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There are Surprises in Surprise, AZ, Ryan Braun Sticks His Foot Firmly In His Mouth and CJ Wilson Jeopardizes His Best Hair Crown

There were some surprises in Surprise!, AZ this morning with a big storm.  I had one of those too.  But I didn’t have adoring fans watching my every move.  I was just trying to balance my florescent green water bottle (hey, no comments.   I never lose it) and my notebook and my papers and my recently-upgraded-to-become-more-giant handbag.

The 2011 season is starting to feel like home, now that Ryan Braun has stuck his foot firmly in his mouth.  His honesty is refreshing, but he still seems to be in some sort of blissful ignorance that “to be honest with you” is not really a known phrase in contact between Major Leaguers and the press.  Last year may have been miserable, but his statement still felt a little off.

And another case where honesty went a little awry… chapter 500 of the Michael Young saga started today when he arrived at camp.  As previously stated, I am in the We Are So Puzzled We Are Not Even Going There phase with Young and I am sticking to that.  Young has his game face back on and I get the sense that whatever goes down from now on in that saga is going to be behind tightly closed doors.  Although Jon Daniels still seemed a little miffed about, you know, “his integrity being questioned”.  Who knows?   Maybe we’ll get a little more soap opera before the end.

CJ Wilson may be in danger of losing his Best Hair crown from this photo, but that food is making me stare for a long, long time.  So that’s what they eat!  Lucky MLBers.

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Photo is from Derek Holland’s Twitter account, @dutch_oven45.  Just to clarify that I am not in Arizona, stalking CJ.

Diamond Girl

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Baseball is a Business. Rinse and Repeat.

Repeat it one hundred times and you may start to feel a little better about Uribe signing with the Dodgers.  As lovely as it would be if he had looked at $21 million over three years to wear Dodger blue and said no, it’s not reality.  Rinse and repeat.  This is therapeutic for me. 

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As I get my therapeutic shampoo, I chant one last Oooo-ribe in my head.  I’ll never forget doing that with 40,000 other people.  Magical.

The question this all brings, of course, is, Who now?  I vote for Ryan Braun at shortstop.  Kidding!  The Wall Street Journal reported that the Giants and Jeter’s agent have been in contact but I think that’s an atrocious idea.  For starters, no one really knows how he’d react out of the beautiful place that is NYC and additionally he’s not, um, extremely young.  He’s also looking for a lot of money which the Giants might be able to give, but you know, just because one has money doesn’t mean one should spend it.  Then there’s Miguel Tejada who batted .269 with 15 homers last year.  Not exactly a tremendous amount of pop at shortstop. 

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I’m honestly not totally sure what Sabean’s plan is for 2011.  It’s very early in the offseason, of course, but the odd way the team meshed was, well, odd.  And magical.  It’s hard to repeat magic and even if Sabean re-signed everyone, it wouldn’t be the same.  Perhaps he’s planning to start the year like he did in 2010, with a mediocre set of fielders and bullpen and hunt down some new mis-fits during the year.  If so, it’s a gamble at best.  If he’s trying to form a solid team with some big names, then the large contract Huff got is just the beginning.  What do you think Sabean’s 2011 plan is? 

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If I were Sabean, I think I’d be looking ahead towards 2012 when several prospects are projected to be ready for the majors.  While I understand baseball is business (rinse and repeat) and the win-now mindset is prevalent, I think signing older players into multi-year deals isn’t a good idea.  The Giants may contend in 2011, but I think 2012 is the year they will be contenders again and the long-term success of the team is more important, in my opinion, than the win-now thing.  But baseball is a business (okay, I won’t say it) and I think the Giants will be trying to defend the title it 2011. We shall see.

In Texas news, the Rangers signed Torrealba to a two year deal.  I was thrilled to see that.  While everyone’s been saying Lee is really important for the Rangers- and I don’t discount that he is- I’ve been saying, Catcher, catcher, catcher.  It seems to me that the toehold of Wilson and Lewis is still a little wobbly and a veteran catcher who can handle that staff is a top priority.  Good news down south.   Now I’m hoping Lee will, out of the goodness of his heart, sign with Texas.  And mostly that the Rangers keep that core strong and I think they will contend in 2011.

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Those’re my wish lists for my teams.  What are yours?  Just remember: Baseball is a business.  Rinse and repeat.  Be realistic.  And give it to Santa in time for Christmas.

