*I edited this this afternoon, I had refered to Sammy Sosa as Alfonso Soriano, in my defense I was watching baseball tonight while I was typing.
Get out that broom and light up the halo, Angels swept the Rangers.
I’m back at school, and finally have a little free time, that is until I return home for a friend’s family’s Passover, and my own families Easter. But for now my thoughts on the Angels’ season opener.
I couldn’t wait to get to the ballpark and, after traffic detours, my Dad and I finally arrived. There have been some minor changes in the Anaheim parking lot, so we couldn’t park where we normally would, and that took a little longer than usual. Every year there are new pictures of 6 prominent players near the "big hats" out front, and this year Lackey is up there. Of course the pillars inside were wrapped in new pictures also. They seemed to be more inclusive this season, not just of the franchise players, which is always nice.
We migrated down to the field level, where we spoke with a "Ranger’s fan" that didn’t seem to know much about the team. Jered Weaver signed autographs for us. He was not very talkative, and a bit arrogant for that matter. He, of course, has every right to be arrogant, and I appreciate the autograph. I understand that having to talk to fans can be a hassle, but I can never express my gratitude when the boys take the time to have a brief conversation with me.
I love seeing the roster announced on Opening Day, when all the guys take the field. United as one, Ready and rejuvinated for a new season. And hearing the National Anthem at the ballpark for the first time this season was wonderful. I was expecting a flyover, and was disappointed when we didn’t recieve one. Troy Percival was on hand to throw out the first pitch. I am so elated that he is going to retire as an Angel. It was heartwarming to see him run, out of the bullpen of course, to the mound and hurl the ball.
John Lackey seemed to have some control issues. But in all fairness the homeplate umpire did not seem to have an accurate strike zone. Lackey was clearly frustrated (he is a very emotional pitcher, as I’m sure you all know), and walked quite a few guys. However, I was very impressed with Lackey’s ability to avoid the big inning. The big inning has consistantly been a problem for Lackey, and dispite his frustrations he was able to get out of innings with little to no damage. I was not happy, however, with his pitch count. I guess that is karma for making fun of Curt Schilling earlier in the day.
Sammy Sosa looked lost at the plate. And it seems Mark Texiera has looked lost all series. Hank Blalock was impressive offensively, but could have been sounder on defense.
I was not too thrilled with the Gary Mathews Jr acquisition, as some of you might remember, but I must say he has impressed me. My one qualm is that we could have Figgins in center field. The snow cone catch, it was a webgem, was amazing, but I’ve seen Figgins make that catch before, and make it look easier. Mike Napoli made an error, which ended up being the one run given up by the Angels’ opening night. Garret Anderson actually ran, not trotted, himself to a double. It is really wonderful to see him operating at full health, and speed for that matter. Vladdy was his usually amazing self, and continuted to beat up Rangers’ pitching. Kotchman hit the first homer of the season, and it was a shot, I must say. Shields looked wonderful in the 8th, and Frankie was equally impressive as he earned his first save of the season. Howie Kendrick was the only starter not to get a hit. Overall the team looked very very good, and I am ebulliant about the possibilities for this season.
After the game my Dad bought me a program, which has Vladdy, GA, and Big John on the cover. Inside there is a large poster of Lackey, I don’t know where I’m going to put it yet, but you can imagine my excitement.
In other news:
*I cut my hair. It isn’t too short. I like it.
*Someone commented on the blog below and said I’m the "hottest blogger" they "have ever seen!" I’ll take it as a compliment. So thank you for that. But more importantly I can talk baseball, right?
*I attended a MUN meeting tonight, and things seem to be more organized than they were last quarter.
*I’ve discovered that after 4 years of MUN all lower division poli-sci classes are repeatative. And I hate answering stupid questions asked by any TA in any class. For some reason they love the question "what was Frederick Douglass thinking?" to which no one ever responds, so I raise my hand and in my most monotone voice (to show my utter disgust, and uninterest in this question) I respond with something along the lines of "clearly Frederick Douglass was unhappy with the slave system, especially the hierarchy that different jobs created between the slaves themselves, where ‘great house’ slaves were considered the most trusted, and field slaves were considered to be of a lower class."
*I’m leaving for San Francisco on the 12th of this month, and I’m hoping to catch the Yankees in Oakland.
*I think that I’m going to the Angels A’s game on Saturday, as it is Lackey vs Haren. Great pitching matchup.
*What happened to Zito yesterday? That was awkward.
And oh yeah, ITS BASEBALL SEASON!
Well, it is finally here.
Over this spring break I have realized just how fast time, in general, passes. It has been days since my last post, and I honestly have no idea where the time has gone. My days have been filled, and there has been very little sleep involved, seemingly blending into one. There has been work (I’m currently helping to analyze a legal bill in preperation for a fee arbitration brief), there have been dance clubs, there has been shopping, there has been seeing old friends for the first time in months, and there has been spring training.
