Tag Archives: joe martinez

Battle of the 55s

The pitching matchup for tonight!

Am I thousand years behind everyone else in noticing this?  Alternately, seeing as there are a thousand and one 55s in MLB, does nobody else care?  Tonight is a big game, of course, because every Lincecum start is a chance at redemption and what better way to lead into redemption than that 12-7 win last night?  (Correction:  Thanks to tweeter @jeni_2782 for pointing out that the final was actually 14-7.  Say what?  I’m telling you, I can’t keep track of a team that actually scores runs.)  I am not used to those crooked numbers, not used to them at all.  I mean, for a little bit there, I felt like I was watching the Rangers.  Then I remembered that the Rangers have a cool General Manager who broadcasts a few innings of his team’s games on the radio and things and the Giants have Brian Sabean.  Talk about a reminder of what’s what.  That was kind of a sad moment but still, I enjoyed the game.

The Marlins stadium still weirds me out but, hey, if nightclubs are kind of their thing, who am I to criticize?  I am setting my wedding date with Kate Spade New York as I write.  Besides, that tidbit about the club section being so loud they couldn’t hear the phone in the bullpen is seriously priceless.  Remember when Tony La Russa suggested smoke signals because there was a big miscommunication between the bullpen and the dugout?   I thought it was a fantastic idea.  The Marlins might consider it too, just as long as they can figure out how to create teal smoke.  I have complete faith on that front.

The internet knows what I’m talking about.

Let’s also just talk Melky Cabrera for a moment, before I go.  That guy, guys.  He is the best thing to happen to San Francisco since Joe Martinez or something.  (No sarcasm there, I am terribly partial to Joe Martinez.  Never mind the stats.)  I admit to being perpetually puzzled by the Melk Men thing – I think it’s before my time maybe… don’t judge but I kind of get my milk at a grocery store – but with due love to J-Sanch, the Giants got the best part of that trade.   The best, the best.  Observe:

Tiene Leche, as the Yankees used to say.  Maybe we’re not cursed after all?

Diamond Girl

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The Hyper-Fast Rundown

Time to do a hyper-fast rundown.  Ready?  Okay.  I’m tired out already.  Whew.  Where to start? 

There are the obvious woes of the Giants, the ah-mazing hit streak of Pablo Sandoval, the creepily good resurgence of the big Z, what’s wrong with Timmy… all that good stuff.  But what’s really taken over the news today is the announcement that Aubrey Huff is on the 15-day Disabled List with an anxiety disorder.  I don’t think it’s what anyone was expecting out of the Huff announcement and it certainly raises a lot of questions.  Personally, I would hope we can all back off a little at the moment and just send positive thoughts his way, for whatever he might be dealing with.  He is a person first and a baseball player second.

With that said, Andrew Baggarly, over at CSN, reported this afternoon that Huff is going through a divorce at the moment and raised a good deal of ire within the fan ranks – people saying that was an invasion of privacy or just classless/in poor taste to report.  I think a lot of what is being said about Huff should carry over to Baggarly, honestly.  Bottom line, he’s trying to do his job.  They both are.  The whole thing is unfortunate, to say the least, but empathy all around is the best tactic, I think.  Aside from the fact that I absolutely adore that word, even.  Isn’t “empathy” a fantastic one?

Onwards!  For a short and wonderful time, the A’s were the first team in MLB history to have three Aussies on the team.  (As my brother quipped, “Because the A’s are so aussie-ome.”  Score, darling.  You should read my blog more.)  Then they DFA’ed one of ‘em, so they’re not quite so down-under heavy anymore.  But they still have two.  And two is making me grin and be glad to be in the Bay Area, even if I’m only vaguely A’s sympathetic.  Don’t shoot me, guys.  Vaguely.

Lastly, a shout-out to Joe Martinez, former Giant extraordinaire, who was called up by them Diamondbacks today.  I am not the least bit D-Back sympathetic, but I do hope Joey does well because I love that guy.  It’s okay if the Diamondbacks beat us just a couple times this season, right?  In completely non-key games and stuff.  Yeah, it’s okay?  Good.  I am glad to agree on this.

Diamond Girl

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Eugenio Bitterness, Name Battles and a Little Joey News

I didn’t like Andres Torres, at first.

I saw him- perhaps a little irrationally- as Eugenio Velez’s rival and nothing more.  Every game that Torres played was I game I wanted to see Velez in.  After Rowand was hit by Padilla in Los Angeles (yes, I was there but no, I did not hear the cracking of his skull from where I was sitting) and Velez was slumping pretty impressively in his place, Torres got some more playing time and gradually, I started to fall in love with his game.

