You folks have no idea how many paragraphs I have written and deleted concerning the events of this past week. Enough for 4 TL:DR essays, easily. One of them was pretty damned good. But they were not as you may have hoped. Quite the opposite, actually.
I am not going to go back into them now. Just know that I foresaw a bad ending. Not THIS bad ending, but a bad ending nonetheless. And I didn't want to be a part of it. I had read Rev's infamous headliner on Monday night, and when I awoke Tuesday morning my first thoughts were to consider what I might do about what I saw as a feedback loop spiraling out of control. I even, at one extreme, considered stepping down from the masthead. Yep. I really did.
Now the first thing I do each morning is lift my phone off the nightstand and check email. Working for a global company, with global clients, it is not unusual for things of import to be waiting for my attention. And, on Tuesday, there was something. It was a message from the SBN mothership giving me the impression that they had interceded into HH - again - and (this time) they had taken a drastic step concerning our Fearless Leader. I reached out to the overlords but didn't get much of any response, and even that took a long time. I felt that I needed more information in order to decide what I was going to do. In the vacuum, I went back to my oldest son, the very one who brought me here to HH in the first place. We spent a few hours going back and forth on this subject.
In the end, before official word started to go viral around the Internet and work its way back here, I came to the conclusion that this was a time to stand and fight, not flee. This is a good place. It does good work, with good people and for good people. It's not perfect, but in this case that is by design. And that tolerance of imperfection, in fact the very nurturing of it, is what pisses off the impatient outsiders. It's no accident. It's a reflection of the creator, under which we all have thrived. There is a heritage, worthy of caretaking and even more worthy of nourishing.
I don't agree with Rev's Monday evening article, nor do I agree with the dominant position here concerning He Who Must Not Be Named. But that is just tough shit for me. I can deal with it and am happy to carry on. And I'll be just as happy to keep pressing my points. Because, as Rev would be the first to point out, that energetic contention of ideas IS the Halos Heaven legacy.
In conclusion, for all those sitting at keyboards of authority up there in the mothership who did NOT bother to reach back and respond to me when I asked for guidance; and to all those same people who lacked the decency to come into HH and let us, the community, know directly what the official word was rather than letting us get blindsided by MSM news outlets from around the country; and for all those same people who allow vitriol and bigotry to go unchecked elsewhere throughout SBN at levels unacceptable here, yet foster the venom those same bloggers aim at us; and to all those trolls who wander into here from their meek and mild corner of nobody-gives-a-shit, or from their own cesspools of ignorance; I have but one thing to say:
THIS. IS. ANAHEIM!!!
So interlopers, you can GTFO. Now. The door is right over there. For the rest of us citizens, now we all know why it is that we here at HH don't get to have nice things. Things such as media passes. As if we care.
GAME UPDATE: Screw that. I already did that job. Click and read about it over there. We will be waiting right here for you when you get back.
The Weekend Series:
|7:15 PM PDT
|C.J. Wilson (1-2, 3.12 ERA) versus Chris Heston (2-2, 2.77 ERA)
|1:05 PM PDT
|Hector Santiago (2-1, 2.28 ERA) versus Tim Hudson (0-2 3.91 ERA)
|1:05 PM PDT
|Jered Weaver (0-3, 5.83 ERA) versus Tim Lincecum (1-2, 3.27 ERA)
- Trout Porn: Hey, Detroit fans! This is what it means to be an MV - P, as in "PLAYER". Can your Miguel Cabrera do THIS? Has he EVER been able to do this? Hell no. Behold the power of Mike Trout, The Adjudicator of Victories:
- C.J. Wilson: You are to be forgiven if you have not noticed that Wilson is actually more effective than last season. Yes, it's way early, so take all this with a large lick of salt. But he is off to a better start, with his ERA+ at a 126 versus last seasons 82. His numbers are better across the board. So it's troublesome that he already reports needing to have fluid drained from his elbow, which will need surgery that he is deferring to the end of the year.
- Chris Iannetta: Iannetta got yet another day to rest his weary .093 batting average again yesterday. The guy is a career .233 hitter so he is not amazing, but even .233 hitters don't fall off the cliff like this. He will be back. He knows that better than we do. And we need him back, now that he has upped his skills as a pitch framer. "It's early in the season, but for me, it feels like it's been six years." If it is any consolation, Iannetta is batting 93 points above Jeff "Just wait, you'll see" Mathis.
- Albert Pujols: Pujols's sore hambone not only precluded his use as even a DH yesterday, but is likely to keep him out of the entire upcoming weekend series against the Giants. Pretty much meaning, duh...no change. For the record, he is a .290 career hitter against the Giants in AT&T Park.
