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Eli Whiteside is Ringo Starr and Other Facts of Life

As luck would have it, my EPSN Magazine subscription (it was real paper and everything… the “dead tree version”, they call it) ended last month.  Which means I’m missing out on their music-themed issue that’s coming out this month.  Now let’s just forget the fact that the whole concept’s a little shaky and they’re a sports magazine doing a music issue, which is just weird.  Aside from that!

I haven’t seen the magazine, so all I really know about it is that they recreate some album covers that they call iconic with professional athletes.  As I said.  Shaky concept.  Also, Katy Perry is nowhere near iconic and neither is Beyoncé.  Isn’t there like a minimum number of years – say, ten – before we can label stuff iconic?  No?  Well, there should be.

Another thing that should be mentioned about ESPN Magazine: they tend to forget that baseball exists.  So there’s just one photo with baseball players and it’s Justin Upton, Evan Longoria, Brandon Phillips, Giancario Stanton and Shane Victorino recreating Freedom of Choice, by Devo.

Devo1 Devo2

I feel sort of cheated, to be honest.  We (and by we, I mean MLB and by extension MLB fans) didn’t get Bob Dylan or Nirvana of MJ… hell, I would have settled for Katy Perry.

I took matters into my own hands.

Ramones - original Ramones (2)

Larry Baer got in on the fun.

Rubber Soul Rubber Soul3

As did, uh, Aaron Rowand.

The Madcap Laughs1The Madcap Laughs (2)

And lastly Barry Zito as everyone’s favorite crazy diamond.

Take that, ESPN Magazine.

Diamond Girl

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A Bit of Consolation for Eli Whiteside

Hide your catchers, people, because Brian Cashman is coming to steal them away.  First Chris Stewart and now Eli Whiteside?  Cashman needs to start preying on players at other positions.  Second basemen, maybe.  Or left-handed relief pitchers, perhaps.  That would be good.  But if we don’t watch out, Buster Posey might disappear from right under our noses any minute, so we need to watch out backs.

You know how Oakland fans say they always lose their stars to New York?  Across the Bay, we lose our… non-stars to New York, I guess.

In all seriousness, though, Eli Whiteside is one of those affable players who has lingered through a pretty amazing run for the franchise, never close by but never exactly far away either.  Whiteside doesn’t have any huge highlights, but there was a memorable fight somewhere in there against them Phillies and I, for one, always think of his homer against the Twins last June as well.  Safe travels in New York, Eli.  I hear they have, ahem, some really fabulous Italian restaurants on the Upper West Side.

In my very own New York news, I progressed from a crossing the street on foot when the light was yellow to crossing when the it was full-on red, but I figure it’s okay, I’m just prepping for my late hour Manhattan trip next month.  Which is probablykindasortahappening and if it does, it will be awesome and Eli and I can go to aforementioned Italian place together.

You hear that, Eli?  Everything will be all right.  I will be there to comfort you with ravioli when you begin to miss giraffe hats and San Francisco.

Aside from the big Whiteside news, the hot stove has been pretty much silent.  Like, completely silent.  Like, drop a pin and we would all hear it.  I ate too many vegan energy bars today – I’m not a vegan, but those things are devilishly good – and changed my Tumblr URL and that was all.  (I mean, there was the real life work/school stuff I did, but that doesn’t count.)  Life is lonely without baseball.  ::hot stove hugs::

Diamond Girl

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Cloudy With a Chance of Winning

The day of clinching is a grab-the-popcorn and cross your fingers kind of day.  The day after clinching is quite the opposite.  It’s a slow, lazy, happy sort of day.  But it was as soon as today’s lineup hit the internet that the reality began to set in.  The reality being that Giants are the 2012 National League West Champions.   2012.  National. League.  West.  Champions.

Blanco CF, Theriot 2B, Arias 3B, Nady LF, Pill 1B, Peguero RF, Whiteside C, Burriss SS and Petit RHP.

For the second time in three years, which is not bad at all.  A sense of inevitability set in, oh, every time Marco Scutaro came up to bat and when, a few thousand pitching changes later, they did clinch it, I was ridiculously happy.  Even happier, I think, than 2010.  The comparisons are many and unavoidable, but I think these two teams, in many ways, couldn’t be more opposite.  And I’ll go on record saying I think this one is better.  It’s anyone’s guess how the postseason will go – cloudy with a chance of winning, if you ask me – but I think we’ve got a really solid group here for a few years to come.

