Tag Archives: diamondbacks

Settling the No. 5 Spot the Old-Fashioned Way

Can you jinx something if you were really, seriously, totally joking?

(I was when I predicted the sweep, in case that wasn’t clear.)

Anyhow, the Giants sure looked like they’ve been jinxed. I am a sort-of eternal optimist, but not only has the offense been snoozing with RISP, the pitching was more than a little shaky too yesterday. The Phillies are making life hard here in San Francisco.

Understandable, then, the real news from last night was the brawl. I mean, I’d rather talk about a brawl than a 9-2 loss too. I’m not usually into fights, but that one was kind of great to watch. Whiteside, for whatever reason, always struck me as really mellow. I was surprised by his involvement. And the Phillie who put him in a headlock. Good television. Unlike the rest of the game.

I think the big questions that came out of the game, though, are, Major funk? (to which the answer is: yes.) and is Jonathan Sanchez really a step up from Barry Zito? I can’t decide. They have a bigger investment (ahem, very big) in Barry but Sanchez is younger and has more potential. Plus the no-hitter, which earns anyone a few brownie points. It’ll obviously depend on Sanchez’s other starts before Zito is eligible to come off the disabled list, but the whole fight thing got me thinking: we should settle this the old-fashioned way. One-on-one combat.

No, not combat like that. No fighting involved. Like a cook-off. Or a sing-off. Or a design-clothing-off. Iron Chef, American Idol and Project Runway all wrapped into one, starring two San Francisco Giants. I bet the ratings would beat The Franchise by a mile.

Here’s how I’m imagining it would play out:

Round 1, Cooking:

Zito: Cooks lumpy looking omelette. B-

Sanchez: Heats up noodle soup in microwave. F

Round 2, Singing:

Zito: Sings Crash Into Me, Dave Matthews Band. Slightly painful. But playing of guitar slightly redeems performance. C

Sanchez: Sings the Giants win song. Gives a whole new meaning to painful but receives points for cute choice of music. D

Round 3, Designing Clothes

Zito: Designs an odd plastic-y yellow suit, somewhat resembling a raincoat. He says it’s high fashion and leaves it at that. C

Sanchez: Designs a cool looking street-punk-trendy outfit. B

If you put it that way, I think we have a clear winner in Barry Zito. Or if you’re more of a traditionalist, then maybe we could just do a pitch-BP-and-players-rate-who-does better thing?

This afternoon’s game is nationally televised and the Giants are now .5 a game ahead of Arizona. Deep breaths, people. Deep breaths.

Diamond Girl

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3 + 3 = 3 Wins + Mandatory Low Point In Trailer When Main Character Cries Or Almost Cries If He Is Tough Guy Brad Pitt So He Can’t Actually Cry

I don’t drop “Baseball Gods” a whole lot.  But when people hit triples, they always feel like little gifts from Baseball Heaven.  And has anyone else noticed that they do tend to come to people who really, really need them?

Like Pat Burrell  who is rumored to be the odd man out later this year and Eli Whiteside who has, well, big shoes to fill.  And he isn’t really fillin’ them.  Then Billy Hall’s (am I coining Billy?) magical half hour with Bam Bam seems to have paid off, which comes at a nice time when Freddy pessimism is at a 2011 high.  I am all for the holistic, natural approach and have (some amount of) total confidence that the shoulder can heal on its own but it’s good to have some, ahem, backup.

Which means that this night of three basers notched MadBum his third win of the year and a 3.21 ERA.  Sometimes I have the urge to bang the heads of the offense together but then I remember that they do things like hit key triples and I go to my punching bag (laptop keyboard) instead.

We are on our way to sweeping the Diamondbacks, which is a phrase I would have been petrified to utter a few days ago.  This is good.

Zito is moving up in the world and will be starting in AAA Fresno tonight.  I guess this must be his first time pitching for the Grizzlies and I think he’ll fit in.  No snarky-ness there.  Barry and Chuckchansi Park just seem like a match made in heaven.  Still, I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel like the clock is ticking down to doomsday.

The first Moneyball movie trailer hit the web yesterday my skepticism about it is fading.

I think it looks really good, actually.  The hairdresser captured Billy Beane’s vaguely volumized hair perfectly and even if they look nothing alike otherwise (yeah, that’s a big cause of mine) they do kind of make the same expressions.

