Ladies and gentlemen, Opening Day:
(Via @CarmenKiew on Twitter.)
It wasn’t exactly the Opening Day we were all hoping for, but it was OPENING DAY so that pretty much made up for it, at least to me. The Giants opened against Clayton Kershaw and those Los Angeles Dodgers and Kershaw was very Superman-y and pitched a shutout and also hit a homerun – the first of his career – to break the scoreless tie.
Oh, did I forget to mention that he helped build an orphanage in Zambia in the offseason?
Seriously, though, Kershaw is good stuff to watch and the rivalry is more fun when both teams are doing well and all that. Which is to say, the Giants have to do well too. But they have 161 more games to do that, so Mayans, back off. And they’ll probably only face Kershaw a few more times, so that’s good news.
Baseball is back and just in time for April Fool’s Day, no less. I’d don’t mean to be antagonistic, Bud Selig, seeing as this is a new season with a clean slate between us (right?) but that was sort of bad planning on your part. Like, maybe if there were fewer Interleague Play games we could have started the season on a day other than Annual Prank Unsuspecting Emilys Day?
Forget it. Antagonistic it is.
I’m still alive! Bud Selig’s dreams of baseball becoming all international and Vladimir Putin giving Buster Posey honorary Russian citizenship because, hello, he was MVP? Not so alive. The WBC is all finished up, as far as I can tell, although as I said before, I wasn’t really following it that closely. Understatement of the century? Perhaps. Selig’s dreams and mine for the future of Major League Baseball don’t align very well. Maybe because he’s a Leo and I’m an Aries. That might be it, though the internet seems to think Leo and Aries get along just fine. I never trusted the internet anyway.
Or maybe it’s because I ran against him as commish, even if nobody really noticed that little stunt. In any case, I guess the finale was at AT&T Park, but it was raining and I had to paint my nails and there was no way I was going.
Congrats, Dominican Republic on this huge and important win—eh, forget it. I’m just going to stop trying.
Opening Day is fast approaching (less than two weeks, now!) and the rosters have been narrowed down significantly. Pablo Sandoval’s injury has been making a lot of headlines – mostly because people are bored and it’s Spring Training, but also because the extent of it is somewhat unknown and nothing gets people talking like mystery. Dave Groeschner who is (almost)always (never) reassuring said he thinks that Pablo will indeed be ready for Opening Day on April 1st, so it’s just wait and hope time.
Speaking of injuries, since this is mostly just a Yu Darvish fanblog, I feel I should mention that he missed his last start with a stiff neck. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen tomorrow, so send good vibes and dreamcatchers his way, m’kay?
In other news, I saw Timmy as in Tim Lincecum spelled “Timmie” today. First time for everything.
My antlers are sad. So am I. The Rangers were eliminated from the postseason last night and I still haven’t taken the antlers off. I think I have to wear them all postseason. It feels a little bit unreal, right now – Yu Darvish spoke for all of us when he said he didn’t know what he was supposed to do tomorrow – but the Rangers have gone to the World Series two years in a row, so I guess I can’t get greedy. I’m expecting some changes over the offseason, although I don’t think it’s their front office’s style to go all overhaul on us, like some people are calling for. The biggest story, of course, will be Josh Hamilton, but I think they’re still a good team, a very good team, and what happened was some bad luck. And some bad playoff format.
Angry in antlers. I do not like this one-game playoff devilry. In other news, is my eyebrow raise not completely awesome?
Of course, there’s still a lot to be excited about. I’ve decided that the Tigers will be my poison-of-choice for the American League this season and they’re leading the A’s 3-1 in Detroit right now. Giants-Tigers? I could see that.
The NLDS gets going in just over an hour in San Francisco – don’t even get me started on the start time – and the familiar playoff nerves are starting to kick in for me. Matt Cain is on the mound though, and there is no one else I’d rather have starting our first playoff game.
