Tagged: My Team(s)

The 2007 Angels

I believe, firmly, that the Angels have the opportunity to go down as one of the more dominate teams of this era. Of course there are no longer the fun titles like "murderer’s row," but that is because baseball holds a different spot in the American heart. Teams such as the aforementioned "row" do exist, they are the ones that are interesting to watch, the ones that work well as a unit, and the ones with more than a few outstanding players at the end of the year. And there is no arguing that the 2007 Angels are all of those things.

Firstly, the Angels produce interesting ball games on a very consistant basis. While we may not hit many home runs, the last being one off of the bat of Casey Kotchman earlier this month, we play small ball with a DH, my favorite kind. This way there is the strategy of a National League game, but you don’t have to suffer through watching the pitcher hit.

We have found ways to make our lineup work, even when key guys have had to go on the disabled list. Additionally, now that Gary Matthews Jr. is in the outfield it has really helped both Vladdy and Garret Anderson. The infield lost a true leader when the club didn’t resign Adam Kennedy, but true to form they have perservered and learned to play despite not having that veteran presence there.

But perhaps the most important factor is the last one. Orlando Cabrera not making the All Star team had to be one of the bigger snubs in the history of fan voting. But despite that the numbers do not lie, and I hope that the Gold Glove will be given to the rightful recipiant, in OC. Cabrera’s fielding percentage is stellar, and he has been just as hot at the plate as Jeter (but I have made this arguement before). Then there is Escobar, who is consistantly a great ERA pitcher, but rarely gets the wins because (for some reason) he can not get run support. His fortune has turned around this season as he is already in the double digit column for wins. Then of course, as I’m sure everyone reading this has predicted, there is the Lackey factor. He has 12 wins already, is constantly a league leader in strike outs, and is in the top three for ERA this season. Not to mention that he has made so many quality starts. When it comes down to it the true American League competitors for Cy Young are Beckett, Haren, and Lackey. Beckett will have the wins, Haren will have the ERA, but Lackey will be the best, well rounded pitcher. I believe that Kotchman has a strong case for the gold glove at first base. I understand that he is not the stereotypical answer, but he has made plays at first that I could only fathom Erstad in his hay-day making. He has been nothing short of outstanding this season, and as an old Mets fan once told me "you wouldn’t know unless you watched every game, he makes plays that no one else in the Majors could make" (of course that was about Jeter). And then there is Reggie Willits. I don’t even think I need to make a case for him, he has done that well enough on his own. Despite his error today (remember, I’m a writer who likes to hang a lantern on her problem) I think that anyone who believes there is another rookie worthy of being the best of the year is kidding themselves. Willits’ OBP, batting average, speed, fielding, and overall dedication is unparalleled, to my knowledge, at any level.

And I didn’t even mention that Figgins tied the team record for stolen bases today… See I’m right more often than people expect.

Random thoughts 6/4

So how embarassed does Shea Hillenbrand have to feel? Reggie Willits is DHing tonight. Shea, you were signed because you were a "proven" veteran, and we needed pop in our lineup, you have now been replaced by a rookie. Good one. I havn’t disliked an Angel this much since the Raul Mondesi debacle a few years ago. Shea is boring to watch and can’t perform. He had a lot of potential, BACK WHEN HE WAS WITH THE SOX, that was years ago. We need to just concede to the fact that getting him was a bad idea. If we want to get an out everytime the DH came to bat, in the eigth spot I might add, we might as well move to the National League.

Looking at Vladdy’s SB:CS ratio doesn’t really tell the truth. Vlad is one of the clumsyest base runners that I have ever seen. I love Vladdy, but he should leave the base stealing, and running, to Chone Figgins.

Figgins may be batting .200, but I don’t think you can criticize him. He was out for, what, six weeks? He has never shown you that he can’t be a great table setter. No, he won’t hit for power, but who on the Angels does? Only Vladdy and Gary Matthews Jr do that. It isn’t the way the team was built. And as for his defense, he will pick it up. Of course he is nervous, his fingers are still healing.

The Ducks are officially up 3-1. I’m so excited for the series to come back to Anaheim. Unfortunatly I won’t be there, but a win ::knock on wood:: at home is so much sweeter.

A team in motion…

I think I was lying.

That is when I said that I was excited to see the Mariners earlier.

To me that franchise up in Seattle is really pretty boring. So many mediocore players go there after a decent year (Adrian Beltre), or an OK career (Richie Sexson), only to never be heard from again.

