y’all think Timmy hit Uribe on purpose?  I am of the opinion that it was a “hello there, remember me?” pitch.  But I’m curious to hear the buzz ’round here.

So now I’m going to listen to more Enya and Owl City and remind myself that it’s the first game and it really doesn’t matter.  1 down, 161 to go.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  And as I said in the title: “fire Sabean”, “get some darn offense” and “the Giants can’t repeat” are totally unwarranted.

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St. Patrick’s Day 2.0, Me Playing News Anchor and Me Eating Asparagus Dipped in Olive Oil at a Zito Start at The Coliseum

Let’s go in reverse chronological order:

Brandon Belt made the team.  I’m ever so slightly conflicted about that, but mostly happy.  Seeing him the past two nights had me fully convinced that he’s ready.  He looks utterly comfortable on the Major League scene.  And he cried when he got the news.  The sweet kid.  Really sad to see Ishikawa on waivers, though.  He feels like a relic of the pre-Championship era Giants and while it sounds totally crazy, I loved the pre-Championship era Giants.  Happy travels to him, wherever he ends up. 

I also hope Affeldt gets the closer job in Wilson’s absence.  That cuts their number of proficient lefty relievers in half, but I think he’s a good candidate for closing.  And I get this rush of modern-day abolitionist pride whenever he comes out to pitch.  (As I mentioned before, I am currently doing a charity project about slavery in the chocolate industry for my birthday.  Check it out here.)

Spring has come to a close and the Giants are breaking camp looking pretty darn good.  Make that really darn good.

Onto last night.

Who knew it was St. Patrick’s Day 2.0?  So.  Much.  Green.  I caught the end of the A’s Fan Tailgate event and they sure know how to throw a fan event.  It was simple, intuitive and interesting.  And I got four autographs in five minutes.  Conor Jackson (::Diamond Girl faints::), Andy LeRoche, Eric Sogard (he totally has glasses!) and Josh Willingham.  They were all very sweet and so was the length of the line.

The Comcast SportsNet booth was also really great.  They had a SportsNet Central set and people could go on and broadcast a minute-long recap of Dallas Braden’s perfect game.  Me and my little brother did it.

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Aren’t we adorable?  The teleprompter was fun enough to vaguely revive my politician aspirations and the producer was really sweet.  He let me look at his camera and watch them from behind.  Fascinating.

We eventually went in and what followed was 2 ½ hours of a mesmerizing Zito start and asparagus dipped in olive oil with pepper (no, they don’t sell that.  I brought it.  Obviously).  It was a lovely evening and I was reminded why I love The Coliseum.  They just need to rip out the top of the centerfield wall, so that there’s a view of the Oakland Hills.

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Of all the pitchers I’ve seen, Zito carries the most stuff around while he’s preparing for his start.  A jacket, a bag of inidentifed stuff, a juice bottle and a water bottle.

I’m going to do pre-Opening Day predictions really fast now.  I am bad with predications, so take it all with a grain of salt.  I just want to have it on record in case I am, ahem, right.

AL East

Boston Red Sox

AL Central

Detroit Tigers

AL West

Oakland A’s

AL Wildcard

Texas Rangers

NL East

Atlanta Braves

NL Central

Milwaukee Brewers

NL West

Colorado Rockies

NL Wildcard

San Francisco Giants

There you have it.  Opening Day is so soon.  Breathe deeply.

Diamond Girl

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Why AT&T Park Needs a Garden, Why Belt Should Stay Down and On Painting Andres Torres’s Toenails and Confessing to Pat Burrell

My father called this little news piece to my attention yesterday.  It’s a nice idea, but I initially didn’t understand it and thought it meant something else.  Let me explain.

I love things that grow.  If your store has potted plants, I will buy everything you sell.  Even maxi skirts.  I hate maxi skirts.  But I love plants.  This photo from Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page (yes, I stalk Zuck.  Your point is?) is of a restaurant with a tree in the middle.  I drooled.

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So when I read the article about the Mariners promotion, I initially thought, They’re asking people to bring soil to start a garden at the stadium?  That. Is.  So. Beyond. Great.

They’re actually giving away soil.  But now the idea is in my head.  It could be a little vegetable garden.  I’m sure they could get volunteers to take care of it and the players could all have a plant they sort of sponsor.  Like “Pat Burrell’s Pumpkin” and “Javier Lopez’s Tomatoes”.  You know.  Stuff like that.  It would add a slightly rustic vibe to the park and have some benches.  It would be slightly enclosed, like the mini diamond for toddlers at AT&T Park and you’d obviously have to have a ticket to the game to go in it.   Things that grow make every space a little nicer to be in.  You’d just have to figure out how to keep the seagulls out.  Good luck on that.

The Giants are hitting some bumps in the road in various areas of their play and this is sort of a bad time for that.  I mean, there are worse times like during a pennant race in September, but this is a bit of an end-of-Spring-Training nightmare.

And there’s the whole Brandon Belt thing.

I personally think Belt will the start the season in AAA, and rightly so.  As far as I can tell, the 2011 team has been built without the idea that Belt will be a defining factor.  Sabean signed a first baseman for three more years in the offseason.  I’m sure he projects Belt contributing- perhaps even majorly- this year and certainly 2012/13, but the team is just structured to work without him, I think.  And two relatively minor injuries shouldn’t change that.  There are many, many internal options and I don’t think it would hurt Belt to see a few more weeks/months in AAA.  It feels ever so slightly panicky to put him on the Opening Day roster.

