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Lopsided Eyebrows and Wide, Wide Smiles

Interleague Play has kicked off in earnest, with the Rangers and the Giants facing off in San Francisco this weekend.  It’s been an interesting series, to say the least, with Texas taking Game 1 by a final of 5-0 and San Francisco winning today, 5-2.  Last night also marked the Rangers first win ever at AT&T Park, in their twelfth game here.  Personally, I credit that to our vastly peculiar weather (did you see the Rangers huddled up in jackets in their dugout, looking completely shell-shocked?), but it also could have been a voodoo curse or the fact that even Jon Daniels’ magnificence takes a while to kick in and the Rangers, aside from the World Series, haven’t played here all that recently.   Maybe a voodoo curse is the most likely theory, after all.

Anyway, I am loving the matchup… AL vs. NL always is strange and fun (and no, the All Star game does not count) and that crazy game up in Seattle was another example of that.  The Mariners, bless their most-hipster-city-in-the-nation hearts, no-hit the Dodgers, using a total of six pitchers.  In San Francisco, there was nothing that wacky but that leadoff homer from Kinsler had my eyebrows a little lopsided and the fact that the Giants were shut out for the first time this year was also, probably, somewhat telling.

The other weird thing is just that, with a few exceptions, there seems to be much more goodwill to go around, during Interleague Play.  Maybe it’s that we won’t play these people again, barring the World Series, but the fans and broadcasters both seem much more willing to compliment the opposing team.  Seriously, there’s been so much Ranger admiration flying in Giantsland that it is kind of making me suspicious.  I mean, I love ‘em too.  Just not sure why Giants people seem so doting.

About that no-hitter, though, doesn’t that seem like lots of fun?  I mean, I’m sure for the starting pitcher who didn’t get to finish it due to injury, it wasn’t all that fun at all, but in general, no-hitters feel like a bit of a solitary achievement, even though the offense and defense are absolutely involved.  I think as a fan, seeing the whole bullpen come together to pull that off would be quite marvelous.  I can’t get into the heads of the (hipster) Mariners fan, so I can’t be sure, but that was my thought.

Overall, I think the Giants seem to be coming into their own, in a peculiar way.  The loss of Melky Cabrera for this series is a painful one, but Pablo’s return is so smile-worth it is not even funny.  The pitching is really as stellar as it’s supposed to be and the offense is beginning to step up.

They’re now 4 back from the first-place Dodgers (scoreboard watching?  Heck yes.), who played again in Seattle tonight and won.  The rubbermatch is tomorrow.  Let’s have a resounding, “Go Mariners!” can we?!

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Can the Josh Hamilton drug jokes please die?  Hamilton is a grown man and he did what he did.  From what I’ve read, he takes the jokes and the criticism alike in stride, but that doesn’t mean we should all do it.  The people in front of me at the Coliseum the other day had a running stream of them and during this Giants series, it’s been the same way.  What’s so very funny about recovering from drug addiction is foreign to me, not to mention, the whole taking-the-high-road thing.  Hamilton is a really, truly brilliant athlete and ballplayer and probably the best hitter in the in the game this year.  I would be more than happy to talk about that.

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Let Them Be Free and Let’s Play Ball

As many of you probably know, fighting human trafficking is a passion of mine, right up there with Giants baseball, so I’m terribly excited about tonight, which is Human Trafficking Awareness Night at AT&T Park.

The lovely t-shirt comes from a Not For Sale Campaign – you can read all about them here – and Sevenly team-up (it reads “Let Them Be Free” in case you can’t read it through my multitude of hair) and the Giants cap is actually my brother’s, because his is definitely more fab than mine.  Thanks for lending it to me, darling.  It’s for a good cause.

Diamond Girl

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10 Reasons I Am Excited Right About Now (Warning: April Fool Contained Inside)

I went out today and actually sat in the sunshine and had a picnic.  It’s been raining here in the Bay Area for what feels like forever, so it was pretty amazing.  I finished “Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World” by Michael Lewis (which is absolutely, fabulously good and you should read it right now, even if your eyes cross at the word “subprime”) and then I caught the end of the ballgame and felt rather wonderful.  I love many things about Spring Training, but I also cannot wait for the real thing to begin and for all the final roster cuts and all that jazz.  I also can’t wait for the Giants to be back in San Francisco.  You are free to call me crazy, but let me finish first.  I do not generally consider myself a psychic, but when the Giants are in town?  I can totally feel the presence.   Now I also believe that eating these Vitamin C gummy bears actually keeps me from getting sick, so I am probably not a source.  But it’s all psychological, so who can really argue with me?