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Hugs to all and enjoy the end of your Thanksgiving leftovers, if you still have any.  I think I’m all through.  I miss cranberries already.

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Diamond Girl

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30 Reasons I, Usually a Giants Fan, am Rooting for the Rangers in the World Series

I am confirming the rumors circulated by TMZ for the past few days.  I am indeed rooting for the Rangers in the World Series.  Normally, they’re my AL team and the Giants are my NL team and there’s not a problem, but since they are now matched up, I’ve had to choose.  And while I have loyalties with both, I’ve realized I am really rooting for the Rangers.  Because my orange and black co-conspirators may have a hard time understanding why, I’ve come up with 30 reasons. 

 

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30.  Elvis Andrus has a hair related superstition going, but his hair still looks good.

29.  “It’s Time” is easier and quicker to say than “It’s Magic Inside”.

28.  In contrast to Halloween colors, no one will think I’m celebrating a holiday if I wear blue and red.

27.  I like saying y’all.

:: Diamond Girl thinks, Did I really commit to writing 30 of these?  Is it too late to go and edit the title to 20 or better yet, 15?::

26.  CJ Wilson is the best dressed MLB player and he has the best hair in MLB to boot.

25.  Ron Washington gets so into it and he gives good postgame interviews.

24.  Fans of other teams who are taking sides are all siding with the Giants and you know me, I dig the underdog.

23.  Bengie is in Arlington.  I love Bengie, duh, I love the Rangers.

24.  And okay, yes, J.D. has something to do with it too.

23.  Their closer does not have hideous facial hair.

22.  And for that matter, neither does their bullpen.

21.  And Ian Kinsler has a nice haircut.

20.  But my choices are not as influenced by hair as I may be leading you to believe.

19.  Because I love Nolan Ryan too.  And he has hardly any hair at all.  So there.  ::Diamond Girl nods proudly to herself.::

18.  I hate the term “good backstory” being used about baseball players, but if anyone has one, Josh Hamilton does.  And it ain’t rodeo clown related.

17.  And yes, I have moments where I feel like a traitor.  And yes, it has something to do with the betrayed look my family has taken to giving me.  (Kidding.  They are all very sweet about it.  And my father and sister are rooting for the Rangers too.)

16.  And okay, yes, J.D. has something to do with it too.

15.  The name, as I have stated in previous posts, makes me think of Aragorn and by extension, Lord of the Rings.  I will never root against anyone or anything that makes me think of Aragorn and by extension, Lord of the Rings.

14.  Neftali Feliz is a beautiful name.  I like names that are fun to say and pretty to write.  But that does not make me an un-serious fan.

13.  Everything is a first in Arlington right now.  How awesome and incredible is that to watch?  It’s not like they’re facing the Yankees (yes, I know that’s impossible since they’re both in the AL, I’m just using the example) but the Giants were in a World Series just eight years ago.  Seems like nothing compared to what them Texans have gone through.

12.  They’re a gorgeously strong team.  Coming out of the weak AL West, where they would have only needed to be a few games over .500 to make the playoffs, they beat the Rays and the Yanks which is no small feat.

11.  It can never be said too many times:  the antlers rule.

10.  And so does the claw.  New easiest way to make a San Franciscan angry is to give them the claw.

9.  And okay, yes, J.D. has something to do with it too.

8.  The giant smiles on Josh Hamilton’s face when the team is doing well should be enough to convert anyone.

7.  And who can root against Vladdy?  (Answer:  No one.)

6.  Because they sprayed ginger ale on Hamilton and CJ.  I love that.  I adore that.  That joins the list of Things that Rule.

5.  The Rangers are in the spotlight.  Can’t ignore something like that, now can we?

4.  Boy gets drafted.  Nobody likes boy.  Boy goes to Japanese league.  Everyone likes boy.  Boy goes to Texas Rangers and pitches incredibly.  Boy goes to World Series.  Boy is named Colby Lewis. 

3.  Formerly bankrupt people always come out on top.  Kind of.  Sort of.  Well, in this case.  They have almost come out on top.

2.  And okay, yes, J.D. has something to do with it too.

1.  ‘Cause It’s Time.  And y’all can’t argue with that.

 

 

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Who is now a Ranger fan?