And that’s a gratifying feeling.  It gives way to elation, because this is just the beginning.  Bochy said that chances are all five starters will make the postseason roster, one of them as a reliever, and it seems right now that the Giants will be opening the NLDS against Cincinnati.  I’m already getting excited for it.  The way last night’s game ended, with all that fantastic relief pitching, was one of the big things that’s been key to the Giants success this season and that Pablo Sandoval catch was also completely spectacular, even if it wasn’t quite a Jonathan Sanchez triple.  We missed a year, but we’re back and better than ever.  Weird lineups and 2012 postseason, we’re ready for you.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  They lost today.  But I’m still smiling, so go figure.

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(Yet) Another Open Letter to Bud Selig

Back when I had copious amounts of hair, of course.

Dear Bud Selig,

First of all, I would like to note that our conversations have been feeling a little one-sided lately.  That’s a nice way of saying, Why the heck have you stopped answering my letters?  I put them on lilac-scented paper and everything.  Still, no answers.  I don’t mind you knowing that I feel like you’re blocking me out and that’s pretty hurtful.  Just answer me, okay?  If you’ve forgotten how to mail letters like everyone else in the 21st century, just get your assistant to do it or whatever.

To the point:  I’ve always been annoyed by the process of releasing the next season’s schedule at this time of year.  Kind of random.  Kind of right in the middle of the pennant race.  Or the wild card race.  Or the second wildcard race.  Pennant race is such a passé phrase these days.

But even if you’re going to release them now, why make them so controversial?  Now you may not understand why I find this controversial, but then again, you adore Interleague Play and as you know, I don’t.  So yes, I do find it controversial.  Bordering on offensive.

I used to be able to bear all the Interleague Play kookiness because it ended swiftly, before any of the real stuff kicked off after the All Star Break.  No longer.  Wikipedia and probably you too rationalized it with some mathematical stuff about the Astros moving to the American League necessitating Interleague Play being everywhere all the time, but I don’t really buy it.  “This will force interleague play throughout the season,” it says.  Really?  Force?

I mean, if you must, make the whole first half of the season Interleague, but then stop it there.  Seriously.  And if you’re going to mess with nature – I mean, scheduling – then why not make an effort to make the final month of the season mostly games playing within the division.  Because that’s pretty exciting.  More exciting than the Cubbies and the Mariners facing off in the Saddest Event Since Eli Whiteside Face the Guy With the 10.30 ERA.

(Sure, the Cubbies are going to win the World Series in the next four years.  But probably not next year.  Even Theo Epstein’s magic has some limitations.)

Well, I’ve spouted off long enough.  We actually have some important, non-Interleague games to play, and the Rockies were eliminated from division title contention last night, which just solidified my standing invitation to Dan O’Dowd for tea at my place.  He still hasn’t taken me up on it yet, but maybe when the sting of the elimination wears off…?

Anyhow, get back to me ASAP.  Thanks.

xoxo,

Diamond Girl

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Buster Posey Being Buster Posey

I shouldn’t have worried so much.  The Giants had that down, obviously.  Then again, my worrying did create this, so no complaints there.

 

Yes, they were every bit as delicious as they look, if I do say so myself.  And the Giants were every bit as wonderful as the box score might imply.  Nine runs in the actually-tolerable Atlanta weather (77 at gametime, aka miracle) and Barry Zito pitched not at all like a melting ice cream cone, in addition to driving in a run and altogether making me wonder how I ever complained about him.  Buster Posey was kind of the star of the show – there were a lot of stars, but he was one of the big ones – driving in five runs on three hits.  As noted yesterday, Atlanta is close to home for him and family and friends come to watch him droves, so his performance was fantastic in more ways than one.

A tidy 2.0 has turned into an even tidier 3.0, which is the biggest lead the Giants have had in nearly a year, if memory serves me right, so basically everything is golden right now.  This roadtrip is off to a much better start than the, um, last one.   Much better.

The one piece of bad news from the game was Hector Sanchez’s injury.  He was placed on the 15-day DL today with a leg injury and Eli Whiteside is on a plane to join the team in Atlanta as I write.  A lot of people seem terribly dismayed by this and while it’s certainly not good news, I am inclined to think the drop-off in production from the backup catcher is not going to be all that tremendous.  Is Whiteside likely to tear it up?  Nah.  He batted .197 last year.  This year, Sanchez is batting .281.  That’s clear enough, but I still think Whiteside will be just fine for the team for a couple weeks.  Also, with Buster Posey Being Buster Posey, it may or may not make a terribly huge difference.

If it does, there are always blueberry muffins to be made.  It’s been too long since I’ve done those.

Diamond Girl

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