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20 Observations After 20 Games

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We have played 12.5% of the season and...

  1. If neither the Mariners nor A’s sign Barry Bonds by June 1, this division belongs to the Angels by an easy 12 games. Frank Thomas will not be enough.
  2. The Angels’ record in missed John Lackey starts: 2-2.
  3. A week without Howie Kendrick saw us go 5-2, and yet he remains the most-missed Halo at the moment.
  4. Don’t worry about Shields and Frankie, the bullpen is going to be fine – Justin Speier might need the most help of them all and he has nailed it down of late.
  5. If Juan Rivera remains the only apparent alternative to the slumping-yet-healthy Gary Matthews and Garret Anderson, assume Mike Scioscia will let them hit their way out of it – into productivity or oblivion.
  6. After 4 starts each, Ervin Santana looks better than Jered Weaver.
  7. Joe Saunders is having some great early success, but watch past the 80-pitch mark as he hits the exhaustion wall.
  8. Jon Garland is going to get the Jekyll and Hyde award by the end of the season.
  9. Mathis and Napoli are the best catching tandem in baseball and equitable playing time between the two should mean rested superiority late in the season.
  10. Torii Hunter is the real deal.
  11. Vlad is pressing and really should be DH more.
  12. Casey Kotchman may wind up on the all-star team and should already have a gold glove.
  13. In 4 of our 8 losses, we had the go-ahead run at the plate or on base when the final out was made.
  14. With his bat and glove, Erick Aybar has made me forget Orlando Cabrera, but Matthews in the #2 slot and Garland on the mound have brought OC back into view.
  15. I gave up on Chone Figgins before last season and he just surprises me every game. His glove is fine at the hot corner and he is an elite leadoff man – the transformation from overrated supersub to key cog in the machine is complete.
  16. Like Bewitched!, we have two Darrens. Unlike Bewitched!, our new Darren (O’Day) is better than our old Darren (Oliver).
  17. Frankie is determined to pitch 50 Saves in his contract year and we might as well let him.
  18. Scot Shields should be an above-average to very-good closer next season.
  19. Other than Matthews in the 2 spot, how can you complain about Mike Scioscia?
  20. Going into play today, we had yet to play a .500 team.