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A Book Recommendation for Mat Latos and an Address for Your Get Well Soon Cards

“Baseball works in funny ways. The only way I could honestly put it is, we could be like the Giants and go and change our whole lineup, put guys with ‘San Francisco Giants’ across their jerseys. We didn’t.”

In San Francisco Giants lore, Mat Latos will forever live on as That Guy who said the above quote near the end of the 2010 season.  To say he garnered criticism would be a massive understatement.  Livid hate would be more spot on.

And then there was me, giving far too much benefit of the doubt to him and repeating, “Legitimate point said by the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time,” so many times that my mind started filling it in, a la auto-correct.  Just kidding.  Sort of.

Point being, he then turned around that offseason and auctioned off three balls on which he wrote, “I Hate SF!”

I stopped defending him after that.

I still maintain he had a point originally, but the level of classlessness basically totally overshadows that.

I can’t say I was heartbroken to hear he was traded to the Reds today, although it does rob us the satisfaction of seeing our boys in orange and black take him into McCovey Cove every other week.  (Every other week because the Giants play the Padres so. much.)

I do have one recommendation for him, though, before he departs the NL West:

In fact, I don’t know what kind of libraries they have in Cinci, but ‘round here the library has a whole big section on manners and etiquette.  Might find that useful, Mat.  Just might.

In other news, yes, this is totally me pretending to live in England and be 58 and crazy into football.  Get Well Soon cards can be directed to Diamond Girl/AT&T Park/Cot in Center Field/San Francisco, California.

Diamond Girl

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Why Barry Is Like An Ice Cream Cone in the Sun, Blonde JD and Other Assorted Second Halfness

Well… so… mini-blowouts, blowouts and tight games.  We’ve gotten some pretty good entertainment this weekend.

July 15th, 2011.  In the scheme of blowouts, Giants vs. Padres game ranked with some of the best.  If you’re looking at the 6-1 final score and wondering what’s up with me, then just believe me when I say that felt like a blowout/offensive explosion, overall nice game.  We could call it a mini-blowout.

July 16th, 2011?  That’s maybe a more classic blowout, featuring a Padres win, a 11-3 final score and a Zito meltdown of vaguely epic proportions.  Painful doesn’t cut it.  I mean, I would say that one blowout deserves another, except if that was going to happen, couldn’t we have at least scored a nice round 10 runs or something, before we gave it right back?

And then July 17th, 2011.  Let’s just say the two teams together left 18 runners on and neither got even one extra base hit.  It was a nail-biter and the Giants won 4-3 in the 11th with a suicide squeeze.  That kind of game.

I think whether or not you’re a Zito fan like me, his start has to be disappointing and the one real downer of the series.  It has so felt like he might be getting something good going.  I said his third start back from the disabled list would be the catalyst, but I was wrong.  This is what everyone’s going to remember.

Let me give you my favorite Zito analogy.

Zito when he’s doing well is a chocolate ice cream cone.

But when he goes… he goes fast.  Like an ice cream cone in the sun.

Let’s do a little brightsideness!  The offense has looked encouraging.  While Pablo’s hit streak ended on Friday, he got it right back going, Tejada has looked- dare I say it?- okay, actually and Fontenot’s been a total sparkplug.  Even Aubrey’s gotten a few hits.  You have to get those sad games like Saturday’s out of the way and the Giants just took three out of four from San Diego.  That feels absolutely magic to say.  Not to mention that Matt came out victorious in the Matt vs. Mat matchup.  Small pleasures, you know?

And don’t look now but he Rangers are on an, eh, 11 game winning streak.  Say that aloud for good measure, okay?  I am excited about this because a) that that means they have an identical record to the Giants (World Series re-match, anyone?) and b) I have a sneaking suspicion/dream that Jon Daniels will die his hair blonde again.  And make pictures available to the media.  In the meantime, this will have to do.

Diamond Girl

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5 Cooler Cars for Brian Wilson and an Over-Under on Michael Young

There are so many things I could write about today.  The fact that AJ Burnett is either delusional or his therapist told him to repeat positive affirmations to anyone and everyone.  The fact that the World Class Good Guy seems to be morphing into a World Class Bad Guy before our very eyes.  The fact that Mat Latos is on a bizarre anti-SF rampage.  And then the whole, “is Aaron Rowand mad?” thing (although no one except me seems that fascinated by that).  What I actually want to write about is the thing that made me wonder if there was indeed a minimum age to be in the Majors.  Apparently, they let pre-adolescents in.  Or at least, people with very preadolescent senses of humor.

Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News (who, by the way, is killing all the other writers with his coverage of Spring Training) reports that Brian Wilson’s new ride is a fully decked out police cruiser.  With a loudspeaker.  On which he announces his arrival in the morning with, “I’m heeeere!”

If I gave my little brother a toy police cruiser for his birthday, yes, he might do that.  But that is no excuse for Brian.  My brother is 20-odd years younger than him.  That’s not what they mean when they say, “unlock the child within you”.  At least I hope it isn’t.

