Before the Dodgers invaded Los Angeles and bulldozed away the residents of Chavez Ravine, the most popular baseball team in Southern California was the Los Angeles Angels. Walter O'Malley, then Dodgers owner, purchased the Angels away from William Wrigley in advance of moving to LA, as a way to eliminate competition. He bought the Angels AND Wrigley Field. The Wrigley Field in Los Angeles was actually the FIRST Wrigley Field. The one the resurrected Angels will be playing in tonight was not named Wrigley Field until 1927, two years AFTER ours was so named. The Cubs are kind of like the grandparents of our Angels. Maybe they will take us fishing.
This marks the Halos first return to Wrigley since Wednesday, July 10th of 2013, when they defeated the Cubs 13 to 2. Mike Trout went 3 for 4 in that night game as C.J. Wilson crushed Jeff Samardzija.
Tonight we return in hopes of continued glory. Or something.
Have some Welcome To The Big Leagues Links:
ANGELS ON DECK
The Upcoming Series:
Los Angeles Angels @ Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Field Version 1, Chicago, IL.
|Day||Game Time||Probable Pitchers||TV|
|TUESDAY||5:05 PM PDT||Jered Weaver (2-5, 8.49 ERA) vs. John Lackey (5-4, 3.46 ERA)||FS-W|
|WEDNESDAY||5:05 PM PDT||Ricky Nolasco (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (4-7, 3.66 ERA)||FS-W|
From the official Game Notes: "CUBS ON DECK: 2016 marks fourth season Angels and Cubs have met in interleague play…The Cubs lead the all-time series 7-5 after taking both games at Angel Stadium to kick off season."
Everywhere In Baseball
(Just a heads up before we get started. FanGraphs is growing and has chosen to opt for voluntary, fee-based, membership. I peruse FG daily and reference quite a bit of their most excellent content. As such, I am honor bound to subscribe and I will continue to link. If those links ever stop working for any of you non-subscribers, please let me know in the comments. It will alert me to the need to figure something out.)
Trout: I mentioned this yesterday. When Mike Trout struck out 4 times on Sunday he was going up against a strike zone the size of Rhode Island. Don't elieve me? Believe FanGraphs, then: "Look again, though, at the strike-zone map. Paxton got a borderline call up. He got a borderline call away, and he got a borderline call down. He got a favorable call on a pitch off the plate away, and he got another favorable call on a pitch off the plate inside. There were three balls high and tight, and I suppose you could argue those were borderline calls as well, but those were balls, each one. Paxton got the coin flips. He got a few of the weighted coin flips....In all four at-bats, Paxton got at least one crucial friendly strike call. In one of them, he got two. The home-plate umpire makes those calls, and those calls were made in large part because of the quality receiving of Mike Zunino...".........
Must C: ARod retirement is becoming an event in New York. Fortunately for the Yankees, who control their secondary market in the way that Arte was happy to follow, they are making extra coin..........
Forever Lyle: I check in with Lyle Spencer so you don't have to. He still travels with his knee pads handy in teh event that Jeff Mathis does anything. Like yesterday when he name drops Howie Kendrick to brag about Jeff Mathis in high school. So here, in retort, is an interesting factoid: the now 34-year old Mike Napoli has 28 home runs so far this year while playing for the Indians. In his entire 7-year career with the the Angels, while playing through the prime youthful ages of 22 through 28, Jeff Mathis hit a grand total of only 26 home runs. But that's OK with Lyle, because Jeff Mathis was one of the great backstops in history (Decidedly NOT. read the details here.). And, of course, Mathis was mighty good at throwing to first base. He was even better when he had an up close and personal view of how other catchers threw to first base.............
Cubano: Here is a glimmer on the horizon. Do we sail towards it or remain on the current path towards even more open seas? MLB has declared Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as a Free Agent. Gurriel, and his older brother Yulieski, defected together earlier this year. Yulieski was signed by the Astros. Here is the key: Lourdes is only 22, and is subject to the Dipoto Baldoquin Boner, wherein Billy Eppler is restricted in any contract bonus he could offer. Since Lourdes will be a Free Agent and open to a bidding war, this would handicap Eppler so severely he ought not to even bother picking up the phone. But Lourdes turns 23 in October. And after 23, he is no longer subject to those MLB international signing bonus pool limitations. Lourdes can play outfield. Lourdes can hit. Can Eppler pay?............
Labor Abuse: We are an important part of this ongoing issue of underpaid minor league players. We, as fans, demand a quality product and we pay dearly to support a local franchise, often even forking over billions of dollars that could otherwise go to a common good in order to pray that we retain any commitment from the billionaire ownership to stick around and provide us with that quality product. And not too far below the surface, our attention and adoration actually fuel the exploitation of young hopefuls. We keep handing the owners their revenue. We keep handing the owners the civic leverage. We keep handing the owners the political protections. The fact that the few employees who succeed beyond the gristmill of minor league service become multi-millionaires themselves doesn't expunge the financial abuse imposed on the other 95%. And that other 95% is critical to the health of Major League Baseball, which is why MLB is working so hard on the youth pipeline. That abuse serves nothing other than the personal profit margins of the billionaire owners, who are the only ones who pay the minor league salaries. It is unconscionable that the system has been perpetuated this way for so long. It is unconscionable that the owners, through the MLB mouth-piece, work and lobby so hard to protect the status quo. It is unconscionable that the political leadership and judicial oversight is so willing to turn their back on common sense and basic economic equity. This is an age when the majority of us hate the idea of unions. But this is the very reason unions come into power in the first place: because greed refuses to part with the pennies of human decency...........
The Duffle Bag
Sorry, Baseball, but you don't get to pick and choose who it is that is known as "K-Rod". ................Pitch mechanics for fun and profit. "You're going to have to go out there in front of 50,000 people with Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout up and they know what you're throwing...".............Mr. 3000. With Ichiro nabbing career MLB hit #3000, next up should be Adrian Beltre, sitting at 2878. Poor Sam Rice, who retired in 1934 with 2987, 13 hits shy..........A brief moment where Texas fans get pwned by Tom Wilhemsen. I love the part about Wilhemsen trying to fake feeling at home in Texas, and just couldn't do it..........Speaking of Seattle pitchers who hosed the Halos over the weekend, remember Taijuan Walker, who barfed up 6 earned runs in 4 innings that the Halo bullpen would eventually barf back for a loss? Well, Walker isn't even good enough to pitch at the Big leagues at the moment...........130 ejections so far in MLB, and the Angels have only 4 of them. Hilariously, of those 4 Yunel Escobar owns 3...........Give 'em credit, the Braves have more fun with bobbleheads than we do............This sucks. Bruce Bochy is only 20 months older than I am, and when he "feels ill", he is now at a point where that is all that is needed for hospitalization..........Miami is learning that Fernando Rodney sucks. Color me surprised............This should be a thing: Mike Trout appearances on other players baseball cards............Fun slide #1...........Fun slide #2...........
(Yesterday homercles finally came through to clear the logjam. Team FIP versus team ERA. You can read my take on the data in my response to homercles. Today we put charts side by side. Same data points but two different subjects.)