Of course you have heard this from me before. But I thought that this insured a win against them tonight. I also thought that the Angels’ 5-1 record against them insured a win. And that a 5-1 Bartolo Colon insured a win. And that a sweep against the Yankees insured a win. But it felt as though all the momentum in the world couldn’t help the Angels last night.

I thought it was one of Newton’s laws of motion "an object at rest tends to stay at rest" and, conversely, "an object in motion tends to stay in motion." Naturally, if you will recall your junior year physics class, there is the other half of the equation where you realize that this is only true so long as the natural forces of friction, and such, do not interfere. But what was there to interfere? The Mariners were at rest, the Angels were in motion, and some how there seemed to be a transfer of energy from one team to the other. Or maybe the laws of physics don’t apply to a baseball team.

So I’m pretty sure when I said I was excited to see the Mariners I just meant I was excited to go watch the Angels play, which they didn’t exactly do. Lets just hope that this team at rest doesn’t stay at rest.

But on the bright side, I did get the John Lackey shirt that I wanted. When I was at the stadium Opening Week they didn’t have any. In fact they told me they weren’t going to make any. Well I suppose that being the first to 8 wins will cause them to start making shirts with your name on the back again.

Again?

To whom it may concern,

I, as a Major League Baseball fan, am at the end of my rope. I am a life time Angels fan. I have been loyal to the Angels year in, and year out, even through the humiliating periwinkle uniforms.

How do I define loyal? I define loyal as someone who goes to games despite a losing record. Someone who can tell you who is pitching in the bullpen based on their form and release point. Someone who knows who is going to pinch hit before it happens. Someone who wears red knee-highs on game days, just like the boys on the field. Someone who refuses to root for the other team when things get rough.

I am all of those things, and more. I also define loyalty to a baseball club as someone whose most difficult part of adjusting to their new college lifestyle is the lack of baseball fans present, and the difficulty of accessing baseball games. I define loyalty as rearranging one’s plans to make sure you can watch a game between your club, and a club that probably won’t compete. And I define loyalty to MLB as a whole as score watching during classes, and score checking at prom.

So Major League Baseball, and the Angels please justify yourself to me. I stayed home from my weekly mall visit with my best friend to watch the Angels vs Indians game. Why did I do this? Becasue the the team issued schedules (both the pocket sized ones, and the magnetic one handed out Opening Night) state that the game would be broadcast on FSN. Here at UCSD we get FSN, so it was only natural for me to assume that it would be on tv. So I cancelled my plans. But at 4 o’clock (5 minutes before official game time) FSN read "Program is not available in your area. Check Program Guide for alternate programming." I’ve learned, in my short time here at UCSD, not to expect Angels baseball to be on TV, but this is unreasonable, and extremely misleading.

The FSN advertisement says that there are "100 games on one network," well great, if you can see them. And I would purchase MLB.TV, if that wasn’t blacked out too. Thats right, La Jolla is blacked out for Angels games on MLB.TV too, for those of you who didn’t already know that.

So, as a loyal fan, I’m listening to the game on Gameday Audio. I however don’t know how much more I can put up with your inconsitancy MLB and Angels baseball. I give you so much money, and yet it seems that you cannot provide fair services in return. Gameday Audio, this blog, game tickets, rally monkeys, tshirts, sweatshirts, pj’s, baseball cards, figurines, the majority of my money (and a good portion of my parent’s money, for that matter) goes towards you, and my love of you. It seems I have been nothing but loyal and passionate, and you still find a way to punish me.

I challenge you to find another 19 year old girl, in college, who cares as much about the game as I do. There are few, if any, that would forego a chance to go to the mall with their best friend, especially with parent consent to use the credit card, to stay at home and listen to baseball by herself because no one else in her dorm enjoys baseball. You are making it excrutiatingly difficult for a dying breed to remain baseball fans.

Sincerely,
Coral R Marshall

Angels re-signings

Why would the Angels even let Shields and Frankie get close to the salary arbitration date?

I shouldn’t complain to be honest. I’m ebuliant that the boys got resigned. Who wouldn’t want the youngest player in MLB history to reach 100 saves on their team? Ahh its going to be great to be able to say "I remember when he took over for Percy." "I remember when Benji threw him that ball and he had his leg over home." Those are great memories. Lets just hope that when the time comes he doesn’t get snubbed by the BBWAA.

