Angels Spring Pictures from Tempe, Day 1, 2012

Here are the pictures.

I have a few observations but what I really want to talk about most is Kendrys Morales. Kyuge. They kept Albert Pujols distant from the fans today, driving him around the masses in a golf cart, and the pictures I got of him were on a lower field were from right field. First he started fielding some grounders, talking with Alfredo, then taking BP with Kendrys. Kendrys and Albert were taking turns hitting, and while Albert was 100% solid and sending rockets all over, Kendrys was out hitting him. I kept thinking about Mantle and Maris and we we have the two best sluggers in the league (I was also laughing at myself for getting so excited about 5 years ago seeing about our future All Star 1B for the next 10 years, Casey Kotchman, hit ground rule doubles one spring).

Pujols was everything we've seen and heard about - no doubt about that. But the thing that should have all of us giddy is that Kendrys was more - hitting it harder and farther. I don't know if Albert knew much about him before, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was planning to massage that broken leg tonight. Albert has to be pleasantly surprised about pairing with Kendrys. The Halosphere's biggest hope should be Kendrys is ready to run, because his bat was sending rockets.

Other impressions were the starting pitching staff looked as cool and confident as I've ever seen them.

You can see DiPoto caught me by surprise by walking from the parking lot up behind me (from Starbucks), and wasn't sure where to go (new kid in town), cutting across a patch of desert. I didn't see Stoneman though like previous years. Maybe because Reagins wasn't loose.

CJ isn't a huge guy like Jered Weaver and Haren, but he fit right in. He signed more autographs than any player I've seen at Tempe. He was on the opposiite end of accessible than Albert. You can see C.J. Wilson hanging with Dan Haren. I'd guess Albert will be more accessible once the position players report next week and he gets into a routine but the organization was keeping him well away from the fans today. That was the only disappointment.

There were about 10x the number of fans there today than previous years. Usually the Ps/Cs report on Thursday, not the Monday of a 3-day weekend, so that had a lot to do with it. Usually the first days, players outnumber the fans here in Tempe. Not so today. The media horde wasn't as big as it was for Hideki Matsui. Not even close, but there was certainly a coningent there of national press.

Finally I didn't see Mark Trumbo or Chris Iannetta in the field. With Pujols there, I was watching him the whole time he was on the lower field before he was whisked away. Then, it was back to the normal spring Pitcher drills for me, and I had to leave before I got to see Sciosc working with the catchers and Iannetta, and I didn't see any of the catchers get BP.

I won't be back in camp till March 10th unfortunately. I'm working a M-F job now and also will be in Honduras with my church, leaving Thursday night and returning March 4th (ten days).

I am sure thankful I got the opportunity to see Albert today and that he showed early. And we all should be thrilled about Kendrys - I'm telling you he's looking like the ace in the hole. Yeah, kyuge. No doubt about it. Enjoy.

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