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The Verdict, So Far

My accidental blogging vacation (read:  I was sleeping all weekend and forgot to write anything) is over and the playoffs and their pumpkin/cinnamon/cranberry scent are gaining steam.  And yes, making me hungry.   All things considered, it’s going pretty well, from my perspective.  As it stands:

Milwaukee leads series again Arizona, 2-0

Verdict:  Very good!  Awesome!  Fantastic!  And other words of a blissfully affirmative nature. 

Philadelphia is tied with St. Louis, 1-1

Verdict:  Well, whoever wins this, can get crushed by the Crew in the NLCS.  Ideally, that would be the Phillies.  (Picture: Braun going 3-3 with 3 homers against Cliffy.)

Tampa Bay and Texas are tied, 1-1

Verdict:  Texas has momentum now.  It’s only going to get better from here on out.  Repeat that 100 times and then come back to me, okay?

Detroit and New York are tied, 1-1

Verdict:  Good.  Because this is a good matchup and one that makes me question my loyalties for (nearly) every waking moment.  So a tie means more good games.  And more indecisiveness on my part.  Decide for yourself if that part is good.  Jorge Posada’s triple- by which he proved my belief that age only matters if you’re wine or cheese or something- certainly helped the Yankees cause in my eyes.  Doesn’t he just rule?

Overall verdict:

I would give this whole thing so far four and a half stars, except for the bizarre start times.  I am sorely tempted to write Bud Selig a new post-it, demanding that he change the start times so I don’t continually miss the beginnings of games, but I am trying to spare y’all.  You’re welcome.

Diamond Girl

p.s  I still love u, Ryan Braun.  And if Kirk Gibson picks on you and claims you didn’t tag third again, I will totally fistfight him.

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162 Things I Loved About 2011 In San Francisco Giants-Land

In no particular order, in honor of the 162 games of the regular season…

162.  The walk-off on Opening Day for the second consecutive year.  And provided some awesome entertainment along the way as I drove to Fresno to see the Grizzlies Opening Night.

161.  The new and improved Pablo Sandoval.

160.  The rather awesome drama and content they provided for their reality show.

159.  Heck, they had a reality show!

158.  They carried first place for a good long while, even though they didn’t finish with it.

157.  They had All Stars.  A whole bunch of them.

156.  They gave me bragging rights for life.   We got Carlos Beltran.  (Never mind what happened afterwards.)

155.  They kinda massacred the Chamber of Horrors, aka Coors Field.

155.  NATE.  That is all.

154.  Their hitting coach who takes, “Reach for the moon, if you fall down, at least you’ll fall in the stars” very literally.  Like, he’s-going-to-the-moon literally.  It’s sure to bode well for the offense in the future.

153.  They chewed gum at the White House.  It was strangely endearing.

152.  Heck, they went to the White House!

151.  They were so resilient I can’t even express it in words.  Well, maybe I could.  But I have a whole lot more of these to write, so I’m not going to get into it.

150.  Santiago Casilla and his epic and previously undiscovered closing skills.

149.  Brett.                                   

148.  And Brandon.

147.  And, oh, the other Brandon too.

145.  The multitude of B’s!

144.  The incredibly pleasant surprise that was Eric Surkamp in his first start back.

142.  And the incredibly pleasant surprise that was Ryan Vogelsong all around.

141.  Chris Stewart.  And his brainiac-ness.  And his overall awesomeness.

140.  The fact that AT&T Park exists and is amazingly beautiful.  Pays to remember that, every now and then, right?

139.  D-Ro having a few more special moments.  I really hope he’s back next year in some way.

138.  Madison and his trademarked first inning meltdowns.  And yes, that he was otherwise amazing.

137.  Bruce Bochy.  ‘Nuff said.

136.  Conor Gillaspie(The name!  The name!)

135.  Those special little moments when Guillermo Mota came in for long relief and just saved us all.

134.  Getting to see Travis Ishikawa one last time, when he got his ring.

133.  OH!  Yes!  The ring ceremony…

132 …and the mismatched, mint colored boxes the rings came in…

131. …and Sergio Romo goofing off at the ceremony…

130.  …and seeing Nuekom with his adorable bowtie there (though, unfortunately, it wasn’t orange) one more time.

129.  There was also Vogey’s lovely little speech when he got the Willie Mac Award.  

128.  Remember when Tim Flannery, third base coach, sang the National Anthem?  Epic.

127.  The crazy thunder storm/rain delay in Detroit.  And the way the broadcasters filled the empty time.  That was magical.

126.  Kepp’s walk-off vs. the Astros.  So there, Houston.

124.  Crawford’s grand-slam in his first game against Milwaukee.  Remember that?  Goosebumps and smiles.

123.  The prank Ross et al. played on Huff.  Which we got to see because of aforementioned reality show.

122.  Did I mention, THE GIANTS HAD A REALITY SHOW?

121.  When Brandon Belt met a baby giraffe and took pictures with it.  That may actually be my favorite moment of the entire year.  Seriously, how utterly fantastic?

