Happy Father's Day Weekend, folks!
Let's open with a trivia diversion, shall we? On the auspicious occasion of this particularly notable weekend, I offer you a list of all the Father-Son combos to have donned a major league uniform for an actual game. So how many of them, father OR son, can you spot that did so in Angels gear??
Then, as a special bonus gift to all the dads, and all the offspring who were fortunate enough to go through that biological process that involves a dad, and all those persnickety young goombas who spend way too much time thinking about practicing that biological process that results in becoming a dad, take some time to recall your comic book youth and bop over to Old Time Family Baseball and read all about how Superman nearly Scioscia'd the Little League World Series. And while on the subject of Little League, and Family Baseball, remember how it is that many of us got our start in this sport.
Revenge of Gatsby: Now, still in honor of Dad's everywhere, let's focus on one dad right here at HH. I am proud to announce that our very own Raadad has launched on online fan fiction novel, published in chapter installments, titled "The Great Gatsby 2: Revenge of Gatsby" (Fan Fiction). Here is Raadad's summary: "It is 1939; a young Pamela Buchanan (the daughter of Tom and Daisy Buchanan) suddenly materializes at her uncle Nick Carraway’s house to learn what happened to her mother 17 years earlier. Reluctantly, Nick will tell his niece of the events of 1922, her mother’s tumultuous affair, and eventually, he will even consider relating to her (and to us) the story of Gatsby’s ghostly return, and the revenge and retribution that follows." This is a serious endeavor showcasing one of our more talented members, and the site already includes the first two chapters.
On To Angels Baseball!
- Howie Kendrick: Howie gets some love over at RANT Sports, as they note that he is having a career year being wasted by the balance of the team. This kind of logic I find to be pretty silly, since a case could be made that major efforts of some prior teams were wasted due to key failures in critical moments on the part of Howie, and nobody is pounding that meme home. But it does deserve to be mentioned that Howie is on a pretty nice run right now. "If you happen to be a Kendrick fan who happens to like pace numbers, you’ll like the fact that he’s on pace for a career-best .324/.364/.474 triple-slash, as well as career-highs in RBI 81 and stolen bases with 15. Already the second most valuable player on the Angels at 1.9 fWAR, he might even give Mike Trout a run for his money when the year is said and done." I would add that, since we are interested in counting numbers, Howie is also on track for a career high 29 GIDP's.
- Mike Trout: ESPN digs in deep to understand why it is that Mike Trout is so bad in the field this season. I know, I know. Merely typing up that sentence has probably pissed off a half dozen or so around here. Facts just suck sometimes. But it remains true that his highlight reel for 2013 pales versus his 2012, and he has had a couple of boners this year. Those kind of things truly are going to skew the numbers.
- Tommy Hanson: We all talke about Jered Weaver's drop in velocity. It turns out that Weaver may be learning from a Master; Tommy Hanson. Hanson's velocity across his career has been (jaw) dropping. "The Angels’ Tommy Hanson earns the distinction of the being the only pitcher on this list that both declined in April and May, but also did so in both month’s for the second consecutive year. The put it bluntly, Hanson is just bleeding velocity at this point." Weaver, by the way, didn't even make the cut.
- 2013 Draft Summary: To reprise my demographics report on the 2013 draft, here is my comment from the bottom of the Day 3 Draft Thread last weekend. Get a gander of what is going on during Dipoto's regime...(Side thought...imagine being one of the last guys drafted at all, seriously still hoping to become a pro ballplayer, and learning that you got taken AFTER these picks!)
Why..why...WHY does a person have to go to a site called "FootballFanatics.com" in order to snag such a totally masterful cap as this???
