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127 Hours? You Got Nothing On Me.

Okay, you have something on me. But not a whole lot. After watching 3 ½ hours of the draft and a 4 hour, 29 minute Giants game I had just enough mental capacity to squeak out, Yes, I would like a saltwater taffy. My arms are, thankfully, still connected to my shoulders, though.

Now that the hangover is starting to wear off, I am ready to break it all down. It was a great baseball day.

The first round of the draft is good and bad. The five minutes in between each pick give the hosts time to break down each player and even interview a few of them. I had a good sense of just about all the 33 players who were picked. The compensation round, with a minute in between each one, was a little bit painful because the hosts were talking just as much, but with no time, and the representatives who announced the picks instead of Selig didn’t seem really suited to public speaking. Today, it’s all audio, no show, and it’s going down so fast I can’t keep up. It’s good and bad. I dig the brevity, but it’s so impersonal.

The people who stood out to me in the draft? (Disclaimer: I know nothing about any of these people. These are just guys who happened to stand out to me. )

Number 1, overall, was Gerrit Cole who’s reportedly Brandon Crawford’s sister’s boyfriend. Keeping this in the family, are we?

Number 3, Trevor Bauer, went to the Diamondbacks. He’s being called Tim Lincecum 2.0, both because his motion is similar and he’s known for his quirky personality. I was kind of pumped to have him in the NL West until Andrew Baggarly suggested that he could potentially come to the Majors in late 2011, if the Arizona is making a playoff run. Against the Giants. Forget it. I wish he was in Kansas or something.

 

Speaking of Kansas! The sweet story of the first round was Bubba Starling, a KC kid who was drafted by the same team. The media was eating it up. I was much more interested in Brandon Nimmo, the highest draftee ever from Wyoming (11th, to the Mets) and Jose Fernandez “Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion(14th, to the Marlins) who is a Cuban defector, who has already faced a lot of adversity to get here. I am calling a majorly successful career for him. He seems to have a head on his shoulders.

Oakland had the 18th pick and they went with Sonny Gray, a right handed pitcher who I fell in love with after a minute long feature by MLB Network. A) He’s 5”11. At first claimed to be 6”0, then 5”11 ½. I love little guys. B) He sings. He was in High School Musical. C) He has a contagious smile and seems comfortable in front of a camera. The only thing that put me off was his affinity for the movie Sandlot. I hated that movie. I know that’s a terrible baseball fan sin, but it’s true. Sorry.

And then the Rangers pick at 37th, Zach Cone, intrigued me because he was the only guy in the whole draft whose photo was not of him in a baseball uniform. He was wearing a suit. Interesting. You know how Teen Vogue does “style icons of the future”? I have an inkling that he could be a baseball style icon of the future. At least he’s off to a good start.

Then, of course, the important one. Our newest Giant. Joe Panik, a shortstop “with power” out of St. John’s University. Other than his hard nose (thanks, Baseball America! Useful info.) and his unfortunate (well, fortunate for the people who write headlines) last name, I don’t know a whole lot about him. Except that I’m not panicking- sorry, I had to- and he deserves a nice big hug and welcome to this family. Bye-bye, Brandon Crawford. You were fun while you lasted but we have a new shortstop now! Just kidding.

I’m at 650 words here and so my analysis of the game is going to be sort of second round draft-ish. I.e., fast. Timmy’s 1000th strikeout, while glowing and exciting, was overshadowed in my eyes by eight beautiful shutout innings from the bullpen, the birthday boy (Jeremy Affeldt) swinging for Mars and then getting a walk and, of course, the eventual walk-off hit by Freddy Sanchez. He is so underrated it’s not even funny. I love him to death and am reconciling myself to a summer of walk off wins. Could be worse, right?

Now it’s time to plug in my earbuds and get back to the grainy audio of the 500th round. Draft week is too much fun. Congratulations to all who have been picked.