120.  That they never missed a beat, even after the loss of Posey and then Sanchez.

119.  Timmy back to being Timmy, for the most part.

118.  And Timmy and Matt Cain both reached 1000th career strikeouts, which was fabulous.

117.  Finishing ahead of the Padres.  Vendetta?  Yes, vendetta.

116.  Romo shaving.  Because that may imply that other people will shave soon.

115.  coughcoughBrianWilsoncoughcough

114.  NATE.   Again.

113.  And Nate’s upper deck shot in Colorado that his brother got.  Too many awesome things about that to mention.

112.  Slightly irrelevant, maybe, but Jon Miller not doing ESPN any more meant that he broadcasted for KNBR on the weekends.  Which was enough to make the season, right there.

111.  Together, We’re Giant.  It actually grew on me.  (But It’s Time is still, and always will be, better.)

110.  The “sellouts”.  Because they seriously cracked me up.  Especially when the upper deck was e-m-p-t-y.

109.  The little Sabean moment in Moneyball.   When Billy Beane totally played the Giants.  My rational mind was outraged and the rest of me was snickering.

108.  Watching Pablo’s defense just reappear before our very eyes.

107.  Being there for Carlos Beltran’s 300th career homerun.

106.  And speaking of homeruns… Brandon Belt had a couple to remember.

105.  And when Brandon Belt made the club out of spring training and it felt like nothing could possibly go wrong.

104.  The fact that some people didn’t get injured.  Can’t think of any?  No, I’m sure there were a few.

103.  The fact that Aubrey Huff always has good years after bad ones.  Most definitely.  This bodes well for 2012.

102.  While I hated that the cost for parking doubled, I think it was because they won the World Series. And I do love that.  So, by extension, I love the new parking rates.  Sort of.

101.  The Churros guy.  If you’ve ever been to a Major League ballpark, you know what I mean.

100-50. Looking at the new lineup every day, usually with my mouth gaping wide open.

49.  The few nice Zito moments.  They were there.  And they were smile-inducing.

48.  The fact that the year after the championship, while it wasn’t exactly a success, was not a collapse either.  This was a pennant race right down until the end.

47.  Can I just say one more thing about Chris Stewart?  His first Major League homerun rocked.

46.  When Edgar came back, if only for a bit.  *sniffles*

45.  And remember when Uribe came back?  *sniffles again*

44.  I also liked riding my first roller coast (no, really.  It’s related.) because it drove home that this season was like a roller coaster.   Which is to say seriously headache inducing, but fun afterwards.

43.  I don’t know how this all worked, but I’ve been hearing Giants ads for the Not For Sale Campaign.  If they’ve partnered, then that is most certainly something I love.

42.  Jeremy’s rebound year.  Minus the frozen burger patties.

41.  That they didn’t do anything silly like start the season in Taiwan.

40.  That they rocked their doubleheader at Wrigley.

39.  Matt Cain ruled overall, as always.

38.  That they let themselves get swept by Milwaukee in May.  I’m sure they have a crystal ball and knew they wouldn’t get into the playoffs, but the Brewers could, so they gave them that series.  Very thoughtful, you know.

37.  When Pablo Sandoval decided to retweet people who said nice things about him making the All Star team and he retweeted me.  It made me a lot happier than it rationally should have.

36.  When Bruce Bochy got congratulated by Ryan Braun on winning the World Series (minute 1:40.  I know you want to see it.)  This is what I call icing on the cake, people.

35.  NATE.  One last time.  Sorry.

34-20. This is when Diamond Girl had to leave unexpectedly to sniffle in the closet for a bit at the realization that this is really the end of the 2011 season.

19.  Okay!  Back.   Let’s do a silver lining thing now: not winning the pennant means the target-on-back will lessen or disappear.  And these Giants do better when there are no Great Expectations.  Sorry, Charles Dickens.

18.  They also helped me and my new fish bond.  I am quite positive that the reason my fish seems to be liking me more is that we’ve endured the torture holed up in my room (yep, I said torture) together.

17.  That, by some luck, these players channeled enough thoughts about balking to Bob Davidson that he actually called a balk on that fateful June day.  And also gave me a great photo-editing opportunity.

16.  Emmanuel Burriss’s nickname-picky mother.

15.  That they did not take me up on my Hawaii Vacation/gold watches offers.  Which means they didn’t do that well, but it also means I won’t be in debt for the rest of my life.

14.  Totally random memory:  Pat Burrell and Eli Whiteside both hitting triples in one game.  Weird and great.

13.  The promotions their awesome TV network came up with.  Especially the Ultimate Tim Lincecum one.  (Which I, eh, won.)

