Tag Archives: bruce bochy

Report: Sabean Has Kansas City Sympathies!

Hello, blog and blog readers!  It’s been a little while, hasn’t it?  Well, a few days.  I am young and silly and see a few days as an absolute eternity, so bear with me. 

Anyhow, I have spent these past three days eating mini-cupcakes with green frosting – which, as far as I can tell, are the only upside to St. Patrick’s Day – and listening to Jon Miller on the radio, broadcasting Giants games from rainy Arizona in equally rainy California.  I love the rain and all, but this is still a little extreme.  Enter knit blanket, knit wrap and thick, knit socks.  I am all cocooned and almost warm.  So!  Time to write a blog post.

As I’ve said before, I’ve been largely encouraged by San Francisco’s showing in Spring Training so far.  There have been no massive train wrecks yet and I don’ t feel eliminated from contention on March 19th (in fact, more like completely in contention, what with extra wildcard and all) so the world feels like a bright place, indeed. 

Other than the one big ol’ raincloud and I’m not talking about the one outside my window.  I’m talking about the one named Frederick Phillip Sanchez, Jr.  I’m talking about Freddy Sanchez, peeps.  He’s ache-y and pain-y and injury prone.  We all know that.  But this latest news is still a buzz-kill of massive proportions.  I am a big believer that the mystical powers of Freddy Sanchez at second base = duh, winning so Bruce Bochy’s recent quotes that he may or may not be ready for Opening Day not good news at all.  At all, at all.  Sure, success in 2012 is going to be tied into a whole bunch of guys, not just Sanchez, but I think he’s a key element.  Right up there with Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey’s Ankle.

I’m also a tiny bit worried about the recent trade rumors swirling around Chris Stewart and Eli Whiteside and the Royal of Kansas City.  Which is not in Kansas, for the record.  Not making that mistake again.  It does seem more likely that it will be Whiteside, if anyone, because he has a relationship (no-hitter, y’all) with Jonathan Sanchez, but there’s a possibility it could be Stewart instead.  This may or may not be a terribly popular opinion, but I would really rather not lose Stewart.  I have a deep and long-held belief in Stewart and would like to see at least one more year of him in a Giants uniform as back-up catcher.  I think we might see good things.  Not Buster Posey’s Ankle level, but good all the same.

This does leave me wondering, though: do I sense a trend?  Has Brian Sabean moved his sympathies from the Mets (see:  Zach Wheeler, Andres Torres, Ramon Ramirez) to the Royals (see:  Jonathan Sanchez, potentially one of our back-up catchers)?  Does this mean the Royals are soon going to be filing for bankruptcy and Sabean feels badly, so he’s going to trade loads of our players to them?  The mysteries, the mysteries.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  C.J. Wilson has lost his Best Hair Crown for good for tweeting the loveable Mike Napoli’s phone number out as a “prank”.  I love a good prank as much as the next person, but I have to say I am 100% on Napoli’s side on this.  There’s funny and then there’s basically nasty.  This falls in the basically nasty category, or so my non-existent tarot cards say.

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Brandon Belt’s Not-So-Subtle Message of Mayhem

As those of you who have been reading this blog for a year or more know (if you are one of those, well, thank you!), the beginning of Spring Training can be a jittery time for me.  It’s just like seeing someone you haven’t seen in a long while and wondering, Will we still like each other?  I mean, I’m completely in touch with my Giants over the offseason, but that moment of the first pitch is still another whole ballgame.  No pun intended, believe it or not.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised this year to find that my usual jitters had disappeared in a poof! of orange and black smoke.

It probably helped that my first game was actually the second game overall.  Blame the people over at Little League ump training who are quite probably A’s fans.  (Just kidding, people at ump training!  Sorta.)  I thought I would get to hear some of the first game, but the clock was not on my side and I ended up clean missing it.  I came back to a nasty sunburn and no ballgame.  Talk about buzzkill.

Upside?  When I settled in with my Giants fleece blanket- in the 80 degree weather.  Yeah.- for today’s game, I wasn’t scared in the least.  I was just so completely ready to get this game started that my nerves flew out the window and instead I ended up grinning like the crazy fish lady that I am and whooping my heart out when Joe Martinez came in to pitch.  Yeah, I know he was pitching for the Diamondbacks and all, but in my mind, he’s a Giant forever and always.  I hope he does smashingly well this year, against everyone but us and most especially against the Dodgers.

I also whooped my heart out for, well, everyone on the Giants, in case you’re wondering.  Even the ones who I wasn’t sure I’d heard of.  Hey, as long as they claim to be Giants I’m down to be a fan of theirs.  Such is the way of the Kool-Aid we call Spring Training.

And, oh, can we talk bees for a second?  If you haven’t heard the story yet, I’ll clue you in quickly:  a swarm of bees decided to make the field their new home for a cool 45 minutes or so and left pretty much everyone at the stadium in either the get-me-out-of-here camp or the get-them-out-of-here camp.  United we stand and divided we fall.  So we fell for a while.  A boatload of people and fire departments later then, they were disposed of.  We stood again.  It did, though, take multiple attempts to goad the pesky bees with lemonade and cotton candy.  No joke.  I told you Spring Training is weird.

Angel Pagan also got me as a fan for life with this quote (quote and photo from MLB.com): “I didn’t know what to do.  If I get stung by one, that means I’m going to get stung by a million. I was right next to the bathroom in case I had to lock myself in.”

I.  Love. This.  Guy.

Personally, I am of the opinion that those killer bees were none other than our own killer B, Brandon Belt, who is obviously a werebee and is sending not-so-subtle messages to Sabes and Boch that if he doesn’t get more play time during the season, mayhem will follow.

Yeah, that sort of mayhem.  Pre-cise-ly.

