On Tuesday, April 11, 1961 the newly formed Los Angeles Angels played their very first MLB baseball game and it came against the Baltimore Orioles. Behind a strong 9-inning, 6-hit, 2-run showing by Eli Grba the Halos won that game and were 1-0 and tied for first place in the American League. Their next game would occur 4 whole days later, on Saturday April 15th against the Boston Red Sox. They would lose this game 0-3 and drop to .500. Two days later still, on Monday April 17th, they would play the Red Sox again. The game ended as pinch-hitter Earl Averill grounded to substitute Red Sox third baseman Billy Harrell, and Harrell tossed over to Pete Runnels who had been moved from third base to first base earlier in the match. When the glove of Runnels closed on the baseball, recording the final out, the Los Angeles Angels lost 2-3 and dropped below .500 for the overall franchise record. They would never see an overall franchise record of .500 again.
Until this year. There have been 18,981 days since that last out. 51 years, 11 months, and 19 days so far. Overall, The LA Angels have now recorded 4,143 wins and 4,154 losses. They stand a mere 11 games below .500 as a franchise. Sometime in the coming weeks they will equalize that record, and finally join the ranks of overall winning baseball teams. And you will be there to memorialize the event. When that happens, raise a toast to all the fans before you who carried the organization through all those dead, dull years and never sniffed the fresh, clean air of winning.
The box score from that April 17th, 1961 game is here.
And you can follow along for yourself here, although it may be a few games behind at any time. Here is a sample:
On To Angels Baseball!
- ?????: Ok, this has nothing to do with content. I have no intention of reading the content. Not with this title:
That's kind of like "Running fast is essential to fast running."
And kind of like "Hot food is important to food being hot."
And kind of like "Incredible stupidity is vital to writing incredibly stupid things."
Why is it that I don't make the Big Bucks, too?
- Mike Trout: In the reactionary nature of so few games yet played, and of extremely small numbers, I do hereby declare that the predicted 2013 regression of Mike Trout came to a hasty end yesterday. Young Master Trout went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk and 2 runs scored. The magic is still there, and we may take comfort in the expectation that it still has yet to complete the growth process. We shall revisit this result regularly.
- Jered Weaver: Meanwhile, observing reactionary histrionics in the other direction, Weaver has become a weenie. The guy can't throw hard any more. So says the LA Times. After one game. The very first game. "There might be no pitcher in the major leagues more crucial to the fortunes of his team. There might be no radar gun readings more unsettling that the ones at Great American Ball Park on Monday, the ones that tracked Weaver's fastball most often in the range of 84-87 mph." The sky must be falling somewhere but, personally, I will leave the decision of Jered Weaver decides how it is best for him to pitch in the hands of, well, Jered Weaver.
- Josh Hamilton: Hamilton is well prepared mentally for the upcoming series with the Texas Rangers, which shall be in front of his once-adoring fan base of defenders and apologists. Apologists no more, they are expected to crush him mercilessly from behind their Lone Stars. Josh identifies that it's the "Rays [who] should feel shorted, because they didn’t get the best of me. The Rangers got the best of me." And, in an effort to assure us, his new fan base of defenders and apologists, he promises "I’m with another team, division rivals, now. This team is going to get the best of me, too." Meanwhile, other parts of the Dallas press are rousing the rabble.
- Mike Scioscia versus Dusty Baker: Some things never change. Not even after 10 intervening years. Despite some interesting decisions during games #2 & 3, Mike Scioscia still manages rings around Dusty Baker. In the 8th inning of game #1, Baker takes the bat out of the hands of Brandon-Frickin’-Phillips with a sac bunt, opening up first base so that Sosh can take the bat out of the hands of Joey-Frickin’-Votto and driving what once was a 2 on, no out threat…all into ruination. Then he leaves J.J. Hoover in for 45 pitches, 20% more than he has ever tossed in his young career, which is just long enough for Chris Iannetta to clock a wasted Hoover for the 2-run game winning single to left field. Meanwhile, in that same game, Mike Scioscia pulls off a frickin'-quadruple-switch in the 11th inning.
- Albert Pujols: I am not a doctor. But I, too, am a sufferer of Planter Faciitis. I have had the syndrome three times in the past decade. Hey, it comes with being an old dude (right, Albert?). And I can state from personal experience that if you do not want to have the foot hurting when you need to be using that foot, stay on your feet. If I were in Albert's shoes...well, if I were in Albert's shoes I would first have gone and bought me this...anyway, if I were in Albert's shoes then I would not sit down between the time I was suited up and the game had ended.
