A lesson in patience

It’s now tradition for BFF and I to spend a glorious weekend at AT&T Park, watching the Giants take on the Dodgers. It never fails to be intense and grueling, and as fun as the games are, there is one huge downside: 98% of the Dodgers fans I encounter are mean. There are a few that aren’t, that enjoy baseball and want to have fun watching their team win. But the other 98%? Mean.

We were late getting to the game on Friday but once we settled into our seats, it went pretty well. We rallied and won and it was awesome. Except for the people sitting a few rows back who, every time Lincecum was at the plate, yelled for Beckett to “hit him in the right arm”. Lincecum, in case you don’t know, throw right and bats left, which exposes his pitching arm to potential hits. There isn’t a lot of logic to this request of hitting Lincecum’s arm and hopefully injuring him to the point where he can’t pitch. I mean, I love Tim a lot and he’s one of my favorite pitchers, but have you seen him pitch this year?

Yesterday was more of the same, but this was calls to bean players just to end ABs. I’m not sure of their thought process. For instance, Scutaro got walked in one of the late innings and the girl behind us, who had been yelling BEAN HIM!!! for most of the AB, said, “Ugh. He should’ve just hit him.” Like…what? He would’ve ended up on base that way, too. I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS. She yelled BEAN HIM every time a Giant was in the batter’s box, no matter who it was. At the end of the game, she proudly announced that she hadn’t even had to boo any Giants fans during the game, so she was happy. Her father spent a good five minutes mocking our rally hats in the 9th inning, saying he didn’t have to look “doofy” to cheer for his team.

We’re not able to make today’s game because it has to be broadcast on ESPN, so the time was changed and we’re going to see DMB tonight. DMB. TONIGHT. OMG. But I’m kind of glad I don’t have to deal with potential Dodgers fan BS, and as BFF put it this morning, at DMB shows, you don’t lose. It is only win!

Also, the Giants have been taking early BP or something because on Labor Day, we only got to see the pitchers running sprints (and Clay Hensley running the warning track….for 15 minutes) and yesterday, we didn’t even get to see sprinting. I do have some pictures for you!

Monday, September 3

Madison and Javy

Javy signing autographs

Kontos practicing his delivery

Lovely day for baseball

Storm Troopers guarding the umps

Saturday, September 8

Willie Mays Plaza

Time Lord

His face though

Casilla

Hanley Ramirez

Matt & Buster

Sorry I’m not sorry

BEAT L.A.

Do I know you?

Clearly I suck at this whole blogging thing. Time for some quick catch-up!

BASEBALL: Matt Cain’s perfect game was amazing and I wish I had been there! Ryan Vogelsong was dubbed The Freak Whisperer after he managed to say the exactly right thing to Lincecum in Oakland last week. Brian Wilson is going to be in the booth with Kruk & Kuip today and apparently he has some sort of announcement*. Our outfield is amazing. BEAT LA. BEAT LA. BEAT LA.

OLYMPICS: Imminent. I’m excited to watch them for the first time in YEARS.

MUSIC: I have a couple of monthly playlists to share with you. For the past two months, I’ve had a playlist intended and then I’ve pushed it back a month each time because I either couldn’t find the right songs or something else showed up on my radar and didn’t fit on the list. WITHOUT FURTHER ADO.

2012: April (The Month I Clearly Didn’t Want to Make a List)

  1. Holy Weather – Civil Twilight
  2. 1234 – Feist
  3. Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men
  4. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  5. Desire – Ryan Adams
  6. Love Love Love – Of Monsters and Men
  7. Lover I Don’t Have to Love – Bright Eyes

2012: May 

  1. Piazza, New York Catcher – Belle and Sebastian
  2. Abandon – French Kicks**
  3. The Sweetest Thing – Camera Obscura
  4. Red Right Ankle – The Decemberists
  5. I Don’t Know – Lisa Hannigan
  6. All Our Weekends – French Kicks
  7. Homesick – Kings of Convenience
  8. Put a Penny in the Slot – Fionn Regan

2012: June (I never thought I’d see you again)

  1. Stolen Away On 55th & 3rd – Dave Matthews Band
  2. I’ll Follow You Tonight – Anna Ternheim
  3. Raining in Baltimore – Counting Crows
  4. Between the Miles – Aswefall
  5. Sleeping With the Lights On – Teitur
  6. Vapour Trail – Trespassers William
  7. California One / Youth and Beauty Brigade – The Decemberists
  8. January Rain – David Gray
  9. So Alive – Ryan Adams
  10. Delicate – Damien Rice
  11. Different Stars – Trespassers William
  12. Amy Hit the Atmosphere – Counting Crows
  13. For You – Coldplay

*Clearly he found my list of things to do while he’s rehabbing his elbow and he’s going to publicly update me on his progress through the list.

