Tag Archives: javier lopez

The Giants Had a HIMYM Marathon with Microwave Popcorn Today

Apparently the universe is a football fan.  (Or is the universe a plural?  The universe are footballs fans?)

Snow at Spring Training

Photo/@mlbPeteMcCarthy on Twitter

This was the scene at Spring Training in Arizona this morning with some rain and some hail and some, um, snow?  I have a hard time wrapping by head around that, but pictures or it didn’t happen doesn’t really apply because there are pictures.  Lots of pictures.  Bored beat writers at Spring Training love taking photos, you know.

Anyway, it sounds like the Giants sort of kicked it and did baseball related things indoors, which I assume means a How I Met Your Mother marathon and microwave popcorn.

Closer by committee is garnering some eyerolls but I mean it did work when these guys a World Series last year, so I don’t think it’s time to panic just yet.  The closer situation may become apparent in unexpected ways once they start playing games or something.

Madison Bumgarner thinks you should get your girlfriend/wife/imaginary girlfriend a baby calf for Valentine’s Day and also he hit Javier Lopez in the hand with a pitch and bruised him pretty badly.  Lopez is out for a few days, but should be back pretty soon.  Whether or not girlfriend/wife/imaginary girlfriend will ever be back after receiving that gift is anyone’s guess.

Diamond Girl

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Closer-By-Committee is Like Dinner-By-Committee

Whew, that felt like an actual baseball game!  It doesn’t feel like we’ve had one of those in a while, in both a positive and negative way.  Going back to the last game of the Mets series, the finals have been:  1-9, 16-4, 11-6, 8-3 and 2-8.  Lots and lots of crooked numbers.  That’s why yesterday’s game was kind of a welcome surprise, because although Buster Posey pretty much blew it open and never looked back in the first with a three-run homer, it was still a final of 4-2.  And can I just say again, How hot is Buster Posey?  It’s a little bit ridiculous at this point.  Ridiculous in the completely elated sense of the word.  Ridiculously wonderful.

Barry Zito also had a huge game, in a completely different way.  He’s been struggling lately and I think a lot of people (myself included, mostly) had a bad feeling coming into that start.  He proved us all wrong by throwing out a quality start, 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs.  He put himself back into the win column and in the middle of August, that’s pretty huge for Zito, who’s never finished with a winning record as a Giant, if memory serves me right.

The last person who super-über came through is my very favorite Jeremy Affeldt who has to have put himself in the closer conversation big time, if he wasn’t there already.  He has only three saves this year but quietly, he’s looked very, very good.  With Casilla struggling on the field and battling a blister issue off the field, the closer-by-committee is the word of the moment.  (This seems to be Bruce Bochy’s favorite thing ever.  Not sure why.  It’s a little like picking-what-we-should-have-for-dinner by committee.  And I don’t know about you guys, but in my family, that doesn’t really ever at all work.)  Romo’s been mostly fantabulous as well, but he can be fantabulous in the 8th, right?  Javier Lopez can work his magic at other handpicked moments.  Having a closer goes a long way, in my opinion.  Just like executive dinner-making decisions go a long way.  Pasta caprese every night.  Also, Jeremy Affeldt every save situation.

 

We have two more games in St. Louis now because of this devilry called a four game series, so get used to the extremely hot weather from afar.  Ryan Vogelsong is taking the mound and Buster Posey is taking the everything-else.  It’s going to be good.

Diamond Girl

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In Which I Do Not Impersonate Brian Sabean, But I Do Give Him a Bit of Advice

If I were Brian Sabean right now (and you know how I love impersonating Sabes), I am honestly not sure what I would be doing right now.

I think I called the Giants a kaleidoscope kind of team way back when in 2010 but now all I see is a tangled, tangled spiderweb.

Frankly, the whole toxicity-of-Rowand-and-Tejada thing really weirded me out, because the idea for the past few years with this team has been that chemistry is a complete non-issue.  I think people start hinting darkly at things like that when the team is doing badly, mostly, but I also think this team isn’t exactly the good old brotherhood any more.  Some changes may (may?  Will.) need to be made and the ownership change only thickens the plot.

So Sabean’s first offseason move (oh, less than 48 hours after the Defending World Champions thing vaporized) was to resign Javier Lopez to a two year deal, worth 8.5 million and extend Jeremy Affeldt for one more year.

Interesting, I say, very interesting.

If I had a beard (which I most certainly do not, for the record), I would be stroking it right now.  I mean first of all, HE DIGS THE LEFTIES.  And second, yeah, he seems serious about the pitching and especially the bullpen.  Like, 8.5 million serious.  Very serious, that is.

Personally, I like it.  Because I specifically like both those guys, but also because I don’t think the Giants need a big, attractive move (hello, Prince Fielder).  Those never work, except when they do, and anyway we just want a contender, right?  If this pitching staff is set right and Aubrey Huff develops a tendency to hit balls, that could contend right there.  So I think sticking to the core is a smarter way to go and this makes me feel, perhaps incorrectly, but still, that Sabes might agree with me.

Or I might agree with Sabes.  But I prefer the former.  You know.

Diamond Girl

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My Grizzly Birthday!

Let’s just say we had some quality entertainment on the way down to Fresno.


