Tag Archives: little league

My Own Armando Galarraga Moment, Comin’ Right Up

In between doses of Once Upon a Car and some books of French fairytales, this is my new reading assignment.

That’s right.  Diamond Girl is going all ump on you.  I will soon be decided the futures of Little League games and arguing with Little League dads who are probably some of the most fearsome people you will meet in your life.  I went to my first ump training session yesterday and am pretty much scared out of my mind.  But excited.  And scared.

See, when I think about it in the sense of If I were to blow a call and crush a kid, who then decided that, because of said blown call, he doesn’t want to play baseball anymore and he hates the game for the rest of his life, when he was really destined to become the next Derek Jeter… I get more than “pretty much” scared out of my mind.  So I am trying not to think about it that way.  Instead, I’m thinking about it as, What could possibly be worse than butchering kid’s names in the announcer’s booth?  Then I feel much better.

One confusion did arise when, in one of the ump training PowerPoint slides, they said, “Dress to impress!”  I started thinking of all sorts of interesting ways I could make the ump uniform most interesting and fun when I suddenly realized they meant black pants and a black t-shirt.  Huh.  This is going to be interesting.

Wish me luck, my friends.  I may need it.

Diamond Girl

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Little Leaguers Snazzy Defense and a Freaky Friday Baseball Movie Proposal. And Another Kind of Proposal.

Did NBC just link to my blog as a “do this, not that” for proposing to Ryan Braun? Oh yes. http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2011/04/25/brewers-fan-flashes-her-phone-number-on-national-tv-somehow-this-backfires-video/related.  I am sort of super hyper/super excited right now and I think I should be on Good Morning America as an expert  or something.  Just too bad that I had approximately 0 hours of sleep + strange hair in the photo, if that is going to be my claim to fame.

Anyhow.  My blood pressure is lowering and I’m am now recollecting that I was at a Little League game a few hours ago and my brother’s coaches always seem to pin him as a closer.  It was a save situation today that got even closer before we finally won.  The phrase, “Rays Baseball: Torture!” comes to mind.

This team does have some pretty snazzy defense, though, and they are so much easier on the eyes when it comes to that than the Giants.  Okay.  Wow.  I just got the greatest idea for a movie:  It’s like Freaky Friday except it’s 12 Little Leaguers who get transported into the bodies on MLBers and vice versa.  That would so great.  And in this case, I think the Giants would do better with these little guys playin’ for them.  That is © 2011, by the way.  If you are a Hollywood big shot (getting carried away, am I?) and you want to make this, you gotta ask me and put a Meet Hayden Christensen clause in the contract.

The song quote that is stubbornly stuck in my head today is “you can go anywhere you wish/’cause I’ll be there, wherever you are” (from Technicolor Phase) and so I’m trying to overcome my groupie tendencies and not follow the Giants to PNC Park.  Even though I’ve always wanted to go there.  Tell me this is a bad idea.  Thanks.

Aaaand that’s a wrap on my disjointed thoughts on an off day.  Sweet dreams.

Diamond Girl

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The Orange and Black Attack Team is Discriminatory and Why Little League Needs General Managers

So today my father was digging through his drawers and found an Orange and Black Attack Team t-shirt that was thrown to me at the stadium last summer.  Why was my t-shirt in his drawer?  Because it’s an Adult Large.  All the shirts they throw are that size.  I personally am 5″1 and it goes down to my ankles.  Which makes it totally useless to me, aside from a super-fashion-faux-pas-dress-thing.  I am offended.  Short people are baseball fans too.  So here’s my proposal:  throw coupons.  Then people can go claim their shirts at a stand in the size of their shirts.  Hey, they might even save some money with people forgetting to claim their t-shirts.  And short people wouldn’t feel discriminated against.

