My father and his sisters were children of migrant farm laborers, who would drop their kids off in an orphanage every Spring and not pick them up until late Fall. There are lots of stories in there, but the important one for here is that dad didn't really grow up learning many skills necessary to raise a family of his own. And what with the chaos of 6 kids, 2 parents and 2 grandparents in my childhood house, he was a bit overwhelmed. Getting personal time and guidance from dad was rare enough for me to count using only one hand. So when he did, it was epic.
But he did rise above his upbringing, become a moderately successful banker. He was exposed to a great deal of corporate training and personnel management. Out of that, one of those rare times with me ended up being pure gold.
"Son" he told me one day, "there are three fundamentals to being a good boss. One, when bad news come at your department make sure you take more than your fair share of the blame. Two, when good news comes to your department make sure you take less than your fair share of the credit. And, three, be prepared to fight like hell for your people." Although I am sure I am getting his exact words wrong, I am just as sure that I can still remember exactly where I was when he burned that lesson into my brain.
I could give testimony to how well those principals served me in my career. Against All Odds kind of stuff. But there is a reason that I share these codes of leadership this week, of all possible weeks. What with what has been happening in the clubhouse and all. Not naming names, but some folks do need to be reminded.
On To Angels Baseball!
- Trout Porn. Pure, unadulterated Trout Porn. Hats off to my buddy eyespy, who found this deeply awe inspiring look at both Mike Trout, version 2013 AND how he was scouted prior to being selected by Eddie Bane. I was originally going to list a bunch of up-to-date stats myself right here, but when I found this piece I just stopped. It's that good. God enough to shut me up. And, since I had to wait until Friday to link and eyespy got the link up first, let's give eyespy his due and hop on over to the Grantland article via his Fanshot. But here is a Bane quote about Young Prospect Trout to launch you on your way: "His other tools, we believed in them all the way. The average major league runner will run a 4.3 to first on a real major league swing — 4.1 was a jailbreak. You never get a right-handed hitter under 4.0. Mike runs 3.7, 3.8 all the time."
Trout Porn, Part 2: However, in parallel, the Grantland piece does not stand alone this week. USAToday discovers Trout as well.
- Trout Porn, Part 3: Jared Cross (not that Jared) also wrote a love-fest to Trout, labeling him as the 2013 AL MVP to beat, again based on the overwhelming value Mike brings to the entire playing field. That link requires payola to read, but there is still fun to be had for free. Being the curious kind of guy I am, I just had to scrounge around the Detroit based media to see how strongly Cross' piece might have trolled some Tiger fans. Oh joy! Read the comments that follow this piece. There is just something too fun in watching the depth of their small-minded, uncurious, and mind-bendingly logic-free adoration of a guy who does one thing amazingly well, while standing in one single boxed spot in the stadium.
- Trout Porn, Part 4: I mean, like, after all, why not even more? Actually, this one is small change. I link to this merely to show you all how Mike trout is some incredibly good that even hagiographies such as this are too feeble to do him justice. When a player is so good that he outdistances even attempts to honor him, you know you are watching something special. Let's hope Jim Leyland lives long enough to see Trout's career in perspective and be forced to suffer the weight of his "wonderboy" stupidity.
- Rehabs: Now that the team has added all the insults to their injuries, Jason Vargas and Peter Bourjos are launching their rehab assignments. At this rate, we might have one hell of a squad to roll out onto the field come Fan Appreciation Day.
- J.B. Shuck: I simply cannot wrap my mind around the notion that the American League is so poor in their 2013 rookie class that J.B. Shuck is even in the conversations. Yet he is. He has to be at least in the conversation somewhere. maybe in the appendices. As of Wednesday morning he ranks first among AL rookies in hits with 77, first in doubles with 14, second in runs scored with 35, second in total bases with 100, second in triples with 3, is fourth in batting average at .291 and fourth in OBP with .336. If only he could field a baseball. Oh. Wait. maybe we get to use the Miguel Cabrera argument!
Buy Stuff - Crazy-ass Baseball Finds On the Internet:
Ladybug’s Special Gift moment. We should each of us buy one for her.
Friday, August 9 @ 4:05 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels @ Cleveland Indians - Progressive Field
Saturday, August 10 @ 4:05 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels @ Cleveland Indians - Progressive Field
C. J. Wilson (LHP) 11-6 3.49 ERA versus Ubaldo Jiminez (RHP) 8-6 4.18 ERA
Sunday, August 11 @ 10:05 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) LA Angels @ Cleveland Indians - Progressive Field
Wow. Kizmet. Jered Weaver faces off against...Scott Kazmir?! He, who we could not resurrect, now leads the very franchise that did, indeed, reanimated him. What should have been our #2 now faces down our #1. What is it with the organizational knowledge and management that those in the Cleveland dugout have accomplished, which eluded the instructors in our dugout? Not so ironic that the one person in the past 5 years who could seriously have been considered a candidate to take over the leadership of our franchise, is now sitting as the opposition and launching our own scuds against us. And, apparently, he knows how to make our scuds work.
Meanwhile, admit it. Shy of Williams who is our own weekly Hot or Not, that's a pretty damned fine lineup of pitchers right there. Therefore, we should expect one slugfest after another...
