Well, whaddaya know? No losses for 36 hours now. Suh-weeet! Considering the festering pool of toxic stench that has been the past week since we last met, that's something, right? With no game last night, let's take stock of our current situation and look out into the future. How's it all looking? I'm just bored enough to dig into it and bring forth tears of despair.
Texas and Oakland are currently winning at the clip of 61% and 60%, respectively. The Halos are winning at a 43% rate. If things keep going the way they have been so far this season, the Rangers will finish with 99 wins, the A's with 97, and the Angels with...70. That's right. 29 games out of first place. And, at those rates, the Rangers will get their 71st win on Sunday, August 11th. Unofficially, the Angels might have first place in the AL West out of reach. Meanwhile, Oakland will have won their 71st game on Wednesday, August 14th. And the Angels will have second place, and the playoffs, beyond reach.
That's not mathematically eliminated. But that just might be (unless things turn around) for-all-practical-purposes-eliminated. We'll look back into this dismal pit of decomposing degrindolade a few weeks hence, perhaps merely with the hope that this squad will have pushed out the date of inconsequence to, maybe, September. After which, of course, Hamilton and Pujols will be free to pursue "their numbers".
On To Angels Baseball!
- Hunter Green: How unfortunate is it that our minor league system was so destitute all we had to do was sign some high school kid in order to make our prospect list twice as strong as it was just the day before. Hunter might be a great kid. I do hope he realizes his potential, and does so on behalf of the Angels. I can only hope that the reason he dropped out of the first round was because all the other teams incorrectly thought they knew he was committing to attend Kentucky U instead. They can't have really known something we didn't, could they?? It's all I got for now, because I need to move quickly on from the signing of a player who bears the name of the color of the Oakland franchise, and fills our team website with highlights while wearing the uniform of the Oakland franchise.
- The System: In that same article linked above, pay particular attention to the following factoid: "The Angels have been left without a first- or second-round Draft choice -- and sometimes both -- in six of the last eight years." Yeah. This problem has been going on for a long time.
- Mike Trout: Something to think about. During Spring Training 2013 Mike Trout had 60 at-bats in the leadoff spot, 40 more times than runner-up Peter Bourjos with 20. Across those at-bats, his slash line was .350/.466/.617/1.082 with 13 BB’s, 2 HR’s and 2 3B’s. Not too far off his 2012 season numbers of .326/.399/.564/.963. During the 2013 regular season to date, Erick Aybar has had 130 AB’s leading off, 81 more than Trout’s 36. And Aybar’s slash line has been .254/.269/.354/.623 with 3 BB’s, 1 HR and 0 3B’s. It takes a special kind of genius to take that much responsibility and opportunity out of the hands of awesome, and place it into the hands of suck.
- C.J. Wilson: The Fantasy Fanatics are taking pause about Wilson, wondering what ever happened to his potential. The basic idea is that he is curiously out of sorts. "Wilson has been above the group average in almost every category listed above. The troubling part of it all is that Wilson is struggling in some areas that have been his strengths such as HR/FP, BABIP and LOB%.". He is up, he is down. His velocity is up, but his control is down. And we end up with "for the first time as a starter, Wilson is underperforming his metrics...the wins we thought would come from pitching for the Angels are too unpredictable to rely on so take Wilson for what he is. But don’t forget about him." That, my friends, is what one might call a backhanded compliment.
- Jerome Williams: Rob Neyer speaks for all of us when he takes a look at the decision-making process of our fearless skipper, and comes away perplexed. Williams and his 2.68 ERA to the pen but Joe Blanton and his 5.53 ERA installed for turn after turn after turn? Welcome to the party, Rob! "The good news for Williams is that he'll undoubtedly get another chance to start. The Angels just have to hope he's ready." This Angels fan just has to hope Williams' next start is not in the uniform of some other team.
- Boston: From the LAA Official Game Notes pages..."Halos have won last eight games vs. Boston (6-0 in 2012)…Angels’ longest win streak vs. Red Sox is nine straight (2008-2009)…2012 marked first time in club history the Halos swept a season series vs. Sox…Prior to the current eight-game win streak, Halos were 2-17 in previous 19 games vs. Sox…Angels swept the three-game series at Fenway Park last season, just third sweep in last 20+ seasons at Fenway (2008, 2001)…Halos have won the last six meetings at Fenway Park, tying the longest win streak in club history at the venue (2008, 1974).…The clubs have faced off five times in playoffs, with Boston winning four series…Halos swept Boston in 2009 Division Series." So, before it all ends, bask in whatever is left of the glow from that success!
