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5 Things I Loved About 2012 in San Francisco Giants-Land

The season is over.  The Dodgers beat the Giants 5-1 and now Theo Epstein And Other Losing GMs Whose Names I Can’t Remember are going into their war rooms/man caves/boring offices and getting ready to tackle the offseason.

Not Sabean.  Not us Giants fans.  The horchata ice cream is on steeping right now – horchata is a cinnamon rice drink from Mexico and it’s divine – and I am celebrating.  Because these playoffs, silly extra wildcard and all, are going to be pretty damn exciting.  There was serious drama in Oakland this afternoon with the A’s stealing the division title from the Rangers at the last moment and Emily, in the car, turning on her radio right before the last out and promptly, oh, slamming it off.

Still, it will be interesting for the Rangers.  They’ve lost in the World Series two years in a row… something had to change.  This could be just the shakeup they need, you know?

(Positive affirmations FTW.)

Anyway, as some of you (a few of you?  Yeah?  Maybe even one?) might remember, last year on the final day of the regular season, I made a list:  162 Things I Loved About 2011 in San Francisco Giants-Land.  I will go on the record as saying that was insane.  It took me a couple of days vegetating in bed and a few more days of H&M retail therapy to recover.  So, this year, I’ve decided to be do something a little… different.  5 Things I Loved 2012 in San Francisco Giants-Land!  (America’s youth is no longer ambitious.  You have proof.)

5.  The Marco Scutaro.  When Sabean picked up Scutaro, there was more than a little headshaking and whispering in this fandom – hey, you did it too, don’t even try to deny it – and then he began to hit and that was pretty much it.  The Marco Scutaro is spectacular.

4.  The Bullpen.  Believe it or not, Brian Wilson went down this season, even though it feels like ages ago now.  And this bullpen has stepped up big time.  Sure, there were bumps in the road, but overall?  I feel good about ‘em going into the postseason.  And that’s huge.

3.  The Buster Posey.  ‘Nuff said.  Also, huge congrats to him winning the batting title.  Hunter Pence is keeping secret what present the Giants got him, but I sure know what I would get him if someone would, um, donate the funds.

2.  The Matt Cain.  Who pitched a perfect game.  (Hey, that rhymed!)  Not only did that provide us bloggers with endless jokes about his perfection, all season long, but it also was, you know, a perfect game.  So there’s that.

1.  Making the playoffs.  There’s a foggy year in there somewhere (every year is a foggy year in San Francisco, but you know what I mean), but the Giants have bounced back big time and I think they’re seriously, seriously poised to do some damage in the coming weeks.  And if possible, I like this team even better than 2010.  Playoffs, here we come.

Also, antlers, here I come!

Diamond Girl

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Buster Posey and I

You guys are probably going to be suspicious of this, but I’ve noticed a very strange trend.  And I don’t lie on my blog.  (Usually.  There was that one time… but never mind.)  Anyway, just as Buster Posey gets smashed in the throat and promptly loses his voice, I get all croaky.  Seriously.  It’s not the first time, either.  I had sympathetic ankle pain when, y’know, That Thing We’re Not Going to Talk About happened.

Twinsies!  Except in a not-so-good way.  Let’s all hope Buster, and by extension I, stay all well and healthy, m’kay?  Marco Scutaro, too.  How is he supposed to ride Hunter Pence’s scooter when he’s coughing and sneezing up a storm?  We have the playoffs to look forward too, people.  Have some Italian sodas and rest up, for Pete’s sake, Giants.

The game is starting anyminuteanyminute now, so I’ll catch you all later.  And when we’re all not sick.

Diamond Girl

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25 Ways to Occupy Yourself On an Off-Day

I always think I’m going to love off-days.  I’m going to get loads done and not miss baseball irrationally (it’s just one day!), but when it comes down to it, I hate off-days.  I’m not accustomed to this practice of doing normal, humanbeing things like not scheduling my day around a baseball game.  It confuses me.  I don’t get much done at all.  So!  With that in mind, I decided to make a helpful post – don’t you love those? – 25 Ways to Occupy Yourself On an Off-Day.  Without further ado…

25.  Take “occupy” literally.  Choose someone who’s been really annoying you lately and just occupy their space.  Your boss’s desk is a great example.  Get some markers and make a sign or two, bring your old tent and you’re good to do.  Easy peasy.  (I do not take responsibility if you lose your job, though.  Being a rebel does have occupational hazards.)

24.  Take up basket-weaving.  I hear it’s fun and super time consuming.

23.  Get a pair of shearing scissors and offer free haircuts on the street.  People will love you.

22.  Brush up on your Buster Bash skills.  You can never have too many sunflower seeds.

21.  Make a list of all your best Jose Altuve jokes and publish it on the internet.

20.  Better still, make a list of your ways to stay occupied and post it on the internet.  Hey, that actually sounds like a good idea!

19.  Petition Bud Selig to eliminate off-days.  It worked real well with the whole Emily-for-Commish thing.

18.  Blame Diamond Girl for this atrocity because of that sign she made way back when.

17.  Make cupcakes.  Just ‘cause.

16.  Head to the bookstore or your Kindle (whichismurderingpreciousprintbutwtvr) and read some positive psychology books.  The Giants will be so rested!  They’ll beat AZ!  Off-days are awesome!

