Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: He was the best dog on the planet.

Bonding

Bonding
The author of Mark's Work with Ellie Mae

Guess who's coming for dinner

Guess who's coming for dinner
Blue heron, sitting on the dock of our pond

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

BFF's forever

BFF's forever
Margie and Ellie Mae

Tomatoes and peppers are us.

Tomatoes and peppers are us.
Spicy salsa with roasted peppers, here at HappyDay Farms

Much love, John-Bryan

Much love, John-Bryan
Eric at 26 on the left, and John-Bryan in January of 1973.

Halloween fun

Halloween fun
SmallBoy and Dancing Girl

Our house

Our house
The snow season approaches...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Gnome with a Big Black Beard

A Gnome with a Big Black Beard
I got carried away walking the bowsers yesterday, and did not get back from our gambol, until the game with the Seattle Mariners was in the fourth inning, with The Beard pitching.  I had listened to much of Saturday’s offensive fireworks, continuing to build on the optimism, forming because of the offensive production.  Of course I was following the ongoing recovery of Buster, the individual that I believe will have the most prominent role in this year’s drive to the NL West title.
I have found in the past, that turning on a ballgame, whether on the TV or the radio, something happens.  Never fails.  It’s as though the baseball gods have the batter foul off seven consecutive blistering fastballs, because they can see that I am ambling in the direction of the radio, and they get a keen sense of enjoyment, watching me--either jump for joy, or clutch at my throat.  
Inevitably, someone has just either driven the ball to the wall on a line drive, or hit a duck snort, that drops in amongst three charging players.  If it’s the G-Men, then it’s high five time; if it’s the other guys, then well, maybe we already have a seven run lead, as we had when I tuned the game on this past Saturday.  Tommy Joseph had two dingers, one from each side of the plate.  It’s always nice to have the kids putting pressure on the veterans to keep their game going tough.
I think it’s safe to say, that the big news deals with my man, Hector, vying to be the guy to step into Buster’s more than ample shoes.  We need hector to provide relief, so that we get Buster’s bat into the line-up, every day, and then Buster will have fewer elements with which to contend, in regaining his 2010 form.  Hector Sanchez likes things in pairs; or, at least it seems that way, because he had a pair of sacrifice flys in Saturday’s game, and a pair of round-trippers in yesterday’s game. What can I say?  I like things in pairs also, as long as it does not come with a 6-4-3 price tag, with the opponents trotting off the field, fists pumping.
That is exactly what I encountered the second I turned on the radio.  One second Jon Miller was wisecracking that Brian Wilson might be taken for a gnome with a big black beard, and the next he was commenting on how, with all eyes on both Wilson and Posey, we saw Brian strike out the batter, and Buster gun down the baserunner trying to steal second.  It happened seconds after I flipped on the radio.  I always appreciate the gods’ efforts to entertain me.
Last summer, when I was writing about the Giants every morning, I had a running commentary on how something happens every game, that can be classified as extraordinary.  Hitting two sac flies is noteworthy, but not exceptional. Tommy Joseph’s two homers were impressive, but he spent last season at Single-A ball, and is penciled in at Double-A this year.
No, the thing that was extraordinary, was the fact that Hector Sanchez put two into the seats, one from each side of the plate.  
The managing potential for Bruce Bochy if Hector were able to spell Buster at catcher, consistently all season, is incalculable, in terms of contributing to a season-long run at the division title.  Hector provides an option for allowing Buster to play wherever it best suits the teams.  Give Bochy a couple of these options, and the Giants always seem to parley it into the win column.
The final piece of the puzzle is Brandon Crawford, who had a double and a triple in Saturday’s game, and is 6 for 16 this spring.  I have gone on record as saying his average is immaterial, in view of what he brings to the table in defense.  Imagine what kind of impact he would have, if he could approach .250.  These are the incremental improvements that are going to result in a concerted drive for the NL West Title. 

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