Diamond Girl

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My Selection Process for Liking Teams & What CJ Wilson and Viggo Mortensen Have in Common

After the Roy Halladay no-hitter yesterday, I was reminded how much I love baseball, no matter the team.  And what Halladay has done this year is just so, incredibly awesome.  I don’t know of another word to describe it.  But it also got me thinking, How does one become a fan of a certain team?  Why do I enjoy watching this team more than that team?   I know some kids grow up with parents who are fans and get it from them, but it wasn’t that way for me.  My parents weren’t into baseball at all.  I fell in love with baseball after spending a lot, a lot of time at Little League games and then AT&T Park and Renel captured my heart.  I started listening on the radio a little.  A lot.  Every day.  (That was the progression.)  I think in the end it was Jon Miller, Dave Flemming, Kruk and Kuip who made me the fan th
at I am today.  And it was the overall vibe of the Giants that made me love them.  And Barry Zito.  Kidding, sort of.

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Why aren’t there pictures anywhere of all four of them together?  Photo op, coming right up.

But my other allegiances may seem a little random.  Rangers, for instance?  (Who, by the way, I called to win the World Series months ago and was made fun of.  Let’s wait and see.)  It was their name, in that case.  I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan (you may have known that) and any other LOTRites will know that Aragorn is a ranger, from the North.  So the Texas Rangers always make me think of a tall, dark king of Men.  Then Bengie got traded and I started following CJ Wilson on Twitter and… the rest is history.


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My two favorite Rangers

The Brewers.  I’d like to pretend it had nothing to do with their 2007 ROY left-fielder (hint: his initials are R and B) but it kind of does.  It also because I’ve always been interested in losing teams.  It’s a mixture of interest and just feeling sorry for them and the stares that you get while rooting for the Brewers in San Francisco are pretty priceless.  That’s also why I like the Pirates, a litte bit.  In addition, they have Joe Martinez (well, their AAA affiliate has him, actually), who I am a big fan of which is another reason to root for the Steel City.

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Joe Martinez.  I miss him.

And the A’s… it was their stadium.  I may be the first person to say this about The Coliseum but I love it.  (Do I get in the Diamond Girl Record Book, if I am the first?)

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It’s quirky, it’s unique and it fits them.  That’s not an insult, Athletics.  (By the way, least subtle name ever?)  If they feel they need a new stadium, though, I hope they stay in Oakland.  They fit here.  The Las Vegas Athletics?  Not good.  I could think of a few names, though, if they do move to Las Vegas.  New blog post, coming right up?  Perhaps.

So.  Question time.  Raise your hand before you answer, please.  How did you become a fan of “your team”?  If it has to do with one left fielder, that’s okay.  You’re in good company.

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Diamond Girl

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Why Johnny Depp Should Be a PA Announcer and the Rangers Should Have Sprayed Orange Juice

I adore Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the 2005 version.  I can’t find the clip online, but some of you probably know the scene when the children first come to the factory when you can hear Willy Wonka’s voice (Johnny Depp) saying “Please enter.”, “Close the gates.”  The voiceover is fantastic.  So, you know, when Renel retires he could take over?  We couldn’t pay him as much as Tim Burton, maybe, but we could give him some nice homemade brownies.  Mmmmm… homemade brownies… I volunteer to make them.


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Picture of brownies is my own, not a stock photo.  Photo of Willy Wonka is not mine.  ::Cue “duhs”::

More importantly, perhaps… the Rangers clinched in Oakland on Saturday, which made me very happy.  I didn’t end up going to any of the game but 2011 is filled with promise.  I will see them.  So I know CJ Wilson doesn’t drink and he said he was going to wear swim goggles and not drink any of it and Josh Hamilton, a recovering alcoholic, skipped the party altogether.  In this situation, why not create a new idea so that you can include all your players?

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This photo is obviously taken by me, with my exclusive pass to the Yankees clubhouse.  Once again, cue the duhs.

I honestly hate the champagne parties at all.  They are so contrived and commercialized at this point, that I don’t really think they’re fun or exciting.  The locker rooms are all taped off for easy clean-up and the cameras are all set up.  I am still hoping for a team to come out and show their unique player and coach personalities and use orange juice and make a real mess.  Why orange juice?  It’s healthy, not tremendously sticky and, I mean, no one’s in rehab for orange juice addiction.  It’s also unexpected.  The Rangers have battled bankruptcy, have a low payroll, young GM… why not embrace that and show respect and appreciation for your players who don’t drink alcohol and use orange juice? 

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Um, no.  Not taken by me.  I have better ways to waste my time than photographing orange juice bottles.

Since the Rangers didn’t do it, the Giants could.  Or do you think the league would make them die half the juice black?

Diamond Girl

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