Tag Archives: nate schierholtz

Those Exclusive GM Clubs

The Giants finished up the roadtrip yesterday at 4-2 and are 7-3 in their last 10.  They’re still in first place, by one and a half games, and Nate Schierholtz came out of nowhere, starting three days in a row in Philly and absolutely tearing it up.  All in all, things are looking quite good.  But it’s a bit overshadowed by the first base situation which is not good.  Not good at all.  Brandon Belt was 1 for 20 on the roadtrip and to say he’s looking lost would be understatement of probably devastating proportions.   He’s a bit beyond lost and his backup by the name of Aubrey Huff suffered a setback with his knee injury in a Minor League rehab start the other day, so… the trade deadline is looking awfully interesting, if you ask me.

There are a handful of first basemen who could be on the trading block – obviously the biggest one, Youkilis, is gone from the market – but as they proposed over at Bleacher Report, Justin Morneau could be an interesting fit and then again, they could go all internal-options on us and shift Sandoval over to first for a while.  With Hector Sanchez on the DL, the Posey at first option is not as much of a possibility, but when he gets back, that could happen to some extent as well.

If Schierholtz continues to look good, with a few opportunities, of course, he could look attractive to someone looking for a quick fix (seriously, the Quick Fix GM’s need a whole club of their own) and he seems anxious to be traded.  Which is understandable, because his whole Giants career has been oddly handled, really.  Not unlike Brandon Belt’s – because as much as Belt is just having issues of his own, the whole disaster of how the organization sent him up and down last year certainly didn’t help.  Anyone seeing a pattern here?  The GM’s Who Don’t Really Have a Clue about Handling Young Players could also have an exclusive club.

Let’s hope they have a clue about the trade deadline, hm?

The 10 game homestand starts tonight against San Diego who are very simply toast.  Mike Adams pitched last night for Texas and I had some nasty flashbacks about what he did to the Giants when I tried to cheer for him.  Still, without him, them Padres do not stand a chance.   Not to mention that it’s Vogelsong, who has the fourth best ERA in the National League, for Pete’s sake.  I’m feeling pretty good about it.  No cupcake ingredients in sight.

Diamond Girl

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They Will Pitch Well and Make Us All Gloomy with RISP Stats and Other Predictions for the Coming Months

Hello, darlings, and apologies for my semi-accidental absence.  I ended up spending the weekend lying under a large shady tree just bein’ lazy, as Bing Crosby might say, and watching/listening to baseball in the moments that I was not doing aforementioned laziness.  No time for blogging, see what I mean?

Anyway, now that it’s the last day of the first month of the season and we have an off day at last (thank you, Bud Selig, you’re the best-ish), I am back to break everything down.  April has been a strange month for the Giants, but then again, isn’t it always?  You can’t say any of the games mean anything but it is certainly important in terms of getting to know the team’s personality on the field and often, I think, if you look back at April at the end of the season, you’ll see a lot of things that now look like psychic hints, even if they weren’t the least bit apparent at the time.

So!  I’m just going to go on that hypothesis.  If April tells us everything we need to know about this team, what does that mean for them?   Observe, 2012 Trends for the Gigantes:

Hair Will Disappear

Why would I think this, you ask?  Nod to Timmy’s haircut and Brian Wilson’s season-ending Tommy John surgery.  The hair everywhere trend is so 80s, you know.  The Giants are just now getting clued into this and life has never been better.  In that sense, at least.

The Whole Season Will Feel the Dog Days of August, aka WEIRD

I am staunchly convinced that April felt like August this year, so you probably will not be able to dissuade me, no matter what you try.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I direct you to the weird injuries like Buster Posey’s shingles and Aubrey Huff’s anxiety disorder.  Stuff like that is supposed to happen when everyone is wiped out from a long season.  We’re in for that all year, it would seem.  I am going to need to break out my extraordinary multitude of virtual Get Well Soon cards soon.