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It was maddening and riveting at the same time and I can’t say I cried when Wilson blew the save.  My team spirit when he’s pitching basically disappears.  Can’t bring myself to root for him.  But when Rowand walked-off?  Oh yes.  I was cheering.

The game actually didn’t seem that weird to me.  The 2010 Giants did that kind of thing a whole lot and Wilson was, of course, totally torturous.  During the postseason, they blew past everyone but the team doesn’t usually do things the easy way.  And that can get ugly.  Not to be a downer, or anything. 

I’ll also admit that I’ve never watched a banner raising before, but that one was beautifully executed.  And the banner, when it was folded up, looked exactly like the fleece Giants blanket I made a while back.  And how many times do you think they practiced the cueing of We Are the Champions to get it right?  Because it was so right.

Anyway.  Fresno.  It was great.  Really, really, great and totally different.  We were two rows from the field, by the bullpen and it was so quiet you could probably have heard a pin drop.  The fans don’t cheer.  Ever so occasionally, they whistle (that’s trendy, I guess) but the PA’s attempts to get cheers going were totally in vain.  It really refocused the game, though, and I could hear Jackson Williams (catching in the bullpen) and an unidentified person who was spotting them talking which was entertainment in and of itself.  It was a pretty tight game but the Grizzlies lost to the Las Vegas 51s 4-1.  Emmanuel Burriss who was tearing it up and, frankly, just looks like a big leaguer, set a Grizzlies record with four stolen bases in one game. 

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It was absolutely freezing (what else is new?) and we spent most of the game discussing how Brian Sabean/Bobby Evans/Other Front Office People get down there from San Fran.  Because it’s a long drive.  I kind of think they have a rock star decked out helicopter.  Of maybe they just use the airport.

I did have one big problem with the game and that was the trivia question near the beginning:

Which Grizzly went to the Pirates in the Javier Lopez trade?

I’ll tell you which Grizzly.  The one who I changed my background to Pirates-themed for, for a day, because I am such a huge fan.  Joe Martinez.  They didn’t have to bring that up.  It’s an emotional subject for me.  The question was multiple choice and one of the answers was Eugenio Velez and the PA guy pronounced it Ay-oo-gene-ee-o.  Do you think he did that every night when Velez was there?  Because that would have driven me insane.

This was my first minor league game and two things really struck me.

First, that these guys are so close to being Major Leaguers- plenty of them have been called up sometime- and still they are in a totally different stratosphere down there.  Why is everyone so uninterested?  There’s a really fine line between these guys and MLB players.

Secondly, they didn’t seem huge into team spirit.  Which makes sense, but felt strange anyway.  Neither team seemed that interested in who was winning.  I guess it’s really about individual player performance (which, of course, include teamwork.  Just doesn’t depend on the team winning.) but it still bizarre to watch.

It was really a lovely birthday and felt deliciously old style.  Like that stadium experience might have been that way, way back when.

 

Flowers and birthdays are a match made in heaven.

Catch y’all later.  The (discriminatory) Orange and Black Attack Team are rocking tuxes and that is big news. 

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Cliffy and A-Rod’s year book photos?  Too cute.

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This is for you, Eugenio (and a little bit for you, Executive of the Year) and Why Dave Groeschner is Due for a Mohawk

So this post was going to be for Eugenio Velez and then I read that Jon Daniels was named Executive of the Year by Baseball America and so I had to mention that first and foremost.  Congratulations to Jon and the whole Rangers organization.  Very much deserved.  It’s Time, and all that.

Anyway.  I miss Eugenio already.  Which is weird, because he hardly played last year, but I still miss him, you know, being there.  I know there is still the possibility that the Giants will sign him to a minor league contract, but I doubt that will happen.  At first I was very sad to hear they had non-tendered him but I’m trying to look at a bright side.  Hopefully he will find an organization that does need and want him now and has room for him in the majors.  I think if someone puts some confidence in him and gives him a real chance he will be a strong MLBer.  (Don’t breathe a word about his bunt attempts.  Seriously.  Don’t.)  And I do have a few teams on my wish list of who signs him.  Ahem, Doug Melvin or Jon Daniels?  Y’all should sign Eugenio Velez.  To see him in Brewer Blue or Ranger Red would make me very happy. 

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Meanwhile the Giants did tender Andres Torres, Jonathan Sanchez, Cody Ross, Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez and Santiago Casilla.  Ray and Velez are the two who were not tendered.  Both Burrell and Fontenot were signed to one year, one million dollar deals.  It looks to me (and probably to everyone else on the face of this beautiful planet) like Sabean is trying to re-sign everyone and keep the idea the same.  The problem I see with that, as I’ve written about before, is they’re not misfits anymore.  They’re players who won the World Series and are earning some nice money now.  Will it work again? 

Then again, there might be some big moves still ahead for the Giants.  Sabean tends to surprise us like that.  So you know when we’ll find out?  Yeah, you guessed it.  The Winter Meetings.  Three days.  I am still giddily excited.  Stay tuned.

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And it’s Day 8 and the snowflake earrings are still in my ears, in case you were wondering. 

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Dave Groeschner is due for a mohawk.  In the Inside the Clbhouse:  Hitters from January, he tells Pablo that if they go to the World Series, he’ll get one.  They went to the World Series.  Heck, they won the World Series.  He totally needs to get one now.

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