How about a signed copy of one-time Angel center fielder Mickey Rivers' 2003 autobiography? Not crazy enough for you? Well, since you just never know when you might need to be wandering the concourse of Angel Stadium wearing a cardboard Jim Abbott mask, here's one. Like, maybe it gets you into The Diamond Club?
***** UPDATED SCHEDULE DUE TO FRIDAY RAINOUT! *****
Saturday, June 7 @ 10:05 AM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs. Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park
(RHP) 2-2 4.19 ERA versus (LHP) 4-2 4.88 ERA
Saturday, June 8 @ 4:15 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs. Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park
(LHP) 4-4 3.93 ERA versus (RHP) 8-0 1.62 ERA
Sunday, June 9 @ 10:35 AM, (FS-W / TBS / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs. Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park
(RHP) 1-9 5.53 ERA versus (RHP) 3-6 4.39 ERA
The iconoclast within me is screaming at my inner ears that, against all reasonable belief, it will be the Saturday game that we win.
This Date In Baseball History: 1921 - Here is an unfortunate one. A scheduled game in Kingsport, Tennessee is canceled after the body of a slain 11-year-old girl is discovered under the bleachers prior to the contest. The police kept the entire facility vacant for an extended period of time so as to not confuse the bloodhounds. This is the only baseball ever known to be canceled due to murder. For the curious, I did track down a couple of articles wherein it was documented that a young man was arrested and charged. (Here is one, from a Texas newspaper.) No news as to guilt/innocence or trial. Gate receipts from a subsequent game were donated to the family to cover funeral expenses..........1936 - The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians go 16 innings before the Yanks win 5-4, but Yankees pitcher Red Ruffing goes the entire contest without recording a strikeout. (It's commonly stated that no strikeouts were recorded in this game at all, but that is not true. The box score clearly shows that Oral Hildebrand of the Indians went 15.2 innings and struck out 5 Yankees.).........1938 - Cleveland pitcher Johnny Allen is ordered by the umpire to cut off a dangling end of the sleeve on his throwing arm, as it is a distraction to batters. Allen storms off the field and refuses to return. The shirt, with the dangling sleeve, is now in the Hall of Fame..........1970 - Just like last Friday (!), Vic Davalillo comes to the plate as a pinch hitter and gets a hit, then the St. Louis Cardinals bat around and Davalillo gets ANOTHER hit, this time NOT as a pinch hitter since he has already had a PA in the game as the Cards defeat the Padres 10-7..........1989 - For the first time ever, the same game is played partly outdoors and partly indoors as the weather takes a turn for the worse and the Toronto SkyDome roof closes during the 5th inning as the Blue Jays defeat the Brewers 4-2..........2007 - With two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, Shannon Stewart singles up the middle to break up Curt Shilling's no hitter as the A's lose 1-0 to the bloody Red Sox..........BONUS: It has been exactly 4,000 days since John Lackey made his MLB debut, and exactly 9,000 days since Kirk Gibson's World Series miracle gimp-off game.
Rounding Up The Major League News...
- Bud Selig, God Of Power: I know we have some lawyer types around here. At the least, some lawyer types in training. Can one of you explain to me how it is that Major League Baseball is granted the power to subpoena whomever it wants, whenever it wants without having enjoined any parties in any litigation? If I understand the Bosch relationship correctly, MLB has chosen to work with him in exchange for information, instead of suing him outright. But all they have to do is leave the litigation hanging out there and they get to run around the country sucking private documents out of the bowels of anybody they choose? What if they choose my bank? My bank account? WTF? What if you and I decide to file a suit against each other, just so that we can issue subpoenas against Uncle Bud to open his books?
