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In Which I Do Not Impersonate Brian Sabean, But I Do Give Him a Bit of Advice

If I were Brian Sabean right now (and you know how I love impersonating Sabes), I am honestly not sure what I would be doing right now.

I think I called the Giants a kaleidoscope kind of team way back when in 2010 but now all I see is a tangled, tangled spiderweb.

Frankly, the whole toxicity-of-Rowand-and-Tejada thing really weirded me out, because the idea for the past few years with this team has been that chemistry is a complete non-issue.  I think people start hinting darkly at things like that when the team is doing badly, mostly, but I also think this team isn’t exactly the good old brotherhood any more.  Some changes may (may?  Will.) need to be made and the ownership change only thickens the plot.

So Sabean’s first offseason move (oh, less than 48 hours after the Defending World Champions thing vaporized) was to resign Javier Lopez to a two year deal, worth 8.5 million and extend Jeremy Affeldt for one more year.

Interesting, I say, very interesting.

If I had a beard (which I most certainly do not, for the record), I would be stroking it right now.  I mean first of all, HE DIGS THE LEFTIES.  And second, yeah, he seems serious about the pitching and especially the bullpen.  Like, 8.5 million serious.  Very serious, that is.

Personally, I like it.  Because I specifically like both those guys, but also because I don’t think the Giants need a big, attractive move (hello, Prince Fielder).  Those never work, except when they do, and anyway we just want a contender, right?  If this pitching staff is set right and Aubrey Huff develops a tendency to hit balls, that could contend right there.  So I think sticking to the core is a smarter way to go and this makes me feel, perhaps incorrectly, but still, that Sabes might agree with me.

Or I might agree with Sabes.  But I prefer the former.  You know.

Diamond Girl

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My Favorite Game of the Year? You May Be Surprised.

I figure now that the season is over I should probably make some attempt to be a cultured person, so I went to a museum exhibit this afternoon.  And while paintings of frozen Dutch rivers are absolutely lovely, I spent a good part of the exhibit replaying the season in my head and trying to choose my favorite game.

It feels like an impossible thing to do, because along the way, games are wonderful for a huge number of reasons.  Sometimes it’s simply that it’s an important one or that it’s one that I got to go to or one where the Giants just did really well.  But one did keep standing out in my mind and saying, Pick me!  Pick me!  (Yes, baseball games do talk in my head.  Not weird at all, right?)

So I’ve picked that one.  It probably wasn’t that important and dramatic in the scheme of things, but it’s one that I’ll never forget all the same.  Let’s flashback to it, July 2nd, 2011 at Tigers Stadium.

It’s Giants vs. Tigers, Zito (2-1) vs. Max Scherzer (9-4).  Detroit is 1.5 games out of first place and San Francisco is in first place, 3 round games ahead of Arizona.  Yesterday, they beat the Tigers in heart attack fashion for the first game of the series by a final of 4-3, with Wilson throwing a world class tantrum after blowing the save.

So it began.  The Giants scored five runs in the first inning on B-Craw and Panda homers and things moved along nicely from there, blowout style.  But Michigan weather had other plans.  A massive thunderstorm hit in the third, suddenly and with a stunning amount of rain.  We all worried that game would not restart and all those runs would go to waste, but then the sky turned orange and I, for one, knew that boded well.

After nearly three hours, once all the fans had presumably gone home and gotten toasty with hot chocolate or whatever, the umps announced the game was back on.  We all raised our eyebrows and un-muted our televisions.

And then the fun started.

The first pitch following the rain delay was hit grandly into the stands by Miguel Tejada for a grand freakin’ slam.

Zito stayed in his zone by listening to lame rappers (hey, whatever works) and came back to pitch after all that time and gave the team six scoreless innings, over 80 pitches.

The runs party did not stop there and the game eventually ended at 12:36 local time with a final score of 15-3, Giants winning.  It was one of those crazy games that just reaffirms your adoration of baseball and that the game will do what it will do.  And, you know, I live for rain.  So if my team can pull off 15 runs in the rain, that makes me love them a little more.  If that’s even possible.

Diamond Girl

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How Brian Sabean Inspired Me

Sabean and I have our disagreements but yesterday, he seriously inspired me.  The Giants cut the cackle and cleaned house and I, well, did too.  Seriously, I did not recognize my room when I woke up this morning.  Most of my cleaning was in closets/drawers/under beds but the room actually felt sort of airy for the first time in a long, long time.

Which is why I empathized very closely with the feeling the Giants may have had when they took the field yesterday after the crazy morning.  And they capped the day off nicely, then, by winning 4-0.  It gave me an, Oh, so that’s how it feels to win! moment.  Rather wonderful.