This Will Be the Year of the Triples

You heard it here first.  Of course, you saw it first on the field with Angel Pagan and Nate Schierholtz and people, but hearing is more important than seeing so I win, in this situation.  Anyhow, I have always been of the opinion that triples are the secret weapon of playing at AT&T Park so they should probably, you know, utilize that.  This year will be the year that Happens with a capital H.

Interleague Play Will Be a Drag

Okay, no proof here.  But it always is, so that’s just a safe assumption, right?  Until they play the Rangers, that is.  That will be wondrous, of course.

They Will Pitch Well and Make Us All Gloomy with RISP Stats

Safe assumption, 2.0.

But really, I am encouraged.  April has not been disastrous, mostly, and blue skies show summer is coming.  Baseball is just getting started.  Restock the orange juice and settle in.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Yu Darvish is on ESPN tonight which means I can fine-all-ee watch him.  I am so excited you do not even know.  The Rangers were also in ESPN last night, facing the Rays, and I remembered that Jeff Keppinger is with them now.  Remember him, Giants fans?  He had an RBI in the Rays 5-2 victory.  This is Emily’s miffed face, right here.

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Wrapping Up the Winter Meetings

I am already going into post-Winter-Meetings-depression mode.  That means dried apricots with whipped cream (very good) and staring dismally at the wall and pondering the meaning of life (not good at all).  As I’ve said before, the Winter Meetings are pretty much my favorite time of the year so I’m always sad when they come to a close.  But I can’t lie, right now I’m also a teensy bit happy.  Because all that drama is a little unsustainable, you know?  Which would explain the endless revolving door of reality shows on TV.

Anyhow, now all the GMs can go back to their cool offices and hang out in sporty-wanna-be-sunglasses, communicating by phone and email and all that.  Probably for the best.

Today was obviously a big one, because both Pujols and C.J. have settled on the Angels of Anaheim and signed ten and five year deals respectively this morning.

Swish is a bit surprised.  So am I.

At first I was in mega-Diamond-Girl-rage state because, yes, Dipoto we know you are new and want to show off a bit, but that’s kinda-sorta extreme. 

But after a little while I went into mega-Diamond-Girl-mellow state and decided that the Rangers still have the division in the bag.  I am sure of it.  Positive affirmations go far, you know.

I was never huge on C.J. in the confidence department anyway and they’re going to have Albert long after the Kardashian’s get pulled off air and skinny jeans go the way of shoulder pads.  This is for the best, Diamond Girl, this is for the best.  (Me talking to myself, right there.)

“Our goal is to win, but within a responsible business model,” says Jon Daniels.

Right.

Everything will be okay.

With the Giants, meanwhile, I can’t say I am sure about everything being okay.  Sabes says they’re done for the offseason (no Christmas gifts for use long-ish suffering fans?!) and that puts more than a few question marks on my world view.  There is, unfortunately, only one first base on the diamond so Huff/Pill/Belt will have to fight that one out in the boxing ring, I guess, and then I’m a wee bit skeptical of Crawford at short and of the Cabrera/Pagan/Schierholtz outfield.  Basically the whole team.  No biggie.

But I’m all into them positive affirmations today, so you know what?  I think the NL West is up for grabs and the Giants could very well grab it.

There.  We are all leaving the Winter Meetings as winners.

Winning.

Yeah.

That.

Diamond Girl

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162 Things I Loved About 2011 In San Francisco Giants-Land

In no particular order, in honor of the 162 games of the regular season…

162.  The walk-off on Opening Day for the second consecutive year.  And provided some awesome entertainment along the way as I drove to Fresno to see the Grizzlies Opening Night.

161.  The new and improved Pablo Sandoval.

160.  The rather awesome drama and content they provided for their reality show.

159.  Heck, they had a reality show!

158.  They carried first place for a good long while, even though they didn’t finish with it.

157.  They had All Stars.  A whole bunch of them.

156.  They gave me bragging rights for life.   We got Carlos Beltran.  (Never mind what happened afterwards.)

155.  They kinda massacred the Chamber of Horrors, aka Coors Field.

155.  NATE.  That is all.

154.  Their hitting coach who takes, “Reach for the moon, if you fall down, at least you’ll fall in the stars” very literally.  Like, he’s-going-to-the-moon literally.  It’s sure to bode well for the offense in the future.

