Tagged: Anaheim

HELP WANTED: Closer

Closing pitcher needed.  Must know how to throw strikes.  Proven track record required.  Must be willing to walk off the mound if, in the 9th, you’ve already allowed 2 baserunners on.  Must be willing to show initiative and return to the dugout on your own.  No waiting for the Big Boss to come and get your sorry *ss.  (Note: giving up a 3 run homer will result in a suspension or possibly a trade to East Anaheim Little League.)  Nights and weekends required.  Uniform provided.  Apply in person at the Big A.  Hurry.  Please.  Next game in 30 minutes.

              brianfuentes.jpg picture by lafmyers

                                                    

The Month In Review

I love rain.  Usually.  Except when it causes an Angels game to be postponed.  They’re always on the road when it happens because it hardly ever rains in Anaheim.  When my family relocated from Chicago to Orange County in 1976, I missed two things: my wonderfully crazy relatives and weather.  Real weather…thunder, lightning, white Christmases, we have nothing like that here.  We’re even ripped off in the seasons department having only two: warm and hot.  So, as I have no Sunday game to comment about, I thought I’d discuss what I’ve learned as a blogger as the first month of the season comes to a close.

To be perfectly honest, I had never even read a blog here at MLB Blogs until the day after I’d posted my first blog back on opening day.  I regularly read the sports page in the OC Register and would keep current on Angels news on their website.  I had my Dad and a handful of friends who were faithful followers to rehash a game with or debate the latest moves made by Angels management.  Reading other blogs has been a fascinating journey out of my safe, little “bubble” here in Angel land.  Here are some of my observations:

1.   My sweet little boys in red have Yankees fans shaking in their boots when they come to the Big Apple. 

I don’t know why this came as such a shock to me!  I know that non-Yankees baseball fans collectively dislike the Yankees.  The general consensus is that Steinbrenner “buys” championships and every other team has to break open their piggy banks to try to scrape together a little bit of talent for their own rosters.  Yada, yada, yada.  We’ve all heard it before.  With that in mind, yes, it’s been a not-so-secret pleasure of Angels fans that we’ve had the success we’ve had against the Yankees.  Some Angels fans might admit (after 3 glasses of merlot) that even they didn’t expect the Angels to make it past the Yankees in 2002!  But not knowing any Yankees fans personally, I just didn’t realize what a thorn my Angels have been in the Yankees’ side these past few years.  I sure know now.  And since I’m being completely honest, I kinda LIKE it!

         

2.  My family and friends are wrong and I do NOT have a “problem”.

My husband and I have had a number of “discussions” because, while I am at an Angels game, I expect him to be sure the DVR is freed up to record said game because when I get home from mentioned game I will be watching, in its entirety, a recorded broadcast of the game I just attended.  I can now tell him with total certainty that, contrary to what he tells me…I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES THIS!  I would like to personally thank every blogger who mentions, and therefore validates, this practice.  Sure, some games are rebroadcast at 1:00 AM, but they are usually edited down to two hours.  The same episode of “American Chopper” or “The Deadliest Catch” is shown 63 times in a week.  My husband is also ultra-sensitive when I exclaim, “I’m sorry I ever married you…”, because he conveniently leaves off the remainder of my sentence which is, “…in October!”  You see, I have a serious conflict with my wedding anniversary and the post-season.  October 29th seemed like a perfectly good day for a wedding…in 1999!  Since 2002 however, it’s been a real problem.  My husband and I were married on a cruise ship and thought it would be a lovely idea to mark each anniversary at sea.  If the headquarters of a cruise line tells you they will be broadcasting Game 6 of the World Series on the ship, don’t believe them unless you are speaking with the Captain himself.  (Bunch of “royal” liars!)  And just FYI, the MLB Scorecast, a nifty little gadget with the best of intentions, does NOT work on a 14 day Alaskan cruise.  Trust me.  I speak from painful experience.     

              mlbscorecast.jpg picture by lafmyers

And for the record, Angels memorabilia is NOT clutter!  Bobbleheads, autographed balls, MLB 3-day Blinds, commemorative wall clocks and 4 foot by 5 foot Bud Light sponsored season schedules are perfectly stylish decorating accents both in my office and my family room.  I don’t tell anyone else how to decorate their homes and I’m not asking you to dust so give it a rest.  At least I went with navy walls and red accents…not the other way around.

3.  Women are some of the smartest and most articulate baseball fans around!

Pro sports has long been a testosterone-dripping good ol’ boys club with no real place for women unless they’re waving pom-poms or fetching a beer from the fridge.  Sure, we’ve come a long way, baby.  But I’m often in settings where, if I’m given the opportunity to voice an opinion, I’m not taken seriously merely because I lack the “franks and beans” needed to fill out a jock strap.  I think male fans seem to have a more black and white view of their team while women see the subtle variations in every shade of graySome of the best blogs here are written by women…intelligent, witty, observant, sensitive women!  Jane (Confessions of a She-Fan) and Julia (Julia’s Rants) offer daily doses of humor and thoughtful insights into their beloved teams (Yankees and Red Sox, respectively) and baseball in general.  I’ll never be in the same league (although our teams are) but they inspire me to write from my heart and crusade for my Angels.  The Bronte sisters wish they had a magic pen or a pink ball cap!

