Wow. That was quick. It seems like only yesterday it was February.
We here on HaloLinks have been following the desire of the A's to move to San Jose for some time now. And the A's keep taking one baby step after another in that general direction. The hold up, of course, is the claim that the SF Giants lay upon that territory. Well, it just so happens that I had call to spend a couple of days up in San Jose this week. I cannot say how much of the SF Giants love I saw everywhere is due to two WS Champs in three years, but I certainly did see enough Giants love in restaurants, business establishments, gift shops, etc. to believe that the Giants have a very legitimate claim over that city. I experienced probably 9 random shout outs to the Giants for every single recognition of the A's.
On To Angels Baseball!
- Spring Training HOT or NOT: Matt Young is batting .750 (6/8). Howie Kendrick went 3 for 3 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI's against the Dodgers and is hitting .667. Hank Conger is 4/7, hitting .571 with 6 RBI and a home run. Peter Bourjos went 0-3 against the Dodgers with 3 strikeouts, dropping his average to .375.
- Stop Digging! Torii Hunter is still working to dig his way out of his Arte-has-no-money hole. So Jayson Stark throws him a fresh and shiny new shovel. Well, as was posted earlier on HH, he might not get so lucky in 2013 as he was in 2012.
- Grit: Some got it. Some don't. Mike Trout and Alberto Callaspo got GRIT. Mark Trumbo and Kendrys Morales don't.
- Angel Outs in the Outfield: Mike DiGiovanna gives us reason to pick your seats near the warning track this season. Basically, the idea is that the marine layer will be exploited by a fly-ball pitching staff taking advantage of a superior outfield defense. "Though not Weaver-like in ability, the Angels' three new starting pitchers — Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton — are Weaver-like in style, predominantly fly-ball pitchers who don't shy away from contact, and that could make them good fits in Anaheim too."
- C.J. Wilson knows where his bread is getting buttered.
eBay Auction of the Week
The fleet of Matchbox Annual LA Angels Delivery trucks rolls on. This week it's a 1993 Anaheim Angels Panel Truck. It kind of looks like it could have been a Helms truck.
This Date In Baseball History: 1903 - on this date in history the Rules Committee declared that the pitcher's mound may not be more than 15 inches high. This would last until 1969, when it was lowered to the 10 inches that is still used today..........1909 - Construction begins on Forbes Field, which will be home to the Pittsburgh Pirates until 1971. The Forbes it was named after was actually a pre-Revolutionary War British General..........1954 - Foreshadowing Jeff Mathis circa 2013, the immortal Ted Williams breaks his collarbone on the fist day of ST and is out 4 weeks..........1961 - recently tabbed "former" President Eisenhower spends the afternoon hanging out with the newly minted Los Angeles Angels during a Spring intra-squad game..........1967 - Sweeping off some of the archaic dust of the Ford Frick era, baseball institutes a change for TWO Cy Young winners, one from each league..........1993 - George Steinbrenner is re-instated from his MLB banishment............1995 - The Angels suit up replacement players in real-time big league uniforms and take on the ASU Sun Devils in an exhibition match, winning 13-5. Not since 1912 had any team used replacement players in an MLB game, and the only time they wore real unis.
Rounding Up The Major League News...
- "Journalism", Strike 1: Words cannot express how much I adore the skewering of journalistic pomposity in this back and forth between Deadspin and Indiana University's Department Of Future Assholes.
- "Journalism", Strike 2: Which brings me to this: Joe Posnarski peels away his veil of objectivity and gives us a glimpse of just how much of his attention has been spent memorizing all that is, and should be, Red Sox/Yankees.
- "Journalism", Strike 3: I laid out this trend a few times in past WeekEnd Links, and here we are again!! The Cleveland Indians have posted a job opening in their front office looking for a talented individual to help them make their franchise more successful. So what do they lay out as the necessary criteria for qualification? Being a Hall Of Fame voter? Being an American League Most Valuable Player voter? Having a mastery of the Triple Crown? Seeing more than 4,000 games with your own eyes? No, no, double no and hell no.
- Price Wars!: Speaking of the Indians, we all need to make sure we all go and see every game the Halos play at Progressive Field this season. Why? $4 BEERS!!! The Indians have announced that they have slashed prices on all their concessions. Some of their announced prices are pretty impressive. $3 hot dogs? Nice. And 15 $1 hot dog nights? Good for them! Indians President Mark Shapiro: "This is a way for us to let fans know we're listening to them and that we value them."
- Zoom: Lest anyone proclaim that "hitters are always ahead of pitchers in Spring", or that it takes pitchers a while to get themselves stretched out, take note of what Aroldis Chapman pulled off for the Cincinnati Reds yesterday. Two innings pitched, 23 pitches thrown, 19 of those as strikes, velocity ranging from 76 to 94mph, nobody got on base.
