Tag Archives: ryan vogelsong

And Diogenes of Sinope Thought He Was a Cynic…

Well, he probably was.  He lived in a tub on the streets of Athens, for goodness’ sake.   That should probably be enough to earn him the title of Certified Cynic.

But the Ultimate Certified Cynic?  (Who is, perhaps by coincidence, also the Ultimate Tim Lincecum Fan?)

No, she came about 2397 years later.  Her name was Diamond Girl.  And she had a dual personality, part of which was very optimistic and nice and rooted for Joey Martinez to have a huge comeback and win a Cy Young Award and the other part of which was… skeptical of Ryan Vogelsong.  Very skeptical.  You can lynch me now, Giants fans.

It’s not that I don’t want to root for Vogelsong.  He’s a completely root-worthy guy and a darn good pitcher, too, but I can’t help wondering if the terrible baseball word “fluke” is at play here (that would be, fluke).  Which is awfully cynical of me, but there you have it.

And that’s why when I heard about the two year, $8.3 million the Giants gave him earlier this week, I felt torn.  Vogelsong has earned that security fair and square and I don’t doubt that he deserves the deal.  I think I just feel that, in some way, this is a sentimental deal on the part of Sabes et al.  Good stories only go so far and that’s not very far at all, when we’re talking about the actual playing field.

But you know what?  I hope that he comes out over the next two years and completely proves my skepticism wrong and tears it up.  Because that would be a good story.  And I am rooting for it, in truth.

Forget it, Diogenes of Sinope can have the Ultimate Cynic title back.  I am softie at heart.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  You should still sign my petition to help me become the new commish of Major League Baseball.  And make all your friends, too.  Tempt them with chocolate fudge.  Trust me, it works.

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A Word for Billy Beane and Five Things About 2012 to Get Excited For

I admit it: I do not know quite what Billy Beane was thinking with yesterday’s trade, which sent Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow to Arizona.  (Strategically done, of course, after the Winter Meetings because Beane is a spoilsport and doesn’t like doing things at the most dramatic time of year.  Excuse me, I’m in a bad mood with him right now.)  Looking at it unbiased, I would say it’s a gamble on the A’s part, but maybe a gamble that could pay off.

But I do have that bias.  Why, you ask?  I am not much of an A’s fan and really, really not a Diamondbacks fan.  But I am a Giants fan (duh, right there).  And that trade probably just made Arizona, oh, a thousand times better for 2012.  Really?  No slack for your across-the-bay-buddies, Billy?  I may have to renounce my Moneyball/Billy Beane love right now.  Jon Daniels so just got the Best-Dressed GM Award back, without even wearing any fabulous clothes.

After reading up on that trade, I went to look at Rangers news, but that was basically depressing too.

I told you I was having post-Winter-Meetings depression.

I figure if I’m all baseball-depressed, then everyone else must be with me.  So I’ve decided to list 5 things us Giants fan should be excited about for 2012!  Because aside from facing Cahill tons, there really is a lot to get stoked for.  Ready?  Okay.  You sure?  Okay.

5.  Vogelsong/Strong.  Vogey’s amazing breakout year in 2011 was… for lack of a better word, rather amazing.  Being the skeptic that I am, though, I want to see more of that before I go all ga-ga (not in the Lady sense).  I think we’re all really curious to see what he’s going to follow it up with and I, for one, am getting excited already.

4.  All the new wedding rings on the field.  They’ll glint.  In the stadium lights.  I think. 

3.  Angel Pagan.  Yes, I said it before, but I’ll say it again.  He has a fabulous name.

2.  Freddy Sanchez.  Picture him playing ball.  With just that image, are you not excited now?!  I am beyond, beyond excited to have him back out for the Giants.  Things are just sure to get better with him at second base.

1.  [insert cheesy line here about the smell of freshly mowed grass and hot dogs and the crack of the bat]

0.  This bonus one goes to The Dark Knight Rises.  I liked Batman Begins much better than The Dark Knight, to be perfectly honest, and unfortunately, Liam Neeson does not appear to be reprising his role in the new one (I mean, he was in a massive train explosion, but I don’t assume he’s dead) but I’m stoked to go back to Gotham City all the same. 

And, well, duh, The Hobbit.  But that’s so near the end of 2012 that it might as well be 2013.  Still, I am just about swooning over it already.

There we go.  This post just went from “Completely Depressing” to “Basically Upbeat”.  The movie talk and the cheesy line probably helped.

Diamond Girl

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162 Things I Loved About 2011 In San Francisco Giants-Land

In no particular order, in honor of the 162 games of the regular season…

162.  The walk-off on Opening Day for the second consecutive year.  And provided some awesome entertainment along the way as I drove to Fresno to see the Grizzlies Opening Night.