                                           

                                    

4.  If we, here at MLB Blogs, banded together and focused the passion we have for our respective teams and the game of baseball on other issues, we could bring about world peace, end world hunger and stop global warming.

Well, we could.  But then baseball would be boring.  Who says all the best action happens on the field?  If we weren’t here to observe, digest, dissect and blog about baseball it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.  We’re the ones who buy the tickets, watch the broadcasts, wear our team colors, fly our team flags from our cars, sport team logo tattoos (NO, Mom…I didn’t), and live for the game.  I can’t imagine life without baseball.  And I don’t want to.

 

Got Baseball?  

It Takes Two (Teams) To Tango

Since the Angels were traveling to Seattle today, I had no game to watch tonight.  Now, let me be clear about one thing.  THIS:  

                           cherylgiles.jpg picture by lafmyers

                                     

is NEVER a suitable substitute for THIS:

                  

Since I’m guaranteed the remote control at least 162 times during the regular season (I’m pretty sure I wrote it into my marriage vows), I’m forced to hand it over to my hubby on travel days.  Fair is fair, I guess.  Well, if I can’t watch it, I can at least discuss it.  And yesterday did provide plenty of action to hold me over until Tuesday.  I hope so, anyway.  One of my very good friends is a single mom of a 9 year-old Little League phenom.  I take full credit for his obsession with baseball, having sat him down in front of his very first Angels game at the wonderfully impressionable age of 1 & 1/2.  (Thankfully, he is blessed with amazing natural talent, but of course, I had no hand in that!)  One day my friend told me that she’s happy her son has such a love of baseball but she hates it when he’s exposed to the “violence” of the game.  Violence??  Yeah…she doesn’t like those bench-clearing brawls and thinks it sets a bad example.  This is one subject we don’t see eye-to-eye on because, completely to the contrary, I think a big ol’, bullpen-emptying mix-up in the middle of the game actually teaches a young player about what it means to be part of a team.  No one fights just to fight.  (That sport is called “boxing”.)  When a fight happens in baseball, it’s about defending a team member who has been wronged, plain and simple.  I think any player who remains on the bench while the teams duke it out on the field should be fined and suspended!  Being part of the team means being ready to throw a punch or two in a fellow player’s honor.  Which brings me to Sunday’s game against the Red Sox.  I do not believe that Josh Beckett intentionally threw at Bobby Abreu’s head.  He was in the middle of his wind-up (finally…geez!) when time was called and there was no un-ringing that bell.  His aim was unfortunate.  But what came out of his mouth later was, indeed, poor sportsmanship.  Given the emotional state of the Angels following Nick Adenhart’s death, making a remark about it was, well…it just wasn’t cool.  It could have been much worse than it was and I give the Angels credit for exhibiting some real self-control.  And they did get their revenge on the score board.  So, all’s well that ends well.  But something tells me this isn’t over.  Teams have very good memories and it wasn’t entirely fair that the Angels were the only team that had ejections (4).  Beckett may want to watch his back in May.  He upset the Angels and their loyal fans.  And it doesn’t help that he looks an awful lot like condemned killer, Scott Peterson.  Or is it just me?

                                beckett.jpg picture by lafmyers

 

 Baseball…with us, it’s personal.          

                                                                                                                                        

 

Winning One For #34

When you think of classy sports, perhaps polo or cricket come to mind.  Today, I can’t think of a sport with more class than baseball.  Ballparks all over the league remembered Nick Adenhart with a moment of silence before their games.  And last night in Anaheim, we witnessed an emotional and dignified tribute to our fallen player.  Normally, it’s pretty rowdy when the Red Sox come to town.  The trash-talk usually starts during your walk through the parking lot and continues to your seat which you can bet will be, in immediate proximity to a Sox fan.  With so many east coast transplants (and sadly misinformed locals), we’re used to being outnumbered on our own turf when Captain Varitek and his merry band of post-season-lucky-sons-of-b’s come to town.  But the mood was decidedly less rambunctious as fan of both teams filed into the Big A. 

                                Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher...

I was doing okay until they showed Jered Weaver paying his respects to Nick at the outfield wall.  It was a touching moment that sent me running for the Kleenex.  If you’re not familiar with Weaver, he has a pre-game ritual where he kneels behind the mound and, using his finger, writes his grandparents’ initials into the dirt.  Last night he was seen writing N.A. instead.  And he did Nick proud, allowing only one un-earned run in 6 and 2/3 innings.  The Sox threatened in the 8th, but Scotty Shields came in and shut them down.  The Angels played the game for Nick and they wanted a win.  We all did.  And it helped.

Today they came up short.  But they certainly didn’t go quietly and, with the bases full of Angels in the 9th, it took Papelbon 10 pitches to get Kendrick out.  No win, but that was some exciting baseball and I’m looking forward to some more of that tomorrow.

Baseball…good to the last drop!