Spring training continues, and news continues to be sparse, but with the increased downtime of the players, sports writers find some interesting, obscure things to put out there. I’ll be touching on a few of those today as well as some of the real happenings going on with the team.
Let’s start with the obscure. In one of his articles, Andrew Baggarly ended with some of the things the guys do in the clubhouse before and after games. He mentioned they were watching videos of Domingo Ayala. I figured this was some older player that they were getting tips from. Boy, was I wrong! You can check out Domingo’s antics here. He’s got the stereotype down pat! I just watched this for the second time, and I’m still laughing! Glad to hear the boys are continuing to have fun during their down time.
I mentioned in an earlier blog that Buster was in the running for the cover of the video game MLB 13 The Show. Well, he didn’t make it (Andrew McCutchen, Donna’s boy, did), but he did make it into one of the commercials. Here it is. I can’t believe what a great job this seemingly shy guy did with this. Who woulda thunk? That’s a tough thing to pull off, and he did amazingly well. It’s so out of character for him to call anyone a moron, but it seemed so natural. I’m seeing lots more endorsements in your future, Buster. And could you please talk to your teammate, Brandon Crawford, and give him some pointers? He is doing some promos on KNBR for a charity, and they are really horrible. Sounds like he is reading straight from the script in monotone. Fantastic that you are supporting a charity, but if you’re gonna be around in the big leagues for a while (which we know you are), you’re gonna have to get much better at that stuff. Sorry, Ginny, but have you heard them??
Buster is one of the stars in another commercial, this one for the Giants themselves. But Hunter Pence is in the spotlight. Take a look. Their marketing team is fantastic – love this one! Wonder who those non-Giant guys on the floor are. Maybe they won a contest or something. Couldn’t they just fill in with other players??
While playing for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, you would think it would be all sunshine and happiness for Sergio Romo. Apparently, that’s not the case, especially since the tournament has taken place in Arizona, a state known for racially profiling Latinos. In an article by Jeff Passon on Yahoo.com, Sergio talks about his experiences there. “I’ve been pulled over numerous times, driving a nice car. The first question is: What’s your citizenship? The second question: Is this your car? And then: What do you do for a living? And it’s like, “Bro, you’re Mexican just like me.’ ‘Ah, but I was born here.’ And I say, ‘So was I.’ ” So sad that he, and apparently lots of the other Team Mexico players, have to deal with that crap while they’re in the US representing their country.
Now on to some actual baseball news. Word is out that Brian Wilson is postponing tryouts until he’s fully healthy. This will most likely be after the season starts. So we won’t be seeing that beard on the mound anytime soon. I think this pretty much means he’s off the table for the Giants who want to start the season with a defined closer. We’ll see where he ends up.
Hector Sanchez has been plagued with shoulder and calf injuries this spring and hasn’t seen much playing time. Andrew Baggarly mentioned in an interview that this is one of the true tests of a catcher – their ability to remain off the DL as this position comes with its share of physical challenges. He also mentioned my boy, Eli Whiteside, in that interview in comparison, saying that he also had some shoulder issues while with the Giants (YAY! My boy was in the news!). This opens up the backup catcher position if Hector can’t get healthy before the season starts. It was looking like the next option was Johnny Monell, who was having a fantastic spring, batting .600. But alas, his defense doesn’t match up – he let a couple of balls get by him the other day in a game. Better defensively is Guillermo Quiroz, so the Giants will probably go with him. Then there’s Tyler La Torre who’s probably chomping at the bit right now hoping to get his chance. Tyler’s Italian team didn’t make it to the next round of the WBC, and he was reassigned to Minor League camp (aka cut) almost immediately after he got back to Arizona. I’m still pulling for you, Tyler. Brett Bochy was also reassigned to Minor League camp. His dad told him at the dinner table. Brett was upset that he didn’t find out like all the other guys. I can understand that. Must be tough being the manager’s kid.
Can’t move on without an Eli update. Thankfully, he is still with the Rangers and hasn’t moved again. He’s been playing in Arizona during Spring Training – a total of 3 games so far. Their home stadium is in Surprise – love that city name! Hope he’s been able to get together with his former teammates. Ran across this video while checking up on him. Click on the “Network chats with Whiteside” button under his adorable picture. He was actually interviewed by MLB Network. You go, Kid! Glad to hear he can keep his sense of humor through all of his wanderings. It is sad, though, to see him in that Rangers cap.
Apparently Andres Torres has attended the Angel Pagan School of Anger Management. He broke a bat over his knee after a second strikeout. Thankfully, he didn’t hurt himself like Angel did when he punched a wall last season. Brian Sabean – please spend some money on Anger Management classes for these guys! Andres’ strength impressed some of his fellow teammates. I would guess that’s a pretty tough thing to do – breaking a bat like that. I’m sure my knee would be shattered if I attempted that. It definitely impressed Gary Brown who tweeted afterward, “I need to learn to break a bat over my knee.”
Speaking of tweeting, I am definitely enjoying The Twitter and keeping track of my boys through it. I’ve even gotten some replies from George Kontos (aka “Cutie Pie”). He’s now even a bigger Cutie Pie in my book.
Timmy’s recovered from his blisters finally. His treatment was a combination of lime juice, pickle juice, and “mystery mud”. I tried to research this mystery mud to no avail. Anyone know what’s in that stuff? I was wondering why there isn’t some medicine that they can use until Andrew Baggarly mentioned the fact that they’ve got to be careful so they don’t test positive for PEDs. Hadn’t thought about that. Guess even something topical could get into your system. Word is that Timmy is having a much better spring than last season, but the numbers I’m seeing sure don’t look that great to me. Guess I still have a lot to learn. Hoping this plays out well once the season starts. We really need him to get it together this season.
While trying to find the mystery mud contents, I stumbled upon an article on “Magic Mud”. This is a compound that is used to prepare baseballs for game use. A new baseball is too shiny and smooth to grip, so they rub this stuff on it to take the shine off. It actually contains real mud from a secret place in South New Jersey. And it’s been made by the same company for over 70 years, Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud. All 30 MLB teams and their minor league affiliates us it, along with several private and college teams. Who knew? Wonder whose job it is to apply the Magic Mud. Fun times.
Well, I’m off to watch my boys take on the Rockies in Arizona. So glad the game is televised today. Only 15 more days until Opening Day! I was able to confirm that the game will be televised at AT&T Park on April 1st, and Ginny and I are planning to go. They’re giving away free hot dogs to the first 5000 fans and free foam fists to the first 3000 fans. Anyone else want to join us? Admission is free, and if it’s like last year, parking is only $10. Hope to see you there. Until next time, GO GIANTS!!