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I went to my brother’s first Little League scrimmage the other day and I started thinking that Little League needs General Managers.  Hear me out before you start snickering.  Here’s why:

There are no trades or free agents in Little League, but starting at AAA level there is a draft.  We all know coaches aren’t really equipped to be drafting, so why not use the GMs for that?  During the season they could sometimes assist the manager about on-field operations and they could walk around in suits with cell phones looking bothered and self-important.  We already have a good number of parents who do that (not pointin’ any fingers here, but…). 

The General Manager might also serve to diffuse the management system which can become a little dictator-like at times.  The manager would handle the real live baseball and the GM would handle the politics.  That’s a full time job in Little League, you know.

So diplomacy skills, a suit and a Blackberry would be required.

Who would be perfect for this job?  Well.  Me.  Cue the duhs.

And I don’t even require a suite of my own.   A little patch of metal bleachers will do.  And some free licorice from the Snack Shack.

Diamond Girl

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Diamond Girl’s Plan of Attack for the A’s New Stadium

So how was everyone’s holiday weekend?  Mine was nice, aside from an unpleasant reminder that it isn’t exactly baseball season yet.  My little brother had a baseball tournament and after being rained (and snowed.  Snow around Fremont.  So weird.) out the first day we went down the second day in 40 degree weather at the hottest point.  Only for me to open up my purse and take out one black glove and one black sock.  Giant oops.  My hand nearly froze off until someone finally lent me a full pair.  These tournaments also schedule 10 year olds starting their games at 9PM.  Which is weird, seeing as the games then go til 11.  Can we say way past bedtime right about now?

In MLB news this weekend has brought Brian Wilson conspiracy theories (aka, TMZ says he was partying with Charlie Sheen), A-Rod-might-be-an-okay -guy-after-all theories, Jon-Daniels- would-love-to-walk-in-and-hug-everybody-every-day-but-that’s-not-critical-to-winning-and-other-strange-assorted-quotes-from-Rangers-and-Michael-Young.   And a what-the-heck-is-interesting-cardio, Brian Wilson?  You know. Stuff like that.

But the (arguably) biggest news is that me and my better half (The Older Sister) came up with a brilliant plan.  So you know how the A’s are trying to move to a new city?  Las Vegas had been thrown around, as has San Jose, but the Giants continue to block that.  However.  Since I can convince Brian Sabean to do almost anything (voodoo dolls and all that), I started thinking, They should move to Berkeley!  And the reason Berkeley is better than any other city?  Well, a. Diamond Girl lives here.  And b. We have a location and a neighborhood that way needs some, ahem, re-hab.  People’s Park.  Telegraph Ave.  We could call them the Berkeley Batty Bats.  Or the Everlasting Gobstopping Sea Lions.  Or something.  I’m not really great with names.  None of the players would have to move because it’s so near to Oakland but maybe Berkeley would be a better city for a baseball team…?  Huh.  If you put it that way, Oakland seems like a fine home.  Berkeley can’t even re-pave a block of a street.  Billy Beane would have to become mayor and re-vamp the whole city.  This plan is getting real complicated.  I think I actually just vote for Vegas.

Diamond Girl

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On the End of the Season, Barry Zito Second Career Idea, Coming Right Up and My Thoughts on All Things Contractual

Quickly… I’m honored and flattered to have my blog on the front of MLBlogs.  Thank you, people who decide those kinds of things!  But could you have chosen a picture where I wasn’t having a bad hair day?  That was a Bad Hair Day with capitals.  Do you think that’s why Ryan Braun didn’t come over?  Never mind.  Let’s have this conversation another time.

I want you to know that this game is giving me nightmares.  It’s not like I’ve never dreamt about baseball before.  Last offseason I dreamt that Barry Zito was having Thanksgiving dinner with my family and he kept falling asleep on his plate of noodles, and he didn’t look great with tomato sauce on his face, but this was different.  (That dream does beg the question: “Why were you eating noodles on Thanksgiving?”  Good question.  Don’t know the answer.)  Last night I dreamt that the Giants last game kept going on and on and no one would tell me the Braves score.  I was running around the house yelling, “Did it go final?”  I think it’s time for the regular season to be over.

