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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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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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The Marathon, Advice to Pitching Coaches & Trades

I heard an inside-the-park-homerun for the first time on Sunday.  I was in the car coming across the bridge from San Francisco (not from a game, unfortunately) so the reception was bad, but I heard it.  And that was the first back-to-back homer and inside-the-park homer for the Giants since 1966, Mays and McCovey.  It was a bit of heartbreaker at the end, but who really thought we’d get out of bases loaded, no outs twice?  Notwithstanding, the Giants gave a real fight and have taken two out of four from the Brewers so far.  So things are looking slightly rosier. 

Now for the advice.  The Giants pitching has been doing much better lately but this advice is really for any struggling pitching staff and their pitching coach.  You know when the coach goes out there to talk?  Righetti seems really good at calming pitchers down.  I don’t know what he says, but it generally works.  So though Righetti may be more qualified to give advice than me, I’m going to take a shot.  What if they went out there and told jokes?  Example:  Lincecum is on the mound, having let in one earned run.  It’s the seventh and it’s 2-1 Giants.  Lincecum loads the bases with one out.  No room for error.  Righetti visits the mound. 

Righetti and Lincecum.jpg

“Hey, Timmy.”  He says.  “A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says, ‘Why the long face?'”  Righetti leaves and… bingo.  Two backwards K’s.  Can’t you just see it happening?  The other possibility is hiring a professional joke teller to come out.  Or maybe we should have a clown in Death Valley, juggling away.  They hardly ever hit it out there, anyway.

It was put out there that theoretically the BrewCrew would want something like J. Sanchez and a top prospect for Prince Fielder (though maybe they changed their minds after seeing him pitch the other day…?), who currently has 17 home runs on the year.  So I think we should totally go for something along those lines and then trade a few prospects for Roy Oswalt, who is dying to be traded anyway.  I really want Oswalt on the Giants and he could take the empty #4 spot, left by Sanchez.  Sounds perfect to me.   So, what do you think?  Any other trade thoughts (not limited to Giants, all of MLB)?

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Um, did I die and go to heaven?  It’s currently 11-1 Giants.

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