Odds and ends: Hunter Pence’s pictorial, Nori Aoki’s song, Crazy Crab’s tribute and a Dodgers writer’s whiff
Welcome to the first official edition of “Odds and ends,” a feature that runs through all of the recent offbeat stories on the San Francisco Giants.
Hunter Pence is the star of the show with one heck of a photoshoot (don’t worry, it’s nothing like this one), while the supporting roles go to our popular leadoff man, our not-so-popular former mascot, and a Bums writer who somehow managed to diss the Giants and the Dodgers in one fell swoop.
With that, join me on the bus as we explore the softer side of Team Torture.
Hunter Pence is “back in business”
And he has the black and white candids to prove it.
As Pence was taking the final steps in his rehab, The Players Tribune shadowed him for a day-in-the-life pictorial, wherein he does some regular people stuff (drink coffee, take out the trash, hang out with his girlfriend) as well as some “I AM PENCE” shenanigans (electric scooter riding, functional fitness workouts).
7X7 did a similar feature right when the season began, and I’ll give them the W in this battle of America’s Top Baseballer since a) they were first and b) their picture I can feature without being subject to copyright infringement (thanks, Twitter!) is a lot cooler—at least, in my opinion.
You be the judge:
Nori Aoki has his own theme song
No, I’m not talking about the five-second clip everyone gets when they come to bat.
Thanks to the magic of Twitter and keyboard wizardy of Grant Brisbee, we now know that the Giants leadoff man has a full-fledged fight song from his days playing in Japan:
Which roughly translates to: Attack, Aoki! Take off, Nori! Hit, hit, hit, Aoki!
Yeah, I can get on board with that. I still prefer the idea of this classic tune with “A-o-ki” replacing every “Te-qui-la,” but I think I’m in the minority there.
Now, you should know that most All-Stars in the NPB are essentially rock stars, so these anthems aren’t that uncommon. Still, with all due respect to Nori, this chant wipes the floor with Flo Rida.
The Crazy Crab lives!
Well, not really. But thanks to ESPN 30 for 30 and lifelong Giants fan Colin Hanks, the memory of San Francisco’s “anti-mascot” is alive and well:
The documentary is fantastic, featuring Giants personalities, pundits and the man who suited up as the hated crab in its first and only season (1984).
Watch your back, Lou Seal.
Dodgers writer swings and misses
Houston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times was none too kind to his hometown ball club in his latest edition of “Dodgers Dugout,” but the bigger story was him whiffing on an attempt to discount the defending champion Giants.
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In the article, Mr. Mitchell asserts that Los Angeles’ scintillating start is due to them facing subpar competition. Fair enough, but he goes off the rails when he proclaims that the Dodgers have yet to play an “elite team” in baseball.
The Giants may only be a hair over .500, but a trio of big injuries has a lot to do with that. Oh, and, by the way: they swept the Dodgers in April and are 4-0 against their SoCal rivals on the season after Tuesday’s 2-0 shutout.
Still not elite? Whatever you say, Houston.