Tag Archives: major league baseball

In Photos: The Whole Spring-Debut Thing

Spring Training brings a lot of completely fantastic things, but also brings one thing that is, well, only kinda-sorta fantastic.  I’m talking spring-debuts.  Those strange, wonderful first appearances of a player who you usually haven’t seen in what feels like millions of years, due to injury.  At some point during Spring Training, they come out for their long-awaited first appearance and leave me a serious ball of nerves.  Observe:

That’s me during spring-debuts.  Because I am really excited and I do really want the player in question to rock all our socks off (Exhibit A: Excited) but I’m also just scared out of my head (Exhibit B: Scared Out  of My Head).  What if everything goes terribly?  It makes me feel like a party planner again or something.  Fun Fact About Diamond Girl: I ran a party planning business for three ill-fated weeks several summers ago.  Still around?

Anyhow.  The point here is, I don’t like being reminded of those party planning days.  Or being a ball of nerves, period.  So Buster Posey/Brian Wilson/et al.?  Keep that one in mind when you bash yourselves up this year, m’kay?  Now allow me smother you in comfort food and welcome you back to the show.

Diamond Girl

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Brandon Belt’s Not-So-Subtle Message of Mayhem

As those of you who have been reading this blog for a year or more know (if you are one of those, well, thank you!), the beginning of Spring Training can be a jittery time for me.  It’s just like seeing someone you haven’t seen in a long while and wondering, Will we still like each other?  I mean, I’m completely in touch with my Giants over the offseason, but that moment of the first pitch is still another whole ballgame.  No pun intended, believe it or not.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised this year to find that my usual jitters had disappeared in a poof! of orange and black smoke.

It probably helped that my first game was actually the second game overall.  Blame the people over at Little League ump training who are quite probably A’s fans.  (Just kidding, people at ump training!  Sorta.)  I thought I would get to hear some of the first game, but the clock was not on my side and I ended up clean missing it.  I came back to a nasty sunburn and no ballgame.  Talk about buzzkill.

Upside?  When I settled in with my Giants fleece blanket- in the 80 degree weather.  Yeah.- for today’s game, I wasn’t scared in the least.  I was just so completely ready to get this game started that my nerves flew out the window and instead I ended up grinning like the crazy fish lady that I am and whooping my heart out when Joe Martinez came in to pitch.  Yeah, I know he was pitching for the Diamondbacks and all, but in my mind, he’s a Giant forever and always.  I hope he does smashingly well this year, against everyone but us and most especially against the Dodgers.

I also whooped my heart out for, well, everyone on the Giants, in case you’re wondering.  Even the ones who I wasn’t sure I’d heard of.  Hey, as long as they claim to be Giants I’m down to be a fan of theirs.  Such is the way of the Kool-Aid we call Spring Training.

And, oh, can we talk bees for a second?  If you haven’t heard the story yet, I’ll clue you in quickly:  a swarm of bees decided to make the field their new home for a cool 45 minutes or so and left pretty much everyone at the stadium in either the get-me-out-of-here camp or the get-them-out-of-here camp.  United we stand and divided we fall.  So we fell for a while.  A boatload of people and fire departments later then, they were disposed of.  We stood again.  It did, though, take multiple attempts to goad the pesky bees with lemonade and cotton candy.  No joke.  I told you Spring Training is weird.

Angel Pagan also got me as a fan for life with this quote (quote and photo from MLB.com): “I didn’t know what to do.  If I get stung by one, that means I’m going to get stung by a million. I was right next to the bathroom in case I had to lock myself in.”

I.  Love. This.  Guy.

Personally, I am of the opinion that those killer bees were none other than our own killer B, Brandon Belt, who is obviously a werebee and is sending not-so-subtle messages to Sabes and Boch that if he doesn’t get more play time during the season, mayhem will follow.

Yeah, that sort of mayhem.  Pre-cise-ly.

Lastly!  Kevin of www.westsideculture.mlblogs.com sent in this photo to me from Saturday’s Spring Training opener for the Giants.  I could not, obviously, pass up a chance to talk about Chris Stewart, so here ‘tis.  Chris Stewart rocks, mais non?

Diamond Girl

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Playoff Expansion, First Spring Training Game, Conspiracy Theories and All That Good Stuff

Spring Training is one of my favorite times of year (well, spring, but spring is synonymous with Spring Training, right?) because of all the promise and optimism it brings, but also because of the endless news buzzing it creates.  After a long and quiet winter- if you’re a Giants fan, that is, because we’re rather sleepy in the winter like that- it’s endlessly lovely to hear real, concrete news.

I’m not talking about injury news, though, Dan Runzler, Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Ryan Vogelsong et al., so don’t go getting any ideas.  I would choose a rainy, snoozy news day over a They Are Falling Like Flies day any time.

