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?
As a sort of BONUS addition to the recent Meet the Staff articles, I asked the venerable Stirrups if he’d like to have his original Q&A re-posted, or if he’d take a look at it and do any updating or revisiting of his answers, for a 2017 edition.
At first, I was just going to go over the writers that had burst on to the scene in the past year, that you now regularly see on the front page. Those were the “new” names around these parts, and thus were in most need of introduction. Since that seemed to be enjoyed by most of the community, I figured we should circle back to Stirrups, since he’s still here churning out some kickass links posts every weekday, like clockwork, and there might be a few people that are still not familiar with this Halos Heaven mainstay.
Who doesn’t know Stirrups, though?! If you’ve come here even for just one day, you’ll probably recognize that moniker without even thinking too hard on it. It’s Stirrups, for cryin’ out loud! Anyway, I’ve linked to his original Q&A below, and you can then compare that to his answers below.
Some answers have changed over the past 6 years, some have not. There’s only one way to find out! So, here’s Stirrups, the man who needs no introduction (but he’s getting one anyway), and also the man who said I should use a Clint Eastwood pic for his article, naturally.
Here is the link to the first version, freely given back in 2011:
Meet Your Angels Blogger: Stirrups
WHO WAS THE FIRST ANGELS PLAYER YOU DECIDED WAS "YOUR GUY"?
This is no change. No way it could be. A fan has to own it.
"Rich Reichardt. Major League Baseball's very first "Bonus Baby". A baseball rock star to OC Little League youth. Our very own Sir Lancelot. A magnificent champion. A hero who could not fail (but who did). Whereas the rest of Southern California was lapping at the feet of Koufax/Wills/Drysdale/Davis/Roseboro/Lefebvre/Parker/et al, I had Reichardt. As I have written on HH before, my father's bank helped finance stadium construction and I had access to the 1st 3 rows of seats behind the home dugout, for about 80% of all games back then. Over time, the players surely recognized the same gaggle of small boys - brothers, all - cheering them on whenever they were just outside the dugout. And Reichardt would smile and wave to me a lot. Yeah, that made him "my guy". Not any of yours, by the way. Mine. And my hero could play. Not well enough to rock the world, as it turned out, but well enough to rock the stadium. That guy could cover serious ground in center field. He generated the same excitement then that Bourjos generates today. And, besides, when you are 10, sitting deep down inside Anaheim Stadium, there is no world beyond the fences anyway. My guy in my stadium was more than enough for me to make my Hall Of Fame."
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CURRENT ANGEL AND WHY?
This is the biggest change, because Jered Weaver is no longer a current Angel. Shit happens.
So after an awful lot of deep thinking and hard soul-searching, I did the extremely difficult and unexpected thing and picked.....Mike Trout.
Come on, people! In what world is it acceptable to call yourself a baseball fan, have no less than one of the top three very best overall all-around talents to play this game in nearly 100 years on your own damned team, and STILL fail to recognize him as the primary reason for paying attention at all???
I count myself lucky to see ONE Mike Trout in my lifetime. If it turns out that we are merely on the precipice of a tidal wave of Mike Trouts, we'll talk. Until then: Mike Trout. May God bless his parents.
WHICH SIDE OF THE "STATS VS CHEMISTRY" DEBATE ARE YOU ON AND WHY?
Here I follow the advice of John Maynard Keynes. "When the facts, change, I change my mind. What, sir, do you do?"
As I wrote back in 2011 my needle was on the side of chemistry, but drifting in the direction of stats. Now we have had more time for that needle to keep moving The close attention to detail that this gig imposes creates an acknowledgement that there really are a deeper set of recognizable patterns throughout human athletic performance. And just because the athletes themselves are too busy focused elsewhere to notice that doesn't make it less real. Chemistry is a byproduct of goodwill, which itself is a byproduct of winning. When any team in any sport wins a shitload beyond expectations, the players bask in the glow of that success and spew forth all the same refrains. That's where "chemistry" comes from in the first place.
And I have been quite up front in leading with a lot of touchstones concerning the introduction of StatCast data into our knowledge base and how that will work extensively to rid defensive metrics of many of the impurities. One must recognize progress.
That said, I still do believe that there remains a path for chemistry to defeat stats. It's the short series phenomenon. 1 game, 3 games, 5 games or 7 games. Shit happens in those. And I firmly believe that those things can be driven by human sacrifice. Commit to the team and situation rather than one's normal strength - you know, the stuff that allows the figures to normalize over the long haul - and odd things happen, things that look like outliers contrasted against the larger data sets. Stats rule the regular season. Stats rule careers. But chemistry can rule the playoffs.
PICK A SONG FOR THE ANGELS TO REPLACE BUTTERCUP WITH?
No change here:
"Take Me Out To The Ball Game - Redux". Not so much because I am some purist luddite. But because that is the only song that captures the spirit of being a fan for fan's sake. And it celebrates why we are gathered together at that time in the first place. And it doesn't matter which side we are rooting for. We are in this sport as fans, together, in this place, right then, for baseball."
IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE OF THE ANGELS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES, NAME THE PERFORMER YOU BREAK THE BANK TO GET...
Ok. Change here. No more Stones. Who really wants to see 70-year old guys singing the same playlist we have been listening to for 60 years now? Especially when they just did that schtick here in SoCal a few months ago? Stupid Newport Beach types, that's who. And I ain't gonna do anything anymore to make those lumps particularly happy.
So, for much the same reason, I have to walk away from ZZ Top, Aerosmith, The Who. Acts that were in their 60's back in 2011 are in their 70's now. So...so...ah, to hell with it. If I get to break the bank, and banks are pretty damned overwhelmingly unbreakable anymore, I'm going to give Pink Floyd some an country someplace - maybe Canada - so that they come out of retirement and do a one night only final final performance. I could probably charge $10,000 a ticket and still sell out the place. Then I would have enough money to re-sign Mike Trout.
SAY SOMETHING BALLSY / CONTROVERSIAL FOR US TO REMEMBER YOU BY...
No change in the sentiment, but I always felt my composition back in 2011 failed to clearly make the actual point. So here is the same message, reworded for clarity:
"Fifteen years from today I am gonna get to park my ancient ass back in those seats behind the home dugout nearly every game, spending all my 401K savings earned while the economy was still strong enough to benefit my generation and pay out dividends. I will get to do so because this era will have passed and 2.5 million of you are F'n bandwagoners who will all have moved along to some other easy distraction, like the Southern California League of World Cosplay or some such credit card sucking enterprise.
And I will once again be left alone with 6,000 of my closest friends in what remains of the decaying Angel Stadium, deliriously happy to cheer my Halos on to yet another 4th place finish in the CalSouth Liga of MLB. The hot dogs will still suck. The beer will still be over-priced. And I will be left alone to still love all of it."