This Date In Baseball History: 1946 - For the first time, every MLB game is played under lights..........1976 - Cal Hubbard (not to be confused with Carl Hubbard) is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, becoming the first person to be elected to TWO Halls of Fame, having already been elected the NFL HoF for his football glory on behalf of the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. Lest anyone forget, Hubbard was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Dude was a baller!...........1981 - Major League Baseball returns to play after the 5th MLB stoppage in history (1972 strike, 1973 lockout, 1976 lockout where Bowie Kuhn used the "best interest of baseball" to order camps opened, 1980 strike, 1981 strike), with a belated All Star Game. FYI, this particular strike was the one where the owners ended up getting an unprotected compensation pick for losing a player to Free Agency. And this was the strike that ended just a couple of days after 11,000 striking Air Traffic Controllers were fired by President Ronald Reagan.........1988 - The first complete night game occurs at Wrigley Field. The first game ever was the night before, but it was rained out after only 3 innings, so it was not an official game. Watch Bill Murray and Harry Caray kick off the broadcast that night........1999 - Five Grand Slams are hit on one day, the first time ever. Jay Buhner, Mike Lowell, Fernando Tatis, Jose Vidro and Bernie Williams all connect..........2002 - Vlad Guerrero ties Ken Griffey, Jr. as the 2nd youngest player to reach 200 home runs, 26 years and 182 days..........2011 - Jordan Walden of the Angels pulls of a rare successful "fake to third, throw to first" to pick off Curtis Granderson of the Yankees (video here), closing out a Yankee threat and ending the game with the Halos up 6-4 ("Granderson Caught Stealing 2B (P-SS-1B)"). Since the Yankees are no longer capable of avoiding this trick play, the maneuver is subsequently outlawed.
Rounding Up The Major League News
- Biogenisis Thingy: I remain at a total loss to understand some parts of this. Ostensibly, the MLB went to court and sued Anthony Bosch claiming that Bosch had harmed them by servicing the pharma requests of private citizens. They did this because a real party with real cajones and real lawyers - The Miami New Times - told them to go pound sand. So Tony folded and joined sides with MLB. Kind of a "You hurt me. Welcome to my party." kind of outcome. But based on the fact that MLB and their buddy Bosch held open their suit, MLB used the court system to wander around America and nab buckets full of communications records from the likes of AT&T, Verizon, etc. And nobody objected. How the hell does that happen? Does Edward Snowden know about Bud Selig?? Now that we have Cruz and ARod and others rounded up, MLB lawyers have gone back to their courts and are now getting mighty heavy-handed with one of Bosch's former employees: the guy who gave stuff to Miami New Times in the first place. So, in summary, we have MLB using a lawsuit against a person with whom they have no quarrel, to bitch slap a guy who used to work for a company that doesn't exist, so they can get private medical records concerning the use of perfectly legal products by perfectly legal citizens. I'm so confused.
- Overlooked: And more than a little depressing. Aided somewhat by Ervin Santana and his 2.97 ERA, the Kansas City Royals are merely 4.5 games out of the AL Wild Card. These are the same Royals who were on the verge of being sellers at he recent trade deadline. While the Halos have gone 7 and 16 over the past few weeks, the Royals have gone 15 and 4. Yikes.
- The Unwritten, for the unwitting: I do love the whole idea of "unwritten rules". Apparently, nothing makes a rule as important as the act of not writing it down. Just ask Bryce Harper. So I think baseball nation is on to something. Let's grade the violations! "When someone gets a plunkin' for violating the unwritten rules, let's take a look and see just how egregious the unwritten violation was."
"Bud Selig's Mafia": This is why we love Mark Cuban. This is why we need Mark Cuban in Major League Baseball. A regular guy who popped up at the overly fortunate moment during the pre-Internet implosion and sold out before things like dog food delivered to your door was realized to be stupid. Mark Cuban is the poster boy for where wealth goes when the economy tanks. But he turned that wealth into a craving for sports and sure knows how to heat things up. Just as if he was still sitting with his buds at a cocktail table in some local bar screaming a the television. Give 'em hell, Mark Cuban!!!
Video Of The Week
(All I gotta say, is what took so long???)
(Trouble viewing the video? Direct link here.)
The Halos Suck, and yet you still want to watch. This great cartoon is precisely why..........I guess since we are sharing cartoons, the New Yorker has one, too..........Damn. I really want San Jose to win this one. It would be incredible...........Some might wonder why volunteers would sue over not being paid. I might wonder why the MLB feels that it needs to use volunteer labor to run their money-making printing press..........For the ladies in attendance. Chris Siegfried won the heart of Desiree Hartsock, but only after he failed to win the hearts of the Chicago Cubs MLB team..........Poor David Ortiz. Ever the victim..........That young man who idolized Matt Kemp and moved Kemp into being really, really cool in an impromptu post-game meet 'n' greet, has passed away. Peace with you, young hero...........This is classic. Eaten by the tarp. This guy is lucky not to be working Oakland.
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: Angelenos need to bust on over to Brewster's at the Four Points LAX Sheraton for the Fiery Hot Food & Cool Beer.
Saturday: Let's lead off with the Santa Cruz whistle stop of the California Beer Festival, hanging out at Aptos Village Park in Aptos...........And there will be The Full Pint 6th Anniversary at the 38 Degrees Ale House & Grill in Alhambra............But up in my most favorite little beach town in California, Carpinteria. At Carpenteria State Park, Linden Field (right across from The Spot), there will be the DEEP Surf 'n' Suds Beer Festival.
Sunday: Blue Palms Brewhouse in LA is throwing themselves a 5th anniversary birthday bash.
Future Forecast: Let's keep these up and handy from here on out to the dates of the events, shall we? Ladybug has shared some finds worthy of our consideration. First off is the Delicious Chili and Brewfest on The Queen mary in Long Beach. Ladybug links us to The Living Social online deal...........Second is the Ultimate Beerfest OC on October 19th at the OC Fairgrounds. Again, Living Social..........