**This album, Swimming, is delightful. Good summer album.

If you’re Brian Wilson

When Brian Wilson gets really bored one of these days, he’s going to Google himself again and find his way here, where he’ll find this list of Things to Do While Recovering From Bionic Elbow Transplant ™.

Things to Do While Recovering From Bionic Elbow Transplant ™

  • Build a telescope
  • Learn to brew beer
  • Read Finnegan’s Wake
  • Learn how to knit
  • Write a short story
  • Take your new telescope into the Sierras to watch the stars
  • Perfect your impressions of your teammates
  • Install beadboard in your kitchen
  • Build toothpick replicas of the GGB, Bay Bridge, and AT&T Park
  • Become a cricket enthusiast
  • Learn quantum physics
  • Take up macrame
  • Diagram and color-code a geological map of the United States*
  • Learn to build ships in a bottle
  • Learn to read star maps (for your new telescope and trip to the Sierras)
  • Start a blog so you can tell everyone how bored you are

 

———————–

*It’s fun, trust me!

The boys are back in town

Even though I don’t actually live IN San Francisco, there’s a definite change in the air when the Giants get home from a road trip. This road trip was weird, starting with Ryan Theriot getting the death flu from his kids and ending with a 3-run jack in the eleventh hour to take the series sweep from the Reds.

Tim Lincecum saw some improvement in his stats, even if it wasn’t the prettiest road to get there. Naysayers will be naysayers and argue anyone who says anything positive about his outing in NYC, and yes, it was the Mets, but he kept them from seeing the ball very well and he got 7Ks on the night. Impressive for a guy who is in such a big slump.

Zito continues to dazzle my socks off. I don’t completely take back everything I’ve said about him, but he’s starting to win me over. Damn you, Barry Zito.

The doubleheader killed us. By the time we got to yesterday’s game, I didn’t care if the guys laid down at their positions and took naps. I really didn’t care if we got swept or won or lost or whatever. I wrote the game off. I did. I’m so sorry, fellow Giants fans (and any Giants affiliates who read this), but I kind of wanted the boys to come home so we could have Orange Friday. I’M SORRY.

But don’t worry, Angel Pagan showed me up by hitting a 3-run homer and then Casilla shut down the Reds in 11 pitches and now the boys are back. Tonight is the first official Orange Friday of the season. Our first Giants game of the season is a week from today. Things are looking up.

Oh, and before I forget, Brian Wilson is either enjoying his pain medication or is bored out of his mind, because he shared this with us the night before last:

Never change, Bweez.

Pitching Duel

I knew tonight’s game against the Phillies would be good. Generally, I both fear and anticipate a series against them because so much could happen. Both teams have a strong pitching staff. The Phillies have more power in their bats. We have more…luck? I don’t really know. But tonight’s game was so good, you guys. So good.

The first time I saw Cliff Lee pitch was during the World Series in 2010 when he played for the Texas Rangers. He’s one of the reasons I became a Rangers fan during the series (but I couldn’t tell anyone this because they were the Rangers and they were the enemy and grrrr). Even though he isn’t with the Rangers anymore, the plus side of seeing the Phillies for me is Cliff Lee. When I saw that he’d be battling Matt Cain, I knew we were in for a good one. I just didn’t know how good.

I am far too tired to look up the line on Cain and Lee but it’s impressive. They were almost neck and neck the entire game, down to the pitch count (Cain was almost always 1 pitch ahead). Cain came out after the 9th inning and Lee stayed in through the 10th. Both were consistent, both were pitching clean and tight with very few mistakes. We managed to get on base a bit more than the Phillies but we couldn’t do anything there. Lee’s pitching was that good.