Of course, Opening Day roster is the roster for one day.   The next day, it can change.  It’s more symbolic.  And symbolically, I think it’s better for Belt not to be there.

And the Neftali Feliz saga?  No comment.  ::shakes head::

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Just checked out the Giants 2011 commercials.  It’s an interesting campaign.  Sort of taps into every fan’s daydreams.  But do you remember that “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” commercial where PC talks about capturing a family vacation with a pie chart and Mac says, “I feel like I was there!” ?  That was sort of my reaction (watch what I’m talking about here at 3:07).  Then again, if anyone gave me that chance to paint Andres Torres’s toenails, I would so do it.  Confess to Pat Burrell?  Not so much.

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My 100th Post: Feat. Jon Daniels Extension, Ryan Braun’s Graffito and Billy Beane’s Burberry Scarf

It’s not even over yet, but today has been a really good day.  Topped off by the fact that I logged in to post this and saw that I have 99 posts.  Meaning this is the 100th.  (Fittingly, perhaps, MLBlogs is being a little odd.  Bear with me and the strange spacing.)  Wow.  I never really thought I would get as into this as I have, but I love every moment of it.  Thank you all for reading some (maybe even all?) of my 100 posts.  5 Other Great Things That Have Happened Today:

5.  The Rangers agreed to a four year extension with GM Jon Daniels.  I hugged everyone in the immediate vicinity when I read the news.

 

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4.  Someone brought my attention to this cover story from M Magazine, 12 of Milwaukee’s Most Interesting Men“.  It alerted me to the (much-needed) re-name of Ryan Braun’s restaurant, from Ryan Braun’s Waterfront Restaurant to Ryan Braun’s Graffito (did you snicker when you read that?  I did too).  I really want go to Milwaukee now.  Maybe I could squeeze it in on my Detroit-pride trip?

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3.  There has been no uncomfortable Zito news today.  The #75 storm is blowing over, people.  Blowing over.

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2.  Matt Cain is planning to throw tomorrow.  I am channeling every bit of positive energy I have to him (and that’s a lot, because this is, of course, a really good day).  And Brandon Belt.  Brandon Belt.  He doesn’t need any positive energy, I guess.  No belting it out jokes, please.

 

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1.Go check out the Giants box score.  Just go check it out.box score.PNG

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Billy Beane has a Burberry scarf?  I Googled that and realized it’s old news but he is on track to unseat Daniels as best-dressed GM unless Jon can produce some designer items of him own.   

 

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My Paris Hilton’s BFF Shoes, The Zito Breakdown and Mark DeRosa’s Look Alike

My breakdown of Zito, that is.  Not him breaking down in his Range Rover or something.

I’ve spent the past few days doing things like discovering I can only make good ad roughs while chewing watermelon gum and watching the Academy Awards and wondering what is wrong with James Franco (a lot) and deciding that Halle Berry was best dressed, hands down and then having a bit of a Shopalohics Anonymous moment at a shoe store today when I tried on these five inch Steve Madden heels that were covered in gold glitter.  It wasn’t until The Sister alerted me that I looked like Paris Hilton’s BFF that I ditched them.

Most important event of these days though?  The fact that Real Live Baseball Before Your Very Eyes is happening.  It is enough to make me glow more than any glittery Madden heels for days on end.

The game today was a hard one for me, though.  I am a huge Zito fan (you knew that, didn’t you?) and a little apprehensive for his first start, albeit a Cactus League start, since the whole playoff roster thing.  Well, I’ll just say this wasn’t exactly comforting.  I mean, physically it’s not surprising he would be a little off in his first start, but I think the mental thing is a bigger deal for him.  My personal opinion is that his little plans every year are to blame.  I’m sure every player has some sort of plan, but with Zito it always seems to get out.  And they include messing with his pitches or his motion in a big way.  He seems to way overthink it (hey, don’t we all?  He just does it very publicly).  I believe he is a premiere pitcher and a Cy Young Award winner and he just needs to cut the plans and pitch.  Mychael Urban told me that it’s a “go back to roots” thing this year.  I understand that conceptually, but it is, for better or for worse, nine years later than those roots and that doesn’t seem like it’s poised to succeed, to me.  There is such a thing as being too smart and we all experience it from time to time.  The NFL knows it too.  Mostly, Zito is obviously someone who needs a little space to figure things out, so I hope it was just, um, first game weirdness?  ::crosses fingers::

Otherwise, the game was pretty encouraging for us San Franciscans and wanna-be-San-Franciscans and San-Franciscans-at-heart.  Brandon Belt basically screamed, Listen, y’all! and DeRosa actually seemed healthy out there which is bizarre and lovely at the same time.  DeRosa and healthy feel almost like oxymorons.  But I hope not.


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Isn’t that guy a total Mark DeRosa look alike?  He’s Rufus Sewell and I saw him in Tristan and Isolde, which, by the way, is not worth watching even to spot the DeRosa doppelganger.  And the fact that I think they look alike has nothing to do with the character being named Marke.

So that is my giant catch-up session because it’s been way too long and not blogging for two whole days is ridiculous.  Hugs and lemon poppy-seed muffins to all.  I really need to make some of those.  It’s been too long.

Diamond Girl

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