161.  The new and improved Pablo Sandoval.

160.  The rather awesome drama and content they provided for their reality show.

159.  Heck, they had a reality show!

158.  They carried first place for a good long while, even though they didn’t finish with it.

157.  They had All Stars.  A whole bunch of them.

156.  They gave me bragging rights for life.   We got Carlos Beltran.  (Never mind what happened afterwards.)

155.  They kinda massacred the Chamber of Horrors, aka Coors Field.

155.  NATE.  That is all.

154.  Their hitting coach who takes, “Reach for the moon, if you fall down, at least you’ll fall in the stars” very literally.  Like, he’s-going-to-the-moon literally.  It’s sure to bode well for the offense in the future.

153.  They chewed gum at the White House.  It was strangely endearing.

152.  Heck, they went to the White House!

151.  They were so resilient I can’t even express it in words.  Well, maybe I could.  But I have a whole lot more of these to write, so I’m not going to get into it.

150.  Santiago Casilla and his epic and previously undiscovered closing skills.

149.  Brett.                                   

148.  And Brandon.

147.  And, oh, the other Brandon too.

145.  The multitude of B’s!

144.  The incredibly pleasant surprise that was Eric Surkamp in his first start back.

142.  And the incredibly pleasant surprise that was Ryan Vogelsong all around.

141.  Chris Stewart.  And his brainiac-ness.  And his overall awesomeness.

140.  The fact that AT&T Park exists and is amazingly beautiful.  Pays to remember that, every now and then, right?

139.  D-Ro having a few more special moments.  I really hope he’s back next year in some way.

138.  Madison and his trademarked first inning meltdowns.  And yes, that he was otherwise amazing.

137.  Bruce Bochy.  ‘Nuff said.

136.  Conor Gillaspie(The name!  The name!)

135.  Those special little moments when Guillermo Mota came in for long relief and just saved us all.

134.  Getting to see Travis Ishikawa one last time, when he got his ring.

133.  OH!  Yes!  The ring ceremony…

132 …and the mismatched, mint colored boxes the rings came in…

131. …and Sergio Romo goofing off at the ceremony…

130.  …and seeing Nuekom with his adorable bowtie there (though, unfortunately, it wasn’t orange) one more time.

129.  There was also Vogey’s lovely little speech when he got the Willie Mac Award.  

128.  Remember when Tim Flannery, third base coach, sang the National Anthem?  Epic.

127.  The crazy thunder storm/rain delay in Detroit.  And the way the broadcasters filled the empty time.  That was magical.

126.  Kepp’s walk-off vs. the Astros.  So there, Houston.

124.  Crawford’s grand-slam in his first game against Milwaukee.  Remember that?  Goosebumps and smiles.

123.  The prank Ross et al. played on Huff.  Which we got to see because of aforementioned reality show.

122.  Did I mention, THE GIANTS HAD A REALITY SHOW?

121.  When Brandon Belt met a baby giraffe and took pictures with it.  That may actually be my favorite moment of the entire year.  Seriously, how utterly fantastic?

120.  That they never missed a beat, even after the loss of Posey and then Sanchez.

119.  Timmy back to being Timmy, for the most part.

118.  And Timmy and Matt Cain both reached 1000th career strikeouts, which was fabulous.

117.  Finishing ahead of the Padres.  Vendetta?  Yes, vendetta.

116.  Romo shaving.  Because that may imply that other people will shave soon.

115.  coughcoughBrianWilsoncoughcough

114.  NATE.   Again.

113.  And Nate’s upper deck shot in Colorado that his brother got.  Too many awesome things about that to mention.

112.  Slightly irrelevant, maybe, but Jon Miller not doing ESPN any more meant that he broadcasted for KNBR on the weekends.  Which was enough to make the season, right there.

111.  Together, We’re Giant.  It actually grew on me.  (But It’s Time is still, and always will be, better.)

110.  The “sellouts”.  Because they seriously cracked me up.  Especially when the upper deck was e-m-p-t-y.

109.  The little Sabean moment in Moneyball.   When Billy Beane totally played the Giants.  My rational mind was outraged and the rest of me was snickering.

108.  Watching Pablo’s defense just reappear before our very eyes.

107.  Being there for Carlos Beltran’s 300th career homerun.

106.  And speaking of homeruns… Brandon Belt had a couple to remember.

105.  And when Brandon Belt made the club out of spring training and it felt like nothing could possibly go wrong.

104.  The fact that some people didn’t get injured.  Can’t think of any?  No, I’m sure there were a few.

103.  The fact that Aubrey Huff always has good years after bad ones.  Most definitely.  This bodes well for 2012.

102.  While I hated that the cost for parking doubled, I think it was because they won the World Series. And I do love that.  So, by extension, I love the new parking rates.  Sort of.

