Is this supposed to be some sort of tragic joke on Angels' fans? The club performed so well in Spring Training that we collectively get our hopes up for a great season, and then on the very first day of the season, last night happened. At first, I was going to take the blame for the late inning collapse since I started listening/watching the game late. When I first turned on the radio on my way home from work, the Angels had a 3-2 lead and Weaver was on the hill. When I got home I was treated to Jepsen and Moronde pitching like it was 2013. However, I reminded myself that I don't believe in such superstitions, and besides, I had nothing to do with Don Baylor busting his leg. Here are the first 2014 regular season Halolinks. Beware:
- It's kind of funny that Weaver was doing what most Angels' fans were thinking about doing at the same time: Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels - March 31, 2014 - MLB.com. "It's not really about holding leads late, a time when games typically line up perfectly and Mike Scioscia can go to his best relievers -- it's about keeping the small deficits manageable. "I think we saw it came down to that tonight," Weaver said. "Their bullpen was a little bit better than ours. But what are you going to do?" Weaver wasn't able to watch the top of the ninth. "I went in the bathroom and threw up, actually." The Angels' ace was sick when he took the mound against Felix Hernandez for his club-record sixth Opening Day start, but was still solid through the first five innings, giving up just one run on one walk and three hits while striking out six."
- I hate the word "ominous", especially when it's used in this context: MLB Recap - Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels - Mar 31, 2014 - CBSSports.com. "Trout hit a two-run homer and Albert Pujols had a run-scoring double for the Angels, who had won nine of 10 on Opening Day, including five straight. Their evening got off to an ominous start when hitting coach Don Baylor broke his right leg while catching Vladimir Guerrero's ceremonial first pitch. "Obviously it's a freak [injury]," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We'll see how it turns out." For the life of me I can't figure out what word Scioscia used in that quote, "...it's a freak [injury]"
- Los Angeles Angels hitting coach Don Baylor injured on ceremonial first pitch - ESPN Los Angeles. " Baylor will have surgery Tuesday on his right femur."
- Oh please, shut the hell up: An unceremonious start as Angels lose opener to Mariners, 10-3 - latimes.com. "For longtime followers of this star-crossed franchise, which saw Kendrys Morales mangle his left leg while jumping into home plate to celebrate a walk-off homer and Mo Vaughn sprain his ankle when he tumbled into the first base dugout in pursuit of a foul pop in his first game as an Angel, this could mean only one thing: A bad omen."
- Well, that didn't last long...it only took one game for the season's first "turn the page": Weaver, Angels open with a thud - The Orange County Register. "Jepsen, who entered with the Angels down 4-3, gave up a three-run homer to Justin Smoak. Nick Maronde gave up a walk and a three-run triple to the first two batters he faced. "These guys are better than they showed tonight," Manager Mike Scioscia said of the relievers. "They have thrown the ball well all spring. They have good arms. It didn’t get done tonight, but they are better than this. We’re going to turn the page on this."
It looks like the A's and Mets are also collecting trash...
The @Athletics have signed Joe Blanton to a minor league deal. He will join the River Cats starting rotation.— River Cats (@RiverCats) March 31, 2014
The Mets signed OF Bobby Abreu to a minor league contract. He will report to Las Vegas.— New York Mets (@Mets) March 31, 2014
- If the Angels enter the month of May witha losing record, will Mike Scioscia still have a job? Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels - April 1, 2014 - MLB.com. "The month of April isn't supposed to make or break your season, but it essentially has for the Angels the last two years. The Angels have the fourth-worst April winning percentage the previous two seasons, going 8-15 in 2012 and 9-17 in 2013. In response, the Angels tweaked their program this spring, getting a lot more aggressive with their pitchers and having their hitters take many more swings. The Angels open the season with 12 straight games against teams who finished the 2013 season with a sub-.500 record. "If I had my druthers, yeah, I would love to have a good start," Scioscia said. "But if you kind of stub your toe a little bit in April, it doesn't mean that a team like this, with the potential that we have and the depth that we have, is not going to turn it on and get back into a race and reach your goal. Naturally, you want to get off to a good start. We're focusing on the process of what we need to do to get off to a good start, and I think areas like the bullpen and our rotation being further along now hopefully can lead to that."
- Angels didn't move fences; they just changed angles - latimes.com. "Mike Trout noticed it right away during batting practice. The center-field wall in Angel Stadium, which was 400 feet away from home plate last season, is now 396 feet. The distance to straight-away left field, which was 365 feet last season, is 347 feet, and right field moved from 365 feet to 348 feet." Apparently they moved the distance markers to make room for some new advertising banners.
- This is cool: Vlad officially retires with the Angels - angels.com. "The Angels signed Guerrero to a one-day contract on the field Monday, seconds before he would throw out the ceremonial first pitch to kick off Opening Day, so that he could officially retire with the organization."
- Here's an interesting quote from Howie Kendrick that shows a little insight into how the players felt about last season: Potential finally might be more than a fantasy for Angels - The Orange County Register. ""It’s exciting," said Howie Kendrick, a former All-Star and career .292 hitter who has been pushed to seventh in the Angels’ new lineup. "Hopefully everybody stays healthy and we’ll see what we can do when we’re all playing right." In other words, he acknowledges there were a couple of players who weren't "playing right".
- Although it's happening for the Red Sox, this is a neat story: Grady Sizemore homers for Red Sox in first game since 2011 - Yahoo Sports. "Sizemore hit his first home run since 2011 in his first regular-season appearance after missing two full seasons because of injuries. His home run came in the fourth inning in his second at-bat to tie the score"