The boys have had a great start to their season so far, with a 9 – 5 record, second place behind the Rockies in the NL West. Hoping they can get their banner back up to the top of the pole soon (love seeing that on TV or when I go to a game). Just about everyone has been contributing, definitely a key for them since they don’t have a ton of power on the team. Pablo’s even got a 9-game hitting streak going. So much for that extra weight! Ginny’s boy Brandon Crawford has been hitting up a storm as well. Still waiting for Buster to get hot, but Marco has shown some improvement with the bat recently as well. And there have been so many outstanding defensive plays so far. Brandon Crawford continues to amaze us with his effortless put outs, and Gregor has made some fantastic catches in the outfield. Pablo made a great catch in foul territory the other day, flipping over the fence into the stands. And the newbies have continued to impress, with Gaudin going strong for multiple innings and Noonan getting his first RBIs on Sunday plus multiple hits. The boys have also proven that they can come from behind and take a game. Unfortunately they’ve had several opportunities to demonstrate this, but they’ve come through (they got close last night). I know this was not the case in the 2011 season, but I never give up hope any more if they are behind. I’ve really enjoyed the games I’ve been able to catch so far.
I attended the game on the 8th with Manny, his friend Glen, and my brothers Nick and Paul. We had a great time. Got a cool magnet schedule for my fridge. I took my foam fist and was fist bumping everyone when something great happened. Lots of opportunities for that! Got to see Hunter hit a home run. They won, so my record stands at 1-0 so far. Hope I can keep a winning record throughout the season. I’m planning on going to the Padres game on Saturday with my sis and my niece Lizza (she’s become a real Giants fan and actually watches entire games at home – even passed up a trip to the mall to finish watching a game!). They’re giving out a really cool umbrella that day with pics of some of my boys on it. Also Dan got some sweet Club Level tickets for next Tuesday’s game vs. the Diamondbacks, so he and I will be going that day with my brothers. And that will be the rubber snake’s first game this season!! Life is good!
I’m sure by now everyone’s heard about the fight that broke out between the Dodgers and the Padres the other day when Zack Greinke tagged Carlos Quentin with a pitch. These things always fascinate me – the dynamic of flowing testosterone. Everyone’s got their opinion about whose fault it was. I think both should share the responsibility. Quentin led the league in hit by pitches in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The consensus is that he leans over the plate when he’s at bat, so it’s his own fault. Thus he should expect to get hit a lot. Apparently it was the third time he had been hit by Greinke, but the situation didn’t lend itself to hitting a batter. It was a 3-2 count in a 2-1 game. So I would assume the hitting wasn’t done on purpose. However, Greinke is not guilt free. After he hit Quentin, instead of just turning around and going back to the mound, he said something to him, and I would assume it wasn’t something nice. That’s what set Quentin off. So we have yet another case of out-of-control testosterone wreaking havoc on two teams. The aftermath – Greinke has a fractured left collarbone and will probably be out for eight weeks plus he got kicked out of the game. Quentin got an 8-day suspension. For their contribution to the fracas, Matt Kemp got ejected from the game and Jerry Hairston got a 1-day suspension. Just think how much money was lost to those two teams because of this silly altercation?? And someone was physically injured. Knock it off, guys! Control those tempers! It’s just not worth it. Use your brains for once instead of letting your manly hormones take over!
We lost one of our key players to the disabled list today. Jeremy Affeldt is out with an oblique strain, apparently due to something he did on his day off. Who knows what that could have been, considering how accident-prone the guy is! Hope he’s back soon because he is really an asset to the team. Get better, Jeremy!
I have a new favorite Giants commercial. Buster has done several ads for Toyota, and here is my favorite. This just cracks me up! And the boy really can act! I also found a side-by-side comparison of the awesome Big Speech commercial with the original scene from Animal House. Here it is. They did a pretty great job, didn’t they?? Who knows what silliness is in store for us next!
I really enjoyed the game on Sunday, especially since the boys pulled off a win. I was so glad to get to watch an entire game. And that was a doozy! It was a tug-of-war with the lead going back and forth so many times, but my boys hung in there and got the win even with Timmy’s initial struggles. There were so many great offensive and defensive plays made by both teams. There was even a crazy balk in the 10th by the Cubs’ pitcher to bring in what turned out to be the winning run! Hunter’s tying homerun late in the game was outstanding. The boy’s really gotten it together this season. And he was so humble in the post-game interview. He never takes credit and always acknowledges the rest of the team. What a good boy!
I learned a new strategy that I hadn’t thought of before during this game. Crawford was hit by a pitch with two outs. This brought Timmy up to the plate. The strategy was that Crawford should not attempt to steal because if he’s out, Timmy would be up at the beginning of the next inning instead of the top of the order. You’d rather not start out an inning with the pitcher at bat. Always learning here! Thanks, Kruk!
I also have some new sayings for you. I had never heard these before – I wonder if my brothers have (they know everything baseball!). Andrew Baggarly mentioned in an article about yesterday’s game vs. the Brewers that Ryan Braun earned the first “golden sombrero” of his career. I couldn’t even guess as to what this meant, so I Googled it. A golden sombrero is earned when a player strikes out four times in one game. It’s derived from the term “hat trick” in hockey where a player scores three goals in a game. Since four is bigger than three, they coined the term using a bigger hat! In addition, five strikeouts in a game earn you a platinum sombrero and with six you are awarded the titanium sombrero. On my golden sombrero quest, I came across the term “take the collar.” This term is used when you go hitless in a game. It comes from the fact that a collar is shaped like a zero. Surprised I hadn’t heard that one since this is much more common than the golden sombrero (and it’s especially painful when it happens to one of your Beat the Streak players!). Thanks for the info, Baseball-Reference.com. So you can add those to your baseball dictionary of crazy terms!
Speaking of Beat the Streak, my record for this season now stands at 11, and I’m in the lead for my group. WOOHOO! Still waiting for someone to challenge me. Remember – if you can beat me, there’s a Coke in it for you! And you have the chance at winning $5.6 million!
If you haven’t figured it out yet from reading this blog, Andrew Baggarly is my idol. I want to be him. His writing abilities are amazing. Wanted to share this with you as just one example of why I love the guy (and my brothers will definitely appreciate this quote) – he’s talking about yesterday’s game vs. the Brewers (Zito got rung up, Buster went 1 for 4, and Braun went hitless): “I don’t usually think in terms of fantasy baseball, but I’ve got to imagine someone out there just picked up Barry Zito based on two scoreless starts and also has Ryan Braun and Buster Posey on their team. And after looking at Tuesday night’s boxscore, they probably want to punch themselves in the face.” My dream is to someday be able to write like that! Love you, Andrew!
I’ll end with some words about the ring ceremony that I inadvertently left out of the last blog. Aren’t those things lovely!?! I love seeing the looks on the guys’ faces when they finally see them. Especially poignant was the look on Ryan Vogelsong’s face as he admired his for quite some time, probably all the while reminiscing about what it took to get him that ring. And I was especially touched by this: The rings were delivered by cable car (well, wanna-be cable car anyway!), by cable car workers, and have a cable car on them. For those that don’t know, my dad was a cable car mechanic most of his life. I’m sure Pops was pleased.
Will have some spit counts for you later this week. GO GIANTS!!!