So tonight (or this morning really), I finally caught the MLB Network's "30 Clubs in 30 Days" on our Los Angeles Angels. I was disappointed.
Let me preface all of this by saying that I actually adore MLB Network. If I could get it in my dorm, I would probably have flunked out of college already. The coverage is not insanely East Coast bias and actually manages to focus the biggest stories of the day/week, instead of what the BSPN Tripod did today (Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies). I've always had a soft-spot for Harold Reynolds because I remember my dad playing catch with him at a baseball practice at Upland High School. (John Hart endlessly bothers me; but I'll let that small flaw slide)
My disappointment wasn't caused by their projections of our team, or mispronouncing our player's names, or trashing our team's name 7 or 8 times. I could easily read any of ESPN's news stories on our team and get those easily.
What got to me was how lazy it all seemed. I can understand how covering teams like the Royals and Pirates and Nationals can be a little tedious; but they are like 10 teams into this series and it all seems forced.
Still well worth a watch from anyone who gets the channel and has an hour to set aside during the day. But I expected better out of MLB Network.
I hadn't seen a Fan Post or comment on the show yet, so I felt semi-obligated to get one up on the site.
This is just a basic recap of what went on. Some highlights and low-lights, in my humble opinion.Highlights:
Vernon Wells: This guy is the cause of a lot of grey hairs on this blog lately; but aside from the monetary situation we are going to have for the next 4 years, we are getting an awesome guy and very good player. They had him mic'd up for a workout and he was damn near hilarious IMO. Joking around with Torii during their BP rounds, sarcastic complaints in left field during shagging about not being the center of attention anymore. He has a pretty dry wit that will probably rub a few people the wrong way; but he seems excited to be here and well prepared for a good year. Glad to have another guy to represent the Halos like Vernon.
Preview of Mike Trout: Seeing the phrases 5-tool player, 8 rated speed, and Top Rated Prospect in baseball will never get old. Guy is the future, can't wait for it to get here.
Pitching staff interviews: WTY, Haren, Downs and Pineiro got the nods here. Great stuff. Loved the best part of spring training: "Golf." Worst part of spring training: "Getting up early." With Downs turning down a $5 offer if he didn't say golf.
Our all-time single season team: From top-to-bottom here it is. Don't have the order 100% down, but these are the players. Correct me if I'm wrong anywhere.
LF Darin Erstad (2000)
SS Jim Fregosi (1964?)
RF Vladimir Guerrero (2004)
DH Don Baylor (1979)
1B Kendry(s) Morales (2009)
3B Doug Decinces (1982)
2B Bobby Grich (1979?)
C Lance Parrish (1990)
CF Torii Hunter (2009)
SP Nolan Ryan (1973)
A lot of issues here. Aside from the fact that Lance Parrish is the catcher represented instead of Downing in 1979 where he batted .326 with a .418 OBP. There are a lot of snubs here. No mention of Salmon, Anderson, Glaus, Downing, Carew or even Dean Chance (who actually won a Cy Young here in 1964 with an arguably better year than Ryan's). I completely support picking the 383 K year; but I hated seeing Hart's smug little face when talking about Nolan to the point where I looked for a replacement. I would love for someone with a little more time/knowledge of all-time Angel stats to do a legitimate all-time single season team.
Another issue I had with this segment was them talking about 2002 not being represented for a few minutes, while they were showing a highlight of Erstad making the catch to win the WS. The argument I've heard about this is that they were talking about a player's 2002 season was unrepresented and not the actual player; but I feel like someone with common sense would have mentioned that Erstad was on the 2002 team and was shown in the segment.
Kendry update: I don't recall hearing a single word about the fact that our most important player hadn't run with full weight on his leg yet. This bothers me. Maybe I missed something because I watched it at 2 in the morning after a week of midterms. Pretty vital part of our season to not talk about in depth.
As a sidenote to this, there was also no mention of Trumbo's beastly spring. I'm not sure when this was filmed; but he has been the biggest story of the Cactus League thus far. Might have been worth noting.
Random clip of Mathis: It was literally a 3 second clip; but it bugged me. Going into a commercial break, Mathis is shown flipping a basball over his head with his feet, then kicking it into the 1st base dugout, which was actually a fairly athletic move. This seems harmless enough; but I do not think I'd be goofing off in front of a camera during Batting Practice if I had just batted .195 in 200 ABs and had a career .199 BA in 950 ABs. So much about Jeff bothers me. But if he isn't focused almost 100% he is on a baseball field, then all of the problems are even more inexcusable.
Basically, I feel like I wasted my time staying up to watch this when I could have been out during my Spring Break making some bad decisions. Being an Angel fan does that to me sometimes. I'm sure that I am not the only one getting hyped about the 2011 season. Great rotation (with or without Kaz), exciting young guys waiting to explode (Bourjos, Walden, Trumbo, Kohn, even Trout), bounce back years (Howie, Abreu, Aybar, etc.), the potential end of the Mathis-era, seeing if Vernon can make us forget about the $80 million until the offseason. Spring is the best season.
I can't wait until March 31.