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127 Hours? You Got Nothing On Me.

Okay, you have something on me. But not a whole lot. After watching 3 ½ hours of the draft and a 4 hour, 29 minute Giants game I had just enough mental capacity to squeak out, Yes, I would like a saltwater taffy. My arms are, thankfully, still connected to my shoulders, though.

Now that the hangover is starting to wear off, I am ready to break it all down. It was a great baseball day.

The first round of the draft is good and bad. The five minutes in between each pick give the hosts time to break down each player and even interview a few of them. I had a good sense of just about all the 33 players who were picked. The compensation round, with a minute in between each one, was a little bit painful because the hosts were talking just as much, but with no time, and the representatives who announced the picks instead of Selig didn’t seem really suited to public speaking. Today, it’s all audio, no show, and it’s going down so fast I can’t keep up. It’s good and bad. I dig the brevity, but it’s so impersonal.

The people who stood out to me in the draft? (Disclaimer: I know nothing about any of these people. These are just guys who happened to stand out to me. )

Number 1, overall, was Gerrit Cole who’s reportedly Brandon Crawford’s sister’s boyfriend. Keeping this in the family, are we?

Number 3, Trevor Bauer, went to the Diamondbacks. He’s being called Tim Lincecum 2.0, both because his motion is similar and he’s known for his quirky personality. I was kind of pumped to have him in the NL West until Andrew Baggarly suggested that he could potentially come to the Majors in late 2011, if the Arizona is making a playoff run. Against the Giants. Forget it. I wish he was in Kansas or something.

 

Speaking of Kansas! The sweet story of the first round was Bubba Starling, a KC kid who was drafted by the same team. The media was eating it up. I was much more interested in Brandon Nimmo, the highest draftee ever from Wyoming (11th, to the Mets) and Jose Fernandez “Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion(14th, to the Marlins) who is a Cuban defector, who has already faced a lot of adversity to get here. I am calling a majorly successful career for him. He seems to have a head on his shoulders.

Oakland had the 18th pick and they went with Sonny Gray, a right handed pitcher who I fell in love with after a minute long feature by MLB Network. A) He’s 5”11. At first claimed to be 6”0, then 5”11 ½. I love little guys. B) He sings. He was in High School Musical. C) He has a contagious smile and seems comfortable in front of a camera. The only thing that put me off was his affinity for the movie Sandlot. I hated that movie. I know that’s a terrible baseball fan sin, but it’s true. Sorry.

And then the Rangers pick at 37th, Zach Cone, intrigued me because he was the only guy in the whole draft whose photo was not of him in a baseball uniform. He was wearing a suit. Interesting. You know how Teen Vogue does “style icons of the future”? I have an inkling that he could be a baseball style icon of the future. At least he’s off to a good start.

Then, of course, the important one. Our newest Giant. Joe Panik, a shortstop “with power” out of St. John’s University. Other than his hard nose (thanks, Baseball America! Useful info.) and his unfortunate (well, fortunate for the people who write headlines) last name, I don’t know a whole lot about him. Except that I’m not panicking- sorry, I had to- and he deserves a nice big hug and welcome to this family. Bye-bye, Brandon Crawford. You were fun while you lasted but we have a new shortstop now! Just kidding.

I’m at 650 words here and so my analysis of the game is going to be sort of second round draft-ish. I.e., fast. Timmy’s 1000th strikeout, while glowing and exciting, was overshadowed in my eyes by eight beautiful shutout innings from the bullpen, the birthday boy (Jeremy Affeldt) swinging for Mars and then getting a walk and, of course, the eventual walk-off hit by Freddy Sanchez. He is so underrated it’s not even funny. I love him to death and am reconciling myself to a summer of walk off wins. Could be worse, right?

Now it’s time to plug in my earbuds and get back to the grainy audio of the 500th round. Draft week is too much fun. Congratulations to all who have been picked.

Diamond Girl

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Goodbye Spring Training, A Semi-Original Poem

The Giants arrived in San Francisco last night which is so exciting I can barely write.  And I am going to the ballpark tonight which is also so exciting I can barely write.  Cinnamon roasted walnuts, here I come!

 

But before we get down to Bay Ball (nod to Mychael Urban), I want to give a quick goodbye to Spring Training.

 

Goodbye Spring Training.jpg

 

Goodbye Arizona
Goodbye Spring Training
Goodbye people playing who I’ve never heard of
Goodbye Scottsdale
And Surprise, too

Goodbye split-squad games
Goodbye cactus
Goodbye scorpions
And goodbye beautiful weather
Goodbye strange jerseys

And goodbye games that don’t matter
Goodbye static-y broadcasts
And goodbye lawns in the outfield
Goodbye no pressure
And goodbye nostalgia of last year
Goodbye questions about the rotation

Goodbye Brian Wilson
And goodbye to the old beat writer
whispering “it’s just Spring Training”

Goodbye Arizona
Goodbye Spring Training
Hello to baseball everywhere

 

We’re close.  We are so, so close.

 

Diamond Girl

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My 100th Post: Feat. Jon Daniels Extension, Ryan Braun’s Graffito and Billy Beane’s Burberry Scarf

It’s not even over yet, but today has been a really good day.  Topped off by the fact that I logged in to post this and saw that I have 99 posts.  Meaning this is the 100th.  (Fittingly, perhaps, MLBlogs is being a little odd.  Bear with me and the strange spacing.)  Wow.  I never really thought I would get as into this as I have, but I love every moment of it.  Thank you all for reading some (maybe even all?) of my 100 posts.  5 Other Great Things That Have Happened Today:

5.  The Rangers agreed to a four year extension with GM Jon Daniels.  I hugged everyone in the immediate vicinity when I read the news.

