In our ongoing series of getting to know the staff here at Halos Heaven, I present the next installment by introducing Dan the Harvard PhD candidate (seriously) who goes by the name SUBOPTIMAL around here. Let's talk Angels and baseball and music with SubOp...
WHO WAS THE FIRST ANGELS PLAYER YOU DECIDED WAS "YOUR GUY"?That has to be Wallace Keith Joyner. Nothing captures an innocent and receptive child's fascination like a 3-WAR rookie season. I promised myself that the day he left for Kansas City would be the last day I would ever cry, and I kept that promise until the day the Angels acquired Hubie Brooks. Which happened to be the next day.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CURRENT ANGEL AND WHY?
I'm going to go with the young sorcerer's apprentice, Hyun-Choi Conger. At first he was but a learner, now he is the master of the CERA. Seriously, though, there's no one I would like to see succeed more than Hank Conger. A respectable defensive catcher who might get on base, hit for high average, and with some power too? Yes, please. Plus he's our best (or only?) hope to disprove the faulty logic behind the Soth Lord's sinister mathismatics.
WHICH SIDE OF THE "STATS VS CHEMISTRY" DEBATE ARE YOU ON AND WHY?
Speaking of mathismatics, I like advanced metrics. As fans, we don't have access to what happens inside the clubhouse. Unfortunately, the people who get paid to tell us what happens inside the clubhouse are autocratic, pretentious, and incoherent. Sabermetrics is a fantastic critique of bad sportswriting, bad broadcasting, and downright bad thinking. On the other hand, even though heavy stats are great for beating the shit out of bad ideas, it's much harder to use them constructively. The system is built on correlations and probabilities, which can never predict the result of a single event like a critical late-inning pinch-hit appearance. The ebb and flow of the game is still a human drama, so I don't think the "stats" and "chemistry" perspectives are necessarily in opposition, although many years of arguing has made them appear so.
PICK A SONG FOR THE ANGELS TO REPLACE BUTTERCUP WITH?
How about "Battery" by Metallica? In the late innings, bloodlust is more intimidating than schmaltz. I can only imagine the priceless looks on the suburban moms and dads when the TV cameras pan around, searching for happy families dancing with their babies to "Buttercup." The parents would freak out, but the rest of the crowd would be like, "Kill! Kill! Kill!" Want to be the visiting team on that field? Didn't think so.
IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE OF THE ANGELS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES, NAME THE PERFORMER YOU BREAK THE BANK TO GET...
Mogwai. Not that they'd be a huge draw, but I've bought tickets to see them three times in the last three years, and three times in the last three years they've canceled the show at the last moment. Maybe if they told the State Department they were playing to a stadium crowd they could actually get their visas on time.
SAY SOMETHING BALLSY / CONTROVERSIAL FOR US TO REMEMBER YOU BY...
I was going to say that in ten years, the Vernon Wells deal will be remembered as the worst transaction in franchise history, except that that isn't really controversial now that it's nearly mid-May and the guy is still batting on the interstate. So how about this: GMJ is secretly Vernon's father. Try not to think about how.