- Joba JuJuBe-or-not-to-Be: The History of Joba Chamberlain is threatening to turn into the biggest non-story over a non-story in baseball. "He can start." "No he can't." "Yes he can." "Not for us." Serves him right for wearing his cap in such a lame manner.
- The Rebel Alliance Strikes Back: The New York Yankees went to court to defend their exclusive right to be razzed as The Evil Empire. And the courts agreed!
- Do Not Pass Go: Did this get any of you? MLBTV auto-renewal kicked in, sucking $125 out of personal bank accounts everywhere. And not all of those were desired outcomes. A smarmy tear-jerker tale is posted here, and I link to it merely for a couple of truly outstanding comments. This did not get me, personally, but I sure as hell hate auto-renewal contracts...
Video Of The Week
(I had another video queued up, but then Hardball Talk brought this great catch to the forefront!)
(Trouble viewing the video? Direct link here.)
Did you people hear this one? The Milwaukee Brewers had one of their racing mascots stolen. Guido the Chef.........At first I suspected that maybe he had merely gotten all pissy and pouty upon hearing that the Washington Nationals' Teddy Roosevelt racing mascot had hit the Big Time..........Then I found out that, no, Guido merely got taken out for a huge, womanizing, bender!..........Baseball players continue to set the bar for stupid injuries, this time Elvis Andrus and his tattoo boo boo..........Josh Booty, meet Reality TV, Kardashian Style..........Dice-K appears to be Done-K. How'd that $51,111,111.11 work out for you, there, BoSux???
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer...
Friday: Maximiliano in Los Angeles is the place to be for a pairing dinner, featuring Hair Of The Dog brewing Company. But it's $100 per person with limited seating so you have to be committed!..........Pyramid Alehouse up in Sacramento is hosting Thunderhead IPA Day.
Saturday: The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is hosting a dinner of their own: another one of their Brewmaster Dinners, this time featuring Ballast Point Brewing Company...........Nearby, in San Marcos, Churchill's Pub & Grille is putting up their 10th Anniversary Renaissance Beer Festival. And, Hell's Bells the selection list is impressive!!..........Back up in Sacramento, Cal Expo is the site of the 4th Annual Capital Beerfest..........And Pyramid Alehouse is back at it with Crystal Wheat Day.
Sunday: Right here in Orange County, in Laguna Beach, the Wine Gallery Bar & Kitchen will be the site for a 5-course beer & food pairing, showcasing Cismontane Brewing Company. $65 per person is this one. What? You expected Laguna to pair beer with hot dogs???..........And, finally, yes, Pyarid Alehouse up in Sacramento is back at it. Hey, cut them some slack! It's Beer Week up there and they are doing a fine job of carrying the torch! Anyway, it will be Beer Judging 101: Tasting and Describing Beer. Something I wish would be put on here in OC....
Angels Stadium Neighborhood Brew Tour: So anyone of legal age can obtain beer from a billion different places. Hell, you can get golden-colored bubble fluid out of bottles even at IHOP. But what if you really like your beer, and have a couple of hours to enjoy before/after a game? Where does one go? I'm sure that you have your favorites, and why, and I encourage you to share.
This week, imagine that you are cruising south down the 5 freeway, heading to the stadium from LA County (and, perhaps, even beyond!) You cross over the Orange County line and leave the greasy/gritty/grimy narrow concrete strip lanes of LA in your rear view mirror and open wide into a vast expanse of smooth acceleration directly through completely anonymous neighborhoods. Nothing inviting on either side. Nothing that might lead you to believe you might find sanctuary, or perhaps a 6-pack of very fine ale to make your parking lot stay a little more appealing while you dodge the Anaheim constabulary. Wouldn't it be handy to have some ideas as to where to veer off the freeway and find an outlet for premium amber paradise? Here, let me help with a few ideas that would serve you well to enter into your GPS:
(Again, as pulled from The Drinking Issue of OCWEEKLY)
- G&D Liquor - 338 N. Euclid, Fullerton (mix and match your own 6-pack of craft beers for just $10)
- Vendome Wine & Spirits - 3115 Yorba Linda Blvd., Fullerton (a HUGE SoCal beer selection)
- Hopscotch Tavern - 136 E. Commonwealth, Fullerton
- Bootlegger's Brewery - 401 S. Richman Ave., Fullerton
- Out Of The Park Pizza - 5638 E. La Palma, Anaheim (trust me on this, it's not quite what it sounds like)
As always, feel free to contribute below!