 

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4.  Someone brought my attention to this cover story from M Magazine, 12 of Milwaukee’s Most Interesting Men“.  It alerted me to the (much-needed) re-name of Ryan Braun’s restaurant, from Ryan Braun’s Waterfront Restaurant to Ryan Braun’s Graffito (did you snicker when you read that?  I did too).  I really want go to Milwaukee now.  Maybe I could squeeze it in on my Detroit-pride trip?

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3.  There has been no uncomfortable Zito news today.  The #75 storm is blowing over, people.  Blowing over.

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2.  Matt Cain is planning to throw tomorrow.  I am channeling every bit of positive energy I have to him (and that’s a lot, because this is, of course, a really good day).  And Brandon Belt.  Brandon Belt.  He doesn’t need any positive energy, I guess.  No belting it out jokes, please.

 

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1.Go check out the Giants box score.  Just go check it out.box score.PNG

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Billy Beane has a Burberry scarf?  I Googled that and realized it’s old news but he is on track to unseat Daniels as best-dressed GM unless Jon can produce some designer items of him own.   

 

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Brad Pitt as Billy Beane is like Hayden Christensen as Stephen Glass + Three Pearls of Wisdom from Moneyball

And the Winter Meetings are flyin’ by…  I am loving the fact that baseball is once again at the forefront of people’s minds although, as numerous people have noted (Mychael Urban and TR Sullivan both wrote great articles about this) there seem to be a lot of weird rumors coming this week, perhaps perpetuated by bored beat writers.  No matter.  It’s very fun for me to watch general manager after general manager interviewed because I’m a player transaction geek.  I am now stalking Jed Hoyer.

But who chose the hotel?  There are so many shots of it on the MLB Network and pictures of it everywhere.  They could at least have chosen a pretty building.  To me, the happiest place on earth would not have hideous architecture. 

I would also just like to say that I think Brad Pitt as Billy Beane is ridiculous.  Billy is more charming and better looking, to boot.

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Though I know I am obviously in the overwhelming minority of the female population when I say that.  It’s like Hayden Christensen playing Stephen Glass.  Except I like Christensen, so I don’t mind.  And Shattered Glass is an incredible movie so I can forgive it.  I’m not really sure how Moneyball will be as a movie, but I’m looking forward to it.

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The real Stephen Glass on the left, Hayden Christensen, of wood-board Anakin Skywalker fame, on the right

So this all reminded me how much I love the book Moneyball and the three pearls of wisdom I always remember from it.

“‘Why should noise have any more effect on the hitter than the pitcher?’ says Billy, a little testily. ‘If you’re playing away, you can just pretend they are cheering for you.’

Haven’t we all wondered this?  I sure have.

“‘In the last ten years guys started covering their lips with their gloves,’ snaps Billy.  ‘I’ve never known a single lip-reader in baseball.  What, has there been a rash of lip-reading I don’t know about?’

And last but not least…

“The new pitcher, Ricardo Rincon, gets two quick outs and gives up just one run on a sacrifice fly: 11-7.  With two out and runners on first and third, Art Howe [the manager], walks out yet again.  This time he calls for right hander Jeff Tam, newly arrived from AAA, to face the right-handed Mike Sweeney, who is, at the moment, leading the American League in hitting.

“‘ Why?  [says Billy] They take all this lefty-righty crap too far.  What’s wrong with leaving Rincon in?’”

Now I’m looking at the movie’s IMDB listing and seeing that someone named Sergio Garcia is playing Jorge Posada.  This is getting weirder by the second.  I need to go back to reading that Alex Rodriguez is going to get traded for Joe Martinez.

Diamond Girl

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Why Johnny Depp Should Be a PA Announcer and the Rangers Should Have Sprayed Orange Juice

I adore Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the 2005 version.  I can’t find the clip online, but some of you probably know the scene when the children first come to the factory when you can hear Willy Wonka’s voice (Johnny Depp) saying “Please enter.”, “Close the gates.”  The voiceover is fantastic.  So, you know, when Renel retires he could take over?  We couldn’t pay him as much as Tim Burton, maybe, but we could give him some nice homemade brownies.  Mmmmm… homemade brownies… I volunteer to make them.


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Brownie.JPG 

Picture of brownies is my own, not a stock photo.  Photo of Willy Wonka is not mine.  ::Cue “duhs”::

More importantly, perhaps… the Rangers clinched in Oakland on Saturday, which made me very happy.  I didn’t end up going to any of the game but 2011 is filled with promise.  I will see them.  So I know CJ Wilson doesn’t drink and he said he was going to wear swim goggles and not drink any of it and Josh Hamilton, a recovering alcoholic, skipped the party altogether.  In this situation, why not create a new idea so that you can include all your players?

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This photo is obviously taken by me, with my exclusive pass to the Yankees clubhouse.  Once again, cue the duhs.

I honestly hate the champagne parties at all.  They are so contrived and commercialized at this point, that I don’t really think they’re fun or exciting.  The locker rooms are all taped off for easy clean-up and the cameras are all set up.  I am still hoping for a team to come out and show their unique player and coach personalities and use orange juice and make a real mess.  Why orange juice?  It’s healthy, not tremendously sticky and, I mean, no one’s in rehab for orange juice addiction.  It’s also unexpected.  The Rangers have battled bankruptcy, have a low payroll, young GM… why not embrace that and show respect and appreciation for your players who don’t drink alcohol and use orange juice? 

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Um, no.  Not taken by me.  I have better ways to waste my time than photographing orange juice bottles.

Since the Rangers didn’t do it, the Giants could.  Or do you think the league would make them die half the juice black?

Diamond Girl

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