Tag Archives: dan runzler

Playoff Expansion, First Spring Training Game, Conspiracy Theories and All That Good Stuff

Spring Training is one of my favorite times of year (well, spring, but spring is synonymous with Spring Training, right?) because of all the promise and optimism it brings, but also because of the endless news buzzing it creates.  After a long and quiet winter- if you’re a Giants fan, that is, because we’re rather sleepy in the winter like that- it’s endlessly lovely to hear real, concrete news.

I’m not talking about injury news, though, Dan Runzler, Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Ryan Vogelsong et al., so don’t go getting any ideas.  I would choose a rainy, snoozy news day over a They Are Falling Like Flies day any time.

What I am talking about?  Playoff expansion, for one.  Bud Selig has gotten down to work, following his extra (baseball) life which he was granted over the offseason, and the extra wild card deal was finalized today.  I felt surprisingly ambiguous at the time of the announcement because, heck, it’s March 2nd and the Giants are playing their first Spring Training game tomorrow and the world is beautiful and the playoffs could not be farther from my mind, but as the day went on, my feelings changed.

Which, I am kind of guessing, was part of MLB’s plan.  Ready for my conspiracy theory?  Okay, here goes: MLB is doing this when everyone is out of their permanently touchy offseason modes and still basking in the glow of baseball being back, so as to soften possible backlash.  And it seems to have worked, actually.  Which, yes, could have to do with the fact that we were all expecting this by now or just that no one is genuinely outraged, but that is far of a less compelling thought.  I vote for my conspiracy theory, anyone with me?

Anywho.  The reason I’m not for those extra wild cards, I suppose, is both a pro and con of the whole thing.  I think it makes it all even more a crap shoot, to use a Billy Beane-ism.  People are saying it’s exciting because it makes the playoffs even more “everyone’s game”, which is true.  And I see the appeal of that.  I’m sure that extra wild card team will win the World Series from time to time and it will make for a fabulous story.  But with the 162 game format, I’m more of the opinion that we should shy away from that whole crapshoot thing.  Winning big in baseball is about perseverance and I like it that way.  I think this just changes the game.  For better or for worse?  Who knows.  Only time will tell.  (Other half of me:  Duh!  For worse!  But I’m trying to be all non-judgmental here, so just forget I said that.)

Onto lighter and brighter things, I am soamazinglystokedforthegametomorrow.  I will probably be missing the majority of it due to more umpire training, but I will hopefully be catching- in a purely non-Buster-Posey-ish sense- the beginning.  I’m not even sure what to say about that, except that I’m not even thinking about winning or losing or injuries just… baseball game.  Baseball game.  Say it aloud and grin to yourself.  Do it.

(Try reminding me of that whole “not about winning or losing” thing in September.  Actually, don’t.  I can be snappish, on occasion.  That sounds like an occasion.)

Diamond Girl

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Heath Bell Is Raising Goats in Peru Now?

After all this time, waivers still make my head spin.

As far as I can tell, the Padres wanted to send over Heath Bell to the Giants but the league wasn’t into that idea, so they’ve sent him to raise goats in Peru instead.

Sorry, the possibility of photo shopping that one was too good to pass up.

Or something.

There is the distinct possibility that my brain is a little shaken and jumbled due to the volume of earthquakes (three in twelve hours in the Bay Area, people) and I misunderstood the stories I read.  So don’t quote me on that.

In other news, the Padres are still killing the Giants.  San Francisco has actually started to display some potential for getting runners across home plate (!) but at the same time the pitching has started letting in seven runs, so they are still losing.  ::takes long, deep breath::

Beltran is off the disabled list, which is good news and I hope to see some flashes of brilliance from him.  I am a little skeptical of the plan to have Schierholtz play through a foot fracture and more than a little worried about the number 5 spot (Runzler starting?  Again?  Really?) but we shall see how it will play out.

The Dog Days are nearing an end and I am ready for the stretch run.  I mean, ready-ish.  Having Bell in the bullpen would make a little ready-er.

Diamond Girl

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Why I No Longer Fear the Beard(s) + New Facial Hair Styles for the ‘Pen

Who honestly thought we would win last night?  This has nothing to do with my personal like or dislike of Matt Cain- in fact, I only dislike him because of the obvious fact that he combs his hair when it’s dry, huge no-no for curly haired folks.  This has to do with the fact that it would be way too easy to win in three.  Or in four.  I think this one’s going five games.  The 2010 Giants don’t do things the easy way and we should all know that by now.  I’m guilty, too.  I thought they’d win last night.  I always hold the lingering hope they’ll change their ways, but who changes their ways in the postseason?  (The correct answer is: no one.  A+ for all of you, who answered right.)

But what I really want to talk about is why I no longer Fear the Beard(s).  To be quite honest, I never Feared them and always thought they were basically ugly but they worked, so how could I complain?  And since Brian Wilson will probably never be a male model (who knows, high fashion is attracted to interesting or odd faces) it’s more important for him to pitch well.  Same with the rest of the bullpen.  But I think they took it too far.  Game 1 of the postseason, the bullpen was not needed.  Game 2, it was.  And it failed, majorly.  I think the bullpen is doomed for the postseason.  I’m not saying this because they had one day where they were whacked out, because that obviously doesn’t denote failure forever, I’m saying it because I think the beards have done their job.  In the past tense.  And it’s time to do something new.  Like dye their eyebrows orange.  That was just an example, not a suggestion.

Brian Wilson beard.JPG

Can we call it “The Brian Wilson Beard”, like “The Mona Lisa Smile”?

Moreover, the beards are really not well suited to their wearers.  I did a little research on what face shapes a few of the bullpen guys have as well as beard shapes and here’s what I came up with.

Brian Wilson- Oval

An oval face is very forgiving, beard-wise, but Wilson’s complexion is not.  The darkness of color, instead of being menacing, ends up looking strange.  It washes out his face, particularly his skin and eyes.  In addition, his beard is at the “not-sure” point.  Not short enough to be “I forgot my razor” and not quite long enough to be “I have a beard”.  If nothing else, the color should go.

oval face.jpg

Oval face.

Sergio Romo- Round

Romo’s round face is overwhelmed by volume on the sides.  It’s important to draw the focus to the center with spiky hair and volume and length near the inside of the beard rather than on the corners of the jaw.

round face.jpg

Round face.

Jeremy Affeldt- Heart shaped

Affeldt has a heart-shaped face, which is rarer among men and therefore more tricky.  His goatee emphasizes his chin, which is already prominent (spoken- okay, written- by a heart-shaped face girl) and he, in contrast to Romo, needs to draw the emphasis outwards in a fuller beard.


heart shaped face.jpg

Heart shaped  

What do y’all think?  Do you Fear the Beard(s)?  Think it’s time to shave them off?  Ideas for a new tradition?

X’s and O’s,

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Since we’re, you know, talking about facial hair.  And sports.  Not that I’m recommending this mustache for the ‘pen, or anything.

cigar guy.jpg

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