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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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It Never Rains But It Pours and A Special Happy Birthday

I’ve had a great time in Detroit.  I mean, vicariously.  Through the Giants.  I love their hyper-emotive pitchers.

And their torrential rain storms and orange skies that follow kind of rule too.

(Photo from @hankschulman, which is basically to say I am not responsible for the quality.)

We have a lot to talk about so let’s jump right in…

I called that offensive explosion, didn’t I?  I actually said there probably wouldn’t be one.  But that meant that the thought crossed my mind when everyone else was just talking about them having no offense.  So I kinda-sorta called it.  15 runs, in all.  And six shutout innings from Zito after pitching on (short) three days rest and (long) three hour rain delay rest.  I can’t say I agree with his rapper choices (Mac Miller?  Really?) but hey, if it works for him.

Today was depressing with a capital D.  There was the whole hitting with RISP and the whole Pitchers Are Supposed to Throw Strikes thing, too.  Then again, this was a happy day- win or loss- because it signals the end of Interleague Play and the Giants taking two out of three left Detroit only half a game back in their division, which is good.  My money and heart are still on the Tigers to win the Central.  San Francisco finishes the roadtrip with a winning record and a lead in the West.  What more can a girl ask for?  (I mean, aside from hitting with RISP and strikes and maybe some D&G sunglasses.)

Today was also All Star Sunday.  I am appropriately indignant about several players (where is Elvis?  I mean, really?  Not on the roster?) because that seems to be a mandatory thing about being a baseball fan, but overall fine with the rosters.  Ryan’s the starting left fielder and he always promises to put on a good show, the Yankees cleaned up and I am in denial that someone I’ve never heard of beat out Joe Mauer, so all is well in the world. 

We also have a special birthday to celebrate- aside from, you know, the country’s birthday tomorrow- and that is the 44th of GM Extraordinaire #5, Brian Cashman!   Incidentally, Brian Sabean’s was on July 1st, but I was unaware.  So happy belated to him as well.  I think I need to make a calendar of GM birthdays.  This is unscientific, but they seem to mostly be born in December.  This is weird.  I need to investigate.  Catch y’all later.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  I know I am way too deep in Little League mode when I paste a smile on my face and say “Nice catch, Tiger” after Ryan Raburn’s catch.  I needed to remind myself that this is not LL and being nice to the opposing team is not necessary.   But that got me thinking that it’s actually a nice gesture they ingrain in the kids, like high fiving the opposing team afterwards, win or lose.  The fact that they mutilate that into high fiving their own teammates on the field afterwards at the Major League level has also struck me as strange.  Selig, are you listening?  Forget about the protecting the catcher rule change.  We need a rule change right here.

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The Other Brandon And The Lowdown on Female Friday

The other Brandon is Brandon Crawford who challenged my skepticism of his call-up in a hurry last night. With a grand-slam to give the Giants a lead in Milwaukee. I cheered almost as loudly for that as for Ryan Braun’s double and then I felt like a terrible person afterwards because, you know, I’m a Giants fan before I’m a Brewers fan. I genuinely hate when they play each other and I can’t wait for this series to be over so I can get back to my orange and black ways 100%.

Which is all not to detract from Brandon’s perfect moment. It was just unexpected and unscripted and breathed a little life into a team that is gasping right now. The losing streak was promptly snapped and I feel Bochy’s motivational speaking career is taking off.

The other fun thing about yesterday? The inaugural “Female Friday” on the Fitz and Brooks show in KNBR 680. Brooks is on vacation, so Fitz decided to do a show about female fans, asking for girl callers and guys about girl fans. It was interesting, funny and rare. I never hear female callers on sportstalk radio so I enjoyed sort of sourcing the women who listen to KNBR, but don’t usually call. And, of course, I couldn’t resist joining the conversation. I wrote in an email about, among other things, my love for general managers and they read it on air, which was really exciting because I am the biggest KNBR geek ever. I missed it because I was, appropriately perhaps, fashion photoshooting with high waisted blue jeans and vintage briefcases. It was a lot of fun, but I was sad to miss the rest of the show/my fifteen seconds of fame. Fist bumps to the KNBR people for doing it, though. Stoked for many more weeks of it. They need me on as an expert on female fans, don’t they? I have a lot of theories. Some of which are backed up by fact. Some of which are not.

I am now checking out for a weekend in a place I have never heard of because of- what else?- a baseball tournament. The hotel has a hot tub and I am a pushover, so I couldn’t say no to accompanying The Brother. Since this is, as I said, a place I have never heard of, I kind of guess I will have a lot of time on my hands. So checking out doesn’t necessarily mean no blog posts. Wish me luck in the backwater, okay? Thanks.