However there is one thing that has distingushed one day from the next: each passing day has brought us one day closer to the Season Opener. I could barely sleep once I got home last night, because what could be more exciting than the first day of baseball? So it seems to me, that while time seems to be passing faster and faster as I get older, the only thing that drags on and on is the offseason.
I suppose my first day of baseball isn’t technically until tomorrow. But I can’t wait to go to my favorite sports bar, and see the boys take the stage.
I know that a lot of people will be publishing their predictions today, and some already have done so, but I think that I will pass on that for now. My 1941 rebuttal will come after I get back to school, I feel guilty sitting on the computer doing so much research when my friends and I are only home for a week, my days are dedicated to work, and need to spend time with my family.
But rejoice. The day we have been waiting for is finally here.
p.s. Did anyone else watching the Martinsville race see Elliot Sadler make the chewbacca noise?
John Lackey will be the Angels’ Opening Day starter.
Yes, we all had the sense to see this coming. But finally having it confirmed by Mike Scioscia is a weight off every Angels’ fan’s shoulders.
I personally will be in attendance, in my upperdeck seats of course. And I could not be happier to see my favorite Angel, the most heavenly of them all, take the mound.
Why do I love John Lackey so much? The obvious reason would be game 7 of the 2002 World Series, but it wouldn’t be the truth. The real reasons are as follows. John Lackey is a wonderfully nice man. I have had the privledge of meeting him several times, and he always smiles and will exchange a few words with you. During the 2005 season I probably saw Lackey start in person 10+ times, all with my dad. We got to know his pitches and tendancies better than any other guy on the team, and it is always more fun to talk about a player when you know his ideosyncracies. It has been fun to watch John develop, and manage those big inning situations he used to put himself into so frequently. When Spiezio and DaVanon departed I needed a new Angel to look up to. Giving my dad tickets to Willis vs. Lackey for father’s day a few years back was just a great feeling, and the Angels won that game. And of course: WHO DOESN’T LOVE A STRIKE OUT?
So April 2nd, Angels Stadium, no matter who the Rangers put on the mound, we will be prepared with our best. Heres to a Cy Young Caliber season for BIG JOHN!
::knock on wood::
I am counting down the seconds until I get to see the Angels take the field on opening night. And since baseball is almost here that means there will be current stats to debate, not just Maris or Mantle, DiMaggio or Williams, Ruth or Gehrig. And as such there are many things to be excited for this season.
1) Ortiz or Manny? This debate will be like the ones I listed above in the future. Who was the better hitter and why? And this year we will get new stats to back up whichever side you defend.
2) Who will have more strike outs: Schilling or Lackey? My vote goes to Lackey (he beat Schilling by 7 last season). But it is going to be interesting to see.
3) How will Barry Zito adjust to National League hitters? I’m guessing just fine, but I’ll be curious to see if there are any big statistical changes.
4) When and where will Bonds "break" Aaron’s record? I hope this is an "if" question, but I sincerely doubt it. And then will Selig be there? I hope that is a "no" answer.
5) How will Colon shape up? Will he shape up?
6) How will "K-Dice" preform at the Major League level? Yes we all saw him at the World Baseball Classic last spring, but can he maintain that level of excellence for an entire MLB season?
7) Will A-Rod continue to choke? And in conjunction with that will he opt out of his massive contract? I’d guess yes, and no respectively.
8) How will Randy Johnson do back in Arizona? This is of mediocore interest to me personally, but is bound to be a hot topic throughout the season.
9) Will Ryan Howard have another great year, or should we consider him a one hit wonder? Let us see if Pujols will yet again be crowned NLMVP.
10) Without Zito how will the A’s preform in the lack luster AL West? Oakland’s pitching won’t be as strong this year. Will their offense be able to stand up to the Angels’ pitching?
11) Was Gary Mathews Jr. worth it? What about Shea HIllenbrand? I’m going to go with no on both of those, but hopefully I will be surprised.
12) Classic question: AL East, Red Sox or Yankees? I’m going to go with the Sox. This isn’t just because that is what I want, but because I think they will have a much stronger pitching staff, even with Pettite back in the Bronx.
13) Will Pettite pick up where he left off in New York? How will he readjust to American League batting?
14) How many Shut Outs will Dontrelle have this year? I’d guess 5.
15) Will Jeff Weaver stay in the Majors for the entire season up in Seattle? Will he "die" there?
16) What will be baseballs weakest division? I’d guess the NL West. Even with the new big name pitchers this division is too weak. You would think that with the high number of games played against one another at least one of them would have a .500 season… probably not.
17) Will I adapt to watching National League baseball? Now that I’m living in San Diego, I’m "supposed" to be a Padres fan. We will see how that works out. I’d guess not too well. I’ll probably have to train to Anaheim to watch the LAA.
And those are just a few questions pending what hopes to be another magnificent season of America’s favorite pastime.