Lastly!  Kevin of www.westsideculture.mlblogs.com sent in this photo to me from Saturday’s Spring Training opener for the Giants.  I could not, obviously, pass up a chance to talk about Chris Stewart, so here ‘tis.  Chris Stewart rocks, mais non?

Diamond Girl

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Game of Thrones Bashing, Grammar Nazi-ing and MLB Fan Cave Hating

Big headlines these past few days:  the aces have back stiffness and beat writers take bad iPhone photos.  Which is to say, this Spring Training has been pretty eventful so far.  In bad ways (the former) and good ways (the latter).

At first, I felt pretty much the same way about Lincecum’s back stiffness as I did about Vogelsong’s: absolutely panicked.  But then I read Bruce Bochy said that this is really totally normal for Spring Training and nothing to be alarmed about and I had a big old epiphany and realized there was no need to start pulling my hair out.  Besides, if I start now, I’ll have none left for Opening Day, let alone the stretch run.  I have 18 inches of hair, but even 18 inches can be taken down with a whole lot of pulling.

As for the beat writers, the controversy is honestly a wee bit baffling to me.  I don’t want to link to the site directly because as a blogger, I know how I relish page hits but you can check out another article about how whole thing here.  Mostly, the TwitPics are bad.  I get that.  We all get that.  But I also don’t get the level of outrage it’s stirring up within the legions of fans.  Why do we need fab photos of Brian Wilson’s first bullpen sessions?  Can’t our imaginations do just as good a job?

Okay, maybe not.  But then if we do get a photo and it’s terrible and blurry, “grin and bear it” comes to mind.  Anyone who uses a digital camera vs. a phone camera knows the hassle associated with getting a photo from a digital camera onto Twitter.  Reality, is Twitter is built for mobile devices.

Aside from the quality, people are also getting up and arms about the subject matter.  Apparently people get sick of feel-good-nice-little-moments photos fast.  To which I have to say, shall we comb through your Twitter feed and find the time you live-tweeted Game of Thrones?  Or the time you tweeted photos of your breakfast every day for three weeks?   Or the time you retweeted the infamous pigeon twitter account saying “coo coo coo”?  Not judging here, you’re allowed to admit your weakness for George R.R. Martin and I will not comment despite my loathing of him.  My point is just that we’ve all done something along those lines.  If a beat writer is overzealous and nostalgic about Spring Training, “grin and bear it” comes to mind once more.

Just goes to show that if Timmy talked more about his In-N-Out we would all have less time on our hands to get preoccupied about things like this and the (baseball) world would be a much better place.  You listening, Freak/Franchise/Guy With Long Hair Who May Soon Have Short Hair?

Last but not least, I feel I should share my vote on the MLB Fan Cave so you all can go vote accordingly, of course.  I’m going to have to disappoint though and so my vote goes to (drum roll, please):  no one.  I really did try to put aside that I think the Cave ranks up there with Tom Cruise on Oprah as one of the worst publicity stunts of all time and go look for someone to vote for today, but I came up short.  Why?  My mellowing out plan went sour when some overwhelming percentage of the 50 finalists said, “I am someone that.”  At which point my grammar Nazi alarm bells went off in my head because people are not “that”s they are “who”s!  What are they teaching kids in schools… ten years ago when these hipsters were in them?

I ask you.

Diamond Girl

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Nothing All That Groundbreaking

So much to talk about, so much to talk about! 

The past few days have been busy ones on the baseball scene and particularly for us Giants fans.  News!  At last!  This is all rather exciting, so let’s get into it, shall we?

First, let’s talk Media Day, which was Friday.  We found out some important things like that Timmy might cut his hair, Pablo might have gained or lost weight or something but everybody’s glasses are broken and nobody’s really clear and Bruce Bochy has taken back #15, now that Beltran is safely parked anywhere but here in San Francisco.  (Otherwise known as St. Louis.  Yeah.)   Conspiracy theories abounded, which prompted me to remind people with wagging tongues that Bochy doesn’t control free agent signings and I highly doubt Brian Sabean cares what number Boch wears, but that ruins all the fun of theorizing, so then I just shut up about it and all the intricacies of front offices.  As I said, important stuff.  Angel Pagan is the new heartthrob of the moment it seems and Buster Posey is completely lovable as usual.

Forget what I said, actually.  Nothing all that groundbreaking at all.

Today, of course, was Fan Fest.  ::shivers::  I was tossing around the idea of going, after the fabulous Town Hall stream last night- more on that in a moment- but then I woke up and had French toast and enjoyed lying in bed far too much and really, why would I drag myself out to be trampled by masses of well-meaning but slightly crazed Giants fans?

If you answered, “you wouldn’t,” then you are absolutely right.  I stayed home.

Speaking of that Town Hall!  It was a really good time, actually.  More concise than usual (says Miss We Need More Extensive Interviews) and they really kept everything moving, which was good.  Kruk and Kuip were in fantastic, awkward form and ugly hoodies and badly fitting jeans abounded on the players.  Pretty much what you’d expect from that sort of event.  But seeing as it’s been months and months since a real, live, actual Major League Baseball games, I was inclined to absolutely adore every moment of it.  And live tweet it, of course.  Sorry, Twitter followers.  I know the revelations on Dan Runzler’s hair may or may not have entertained you.

I also loved the open season on Affeldt.  He takes it like a champ (World Series 2010 champ, yo) and has solidified his position as my Favorite Giant, which changes extremely often but who knows, he might hold it for a while.  His performance last night earned him it, for sure.

Huggles, y’all.  The season is getting close.  I can smell it.  It doesn’t smell like cinnamon and cranberries and pumpkin like the playoffs, unfortunately, but it does smell like fresh flowers and sunshine.  Which is good.  Very, very good.

Diamond Girl

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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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