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Photo not by me.  I don’t really eat noodles that much.  I just dream about eating noodles.

The regular season and the playoffs feel really different from each other, obviously, and today feels like the end of the marathon, which has literally lasted more than half a year.  It still feels less like a marathon, though, because it’s about one game or three games right now, so we’re getting a taste of the playoffs, instead of the “lots of time” mindset.  It’s going to be fun, no question, but I’m still sad for the endless every day spring and summer games to be over.  It drizzled today.  Where did the year go?  Did this go as fast for you as it did for me?  I’m looking at the year and it reminds me of Zito’s start yesterday.  A kind of, “Oops, that happened too fast, can we go back?”  It was ugly, yesterday.

My assessment about the Willie Mac Award has always basically been that 100,000 fans opinions are equivalent to one Barry Zito opinion.  Literally, they are, because the winner of the fan vote counts as one, just each player or staff member vote counts as one.  Self-esteem denting much, fans?  But those 100,000 fans together might pitch a little better than Zito did yesterday.  At least they might throw strikes albeit strikes that would land in McCovey Cove.  As we always say to console parents whose kids are getting snowed at Little League games, “At least he’s throwing hard.  At least he’s in the zone.”  When they start walking in runs, we say, “Does he play soccer in the offseason?”  (Just kidding, about that, by the way.  We actually nod soulfully.)

If his pitching career fails, I’d like to suggest a new career as a nail polish namer.  I’m not really clear on how you get into that industry, but name recognition might help.  Do you think people who hire nail polish namers would be familiar with a Cy Young Award winner?  You never know.  Anyway.  The reasoning behind my idea is in his nicknaming of Pablo Sandoval which has becoming one of the great marketing tools of the Modern Era (I’m talking about Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval, not Pablo “Strand-Em-All” Sandoval) and his naming of his sporadic radio show “The Unicorn Hour”.  That might have been dreamed up by a brilliant young marketing executive at KNBR, but it kind of sounds like he came up with it.  And if he ever lacks inspiration, he could just dig into his 126 million dollars and hire someone to come up with ideas for him.  Take it from someone who spends a small fortune (a small fortune in my terms.  Not even on the radar screen in terms of 126 million dollars) on nail polish.  They need some fresh blood in the naming process.

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Photo by me.  One of my favorite ways to waste time is to photograph bottles of nail polish from interesting angles.  For once, I am not kidding.

It may sound like I’m picking on Zito about his contract, so I want to make it really clear that I’m not and I’d like to take this time to state my opinion on all things contractual.  Let’s say the thought process goes like this:  Coming home from a hard day of work to your family, who you are desperately trying to support in tough economic times.  You turn on your radio and hear, “And Zito walks in another run.”  You think, “God, how long would it take me to make as much as he makes in one GAME?  I hate Barry Zito.”

That’s where the thought process goes wrong.  I’d like to put us all in a room, getting offered 126 million dollars for doing nothing.  I think we’d all say yes.  Zito got offered that money to do what he’s probably wanted to do since he was a little kid.  You can hate the industry of baseball for how much its athletes get paid or you can hate Brian Sabean for signing someone to such a huge contact for so many years, but why hate Zito himself, exactly?  Take Aaron Rowand as another example.  The guy is notorious for working as hard as he possibly can to do his job well.  And some General Manager offered him financial stability for the rest of his life.  Why hate Aaron Rowand?

All kidding and hard stuff aside, though, I still believe in Zito, if only because he seems programmed to contradict people, like the rest of his current team.  He’s been Gollum for a while now, but he could still become “a light when all other lights go out.”, if given the chance.  To take a page out of NY baseball lore (since we’re the mercenary Yanks now):  You Gotta Believe.  Or, you know:  You Gotta Bereave.  We’ll see.  Stay tuned, darling people.  The marathon is going… going… gone…

Diamond Girl

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