And am I the only one who thinks doing this looks incredibly fun?  Even if that is the mandatory Low Point In Trailer When Main Character Cries (Or Almost Cries If He Is Tough Guy Brad Pitt So He Can’t Actually Cry).  So I don’t think it’s supposed to look fun.  But it does.

Someone else commented that the field looks suspiciously dark in this walk scene and why doesn’t the stadium have any lights?

True.

I will be in the theater opening day, I think.  I’ve only done that for one other movie, Takers, and it was unwarranted.  That was a terrible movie (not to mention Hayden Christensen’s character was the first of the bank robbers to die, which tempted me to demand my $8 back, but that seemed petty).  I have hope, though.  I kind of think this might be my first baseball movie love.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Congratulations to former Giant/Grizzly Jesus Guzman on his call-up to San Diego!

I remember seeing him during his two weeks up at AT&T Park in 2009 and enjoying watching him play.  Wishing him much success.  I mean, some success.  Enough for him to have a happy career but the Padres to keep on their last place, sub-.500 ways.

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5 Best Tim Lincecum Moments

Yesterday was a strange day. I forgot there was a Giants game. I think I actually forgot the Giants existed. Somewhere around the fourth hour of The Fellowship of the Ring director’s cut at AMC Theaters, it all came back to me. But I was too engrossed to care.

Evidently, the Giants squeezed out a win against the Diamondbacks in this as-super-important-as-June-series-get series. Since I spent the evening a several realities away, I’ll leave the breakdown of that game to others.

I woke up to see happy birthday messages to Tim Lincecum everywhere. Which reminded me…

He signed that ball for me last June 15th and the whole crowd of autograph seekers sang Happy Birthday to him. It was loads of fun. So in honor of his big day coming around again, I’ve made a list of my personal top 5 favorite Tim Lincecum moments.

5. August and Beyond

In 2010, Timmy faced adversity… but it was storybook adversity. The kind where there’s a clean, simple problem with a clean, simple, perfect ending. Sure, it didn’t feel that way while it was going on. But looking back? Couldn’t really have gone down better.

4. A Day In The Life

I absolutely loved this Comcast SportsNet show. It didn’t feel overly rehearsed or corny but it wasn’t boring either. It was just a nice little slice-of-life. Well done.

3. The Kiss

Remember her? The girl who said she wanted her first kiss from Tim Lincecum? And he totally gave it to her. Too sweet.

2. Beanies Galore

The beanies have gone rather MIA recently. But remember when he wore them all the time? To his first Cy Young press conference even? Those were the days. I love ‘em.

1. 15 Strikeouts

Everyone has baseball games they attended that they will never, ever forget. Timmy’s career high 15 strikeouts against the Pittsburgh Pirates is one of those for me. Orange K after orange K going up on the wall and him just never slowing down.

Happy Birthday, Timmy. You’re named The Franchise for a reason.

Diamond Girl

p.s. Can my cake which won me the Ultimate Tim Lincecum Fan award get an honorable mention? I think there’s, you know, a striking resemblance.

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127 Hours? You Got Nothing On Me.

Okay, you have something on me. But not a whole lot. After watching 3 ½ hours of the draft and a 4 hour, 29 minute Giants game I had just enough mental capacity to squeak out, Yes, I would like a saltwater taffy. My arms are, thankfully, still connected to my shoulders, though.

Now that the hangover is starting to wear off, I am ready to break it all down. It was a great baseball day.

The first round of the draft is good and bad. The five minutes in between each pick give the hosts time to break down each player and even interview a few of them. I had a good sense of just about all the 33 players who were picked. The compensation round, with a minute in between each one, was a little bit painful because the hosts were talking just as much, but with no time, and the representatives who announced the picks instead of Selig didn’t seem really suited to public speaking. Today, it’s all audio, no show, and it’s going down so fast I can’t keep up. It’s good and bad. I dig the brevity, but it’s so impersonal.

The people who stood out to me in the draft? (Disclaimer: I know nothing about any of these people. These are just guys who happened to stand out to me. )

Number 1, overall, was Gerrit Cole who’s reportedly Brandon Crawford’s sister’s boyfriend. Keeping this in the family, are we?

Number 3, Trevor Bauer, went to the Diamondbacks. He’s being called Tim Lincecum 2.0, both because his motion is similar and he’s known for his quirky personality. I was kind of pumped to have him in the NL West until Andrew Baggarly suggested that he could potentially come to the Majors in late 2011, if the Arizona is making a playoff run. Against the Giants. Forget it. I wish he was in Kansas or something.