In the end, we won when Brandon Belt (#FreeBelt) came in one or two outs into the top of the 11th. After Brandon Crawford struck out in the bottom of the 11th, Belt singled to center (I think). With one out and one man on, Angel Pagan singled to…somewhere on the field I don’t even remember (this is the best game recap ever, right? This is why I’m going to learn scoring this season) and then Melky Cabrera stepped up to the plate, and on the second or third pitch, ripped one right and Brandon Belt stretched those giraffey legs of his and hauled his ass to home plate. Giants poured from the dugout. Timmy cleared the railing with a single hop (both legs tucked under him), and Melky was dogpiled along the third base line. It was glorious. GLORIOUS!

ETA: Brian Wilson undergoes his second Tommy John surgery today (April 19). They’re calling it Tommy John but we all know what it is: a procedure for a bionic arm. We (me) wish you a successful surgery and a Posey-esque rehab. See you soon, Willie.

Woe

So this happened tonight.

Someone please kill me now

Our season is young, very young, and right now it looks like the most uncoordinated, bumbling baby that has ever existed. Our hitting is sporadic, our fielding is atrocious, and our pitching is…improving. Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum seem to be having some sort of Freaky Friday thing going on so far, which is very bad except for the way in which it is good: Zito’s pitching some amazing games. And hey, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of his but I never wanted him to fail. Take it as your personal challenge to prove me wrong, Zeets.

Lincecum’s shaky (dismal) start to the season is a bummer, but tonight he showed some resiliency (6.0 IP, 8H, 5ER, 1BB, 6K — I thought he got 7? Must’ve lost count). I mean, his ERA is like, a zillion now but after the first inning, he seemed to settle in a little and he looked REALLY good in the 5th and 6th (or maybe just one of those innings, I can’t remember — this is why I need to start taking notes). The guy who had serious ownage on him didn’t do much all night, which was a relief. If our offense had been able to string together more hits, the game would’ve been a lot closer. We might’ve even won.

I started a post on Sunday about Pablo, Melky, and Vogelsong, but I didn’t get to finish it before it faded into the obscurity of the following game. The point I most wanted to make in it stands, as far as I’m concerned, and it’s about Pablo. I think they sacrificed batting and fielding in favor of conditioning in the offseason and during spring training. I think it shows in how sloppy Panda’s playing 3rd base. This isn’t a guy I’d trust behind the plate. I don’t think it has anything to do with his weight. He’s held that post down at higher weights.

I think Brandon Crawford is going to wear himself out trying to cover all the weak spots in our defense. Huff’s slow coming out of left, Panda’s getting sloppy, Burriss is better than Theriot at fielding but he’s still missed a few vital plays. Crawford’s effectively covering a lot of ground around those areas. Definitely has more hustle than we’ve seen at SS in awhile. When his bat gets hot – and I predict it will – he’s going to be an incredible asset to this team.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) our shining hope, Madison Bumgarner, takes the mound. Wednesday, Brian Wilson goes to see Dr. Andrews in Florida. This weekend’s news (season-ending injury) might not be as bad as initially thought but Willie’s going to be out for awhile at the very least, and it’s going to suck (for those of us who lovehate his innings). He’s going to rehab in SF, so I look forward to Kruk & Kuip inviting him upstairs for a chat during a few games.

As for the rest of the season, who knows? Maybe we’re just getting all of our bad ball out of the way now so we can spend the rest of the season dominating. It’s a dream, at least, and until it comes true, I’m going to cling tight to Buster Posey’s angel wings and pray for a miracle.

*Image courtesy of estrella55

Vogelblog

Remember how, at the end of last season, I created my own awards and gave them away to baseball players? Remember how I gave Ryan Vogelsong an award for having the story I never wanted to hear about again? Well, I, and Ryan, should have known that it wouldn’t be so easy as putting an offseason between a break-out, come-back season and a new season. Good lord no. Ryan Vogelsong is going to live with the spectre of 2011 for the rest of his life, a thing for which I am sure he is eternally grateful. I’m not even being sarcastic. Even if I was tired of hearing his story over and over and over again, it still inspired me and made me happy because who doesn’t want to hear about someone who pays zir dues and then is handsomely rewarded with success?

The Giants media machine has been in high gear the past few months, shooting spots for the new commercials. They are, like Giants commercials in seasons past, humorous and enthralling and aimed at getting us pumped for the 2012 season. It’s working. I mean, who doesn’t like to watch Brian Wilson run in slow motion through the streets of San Francisco while his ocean blue eyes pierce your soul?

Wait. What?

