Tag Archives: opening day

10 Reasons I Am Excited Right About Now (Warning: April Fool Contained Inside)

I went out today and actually sat in the sunshine and had a picnic.  It’s been raining here in the Bay Area for what feels like forever, so it was pretty amazing.  I finished “Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World” by Michael Lewis (which is absolutely, fabulously good and you should read it right now, even if your eyes cross at the word “subprime”) and then I caught the end of the ballgame and felt rather wonderful.  I love many things about Spring Training, but I also cannot wait for the real thing to begin and for all the final roster cuts and all that jazz.  I also can’t wait for the Giants to be back in San Francisco.  You are free to call me crazy, but let me finish first.  I do not generally consider myself a psychic, but when the Giants are in town?  I can totally feel the presence.   Now I also believe that eating these Vitamin C gummy bears actually keeps me from getting sick, so I am probably not a source.  But it’s all psychological, so who can really argue with me?

Anyhow.  This year, rather than repeating last year’s Goodbye Spring Training – which you can read here, if you are so inclined – I am going to infuse a little bit of optimism into the (theoretical) mix.  Ready?  Okay.  This is 10 Reasons I Am Excited Right About Now.  The “now” I refer to is 5:55pm on the day the Giants played their last Spring Training game of 2012.  You’re welcome, historians 5000 years hence.

10.  Zito’s new mechanics!  Yeah.  April Fool’s.  I got you there, right?  Right?

9.  All of the various injured players re-proving themselves.  Along with the young guys who just crack the team, the injured players have got to be some of the most fascinating storylines of the year.  Lookin’ at you, Buster Posey.

8.  Speaking of which, Buster Posey.  Can I (for once) speak for the whole of the Giants fanbase, when I say we are tremendously, tremendously stoked?

7.  The Bruce Bochy show.  KNBR listeners, you know of what I speak.  Non-KNBR listeners, why the heck don’t you listen?

6.  Interleague Play.  I still object on some sort of deep, moral grounds, Bud Selig, but since the Giants get the AL West this year, I am borderline mollified for the time being.  Aside from the obvious they-are-playing-the-Rangers, I’m interested to see the matchup with the resident Interesting Team of the year, the Angels.  Who also have quite a nice dining area which serves basically cold hamburgers, for whatever it’s worth.

5.  The draft.  It’s still many months off, but the beginning of the season does signal how it’s getting closer and pretty soon, we’ll be treated to the draft breakdowns in the media and all that fun stuff.  July, it’s Emily calling, can you please come a wee bit sooner?

4.  The Hobbit movie.  Well, I am.

3.  Never using the Despicable Me balloon scene photos againBecause the Giants are not going to disappoint me that way this year.  Positive affirmations are everything, people.

2.  More animal themed hats at AT&T Park!  And that right there was my second April Fool’s.  Aside from the obvious fashion-faux-pas-ness of them (it’s hard, you know, to adequately match an outfit to a giraffe-print hat), there’s the issue of short people like yours truly not really at all being able to see over them.  Consideration is key, People Who Attend AT&T Park.  Because we’re getting back… together and all that.

1.  Since I don’t want to be lame and say the smell of fresh grass… I’ll just say cinnamon roasted walnuts.  Not the ones they sell at the park, mind you, because I am boycotting those because of labor issues with Diamond Foods, their manufacturer (not to be confused with Diamond Girl), but the other brands you can buy at the grocery story.  They are dee-lish-us.  And I am excited.  Excited excited.  

Diamond Girl

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Opening Day, Bud Selig? (A Photo Story)

(No comments on the messy hair or the lopsided handwriting, people.  I am still under a hot chocolate hangover.  You can’t expect me to actually write straight.)

Diamond Girl

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My Grizzly Birthday!

Let’s just say we had some quality entertainment on the way down to Fresno.


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It was maddening and riveting at the same time and I can’t say I cried when Wilson blew the save.  My team spirit when he’s pitching basically disappears.  Can’t bring myself to root for him.  But when Rowand walked-off?  Oh yes.  I was cheering.

The game actually didn’t seem that weird to me.  The 2010 Giants did that kind of thing a whole lot and Wilson was, of course, totally torturous.  During the postseason, they blew past everyone but the team doesn’t usually do things the easy way.  And that can get ugly.  Not to be a downer, or anything. 

I’ll also admit that I’ve never watched a banner raising before, but that one was beautifully executed.  And the banner, when it was folded up, looked exactly like the fleece Giants blanket I made a while back.  And how many times do you think they practiced the cueing of We Are the Champions to get it right?  Because it was so right.

