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A Starbucks and Rain-Related Rant

I can think of a few rare instances where a rain delay has ended well.  Zito in Detroit last season is one.  As CBS put it at the time, the Giant smashed the Tigers 15-3.  (Different Tigers than the ones who are dominating everything right now?  Yes.)  But except in the instances of really massive blowouts, I’m generally so disgruntled and stir-crazy and annoyed from all the waiting that the outcome is somewhat irrelevant.

We all knew the rain delay was coming today.  So I got my shoes on and as soon as they started rolling the tarps out, I left and got a coffee and went to the park and read my ridiculously sad book.  I came home with pretty much perfect timing.  Internal rain delay clock?  Why, yes, I do have that.  It was nice, except that I really need to start remembering that Starbucks doesn’t make Dark Roast in decaf, because the Medium Roast – the only one they do make in decaf – is unequivocally revolting.  Apologies to any Medium Roast lovers I may have just mortally offended.

Um, anyway.  Starbucks rant over.

My timing was pretty much perfect.  I got home and went back to watching.  Everything was perfect other than, you know, the game.  After all that rain and delay and jazz, the Giants lost very softly, by a final of 3-1.  There were just a lot of little mistakes on their part and they didn’t take advantage of the mistakes that the Cardinals made, either.  Hunter Pence definitely stood out and not in a good way.  He’s batting .161 in the postseason and is looking a bit like all of the Giants problems mashed into one.  Obviously no game or series is decided by one person and other people have struggled, but Pence’s are magnified at the moment.

It was not a pretty game.  And it was a darn long one, for being as not-pretty as it was.  Medium Roast is looking increasingly appealing after seeing that one finish up.

Just kidding, just kidding.  I choose losing Giants over bad coffee any day.  But here’s to some winning Giants, right?  It’s getting down to the wire but there’s still a good bit of baseball to be played.  Like everyone, I’d guess, I’m dying with curiosity about what Our Boy Timmy will do tomorrow.  A word about that nickname…

…and it’s anecdote time, because I tell a lot of anecdotes around this time of night.  Earlier this season, I was having dinner with a Red Sox fan and suddenly he was all, “How about your boy Timmy?”  Lincecum had just had particularly terrible start.  So I was sort of silent and then I said, “Yeah.  How about my boy Timmy.”   I got this fiercely protective feeling and that was pretty much the end of that.  Let it be known that Red Sox and Giants fans are not a match made in heaven.  ‘Member when the two teams did an All Star Game voting alliance? They were just misleading us.  Seriously.

Things will be better tomorrow.   And hopefully our Pagan Deity of choice will make it a little bit… drier.  Please, Thor/Zeuz/Celtic God Whose Name I Can’t Spell?  No rain?  Thanks.  You’re the best.  I’ll sacrifice some cupcakes to you.

Diamond Girl

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How Many Slices of Iced Lemon Pound Cake the Dodgers Could Have Gotten

In a shockingly good move for the post-Theo-Epstein Red Sox, they unloaded a lot of players on the Dodgers and then basically laughed all the way to the bank.  They got James Loney, ‘cause he’s lonely and they felt badly or whatever and a nice quad of prospects as well.  The Dodgers got one of the biggest busts in recent baseball memory, Carl Crawford, who also recently underwent Tommy John surgery.  They got Josh Beckett, who’s not really (at all) that good and Nick Punto who’s probably extremely talented at many things, but baseball is not necessarily one of them.  (I kid, I kid.  All Major Leaguers are extremely talented, of course, Nick Punto included.  But still).  Last but not least, they got Adrian Gonzalez who’s batting .300, compared to the .254 average that Loney was sporting.  It’s an upgrade, but with all the money the Dodgers are dropping – which, according the LA Times is over a quarter of a billion dollars – they could have gotten millions of tall Dark Roasts at Starbucks or hundreds of thousands of Victoria Beckham handbags or, say, some really good ballplayers.  They did none of the above.

