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Jon Miller Imitations, Zito In NC and The Ironic Name For a Stadium That Is Never Overstocked

So I missed the greater part of yesterday’s game because the rain-delay-when-there-was-no-rain-and-they-were-watering-the-field made it cross into a lecture in Berkeley by Dave Batstone, the founder of the Not for Sale Campaign that I went to.  (Remember the whole “Give me your money and I’ll give you chocolate.  This is not spam.” thing?  Yeah.  He’s related to that.)  It was a fantastic speech and he showed a commercial with Jeremy Affeldt for the organization from a few years ago and he looked so, so young.  He also did a Jon Miller imitation but didn’t sound a whole lot like Jon Miller, but hey, he’s hard to imitate.  So I got to listen to stuff about social justice for an hour without going through too severe baseball withdrawal.  It was at a theology school, though, and I kind of got the sense I was the only one laughing at the baseball jokes.  Huh.  He also told me afterwards that Matt Cain may be joining the organization.  Of course.  He is such a Good Guy.  With caps.

When I got home, I got a very enthusiastic (and slightly headache inducing) blow-by-blow of the end of the game from which I deduced that a) it went into extras b) Cain was in line to be a hard luck loser until c) Dar-run Ford ran.  Correct me if any of those facts are wrong.  I hate how many extra inning games we’ve had to play this year, but a win is a win and that’s the bottom line.

The weird news pieces of today are that Barry Zito is in North Carolina seeing a specialist about his foot and Roy Oswalt has taken an indefinite leave from the Phillies.  The Oswalt news has gotten less weird as more came out that he’s taking the leave to check up on his family in a tornado-stricken area.  Thoughts and prayers are with them all.  But the Zito news has just gotten weirder.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure NC is a lovely place (only 5% sarcasm there) but aren’t there plenty of foot specialists on this side of the Mississippi?  I have a few conspiracy theories about this.

And then the fact that we’re stuck with the Overstock.com Coliseum for six years to come?  I don’t even know what to say.  It’s a mouthful, for one.  And how can I tactfully say that the Coliseum isn’t really ever “overstocked”?  Though maybe the new deal would include WiFi.  It is so time for that.

Diamond Girl

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This Makes Me Feel Vulnerable and Todd-Wellemeyer-Era-Esque

Okay, panic control time.  For both those who are panicking jubuliantly (dirty look) and those who are really panicking (that’s me).  Whether or not you are a Zito fan, doesn’t it feel disturbing for one of last year’s  starting five to be hurt?  It makes me feel vulnerable and Todd-Wellemeyer-era-esque.  I would also like to add that though I am not a superstitious person, when the majority of last offseason was spent saying “Zito is a #5 starter who never gets hurt, how bad can it be?” I felt a little like clapping a hand of the speaker’s mouth and saying, “Shhhh, anyone can get hurt.” 

The ironic thing is that the call-up of Vogelsong didn’t necessitate any roster moves, because the Giants had 39 men on their 40 man roster.  Not only do the Giants have a lot of fans this year, they have quite a lot of players.  Some (that’s me) might say too many.  I was floored to learn we were under the quota.  My feeling about the team, the past few days?

I don’t like it in here.  It’s terribly crowded.

 

I’m scared that Bochy and Sabean are going to turn mad (turn mad?) unless they do a little spring cleaning.  There are some serious diamonds and some diamonds in the rough in this organization but there’s also a fair share of fool’s gold.

Basically, I think the front office needs to be bloody, bold and resolute (having a quotes field day, here).  This doesn’t need to happen right now- it’s early-, but at some point they are going to need to get rid of some people and designate the roles of other’s.  Variables = great.  Crowded = destructive.  And right now it’s just plain crowded.  I like Ishi and Nate, but they are both Major League caliber players who just have no place on this club in the foreseeable future.  I get that they’re good to have as options/pinch hitters/alternate starters/injury fill-ins.  But in the meantime?  If they’re going to stick around, they need a role that is understood and can be fulfilled.  And is DeRosa really that super-utility man who plays every night in a different position?  I can’t tell.  Maybe it’s because of his wrist flarin’ up or maybe there’s just no room.  I think when Belt’s surprisingly made the team out of the desert he messed with the whole 2011 plan.

I’m a bit of a neat freak but the way I clean is less focused on things being clean and more on things being organized.  Likewise, Giants.  Likewise.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  This week in MLB hair.  I mean, afros are coming back this season.  But usually a little more, ahem, tamed?  And if Zito’s at all superstitious, is it too much to hope for that he would lose the James Franco ‘stache?

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St. Patrick’s Day 2.0, Me Playing News Anchor and Me Eating Asparagus Dipped in Olive Oil at a Zito Start at The Coliseum

Let’s go in reverse chronological order:

Brandon Belt made the team.  I’m ever so slightly conflicted about that, but mostly happy.  Seeing him the past two nights had me fully convinced that he’s ready.  He looks utterly comfortable on the Major League scene.  And he cried when he got the news.  The sweet kid.  Really sad to see Ishikawa on waivers, though.  He feels like a relic of the pre-Championship era Giants and while it sounds totally crazy, I loved the pre-Championship era Giants.  Happy travels to him, wherever he ends up. 

I also hope Affeldt gets the closer job in Wilson’s absence.  That cuts their number of proficient lefty relievers in half, but I think he’s a good candidate for closing.  And I get this rush of modern-day abolitionist pride whenever he comes out to pitch.  (As I mentioned before, I am currently doing a charity project about slavery in the chocolate industry for my birthday.  Check it out here.)