101.  The Churros guy.  If you’ve ever been to a Major League ballpark, you know what I mean.

100-50. Looking at the new lineup every day, usually with my mouth gaping wide open.

49.  The few nice Zito moments.  They were there.  And they were smile-inducing.

48.  The fact that the year after the championship, while it wasn’t exactly a success, was not a collapse either.  This was a pennant race right down until the end.

47.  Can I just say one more thing about Chris Stewart?  His first Major League homerun rocked.

46.  When Edgar came back, if only for a bit.  *sniffles*

45.  And remember when Uribe came back?  *sniffles again*

44.  I also liked riding my first roller coast (no, really.  It’s related.) because it drove home that this season was like a roller coaster.   Which is to say seriously headache inducing, but fun afterwards.

43.  I don’t know how this all worked, but I’ve been hearing Giants ads for the Not For Sale Campaign.  If they’ve partnered, then that is most certainly something I love.

42.  Jeremy’s rebound year.  Minus the frozen burger patties.

41.  That they didn’t do anything silly like start the season in Taiwan.

40.  That they rocked their doubleheader at Wrigley.

39.  Matt Cain ruled overall, as always.

38.  That they let themselves get swept by Milwaukee in May.  I’m sure they have a crystal ball and knew they wouldn’t get into the playoffs, but the Brewers could, so they gave them that series.  Very thoughtful, you know.

37.  When Pablo Sandoval decided to retweet people who said nice things about him making the All Star team and he retweeted me.  It made me a lot happier than it rationally should have.

36.  When Bruce Bochy got congratulated by Ryan Braun on winning the World Series (minute 1:40.  I know you want to see it.)  This is what I call icing on the cake, people.

35.  NATE.  One last time.  Sorry.

34-20. This is when Diamond Girl had to leave unexpectedly to sniffle in the closet for a bit at the realization that this is really the end of the 2011 season.

19.  Okay!  Back.   Let’s do a silver lining thing now: not winning the pennant means the target-on-back will lessen or disappear.  And these Giants do better when there are no Great Expectations.  Sorry, Charles Dickens.

18.  They also helped me and my new fish bond.  I am quite positive that the reason my fish seems to be liking me more is that we’ve endured the torture holed up in my room (yep, I said torture) together.

17.  That, by some luck, these players channeled enough thoughts about balking to Bob Davidson that he actually called a balk on that fateful June day.  And also gave me a great photo-editing opportunity.

16.  Emmanuel Burriss’s nickname-picky mother.

15.  That they did not take me up on my Hawaii Vacation/gold watches offers.  Which means they didn’t do that well, but it also means I won’t be in debt for the rest of my life.

14.  Totally random memory:  Pat Burrell and Eli Whiteside both hitting triples in one game.  Weird and great.

13.  The promotions their awesome TV network came up with.  Especially the Ultimate Tim Lincecum one.  (Which I, eh, won.)

12.  The players designing endearingly horrific t-shirts.

11.  That they drafted another good-name player in the draft.  That is Joe Panik.  If only for the name, it was a good pick.

10.  Walk-offs!

9.  And more walk-offs!

8.  And even more walk-offs!

7.   The power outage in St. Louis.  Now I really credit the Cardinals (read: Tony LaRussa) for that, but it was a Giants moment anyway.  And a darn memorable one, too.

6.  When Cainer demonstrated he actually does have the ability to dress well.

5.  All the opportunities they gave me to use my dearly beloved balloon-popping set of photos from Despicable Me.  Because seriously, I love those photos.  Even if it meant they broke my heart.

4.  Last thing about Chris Stewart!  I promise!  But I remember the first time I saw him do a throwdown to second.  And I think I thought it was cupcakes and brownies and cinnamon roasted almonds all mashed into one.  (And yet it was good.  All those foods mashed together probably, um, wouldn’t be.)

3.  Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you shouldn’t let your kids watch baseball!  It’s educational!  I mean, this year I learned what “contusion” means.  Overandoverandoveragain.

2.  It was like a magical realism book (what is a magical realism book, you ask?  Read here and be enlightened.)  Stray bits of left over magic were everywhere.  And that’s even better than full-on magic, somehow.  (Although, yes, I like full-on magic when it means winning the World Series. But don’t interrupt my poetic-ness, please.)

1.  They gave me a lot to blog about.  A lot, a lot.  So I thank them for that.  And I thank you all for bearing with me and my weirdness and my love of strange foods and for reading and commenting here as well.  It’s been a brilliant, crazy year and more fun than I can possibly express.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to go reminisce for a bit more and then find my antlers and morph into Ranger-Girl.  Bye-bye, 2011 season.

Diamond Girl

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Retrospective on The Desperate Ballplayers of San Francisco

I finally watched the season finale of The Franchise on YouTube and I adored this moment. 

(Apologies for the mega-blurry screenshot.  You can see it here at minute 4:25.)