If he thinks the Obamas having a water dog is not cool, then I would like to say that driving a police cruiser is, um, not cool either.  Just saying.  Don’t want to get arrested.  Don’t want to get arrested.  Don’t want to get put in Bad Fan Prison.  But that is not cool.

So, of course, I made him a list of 5 cooler cars.  If you are slightly or very puzzled by this and the last paragraph, watch this quick episode of Life of Brian.

5.  Ferrari.  I don’t actually get the obsession with Ferrari’s and that they’re everybody’s dream car.  Except for the name.  I melt for Italian names.  (My father just alerted me that his parents had several Ferraris, which I was not previously aware of.  I know about the Emilio Pucci dresses and the Chanel boots they have passed down, but, until now, nothing about the hip cars.)

4.  Prius.  This is the cool of the future.  ::Joe Martinez yells, “The car from the Ghost Writer!”  I ignore::  Set the trends, Willy!

3.  A Chrysler.  I am being a shameless ad sucker here, but I am still into that Superbowl Chrysler ad.

2.  An old school VW bus.  You know, the kind Timmy wanted.  They may not think that’s cool down in Hollywood but it’s way cool up here.

1.  And Joe said that coolest one of all.  The car from The Ghost Writer.  I have referenced this before, here.  That beautiful car has an intelligent GPS that will lead you to the murder spot of your predecessor at work.  If that isn’t cool, what is?

There.  No one can accuse me of not giving useful advice now.  I just got you your baseball news and a list of cool cars, lumped into one.

I am calling grocery stores all over the Bay Area trying to find one that stocks mass amounts of popcorn.  This Michael Young saga may last a long time.  I still have my Team Jon shirt, but I’ve run out of popcorn.  Over or under, 40 days and 40 nights?  ‘Cause I need to know so I can stock up.

Diamond Girl

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Why I am in the Radnich Camp, Celebrity Sightings, Dave Flemming’s Coat & Why Mat Latos was Right

I went to the Giants vs. Diamondbacks game last night and also watched FP Santangelo and Rich Aurilia doing Chronicle Live, the Giants pre-game show.  You know how everyone has been saying the energy level at the stadium is really high?  I didn’t notice that as much inside as outside, on Willie Mays Plaza.  It was electric out there.  That might have had to do with the lights and mics and cords everywhere, but I prefer to think that it had to do with the crowd’s mood.  Mid-way through, a man in a suit started weaving through the crowd.  As he walked past me, I had an Omigod, is that…?  moment.  It was Gary Radnich, about to go on air with Chron Live.  Being the chicken that I am, I needed a little egging on, but I eventually asked him to sign my ball and he was very friendly and his unmistakable voice is even more unmistakable in person.  He told me that he can only stand Ralph Barbieri once a month, which I basically get, and posed for pictures and was totally nice to everyone.  I am firmly in the Gary Radnich camp from now on.  If you don’t like his show, switch your dial to 102.1 KDFC.  It’s what all the radios in my house were set to, until I changed them to KNBR 680.  Needless to say, there was some resistance to that.

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FP, the groom, with his best men.  That’s what their suits looked like.

Other celebrity sightings of the day are…

-          Dave Flemming, in the dugout wearing this beautiful, black coat.  He is the best dressed broadcaster, for sure.  I seriously nearly fainted when I saw him, just 20 feet away or so.  I listen to him every day.  I love him.  And his coat.

-          John Shea, in the press-box.  On computer.  Looking riveted.

-          Sean Astin.  Who I, sadly, did not actually sight.  But he was there.  That almost counts as a sighting, right?  I am not waiting for your answer on that one.

-          The Public House Patio.  That place is legendary.  It counts as a celebrity.  This was the first time I saw it.  Have not been on it yet, but that’s my next goal.

My brother also got a ball from Ramon Ramirez and I got a Darren Ford autograph.  Those don’t count as sightings though, because they weren’t incidental.

It was also save #47 for Wilson.  ::Cue House of Pain::

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This really deserves its own blog post but I want to talk about it in a timely way: Mat Latos’ controversial quote to the press.  “Baseball works in funny ways.  The only way I could honestly put it is, we could be like the Giants and go and change our whole lineup, put guys with ‘San Francisco Giants‘ across their jerseys.  We didn’t.  “We added two guys (Miguel Tejada and Ryan Ludwick).  We’ve been the same team all year.  We haven’t just gone and grabbed guys from other teams.”  You can hate me forever for saying this, but I basically agree.  It’s actually okay with me.  That’s how baseball works and it doesn’t make me angry, but it does make me a little bit sad.  The line-up is so different from opening day that it feels a little strange when Cody Ross hits a homerun.  Should I really be cheering for this guy?  For me, there’s no chemistry with the new guys (Cody Ross, Jose Guillen, Mike Fontenot, Pat Burrell are who I consider the new guys).  Everyone says the chemistry in the clubhouse is good, which is obviously what matters but I honestly have a hard time believing that.  I imagine some days it would feel like, Who are these guys, anyway?

I don’t think Latos was having sour grapes.  I think he was speaking his mind to the press, which may or may not have been the best thing to do right now, but I do agree with him.  What do ya’ll think?  And who’s going to listen to Uncle Gary tomorrow?

Diamond Girl

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