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10 Things You Should Know About the Twins

So.  Interleague play with the Twins kicks off tonight in San Francisco.  As National League people, I figure we could all use a few facts about our opponent for the coming three days.   Here goes.

10.  They play at Target Field.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Target.  But Target Field?  I can’t like that.

9.  Their slogan this year is “This Is Twins Territory”.  You know the point when alliterative becomes corny?

8.  Their catcher (Joe Mauer, that is.  You may have heard of him?) does commercials for Head and Shoulders Shampoo.  I will love this guy forever.  Too great.

7.  They’re named the Twins like the Twin Cities.  À la “Boy meets girl… Romeo and Juliet… Sampson and Delilah… Minneapolis and St. Paul…” –Groucho Marx

6.  Their General Manager is named Bill Smith.  Search that on Wikipedia.  Because of the number of people who come up, they’re all subdivided into industries.   It’s something to see.

5.  They are in second to last place in their division…

4. …but are 9-1 in their last 10…

3.  …and on a 7 game winning streak

2.   Then again, they last played the Padres and we all know how easy it is to beat San Diego.  I mean, just look at the Giants record versus them last year!  Okay, forget it.  Don’t.

1.  Despite how scary the last few Facts About the Twins might seem, they are human.  Very human.  Make that 31-39 on the year.  So, you know.  Not too scary.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Speaking of totally great commercials?  I know I’m a little late to the party, but the MLB Always Epic campaign is brilliance.  Minus the strange Wilson one.  But Fielder’s ball flying over Mongolia and Ubaldo’s overall adorableness?  Perfection.

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3 + 3 = 3 Wins + Mandatory Low Point In Trailer When Main Character Cries Or Almost Cries If He Is Tough Guy Brad Pitt So He Can’t Actually Cry

I don’t drop “Baseball Gods” a whole lot.  But when people hit triples, they always feel like little gifts from Baseball Heaven.  And has anyone else noticed that they do tend to come to people who really, really need them?

Like Pat Burrell  who is rumored to be the odd man out later this year and Eli Whiteside who has, well, big shoes to fill.  And he isn’t really fillin’ them.  Then Billy Hall’s (am I coining Billy?) magical half hour with Bam Bam seems to have paid off, which comes at a nice time when Freddy pessimism is at a 2011 high.  I am all for the holistic, natural approach and have (some amount of) total confidence that the shoulder can heal on its own but it’s good to have some, ahem, backup.

Which means that this night of three basers notched MadBum his third win of the year and a 3.21 ERA.  Sometimes I have the urge to bang the heads of the offense together but then I remember that they do things like hit key triples and I go to my punching bag (laptop keyboard) instead.

We are on our way to sweeping the Diamondbacks, which is a phrase I would have been petrified to utter a few days ago.  This is good.

Zito is moving up in the world and will be starting in AAA Fresno tonight.  I guess this must be his first time pitching for the Grizzlies and I think he’ll fit in.  No snarky-ness there.  Barry and Chuckchansi Park just seem like a match made in heaven.  Still, I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel like the clock is ticking down to doomsday.

The first Moneyball movie trailer hit the web yesterday my skepticism about it is fading.

I think it looks really good, actually.  The hairdresser captured Billy Beane’s vaguely volumized hair perfectly and even if they look nothing alike otherwise (yeah, that’s a big cause of mine) they do kind of make the same expressions.

And am I the only one who thinks doing this looks incredibly fun?  Even if that is the mandatory Low Point In Trailer When Main Character Cries (Or Almost Cries If He Is Tough Guy Brad Pitt So He Can’t Actually Cry).  So I don’t think it’s supposed to look fun.  But it does.

Someone else commented that the field looks suspiciously dark in this walk scene and why doesn’t the stadium have any lights?

True.

I will be in the theater opening day, I think.  I’ve only done that for one other movie, Takers, and it was unwarranted.  That was a terrible movie (not to mention Hayden Christensen’s character was the first of the bank robbers to die, which tempted me to demand my $8 back, but that seemed petty).  I have hope, though.  I kind of think this might be my first baseball movie love.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Congratulations to former Giant/Grizzly Jesus Guzman on his call-up to San Diego!

I remember seeing him during his two weeks up at AT&T Park in 2009 and enjoying watching him play.  Wishing him much success.  I mean, some success.  Enough for him to have a happy career but the Padres to keep on their last place, sub-.500 ways.

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In Which the Giants Sputter to Life, Zito Goes James Franco and I Express Confusion About the Importance of The Ring

It had gotten to the point where I was going to suggest some new alarm clock rings for the Giants players to get them out of their funk.  Fortunately, that won’t be necessary, for the time being, because we got a nice little W today.

There were good moments and bad moments; the primary good moment being Tim Lincecum and his fabulous right arm.  The offense also sputtered to life, minus Pat Burrell (sorry, had to get that in).  I am tentatively optimistic about the defense and I am not worried about the bullpen.  They’ll be okay.  They’ll make me panic and eat pickles and (nearly) tear my hair out, but I am quite confident in my bearded guys right now. 

Speaking of beards… today’s facial hair news is that Sergio Romo updated his beard into something even stranger and I figured out with what the inspiration- or at least doppelganger- is for Zito’s mustache.  It’s this actor who I really, really can’t stand.   His name is James Franco. You may remember his from his Academy Award hosting.  Or you may not.  He didn’t really talk.  I hope I’m wrong because otherwise I am utterly stumped as to why someone would try to look like him.