What I am talking about?  Playoff expansion, for one.  Bud Selig has gotten down to work, following his extra (baseball) life which he was granted over the offseason, and the extra wild card deal was finalized today.  I felt surprisingly ambiguous at the time of the announcement because, heck, it’s March 2nd and the Giants are playing their first Spring Training game tomorrow and the world is beautiful and the playoffs could not be farther from my mind, but as the day went on, my feelings changed.

Which, I am kind of guessing, was part of MLB’s plan.  Ready for my conspiracy theory?  Okay, here goes: MLB is doing this when everyone is out of their permanently touchy offseason modes and still basking in the glow of baseball being back, so as to soften possible backlash.  And it seems to have worked, actually.  Which, yes, could have to do with the fact that we were all expecting this by now or just that no one is genuinely outraged, but that is far of a less compelling thought.  I vote for my conspiracy theory, anyone with me?

Anywho.  The reason I’m not for those extra wild cards, I suppose, is both a pro and con of the whole thing.  I think it makes it all even more a crap shoot, to use a Billy Beane-ism.  People are saying it’s exciting because it makes the playoffs even more “everyone’s game”, which is true.  And I see the appeal of that.  I’m sure that extra wild card team will win the World Series from time to time and it will make for a fabulous story.  But with the 162 game format, I’m more of the opinion that we should shy away from that whole crapshoot thing.  Winning big in baseball is about perseverance and I like it that way.  I think this just changes the game.  For better or for worse?  Who knows.  Only time will tell.  (Other half of me:  Duh!  For worse!  But I’m trying to be all non-judgmental here, so just forget I said that.)

Onto lighter and brighter things, I am soamazinglystokedforthegametomorrow.  I will probably be missing the majority of it due to more umpire training, but I will hopefully be catching- in a purely non-Buster-Posey-ish sense- the beginning.  I’m not even sure what to say about that, except that I’m not even thinking about winning or losing or injuries just… baseball game.  Baseball game.  Say it aloud and grin to yourself.  Do it.

(Try reminding me of that whole “not about winning or losing” thing in September.  Actually, don’t.  I can be snappish, on occasion.  That sounds like an occasion.)

Diamond Girl

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Inspired By @MLB… Some Completely Fab Leaps

This morning, MLB tweeted, “Greatest LEAP ever? RT if you agree, reply with your favorite leap …http://atmlb.com/x0oTMv”.  While that leap is pretty fab, I’m not convinced it is the best ever.  So, in honor of this special February 29th (the first time we’ve celebrated that on this blog!), I’ve decided to make a little gallery of what I consider to be some of the best baseball leaps.  Some are of catches, some of homers and some are of those beautiful things called World Series victories.  I think the most priceless parts of these photos are the facial expressions, but I gotta admit, these guys have some pretty fantastic leg power too.

So, what is your favorite leap?  Since it is a day that doesn’t really exist, I think we should debate completely fun and mindless things like this.  ‘K?  ‘K.

Happy Leap Day!

Diamond Girl

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What Do I Search On YouTube? Well…

After the extraordinary multitude of hideous dresses at the Academy Awards last night, I went to YouTube this evening to search up my favorite Dior fashion show which is fashion-therapeutic for me.  Then I looked back at the search box and what I had typed.

For the record, I was trying to say, “dior spring couture 2011.”  Still, YouTube didn’t seem to care.  It completely ignored that fact that my head is quite possibly screwed on the wrong way and showed me Dior shows, just like I wanted.  But I felt a little head-screwed-on-wrong all the same.

I have now defaced a Galliano dress in the name of this blog.  You are welcome to thank me, y’all.

Speaking of the head problems?  Let’s talk Academy Awards for a moment.  Suffice to say, padded shoulder jackets are terrible- looking at you, Glenn Close- and Howard Shore’s soundtrack to Hugo is one of the greatest in recent history.  But Billy Crystal is always funny and I got 17 out of 24 of my predictions right, which won me my video rental store’s contest and a boatload of free movies, so all is well in the world.

And now that award season is all finished, I am free to attempt a tan (ha!) and talk about Tim Lincecum’s back (problems) 24 hours a day and seven days a week.  In between glaring pointedly at photos of Brian Wilson and simultaneously hoping that he and all the endlessly iffy-somewhat-slightly-injured players are really ready for Opening Day.  Spring Training is just the practice run.  I am terribly jittery about the real thing.

And that Giants-Rangers match-up on March 23rd?  Yeah.  I’m jittery about that too.  My double/triple/quadruple life can be exhausting, you know.  And YouTube always ends up taking the brunt of it.  Someday I will put an apple (not Apple-apple, just a plain ol’ red thing, people) on its desk and thank it for its hard work.

Diamond Girl

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