Good morning, everyone! Well, at least everyone still hanging around these parts anymore. Last night's 6-5 victory of was merely the 4th such outcome over the past 16 calendar days. Pitiful, we all know. So for now, the most compelling things in our lives are the side stories. And last night's was a doozy. Really and truly, the entire umpiring crew (A) allowed the Astros to violate a major rule, (B) blew their major ruling on the event, (C) refused to agree to the proper ruling once a non-umpire furiously brought it to their attention, and (D - my favorite!) none of them have an actual printed and bound copy of the rule book on the premises so they can refresh their collective memories!!! Who knew? It's not like they cost much.
It's all over the news by now. The Astros' rookie skipper Bo Porter pulled a Sosh and screwed up his job. In Porter's case, he subbed pitchers in consecutive moves without the first sub throwing a pitch. Rule 3.05(b) and 3.05(c), people. Even without knowing which particular rule, I would bet more than half of the fans in attendance knew the proper ruling. Look for Joe Torre to release some statement to the effect of how strongly MLB would have been poised to correct the error. Which is so much easier to do when there is no need to actually get, you know, involved or anything. Unlike botched game-tying home runs in the 9th inning (see below). Perhaps the most pressing need in American sports has become the need to rebuild the MLB umpiring crew, top to bottom. This is a sad stain on the otherwise horrendously polluted legacy that is Bud Selig's Reign of Error.
On To Angels Baseball!
- Tommy Hanson: Hanson has been pulled from tonight's start so that he may return to his family and deal with family issues. No word on his replacement.
- C.J. Wilson: Not everybody on this team strikes out. In fact, our best hitter might just be Wilson, as he has become engaged to International Supermodel Lisalla Montenegro. The link quotes a Sports Illustrated look in to CJ's experiences, and I love the "worst": "Having to answer questions about how you met your supermodel girlfriend from teammates who want to have a supermodel girlfriend"...and..."Having to keep your personal appearance on point. You don’t want to be the guy dragging the equation down. If she’s a 10, you don’t want to look like a 4."
- Prodigies: Sometimes even #1 draft picks just never work out. And sometimes there just seems to be no bottom to the depths of their humiliation. Brandon Wood is getting shuffled around AAA baseball for buckets of baseballs.
- Money Can't Buy Happiness: With the Dodgers and Angels working together in making a run at a particularly ignoble historical accomplishment, it is starting to dawn on the MSM that there are some easy column inches to be had by contrasting the payrolls with the on field success. Expect more of this. But I have to ask the question: if money ain't everything, why is the lack of money such a big deal? No, in truth, spending money IS a short cut to baseball success, but only if you spend your gobs of money wisely. Sometimes it simply takes an extraordinary amount of bad guesswork and bad luck to overwhelm the gobs of money.
- Jered Weaver: Weaver threw off the mound yesterday. No word on whether or not that practice experience included trying to field grounders. Or falling down safely.
- Mark Trumbo: In this alarming era of of rising strikeout rates, Trumbo just has to be the contrarian. To go along with his restored power, it is getting noticed that Trumbo has started to show more patience and increase his walk rate. "To go along with a .291/.358/.552 slash line, nine homers and 23 RBIs through his first 33 games, Trumbo has also drawn 14 walks, which is tied for second on the team and puts him on pace for 69 this season. His first two full seasons in the big leagues, he drew a combined 61."
- Erick Aybar: The intriguingly fragile Aybar was pulled from the game last night with a sore hammy. Just in time to be replaced by Brendan Harris: Power Masher! (I'd link to a story about that home run of his, but nobody seems to want to write any
An original throw back, throw back cap! This is a vintage 1990's pinstripe style, snap back cap. Not a reproduction. Red bill, white cap with red stripes and red squatcho. "CA" lettering.
Friday, May 10 @ 5:10 PM, (FS-W / MLBN / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs. Chicago White Sox - US Cellular Field
Tommy Hanson (RHP) 2-1 3.86 ERA versus (RHP) 0-2 3.60 ERA
Saturday, May 11 @ 4:10 PM, (FS-W / MLBN / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs. Chicago White Sox - US Cellular Field
(RHP) 1-1 3.16 ERA versus (LHP) 2-0 3.86 ERA
Sunday, May 12 @ 5:05 PM, (ESPN / MLB.TV) LA Angels vs. Chicago White Sox - US Cellular Field
(LHP) 3-1 3.86 ERA versus (LHP) 3-2 3.42 ERA
It's actually kind of odd to see the pitching lineup that was set for this weekend. The Halo pitching staff has some credible numbers posted there, even compared to their CWS counterparts. Not much to be ashamed about, really. Which is pretty amazing considering that we began this season expecting crap from the pitching would destroy the chances of our potent offense.The season is trash, but not according to those stats. So, of course, Hanson has personal issues at precisely this weekend and heaven only knows what the actual weekend rotation is going to look like. Pffft.
