I walked into our break room at work last night and saw that someone had tuned into the ESPN Monday Night game. The first thing I thought of was, "I wonder who the Yankees are playing", but then realized it was the Angels/Rangers game. It was the top of the 8th inning, no outs and Mike Trout was on third. I sat down expecting to watch the club score its fourth run of the game and increase their lead to 4-1, but was drawn away to attend to some work crap (I hate when that happens). So, I returned a few minutes later, just in time to watch Hank Conger ground out weakly to second to end the inning and leaving the Halos scoreless. Right about then I received a text from my ex-wife telling me she had just realized the game was on ESPN and was bummed to have missed almost the entire game. Let me say, I NEVER trust my gut or intuition, I'm usually wrong when I get those "feelings" something is going to happen, but last night I texted back, "You're just in time to watch them lose." A few hours later, on my way out to my car, I turned on my phone and received, "And lose they did." Halolinks:
- It's getting, or rather, it's now at that point of the season where losing teams look at the positives because there's really nothing else to cheer for. Angels' fans have Jered Weaver: Rangers finally score, win with walk-off homer - Yahoo! Sports. " Weaver went seven strong innings and Josh Hamilton drove in two runs against his former team. Weaver was back at Rangers Ballpark for the first time since fracturing his left elbow April 7 in Arlington. Texas managed just five hits off Weaver and struck out six times." I don't care how crappy the team is doing, Jered Weaver is always worth the price of a ticket, or the time spent watching him pitch.
- Oh great, the Angels are now "slump-busters": Angels-Rangers Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "Trailing by a run in the ninth inning, Texas (57-49) appeared to be on its way to a fifth straight defeat before A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto hit home runs off closer Ernesto Frieri in Monday's 4-3 win. "We needed that game after the offensive struggles we've been through the last few weeks,'' Pierzynski said. "To have a game like that, especially at home after the trip we came off, it's huge.'' Angels fall to Rangers, 4-3, after ninth-inning implosion - latimes.com. "Frieri threw a belt-high, full-count fastball to Soto, a .210-hitting backup catcher, and he sent a towering fly to left that stayed fair and barely cleared the wall, traveling an estimated 349 feet. Game over."
- Wait, did someone change the rules? Do games after the All-Star break count differently than those played in April?? Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers - July 29, 2013 - MLB.com. "Games now are very important," said Weaver, who has given up one run in his last 21 2/3 innings to drop his ERA to 2.84." I know, I know, he's just trying to keep everyone interested. Thanks Jered, any other words of encouragement? "We're trying to do what we can do to battle and win games and it's just not working out for us. But we're going to keep going out there and fighting, scratching and clawing and try to get back in this thing. It's getting down to the nitty-gritty here where we have to start putting something together if we're going to get ourselves back in this thing. We can't let games like this slip away." Thanks, buddy. IT's all about positive attitudes: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers - July 30, 2013 - MLB.com. "Los Angeles enters Tuesday's game 12 games under .500 and many are counting them out, but the team still believes it has a chance, and winning divisional contests are now a must." Because now it REALLY counts! Oh wait, I keep getting drawn into that "more important now" trap. WTF! Why you no leave me alone false sense of importance?!?
Angels 'committed to winning,' not giving up on season - angels.com. "Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto was busy working the phones throughout Monday, with plenty of teams calling to gauge his interest in trading away position players." Who else thinks Jerry has the Diamondbacks as the #1 number on his speed dial? Either them or Pizza Hut.
- I can picture it now: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers - Jul 29, 2013 - CBSSports.com. "In the Angels clubhouse after the game, Frieri sat silently at his locker for a few minutes, staring up toward the ceiling. Teammates and manager Mike Scioscia came by and patted him on the left shoulder." Manager Mike looks deeply into his beleaguered pitcher's eyes and whispers, "Turn the page", flutters his eyelashes and skips over to the pasta buffet.
- Winning creates good team chemistry, losing creates stories like this:NEWHAN ON BASEBALL: The Angels: Problems of Personnel and Personalities. "In addition, three people with inside knowledge and who I talked with individually, each cited an unsettling clubhouse atmosphere in which younger, star caliber players (Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, among them) have pursued a stronger voice and visibility only to be deterred by a veteran group that includes Pujols and Hamilton. Said one of the three people, all of whom requested anonymity because of their close relationship with the organization: "I think it would be overkill to call it a chasm, and I can't say it has consistently impacted performance, but I do think there is a generational gap, a question of style and the way things are done, that has been consistently difficult to manage."
- Good article: Angels are trying to harvest better crops down at the farm - latimes.com. "The farm system he inherited was ranked as the worst in Major League Baseball by Baseball America. Two years of ill-advised trades had left the team with no minor league depth and two winters of big free-agent signings had left it void of a first-round draft pick for two years. The Angels also had virtually no presence in Latin America, a hotbed for talent."
- Hold on a minute! Scott Downs can pitch to more than one batter per game?? Dammit, when did this happen? All in a day’s work: Scott Downs gets traded to the Braves, makes a good play, earns first win - Yahoo! Sports. "The Braves kept Downs in for the 10th inning and he held Colorado scoreless. When Andrelton Simmons hit a walk-off triple in the bottom of the 10th, Downs got the W." Seriously though, although he wasn't a life-long Halo, doesn't Downs look weird in this uniform:
- This makes me sad:
Thank you, Mr. Plantar Fasciitis - Bugs & Cranks. "Hey, man. I just want to say thanks. Thanks for finally tearing in Albert Pujols’ left foot. Took you long enough."
- Ahem...hey Arte, look at this: Milwaukee Brewers to distribute $10 vouchers for August games - ESPN. "This is an investment in our fans and an investment in our brand, to do what we can do to mitigate a trying summer," said Schlesinger, noting that this is the first initiative under the team's Fans First campaign.
- He claims this is sarcasm:
- The Brad Hawpe era is finally over.
- Ha-ha, funny. A Lip Reader Deciphers The Manager-Umpire Arguments Of 2013
Crazy thing about Angels’ trade of Scott Downs for Braves fringe prospect Cory Rasmus: Rasmus is now clearly their best Triple-A P prospect— Pedro Moura (@PedroMoura) July 29, 2013
#Angels have had internal discussions about how to improve their team via trade.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 29, 2013
#Angels have also recalled RHP Daniel Stange from triple-A Salt Lake and DFA'd UTIL Brad Hawpe.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) July 29, 2013