(Photos aren’t working right now, so you’re going to have to do your own sleuthing until the system gets up again.  Google “barry zito mustache” and “james franco mustache”.)

Looking ahead.  April 8th (you know.  The special day where the world celebrates the coming of yours truly.) is the home opener and there will be a lot of festivities, I’m sure.  I’m know I’m a spoilsport, but I am not hugely excited for all that.  When the playoffs and the World Series are about baseball, I love it.  Afterwards, when it becomes nostalgia and rings and TV appearances?  (Never got The Ring obsession at all.  This is not Middle Earth, right?)  Not so much.  It’s the 2011 season and there are games to be played and much to happen.  This weekend we can celebrate.  But then we need to get down to work.  It’s never too early to take first place.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  I would like to get a chance to speak with whoever came up with the 3:35 start time and say a thing or two to them.  And make them sit for three hours in this wind watching Little Leaguers slaughter each other in the twilight.  I did that today.  It was semi-brutal.  They deserve to live through that too.

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5 Cooler Cars for Brian Wilson and an Over-Under on Michael Young

There are so many things I could write about today.  The fact that AJ Burnett is either delusional or his therapist told him to repeat positive affirmations to anyone and everyone.  The fact that the World Class Good Guy seems to be morphing into a World Class Bad Guy before our very eyes.  The fact that Mat Latos is on a bizarre anti-SF rampage.  And then the whole, “is Aaron Rowand mad?” thing (although no one except me seems that fascinated by that).  What I actually want to write about is the thing that made me wonder if there was indeed a minimum age to be in the Majors.  Apparently, they let pre-adolescents in.  Or at least, people with very preadolescent senses of humor.

Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News (who, by the way, is killing all the other writers with his coverage of Spring Training) reports that Brian Wilson’s new ride is a fully decked out police cruiser.  With a loudspeaker.  On which he announces his arrival in the morning with, “I’m heeeere!”

If I gave my little brother a toy police cruiser for his birthday, yes, he might do that.  But that is no excuse for Brian.  My brother is 20-odd years younger than him.  That’s not what they mean when they say, “unlock the child within you”.  At least I hope it isn’t.

If he thinks the Obamas having a water dog is not cool, then I would like to say that driving a police cruiser is, um, not cool either.  Just saying.  Don’t want to get arrested.  Don’t want to get arrested.  Don’t want to get put in Bad Fan Prison.  But that is not cool.

So, of course, I made him a list of 5 cooler cars.  If you are slightly or very puzzled by this and the last paragraph, watch this quick episode of Life of Brian.

5.  Ferrari.  I don’t actually get the obsession with Ferrari’s and that they’re everybody’s dream car.  Except for the name.  I melt for Italian names.  (My father just alerted me that his parents had several Ferraris, which I was not previously aware of.  I know about the Emilio Pucci dresses and the Chanel boots they have passed down, but, until now, nothing about the hip cars.)

4.  Prius.  This is the cool of the future.  ::Joe Martinez yells, “The car from the Ghost Writer!”  I ignore::  Set the trends, Willy!

3.  A Chrysler.  I am being a shameless ad sucker here, but I am still into that Superbowl Chrysler ad.

2.  An old school VW bus.  You know, the kind Timmy wanted.  They may not think that’s cool down in Hollywood but it’s way cool up here.

1.  And Joe said that coolest one of all.  The car from The Ghost Writer.  I have referenced this before, here.  That beautiful car has an intelligent GPS that will lead you to the murder spot of your predecessor at work.  If that isn’t cool, what is?

There.  No one can accuse me of not giving useful advice now.  I just got you your baseball news and a list of cool cars, lumped into one.

I am calling grocery stores all over the Bay Area trying to find one that stocks mass amounts of popcorn.  This Michael Young saga may last a long time.  I still have my Team Jon shirt, but I’ve run out of popcorn.  Over or under, 40 days and 40 nights?  ‘Cause I need to know so I can stock up.

Diamond Girl

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Michael Young and Jon Daniels Channel Their Inner Teen Girl

For lack of a better phrase: What the hell?  No way can the Desperate Ballplayers of San Fran live up to this.

You know how teenage girls do this thing where they have a fight and then start relaying cryptic, snide messages to each other via a willing mutual friend?  Yeah.  I have a little experience with this.

Anyway, if you squint, then it would seem like Michael Young and Jon Daniels are getting in touch with their inner teen girl.  And relaying their cryptic, snide messages through a willing mutual friend; the press.

jon daniels.jpg
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I was inclined to take Michael Young’s side on all this, even though I like Jon Daniels a lot, but after seeing his list of the eight teams he could be traded to I changed my mind.  Three NL West teams.  Rockies, Dodgers and Padres.  But not the Giants.  If Young is that intent on avoiding my two favorite teams, I have a hard time siding with him on this.  San Francisco is a beautiful city with a good team, nice(ish) management with a minimal history of pushing 6″1 guys into corners (big corners, huh?) and we harbor no hard feelings about him helping us win the World Series. 

So I am wearing my Team Jon shirt, eating popcorn and enjoying the show.

Just kidding. 

It seems inevitable at this point that Young will indeed leave Texas and that’s probably for the best with how much bad blood there is.  I hope the Rangers are able to fill that hole, because I think it could make or break the team in 2011.  It’s sad, Michael was a quintessential Ranger, but I hope it works out as amicably as possible in the end and Young is happier where he ends up. 

Baseball is a business.  Rinse and repeat.  3.0.

Diamond Girl

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