Diamond Girl

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Little Leaguers Snazzy Defense and a Freaky Friday Baseball Movie Proposal. And Another Kind of Proposal.

Did NBC just link to my blog as a “do this, not that” for proposing to Ryan Braun? Oh yes. http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2011/04/25/brewers-fan-flashes-her-phone-number-on-national-tv-somehow-this-backfires-video/related.  I am sort of super hyper/super excited right now and I think I should be on Good Morning America as an expert  or something.  Just too bad that I had approximately 0 hours of sleep + strange hair in the photo, if that is going to be my claim to fame.

Anyhow.  My blood pressure is lowering and I’m am now recollecting that I was at a Little League game a few hours ago and my brother’s coaches always seem to pin him as a closer.  It was a save situation today that got even closer before we finally won.  The phrase, “Rays Baseball: Torture!” comes to mind.

This team does have some pretty snazzy defense, though, and they are so much easier on the eyes when it comes to that than the Giants.  Okay.  Wow.  I just got the greatest idea for a movie:  It’s like Freaky Friday except it’s 12 Little Leaguers who get transported into the bodies on MLBers and vice versa.  That would so great.  And in this case, I think the Giants would do better with these little guys playin’ for them.  That is © 2011, by the way.  If you are a Hollywood big shot (getting carried away, am I?) and you want to make this, you gotta ask me and put a Meet Hayden Christensen clause in the contract.

The song quote that is stubbornly stuck in my head today is “you can go anywhere you wish/’cause I’ll be there, wherever you are” (from Technicolor Phase) and so I’m trying to overcome my groupie tendencies and not follow the Giants to PNC Park.  Even though I’ve always wanted to go there.  Tell me this is a bad idea.  Thanks.

Aaaand that’s a wrap on my disjointed thoughts on an off day.  Sweet dreams.

Diamond Girl

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Pressure Points That Relieve Headaches For World Series Winning Teams To Play Better At Home

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I got my contest prize yesterday, which is this beautiful photo book, “Freak Season”.  It has some fascinating little moments and I definitely recommend it to people who are Tim Lincecum fans (though no one is as big as me.  I am the ultimate Tim Lincecum fan.)  Yesterday was a good day.  Today?  Not so much.

 

Reasons today was depressing:

 

·         The Giants were on Fox.

I try not to be one of those endless complainers about national media but the broadcasters today made me want to pluck my eyeballs out with forks.  Not literally.

 

·         The Giants lost.

Dismally.  In the fog.

 

·         Pat Burrell attempted to run.

I never thought I would feel badly for him, but today I ever so slightly did.  It was painful to watch him run.  And what is with his eyebrows?  If someone doesn’t want to do anything with their eyebrows, I won’t pick on them.  But his look done.  Just bizarrely.

 

·         Tim Lincecum attempted to pitch.

And failed.

 

·         Tim Hudson pitched.

And succeeded brilliantly.  I have a little Big 3 nostalgia for him, but not when he’s blowing my Giants away.  Without even huffing and puffing.  Profoundly effortless, on his part.

 

·         The offense attempted to hit.

And failed.

 

·         Neftali Feliz was placed on the disabled list.

With right shoulder inflammation.  The club said that it’s sort of precautionary, since he’s so young.  My fingers are solidly crossed that that is true.

 

·         MLB has a new ad featuring Brian Wilson’s beard that is seriously nauseating.  

May I just say that epic is not always a compliment?  As in, epic can be an adverb, paired with words such as, “ridiculous”, “hideous” and/or “plain stupid”.  On KNBR the other day, they had the topic “Who’s your favorite Giant?” and I was floored by the lack of Brian Wilson responses.  I thought I was the odd one out in being sick of the act.  I don’t  think so.  He needs some serious image consultation.

 

There was some comic relief, though.  Like the girl with the “Marry Me, Ryan Braun” sign.  I don’t feel like I’m on high enough ground to pick on her, but at least my sign was a non-committal statement and it sure didn’t have my phone number.  My ground is at least a few inches higher, right?

 

marry me ryan braun.PNG

And I guess it’s sort of good news that the Giants are going on a 10 game roadtrip after tomorrow, because they seem better on the road, though their record is just about even.  I mean, I would be too, if there were crazy people with smeared eye-black and orange chest paint yelling strange cheers at 100 decibels.  Which is why I want Meditation Day at the ballpark and I would be a bad baseball player because I would choke when delivering the “the fans were so loud, it was amazing” line.  Although maybe they mean amazing in a bad way…?  Because otherwise I don’t get it.  I wonder if they are given a handbook after they win the World Series about pressure points that relieve headaches.  That could be useful.  For the players and the fans, actually.  I’m going to try acupressure next time I’m there.

 

Diamond Girl

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