At any rate, after the quirky “it’s not just X but also Y” ™ commercial came out (and let’s mourn together that some of us don’t live or work in the Bay Area and couldn’t be extras in these commercials), a few others have appeared on the ol’ TV box. Shot the same day, or around the same time, as the “it’s not just X but also Y” ™ spot, they focus on an individual player. The first I saw was for Buster Posey, which I may have very well cried during because IT’S BUSTER POSEY HITTING A BALL A BUNCH OF TIMES. The second one was for Tim Lincecum, which was almost pornographic, what with the soft focus on his eyes and the flowing hair and his entire delivery in slow motion. The third was for Ryan Vogelsong. I saw it this morning, online. And uh…it’s approaching creeper status.

This is why we love Ryan Vogelsong.
And this is why we love Ryan Vogelsong.
This. Is why. We love. Ryan.

I imagine all Giants fans posted outside the Vogelhouse, binoculars in hand, watching while Ryan does the dishes. Or while Ryan brushes his teeth. Or while Ryan frantically calls 9-1-1 because there are 50,000 people sitting outside DEAR MOTHER OF GOD MAKE THEM GO AWAYYYYYYYYYYYY.

It’s like the Giants quietly surveyed Tumblr in order to get the creeper vibe just right. And I think they nailed it. I mean, they could’ve thrown in a few more MRS. VOGELSONG shirts to make it more authentic, but they probably didn’t want Nicole to stab everyone in the face with her fabulousness*.

My greatest hope for Ryan in the upcoming season is domination. World domination. And a new story. A better story. One that includes a ring.

Vogey is currently scheduled to pitch an inning tomorrow night against Texas. He shouldn’t have any problems, as Texas is a rather large and cumbersome state that swings at like, anything. Also, Baggs gave Tim Lincecum some advice about balls today. The mental image was, at best, scarring.

*Nicole is fabulous and you should all love her and follow her on Twitter.

What I’ve been doing, the picture version

Decorating for spring.

Taking walks.

Reading The Hunger Games trilogy.

Getting the worst car wash ever.

Having people over for dinner.

 

Other things I’ve been doing: preparing myself for a summer of DMB and baseball. That is pretty much it. DMB tour dates were announced last week. Pitchers and catchers reported last weekend, position players reported Thursday, and the first full squad workout was on Friday. The Giants play their first intrasquad game on Thursday. Today they had their first live bp. Matt Cain got pegged by a drive from Hector Sanchez and Jeremy Affeldt beaned Pablo Sandoval in the side. Spring training started with Ryan Vogelsong’s strained back and then Ryan Vogelsong getting sick and then Tim Lincecum experiencing some “stiffness” in his back. Brian Wilson admitted to being in pain from either his elbow or his back for most of last season. And…Buster Posey looks phenomenal. Phenomenal. I mean, I don’t want to gush but BUSTER POSEY BUSTER POSEY BUSTER POSEY BUSTER POSEY!

Buster is SO having it.

I am posting to avoid arbitration

Did “to avoid arbitration” trend on Twitter at all today? Because it certainly seems like it could have. Splash Hits has an epic run-down of who avoided arb and who didn’t (Giants only), so I will leave you to read all of that when you have time, but Tim Lincecum asked for a lot of money and for god’s sake, man, IT’S TIM LINCECUM.

I also have a lot of opinions about Brian Wilson and where his doubters can shove their hatred, but I’ll just say this: he’s been diligent, he’s looking good, and someone dared mention he was back to pre-beard Brian. Though only figuratively because I know for a fact he’s still got the beard. Not that it matters. It’s only facial hair.

And James Harden is only a basketball player for the Thunder.

He also wears bowties. You’re welcome, America.

In case you haven’t guessed it, I have my computer back! Still working to get it where I want it, but ye gods, IT HAS BEEN TWO WEEKS. TWO. WEEKS. PLUS ONE DAY. My twitchy bits are starting to relax. Everything is right with the world.

Except for all the things that aren’t.

And speaking of which, I’m going black tomorrow (or today) (or yesterday because you won’t be able to see this until then if you don’t get to this blog before 8am January 18) to protest SOPA/PIPA. So. You know. It’ll be like any other day on this blog when I don’t update, except you won’t be able to see anything (except maybe a post WordPress is going to post on my behalf. Idk).

COMPUTER! MINE! FIXED!