Never fear, Giants fans.  The National League West did not just get significantly better.  It just got significantly less coffee.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  If you’re not really a coffee person, a) leave this blog now or b) imagine how much of that divine Iced Lemon Pound Cake at Starbucks they could also have gotten.  I can’t seem to find the price of that online, but let’s just say they could have gotten enough to feed the entire crowd at Dodger Stadium for a hundred years or so.  Especially considering the size of an average Dodger Stadium crowd.  (Low blow?  Yes.  True blow?  Yes to that too.)

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In Which I Hit Fenway Park

Boston is a really amazing city and everything but when I first started planning this trip? The first (and pretty much only) thing I thought was: Fenway. So yesterday I braved the blistering heat in the city and took a stadium tour in the afternoon. I could feel the ghost of Theo Epstein everywhere, but other than that, it was loads of fun. Our tour guide was named Owen and he was very funny and eerily Red Sox knowledgeable. Other than all the Yankee hating and pesky sunshine, says the San Francisco girl, I had a blast.

I was so excited to be at Fenway that I blinked. Ah, well. Also, yes, you are seeing that right. I wore borderline pinstripes. Sometimes my brain ceases to work, I admit it.

It really surpassed my expectations, actually. What people always say about the old stadiums is that while they are interesting, they’re a bit dinky. Fenway was not at all dinky, from what I saw. It feels very small and intimate and I love the way it’s nestled right in the center of the city. From the higher parts (read: Green Monster. Oh yes. I sat on the Green Monster. More on that later.) you can see the whole city skyline in a way that you can’t at stadiums that are more on the outskirts, like AT&T. I adore AT&T, but this had a whole different energy.

We also sat in seats from the 30s – yes, the very seats that had been there since the 30s – and while they were beastly uncomfortable, the history was pretty much worth it. I love getting a peak into what baseball stadiums might have been like a good long while ago and here, it’s incorporated into the actual experience, rather than just being museum-like.

They said they haven’t replaced partially because they, well, don’t want to and partially because now seats have gotten bigger and they’d lose about 3000 seats if they put in modern ones. Since the stadium already seats only 38,00o or so, that’d be a big loss. Of revenue. But they didn’t say that. They put it more sweetly.

Our guide showed us the Mickey Mouse Red Sox statue, too, and how it’s all bandaged up. I didn’t remember this, but apparently it was vandalized/accidentially banged up on a trip of Anaheim for the All Star Game and since the Red Sox were also pretty banged up that year – I do remember that - they decided to leave a cast on the statue. Which made me smile, although it’s a little bit terrible. Also, the whole hallway full of every issue of Sports Illustrated that’s ever featured a Red Sox player on the cover? Lots of fun.

I can’t say I side with Boston in the whole Boston-New York thing, but they’re definitely growing on me. The view from the Green Monster is also pretty much the greatest thing ev-ah.

Also so excited to be on the Green Monster that I began to blink. AKA, this was a bad day in photos of me.

Afterwards, we went a sports bar which was nice aside from the fact that they were playing some sports network that had a running banner on the bottom that showed, oh, one stat over and over and over. Which stat, you ask? Tim Lincecum’s road ERA, I hiss. I burrowed into my food and tried to watch soccer on the other TV. Didn’t work all that well. I do not get soccer. And on the other other TV they kept replaying LeBron with confetti and things which was also, of course, off limits. (Go Nets and mostly Mikhail Prokhorov, I say.) This, my friends, is why I avoid sports bars.

That evening, then, Lincecum did something pretty interesting. After a horrible first inning, he cleaned up his act and tossed his third quality start of the season. I slept through it, ’cause that’s what I do over here, but I have a cautiously good feeling about him. Did something click? Maybe. Maybe not. The best we can do is cross our fingers and beat them A’s again tonight. Okay? Okay.

Diamond Girl

p.s. Two more things! I’m heading off to another New England City That Shall Remain Nameless tomorrow and again, computer access will be spotty. So I may be in and out tomorrow and for the coming week. Back in full force next weekend. And yes, I saw the One Red Seat. Which, as a newly licensed Red Sox Trivia Lady, I can tell you signifies the longest home run ever hit at Fenway. In case there was any doubt, I can confirm that that homer was indeed… long. Very. Very.

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Hello from Red Sox Nation!

