Tag Archives: the franchise

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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I Propose Two Options

We are, somehow, one series away from September baseball.  The Giants are going to be playing only other NL West teams this coming month, with six games against the arch-nemesis Diamondbacks and seven against the Rockies, who may contend a little down the stretch, just ‘cause.

Which means the Giants have 27 innings and three days to figure out what the heck they are doing this year and they’ll be doing it against the Cubs, starting tonight.

I’m not an absolutist and I do believe in fairies (I do!  I do!) but I think there are really just two options at this point.

First!  (Note: I am not endorsing this or recommending this.)

The Giants could fade away into the sunset that is the end of the baseball season and the hugable moments that were Eric Surkamp and Mark DeRosa on Saturday night will fade into the good-but-not-great memories of 2011.  This team has had a lot (a lot?) of injuries this year, after all.  This is a legitimate option.

Second!  (Note:  I am totally endorsing and recommending this.)

The Giants could realize that the darkest time of night is right before dawn and all that and the hugable moments there were Eric Surkamp and Mark DeRosa on Saturday night will soon be regarded as just predictions of what was to come for this team.  This team has had a lot (a lot?) of injuries this year, but they are mega-resilient, too.  This is way beyond a legitimate option.

So.  I think you can tell where I stand on all this, but as to what will really happen?  I’m stumped. 

In any case, I got a little lone-Barry-Zito-fan-happiness out of hearing that the ankle is doing a little better and he’s optimistic.  I’d like to see him back this year.  Yep, after all that.  I still would.

And speaking of the ankle!  Did anyone else see the photo of it they had on The Franchise last week?  I’m not prone to saying “ew” but for lack of a better word… ew.  They shouldn’t be allowed to show that kind of thing on TV without warning me or something.  Just an, “Emily- enormously swollen ankle, coming up next!” text would have done the trick, you know?

And no, I won’t show you a screen-grab of it.  Because I’m nice to my viewers, like that.

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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Why Steroid Crackdown Matters and On The Weirdness of The Franchise Premiere

The latest in the Other Barry’s legal saga ended yesterday.  Was it a waste of money?  Probably.  But unlike a lot of people, I think since Bonds used PEDs (does anyone really dispute that?) he should face legal consequences.  Why?  I have people in my family who have been competitive cyclists and really into watching the pros.  Let’s just say it’s one of the dirtiest sports around.  Everyone is taking performance enhancing drugs and it’s not much of a secret.  These days, cycling isn’t really fun to follow.  As baseball fans, I think we should do everything in our power to make sure that baseball doesn’t revert to “steroid era” or beyond.

That leaves the argument that the sport should be dealing with it, not the government.  I get that, but I disagree.  I think a sport that is very prominent in a country impacts that country.  So if you have to cheat to compete in the sport, I think that has a profound impact on a culture.  I don’t think this is a witch hunt with Bonds, nor do I think it’s unfair.  If he cheated, he deserves to face a sentence as decided by a court of law. 

Moving on, The Franchise (yep, I’ve gotten over calling it the Desperate Ballplayers of San Fran) had a half-hour preview that aired last night.  (You can watch it here.)  Weird programming, to air it at the same time as a game, with an off-day the next day.  I guess in the DVR era that isn’t important?  It was strange.  I didn’t know Bruce Bochy smokes.  And Marc Kroon is interesting but the obsession…?  And I hate watching people work out, so Pablo and Andres?  That was painful.  And why were there so many shots of players talking while driving?  I mean, that’s really strange not to mention really dangerous.  I’m not a reality TV aficionado, so help me out here.  Are driving shots common?  And the way Posey/Bumgarner/Belt interact with Wilson cracks me up to no end.  Different stratospheres, it seems.  Mostly, I thought their choice of storylines was strange.  I do think Freddy Sanchez is underrepresented and his story is sweet, it just seemed a little random.  And Zito’s riffs were really non-descript.  Not blown away by his musical skills, yet.  But I’ll admit that I cried when Brandon Belt got The News and I thought how Bochy/Evans delivered the news to him and Kroon was interesting.  Though am staying the eternal skeptic.  They may have just done that for the cameras.  I guess the real premiere isn’t for a long time, so we have many lonely weeks of watching and cradling this half hour gem.  Or just watchin’ some actual baseball.  I vote for that.

Diamond Girl

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His Name is Bonds. Barry Bonds. And Guess Who Looks Pretty Darn Cool in the Desperate Ballplayers of San Fran Trailer?

(Please send your healing thoughts Eugenio Velez’s way.  A friend who is a Dodger fan- yep, I consort with Dodger fans, on occasion- alerted me about his injury today.  Hope it’s not as bad as it initially looks.)

I always think of Bonds as “the other Barry”.  I guess that was Zito’s title, but I’ve always been a Zito fan and never been a Bonds fan.  And I find this trial really, really fascinating.   I’m not much of a legal buff myself but I’ve found myself following this all closely. 

FAQ about the trial:

*Is Anderson being paid off?

*Bonds didn’t know he was using steroids? 

*HGH isn’t a steroid at all?

*Was that you (Diamond Girl) who arrived late to the jury carrying a Victoria’s Secret bag?

I can only answer the last one and the answer is no.  I am not serving on the jury.  I am not, actually, old enough to serve on a jury.  Even if I were, I am really anything but impartial.  In addition to which I do not shop at VS.  So no, it wasn’t me.

And my answer, which is by no means backed up by anything, to the question about him knowing or not knowing is: there are lies, damn lies and fiction.  That line is courtesy of journalist/writer/professor/connoisseur of strange news Adam Peneberg who is basically a rock star in my mind.  Read Viral Loop.  And subscribe to Fast Company (he’s a staff writer for them).  And hey, if you have the SAT score and the money, go to NYU.  He’s brilliant.

Everyone’s been slamming Tejada these past few days about his marginal spring.  I obviously haven’t seen him play, but I am guessing we should get used to it.  I don’t think he’ll be terrible, this year, but I don’t think he’ll contribute a whole lot.  He’s too normal.  Which sound terrible, but it’s the truth.  He was just a middle-of-the-road free agent and the Giants team is basically Wack Land.  I just don’t think Tejada was a good fit, playing-wise(it’s not like his play has surprised anyone this spring, really) or clubhouse-wise.

That said, I don’t think it’ll stop the Giants from competing (not gonna say winning, people, so give up on that hope) in 2011.  The pitchers might just want to work on pitching the strikeout/fly ball/groundout-to-anything-other-than-short.  Not too hard, right?

Diamond Girl

p.s.  I saw the first trailer for the Desperate Ballplayers of San Fran (actually named “The Franchise”.  Lame.) today and I have just two things to say:

a.  Is that all Pat Burrell can do?  Drink water/beer/unidentified substance while obviously thinking he looks very cool?

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b.  Barry looks cool.  Really cool.  The hair is fascinating.  What else is new?

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