Tag Archives: spring training

The Whole Matt Cain Dodginess, Mixed With Some Inner New Yorker Stuff

When I finally crawled out my rainy hibernation and got caught up on baseball news today, the first thing I saw was that Andy Pettite has sprung out of retirement and will be donning the pinstripes once more this season.  YES.  (In a purely non YES Network type way.)  Although I am only very tangentially a Yankees fan, I do have a strong inner New Yorker (hence why I walk at 25 miles per hour all the time and wear endless variants of the black trench-coat) and Pettite was probably one of my first favorite baseball players.  So today may seriously be the Best Day of 2012 So Far in Diamond Girl Land.  I mean, Buster’s return was prettykindofextremely fabulous, but this is just wonderful on a whole new level. 

I think Pettite should be required now to add a new “T” to his name for every extra season he plays, post-pretending to retire, as penance to the fans whose hearts he broke (that is: yours truly) when he pretended to retire.  His lawyer can take this one up with me.

Speaking of ballplayers who are favorites of mine?  Matt Cain, people.  Matt Cain. 

As inevitably happens, what were supposed to be non-confrontational, totally mellow extension negotiations during Spring Training have turned a little… dodgy.  To use a Willy Wonka-ism.  Sources are letting their tongues wag far more than is prudent and Cain now says he’s “really torn”, according to CSN Bay Area.  I don’t know why teams and players seem to think this is a good idea – that, somehow, doing this during Spring Training will create less ill-will.  I refer y’all back to Michael Young and Albert Pujols, unless there is anyone who still believes aforementioned myth.  It never works.  Never.  In this case, I have to actually fall on Cain’s side.  If I were him, I think I would absolutely test the free agent market.  This is (potentially) the high point in his career and if he wants to try out the free agent market, it just makes sense.  Sure, as a Giants fan I wish there was really a big loyalty factor here, but I don’t think there is, honestly.  My instinct is that they will not reach a deal and Cain will go to free agency, which he has certainly earned.  So I can’t feel too torn up, right?  Then, although it’s probably terribly unlikely, I hope the Giants sign do him and our longest tenured Giant stays a Giant forever after.  Like every other girl on the planet, Disney has obviously given me a warped sense of reality.  Huh.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  March Madness?  ‘Nuff said.

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In Photos: The Whole Spring-Debut Thing

Spring Training brings a lot of completely fantastic things, but also brings one thing that is, well, only kinda-sorta fantastic.  I’m talking spring-debuts.  Those strange, wonderful first appearances of a player who you usually haven’t seen in what feels like millions of years, due to injury.  At some point during Spring Training, they come out for their long-awaited first appearance and leave me a serious ball of nerves.  Observe:

That’s me during spring-debuts.  Because I am really excited and I do really want the player in question to rock all our socks off (Exhibit A: Excited) but I’m also just scared out of my head (Exhibit B: Scared Out  of My Head).  What if everything goes terribly?  It makes me feel like a party planner again or something.  Fun Fact About Diamond Girl: I ran a party planning business for three ill-fated weeks several summers ago.  Still around?

Anyhow.  The point here is, I don’t like being reminded of those party planning days.  Or being a ball of nerves, period.  So Buster Posey/Brian Wilson/et al.?  Keep that one in mind when you bash yourselves up this year, m’kay?  Now allow me smother you in comfort food and welcome you back to the show.

Diamond Girl

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10 Things I Am Adoring About Spring Training

So!  My fish is now safely back in his bowl and I am ready to rock and roll once more.  I’m catching up on the baseball news I missed while I slept (and slept and slept) and I think things are looking pretty fabulous for the Giants.  Blogging Spring Training is always a very welcome challenge to me, but a challenge all the same.  Aside from (doesnotjinx) injuries (doesnotjinxagin), the Giants always look pretty fabulous to me, just by nature of the fact that they are wearing baseball uniforms and throwing balls and swinging bats.  I mean, would it really be fair of me to demand more of them?  In addition to that, I hate writing Spring Training game recaps almost as much as I hate reading them, so those are out the question for my blog.  Before you snatch my baseball fan card out of my hands for that particular bombshell, allow me to explain myself.  Game recaps tend to be a snooze, unless they have lots of hilarious quotes in them and since I don’t have all-access passes to the stadium or anything, I don’t have my own quotes.  Lastly, there’s a lot of downerness.  Especially when Timmy and Vogelsong and Surkamp are all basically questionable human beings.  (Ballplayers, that is.)