I still had a bit of lingering Eugenio-bitterness, but then things heated up and Andres became one of the big faces on the World Series winnin’ franchise and I basically forgot about the rest.

Just about every media source has said this, since the news of his trade last night: it’s hard not to fall in love with him and his game.  He’s fun, magnetic and, sometimes, awfully good as well.

Then there’s Ramon Ramirez.  Any buzz he might have created after his trade to the Giants from Sox Who Wear Red at the 2010 trade deadline was basically extinguished by SF’s other bullpen acquisition at the same time, Javi Lopez.  Even though Ramirez ended that year with a- wait for it- .067 ERA and this year, his ERA was a respectable 2.62, he’s been largely anonymous to Giants fans.  Partially, probably, because his hat sits low on his head so we can never see his face and partially because he’s just not a spotlight player.  He threw me a ball at batting practice one day and struck out somebody I can’t stand, but that’s pretty much the extent of my distinct memories about him.

So that, to make a pretty long story pretty short, is why I met last night’s trade with mixed feelings.  I don’t think Torres or Ramirez are extremely valuable to the Giants organization nor are they irreplaceable, but I’m not convinced Ángel Pagan is anything different.  It seems ever so slightly pointless, a bit like Alderson and Sabes were either both played or both just going straight up, because I don’t think either side really got a whole lot.  Except, of course, that New York filched a reliever along with a center fielder.

Then again, these are the mystical Winter Meetings where GMs are ninjas with secret superpowers, so maybe I have just missed the larger plan/magic at play here.  Maybe it isn’t the moving-right-along-deal it appears to be.

I do have to say, though, that Pagan’s name probably tips out the scales in the Giants favor, as to who got the better end of the deal.  It’ll be much more fun to say, “Ángel Pagan” in center field than “Andres Torres”.  Sorry, Torres.  I love you, just… Pagan has you beat in the name department.

Also!  I have an admission to make: I have been sadly negligent in the whole monitoring-Joey-Martinez’s-career thing.  I searched him last night and discovered that not only was he the MVP of the AAA championship this season, but he also signed a one year deal with the Diamondbacks yesterday. 

The first part is very good news, the second part not so much.  He now has joined the list of Pitchers I Like In Arizona, also including Armando Galarraga (last year- he’s a free agent now).  This means he will be playing against the Giants far too much.  Come on.  Hands off my guys, Kevin Towers.

Diamond Girl

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Train Wrecks and Conspiracy Theories and Jousting and Salty Popcorn

In a few sentences: There were three runs on thirteen hits. Beltran got hurt. Lincecum got hurt. I wore a coat and boots at the beach in August.

Now yes, that sounds like a bit of a train wreck, but take heart because it wasn’t! It was a win against the Phillies and a much needed one at that. And I like cold beaches. In case you were worrying.

We got two new Offense Saviors in the form of four hits from Kepp (whose name I’ve given up on trying to spell, he’s just Kepp from now on) and then there was Stewart with the RBI single in the fourth inning to put the Giants on the board. In case I’ve failed to mention it before, I love this guy to pieces. I really do. He is on my list of Top 3 Favorite Giants.

Another interesting fact? Lincecum is also now 5-0 in starts against Oswalt. While that’s nice, I’m have plenty of conspiracy theories about why they face each other so much. I need Ian from National Treasure to fund my investigation on the schedule makers. As long as he, eh, promises not to try and kill me.

And after the game, the good news came that Beltran is probably alright. And Timmy is made of rubber or elastic or something else totally invincible so of course he’s alright. (When I say “of course”, I am leaving aside my utter panic at hearing of him being hit by that bat. “Of course” in retrospect.)

The reality was that the game avoided the sweep but we’re still in a pretty awful stretch here. But winning streaks start with just one win and I am totally prepared to believe that the next series is going to be brighter on our end. Amazingly enough, the Giants are still ahead of Arizona (I feel like I say that a lot, somehow) and the schedule just gets easier from here on out for a while. Starting tonight, with the Pirates are on a 10 game losing streak. As much as I feel for the Pirates and the city of Pittsburgh right now my empathy for them seriously lessened when they traded Joe Martinez to the Indians for cash considerations. Whatever “cash considerations” actually means, I am fine with the Giants elongating that streak a little.

Now that they’ve gotten my blessing, I’m sure they’ll go with it. I need some salty popcorn and a whole lot of baby carrots to get me through this. Who wants to go the grocery store for me?

Diamond Girl

p.s. Baseball is a much better sport than jousting, in case there was any doubt about that. I watched A Knight’s Tale last night. And my doubt was eliminated.

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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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