Spring has come to a close and the Giants are breaking camp looking pretty darn good.  Make that really darn good.

Onto last night.

Who knew it was St. Patrick’s Day 2.0?  So.  Much.  Green.  I caught the end of the A’s Fan Tailgate event and they sure know how to throw a fan event.  It was simple, intuitive and interesting.  And I got four autographs in five minutes.  Conor Jackson (::Diamond Girl faints::), Andy LeRoche, Eric Sogard (he totally has glasses!) and Josh Willingham.  They were all very sweet and so was the length of the line.

The Comcast SportsNet booth was also really great.  They had a SportsNet Central set and people could go on and broadcast a minute-long recap of Dallas Braden’s perfect game.  Me and my little brother did it.

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Aren’t we adorable?  The teleprompter was fun enough to vaguely revive my politician aspirations and the producer was really sweet.  He let me look at his camera and watch them from behind.  Fascinating.

We eventually went in and what followed was 2 ½ hours of a mesmerizing Zito start and asparagus dipped in olive oil with pepper (no, they don’t sell that.  I brought it.  Obviously).  It was a lovely evening and I was reminded why I love The Coliseum.  They just need to rip out the top of the centerfield wall, so that there’s a view of the Oakland Hills.

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Of all the pitchers I’ve seen, Zito carries the most stuff around while he’s preparing for his start.  A jacket, a bag of inidentifed stuff, a juice bottle and a water bottle.

I’m going to do pre-Opening Day predictions really fast now.  I am bad with predications, so take it all with a grain of salt.  I just want to have it on record in case I am, ahem, right.

AL East

Boston Red Sox

AL Central

Detroit Tigers

AL West

Oakland A’s

AL Wildcard

Texas Rangers

NL East

Atlanta Braves

NL Central

Milwaukee Brewers

NL West

Colorado Rockies

NL Wildcard

San Francisco Giants

There you have it.  Opening Day is so soon.  Breathe deeply.

Diamond Girl

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The Exhibition Game With 39,000 In Attendance

No, I wasn’t the girl going up the escalator in the seventh with cinnamon roasted almonds in my hand and tears in my eyes.

Okay, fine.  I was.

Let’s just say I was really happy to be back.  As were 39,000 other people.  39,000 people at an exhibition game.  That’s sort of a lot.  It didn’t seem that full when I was sitting down, but when I walked around, it was a madhouse.  And I can’t even count how many people walked into me.  I’m not that short.  I don’t get why people walk into me.

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If it looks like I think am in an Arctic Winter to you, you are absolutely right.  It was freezing cold.  I am now cured of my wanting those nuts ever again.  Craving is gone.  They were, uh, fine.  Just fine.  And yes, I had almonds.  Because they were out of walnuts.  What else is new?

Right.  Exhibition game.  It wasn’t that different from a regular game except the players were wearing their Spring Training jerseys and there were no photos on the scoreboard.

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That was weird.  It felt vaguely like they were just doing that to remind you it wasn’t a regular season game.  But maybe there was a good reason.  The real reminder that it was March 28th was the fielding.  The hitting and pitching on both teams was basically really good, but nobody could field.  There were no errors but a lot of sloppiness.

And the moment when Tejada and Sandoval ran out into shallow left to try and catch a ball and Burrell just stood there with a “battle it out, brothers” look on his face.  Nobody caught it.  That was one pitch after the exact same thing happened in right.

It was a really good game and a good night.  Now if you’ll excuse me… I’d better go do some Normal Person stuff before heading over to the Coliseum later this afternoon.  It’s Zito vs. Gonzales.   I. Am. So. Excited.

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Isn’t that most beautiful view?

Diamond Girl

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Why I Don’t Buy the Zito Article and What I Would Do If I Were Sitting Five Rows Away from Dave Dombrowski

As if John Galliano and Charlie Sheen (sorry.   I promised myself to be the only blog in blogosphere not to mention him.  But I just had to.) aren’t enough, Coco Crisp was arrested early this morning from driving under the influence.  I was, of course, sad to hear it.  I’m not particularly a fan of his, but I do follow him on Twitter which, in a bizarre way, makes me feel like I know him.  This isn’t incredibly rare at Spring Training.  Just sad.

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I would also like to say that although I have the utmost respect for Bruce Jenkins, his story from this morning seems really, really iffy.  “A source close to the team indicated Tuesday that there is ‘exasperation’ with Zito, that his status as the No. 5 starter is ‘”definitely not safe.'”  What does that even mean?  Source close to the team?  Indicated?  I have no doubt the Giants are exploring options and don’t necessarily want Zito around, but I really doubt anyone in the organization told Jenkins that.  The story was just to stir up interest and, of course, page hits (hey, I just liked to it above).  The closed door meeting with Bochy and Zito probably was a little tense, because it’s not a fun situation for anyone.  But it seems Zito is trying to do this with a good attitude and is working hard and all parties involved are trying to stop this from getting ugly.

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At least the socks are brighter than ever.

Honestly, maybe it would be best for Zito to leave the Giants.  A change of scenery might be a godsend.  But either way, it’s really, really too early judge Barry 2011.

Let’s end on a happier note by just saying that if I could sit five rows away from Dave Dombrowski , I would faint.  Or I might just go up to him and tell him he should have sent Galarraga to the Giants, not the Diamondbacks.

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Diamond Girl

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