Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Play ball already!

Never have I been more anxious for the baseball season to begin, but not for the obvious reason.

I just want the San Francisco Giants™® to Shut. The hell. Up!

Really, the Giants©™ had just won their third World Series®™ in five years. You'd think the team could just bank all its publicity on that amazing fact.

You would be wrong.

You, like me, have no stomach for marketing.

I love the Giants®©. I tell people I'm not a baseball fan: I'm a Giants™® fan. My interest in baseball extends to the Giants©™ and whomever they're playing.

I'm not going to not follow the Giants®™ for another season. But the Giants™® and their promotional media will not risk that chance.

They are in my face, literally, many times per day.

I'm not talking about the preseason scuttlebutt: Ace pitcher Tim Lincecum has his fastball back, and he's reunited with his dad to retrieve his unique technique! Pitcher Matt Cain has returned from elbow surgery, better than before! Catcher Buster Posey is refreshed! New third baseman Casey McGehee looks solid!

File it all under "Hope (1 Each) Eternally Springing." It's what you expect to hear right before the season starts, when every team's in first place, every team has a chance.

What drives me nuts is the miscellany that must be aimed at the casual fan who likes the idea of the Giants, if not the actual team and all that pitching and strategy and baseball stuff.

I blame myself, of course. It's my fault because I "liked" the Giants'©® facebook™® page. So check yourself before you wreck yourself — even if your relationship with social media is minimal and passive

How do the Giants®© pester me? Let me count the ways.

No, way too much counting. I'll just touch on a few of the ridiculous lowlights:
  • Pictures of a bunch of signed baseballs — can you guess which player's autograph is which?
  • Behind-the-scenes pictures of Team Picture Day — as in, pictures of players not posing, before they pose. What?
  • Pitcher Madison Bumgarner pitches to Buster Posey for the first time ever! Posey homers!
  • Vote for Buster Posey as The Face of Major League Baseball©®!
  • Oh, please please please vote for Buster Posey!
  • Don't let (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder) Mike Trout be The Face of Major League Baseball®™! Vote Posey!
  • Did you vote for Buster Posey?! Do it now!
  • We said Now!
  • You did it! Buster Posey is The Face of Major League Baseball®™!
  • Day 1 highlights of Spring Training. Also Day 2, Day 3, etc.
  • Actor Will Ferrell, promoting a movie or maybe just himself (he's the next generation's Bill Murray), plays for 10 Cactus League teams in one day, including catcher for the Giants.™® What?
  • Where are the Giants'®™© World Series®™ trophies now? Visit them now at ____________.
And on it goes, all day, every day. Just so much puffery.

I'm not really sure what it means that Buster Posey is The Face of Major League Baseball™®. Why is it even necessary? It may have something to do with drumming up sales of Posey memorabilia, but people tell me I'm a cynic.

Buy your Posey jersey! Let's buy two!

As for the trophies, ugh. My enjoyment of the Giants' spectacular season ended with the very first moments of the on-field celebration of Game 7, when third baseman Pablo Sandoval caught the last out in foul territory and the players rushed toward Bumgarner, the Series'™® Most Valuable Player,©® on the mound.

Everything else — the Giants' fourth locker-room celebration of the season, complete with exploding champagne and beer bottles and ski goggles … the parade through San Francisco and the long string of speeches — feels like such empty preening, something meant for the players alone that we talk ourselves into watching, like the Oscars.™®

I'm not going to stand in line and look at their trophies.

I will, however, tune the radio and listen to the first pitch of the season, if I can, Monday, April 6, first pitch 7:10 p.m. And I'll follow every pitch for the rest of the season if I can, win or lose. (And why be greedy? The Giants have three championships in five years. I'm not gonna sweat if they don't do win another.)

Opening Day can't come soon enough.

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