Diamond Girl

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I Am Irrationally Excited…

…about the draft tonight. And all the gossip. I even watched a painfully boring, but still kind of interesting video about the top 50 prospects and I have popcorn waiting to be popped in expectance of the show at 4 PT. MLB says this is the deepest draft ever and Jon Daniels/Kip Fagg seem to imply the opposite. I can’t decide who I believe. Probably the Rangers. Neither the Giants nor the Rangers are picking anytime near the beginning, but I do have a Pirates soft spot, so first overall should be fun (but shame on you, people who leak who’s going to be picked. It takes away all the suspense!). You know what won’t be fun?

The coming weeks in Giants rotation news.

I’m scared. I really am.

With every beautiful Vogelsong start that makes me warm and fuzzy I am reminded that Zito and his pesky foot are getting a little closer to being better and that at some point (sooner rather than later?) Sabes et al. are going to have some choices to make. They say they are going to “get creative”. I say, if that includes glue and feathers then Zito should definitely get the call. If it includes pitching? I vote for Vogey.

Or maybe the A’s are in need of starting pitching and the Giants will eat the cash, get rid of him and I can still see him sometimes. Is that selfish? Don’t answer that question. Really, I don’t think it would be smart (or viable) for Giants to get rid of him. It’s called “insurance”, my friends, (not to mention piles of cash) and with our injury luck that rotation doesn’t feel safe. So I’ll just have to sit tight and wait until they decide to put their creativity on display (in a case? On a table? Mounted on the wall? Anyone’s guess.).

The bats aren’t exactly on fire, but they’re doing a decent job and the team seems dead set on looking only forward, which I am loving. The Nationals, who are in last place, nine games out, are coming to town tomorrow and Arizona is ever-so-vaguely skidding so now seems like a good time heat up.

Even though here in the Bay Area we are all walking around under a ceiling of fog in winter coats. That has got to make it a little harder to play baseball.

Diamond Girl

p.s. I don’t mean to be a fawning fan girl. I really don’t. But aren’t Brandon Crawford and his fiancé the cutest couple ever?

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Diamond Girl’s Great Guide to Health And Wellness For Ballplayers To Protect From Murderous Opposing Teams

Okay, let me tell you the difference between the Giants and other teams: We. Don’t. Crash. Ever.

If that sounded a little computer-y, you’re absolutely right. You know how much I love quoting The Social Network (watch from .54 seconds). But if you squint, it might sound like it’s about the 2010 Giants vs. the 2011 Giants. Last year? Nobody got hurt. But if one domino goes, the other dominos go (fine, done with the quoting) and this year we’ve just had the darndest luck.

In case you live under a rock/like to spend your Saturday’s sleeping (understandable) Brandon Belt was placed on the disabled list with a hairline fracture of the left wrist following the Giants 2-1 loss to the Rockies this afternoon and Conor Gillaspie (Best. Name. Ever.) was called up. I’d say I don’t know who else could possibly get hurt but then they would go and get hurt to remind me and we don’t want that to happen, do we?

Which is why I have created a great guide to health and wellness for all of the San Francisco Giants and their affiliates (hey, you can use it too. If you want.) Whether you are injured- yet- or not, this is a guide to being physically and mentally the best you that you can be! Oh. I said I was done with the quoting, didn’t I? Sorry. Anyway. Here we go:

Diamond Girl’s Great Guide to Health And Wellness For Ballplayers

Eat In, Rock Out

Make sure you’re loading up your diet with foods that strengthen your bones like spinach (in a salad, with red onions? Joy.) and milk (with Oreos. You are never too old for that).

Make sure that your walk-up music not only revs you up but puts you in a good state of mind to avoid the blows of murderous opposing teams. Some hypnotic Tibetan Bowl might do the trick. Or Enya, if you’re more mainstream.

Mellow Out, Breathe In

Yoga on the field may sound like a joke linked to Barry Zito’s name but it really loosens the tension in your body and when a group of Little Leaguers were led in mediation during warm-ups, they absolutely killed it during the game (the mediation leader may have been horrified, but it worked). True story. But if that sounds too close to the Dodgers guru for comfort, I get that.

Sleep In, Move Out

While people claim that sleeping too much is bad for you, I find that doubtful. Make your home a haven of wellness (move, if need be) and make sure your plane is decked out and nice to sleep on. And please try not to get in altercations with your teammates about putting the seat back, okay?