Anyhow.  This year, rather than repeating last year’s Goodbye Spring Training – which you can read here, if you are so inclined – I am going to infuse a little bit of optimism into the (theoretical) mix.  Ready?  Okay.  This is 10 Reasons I Am Excited Right About Now.  The “now” I refer to is 5:55pm on the day the Giants played their last Spring Training game of 2012.  You’re welcome, historians 5000 years hence.

10.  Zito’s new mechanics!  Yeah.  April Fool’s.  I got you there, right?  Right?

9.  All of the various injured players re-proving themselves.  Along with the young guys who just crack the team, the injured players have got to be some of the most fascinating storylines of the year.  Lookin’ at you, Buster Posey.

8.  Speaking of which, Buster Posey.  Can I (for once) speak for the whole of the Giants fanbase, when I say we are tremendously, tremendously stoked?

7.  The Bruce Bochy show.  KNBR listeners, you know of what I speak.  Non-KNBR listeners, why the heck don’t you listen?

6.  Interleague Play.  I still object on some sort of deep, moral grounds, Bud Selig, but since the Giants get the AL West this year, I am borderline mollified for the time being.  Aside from the obvious they-are-playing-the-Rangers, I’m interested to see the matchup with the resident Interesting Team of the year, the Angels.  Who also have quite a nice dining area which serves basically cold hamburgers, for whatever it’s worth.

5.  The draft.  It’s still many months off, but the beginning of the season does signal how it’s getting closer and pretty soon, we’ll be treated to the draft breakdowns in the media and all that fun stuff.  July, it’s Emily calling, can you please come a wee bit sooner?

4.  The Hobbit movie.  Well, I am.

3.  Never using the Despicable Me balloon scene photos againBecause the Giants are not going to disappoint me that way this year.  Positive affirmations are everything, people.

2.  More animal themed hats at AT&T Park!  And that right there was my second April Fool’s.  Aside from the obvious fashion-faux-pas-ness of them (it’s hard, you know, to adequately match an outfit to a giraffe-print hat), there’s the issue of short people like yours truly not really at all being able to see over them.  Consideration is key, People Who Attend AT&T Park.  Because we’re getting back… together and all that.

1.  Since I don’t want to be lame and say the smell of fresh grass… I’ll just say cinnamon roasted walnuts.  Not the ones they sell at the park, mind you, because I am boycotting those because of labor issues with Diamond Foods, their manufacturer (not to be confused with Diamond Girl), but the other brands you can buy at the grocery story.  They are dee-lish-us.  And I am excited.  Excited excited.  

Diamond Girl

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Fabulous Noses and Fluidity in Pitching (AKA, the Alexi Ogando Post)

So it’s less than two hours until game time and to say I am amped would be an understatement.  I am so amped it is not even funny.  (And I only had one coffee today, so this ain’t a caffeine thing.  Probably.  It was a big coffee, after all, so you can never be sure.)  As you probably know by now, I don’t have cable, so tonight’s Giants-Rangers matchup is going to be the first game of the year on TV for yours truly.  As if Giants-Rangers wasn’t exciting enough to start with.  Seriously, these people are trying to give me Baseball Fan Collapsing Syndrome or something.  I have my mini blueberry muffins and a glass of milk and my flat iron at the ready, just in case it gets real close and I need some stress-relief.

The icing on the cake, in a purely non-actual cake sort of way, is that Alexi Ogando is pitching for Texas. (Texas in Arizona, that is.  Spring. Training. Is. So. Weird.)   He is currently sporting a 7.20 ERA, but I have serious faith all the same.

Let’s just say I adore him.  Even aside from the obvious fact that he has a fabulous nose, there is his long and fascinating story to the big leagues (which you should read about here, if you haven’t already) and then the actual fact of watching him pitch.  The fluidity of which returns all my childlike wonder about pitchers and how they move.  For lack of a better way to say it, he is ah-mazing.

But this does, of course, lead us to the usual quandary: who am I rooting for?  So I’ll just give the usual answer: that remains to be seen.  I cannot promise anything right now.  When I get plopped in front of the telly, my Multiple Fandom Disorder tends to kinda-sorta-really rear its head and there’s nothing I can do then, right?  Right.  I should probably get a shrink.  But it will have to be after a bunch of mini-cupcakes and one heart-wrenching baseball game.  Maybe then.  I’ll be in a better state of mind and actually able to discuss normal things like Ryan Vogelsong and Freddy Sanchez and DL stints and train wreck games (cough, last night, cough). 

My very favorite train wreck photo, used with alarming frequency last season.

For now, though, I am pushing train wrecks from the mind and baseball as the rain blows in.  I love you too, San Francisco weather.

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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