Tag Archives: hunter pence

The Backwards Cap Was a Trainwreck, But the Rest of It Wasn’t

Barry Zito is one of the most puzzling creatures currently gracing Major League Baseball.  And I mean that in the nicest possible way (for now).  He took the mound last night in San Francisco and led the Giants to their fourth straight win.  Those four straight wins, incidentally, have been the four games following the MCM.  Speaking of puzzling news.  Sabes should really take note of the fact that this team evidently responds quite well to reverse psychology and the media saying their world has come crashing down and all that stuff.  Heck, maybe he should start paying the media to say nasty things about the team’s future.  Four-game win streaks might follow.  Might be awesome.  Might be the new Moneyball.  Might stop the Bay Area is a cheating hotspot! chatter (lookin’ at you, Bartolo Colon) and usher in a new era of, Bay Area is a baseball innovation hotspot!  Or is paying the media to write something about you cheating…?

Either way!  Back to Zito.  It’s August 24th and he’s sporting a winning record and an ERA of 4.31.  He’s had some terrible starts and some absolutely dazzling ones, but he’s been good enough overall that I don’t feel the difficult-to-resist urge to cringe every time he pitches.  And yesterday, he pitched a shutout into the ninth.  And got “Barry!” cheers.  And was like, “Duuuuuude,” in his postgame press conference.   (Just kidding about the last part.)

He also wore a backwards cap, which was kind of a trainwreck, but nothing else about last night was, so I’ll just forgive and forget.

Angel Pagan went on being über-Angel Pagan who’s his amazingly fabulous alter ego, as far as I can tell.  The offense actually hit and Hunter Pence put down a marvelous bunt which all left me in a state of slight disbelief.  In a good way.  A very, very good way.

Diamond Girl

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Disappointed, Angry and More Than a Little Bit Crushed

This has been a pretty crushing day.  In case you live under a rock (which I would understand – those things sound cozy), I’m sure everyone’s heard that Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance.  He’s out for the rest of the 2012 regular season, although he would be eligible a few games into the playoffs, were the Giants to get to that point.

He did not claim he drank his daughter’s cough syrup , a la Guillermo Mota.  He did not claim his sample was tainted or FedEx messed up, like our favorite liar-through-this teeth, Ryan Braun.  He did claim anything at all (unless there was an appeal that did not go public, like Braun’s would have, had it not been leaked).  He issued this statement today:

“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down.”   

Ouch.  This one hurts.  This one really, really hurts.  Honestly, I’m disappointed and I’m angry and I’m more than a little bit crushed.  Melky was, of course, a fan favorite but beyond that, he was having a monster year and was one of the most important parts of the club, hands down.  This is a needle in our balloon of playoff hopes, no two ways about it, and it’s also not something I, for one, saw coming.  It hurts.

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, because I am kind of a cynic and watched too much cycling growing up (and cycling today is basically Doping 101), so I tend to think the use of PEDs is more widespread than we think.  The way the clubs distance themselves from the players after a positive test leaves me with a bad feeling, because are these players really operating on their own?  The signs point to it.  They definitely do.  But I’m still not completely convinced.  While I feel angry at the players, I also feel some level of sympathy.  There is a tremendous, tremendous amount of pressure on them to perform and if there are people higher up, – an organization, coach, trainer etc. – propagating this and not owning up, then that makes me even angrier.

The New York Times took an interesting angle, interviewing the Rangers’ Matt Harrison who got beat up by Melky in the All Star Game.  “‘Anytime you hear about something like that, with someone that’s had success against you, it’s disappointing,’ Harrison said Wednesday by his locker in the Rangers’ clubhouse at Yankee Stadium. ‘You know that they got a little advantage over you because of something they took. But at the same time, it’s over with now. You move on. That’s something he has to deal with. It’s not my issue.’”  The sport can be tainted quickly and it has been, in the past.  I think Major League Baseball likes to portray it like it’s not an issue any more, but it is and this an unpleasant reminder of that.

But anyway!  The season is obviously not over and whether or not the front office had an inkling of this when they made the Hunter Pence trade, we do have Hunter Pence.  That counts for something.  And by something, I do not just mean copious numbers of acrostics on my blog.  There’s a lot of baseball left to play and a lot that could still happen.

Still, Jonathan Sanchez looks awfully appealing right now.

Actually, no.  He doesn’t.  Not even now.

Diamond Girl

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The Second In My Series of Hunter-Pence-Inspired Acrostics

Why does Hunter Pence inspire acrostics?  Good question.  I’ll let you know if/when I find out.

How can you predict baseball?

U are just resigning yourself to

Never getting a good deal at the

Trade Deadline, leastways not

Eugenio Velez (irrelevant line, keep moving, guys.)

