Huzzah! What a great homestand. 3 straight wins against the Rangers, followed by 3 straight wins against the Twins. And now off for 3 against a faltering Royals club, 3 more against a downward spiraling White Sox, We'll be back home for 4 against the brutal Astros and 3 against the visiting Blue jays, but let's not get that far ahead of ourselves.
- Winner, Winner. Chicken...Lunch? The Angels completed a perfect homestand and dual sweep by taking out the Twins yesterday, launching them on a road trip that starts in Kansas City against the slumping Royals. Jered Weaver was a solid single earned run over
87 innings, scattering 8 hits against 6 K's. Meanwhile, the top half of the batting order crushed it. Calhoun was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored. Trout was 2 for 4 with 1 run scored and 2 critical runs driven in. Pujols was 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 runs driven in. Hamilton, Aybar and Kendrick followed by combining for 4 hits and another RBI. Scioscia keeps trotting out the Frieri Flambe of 2014 and an easy 6-1 lead became a 6-4 contest whe Frieri loaded things up and Joe Smith surrendered a bases-clearing double to Joe Mauer. Smith got Morales to strikeout and end the game, holding the final at that 6-4 tally.
- Home Field Advantage? Huh? Here is something in all my decades of following this team I had never, ever heard or read before. I sincerely had no idea. In the post-game, Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire was applauding Jered Weaver's performance, when he then said "Weaver was like we've seen him before. In this ballpark, we all know it's tough to see the ball in day games, and he made it tough on us." I know all about the marine layer stories concerning night games, but when did it become difficult to see a pitched baseball in Anaheim during the day? What the heck is that all about?
- Trout as MSM Dolly: Moving on to the next phase of celebrity-hood, Trout is now being profiled as a hagiography target by the MSM. Here is Richard Justice (a long standing Trout advocate, for the record) doing a few hundred words to tell us that Trout is special because, as he does amazing things, he smiles a lot. And we get "So let's all pay attention. Let's appreciate what we're seeing, how special this kid is and how extraordinary it is to watch Trout do pretty much everything. Someday, we'll be able to tell fans, yep, we saw it early on, knew the kid was different. He's one of the players who'll help define this generation of baseball, and aren't we the lucky ones?"..........Meanwhile, over here, we have Jim Worth informing us that Trout is a "Phenom", and we get this: "Trout is still ascending and he's taking all of us along for the ride giving everyone who enjoys baseball the pleasure of seeing how far he will rise!" Somewhere Mitch Albom is gnawing at his perfectly manicured magical cuticles in disgust.
- Josh Hamilton: Hambone should be an All-Star. Seriously It says that right there on MLB's own web site. If they just would wait until late September when he would have enough appearances to qualify, he projects out to be a solid 2014 hero. "Hamilton's numbers adjusted to a 162-game season are among the best in his career, a career that includes five All-Star Games and an AL Most Valuable Player Award. His .321 average would be his best average since he hit .359 during his 2010 AL MVP Award-winning season. His projected 98 RBIs would be the most in his two seasons in Los Angeles, and comparable to the 100 he had in '10." Yeah. For the life of me I cannot imagine why they don't do these same projections back in April and save us all the voting headaches. Ah, the blessings of small numbers.
- Don Baylor: With Baylor getting back in the saddle, Mike Digiovanna noted that Baylor was still engaged, via PDA. "Baylor, in his first season with the Angels, worked with hitters for six weeks in spring training, and he kept in touch with them during his absence." Now that would have been a good line of questioning to have with Mike Trout.
This Date In Baseball History: 1911 - Stuffy McInnis, an arguably deserved Hall of Famer (did you know that McInnis struck out only 250 times in his career, against 8,639 Plate Appearances? We're talking once every 34.6 PA's!), steps into the batters box while the pitcher is still throwing his warm-up pitches, and clobbers a home run that will withstand the protestations of the Red Sox. But the incident will trigger a change in the rules..........1940 - The Brooklyn Dodgers honor Jack Norworth with his own day. Norworth is the lyricist for Take Me Out to the Ballgame, a song he co-composed with Albert Von Tilzer even though neither had ever been to a baseball game..........1980 - Clayton Kershaw has company. Dodger pitcher Jerry Reuss no-hits the Giants and wins 8-0. He would have had a perfect game, except for shortstop Bill Russell throwing wildly in the first inning and allowing on batter to reach base..........1986 - Robby Thompson tries to steal a base in a game and is thrown out. Not once. Not twice. Not three times. Four times, setting a Major League record...........1999 - The last Major League game is played at The Kingdome in Seattle. (Remember the Kingdome? Yeah? You're getting old.)...........2002 - Speaking of old, on this day 12 years ago Cleveland trades their ace, Bartolo Colon, to the Expos for Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore...........2003 - The Red Sox spend nearly an hour at the plate in their first inning appearance, scoring 10 runs off the Marlins before even making an out..........2011 - After Bud Selig refuses to allow a do-over on a new TV deal that would redirect $385 million more into the slimy pockets of Frank and Jamie McCourt, the Dodgers file for bankruptcy.
