Time goes fast and slow simultaneously

The holiday season. It goes by too quickly for me but the days crawl by when it comes to work and getting to see my family (once I am home to see my family, time triples and is gone before I know it). I spent all of last week sick with a cold, which I gave Electric Girl and she, being of weak immune system, has it 10 times worse than I did. Our plans for this weekend, while they weren’t great or many, got put on hold. I did, however, manage to write some of my holiday cards and start a small, quick project that I can’t mention here because it involves presents.

I also spent some time getting to know the D100. FINALLY. I got it in August. And since I didn’t really go anywhere this weekend but the store, here are a couple of pictures from inside the apartment:

The sad, sad tale of Brandon Belt

Brandon Belt. Baby Giraffe. Tearful boy debuted in the preview clip of The Franchise. Giants front office punching bag. YEP. I WENT THERE. I have a lot of feelings where Brandon Belt is concerned. Bay Area Sports Guy said on Twitter Tuesday and again on his blog yesterday, that he thinks Belt won’t be a Giant next season. I tend to agree and I’ve had this little nagging thought at the back of my mind since September that this would be the case.

It’s hard to deny that Belt struggled when he was in San Francisco. He had a few moments of shine, hitting huge homeruns (Houston, oh Houston) when we really needed them, but most of his ABs were a practice in frustration. For him, for the team, and for us. He couldn’t connect. He swung too late or too early or at pitches that were clearly not good pitches. As his frustration grew, his popularity grew. It was a strange phenomenon. He went from being Brandon Belt the kid who keeps coming and going to Brandon Belt the baby giraffe and we all love him no matter what. I was fortunate to see him play in September (as evidenced by all of the pictures I took of him, even when he was just standing there doing nothing because BRANDON FREAKING BELT YOU GUYS), and everyone was excited about him. If memory serves, he had a pretty unimpressive series against the Dodgers in September (like the rest of the team), but most of the people around us were still cheering him on (unlike O-Cab, who most people scorned). We all wanted to see him succeed because he endeared himself to us during The Franchise. A tall, gangly kid from Texas who shows a lot of emotion when he finds out he made the bigs? SIGN ME UP. Name a baby giraffe after him? EVEN BETTER.

A giraffe and a baby giraffe

One of my favorite pictures from the Dodgers series: I was snapping a few shots of Belt awkwarding his way across the outfield as he warmed up and then someone in a baby giraffe hat walked into the shot. It’s so meta.

Brandon Belt, for whatever reason, did not hold the favor of Bochy and/or Sabean for very long. He went back and forth between SF and Fresno more times than I can count during the 2011 season, and it shook his confidence. There’s no doubt that it did. And the treatment of Belt by the front office can be summed up pretty well by a dream I had in August.

In my dream, Bochy and Sabean forced Belt to play a new position every inning, which means he played every single position during one game. The last position he was forced to play was pitcher. As in, he was our closer. In the dream I was watching the game at home and the camera focused in on his face as he stood on the mound, drenched in sweat and struggling to find some kind of energy or strength within himself to finish the game. And then he just started crying. Understandably. The kid was exhausted; his skin was gray, his eyes were hollow and sunken into his face, and he just couldn’t handle the pressure anymore.

The dream really disturbed me and every single time he was at the plate after I had that dream, my heart just broke for him all over again. It still bothers me to think about the dream and when I hear about the “nice” things Bochy and Sabean are saying about Belt’s performance in DR, I remember that dream and shake my head. I don’t want Brandon’s days with the Giants to be numbered. He’s a good ball player. He’ll be a better ball player in the future. But our failed season is not his fault.

"It's okay, Boch. I'll change your oil after I field this ball."

Belted!

On saying goodbye

I was not yet a rabid baseball fan in the last off season. I did not yet understand what it meant to watch the players you’ve grown to love traded to another team for a PTBNL or cash. I did not understand that Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez would be traded or that Cody Ross wouldn’t even get an offer. I did not understand the initial “It’s okay, I expected this” and the crushing epiphany hours later of “No more Tinkerbell skips after a homerun.”

It sounds overdramatic but maybe that’s what it’s supposed to be. My first baseball loss. Cody Ross was the first Giant I recognized, the first Giant I truly adored and looked forward to seeing. He had the high socks and the sparkly blue eyes and that infectious grin (not to mention the bat unf unf) and he was just so. much. fun. to watch play. I was ecstatic when he was signed after the World Series. I know I haven’t related my four Giants games of 2011 to you but there included a lot of OMG CODY OMG CODY OMG CODY.

OMG CODY

I am an unabashed Cody Ross fan. Ross is 13oss. Ssory Doc. Our very own Tinkerbell. And he didn’t even get an offer. That just blows. I expected it. I really did. But expecting it and it happening are two entirely different things.

MOVING ON. I’ve read a lot of blog posts in the past 24 hours about how much we’re all going to miss Andres Torres. Yeah, we are. Probably because he’s just the nicest guy. I’ve never met him but I’ve heard stories from plenty of people who have. The man is just nice. Says hello to everyone multiple times. Stops to talk to the lot attendants at AT&T Park. Checks to make sure younger fans are able to get home safely if he sees them by the player lot as he’s leaving.

Obviously we won’t miss their performance on the field, at least the performances they gave in 2011, but we’ll miss their infectious personalities. We’ll miss Ramon Ramirez, too. Because he’s an outstanding pitcher. And he pegged Shane Victorino (accidentally), which sparked one of my favorite moments of the 2011 season: Dave Righetti pulling Tim Lincecum out of the fray and shoving him behind Brian Wilson for protection.

Thank you, Andres and Cody and Ramon. You’ll be missed and next time our paths cross, we’ll greet you like old friends. (AND OMG CODY I LOVE YOU OKAY.)