Sabean’s moves at face value bothered me, though, because I felt like they were poorly timed and did not feel well thought out.  The DFA’ing of Rowand and Tejada combined with what he said to the press yesterday really left me feeling like he is just going with the flow.  And not in a good way. 

It felt like melodrama or instant gratification to me, frankly.  We’ve lived with Rowand’s contract ((yes, it was a mistake) for a long, long time and Tejada’s deal is just a year anyway.  I’m sure late-night sportstalk callers were screaming for this after those crushing losses against Chicago, but that doesn’t mean the GM should go out and do it.  In fact, it probably means he shouldn’t.  I think this was a serious case of stirring the pot for the sake of stirring the pot.

I also didn’t understand his comments afterwards.  If he thinks they’re contending still, then he should have released the people he wanted to release a long time ago (earlier this month, really) and pulled out all the stops.  If not, then call it a season and figure out how to utilize the next 30 days.  Either way, don’t admit you don’t know what’s going to happen or have any plan!

I would say something about the need for media training to General Managers, except you might stop reading right then.  I know I’ve said it before.  It just seems to be an issue an awful lot of the time.

All that said!  It wasn’t the actual moves as much as the way they were carried them out and the timing that bothered me.  Both contracts were mistakes and neither guy was playing any sort of useful role.  Owning up to mistakes and cleaning house is not a bad thing.

I am living proof of that.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  It’s September 1st!  I have lived through the summer!  Fog, come to my arms!

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Could This Be Good?

I don’t think so.  But since I am a (sort of) eternal optimist and everywhere else on the internet you can read people who are dying over the news of Pablo Sandoval’s injury, I’m going to look at this from a different angle:

Could this be good? 

Sandoval’s been a really strong link in the line-up- and on the defense- so far, so obviously it’s far from ideal but… who knows?  Maybe Rohlinger coming up and Burriss and Fontenot getting more play time and moving Tejada around and perhaps bringing Belt up will provide just the shake-up that the offense needs?

I hope.

Crossing my fingers.

And about yesterday.  Have they forgotten, don’t they know?  I’ll say it very loud and slow.  They used to hit!  They’d and hit and then proceed to hit some more!  Great Scott! Gadzooks!  One half their lives was hitting balls! (Yes, I was watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night.)  But really.  There is no excuse for the endless 0’fers and I find myself murdering my tastebuds with these intensely spicy olives every time we lose like that.  Not okay.  If only for my tastebuds.  Here’s to a homerun fest today.

Crossing my fingers again.

 

 

Diamond Girl

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Read It With Me: D-O-A-B-L-E

May I just say that while I am remarkably bad at bowling, I am wicked good at air hockey?  My defense can be shakey, but my offense is something to behold.  Still, I think I am a lost cause at bowling.  The only reason I go once in a blue moon is so that I can do a dramatic “strrriiiikkkeee” when someone (not me, obviously) gets a strike.

So today’s game was a practice run for the royal wedding I guess (Which I: Am. Not. Watching.) because otherwise starting at 9:35am is inexplicable and warrants a phone call to Bud himself.  I hate baseball games in the morning.  Yes, I know that it was 12:35 in Pittsburgh.  Maybe this is payback from the East Coasters for making them stay up so late.  This is a theory I’m going to have to contemplate.

Anyway.  Vogelsong surprised me with a strong outing and I was really happy for him, even if I would have preferred to see our wacky lefty.  The offense looked like me at that time of day.  Functional, but not exactly raring to go. 

What really struck me today, though, is how little we know this team.  No one has fallen into their spot, exactly, yet.  That’s partially because of the injuries and partly just because it’s early.  And somehow I think Giants fans- or maybe just me- are still riding the adrenaline of last November because there was never exactly closure.  Do you know what I mean?  It’s slightly surreal and it feels like all this year has been about last year, though the ceremonies have ended.  I think we’re subconsciously grappling with the idea of a new season, nearly a month in.  What part will Vogelsong play?  Can Aaron Rowand survive months and months and stay warm, if not hot?  Was Torres really a fluke?  Was Tejada a bust?  DeRosa?  How will last year’s late pick-ups fare?  We really know very little.

But we’re getting there.  The team is back at .500 and we’ve had strong replacements for all the injured players.  We’re cutting through the roadtrip and the Nationals are at 10-12 and have lost two in a row (now where’s Bryce Harper?!).  This is:

 

And I don’t know a whole lot (read: nothing) about football, but from what I’m reading the Niners would have been smart to take me on as their GM.

Diamond Girl

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