As I sit here and type this, the Pacific Ocean breaks on the shore of Carpinteria State beach, a mere 50 yards to my stern, and the sun transits toward it's setting by warmly plowing through the cooling powers of an eternal onshore breeze. No matter where you sit and read this - and that includes you eyespy! - the weather is better here. The folk have been friendly, the beer and wine tasty, and the sweet salty air has imbued within me with an especially strong sense of laziness. True, the Mexican food here is an abomination, but the tequila is bottled from palaces far to the south and no amount of canned salsa can defeat a fine reposado.
As the saying goes, "I've been on a tequila diet and so far I have lost two days!" So it speaks volumes that, in spite of all, you folks find a way to inspire me to take time out from pleasure and pursue, well, even more pleasure. Lucky for all, it was a rather brief week of baseball to date and it's easy to check in now and polish off what I, in fact, already shelled out last week!
And, yes, for all those in the know, the HaloMobile made the trip, towing our red and white color-matched teardrop trailer. Quite a parade we make!!
Raadad has Chapters 5 & 6 now up of his online Tribute Novel, The Great Gatsby 2: Revenge of Gatsby
He reports that there are some interesting pictures and commentary on the fan page, as well.
On To Angels Baseball!
- Trout Porn: Mike Trout is breaking into the mainstream, beyond the massive confines of baseball. In what constitutes a "sports" section over at Huffington Post, Jim Worth looks into the Trout Phenomenon and recognizes that he is doing it again, and still has a huge upside. It's not so much deep analysis and it is an appreciation of something pretty cool happening in our world..........That is fairly timely, too, now that Trout has anchored an outfield spot in next week's All Star Game and will have a chance to showcase his talents, lately smoking hot. From June 1st through July 10th, Mike has been hitting .362 with a .441 OBP and .580 SLG (1.021 OPS)...adding 5 home runs, 9 stolen bases and 21 runs scored...........And, not to be overlooked, Mike Trout's jersey is now #9 most popular seller.
- Josh Hamilton: I must say, this Hamilton guy might come in pretty handy. Giving hambone the same what-have-you-done-for-me-lately treatment as with Trout above, from June 25th through July 10th Josh comes in with a .346 BA, .426 OBP, .654 SLG (1.080 OPS) and 4 home runs. Some pretty sterling defensive gems in there on occasion as well. His bWAR has actually crept up into positive numbers (not quite integers, though, being a mere 0.4).
- Halo Envy: It has come to the attention of observers over at EastSPiN that players on other teams are beginning to take to wearing the patches off of LA Angels uniforms. Say what you will about the realized athletic performance of our team, it cannot be denied that we are becoming thought leaders!
- Bush League by Bush Leaguers: somewhat dated at this point, but you might have missed (certainly possible during the actual game thread!) that Astros manager Bo porter went out of his way to dial up Mike Scioscia and personally apologize for a player in his dugout popping off on a foul ball that Conger was about to catch for an out. A non-participating Astro called out "I Got it!" and caused Conger to surrender. Fortunately, the official scorer took down the error once this news got out. Personally, I wish to know who the future Pierzynski-asshat is so that I can think far less of him for the balance of his career.
- Boston Recap: Also perhaps a bit dated by now, but let me take one last shot at Boston for the time being, what? After lat Sunday's duel between Weaver and Lackey, the Boston Media spin was "John Lackey did his part. But the Red Sox bats didn’t follow his lead." Hey jerkwads, how about "John Lackey did very good, but Jered Weaver did even way fucking better!"
Buy Stuff - Crazy-ass Baseball Find On the Internet:
Angels minor leaguer Brandon Warriax signed baseball. No. really. We truly did have a player in our farm system at one time named Brandon Warriax. Why don't we all know this?
Friday, July 12 @ 7:10 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs.- Safeco Field, Seattle
(RHP) 5-4 4.16 ERA versus (LHP) 7-8 4.51 ERA
Saturday, July 13 @ 7:10 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs.- Safeco Field, Seattle
(RHP) 3-4 3.38 ERA versus (RHP) 9-4 2.69 ERA
Sunday, July 14 @ 1:10 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs.- Safeco Field, Seattle
(RHP) 2-11 5.40 ERA versus (RHP) 7-4 2.97 ERA
This Day In Baseball History: 1890 - This is a great one. Some person, a rookie, has a pro career that lasts all of 3 innings as he surrenders, in that short time, 13 hits, 7 walks, and 20 earned runs. his career is so brief that they didn't even have enough time to learn his first name. He is immortalized merely as "Lewis"..........1901 - Cy Young, for which the award is named, already reaches his 300th career victory. See me next Friday when we celebrate his 500th. He will finish with 511..........1910 - Tinker to Evers to Chance..........1945 - Tommy Holmes of the then Boston Brave finally goes hitless, leaving his National League consecutive game hit streak at 37, a mark that will last until 1978...when Pete Rose breaks it..........1949 - The Outfield Warning track, for all ballparks, is decided upon by MLB owners...........also in 1949, the first All Star Game to include black baseball players is held............1955 - In extra innings of this year's All Star game, Stan Musial calls his shot. "The Man" steps to the plate leading off the bottom of the 12th, and responds to the tiring complaints of Yogi Berra with "Don't worry, I'll have you home in a minute", and jacks the very next pitch out of the park...........1979 - Disco Demolition Night!!!..........1996 - Mark Grace's equipment fails to arrive in Montreal, so Expo first baseman David Segui leaves his glove at first base at the end of each inning as he returns to the dugout, sharing the glove with Grace..........1997 - Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon pair up for the first combined EXTRA-INNING no-hitter in baseball history, as the Pittsburgh Pirates best the Houston Astros on Jackie Robinson Night.