This Date In Baseball History: 1910 - Bill Purtell becomes the first player to strikeout twice in the same inning, doing so against Walter Johnson..........1934 - Ben Chapman, first baseman for the New York Yankees, taunts a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the stands with Nazi salutes and nasty slurs. Chapman would later become infamous for his abuse of Jackie Robinson. Ben Chapman was a total asshat..........1939 - Dave Coble, catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, catches a ball dropped from the top of City Hall. Despite the hoopla, it's not such a big deal. The terminal velocity of a dropped baseball is only about 95mph..........1953 - Roy Capanella drives in 5 RBI, contributing to his record 40+ RBI's in the first 30 games. That record will stand until 1997 when Tino Martinez matches it with the Yankees..........1967 - Hank Aaron hits the only home run in his entire career that doesn't clear the fence, with an inside-the-park number against the Phillies in the first game of a doubleheader..........1999 - Nomar Garciaparra belts two grand slams and adds a 2-run homer to clock 10 RBIs against the Seattle Mariners. Tony Lazzeri still holds the AL mark of 11, set on May 24, 1936..........2005 - Tony Pena, 2003 AL Manager of the Year, resigns his position from the Kansas City Royals after getting off to an 8 - 25 start..........2010 - Jose Felicano returns to Detroit, invited in honor of a request by the now-late Ernie Harwell. This was 42 years after ticking off Tiger fans with his original blues rendition of the national anthem..........
Rounding Up The Major League News...
- Robots: Just because you engage technology doesn't mean the technology is right. Nor does it mean it will be applied correctly. You already know all about the massive screw up in the Oakland - Cleveland game the other night. WiHalo brought it up in yesterday's linkage for those not already aware. And I know what you all thought: how the hell could they possibly get that wrong?? The replay is so obvious!! All of America thinks the same. Even Bud and Joe. Well, here is how they can get it so wrong. You think "technology" for baseball instant replay and your mind wanders over to ESPN broadcast video walls. Bud Selig thinks "technology" and he thinks of wall hangars to get the brooms and mops out of the way. Note, by the way, that we are talking about some brooms. Some mops. Certainly not the shovels.
- Umpires: But, still, at least those call box video screens are not asshats. Umpires ARE out of control.
- Tarps: The Miami Marlins have decided to go all Oakland A's on their shiny new stadium, deciding to cover over the top deck due to lack of interest. Keep it up, Arte. Some day that could be us.
- PEDS, Version 2.0: Here is an interesting twist of fate. It concerns David Ortiz and the remarkable success he is showing at his advanced age. It turns out that Dan Shaughnessy has gone directly at Ortiz and accusing him of using Performance Enhancing Drugs. I find this interesting because what Shaughnessy is doing is being considered highly controversial today, but for doing the very thing that the MSM was castigated for NOT doing during Steroids Era 1.0: directly questioning the athletes and bringing the issue out into the open. Pay particular attention to the one comment that includes this data: "Davis [sic] Ortiz over his last 100 games has a wRC+ that is pushing 180. Miggy’s triple Crown, MVP season last year produced a 166. So basically David Ortiz getting older with injury at 37 years old… has been BETTER than Miggy or Anyone in baseball by a significant margin, and people are getting bent outta shape that the obvious is being asked?" As a person who has spoken for hours on end to a man deeply integrated into Latin American MLB pro players and their home town communities, I side with the commenter on this.
- Rage Against The Baseball gods!: As it turns out, the pitcher with the ability to soundly beat down the Oakland A's is...Scott Kazmir. Yeah. That Scott Kazmir. He is throwing 96 mph fastballs again and struck out 10 against the A's, shutting them down at only 1 earned run across 6 innings pitched. These are the same A's that have crushed our staff, in order, 9 runs, 11 runs, 8 runs, 10 runs, 10 runs and 4 runs. (For the record, the Angels only won that last one, outscoring the A's 5-4.)
- Star Wars: On the lighter side, baseball is still in its own galaxy down there in them minor leagues. I’ll bet this crowd fell solidly on the advanced stats side of The Argument.
- Pink: Hrm. Pink stitched baseballs. Because there are just too many baseball fans who continue to fail to properly appreciate mom's everywhere, in the manner as defined by Hallmark. And pink stitched baseballs and the diminished ability to pick up the rotation for one day are going to solve all that.
- *** PINK BAT UPDATE *** Lest anyone think that MLB is all about Moms here on Mother's Day Weekend, what with their pink stitched baseballs and all (immediately above), check this one out. Players only get to use pink shit of the maker of the pink shit has paid MLB for the rights to pink.
Video Of The Week
(Craig Calcaterra gets credit for encouraging MLB's Brian Kenny to blow up Harold Reynolds)
(Trouble viewing the video? Direct link here.)
Tragedy in the bleachers, as a Cubbies fan dies before a recent game..........And to think, this guy was almost a Halo..........Why the DH matters. Maybe we should more of these DH thingies to supplant our regular batting order?..........How the other half lives..........Shoeless Joe Jackson has taken up Twitter. Kind of..........Korean, Japanese, what the heck? Are those, like, different places or something?
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...
This weekend it's (almost) all about the Central Coast!
Friday: Meat Night, a Beer & Food Event, will be hosted at the Tap It Brewery in San Luis Obispo..........closer to the Stadium, Draughts Restaurant & Bar in Thousand Oaks features the Ommegang Brewery Friday tasting.
Saturday: The 2nd Annual IPA Festt is to held at Frog's & Peach Pub in SLO..........While the 7th Annual Wine, Beer & Chocolate Festival is at Hannah Nicole Winery in Brentwood...hoity toity!...........On your way back to SoCal hang a right into Buellton and partake of the Buellton Brew Fest at Riverview Park.