- Arte Moreno: Arte must be be spitting out his coffee these days. In order to bring the Houston Astros into the division, Arte had to sacrifice home and away games against other teams. That has at least some impact on things like gate receipts and advertising revenues. So there sits Arte (and the rest of the AL West), welcoming in the Astros and all their new fans and TV/Radio audiences that can be brought to our advertisers and...wait...WTF? "Astros owner Jim Crane said Monday there were a 'couple conference calls' in an attempt to resolve long-stalled CSN Houston carrier negotiations and avoid a three-team blackout in 60 percent of the Houston-area TV market." Blackout of 60% of all households in the Houston area market? Sixty-Percent?? IN THEIR OWN HOME TOWN???
- The Skies Shall Be Clear: As is happening all across the country in other cities, there shall be no traditional military flyover above Angels Stadium on Opening Game this year due to the budget cuts of sequestration. The silver lining among those to-be-lonely clouds above must, I suppose, be some significant reduction in greenhouse gases.
You know how much you hated that Disney-designed uniform and logo of the 90's? I'll bet you didn't know that it was physically possible to make it even uglier!
Friday, April 5 @ 11:05 AM, Rangers Park in Arlington
Jason Vargas (L) 0-0 -.-- ERA versus Derek Holland (L) 0-0 -.-- ERA
Vargas always pitched well against the Angels. I know how this story plays out. Meanwhile, Holland has had his ups and down against the Halos, but mostly better ups than downs. So instead of focusing on the two glasses, both half empty, I will just redirect to the odds which tell me that at least 10% of you are reading here for the very first time that the game has already started and the rest of us are over in the game thread in the 4th inning.
Saturday, April 6 @ 1:05 PM, Rangers park in Arlington
Here we go, boys and girls, Tommy Hanson Take 1. And he goes up against a guy who just gave his own team his best impression of what most around here fear to be Tommy Hanson Take 1.
Sunday, April 7 @ 5:05 PM, Rangers Park in Arlington
Jered Weaver (R) 0-0 1.50 ERA versus Yu Darvish (R) 1-0 0.00 ERA
Dear Yu, this ain't the Astros lineup! Dear Halos, just hit the ball back up the middle. All night long.
This Date In Baseball History (Opening Day Edition!!): Before we dive into tall the interesting Opening Day events that occurred on an April 5th...1925 - Babe Ruth collapses from "the bellyache heard round the world", is hospitalized, will endure surgery, and will be out until May. And the accusation is that it is due to hot dogs and soda, but the truth may have been worse..........1971 - The
Texas Rangers Washington Senators play their final Opening Day in Washington DC, besting the mighty Oakland A's...........1972 - For the first time, Opening Day is cancelled. Players Strike. Note that this was the strike that resulted in Salary Arbitration...........1983 - Tom Seaver makes his first appearance as a New York Met since he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 1977..........1988 - The Houston Astros win their 2,000 franchise game..........1993 - Bill Clinton, tossing left-handed, becomes the first President to successfully reach home plate from the mound on a first pitch of the season.......... 1993 - The Colorado Rockies lose their initial game to Dwight Gooden and the New York Mets..........1993 - Reigning Cy Young Award Winner Greg Maddux faces his ex-teammates and combines with Mike Stanton for a 1-0 Atlanta Braves victory over the Chicago Cubs, his first victory on his way to defending his CYA..........1993 - Eric Fox of the Oakland A's enters the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 8th and pop a grand slam, which will be his only home run of the entire season..........2009 - Jordan Schafer becomes the 10th Atlanta Brave to homer in his first at bat...........2010 - Left-handed Barack Obama tossed out the annual first pitch of Opening season and his pitch sails...left..........2010 - Jason Heyward becomes the 11th Atlanta Brave to homer in his first at bat..........2011 - The Seattle Mariner's Class A affiliate out of Adelanto defeat the Victor Valley Community College Rams 12-0 as 9 different pitchers throw one inning each and combine for a no-hitter..........2012 - The Toronto Blue Jays top the Cleveland Indians 7-4 in a 16 inning dual, marking the longest ever MLB Opening Day contest. Something the 2013 LA Angels thought a little bit about chellangin earlier this week!
Rounding Up The Major League News...
- MLB TV Money: WiHaloFan hit on this same subject on Wednesday, so it must be hot in the industry these days. Here is an analyst who is forecasting that the money projected to be coming into baseball through TV revenues is a phantom, and that the bubble is going to burst. "Today, the average TV bill rests at $86 per month, about half of which pays for sports programming. That's more than double a decade ago. So it's no coincidence that the cable and satellite industries have been jettisoning customers for nine years straight. The new round of deals promises to hasten these unpleasant trends. "I can't tell you what will be the trigger," says Matthew Polka, president of the American Cable Association. "But I am certain that at some point in the very near future, that balloon will burst." And when it does, baseball will take the brunt of the explosion."