Rounding Up The Major League News...
- Internet 472, MSM 0 - I love watching the slow, agonizing, death contortions of the MSM crustaceans on a dry beach. The sand fleas of relevance quickly darting to and fro and picking at whatever flesh remains intact. This week's futile twitch for survival comes to us in the form of Mitch Williams. Williams made yet another gargantuan asshat comment blaming Brandon McCarthy himself as the reason for McCarthy getting hit in the head by a comeback liner. Pretty much calling McCarthy a pussy for not throwing inside to batters. So McCarthy whipped out the Internet, smoked Williams, and then proceeded to create a brand new meme using Williams as the viral target. It used to be that the power of the MSM laid in its ability to always have the final word. Not no mo'!!
- Nucular Power: The other day I was busy fire roasting my pasty white legs whilst gazing out to sea, when I spied a motorboat zooming close to the shore from my right. To my left, I had been watching a pair of kids paddling some cheap inflatable raft out beyond the breakers. I realized that the two were on a collision course, well beyond my ability to do anything about it. And yet, I could not look away. Such is how I feel about MLB's Biogenesis Boondoggle. I no longer can come close to understanding. I know it is now inevitable that it will end disastrously for somebody. And all I can do is gaze in wonder and keep reporting on the developments. This week, Uncle Bud may pull out the Nuclear Option. (For the record, the speedboat missed.)
- Hysterical Jeter Hysteria: Derek Jeter needs to grab his flip flops and reserve a spot on the beach nearby. I mean, come on, the guy is aging and declining gets one last good year out of his body, which promptly collapses. He goes on an incredibly lengthy rehab which practically gets its own network for coverage. Every last warm-up, every last practice, every last medical review gets hyperbolized in the New York media. Finally, he retakes the field. And, predictably, within a couple of hours, back off he goes with muscle tightness. Dude, we all get old. Even beach hipsters such as myself. Although, to be honest, he might have more options than me.
- Hystery In The Making: Catching up on this year records progress, The Hardball Times updates their horse races. Good news! There's a real tight one developing for the single-season strikeout record (never have TWO players gutted out 200 or more K's in one season), and Mike Napoli is in the hunt! Some major props are offered up to Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto, but my focus remains on the Houston Astros. It looks like they are losing steam in the record K run.
- Ministry Of Truth: A great read. Up on Baseball Nation Larry Granillo pulls back the curtain on Winston Smith, official MLB Adjuster Of Reality. "Barry Bonds was not the legitimate home run king. Roger Maris was the legitimate home run king! Roger Maris had always been the legitimate home run king. The next moment there was a tremendous commotion. The banners and plaques with which the park was lined were all wrong! Posters were torn from the wall, jerseys thrown on the ground and trampled underfoot. But within two or three minutes it was all over. The Nostalgia continued exactly as before, except that the target had been changed." (P.S. - those of you who just went ballistic may need to re-read this.)
- Sneaky, Sneaky: Business Insider discovers that Sportsnet has been sliding advertising into baseball broadcasts in such a way that walks the line versus what MLB allows. Sticking to the surfaces off field of fair play, they are rotating local adverts into the games. Currently, there are limits imposed by MLB on such NFL-style graphics, but like Pandora's Box, or that ephemeral crack in the dam...
Video Of The Week
(Jeff "Knucklehead" Mathis Never Gets Old)
(Trouble viewing the video? Direct link here.)
Cubs. They'd probably be more fun if it weren't for Chicago!.........July, 1941, and this little punk is ready to play. Just sit there and stare at the picture for a while, and you will realize that this is why baseball is part of our fabric...........Nimble little minx, in't she?..........You may think you have a great baseball collection, but yours sucks..........All Angels fans have been waiting for this day. Paul Konerko finally sucks..........The Best Non All Stars of the past 50 years. Think of these as "Super Snubs"...........Frustration Abounds! The AL West All Star team is loaded with Halos. Not so much Rangers. Yet we still suck..........This is pretty cool. Baseball is arriving in Kenya..........A deep dive into the financial shenanigans of the Marline, and the potential abuse of revenue sharing..........Bummer. I might have watched..........Ok. This Manny Machado kid might be pretty good. A cool GIF comparing Machado circa 2013, with Brook Robinson circa 1970.........Chipper Jones goes all apeshit on Angel Fernandez, because Fernandez appears to have the gall to actually call - correctly - a high strike..........And here I thought I had nothing better to do! PETA objects to the Rays' "touch tank" after Miguel Cabrera nails it with a homer.
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: It's a great time to be hangin' in San Luis Obispo, where the Seven Sisters Beer Festival takes off in El Chorro Regional Park & Campground
Saturday: Saturday is for San Diego way, with a pair offerings. The first one is the 5th Annual Pechanga Microbrew & Chili Cookoff. Poker, chili and beer in Temecula. What could possibly go together better? But if Indian casinos aren't your thing, we got a baseball-themed alternative. The Padres All-Inclusive Tailgate beer & food event will be held at 140 14th Street in San Diego. That would be the parking lot directly east of Petco Park.
Sunday: Come back up to the LA area, and park yourself in Studio City so that you can hunt down Stout Burgers & Beers and partake of the Beer Fest for Beer Geeks. Sounds like a fascinating angle!
BEER BONUS: California is the #1 State in the USA for beer volume! #44 in Per Capita consumption. We drink a lot, and we drink responsibly.