15.  Cry.  Stock up on mocha ice cream.  You know the end of this story.

14.  Make MLB Memes and send them to your friends.  Refresh your email and glower when nobody answers in ten minutes.

13.  Post a few cryptic Facebook statuses that are totally directed at your football-watching friends.

12.  Watch The Hobbit trailer a few(hundred) times.  Smiley face.

11.  Watch a baseball movie or two.  Not recommended.  Baseball movies are unanimously awful, in my opinion, but you all disagree so proceed.  I will not say a word.  (More.)

10.  Try to paint your nails orange and black, like Brian Wilson’sFail.  Move on.

9.  Listen to 2010 top hits.  You now have two options:  a) Get teary eyed and reminiscent b) Thank Higher Power of Choice That We Are Not in 2010 Anymore Because That Music Was God-Awful.

8.  Politely but firmly beg Sergio Romo to confine his tweets to 140 characters.

7.  Read certain stats about the Reds.  NLDS is unwinnable.  Get depressed.

6.  Read other stats about the Reds.  We got this thing!  Get excited.

5.  Enter the Giants lottery for the opportunity to buy playoff tickets.  Prepare to live in abject poverty for the rest of your life, but it will have been worth it.

4.  Polish up your proposal of marriage to Marco Scutaro and send it off.  Start shopping for rings.

3.  Also get a caterer and reserve the venue and send out save-the-dates with the groom’s name TBA.  Normal behavior and Marco will think it’s adorable.

2.  Come up with a new playoff superstition.  You know not washing your shirt doesn’t work, right?  Right?

1.  Do not, under any circumstances, do what I just did.

Diamond Girl

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Cloudy With a Chance of Winning

The day of clinching is a grab-the-popcorn and cross your fingers kind of day.  The day after clinching is quite the opposite.  It’s a slow, lazy, happy sort of day.  But it was as soon as today’s lineup hit the internet that the reality began to set in.  The reality being that Giants are the 2012 National League West Champions.   2012.  National. League.  West.  Champions.

Blanco CF, Theriot 2B, Arias 3B, Nady LF, Pill 1B, Peguero RF, Whiteside C, Burriss SS and Petit RHP.

For the second time in three years, which is not bad at all.  A sense of inevitability set in, oh, every time Marco Scutaro came up to bat and when, a few thousand pitching changes later, they did clinch it, I was ridiculously happy.  Even happier, I think, than 2010.  The comparisons are many and unavoidable, but I think these two teams, in many ways, couldn’t be more opposite.  And I’ll go on record saying I think this one is better.  It’s anyone’s guess how the postseason will go – cloudy with a chance of winning, if you ask me – but I think we’ve got a really solid group here for a few years to come.

And that’s a gratifying feeling.  It gives way to elation, because this is just the beginning.  Bochy said that chances are all five starters will make the postseason roster, one of them as a reliever, and it seems right now that the Giants will be opening the NLDS against Cincinnati.  I’m already getting excited for it.  The way last night’s game ended, with all that fantastic relief pitching, was one of the big things that’s been key to the Giants success this season and that Pablo Sandoval catch was also completely spectacular, even if it wasn’t quite a Jonathan Sanchez triple.  We missed a year, but we’re back and better than ever.  Weird lineups and 2012 postseason, we’re ready for you.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  They lost today.  But I’m still smiling, so go figure.

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The Opposite of Bikram Yoga Is…

Henry Schulman said the Giants clubhouse was quiet last night, but the atmosphere with the fans?  The eventual loss in the eleventh inning couldn’t crush that.  This Giants team suddenly looks stronger in a thousand and one ways and the fight they put up was really something to watch.  Let me be the millionth person to say that something special is happening in San Francisco right now and not in that they are having incredibly, painfully long games.  More in that they look good.  Really good.  Arizona out-bullpenned them last night and the fact that it went down to extra innings points to the fact that they made other mistakes and missed other opportunities as well, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are still 4.5 ahead of the Dodgers as we get deeper into September and they are looking up to the challenge.

Another explanation for why the Giants clubhouse was quiet last night:  all the players were sleeping.

Hunter Pence:  I’m going to ride my scooter home now and—

Marco Scutaro and Random Beat Writer turn to see why he stopped talking and see he’s fallen asleep by his locker.  They drape a Giants snuggie (leftover from the giveaway/donated a few days later by a fan who realized he didn’t actually want it at all) over him and leave him to spend the night there.  Alternately, one of them offers him a ride home.  The impractical side of a scooter, see.

We have one more game against the Diamondbacks tonight and then an off day (unconfirmed: Hunter Pence is going to spend entire off-day sleeping) and then the Dodgers are coming to town for what’s sure to be a huge series.  The great part of this huge series, though, is that no matter what, Los Angeles cannot take a division lead.  We’re safe(ish).

Diamond Girl

p.s.  A bunch of crazy people did yoga this morning on the field at AT&T Park.  What do you call the opposite of Bikram Yoga?  Freezing-cold-why-did-I-sign-up-for-this yoga?  Because that’s what they were doing.

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