So!  This is all to explain why I’m writing the list below.  To fill the obvious void I see.  Okay?  Okay.    

Let’s proceed, then.  10 Things I Am Adoring About Spring Training.  Here goes.

10.  It’s Spring Training.  And there are bees.  I could just stop the list right here.

9.  The pitchers all throwing two innings and us all whooping like mad.  I totally do it, but it still cracks me up every time.  Let’s just say we get to see a lot of different pitchers out there every game.

8.  It reminds me of the drama of years past.  I’m talking Michael Young vs. Jon Daniels, Albert Pujols vs. Cardinals, Barry Bonds vs. The Rest of the World.  There have been some epic battles and this time of year always brings them back to mind.  There’s no warring quite like Spring Training warring.

7.  The hideous black uniforms.  Just kidding.  I don’t like those at all.  I hate those.  But I had to mention ‘em all the same.  Fashion faux-pas of extraordinary proportions must be brought to light.  Just because I wear all black all the time doesn’t mean baseball players can pull that deal off.

6.   The pictures.  By the time the regular season rolls around, I think the media figures we are over the feel-good TwitPics of assorted players doing assorted things (read: nothing).  But we’re not.  We’re really not.  We love them at all times.  ‘Specially now.

5.  Battles of the first base sort.  I still have an affinity for Aubrey Huff, Brandon Belt poses with baby giraffes, for Pete’s sake, and I have been quite taken with Brett Pill’s game.  So my stance on the 1B battles is TBA.  But I am enjoying the show, for sure.

4.  Half of my besties is back, of course.  Which besties, you might ask?  I’m talking about Jon Miller and Dave Flemming, of course, Baseball Broadcasters and Besties Extraordinaire.  Dave isn’t dropping in until Opening Day, but Jon should keep me going until then.

3.  Baffling, cryptic comments from everyone and anyone.  Am I really the only one who feeds of those hilarious, masked statements from All People Who Have Connections to Baseball?  The offseason drivel just doesn’t hit the spot like this does.

2.  Buster Posey being alive and kicking and baseball-playing.  ‘Nuff said.  Tomorrow, which is supposed to be his first start of the spring, is going to be legen… wait for it, wait for it… dary!  Seriously.  Legendary.

1.  Yu Darvish.  Yep, that’s me, the Giants fan.  But seriously, I was just so absolutely, terribly excited to see his first start and will continue to be excited about his next 500 starts.  I love me some Yu.  And I want to prove that Jon Daniels was obviously completely in paying him a billion and one dollars.  Personal stake in this, y’all.

Diamond Girl

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Brandon Belt’s Not-So-Subtle Message of Mayhem

As those of you who have been reading this blog for a year or more know (if you are one of those, well, thank you!), the beginning of Spring Training can be a jittery time for me.  It’s just like seeing someone you haven’t seen in a long while and wondering, Will we still like each other?  I mean, I’m completely in touch with my Giants over the offseason, but that moment of the first pitch is still another whole ballgame.  No pun intended, believe it or not.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised this year to find that my usual jitters had disappeared in a poof! of orange and black smoke.

It probably helped that my first game was actually the second game overall.  Blame the people over at Little League ump training who are quite probably A’s fans.  (Just kidding, people at ump training!  Sorta.)  I thought I would get to hear some of the first game, but the clock was not on my side and I ended up clean missing it.  I came back to a nasty sunburn and no ballgame.  Talk about buzzkill.

