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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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You Know, Yu Knows Plus Some Vaguely Out of Place Golden Globes Talk

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 is the deadline for the Rangers and Yu Darvish to come to a deal and it may be a historic day.  Or it may not, but either way, it should be interesting.  You know.  Yu knows.  Well, I don’t know if Yu knows yet but I’m sure he knows a little more than we all do because the Rangers have been characteristically mum about the negotiations.

At this point, I am seriously hoping they are able to work a contract out.  I’m getting excited about the idea of seeing Darvish pitch over here and I think it would make those Rangers a whole lot better as well.

If you are out there, Jon Daniels?  (Or even if you aren’t.)  Do us all a favor and sign Darvish.  If nothing else, we’ll get a season full of Yu jokes.

Then again, if it doesn’t work out with him and the Rangers, maybe they’ll be all the more motivated/have the funds to go after Prince.  I do rather like Mitch Moreland, but Prince in that lineup would be, as Josh Hamilton put it, “pretty ridiculous”.

Not to mention, they both have very good, late-night-joke worthy names.

All is well in Ranger-Land.

In movie award show land?  Not so much. 

I filled out my Golden Globes ballot for tonight and came to the regrettable conclusion that the only category I really care about the year is Best Soundtrack, which has to go to Howard Shore forHugo or I will boycott for the next hundred or so years.

Speaking of Things Which Should Not Win: Moneyball.  Which took a perfectly solid concept and put Brad Pitt (‘nuff said) in it and confused everything about it that was simple.  And made itself an instant member of the Atrocious Baseball Movie Hall of Fame.  You know I couldn’t stand it.  I’ve said that before.  But with the award season here, my feverous feelings have come right back up.

Then there is the ultimate, existential question: who is better looking?

If it wins anything tonight, I will… yep, you guessed it.  Boycott.

At this rate, it seems alarmingly likely that I will be boycotting this show in future years.

Let’s just say it’s been a rather unfortunate year in film.

2012 has got to be better.  What with The Hobbit and… The Hobbit.  And The Hobbit.

Can you tell I’m a little bit excited?

Maybe Elijah Wood will show up in another green velvet suit tonight and make my viewing time worth it.  A girl can dream.

Diamond Girl

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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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