153.  They chewed gum at the White House.  It was strangely endearing.

152.  Heck, they went to the White House!

151.  They were so resilient I can’t even express it in words.  Well, maybe I could.  But I have a whole lot more of these to write, so I’m not going to get into it.

150.  Santiago Casilla and his epic and previously undiscovered closing skills.

149.  Brett.                                   

148.  And Brandon.

147.  And, oh, the other Brandon too.

145.  The multitude of B’s!

144.  The incredibly pleasant surprise that was Eric Surkamp in his first start back.

142.  And the incredibly pleasant surprise that was Ryan Vogelsong all around.

141.  Chris Stewart.  And his brainiac-ness.  And his overall awesomeness.

140.  The fact that AT&T Park exists and is amazingly beautiful.  Pays to remember that, every now and then, right?

139.  D-Ro having a few more special moments.  I really hope he’s back next year in some way.

138.  Madison and his trademarked first inning meltdowns.  And yes, that he was otherwise amazing.

137.  Bruce Bochy.  ‘Nuff said.

136.  Conor Gillaspie(The name!  The name!)

135.  Those special little moments when Guillermo Mota came in for long relief and just saved us all.

134.  Getting to see Travis Ishikawa one last time, when he got his ring.

133.  OH!  Yes!  The ring ceremony…

132 …and the mismatched, mint colored boxes the rings came in…

131. …and Sergio Romo goofing off at the ceremony…

130.  …and seeing Nuekom with his adorable bowtie there (though, unfortunately, it wasn’t orange) one more time.

129.  There was also Vogey’s lovely little speech when he got the Willie Mac Award.  

128.  Remember when Tim Flannery, third base coach, sang the National Anthem?  Epic.

127.  The crazy thunder storm/rain delay in Detroit.  And the way the broadcasters filled the empty time.  That was magical.

126.  Kepp’s walk-off vs. the Astros.  So there, Houston.

124.  Crawford’s grand-slam in his first game against Milwaukee.  Remember that?  Goosebumps and smiles.

123.  The prank Ross et al. played on Huff.  Which we got to see because of aforementioned reality show.

122.  Did I mention, THE GIANTS HAD A REALITY SHOW?

121.  When Brandon Belt met a baby giraffe and took pictures with it.  That may actually be my favorite moment of the entire year.  Seriously, how utterly fantastic?

120.  That they never missed a beat, even after the loss of Posey and then Sanchez.

119.  Timmy back to being Timmy, for the most part.

118.  And Timmy and Matt Cain both reached 1000th career strikeouts, which was fabulous.

117.  Finishing ahead of the Padres.  Vendetta?  Yes, vendetta.

116.  Romo shaving.  Because that may imply that other people will shave soon.

115.  coughcoughBrianWilsoncoughcough

114.  NATE.   Again.

113.  And Nate’s upper deck shot in Colorado that his brother got.  Too many awesome things about that to mention.

112.  Slightly irrelevant, maybe, but Jon Miller not doing ESPN any more meant that he broadcasted for KNBR on the weekends.  Which was enough to make the season, right there.

111.  Together, We’re Giant.  It actually grew on me.  (But It’s Time is still, and always will be, better.)

110.  The “sellouts”.  Because they seriously cracked me up.  Especially when the upper deck was e-m-p-t-y.

109.  The little Sabean moment in Moneyball.   When Billy Beane totally played the Giants.  My rational mind was outraged and the rest of me was snickering.

