While you were away...you should have stayed there.
Let's face it. Things could have gone a bit better this past weekend. A hot squad only 1.5 games back with Richards/Skaggs/Weaver in the rotation, Trout in our lineup, an opponent in the midst of a major chOAK job, and the sewage running through the opposing clubhouse. The odds were that we would have gotten some little break, any little break, even one tiny break, and we would be alright. Anything more than that and we are kickin' butt.
Say hello to massive belly flop. Without the water.
Garret Richards didn't even make it out of the first inning on Friday as Mike Scioscia rolled out a lineup that slotted David Freese and his .210 batting average at cleanup. The bullpen went 7 1/3 innings and gave up 4 runs, and the Halo offense clawed back 5 runs on their own. Too little and too late as LA drops the opening 9-5. Saturday came, witnessing Freese back in the cleanup slot and his average now down to .203, and Trout is out with a bad back. But Tyler Skaggs rolls the A's for 5 solid innings, and 1 tough one, gutting out 6 good innings of 1-run ball and a 3-1 lead. Thousands and thousands of Angel faithful realized that Skaggs had been great, but his tank was now empty. But only 1 pair of eyes gets to pull the trigger, and those eyes belong to Scioscia, who sent Skaggs back out there for the 7th. Bad move. Skaggs dug the hole, and Joe Smith came in and filled it up with gasoline. Scisocia lit a match with an intentional walk that didn't work out, and 10 runs later the Angels were hosed 11-3. So what are we missing? Oh, yeah, errors. Which brings us to Sunday. Jered Weaver didn't show up, Trout is still out with a bad back, Howie Kendrick committed two sins in the field, Raul Ibanez and his .146 BA was now batting cleanup, and the offense slumbered against something named Sonny Douglas Gray. In the end, the dumpster fire of a weekend smoldered away the ashes of Sunday and the Angels piddled away another game with a 6-3 loss. And all that doesn't even get into such things as confusion about plate blocking rules, and questionable strike zones (such as the extra low and extra wide zone that Gray was blessed with).
Now 4.5 games back, a day off, and heading off to Houston to meet our nemesis (which is now 7-3 over the last 10 games). Maybe a day off solves Trout's back problems, and maybe the return of Hamilton for this series solves the cleanup slot. What cannot be solved, and what can now only be overcome, is the 6 game swing in the standings that was this weekend.
Moreno-Carpino Shame Update
Jim Fregosi still not being honored with a memorial patch.
56 games lost. Only 106 games remaining to save face.
Ok, so here is the inspiration:
Special H/T to Steve Gardner, who summed it up magnificently. "The flight of the missile itself: glorious....The crowd's crescendo of delight as they slowly realise what is unfolding in front of them: life-affirming."
Indeed, Mr. Gardner, indeed it is.
Surely all of you have been within a stadium during some event when a paper airplane launch performed an unusually epic flight. What better way to spend a Monday than to share? Tell us your experience below. I'll go first:
It was back in the late 60's and my three brothers and myself were at a Sunday sell-out, stuck (unusually for us) up in the second deck. Front row of the lower section (pre luxury box), at the rail, right behind the home dugout. We always purchased a program to maybe get game notes and maybe keep score, but definitely to make airplanes. Glossy paper is the best!
It's the middle innings of a boring game, thus it became incumbent upon us to execute on our assigned duty of joining the Anaheim Paper Air Force then over the friendly skies of Angel Stadium. Regular designs will do, nothing fancy. My little brother does the work with my guidance. I am about 12 and he is about 8. Work complete, we wait our moment. Checking with Tower Control we learn that the pattern is empty and we are cleared for takeoff. The four of us begin our inspection of the current security force to ensure we go undetected. All good. My little brother quickly stands up and heaves the beast slightly upward, and towards the infield. Just as quickly, he sits back down. Only about 20 people around our immediate vicinity could finger him as the culprit, but honor among thieves and all that...nobody is going to rat us out.
The lovely multicolored dart stalls almost immediately, but then rights itself and begins to plow a slow and steady path directly towards the vast expanse of air above the home plate area. Such a fortunate turn quickly grabs the attention of the multitude and already there are thousands and thousands of eyeballs enjoying the beautiful potential of our object to make it onto the playing surface, possibly even disrupt the game. Oh, to be so lucky...
But wait! After traveling about 100 feet away, and losing almost no altitude overall, our paper emissary slows suddenly, tips upright, rolls over onto its right side and begins to plummet nose straight down. Forward velocity completely expired, our plane was now going to auger in harmlessly among the fan faithful below.
And that is where the magic happened. Just to the right of the dugout, sitting right on row A, was a man wearing a cap, a short-sleeved shirt, shorts and sandals. He was reclined in his seat, and not having a row in front of him granted him sufficient leg room to have his legs crossed, dude style. So his right ankle was laid across his left knee. His hands were on his arm rests as he stared straight ahead into the dullness of inaction in front of him. He had no idea what was happening directly above, unlike the approximately 20,000 other fans close enough, and with a proper viewing angle, to be absorbed in what was going on.
Well, I'll be damned if that paper airplane didn't go screaming straight towards the immaculate destiny of sticking right between his exposed right foot and the sandal he was wearing. Doink!! There it was - bam! - sticking ass-end straight up and wedged into his sandal. The crowd went apeshit wild in joy and celebration as the man plucked the plane out, stood up and held it aloft as a trophy and looked upward to see if he could find the author of this delightful diversion.
My little brother, ever the ham, rose in his seat and, ala Rocky, raised both arms in victory and shared a salute with the victim below. The applause rose once again in recognition and we brothers were cursed with uncontrollable laughter. Alas, it was now rather easy for security to identify the whole crew. We had outed ourselves. And escorted from the premises we were, to even more congratulatory smiles from everyone in our section, and not a small amount of boos from the crowd beyond.
We didn't care. The game was a hot bore, anyway, and we had conquered Anaheim.