Yes, we most certainly Cain.
It’s that time of year again! What time of year, you ask? That very special time, I say, when a million odd Giants fans opinions are worth as much as one Barry Zito opinion. I’m talking about the Willie Mac Award, of course. The recipient of the award will be announced tonight (spoiler alert: it’s Buster) and the fan vote tallies to one vote, vs. all the players who get a vote apiece. I’m of the opinion that they should just not let the fans vote at all if they’re going to be so stingy about. Why one vote? Why not three, in honor of – you guessed it – the magic number?
All kidding aside, I’m kind of jittery going into this series against the Padres. (It’s the Padres. Who am I kidding?) Jittery in a good way. Jittery in a they-don’t-even-have-Jed-anymore way. I’m going to need to stockpile more blood orange San Pellegrino for the *coughjinxcough* potential big moment this weekend. Can you believe we’re that close to a champagne party? Didn’t the season just start?
Not to dampen the mood, but it was also announced today that Melky has become ineligible to win the batting title. He wasn’t exactly eligible to begin with, but through some loopholes he was and… now he’s not again. Confusing, I know. The story is that Melky requested not to be eligible because of his image issues or whatever (I think his image issues run a little deeper, but he knows better than I do) and MLB granted the request. (Bud Selig was all, “We have a second wildcard. My life is compete. Do what you want, interns.”)
The MLB web team is evidently too busy making their Twitter account private and then public and then private again and then public again to update the batting average list.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. Melky took performance-enhancing drugs. It should be a simple answer, probably: he’s not eligible. But I don’t necessarily feel that way. There are so many tainted records and awards in the history of baseball that this move feels fairly arbitrary. It doesn’t change my opinion of Melky either way. I don’t think he’s the only one doing it, so I don’t have a particular amount of distaste for him. I understand why he’d want to be out of the running for the title, but the whole situation is just icky. I’m not sure what would have been the best path to take with this, but I do know that whoever does end up landing the batting title is going to be fielding a whole lotta questions. If I were him, I’d start stocking up on the “No comment” t-shirts/blimps right about now.
Must go prepare for Orange Friday. Catch you all later.
(First a PSA: If you so happen to write a blog or just be in possession of a computer – which I assume you are, if you’re reading this and you’re not an alien reading it on a cool, futuristic bot thing – don’t try at home what I’m doing right now. That is, balancing a laptop and an extremely full and extremely hot mug of orange tea. However, getting this tea will change your life, so I do recommend that.)
Anyhow, I spent yesterday at the beach, mediating on the meaning of life and singing Western States Motel songs at the top of my lungs and when I got home, it was all Giants game time. It did not disappoint. I mean, it did in some ways, but the team did what we’ve come to expect over the past several weeks and they pulled out a win, even though Madison was not nearly at his best and even though it took a million and one relief pitchers. They didn’t tear it up with the bats, either, but in case I’ve failed to mention it before, 2-1 games are my very most favoritest. (Yes, I am of the opinion that for every time we shave a number off of the magic number, I get to use another made-up word.) 2-1 where the Giants win, of course.
It’s a strange time around Major League Baseball, with the second wildcard – which. is. not. wild. – weirdness and all sorts of teams that are in no way, shape or rational form in contention being… in contention. I feel like if I were (totally theoretically) on one of those teams I would feel a little trippy about this whole thing. “Man, we’re 74-74 and we might get into the playoffs? Duuuude,” says Totally Theoretical Cliff Lee.
Or maybe the players aren’t saying that kind of things at all. Maybe they’re too busy sending flowers to Bud Selig to talk about that stuff.
My tea is completely cold by now, so that’s probably my cue to end this. Terribly excited for the game tonight. Isn’t this playoff race wondrous in that it’s not totallycompletely a race anymore? I did not enjoy this part of the 2010 season at all. We have a little more wiggle room right about now. And it’s magical. (Inside. Outside. Everywhere.)