Friday, June 14 @ 7:05 PM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) New York Yankees vs. LA Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim
[BIG BANG FRIDAY - TROUT FARM SECTION 101]
(LHP) 5-3 3.82 ERA versus (LHP) 4-5 4.02 ERA
Saturday, June 15 @ 1:15 PM, (FOX / MLB.TV) New York Yankees vs. LA Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim
[DRAWSTRING BACKPACK - TROUT FARM SECTION 101]
(RHP) 4-3 3.90 ERA versus (RHP) 3-2 4.12 ERA
Sunday, June 16 @ 9:35 AM, (FS-W / MLB.TV) New York Yankees vs. LA Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim
[FAMILY SUNDAY - KIDS RUN THE BASES - TROUT FARM SECTION 101]
(LHP) 6-5 4.07 ERA versus (RHP) 1-2 3.77 ERA
Andy Pettitte turns 41 on Saturday. Andy Pettitte is pitching like he was 31. Hell, Andy Pettitte is pitching like he was 21. It was about this point last season that he broke down. It's far more likely that the only reason fans stick around to the end Friday night is to watch free fireworks than it is that Andy Pettitte will break down on the mound and our offense will shell the Yankee bullpen and their suddenly vulnerable Mariano Rivera. Bet our money on the chance that the 18-inning marathon loss to Oakland on Thursday night took something out of them. Moving to Saturday, David Phelps remains mystery meat to our offense, and we all know how well we do against guys we haven't seen much of in the past. Fortunately, there is Sunday, where neither Sabathia nor Weaver get out of the 5th inning and we pull out the weekend win as both pens battle to determine which collapses the least going into the 8th and 9th innings, when Rivera might not be available.
This Date In Baseball History: 1870 - Bob Ferguson of the Brooklyn Atlantics takes his at bat left handed in an effort to avoid hitting anything to the Cincinnati Red Stockings' shortstop George Wright, and becomes the first known switch-hitter in history...........1876 - George Hall of the Philadelphia Athletics becomes the first player ever to hit for The Cycle (note that Wikipedia fails to know this)..........1919 - Joe Wilhoite, still rather fresh from the Pacific Coast League, gets a base hit and thus begins the longest consecutive game hitting streak in the history of professional baseball: 69 games for the Wichita Jobbers of the Western League..........1933 - Joe McCarthy and Lou Gehrig are both tossed from the same game. McCarthy gets a three game suspension but Gehrig does not, which preserves his consecutive game playing streak (then at 1,249 games)..........1949 - Ruth Ann Steinhagen gets so upset that the Chicago Cubs first baseman that she worships, Eddie Waitkus, is being traded away to the Phillies, that she takes a rifle to his hotel and shoots him in the chest. Waitkus will survive and live to the age of 53. Steinhagen was institutionalized until 1952, then moved back with her family and remained a recluse until her death in 2012 at the age of 83. The Steinhagen case was one of the first known instances of stalker crimes, and led the inspiration of the novel The Natural by Bernard Malamud, published in 1952 and later made into the Robert Redford movie..........1952 - Dewey Griggs, scout for the then still Boston Braves, signs a young prospect named Henry Aaron..........1974 - Nolan Ryan, pitching for the Angels and with Denny Doyle playing 2B and eventually driving in the winning run, strikes out 19 batters over 13 innings as the Halos best the Boston Red Sox 4-3 in 15 innings at Anaheim. Cecil Cooper K's six consecutive times..........1975 - Explaining why I mention Denny Doyle so prominently above, the Angels trade away Doyle for PTBNL Chuck Ross, a local product who will never sniff the majors and be out of baseball completely within months. Meanwhile, Doyle will go on to be a big part of the Red Sox' pennant winning title chase that season............2005 - The Brendan Donnelly Pine Tar Incident. And a great read on it, here.
Rounding Up The Major League News...
- Stopwatches: The REAL, but stupid, reasons that baseball games are getting longer and longer every year. The Boston Globe broke down three games between the Blue Jays and Red Sox and tallied it all up. The villains are all over the place. "You can get a beer from the concession stand in the time it takes Gomes to get to the plate...As calculated by the Globe, Gomes was the slowest of those who saw at least 20 pitches in the series, at 11.62 seconds per pitch." And "Houston’s Bud Norris is the biggest offender, according to fangraphs, coming in at a whopping 25.7 seconds between pitches." And my favorite: ""I partly blame it on Velcro," said [Vin] Scully".
- Languid: On the other side of the Baseball Takes A Long Time coin, there is Deadspin. We could dive deep into their arguments, too, but it's easier to cut to the chase: "If you're in a hurry to watch a game, you're doing it wrong."
- Juice: By now you have all probably heard about the Lords of Japanese Baseball confessing to the juicing of their game balls in use the past few seasons in an effort to increase offense for what is, essentially, a sport for spectators. Which got Larry Granillo over at Baseball Nation to look back at our own 1987 Rabbit Ball Season, wherein the overall home run total jumped 20% out of nowhere and nobody ever knew why. A major theme of Granillo's article is how obscure, random, and unscientific were many members of the baseball MSM at that time. Soak yourself in the ignorance of MSM in 1987, and then reflect on today's Lyle Spencer et al, and certainly those of the MSM who railed in 2012 against advanced metrics showcasing the year that Mike Trout achieved.