Right now, in 2012.

 

People have short

Evaluation windows and

No one was absolutely thrilled with Hunter Pence’s

Clutch hitting to start off his career with

Emily’s Giants (because they are Emily’s Giants, aren’t they?)

 

I know I wasn’t and

Some random person on Twitter wasn’t, so…

 

Anyway!

We were all feel kind of downerish about this.

Everyone hates the Dodgers and we needed

Someone to be that difference-maker

Other than Buster Posey, ‘cause he goes without saying

My personal opinion was that Pence was doing fine but

Everyone knows fine is not the same as

 

Absolutely awesome.

Fate intervened!

The Giants were having a seriously up-and-down game today when

Everyone’s (new) favorite Hunter Pence drove home the point that the

Rockies are toast.  (Which means Dan O’Dowd is still welcome for toast and tea at my place.)

 

A homer!  The first in his Giants career!

Let’s all chill out and do yoga or whatever.

Let’s also acknowledge the undeniable fantasticness of Hunter Pence, even aside from that neat little homer.

Diamond Girl

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What, One Can Simply Score More Runs?

I may have said something along the lines of “One does not simply score more runs,” the other day.  My blog is the virtual equivalent of a fascist state, so you can’t confirm whether or not I actually said that.  (Okay, fine.  You can.  That’s what the neat “scroll” feature on your computer is for.)  Anyhows, Friday, it sure looked like it and the Giants went down quietly, 3-0.  Silently.  But then today rolled around and… things were different.

Nine runs, thirteen hits different.  This team has kind of morphed to a point that it’s creepy, except not creepy because it’s completely wonderful.  Actually, still creepy.

Boromir is happy.

A lot of different pieces fell into place.  Matt Cain delivered what was probably his best performance since the perfect game way back in June – June was also, incidentally, the last time a Giant other than Buster Posey hit a homer at home, so there’s that –, Hunter Pence started to look a little bit like the Hunter Pence we know and love and, um, traded our souls to the devil for and Buster Posey kept hitting ‘em homers at home.   Angel Pagan also had a lovely little two-run triple.  He can do everything except, you know, catching a ball in a sensible fashion.

I love the Rockies.  I really do.  If Dan O’Dowd ever comes to the Bay Area to catch a game, I will gladly invite him over for tea and thank him from the bottom of my heart for creating such an, ahem, fun team to play.

Diamond Girl

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Why You Should All Be Getting a Goldfish, Pronto

For those of you who are not on Twitter (first of all, congratulations on actually having a life) things get a little crazy around the Trade Deadline.  It’s very, very easy to start a rumor over there and significantly harder to prove whether or not it’s true.  Also, us news-starved fans really want to believe that every Josh-Hamilton-to-the-Giants-for-a-minor-league-second-baseman rumor is true even if we know, not even that deep down, that it’s most definitely not.

So last night, the sports director for KPIX TV which is, apparently, our local CBS affiliate, tweeted that he had a source confirming a Hunter Pence to the Giants deal.  CSN’s Andrew Baggarly retweeted it and the rest is history.  Long story short, it appears that the story has no truth to it and no one was even sure, for a while, that the original Twitter account was legitimately connected to KPIX.  It seems that the account was real, just the news was not, but the whole thing was infinitely confusing.

Looks legit, no?

It was also a bad cap to an even worse weekend for the Giants fandom.  Being swept by the Dodgers is always bad, but at home, in the end of July, with a slim division lead is seriously pretty terrible. It’s also a matter of being so close to the Trade Deadline, I think, because this series is not indicative of the Giants in general, but this is a moment when everyone wants to gauge their team – the strengths, the weaknesses.  Ideally, we’d look back over the whole season and get a sense of where we are and who we are, but the world is not ideal and the microscope naturally falls on what’ s happening right this moment.  With so much up in the air and Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez injured (by the way, my view on the impact of Sanchez being on the DL has morphed, because the repercussions have made it a bigger deal than I expected), it’s hard not to feel like the team has to do loads, right this moment.

Which is why “waivers” is rapidly becoming my new favorite word.  Because the Trade Deadline isn’t the be all end all, remember?

Also, just like your Facebook friend who says her life is absolutely awesome, your Twitter friend who says the Giants are absolutely trading for completely-awesome player might just be lying.  Or misinformed.  But probably lying, because we’re baseball fans and we’re pessimists.

My advice is to get a hobby like tending goldfish or basket-weaving because this is kind of insanity-inducing if you get too into it.  Goldfish, on the other hand, are lovely little creatures who are not concerned with CBAs and ownership approval.

Diamond Girl

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