I didn’t adore the fact that D-Ro blew out his wrist.  It was Freddy Sanchez’s expression when he threw his helmet that I adored.  I mean, is that priceless or what?  I’ve always thought it would be terribly awkward to be in the dugout when someone goes off like that, but Freddy honestly just looks scared for his life.  Burrell’s raised-eyebrow expression is kind of hilarious too.  It makes me miss Sanchez even more than before.

Anyhow.  As they reminded us about one million times in the last three minutes of the show, it’s a wrap on it now, so I am giving you all my thoughts from the season of the show.  Are you ready?  No?  Well, here you go, anyway:

*A person is not a “story”!  The incessant talk of Ryan Vogelsong as a “story” drove me i-n-s-a-n-e.

*Barry Zito seems so sad.  The way they wrapped up his story was not inspiring or anything.  Isn’t depressing TV is bad TV?   I mean, you can watch the evening news and see that no one goes by that.  Just my humble opinion on the subject.

*Brian Wilson in obnoxious.  But then, what else is new?

*Freddy Sanchez is utterly adorable.  Matt Cain and Pablo Sandoval, too.  And Jeremy is exactly the kind of father I would have imagined him to be.

*Bruce Bochy cracks me up.  To no end.

*Those meetings with Sabes and Boch and Neukom seriously need someone to enliven them.  A stand-up comedian would work.  Or a girl with a blog with a long name and fourteen inch hair (I measured!).  That would be me.  In case you didn’t realize that.

Overall, I did enjoy the show.  But all that said, I don’t think it was the best they could have done.  I think way too much of it was clips from games and Brian Murphy narrating the season.  If they had taken full advantage of the reality TV format and delved into the clubhouse and on-the-road stuff more, instead of the families and the games, I think it could have been way better.

Remember Life of Brian in his hotel room, way back when?  That rocked. What about on the airplane?   Eating out on the road?  That’s the stuff I want to see.  More than, eh, Ryan and Nicole Vogelsong talking with a- granted, it was pretty, but still- weird backdrop of the city.

It is also worth noting that my thoughts become that much more disjointed on off-days, so I should probably go now.  Doesn’t it feel like ages since we’ve played LA?  And who else watched The Franchise and what were your thoughts?

Diamond Girl

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Carlos the Giant (Yep, There’s a Photo!) and The Desperate Ballplayers Being Non-Desperate

The last of the pecan rolls are gone and I am sitting here sniffling about what may have been Carlos Beltran’s last game at home in a Mets uniform and trying to picture him in a Giants uni.

I was having a hard time, so…

This followed.

And after looking at my photo editing genius long and hard I came to two conclusions: 1) I am a photo editing genius (sorry, did I already say that?) and 2) I’m not totally sold on Carlos being a good fit for the Giants.  Even if we could, by some stretch of the imagination, get him for a few low level prospects.  Beltran is batting .290 with 15 homers.  He’s not brute strength.  But he’s a distant cousin, I think.  And I guess I just wonder how The Big Bat acquisition would actually influence the team.  Last year at the trade deadline there were similar discussions of getting something to bolster the offense in a big way, but we ended up with Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez and after the trade deadline, some fantastic waiver acquisitions.  I guess Carlos Beltran feels like the easy, obvious way out.  And though I’m a Giants fan, I do live in A’s territory, so maybe it’s some inbred Moneyball complex that makes me opposed to it.  Then again, assuming he goes over to a contender, that could make problems for San Francisco down the road.  If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?  Either way, I do like Beltran and have 2006 playoff nostalgia, so if he comes, I think the team could run with it.  But I’m not sending Brian Sabean urgent texts about this just yet.

I also just got around to watching The Franchise and I think this episode was a big step down from the last one.  Not at all Desperate Ballplayers-ish.  Maybe they were hoping the Giants would have a trainwreck season and all this winning just isn’t suited for the cameras.  More specifically, I understand that Vogelsong is a good story, I really do, but I just think we’ve heard enough for a little while.  And of course this was the one where they put the bright lights on Brian Wilson, which left me drumming my fingers.  Even for Wilson, it wasn’t very innovative or new.

The good parts!

Ryan congratulating Bochy was sweet, if it felt a little staged.  But he really. needs. to. cut. the. hair.  Pronto.

Scenic shots of the Golden Gate Bridge.  This is show is definitely not targeted at San Fran’ers.

And then Barry’s totally amazing kitchen and chairs- they’re even orange!- and sunglasses.  The white pants?  Not so much.  I so want his aquarium, too.  I do, however, wonder about his whole being away from civilization thing.  I mean, this view hardly constitutes the wild.

So another week ending firmly in first place.  The Giants aren’t running away with the division exactly, but I always liked walking better anyway.  And they are most certainly walking away with it.

Diamond Girl

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