- MFY Fan Douchbaggery: This is just too awesome. Just when you suspect that Douchebag Yankee fans have subsided into the maelstrom for a spell, along comes this pitch for TRUE YANKEE FANS to participate in an AT&T commercial. And I love Love LOVE the Deadspin GIF used in the article. I know exactly when that was. Game 4 of the ALCS between the MFY and the Rangers. At this point the Yankees were behind in the best of seven series, 2 games to 1. They were home in front of their own TRUE YANKEE FANS and needed a win to keep from going underwater 3 games to 1. It’s the bottom of the second inning and Robinson Cano had just homered to push the Yankers out in front 1-0. This, of course, means only one thing to a TRUE YANKEE FAN: Destiny! The Destiny of Their Birthright is kicking in. Masters of the Baseball Universe. All shall behave as dickwads because there is nothing anybody in the world is going to be able to do about it. So many MFY douche-fan stereotypes all wrapped into one moment of brilliant ass-hattedness. Of course, every single one of these asshats will have snuck back to their rat holes within the next two hours of history as the Rangers will crush the MFY 10-3 in this particular game, on their way to an eventual 4-2 series win. Knowing that, I could stare at these knuckleheads for hours on end.
- Vernon Wells: Vernon Wells has come face to face with Vernon Wells, and it's not pretty. I think we need to connect the dots here, and come to grips with the inevitability of this outcome since Wells is not batting in the #2 slot, just ahead of Albert Pujols.
- Strikeouts: There is a lot of chatter over the observation that strikeouts are climbing rapidly. I have linked to some before. In this case, it's a rising count of 12 strikeout games. But here's something I just thought of. As strikeouts become more acceptable, they become more common, and a lot of the old strikeout records are going to fall…rendering those AND the new records rather meaningless. We cannot asterisk this era or a previous era when the difference is behavioral instead of something material (such as PEDs, or number of games per season). What happens to a single season strikeout record from the past if that value becomes the mean of the future simply because batters choose to play the same game differently than before?
Video Of The Week
(Scaring the crap out of Big league Baseball players: Mother-Effin-Nature!)
(Trouble viewing the video? Direct link here.)
Dusty Baker is still at it, after all these years..........This week's incredibly bad blown call by an umpire at the worst possible moment in the game..........No. It's not alright to be an absolute prick just because you are at a baseball game..........Just in time for a weekend series with the Boston Red Sox, we witness the rebirth of the jackass "Idiots" meme.........As promised, here in draft season we will have articles screaming to eliminate the draft..........Remember that the reason there is a draft at all, is our fault..........Still in Draft Season, Uncle Bud forgets what year we are in, over and over again..........Finally in Draft Season, The Halos franchise can't even finish in the Top Ten for crazy named players drafted.
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: Leading off is the best event on the list! The Public House at AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of the Giants, will be a FanGraphs meetup, and the subject of discussion will be baseball & BEER and the upcoming BeerGraphs website..........Total Wine in Huntington Beach is the Friday & Saturday stop for their Meet The Makers tour, featuring John Legnard the Brew Master from Blue Moon Brewing Company, Jake Leinenkugel the President of the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company and Bruce Nissen the Head Cider Maker from the Crispin Cider Company.........Rip Current Brewing in San Marcos is tossing up their Brewing Awareness Celebration, Friday & Saturday..........Firestone Walker continues the Invitational Beer Festival in Paso Robles..............And Beachwood BBQ's Long Beach outlet will host the Still Life Smoked Double Oat Stout Release party & Art Show.
Saturday: Meet The Makers in Huntington Beach again (see above)..........Also, two more sessions of Rip Current's Brewing Awareness Celebration (see above)..........The Seal Beach outlet for Beachwood BBQ is the site for a charity fundraiser, Ales For ALS, featuring Beachwood Hopular Mechanics IPA release..........If you are near Rocklin, or even know where that is (I had to look it up. Think "Sacramento"), then you can also locate Johnson-Springview Park and partake of the Rocklin Brewfest..........Stone Brewing Company heads north to Stout Burgers & Beer in Studio City and parks 24 brews on tap for a Stone Brew & Brewers Batch beer fest..........And if like your beers sour, Final Gravity in Roseville is doing an all-day sour event, The Mother Pucker.
Sunday: To cap of the weekend, head back to Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach for a formal Beer Dinner focused on Almanac Brewing Company offerings. It's pretty tight, with a single seating at 5pm sharp. Reservations only. limited to the first 40 who happen to know about Almanac (out of San Francisco).