Upside?  When I settled in with my Giants fleece blanket- in the 80 degree weather.  Yeah.- for today’s game, I wasn’t scared in the least.  I was just so completely ready to get this game started that my nerves flew out the window and instead I ended up grinning like the crazy fish lady that I am and whooping my heart out when Joe Martinez came in to pitch.  Yeah, I know he was pitching for the Diamondbacks and all, but in my mind, he’s a Giant forever and always.  I hope he does smashingly well this year, against everyone but us and most especially against the Dodgers.

I also whooped my heart out for, well, everyone on the Giants, in case you’re wondering.  Even the ones who I wasn’t sure I’d heard of.  Hey, as long as they claim to be Giants I’m down to be a fan of theirs.  Such is the way of the Kool-Aid we call Spring Training.

And, oh, can we talk bees for a second?  If you haven’t heard the story yet, I’ll clue you in quickly:  a swarm of bees decided to make the field their new home for a cool 45 minutes or so and left pretty much everyone at the stadium in either the get-me-out-of-here camp or the get-them-out-of-here camp.  United we stand and divided we fall.  So we fell for a while.  A boatload of people and fire departments later then, they were disposed of.  We stood again.  It did, though, take multiple attempts to goad the pesky bees with lemonade and cotton candy.  No joke.  I told you Spring Training is weird.

Angel Pagan also got me as a fan for life with this quote (quote and photo from MLB.com): “I didn’t know what to do.  If I get stung by one, that means I’m going to get stung by a million. I was right next to the bathroom in case I had to lock myself in.”

I.  Love. This.  Guy.

Personally, I am of the opinion that those killer bees were none other than our own killer B, Brandon Belt, who is obviously a werebee and is sending not-so-subtle messages to Sabes and Boch that if he doesn’t get more play time during the season, mayhem will follow.

Yeah, that sort of mayhem.  Pre-cise-ly.

Lastly!  Kevin of www.westsideculture.mlblogs.com sent in this photo to me from Saturday’s Spring Training opener for the Giants.  I could not, obviously, pass up a chance to talk about Chris Stewart, so here ‘tis.  Chris Stewart rocks, mais non?

Diamond Girl

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What Do I Search On YouTube? Well…

After the extraordinary multitude of hideous dresses at the Academy Awards last night, I went to YouTube this evening to search up my favorite Dior fashion show which is fashion-therapeutic for me.  Then I looked back at the search box and what I had typed.

For the record, I was trying to say, “dior spring couture 2011.”  Still, YouTube didn’t seem to care.  It completely ignored that fact that my head is quite possibly screwed on the wrong way and showed me Dior shows, just like I wanted.  But I felt a little head-screwed-on-wrong all the same.

I have now defaced a Galliano dress in the name of this blog.  You are welcome to thank me, y’all.

Speaking of the head problems?  Let’s talk Academy Awards for a moment.  Suffice to say, padded shoulder jackets are terrible- looking at you, Glenn Close- and Howard Shore’s soundtrack to Hugo is one of the greatest in recent history.  But Billy Crystal is always funny and I got 17 out of 24 of my predictions right, which won me my video rental store’s contest and a boatload of free movies, so all is well in the world.

And now that award season is all finished, I am free to attempt a tan (ha!) and talk about Tim Lincecum’s back (problems) 24 hours a day and seven days a week.  In between glaring pointedly at photos of Brian Wilson and simultaneously hoping that he and all the endlessly iffy-somewhat-slightly-injured players are really ready for Opening Day.  Spring Training is just the practice run.  I am terribly jittery about the real thing.

And that Giants-Rangers match-up on March 23rd?  Yeah.  I’m jittery about that too.  My double/triple/quadruple life can be exhausting, you know.  And YouTube always ends up taking the brunt of it.  Someday I will put an apple (not Apple-apple, just a plain ol’ red thing, people) on its desk and thank it for its hard work.

Diamond Girl

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