Seriously, guys.  Everyone here is a Red Sox fan.  Everyone.  And if they’re not a Red Sox fan, they still hate the Yankees.  It’s a little bit eerie, actually.  As I landed in Boston yesterday, a woman behind me was filling in her kids on the Sox game and said something about Cody Ross.  I was this close to turning around and being all, “2010 World Series, baby!” when I realized that I was in Boston now and they were not the least bit interested in the 2010 World Series.  I picked up my black-and-white checkered tote and zipped my lips.

I missed last night’s game because being a West Coast fan on the East Coast is horrible and I couldn’t stay awake, but I hear it was quite depressing anyway.  I would be lying if I said I was all sad about missing it.  Interleague Play has not treated us terribly well so far this year and I’m more nervous than I should be, heading into the Bay Bridge Matchup.  Series loss to the Rangers, series loss to the Mariners and now a series loss to the Angels.  When this Giants team is good, it’s really, really good.  But when it’s bad?  It’s really, really bad.  Not that there were’t good things about last night’s game and the past few series’ in general – Vogelsong did pretty much the best he could have, three runs over seven innings – but otherwise, they just seem off, for lack of a better word.  Everyone’s healthy, but not everyone’s good.

Also, the Angels of Anaheim are doing better than they should be.  It helps that the Rangers are 9-1 in their last 10, but the Angels are also 7-3 and exactly five games back.  Too close for comfort?  Yes.

The Giants meanwhile, are 4-6 in their last 10, but that’s exactly the same as the Dodgers, so nothing is too disastrous after all.  San Francisco is four games back from first place and heading into a series against the A’s who, while they might be hot right now, are sure to cool off sometime.  And starting tomorrow is sure to be “sometime”.

Am I not the best inspirational speaker in the history of the Giants blogosphere?  (Admittedly short history, but still.)

Go Red So– aah.  No.  This city is not getting to me.

Diamond Girl

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Hugs, Bud Selig.

My day started far too early for a Saturday with a Little League game, A’s vs. Giants.  Nothing weird about that, right?  Aside from the fact that the Curse of Interleague Play (hugs, Bud Selig) hasn’t come upon us quite yet.  And the fact that I was rooting for the A’s.  It pained me, I tell you.  But I have people who I have to root for on the A’s, so that was that.  I swallowed my fandom and did it.  I still have a few words to say to the coach who got the Giants – words like, “You should have given that team to me! – but it turned out to be a good thing that I was rooting for them A’s, because they had an unprecedented comeback, went into extra innings and walked off.  I sunburned (duh) but otherwise, things were wonderful.

I came home to the disastrous end to the real Giants game.  Aubrey Huff played second base and pigs flew, as did Ryan Theriot, but it was too late.  He’s terribly ill, apparently, and just flew into NY today, but is still not well enough to play.  Since the rest of the Giants bench seems to have been mysteriously transported to a galaxy far, far away/the Hundred Acre Wood/Middle Earth, Huff ended up at second.  Need I really say more?   Moving right along.

 Then Philip I-Am-This-Close-To-Remembering-His-Last-Name pitched the 21st perfect game in the history of MLB (yeah, hugs, Bud Selig) for the Chicago White Sox, against the Seattle Mariners.  That was something and by something I mean absolutely perfect.  Literally.  You know what I mean.

Then Jennifer Hudson went through airport security… oh.  Sorry.  Just surfing the front of the news as I write and there’s a story about Jennifer Hudson and the TSA.  News, y’all.  Can I please blame this on Bud Selig?  No?  He wasn’t involved with the TSA?  You lie.  I am quite positive he was.

Anywho.  Then the Yankees had some sort of a brilliant comeback that I followed on and off while I drank orange juice because we’re having a heatwave over here and there is nothing better to soothe the horribleness of a heatwave than orange juice. 

This is all to say, it has been a strange and busy, but mostly strange, day in baseball.  Flyballs are falling out of my ears and when I try to talk about unrelated things, baseball similes are creeping their way in.  So I think I’m going to cut it off right here and nap and eat spinach pizza for a while.  Catch you all (and Bud Selig) later.

Diamond Girl

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