12.  The players designing endearingly horrific t-shirts.

11.  That they drafted another good-name player in the draft.  That is Joe Panik.  If only for the name, it was a good pick.

10.  Walk-offs!

9.  And more walk-offs!

8.  And even more walk-offs!

7.   The power outage in St. Louis.  Now I really credit the Cardinals (read: Tony LaRussa) for that, but it was a Giants moment anyway.  And a darn memorable one, too.

6.  When Cainer demonstrated he actually does have the ability to dress well.

5.  All the opportunities they gave me to use my dearly beloved balloon-popping set of photos from Despicable Me.  Because seriously, I love those photos.  Even if it meant they broke my heart.

4.  Last thing about Chris Stewart!  I promise!  But I remember the first time I saw him do a throwdown to second.  And I think I thought it was cupcakes and brownies and cinnamon roasted almonds all mashed into one.  (And yet it was good.  All those foods mashed together probably, um, wouldn’t be.)

3.  Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you shouldn’t let your kids watch baseball!  It’s educational!  I mean, this year I learned what “contusion” means.  Overandoverandoveragain.

2.  It was like a magical realism book (what is a magical realism book, you ask?  Read here and be enlightened.)  Stray bits of left over magic were everywhere.  And that’s even better than full-on magic, somehow.  (Although, yes, I like full-on magic when it means winning the World Series. But don’t interrupt my poetic-ness, please.)

1.  They gave me a lot to blog about.  A lot, a lot.  So I thank them for that.  And I thank you all for bearing with me and my weirdness and my love of strange foods and for reading and commenting here as well.  It’s been a brilliant, crazy year and more fun than I can possibly express.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to go reminisce for a bit more and then find my antlers and morph into Ranger-Girl.  Bye-bye, 2011 season.

Diamond Girl

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I Come to a Slightly Obvious Realization and the Verdict on Hobo-Chic Is In

Why did I not blog this weekend?

a)      I knew there was some possibility I would alienate my Giants fan readers with my Brauny doting and Nyjer Morgan apologist-ness. 

b)      Well, I was sort of sleeping most of time.

c)       I was watching girls-night movies like 10 Things I Hate About You and Winter’s Bone (you figure out which one of those doesn’t make sense in the sentence).

d)      Because we had a lovely 13 hour power outage.  During which I decided I was going to open a rival company because PG&E goes out way too much and they have terrible costumer service to boot but then realized I don’t really exactly know what they do, so I might need to do some research before I pursue this line of work.

Anyhow!

This series reminded me why I do really love it when the Giants face the Brewers.  They were tight, well-matched games with players I love on both sides and Ryan absolutely tore it up in the two games he played (he sat on Friday) but San Francisco still took the series.

It made me wish they played more often- this is the last of two series they played this year – and I actually started to create a pitch to convince Major League Baseball that Milwaukee is totally in the west and that’s the realignment we need.  But after a while I decided that was not a purposeful way of spending my time so I just sat back and enjoyed the ballgame.

The Giants looked good.  Like, really good.  And I came to a realization that I am a fan of good teams.  Now that weirded me out.  We all know the Giants were good last year and everything but that had the vague makings of a fluke.   Whatever happens this year, it’s July 24th and they’re making a serious run of this.  They are that team that opposing teams maybe aren’t so stoked about facing.  Before you give me the, Late to the party, sister, line, realize that I grew up with a notion that the Giants were kind of lame.  And for a good part of my pretty short life, they have been.  These days, they feel like something akin to a perennial pennant contender.

 The offense isn’t exactly rockin’ (what else is new?), but the pitching is and they are totally winning ballgames.

So if you don’t mind I’ll just check out a few more of these modern-day-version-of-something high school movies, sit back and marinate in Ryan Braun home runs and the fact that I am a fan of the defending World Champions.  This is all starting to freak me out to the point that I want to become a full time Pirates fan, but then I remember the Pirates are actually good and I end up somewhere on the other side of freaked out.

Catch y’all later.  I hope we meet the Crew again in the playoffs.  And I hope the dress code is strict for the whole White House thing today.  Sorry, Wilson.  I’m thinking more boho-chic than hobo-chic.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  I think Nyjer Morgan was really, truly, actually doing the Tony Plush sign.

p.p.s.  Nope, me and my “I Love U, Ryan Braun” sign were not there.  I Object to $26 standing room tickets with a capital O.

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Pressure Points That Relieve Headaches For World Series Winning Teams To Play Better At Home

Freak Season2.PNG

I got my contest prize yesterday, which is this beautiful photo book, “Freak Season”.  It has some fascinating little moments and I definitely recommend it to people who are Tim Lincecum fans (though no one is as big as me.  I am the ultimate Tim Lincecum fan.)  Yesterday was a good day.  Today?  Not so much.

