Back in 2011, our old supreme leader, Rev Halofan, brought a handful of us Halos Heaven ruffians up from the realm of the comments and the Fanposts, and into the world of official, front page posting. Yep, he had given us the keys to the Halos Heaven muscle car and was now allowing us to take it for a spin whenever and wherever we’d like.
In a couple months, I’ll have been in my site manager/editor-in-chief role for two years, and one of the things I’m most proud of in that time is curating a new group of amazing and talented writers to grace the front page of our esteemed site. I have tried to do the same thing for the new blood I’ve brought on as Rev did for me all those years ago, giving them the outlet, the tools and all the audience one could ever need to broadcast their Angels-related opinions.
As a community, it’s also crucial to know these writers, to feel familiar and friendly with them, because that’s what makes the Halos Heaven vibe so special. So, once again, I’m doing just as Rev did back in 2011, and I’m posting some Q&As that I did for each of the new staff writers that we’ve seen come on in the past year. Heck, I even used Rev’s same questions!
So, without further ado, let’s meet the Halos Heaven staff, shall we?
It was around the end of June, last year, when I first became of aware of the baseball-writing machine known as Rahul Setty. He had written THIS fanpost, which was a pretty good overview of the upcoming trade deadline, and he offered up some intelligent, well-written ideas on what the Halos should do. The coolest part? THAT WAS HIS FIRST POST EVER ON THIS SITE!
He was immediately on my radar with that article, and it was also around that point that I got my first impression of his personality and character. After I had put his fanpost on the front page and shared it on Facebook, I got a “thank you” email from Rahul. I remember thinking “What a nice and polite dude”, and to this day, that assessment still holds true.
After doing that fanpost that was the equivalent of hitting a three-run homer in your first MLB at-bat, Rahul quickly became a regular around these parts. He was doing fanpsots, still, but he had also begun to make his presence known in the comments on a regular basis.
Sometime in September of last year, I was still searching for new recruits for the masthead, and the one guy I thought I should hit up was Rahul. I even sent out an email to fellow writer Carlos Feliciano, and asked if he had seen anybody on the site recently that would make a good HH roster addition, and he only had one suggestion: Rahul Setty. Yep, it was a no-brainer.
Rahul, who is yet another under-the-legal-drinking-age college student (Chapman, business major) on the Halos Heaven crew, jumped at the opportunity to help me out on the site, and the dude took to blogging like a fish to water, and he has never looked back.
Nowadays, it’s almost weird to think of a time when you DIDN’T see Rahul’s name somewhere, in a byline or in the comments section of an article, whenever visiting Halos Heaven. He’s become a fixture on this site, one that I’m extremely grateful for, but not simply because of his great writing skills and his very nice, easy going personality, and not just because of his rabid love for all things Angels.
I’m grateful to have Rahul on board because he is one hell of a hard worker, and he’s got moxie to spare. The word “go-getter” has never been a more apt description of someone than it is with Rahul. I’ve not only given him tasks on Halos Heaven, which he then completes ahead of schedule and above expectations, but he’ll come to me and the rest of the staff with ideas of his own.
He is the one who lead the charge for the Halos Heaven prospect rankings. He got us writers together for our 2017 season over/under predictions. The dude is a straight killer when it comes to the blogging game, and we’re all very lucky to have him. But remember, underneath all of that writing talent and Angels passion, is a super cool, super nice guy.
He’s a five-tool human being, and I’m proud to not only have him helping me out on this site, but I’m stoked to have met him in person and to be able to say that he’s a friend. Now, on to the Q&A!
WHO WAS THE FIRST ANGELS PLAYER YOU DECIDED WAS "YOUR GUY"?
It's gotta be Chone Figgins, a someone who was never supposed to be as good as he was. As much as I loved seeing guys like Jered Weaver, Howie Kendrick, and Vladimir Guerrero be consistent stalwarts, Figgins and his stealthy baserunning will always have my heart.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CURRENT ANGEL AND WHY?
Mike Trout is the easy answer, but I dig Andrelton Simmons. Simba is the greatest defender I've ever seen in my life, and it's not even close. I'm very thankful that we have both.
WHICH SIDE OF THE "STATS VS CHEMISTRY" DEBATE ARE YOU ON AND WHY?
If there's anything I've learned over the years, it's that there's no 'one size fits all' solution. I'm on the side of winning games, and in today's age that entails a multiple-pronged approach of calculating and analyzing advanced statistics, scouting players to predict where each one will be at maturity, drafting talented players, and having strong player development to make the most of the talent. It also means considering appropriate risk in how likely a certain player is to reach their median and ceiling projections.
Don't get me wrong, chemistry is important too (see Maybin, Cameron) but all stats and no chemistry wins games. The contrary doesn't.
PICK A SONG FOR THE ANGELS TO REPLACE BUTTERCUP WITH?
My troll answer would be "Never Gonna Give you Up" by Rick Astley (aka rickrolling the opponent), the subliminal messaging as to say 'we are never giving up this lead'.
But that's going to get old pretty fast, so I'd go with "Don't Stop Believin' " because who doesn't like Journey?
IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE OF THE ANGELS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES, NAME THE PERFORMER YOU BREAK THE BANK TO GET...
OneRepublic! I've always loved their music but never seen them live, so it's gotta be them.
SAY SOMETHING BALLSY / CONTROVERSIAL FOR US TO REMEMBER YOU BY...
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” -Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!