- The Law of Unintended Consequences: Oops, strikes again. One thing that was expected to occur with Instant Replay was that the number of managerial ejections should go down. After all, what can the manager argue about when a team of "experts" using sophisticated technology can drill into the issue at hand and reader a definitive resolution based on real facts and an excellent interpretation of solid rules, right? Well, whattaya know, manager ejections are actual higher. Yup. Surprise! "Then we've got a new wrinkle -- another 15 ejections have arisen out of replay itself....The replay rules clearly state that "once replay review is initiated, no uniformed personnel from either club shall be permitted to further argue the contested calls or the decision of the replay official...Fourteen times, that borderline has been breached by guys who took issue with the New York-based interpretation of events. Managers have, as you would imagine, earned the vast majority of these ejections, although a third-base coach (Boston's Brian Butterfield, who slammed his helmet to the ground when a call ruling Dustin Pedroia out at the plate stood) and a pitcher (the Reds' Homer Bailey, who argued from the dugout about a close tag play at first that stood). Umpires have exercised their right to show no tolerance toward whining about replay results."
- Catcher Values: Here is an interesting take. It's easy enough that any of us could have done such a series, had any of us been inspired to imagine it. Let's compare the actual fWAR player value to the actual player salary throughout MLB, starting with the position of catcher. Surprisingly, you will find that Chris Iannetta is delivering better value than Yadier Molina. Now, there is an obvious boo boo that I saw right away, which the author acknowledges and promises to correct. He is comparing the full season player salary against only half a season's worth of fWAR value. But this is a cool idea. And it should be fun to let him do this on our behalf for the rest of our roster.
- What If?: Frank Viola jumps into his own personal time machine, harkens back to the 1994 strike so that he can have that resolve itself in a peaceful manner, and then re-imagines the subsequent history in such a way that Barry Bonds becomes a first-ballot Hall of Fame Anti-Drug Crusader. "Bonds talks about how he was offered steroids by a trainer, but decided against taking them because while he believed they could help him break Hank Aaron's record, 'I read up on side effects of steroids, and I didn't want to become some kind of giant-headed circus freak.' Bonds' frank words about his own health, the health of his fellow players, and the health of players to come strikes a chord." Wow, I want some of what Frank is smoking.
- Mother Effin' Nature: An odd game was played in Chicago yesterday between the Cubs and Nationals when the weather decided to settle in and make an impact. Not rain. Not sleet. Not snow. Not gloom of night, even. Nope, just fog. Thick, widespread, hazy-assed white fog. Listen to the player interviews and hear how tough it is to see a fast moving white object coming straight at you against a hazy white background.
Because we all know you have been reading Genesis wrong..............With all the current efforts to eradicate sports mascots abusive towards Native Americans, we really should pause and face a little more of the totality of this unfortunate habit we have..........Count your blessings. No hitters are on the rise and your chances of seeing one are better than in your dad's day. But remember, tossing a no-hitter against a team that can't hit shouldn't count..............Dive into the physics of many of the greatest outfield throws in history. Inspired, of course, by Yoenis Cespedes against...us...............Uh. It is possible to take data sceinces a little too far. Remember, past results are no guarantee of future performance.............Ladies and gentlemen, prepare your goggles............Baseball made it back to the U.S. Supreme Court. For throwing hot dogs...........Elvis Andrus, caught on tape using NSFW language while a work...........The Mayor of Oakland ain't so sure about any 10-year lease extension with the A's...........Any of you dudes out there into crazy/ Well, it's your lucky day. Anna Benson is out of jail. And single.
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: The Sawdust Festival kicks off in Laguna Beach. This runs through August 3rd so I trust you people to just know it. I am not going to do daily reminders..........
Saturday: Ale Arsenal 2nd Anniversary Party at Ale Arsenal (they of the absolutely coolest beer logo!) in San Carlos. Saturday and Sunday.........Drake's Brewing Company in San Leandro is tossing a party of their own, celebrating the release of Aroma Coma and Aroma Flora..........The California Beer Festival makes it's stop in Novato...........Pechanga Resort in Temecula is putting on their 6th Annual Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off..........And Speakeasy Ales & Lagers in San Francisco iscelebrating their 17th year..........Another chili cook-off takes place at the 34th Annual Street Fair in Ocean Beach.
Sunday: Ale Arsenal 2nd Anniversary Party at Ale Arsenal in San Carlos concludes tonight at midnight.
BEER BONUS #1: From eyespy, comes word that Jelly Belly's now come in beer flavor!
BEER BONUS #2: In Indiana, some "judge" has ruled that it is rational that grocery stores are far more likely than liquor stores to violate laws against selling alcohol to minors. Thus, grocery stores are not allowed to sell beer that is cold. The mind boggles.
BEER BONUS #3: Beer stuff to buy.
BEER BONUS #4: What kind of beer are YOU?