108.  Watching Pablo’s defense just reappear before our very eyes.

107.  Being there for Carlos Beltran’s 300th career homerun.

106.  And speaking of homeruns… Brandon Belt had a couple to remember.

105.  And when Brandon Belt made the club out of spring training and it felt like nothing could possibly go wrong.

104.  The fact that some people didn’t get injured.  Can’t think of any?  No, I’m sure there were a few.

103.  The fact that Aubrey Huff always has good years after bad ones.  Most definitely.  This bodes well for 2012.

102.  While I hated that the cost for parking doubled, I think it was because they won the World Series. And I do love that.  So, by extension, I love the new parking rates.  Sort of.

101.  The Churros guy.  If you’ve ever been to a Major League ballpark, you know what I mean.

100-50. Looking at the new lineup every day, usually with my mouth gaping wide open.

49.  The few nice Zito moments.  They were there.  And they were smile-inducing.

48.  The fact that the year after the championship, while it wasn’t exactly a success, was not a collapse either.  This was a pennant race right down until the end.

47.  Can I just say one more thing about Chris Stewart?  His first Major League homerun rocked.

46.  When Edgar came back, if only for a bit.  *sniffles*

45.  And remember when Uribe came back?  *sniffles again*

44.  I also liked riding my first roller coast (no, really.  It’s related.) because it drove home that this season was like a roller coaster.   Which is to say seriously headache inducing, but fun afterwards.

43.  I don’t know how this all worked, but I’ve been hearing Giants ads for the Not For Sale Campaign.  If they’ve partnered, then that is most certainly something I love.

42.  Jeremy’s rebound year.  Minus the frozen burger patties.

41.  That they didn’t do anything silly like start the season in Taiwan.

40.  That they rocked their doubleheader at Wrigley.

39.  Matt Cain ruled overall, as always.

38.  That they let themselves get swept by Milwaukee in May.  I’m sure they have a crystal ball and knew they wouldn’t get into the playoffs, but the Brewers could, so they gave them that series.  Very thoughtful, you know.

37.  When Pablo Sandoval decided to retweet people who said nice things about him making the All Star team and he retweeted me.  It made me a lot happier than it rationally should have.

36.  When Bruce Bochy got congratulated by Ryan Braun on winning the World Series (minute 1:40.  I know you want to see it.)  This is what I call icing on the cake, people.

35.  NATE.  One last time.  Sorry.

34-20. This is when Diamond Girl had to leave unexpectedly to sniffle in the closet for a bit at the realization that this is really the end of the 2011 season.

19.  Okay!  Back.   Let’s do a silver lining thing now: not winning the pennant means the target-on-back will lessen or disappear.  And these Giants do better when there are no Great Expectations.  Sorry, Charles Dickens.

18.  They also helped me and my new fish bond.  I am quite positive that the reason my fish seems to be liking me more is that we’ve endured the torture holed up in my room (yep, I said torture) together.

17.  That, by some luck, these players channeled enough thoughts about balking to Bob Davidson that he actually called a balk on that fateful June day.  And also gave me a great photo-editing opportunity.

16.  Emmanuel Burriss’s nickname-picky mother.

15.  That they did not take me up on my Hawaii Vacation/gold watches offers.  Which means they didn’t do that well, but it also means I won’t be in debt for the rest of my life.

14.  Totally random memory:  Pat Burrell and Eli Whiteside both hitting triples in one game.  Weird and great.

13.  The promotions their awesome TV network came up with.  Especially the Ultimate Tim Lincecum one.  (Which I, eh, won.)

12.  The players designing endearingly horrific t-shirts.

11.  That they drafted another good-name player in the draft.  That is Joe Panik.  If only for the name, it was a good pick.

10.  Walk-offs!

9.  And more walk-offs!

8.  And even more walk-offs!

7.   The power outage in St. Louis.  Now I really credit the Cardinals (read: Tony LaRussa) for that, but it was a Giants moment anyway.  And a darn memorable one, too.

6.  When Cainer demonstrated he actually does have the ability to dress well.

5.  All the opportunities they gave me to use my dearly beloved balloon-popping set of photos from Despicable Me.  Because seriously, I love those photos.  Even if it meant they broke my heart.