 

Speaking of Kansas! The sweet story of the first round was Bubba Starling, a KC kid who was drafted by the same team. The media was eating it up. I was much more interested in Brandon Nimmo, the highest draftee ever from Wyoming (11th, to the Mets) and Jose Fernandez “Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion(14th, to the Marlins) who is a Cuban defector, who has already faced a lot of adversity to get here. I am calling a majorly successful career for him. He seems to have a head on his shoulders.

Oakland had the 18th pick and they went with Sonny Gray, a right handed pitcher who I fell in love with after a minute long feature by MLB Network. A) He’s 5”11. At first claimed to be 6”0, then 5”11 ½. I love little guys. B) He sings. He was in High School Musical. C) He has a contagious smile and seems comfortable in front of a camera. The only thing that put me off was his affinity for the movie Sandlot. I hated that movie. I know that’s a terrible baseball fan sin, but it’s true. Sorry.

And then the Rangers pick at 37th, Zach Cone, intrigued me because he was the only guy in the whole draft whose photo was not of him in a baseball uniform. He was wearing a suit. Interesting. You know how Teen Vogue does “style icons of the future”? I have an inkling that he could be a baseball style icon of the future. At least he’s off to a good start.

Then, of course, the important one. Our newest Giant. Joe Panik, a shortstop “with power” out of St. John’s University. Other than his hard nose (thanks, Baseball America! Useful info.) and his unfortunate (well, fortunate for the people who write headlines) last name, I don’t know a whole lot about him. Except that I’m not panicking- sorry, I had to- and he deserves a nice big hug and welcome to this family. Bye-bye, Brandon Crawford. You were fun while you lasted but we have a new shortstop now! Just kidding.

I’m at 650 words here and so my analysis of the game is going to be sort of second round draft-ish. I.e., fast. Timmy’s 1000th strikeout, while glowing and exciting, was overshadowed in my eyes by eight beautiful shutout innings from the bullpen, the birthday boy (Jeremy Affeldt) swinging for Mars and then getting a walk and, of course, the eventual walk-off hit by Freddy Sanchez. He is so underrated it’s not even funny. I love him to death and am reconciling myself to a summer of walk off wins. Could be worse, right?

Now it’s time to plug in my earbuds and get back to the grainy audio of the 500th round. Draft week is too much fun. Congratulations to all who have been picked.

Diamond Girl

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Double Take Time

Although I’ve been surrounded by baseball this weekend, it’s been the under 5 feet tall kind.  So today I heard the end of a very nice win and a very goofy KNBR broadcast on the way home and just went to the NL West standings and checked them out.  Then I did a double take.

West                   W        L       GB      L10   

Arizona               29       24     -         9-1     

San Francisco    29       24     -         5-5

Colorado            25       27    3.5      2-8

Los Angles         24       30    5.5      4-6

San Diego          23       31    6.5       4-6     

I did not see Diamondback brilliance in my crystal ball at all.  And while I guess they’ve been pretty amazing for 10 games, I have only just taken real notice of it.  Move over, Mile High people.  The dessert is giving you a run for your money.   And then, of course, the Giants.  Who are showing signs of taking my advice (okay, everyone’s advice.  I admit it has nothing to do with me.) and heating up.  I’m not trying to jinx them or anything.  But they looked good today.

Especially Torres, who is officially the Cutest Player in the MLB.  He gives the Little Leaguers a run for their money with his adorableness.  I want to bottle up his good games and sprinkle them over depressing ones, to get the energy going.  Heck, sprinkle them over depressing moments of my life, to get the energy going.

Sometimes it takes those lows (read: being swept by Milwaukee) to get some highs and maybe, just maybe, this is the start of something good.  It kind of feels like it.  I never liked Kevin Towers anyway.

And do me a huge favor and tell me “hip contusion” actually means “he’s eating ice cream and watching corny romantic comedies on demand in his hotel room” in code, okay?  Because it would make my Memorial Day Monday a little better.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  If you’re looking for something  to see on demand on your hotel room (other than corny romantic comedies) I recommend Wall Street: The Money Never Sleeps.  The acting, the script, the story… me and my bowl of raisins/blue chips really enjoyed it for the second time last night.

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