And then their is Shieldsy. I don’t know that there is a nicer guy in baseball. Honestly, he always takes his time with the fans, including me. But niceness aside I doubt there is a single team in the Majors that wouldn’t give up an arm and a leg (literrally) to get this guy. We all know the story from his college days where he should have stopped pitching, but they let the count go to over 200 pitches. Seriously, that is impressive. And he has shown his stamina in the Majors. Its very nice to have that relaxed feeling in the 7th and 8th innings.

And lastly there is Quinlan. A personal favorite. He signed a two year deal, with a huge salary increase, and I think he deserved it. Sure he may spend a lot of time on the bench, but he comes up and how intimidating does he look? Fullmer style. And lets not forget that he is a fairly consistant hitter, longest hitting streak in Angels’ rookie history (I would know, I was at the last game of that streak, it was the day that Percy was awarded for most saves in club history, and the day I met Jeff DaVanon).

All and all I’m happy about this news. I just realized how much I miss Jeff DaVanon. I don’t know why we let him go. Stupid move. I was at the game he hit for the cycle, one of the most exciting days of my life. I wasn’t too excited about seeing the Royals, but hey baseball is baseball. So I  went and i was sitting on the left field line, under the overhang. And I was thinking "my god he is almost there." And then he did it. I was elated to say the least. And then there was the day, against the Dodgers, that I sat infront of a "DaVanon hater." Lets just say that didn’t last for long. "You’ll have to hit it real hard to move him over from first" he said, and I replied with "Actually, to quote the Sporting News, ‘DaVanon is an above average runner.’" Sure enough DaVanon advanced. "DaVanon won’t get on base," he said during JD’s next at bat, "actually he posted the second highest OBP on the team only to ALMVP Vladimir Guerrero." Time and time again this guy would try to rain on Jeff’s parade. And I kept bringing up the facts. At the end of the game Jeff was named the Most Valuable Player for that game, haha.

Angels’ Management

Adam Kennedy just signed with the Cardinals.

Thats right the World Series Champion St Louis Cardinals.

3 years 10 million dollars.

What other Angels do they have? Eckstein, World Series MVP. Edmonds Amazing fielder and gret at the plate. And if they choose to resign him, which the probably will, Spiezio, who hit 13 homeruns coming off the bench and is a great back up for Rolen AND can play left when Seo Taguchi is out.

So Bill Stonemen, lets dismantle the team that won it all in 2002. Lets allow fan favorites to sign somewhere else. Let us not forget that we got AK from the Cardinals, they drafted him. And he has been robbed numerous time from the gold glove.

Anyone so stupid as to let these gems go can eat my ****. Wonderful we now have Gary Mathews Jr. Its not that I don’t like the guy, but I’d rather put money like that into getting Zito. Which won’t happen.

Arte promised us big moves. The only big moves happening are ones where players we like to watch move away. Oh but lets for get about Adam’s 3 homeruns in one ALCS game. Thats unimportant. Even though it puts him in categories with Babe Ruth (I’m not claiming to be a Ruth fan).

I don’t want great prospects to just rot on the bench. But Kotchman has mono. McPherson is injury plagued in the lower back and hips. Morles will take time. And while I love Howie Kendrick how much experience does he have?

And what is all this talk about trading away Ervin Santana? Great idea to let the guy who can shut down the Yankees go. Especially when Colon’s future is so uncertain. Sure Ervin could get us a big bat, but one big bat isn’t going to win as many games as Santana. David Ortiz, widely considered one of the most clutch (if not the most clutch) hitters in baseball, hit 5 walk off home runs in 2006. That means you can attribute 5 games to him, just to him. How many wins did Ervin Santana have in 2006? 16. A club leading 16 at that. So he is responsible for 16 wins. And he is just getting started. And its not like he has Manny pitching with him. AND its not like we would even get Ortiz for Ervin, we would probably get some 2nd tier batter. AND he wouldn’t have come up through the organization. AND Ervins night time home stats are amazing. Lets not forget that he is 8th in the AL in winning percentage, and 7th in WHIP. Thats not important. Lets get rid of him.

Whatever. I’m not trying to be overly loyal. Just observant. As much as I love Zito I don’t even think it would be wise to give up on Santana to make room for him. And getting rid of Santana would mean an increase in payroll as his 2006 salary was only 350,000 dollars, and any big name bat acquired for him would be worth a couple million. At least.

Lets start making some wise decisions people.