4.  Last thing about Chris Stewart!  I promise!  But I remember the first time I saw him do a throwdown to second.  And I think I thought it was cupcakes and brownies and cinnamon roasted almonds all mashed into one.  (And yet it was good.  All those foods mashed together probably, um, wouldn’t be.)

3.  Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you shouldn’t let your kids watch baseball!  It’s educational!  I mean, this year I learned what “contusion” means.  Overandoverandoveragain.

2.  It was like a magical realism book (what is a magical realism book, you ask?  Read here and be enlightened.)  Stray bits of left over magic were everywhere.  And that’s even better than full-on magic, somehow.  (Although, yes, I like full-on magic when it means winning the World Series. But don’t interrupt my poetic-ness, please.)

1.  They gave me a lot to blog about.  A lot, a lot.  So I thank them for that.  And I thank you all for bearing with me and my weirdness and my love of strange foods and for reading and commenting here as well.  It’s been a brilliant, crazy year and more fun than I can possibly express.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to go reminisce for a bit more and then find my antlers and morph into Ranger-Girl.  Bye-bye, 2011 season.

Diamond Girl

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Some Unique First Hai– I Mean, First Half Awards

What did I take away from the 2011 All Star Game?

Justin and Jessica are having issues.  On-again-off-again is off right now.  So much for them eating tacos together, TMZ et al.  He was acting psycho.

(Note lame Fan Cave promos everywhere.)

Seriously, I was hoping he’d at least have a snappy outfit in the Bad Clothing Center of the Play aka the All Star Game, but no such luck.  His hat was nearly as terrible as that shirt.   Anyways, he’s now confirmed he’s a Dodger fan, so my Timberlake moment is over.  Flashing lights and all.

Anyway!

The game itself was kind of boring, except for Ogando and Gio pitching back to back.  That was fun.  But even when Wilson came in, the drama felt 100% manufactured.  I didn’t know who to root for, because I can’t decide how I feel about home field advantage and also because I actually liked more people on the AL squad, because the Giants don’t really play them so I have fewer negative memories of them hitting homers off us or whatever.  You know.  So I rooted for individuals and mostly just enjoyed all the players smiling at each other.  That’s so cute.

So I figure now that’s all over, I should do some mid-season awards.  Here we go:

First Half MLB Awards

Most Improved Hair: Michael Young

As previously discussed, the haircut goes a long way to making Michael look less like an evil blackmailer of Jon Daniels.  I’m liking him quite a lot right now.

Most Improved Facial Hair:  Barry Zito

I hated the ‘stache from moment 1.  The silver lining to Barry’s injury was that the superstitious baseball player that he is, he shaved it off.  And has come back lookin’ and pitchin’ better than ever.

Most Worsened Facial Hair:  Prince Fielder

This goes out to Wilson too:  beards like that make you look homeless.  Not to mention 10+ years older.  Bad idea all around.

Best GM: Theo Epstein

First everyone thought the Sox were going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Then everyone thought they were going to be a total bust.  I think we’re back to the greatest thing since sliced bread stage now.

Giant MVP: Nate Schierholtz

‘Nuff said, Giants fans.

Moment That Doug Melvin Outed Himself as a Shopaholic:  Ryan Braun’s Extension

I just can’t get it out of my head that they’re paying him through 2030.  Who knew that Doug and Rebecca Bloomwood are kindred spirits?

Best Brandon Moment: Tie between Brandon Crawford’s Homer in Debut and Brandon Belt’s Opening Day Call-Up

Our Brandons have made for some pretty great moments this year.

Worst Brandon Moment: Brandon Phillips Hit Which Resulted in Freddy Going Down

Other people’s Brandons?  Not so much.

So what are you awards and strongest memories from this 2011 first half?  Tell me, just because there’s been no real baseball for days and I am going through withdrawal.  Thanks.

Diamond Girl

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