This Date In Baseball History: 1884 - The Toledo Blue Stockings take the field against the Louisville Eclipse in an American Association game. The catcher for Toledo that day is Moses Fleetwood Walker. Thus, Walker becomes the first African American to play in the major leagues...........1901 - Herm McFarland, playing for the White Sox, hits the first grand slam in the history of the American League. The opponent is the Detroit Tigers, who commit 12 errors in this match-up.............1920 - The longest baseball game in MLB history, by innings (not time) ends in a 1-1 tie between the Brooklyn Robins (now Dodgers) and the Boston Braves (still the Braves). The game lasted 26 innings before it was called...................1925 - Future Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx, rookie catcher for the A's, gets a base hit in his first at-bat. Foxx is 17 years old.............1926 Future Hall of Famer Satchel Paige makes his pitching debut in the Negro Southern League............1951 - Mickey Mantle hits the first home run of his career, this on Mother's Day. The ball is now enshrined in the Hall of Fame and is autographed by Mantle himself............1951 - Minnie Minoso, the White Sox All-Star who dies two months ago today, made his Major League debut and becomes the first African American to play for the ChiSox..........1974 - Doc Ellis, unhappy with the swagger emanating from the Cincinnati Reds, takes the mound and, using only 5 pitches, proceeds to plunk Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Dan Driessen. he then sends two pitches behind the head of Tony Perez and ends up walking him. With Johnny Bench up, Ellis goes 0-2 and the Pirates Skipper Danny Murtaugh pulls him............1991 - Nolan Ryan pitches the 7th no-hitter of his career..........1991 - Rickey Henderson passes Lou Brock to become the all-time stolen base leader.............2005 -Johan Santana sees his personal streak of 17 consecutive starts with a win come to an end when he allows just 2 hits against the Angels, but those 2 hits are solo home runs by Vlad Guerrero and Jose Molina as the Halos top the Twins 2-1............2006 - Doug Mirabelli is acquired by the Red Sox in a trade with the Padres, and is flown to Boston immediately to resume his role as the personal catcher for knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. With the benefit of a police escort, Mirabelli arrives at the stadium a mere 13 minutes before game time..........2012 - The new ownership of the Dodgers makes their final payment to Frank McCourt,and Major League Baseball is finally freed from the circus.
- Thanks, mom: Starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen made his MLB debut with the Reds on Wednesday. Mom flew a red-eye out from LA just to watch. On the upside, she got to watch her boy get his first Big League base hit (NL pitchers bat, remember?). On the downside, at the exact same time his proud momma was getting interviewed in the stands, Lorenzen gave up his first major league home run. Oopsy. For his sake, I hope he doesn't have a mom who jumps his sorry ass in public!
- Special Effects: Here is an interesting study that looks at the impact that ambient light has on the called strike zone. While it might seem obvious to you and me, it's a pretty hard idea for the statistically-minded to accept that large fluctuations in outcomes might be impacted by time of day, and that those fluctuations might be going unaccounted for. This study reveals that some such large thing might exist, indeed. "Unlike with framing models, where we talk about the influence a catcher or umpire has on the game, this somehow suggests that (batter behavior being equal, which it almost certainly isn’t) pitches might vary substantially in value based solely on when they’re thrown." The "when" being time of day and amount of sunlight. Those who have been reading me a while will understand how, when the author attempts to explain the possible reasons for his findings, I paid particular attention to potential reason #2: "PITCHf/x data is incorrectly reporting the height of these pitches (presumably due to lighting conditions), but the umpires see them correctly, so the strike zone appears to change." Never forget: the robot tools that define the computerized strike zone we all have grown to worship are fraught with error, starting with human alignment.
- To DH, or not DH, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the game to suffer the indignity of athletic incompetence, or take arms against a sea of over-managing, and by opposing end them. How did I miss this? The DH has become a rather hot topic throughout baseball land all of a sudden. One guy in favor...same guy opposed....And more opposed...and opposed...Another guy in favor and same guy opposed. And this guy is pretty pissy about the whole dialog. Maybe he thinks he is on the verge of breaking out of that career .160 BA slump he is in.
- Timely Troubles?: Yordano Ventura dropped his appeal for being an asshat and will now serve his 7-game suspension. This may be the right time to do this, since one person may have noticed that Ventura might be nursing an injury that could use some time off. "As someone who likely has eyeballs, you should be able to notice that Ventura's velocity is down 5 MPH from a little over a month ago. This maybe wouldn't be as worrisome if it were September, but it's still April. Fastball velocity shouldn't drop off that quick unless there's a problem (ie: an injury)."
- Early Going Funsies: We, as Angels fans, sure hope things turn around as the season goes on but for now we can have a lot of smileage out of the early Power Rankings, which are top-heavy with Royals, Astros, Mets, Cubs, Rockies...
- Over the Line: Ok, so I am not the kind of dude who strays anywhere near political correctness, but that's because my mother raised me to know right from wrong from humor. But this is just plain wrong. I found it while browsing a random church thrift store this past weekend, up the coast. Note the Little League patch. This is a shirt for 7 or 8 year old kids. And the team logo is the 1947 - 1950 Cleveland Indians logo. That's starting them off on the wrong foot, way too early.
You love the flick Airplane! and you can quote more lines than you can name State capitals. If not, it's because you still pick your boogers. So how is this baseball related? Because the pilot role played by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was actually written to be played by Pete Rose.............MLB All-Star ballots are now out, but in e-form only. The paper ballots are dead, that a tree may live. However, somebody forgot that moving into the Information Age allows one to stop doing stupid things, and MLB carried into the Internet some bad habits............Here is a far superior Cleveland Indians logo than they put out in Central Coast Little Leagues. Look carefully.............A refresher, since it's been a while since all the brooha's of last season. Unwritten Rules.................This LA Angels garden gnome is already having a better time in baseball than I am.........I was going to beg the Cubs fans to just let it go. But then it occurs to me that maybe we should JOIN them and create a national cause, replacing the likes of "Sweet Caroline" and, even better, "Buttercup"...........Watch out, Heyman, such talk is heresy in many parts.
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: Fuzzy Faces charity event at Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery & Restaurant in Berkeley, running all weekend..........Murder Mystery beer & food gathering at Figueroa Mountain Brewery in Buellton..........New Bohemia Spring Beer Festn Roaring Camp, at the Bret Harte Hall, in Felton............Boonville Beer Festival 2015 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville..........
Saturday: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta at Dale Brothers Brewery in Upland..........Timeless Pints Taps 100th Batch of Beercelebration at Timeless Pints Brewery in Lakewood..........Fuzzy Faces charity event at Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery & Restaurant in Berkeley continues..........
Sunday: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens hosts a Chef Celebration beer & food event at their Liberty Station setting in San Diego............Fuzzy Faces charity event at Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery & Restaurant in Berkeley continues..........