Sleepers In Seattle. Last night Arte Moreno paid out $847,353 in roster payroll. That works out to $121,050 per base hit. The same number per base reached. With a rookie pitcher facing this team, getting his career chance to be made to look like Walter Johnson, we should have just surrendered to the inevitable (personally, I still suspect scouting problems for this recurring theme). But somebody needs to show some pride. It's almost May. Nothing else needs to said. The only thing to do now is act. The Safeco stadium crew made their best effort to stave off the disaster. They acted. It didn't work, and they played the game anyway.
On To Angels Baseball!
- Lineup Matters: Jeff Sullivan takes a closer look at the relationship between Pujols and Hamilton, in that order in the lineup, and considers whether or not we have something brewing in the way that both players are being approached at this particular point into the season. "We can at least say this much: the presence of Josh Hamilton hasn’t forced opposing pitchers to come right after Albert Pujols. As for the opposite? Well, there’s some evidence, and I think that’s incredible."
All-Star Balloting: This is why sales people deserve some respect. At the very same time that some of the product on the field is under-performing at alarming rates, and other parts of the product are performing at precisely the under-whelming rates predicted, and the stadium parking lot is half empty for weeknight home games, somebody has to be the person assigned the duty to march onto the lion's den of fanatical supporters and try and sell enough people on the idea of voting their players into baseball's Summer Classic. Yes, even Josh Hamilton. At this point, it's no longer the work for some brain-dead huckster peddling marginal value to an unsuspecting public. Nope, this is a person who knows the exact slope and elevation of the mountain to be climbed, and exactly how many ogres are up there casting boulders back down. And yet, they still tackle the challenge. God Bless 'em!
- Mark Trumbo: Our candle in the wind. Including last night, Trumbo has reached base safely in all 21 games he has appeared in to date. And he has at least 1 hit in 18 of the those 21 games. The LA Angels record for reaching base safely to start the season is 27, set by Darin Erstad in 2000.
Mike Trout / Peter Bourjos: It has been noticed. Either somebody has put the brakes on these two, or they have become the subject of the most fierce defensive collusion throughout baseball, or they have lost their edge. Trout was caught stealing last night and Bourjos has yet to even try. According to Mike Scioscia, it's not his idea to stop being aggressive, but how are we to read this comment by Bourjos? "All the pitchers have been really quick to the plate, and you don't want to run into an out with Trout, Pujols, Hamilton and Trumbo hitting behind you," Bourjos said. "You want to be smart about it. You don't want to force the issue." Dude. Go ahead and force the issue. It can't get any worse.
- Tommy Hanson: Calm down everybody. I know you are going to be excited, but it's still Friday. The news that Hanson and his 1.529 WHIP might return to start Monday is, unfortunately, the most stabilizing prospect we have with this staff at the moment.Insert sad trombone here.
You people are probably not going to believe this, but remember this Fanpost, wondering if the team would ever wear "Los Angeles" on their jerseys again? Well, now YOU can! I am not making this stuff up. Here is a vintage flannel jersey. It's a replica, but it's a replica made back in the 60's.
Friday, April 19 @ 7:10 PM, (FSW / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs. Seattle Mariners - Safeco Field, Seattle
C.J. Wilson (LHP) 1-0 4.13 ERA versus (RHP) 0-2 10.24 ERA
This should belong to us. Of the three remaining this weekend, this is the most "gettable" win.
Saturday, April 20 @ 6:10 PM, (FSW / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs. Seattle Mariners - Safeco Field, Seattle
And you thought Wednesday night's game lined up to be Train Wreck Baseball? Patience. This is one of those mysterious things in the universe where King Felix somehow manages to still flail against our offensive flailers.
Sunday, April 21 @ 1:10 PM, (FSW / MLB.TV) LA Angles vs. Seattle Mariners, Safeco Field, Seattle
Jason Vargas (LHP) 3-0 2.70 ERA versus Hisashi Iwakuma (RHP) 2-1 1.99 ERA
I smell toast. Burning toast. Iwakuma is 4-0 against the Halos (all as recent as last season) and has that 1.99 ERA so far this year. Meanwhile, Vargas goes home for the first time.