- Wally Backman: Many of you should know, by now, that I keep teasing about Wally Backman as our next managerial candidate. It's true. It also is merely a small part of a much larger cult bandwagon that runs through the psyche of Mets fans. Well, with the Mets failing miserably in 2013, and Terry Francona having a gay old time now with the Cleveland Indians, the Wally Backman chatter has risen dramatically, reaching a fever pitch over the whole Ike Davis demotion and landing in Wall's lap for Wally's tutelage. Well, rest easy, Mike Scioscia haters. It looks like Wally still remains on the dating circuit after all. As for Davis, he probably just has a short term case of Josh Hamilton disease. Kind of like Casey Kotchman's mononucleosis.
- Jurisprudence: Here is your long form link of the weekend. I advise you to brace yourselves as the Biogenesis story builds and builds over the next month or so. We are quickly going to be hearing and reading all sorts of things about potential punishment. The above article from Baseball Prospectus is written by a union-leaning labor lawyer who dives deep into what he does know about law, about the player-league agreements in play, and about the information circulating in the public realm. Admittedly, there may be significant facts yet to be revealed which may sway the analysis, but at this point in time it's a good read to prep for the informed witness to the debate. If history is any guide, the odds are that Uncle Bud and the MSM will appear far less credible once we are more edumacated.
- All-Star Brouhaha, Take 2: Remember last season when the ASG was held at Kauffmann Stadium and the home crowd booed Robinson Cano mercilessly for leaving Billy Butler off the AL Home Run Derby squad - much to the dismay of the TV announcing team? Well, Cano is once again AL Home Run Derby Captain so he was asked about Butler for 2013. Not missing an opportunity to snivel at being booed, Cano went out of his way to take a cheap shot at Butler's expense, and Butler has taken notice. Not that Butler has any reason to be considered, of course (5 HR's in 2013, one of which was against the Halo pitching staff), but he does resent the sentiment behind the poor choice of words on Cano's part.
Video Of The Week
(Watch TWO umpires get their calls wrong on the same play!)
(Trouble viewing the video? Direct link here.)
Video Bonus #1: Hot Chick In The Front Row gets totally pwned by Eager Kid! Pay particular attention to the woman in the back, who probably was once Hot Chick In The Front Row, and now is relegated to downing dogs and being bemused by the antics of contemporary Hot Chick In The Front Row.
Video Bonus #2: Drunk Mets fan, trying to be cool, fails.
Video Bonus #3: Oakland Security Guard takes one off helmet. Chooses to sit there and watch the whole thing happen.
Brian Stow, Dodger Stadium beating victim, finally returns home, although primarily because the insurance money has run out..........Wha? Is the NFL finally returning to SoCal?? In Anaheim???..........It sure is a good thing (at least for Ryan Raburn) that Miguel Cabrera does chew TOBACCO!..........Here's some food for thought: SABR takes a new look at the value of the stolen base..........If Dr. Lewis Yokum were to posthumously get into baseball's Hall Of Fame, would it be under the LAA logo?..........Trout spends the off day at Pelican Hills. Tough life......Josh Hamilton spends the off day playing on the beach with his family. Tough life, but batting practice might have been a good idea, too............Um, baseball is a great pastime and all, but there truly are times when it might not be the most appropriate thing to be doing. (That's the Black Forest fire in Colorado there in the background.)
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: Glendale neighbors head on over to Red Carpet Wine for a Ballat Point New Release Tasting...........Those closer to the South Bay might be interested in converging into the Four Points Sheraton at LAX and chill out with their Hoppy Daze of Summer IPA Fest and Poolside Dinner.
Saturday: San Diego folk might be interested in the 2nd Annual BeerNerdz Blind Tasting Challenge being held at Fifty Seven Degrees...........Bay residents have, at the other end of the State, the Monterey Beer Festival taking place at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center.
Sunday: Father's Day CollaBREWtive Brunch, a beer & food event for Dad's, will be hosted by Lot 613, 613 Imperial Street in LA.