- Food Porn: Here is my annual coronary alert. The Best New Ballpark Foods in MLB this season. My vote goes to the Kansas City Royals, who appear to be adding a pulled pork nacho hot dog, with bacon. Why not deep fried? And why no ketchup?
- Inverted Logic: I am not normally a guy to pick on Grant Brisbee (despite his being an avid lover of the SF Giants), but how is it that ANYBODY’S logic can proclaim that the Yankees getting pummeled by the Red Sox in their initial game is actually such an indicator of how the Yankees really are fine, so much so that it represents the second-most meaningful indicator out of Opening Day? And here I was expecting to see a takeaway on the Angels' bullpen success. Silly me.
- What To Do With Your Internet Time This Weekend: First, take several minutes to read this article from The Atlantic. It drills in on this incredible listen back through the time portal of AM radio broadcasts when, for some odd reason, WJSV out of Washington, DC decided to record one entire day of their radio programming. The focus of the article itself is the segment between the Washington Senators and Cleveland Indians, which was part of that day's programming. The article gives a fascinating review of the times, in terms of both radio broadcasting styles and baseball management philosophy. Then, with that background, click in to the open source recording itself. There is a lot of fun there, but you can jump ahead to the game, which starts at the 16:00 mark and runs until 17:17.
- Week One Oddity: Two things I have noticed so far, both of which force me to take pause. First, and this is just too difficult to list out, are all the serious injuries. There is an overall list here, but you cannot sift out just those that happened in the past 4 days.IMHO, there have been more than enough. The other thing, also pointed out by Danny Knobler over at CBS Sports, are all the Blown Saves. I realize that this cannot last, but why the spike at all?
Video Of The Week
(Thou Shalt Not Emote Before Mine Eyes, Little Man!)
Recall last week the video I posted of the hot-dogging home run Little Leaguer? On the other end of that spectrum, there are Control Freak Asshat Little League umpires. We really need to get Lil' Pappi and this ump together on the same field of play:
(Trouble viewing the video? Direct link here.)
The gods know last when the sun hath set upon the shadows they once cast. Vlad is still hanging in there.........Scott Kazmir, fresh off of making the Cleveland Indians rotation, is an even fresher member of their DL..........Has Nolan Ryan taken his balls and gone home?..........How harmless does a team have to be for an opponent to gift them one of their own pitchers, just before they come to town to play against them? The Oakland A's sent a pitcher to the Houston Astros yesterday, and they open a series against Houston today...........The Yankees played their first Old Timers game yesterday, and against the Red Sox main squad, sending out Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera to suck into their first win of 2013..........Personally, I confess that I chuckled at the joke made by the Rays mascot. But then, my sense of humor fears not the burden of bad taste...........The New York Mets refuse to lay down for the Yankees, and prove they can have dinosaurs on their field, too.
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: Sacramento owns Friday, if any of you are up there today. Hot City Pizza is hosting their 6th Anniversary Party and Turner Hall is the place for the Sacramento Turn Verein 45th Annual Brokbierfest.
Sunday: San Diego kicks in with the 4th Annual Stone Oakquinoxx at Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, and a Karl Strauss Tap Takeover & Keep The Pint Night at Ciro's Pizzeria & Beerhouse in San Diego.
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.
- Week One we did a tour of the best establishments within one or two miles of the stadium itself.
- Week Two we checked out the finer stops for those of you traveling to/from a game via the 5 freeway.
- Week Three was for fans venturing in down the 57 freeway.
- Week Four was for visitors from the Lake Forest/Ladera Ranch/RSM regions.
- Week Five was for beach goers along the central and north OC coast.
- Week Six we dedicated our links to the finest (and best established) of North Central OC.
This 7th week (THE FINAL WEEK OF OUR TOUR!) we pay homage to South OC, land where the residents shall remain invisible by CCR decree, but silver-toned vehicles find a way to overload the thoroughfares anyway. So, in conclusion, here are your GPS opportunities for the South County thirsty:
(Again, as pulled from The Drinking Issue of OCWEEKLY)
- Pacific Park Market - 27792 Aliso Creek Rd, Suite B100, Aliso Viejo (The local liquor store goes wild for craft brews!)
- O'Shea Brewing - 28142 Camino Capistrano, Suite 107, Laguna Niguel (supplies and own craft beers)
- Riders Club - 1701 N El Camino Real, San Clemente (Burger and beer joint for the surfer set)
- St. Roy Chef's Pub at Vine - 211 N El Camino Real, San Clemente (a gastropub that doesn't want to be called one)
- Left Coast - 1245 Puerta del Sol, San Clemente (Brewery with tasting room: Hop Juice Double IPA!)
- Pizza Port - 301 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente (The northern outpost of the SD chain. Huge selection.)
As always, feel free to contribute below!