 

Reasons today was depressing:

 

·         The Giants were on Fox.

I try not to be one of those endless complainers about national media but the broadcasters today made me want to pluck my eyeballs out with forks.  Not literally.

 

·         The Giants lost.

Dismally.  In the fog.

 

·         Pat Burrell attempted to run.

I never thought I would feel badly for him, but today I ever so slightly did.  It was painful to watch him run.  And what is with his eyebrows?  If someone doesn’t want to do anything with their eyebrows, I won’t pick on them.  But his look done.  Just bizarrely.

 

·         Tim Lincecum attempted to pitch.

And failed.

 

·         Tim Hudson pitched.

And succeeded brilliantly.  I have a little Big 3 nostalgia for him, but not when he’s blowing my Giants away.  Without even huffing and puffing.  Profoundly effortless, on his part.

 

·         The offense attempted to hit.

And failed.

 

·         Neftali Feliz was placed on the disabled list.

With right shoulder inflammation.  The club said that it’s sort of precautionary, since he’s so young.  My fingers are solidly crossed that that is true.

 

·         MLB has a new ad featuring Brian Wilson’s beard that is seriously nauseating.  

May I just say that epic is not always a compliment?  As in, epic can be an adverb, paired with words such as, “ridiculous”, “hideous” and/or “plain stupid”.  On KNBR the other day, they had the topic “Who’s your favorite Giant?” and I was floored by the lack of Brian Wilson responses.  I thought I was the odd one out in being sick of the act.  I don’t  think so.  He needs some serious image consultation.

 

There was some comic relief, though.  Like the girl with the “Marry Me, Ryan Braun” sign.  I don’t feel like I’m on high enough ground to pick on her, but at least my sign was a non-committal statement and it sure didn’t have my phone number.  My ground is at least a few inches higher, right?

 

marry me ryan braun.PNG

And I guess it’s sort of good news that the Giants are going on a 10 game roadtrip after tomorrow, because they seem better on the road, though their record is just about even.  I mean, I would be too, if there were crazy people with smeared eye-black and orange chest paint yelling strange cheers at 100 decibels.  Which is why I want Meditation Day at the ballpark and I would be a bad baseball player because I would choke when delivering the “the fans were so loud, it was amazing” line.  Although maybe they mean amazing in a bad way…?  Because otherwise I don’t get it.  I wonder if they are given a handbook after they win the World Series about pressure points that relieve headaches.  That could be useful.  For the players and the fans, actually.  I’m going to try acupressure next time I’m there.

 

Diamond Girl

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Ryan Braun And His Gucci Model Hair And The Rangers Are Plunging Into Darkness (Not Really)

Ryan Braun is endlessly funny.  He’s the guy who can arrive late to his own press conference with hair more befitting of one of those ridiculously tan male models in Gucci ads than a ballplayer and still absolutely rock it.  He can also open a restaurant called Ryan Braun’s Graffito and actually date a model, all with a straight face.  Takes talent.  Must have something to with his Southern California roots.  I am admittedly clueless about people from down there.  They are aliens, around here.

You need two angles on that ‘do, right?

I mean, I carried an I Love U Ryan Braun sign to a game last September and tolerated the snickers and smirks of all the warming up Brewers pitchers for close to an hour.

 

I Love U, Ryan Braun.jpg

I do not have a vine tattooed on my hand/arm, for the record.  That’s henna.

I like (love?) the guy.  But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly disappointed to hear about his extension.  I am holding out hope that he’ll fall so in love with the City By the Bay that he’ll waive his no-trade clause and come here.  But it’s getting more unlikely by the second.  Really, I have a lot of respect for players who want to spend their whole career on one team especially when they are obviously winning-crazy like Ryan and on an iffy club.  I wish him all the best and I will be there to see him in San Fran this summer.  I may or may not resurrect the sign.

Meanwhile, the Giants were off yesterday.  Which was good because my head was feeling dangerously close to splitting open.  The Rangers plunging into darkness (caution: that is a dramatized description, not real) and Braun’s years and years of millions and millions were good distractions for my mental health.

The Rangers run lately is more of a gentle nosedive than a plunging-into-darkness-dive, really.  They are in second place now, .5 games behind the Angels of Anaheim, going into a series against Kansas City who are also currently in second place.  That should be an interesting series.  If I drink enough evening orange juice, I may be able to stay awake and watch it on Gameday.  Gameday puts me to sleep, in case you weren’t aware.

It’s April 22nd and we’re closing in on the end of Month 1 of baseball season.  So far, so good.  For me.  I apologize if you are a Boston/Minnesota/Seattle/New York/Houston/San Diego fan.  Losing teams are fun too, right?  Right.  Encouraging statement of the day.

Diamond Girl

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