Anyway.  Fresno.  It was great.  Really, really, great and totally different.  We were two rows from the field, by the bullpen and it was so quiet you could probably have heard a pin drop.  The fans don’t cheer.  Ever so occasionally, they whistle (that’s trendy, I guess) but the PA’s attempts to get cheers going were totally in vain.  It really refocused the game, though, and I could hear Jackson Williams (catching in the bullpen) and an unidentified person who was spotting them talking which was entertainment in and of itself.  It was a pretty tight game but the Grizzlies lost to the Las Vegas 51s 4-1.  Emmanuel Burriss who was tearing it up and, frankly, just looks like a big leaguer, set a Grizzlies record with four stolen bases in one game. 

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It was absolutely freezing (what else is new?) and we spent most of the game discussing how Brian Sabean/Bobby Evans/Other Front Office People get down there from San Fran.  Because it’s a long drive.  I kind of think they have a rock star decked out helicopter.  Of maybe they just use the airport.

I did have one big problem with the game and that was the trivia question near the beginning:

Which Grizzly went to the Pirates in the Javier Lopez trade?

I’ll tell you which Grizzly.  The one who I changed my background to Pirates-themed for, for a day, because I am such a huge fan.  Joe Martinez.  They didn’t have to bring that up.  It’s an emotional subject for me.  The question was multiple choice and one of the answers was Eugenio Velez and the PA guy pronounced it Ay-oo-gene-ee-o.  Do you think he did that every night when Velez was there?  Because that would have driven me insane.

This was my first minor league game and two things really struck me.

First, that these guys are so close to being Major Leaguers- plenty of them have been called up sometime- and still they are in a totally different stratosphere down there.  Why is everyone so uninterested?  There’s a really fine line between these guys and MLB players.

Secondly, they didn’t seem huge into team spirit.  Which makes sense, but felt strange anyway.  Neither team seemed that interested in who was winning.  I guess it’s really about individual player performance (which, of course, include teamwork.  Just doesn’t depend on the team winning.) but it still bizarre to watch.

It was really a lovely birthday and felt deliciously old style.  Like that stadium experience might have been that way, way back when.

 

Flowers and birthdays are a match made in heaven.

Catch y’all later.  The (discriminatory) Orange and Black Attack Team are rocking tuxes and that is big news. 

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Cliffy and A-Rod’s year book photos?  Too cute.

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May I Just Say That Cries Of “Fire Sabean”, “Get Some Darn Offense” and “The Giants Can’t Repeat” Are Totally Unwarranted?

So the day got off to a rocky start for me with the headline:

Giants lefty Zito taken to hospital after car accident.

The actual news stories added the unimportant fact that he was also released from the hospital.  He’s okay.  Neck brace and precautionary MRI, but he’s okay.  It took me a few hours of Enya and Owl City to calm down.  These things strike at the weirdest times, don’t they?  I hope he’s good to start on Sunday.

The fact that Real Live Baseball That Counts happened today lightened the mood, although the last 45 minutes before the Giants game were torture.  I’ve lasted months and months without baseball, but somehow the home stretch felt very long.

The other thing that was torture?  Yeah.  The game.  There were good things about it and there were bad things.  As an eternal positivist (sort of), I’m going to start with the good stuff.

Brandon Belt looked good.  He looked confident and ready to go and totally above the hype.  Half of me is 110% sold on him, even though half of my brain says it’s too early for that.  Overall, I think we’ll be seeing him at first base for a long time to come.

Tim Lincecum.  I was worried he was going to melt.  His hair looked really long (was that just me) and he looks borderline vampirical in heat.  And though he didn’t look totally tip-top, he wasn’t worrisome to me.

Buster was, a little bit.  He felt out of it.  He was one for four and, of course, had that play with Sandoval at third.  He might just have been tired or something.  The whole defense looked like it did at the exhibition games, which is not surprising since it’s only two days later.  But it’s ever so slightly more troublesome on Opening Day.

And do y’all think Timmy hit Uribe on purpose?  I am of the opinion that it was a “hello there, remember me?” pitch.  But I’m curious to hear the buzz ’round here.

So now I’m going to listen to more Enya and Owl City and remind myself that it’s the first game and it really doesn’t matter.  1 down, 161 to go.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  And as I said in the title: “fire Sabean”, “get some darn offense” and “the Giants can’t repeat” are totally unwarranted.

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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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