This Date In baseball History: 1901 - the A's, now playing in Oakland but then playing in Philadelphia, participate in their very first Major League game, losing to the Washington Senators 5-1. Those Washington Senators are today's Minnesota Twins, and not to be confused with the Washington Senators who became today's Texas Rangers.........1904 - At the age of 17, Ty Cobb makes his pro baseball debut with the Augusta Tourists, who will cut him two days later.........1941 - Enhancing the Musical Experience Of Baseball, Wrigley Field in Chicago becomes the first ballpark to include an organ and organist to entertain the fans..........1959 - Sadaharu Oh hits the first home run of his career..........1961 - Roger Maris hits the first home run of his record breaking campaign..........1962 - Catcher Harry Chiti is traded from the Mets to the Indians for a Player To Be Named Later. Two months later that POTBL to be sent back to the Indians will be named. And that name is Harry Chiti. Harry Chiti, therefore, was once traded for himself.........1982 - The Yankees choose this day to fire their manager Bob Lemon and replace him with Gene Michael, who was fired as manager just the previous season, and who will be fired again in just a couple of months. This was the hay day of the Steinbrenner skipper merry-go-round.........1989 - The Kevin Mitchell Catch..........1995 - Coors Field makes it's debut. Don't you feel old right about now? By the way, the 1995 season started so late due to the 1994-1995 strike..........2002 - The Rockies choose this day to fire their manager Buddy Bell and replace him with Clint Hurdle. Tehre must be something about Skipper Instability this time of year.........2011 - Alexi Amarista smacks a 2-run double with his first Major league at-bat, helping the Angels defeat the A's 8-3.
Rounding Up The Major League News...
- Turf Battle: Bud Selig versus IOC President Jacques Rogge? Can we wish for both to lose? Rogge has come at MLB with the demand that baseball shut down for the month of August every 4 years to allow players to compete in the Olympics. "Some have suggested major leaguers could play in the Olympics during an extended All-Star break." (Any many here know to count me among the some.) Selig is having none of it. He "...was clear that MLB's schedule will not be interrupted, and that weather made an earlier start or later ending impossible. ''Do I wish I could? Yes,' he said. 'But is it practical? No.' " In my humble experience, when you have two sides that are headed up by the uncreative and intractable, expect zero results.
- Great Moments In Baseball Promos: The Twins are going to show the FOX Home Entertainment Special Re-release of "The Sandlot" to all attendees after their May 19th home game. Why can’t the Halos do something like this? Think of all the food and beverage that you can sell! And the fun they are going to have with it: "FOX Sports North, in connection with FOX Home Entertainment, will also coordinate baseball field renovations across Twins Territory so loyal fans and baseball lovers everywhere will get the chance to enjoy their own Sandlot field."
- MLB, Joyless Sourpusses: We all know, by now, how Jean Segura was our Sandlot Hero this week by stealing second base, then steal first base, only to end up getting caught attempting to steal second again all in the same inning! That would be, of course, Jean Segura: Product of the LA Angels Farm System. Well, anyway, MLB has stepped in and reached deep into the vast labyrinth of rules that shackle together our cherished spot, and find some words in their mystic book to beat us all back into submission. No Fun For You!!
- Scott Boras is a Prince (not a King): Believe it or not, Boras is not the dude who scores the most clients. That would be, instead, the ACES Agency. Boras Corporation comes in third - third! - in total number of clients represented. So it's not as bad as it seems, what with Boras showing up all over the place every year. But do not rest easy, this same article clearly reveals that Boras has pulled in the most 2013 dollars for his clients than anybody else (just eking that one out), and Boras creams the competition in negotiating compensation over value, and Boras definitely nabs the cream of the players into his stable.
- Holding The Lead: In case you forgot that it was possible, know that a major secret to the success of the Baltimore Orioles recently is a solid back end of their bullpen. The Orioles, with last night's win, have now won 101 straight games when they have the lead after 7 innings. And it doesn't seem to matter what Buck Showalter does about it.
Video Of The Week
(This happens a lot. My little brother did this sitting right next to me back in the 60's. But it's still too damned cute.)
(Trouble viewing the video? Direct link here.)
What, Sandy Koufax is of no help? Is Tommy Lasorda unavailable? Chad Billingsley needs Tommy John..........Somebody swiped the plaque out of ATT Park used to commemorate Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron's home run record. Has anybody checked with Hank?..........The new baseball stadium for the Montreal Expos, that could have been. Had this beauty been built, we might not have seen Vlad in an Angels uniform..........With 42 now out everywhere, what would be the best idea for the next great baseball movie? Lot's of folks have suggestions. Bob Costas' suggestion is horrible...........Own your own piece of indentured servitude, Mickey mantle's 1960 ML contract is being auctioned off for charity.
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: Brea is the spot to head over to The Melting Pot, and enjoy the Beer & Fondue event, featuring craft beers by Rouge.
Saturday: Head on out to Thousand Oaks and stop on in at Draughts Restaurant & bar for a Sam Adams Tap Takeover. Begins at 11 am...........In the OC? Life could be pretty good if you find yourself spending a Saturday in Corona Del Mar, hanging at SideDoor, indulging in the Valiant Brewing Company Kickoff Party.
Sunday: Back to School! Enjoy an educational event in Escondido and drop in at Stone Brewing Company for a chance to learn all about the art & science of wood barrel aging of beer.
Beer Bonus: So you don't have to wait until every Friday to keep up on OC Beer News.