You are now on your way to being healthy and well! And when all else fails? Run. I mean it. The DL is a terribly crowded place and I promise not to compare you to Julia Roberts in The Runaway Bride afterwards.

Diamond Girl

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When Life Gives You Lights Out, Play “Lights”!

I gave Tony La Russa a call last night.  He didn’t pick up.  So I texted him and said, “Nice try, RuRu.”  He didn’t answer.  I can’t decide whether he was more offended by the message or the nickname.  Then again, one good turn deserves another and you think it was fun to stand on the 3rd base line for half an hour on Opening Day?

In all seriousness, I don’t think the lights going out (and the ensuing 15 minute delay with one pitch to go til the end of the game) was a conspiracy and it’s a blip on the map in the long, drawn out and- dare I say it?- torturous win over St. LuLu.  It featured some stellar hitting and relief pitching, with Sergio Romo totally redeeming himself and me falling more and more in love with Brandon Crawford.  Manny Burriss had a big moment, which made us Manny-ites happy and then there was Nate Schierholtz.  What can I say about him except that I still can’t spell his name and it’s about time!  He’s finally playing like he should, you know?  And it’s so gratifying to watch him and a nice revelation from the endless parade of slumping outfielders.  Then there was Aubrey.  I can’t say that might be a sign he’s heating up.  I’m become a total skeptic about him.  I need to see a whole lot more before I’ll laugh and talk really fast with the only decipherable words being, “slow starter”. 

I just realized that this is actually a four game set (why, Bud?  Why?) so my eyes will be peeled for any more suspicious stuff at Busch Stadium and I will be praying that Arizona cools off a little before we go out there in two weeks.

Around the league, the Angels team flight had an emergency landing (aaah!) Dodgers have a fire and an unfit parent on their hands (I feel for them.  I really do.) and Kansas City had an incredibly sweet proposal which I keep watching over and over, trying to decide if I think it was really a surprise or not.  I vaguely think it was all planned.  And yeah.  Santa doesn’t exist.  Sorry.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Bye-bye, Ryan Rohlinger and happy travels in the Rockies organization!  We’ll miss you ’round here.

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Double Take Time

Although I’ve been surrounded by baseball this weekend, it’s been the under 5 feet tall kind.  So today I heard the end of a very nice win and a very goofy KNBR broadcast on the way home and just went to the NL West standings and checked them out.  Then I did a double take.

West                   W        L       GB      L10   

Arizona               29       24     -         9-1     

San Francisco    29       24     -         5-5

Colorado            25       27    3.5      2-8

Los Angles         24       30    5.5      4-6

San Diego          23       31    6.5       4-6     

I did not see Diamondback brilliance in my crystal ball at all.  And while I guess they’ve been pretty amazing for 10 games, I have only just taken real notice of it.  Move over, Mile High people.  The dessert is giving you a run for your money.   And then, of course, the Giants.  Who are showing signs of taking my advice (okay, everyone’s advice.  I admit it has nothing to do with me.) and heating up.  I’m not trying to jinx them or anything.  But they looked good today.

Especially Torres, who is officially the Cutest Player in the MLB.  He gives the Little Leaguers a run for their money with his adorableness.  I want to bottle up his good games and sprinkle them over depressing ones, to get the energy going.  Heck, sprinkle them over depressing moments of my life, to get the energy going.

Sometimes it takes those lows (read: being swept by Milwaukee) to get some highs and maybe, just maybe, this is the start of something good.  It kind of feels like it.  I never liked Kevin Towers anyway.

And do me a huge favor and tell me “hip contusion” actually means “he’s eating ice cream and watching corny romantic comedies on demand in his hotel room” in code, okay?  Because it would make my Memorial Day Monday a little better.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  If you’re looking for something  to see on demand on your hotel room (other than corny romantic comedies) I recommend Wall Street: The Money Never Sleeps.  The acting, the script, the story… me and my bowl of raisins/blue chips really enjoyed it for the second time last night.

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