"Going to Toronto? You know, Jeffy plays for Toronto now. Did you know Jeffy's in Toronto? Tell Jeffy I said hi and that I love him and that I miss him." - Elsa
We bid a final farewell to the Angels' formerly longest-tenured player, as he ships back out to Canada on a three-year deal with Toronto.
At their peak, R&B group Boyz II Men released a dreary little ballad called It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday. It's all that runs through my head now that my HH namesake and favorite scrappy Halo leaves the team. Sad day. So, as I sit holding my 2008-spring-training-used Maicer jersey and contemplate framing it, with his original #6 adorning the back, I present Maicer's finest moments as an Angel. These are in no particular order, no ranking, just some great Angel games where Maicer graced the headlines. Reminisce with me, won't you?
JUNE 26, 2005: ANGELS DEFEAT DODGERS 5-3
This game is, and rightfully should be, better remembered as the game in which Garret Anderson scrapped his 1,000th career RBI on a game-winning double off journeyman reliever Kelly Wunsch. However, covered by the hubbub over the milestone was a quiet 3-for-4 performance that Maicer put together with 2 stolen bases. His sixth-inning RBI single gave the Angels the lead 3-2, but a Jayson Werth homer tied the game and set up for Anderson's heroics. Had it not been for the milestone, however, this game could EASILY have been remembered as the Maicer Game--which would not be until later on in this list.
AUGUST 11, 2006: ANGELS DEFEAT YANKEES 7-4
A 3-for-5 performance including a 2-run HR, and I could probably call this Maicer's first HUGE game--at least, his first HUGE game that didn't get quickly erased by a shoddy bullpen. His third-inning homer off the late Cory Lidle contributed to Izturis posting a .182 WPA on the game--at that point in his career, a single-game high for him. Two more hits, including an RBI single for good measure, gave Maicer a solid game and the Angels a much-needed win to remain in the playoff hunt.
AUGUST 10, 2007: ANGELS DEFEAT TWINS 10-1
I personally consider THIS the Maicer Game. A 2-for-2 game included his first career intentional walk, which came as a result of what he did the inning before: his first career grand slam, which put a then-close game out of reach and provided a larger cushion for Kelvim Escobar to collect the win. This was the game in which Maicer showed himself to be more than just a replacement-level shortstop. A bit of foreshadowing of what we'd see of him in 2009, I guess.
JUNE 7, 2008: ANGELS DEFEAT A'S 5-3
This is when we saw more of Maicer's potential--more little 8/10/07 bits of Maicer strung together consistently. What do you call that again? Oh yeah, a decent season. This was Maicer's first history-making Angels moment. After leading off the game with a homer off of A's pitcher Greg Smith, he became the first Angels switch-hitter to ever lead off back-to-back games with home runs, having done so the night before as well. He threw a stolen base and an RBI single in with that, putting up a .222 WPA during the game in the process. Nice work from the Mice Man--but not as nice as his next two games.M/p>
JUNE 26, 2009: ANGELS DEFEAT DIAMONDBACKS 12-3
Not as much of the boomstick from Maicer, but during his greatest season as an Angel where he posted a .300 average and .359 OBP, he flashed more of his clutch hitting ability--that which he possessed as a regular in 2009, NOT as a pinch-hitter, EVER (hint hint to the Fatalian). Two-out RBI triple off of Billy Buckner in the Angels' eight-run second inning, followed by a two-out RBI double off Blaine Boyer in the seventh. No one person was a star in this game; I mean, Jered Weaver threw in an RBI to help his own cause in this one. Maicer DID contribute when needed the most in this game.
AUGUST 1, 2009: ANGELS DEFEAT TWINS 11-6
Good things always happened for Maicer against the Twins. A three-run home run and an RBI single spurred the Angels to a victory worthy of blowing the roof off the Metrodome. Another game where Maicer was NOT the only contributor--Gary Matthews, Jr. had a fine game for himself, and as a matter of fact, everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit. What makes this an interesting game for Maicer is who was pitching on this day. The Twins started young Anthony Swarzak, but when he started to falter, who did the Twins bring in to hopefully stop the bleeding (and instead, allowed the Micebomb)? R.A. Dickey.
JULY 20, 2010: ANGELS DEFEAT YANKEES 10-2
In what wound up being Sean O'Sullivan's only Angels start of the season before being flipped to the Royals in the Callaspo trade, Maicer did what seemed to be is M.O. in games that he sparked a rally: homer and a single. RBI single off of Phil Hughes in the second to cut the deficit to 2-1, then a homer in the fourth that handed the Angels a 4-2 lead. His .279 WPA in this game set a new single-game high for him, and was far and away the highest WPA of any hitter in the Angels' lineup that night.
APRIL 9, 2011: ANGELS DEFEAT BLUE JAYS 6-5
This game was also mentioned amongst Dan Haren's greatest, as it was his only Angels relief appearance, in which he got the win. However, not to be forgotten is Maicer's gutty 3-for-7 effort, including the walkoff, 2-out line drive single that scored Peter Bourjos and ended the entire marathon. Maicer's .382 WPA set a new career high for him--one that still stands to this very day--and was also, if I'm not mistaken, the only walkoff hit Maicer collected in an Angels uniform. Fitting that it was Maicer's final major Angels moment--one to end a game against his future team.
Of honorable mention is Maicer's game on August 27, 2009. This was the game that was postponed due to the death of Nick Adenhart. Maicer's night at the plate was a forgettable 0-for-3, but it was in the eighth inning of this one that he made his best defensive play as an Angel--his famous dive up the middle which he flipped to an intuitive Aybar, who relayed it in time to Kendrys Morales at first base.
Painfully, I wish Maicer the best of luck in his new deal with Toronto--maybe Mathis will give his former teammate his old number back. This is one former Halo I know I'll be cheering for VERY loudly every time he steps to the plate whenever the Blue Jays visit town.