Tagged: Scot Shields

Will The Real Angels Fans Please Stand Up?

Things are looking up for the Angels.  At least it’s been less of a rollercoaster and more like:

                    

They took 2 from Detroit, then lost 2 to the Mariners.  But they won the last game of the series versus Seattle and then headed to Baltimore where they won both games of a two game series.  Yes…that means they’ve put together a THREE game winning streak!  Woo hoo!

                  

Are so-called Angels fans still demanding Kendry Morales’ head on a platter?  Hardly.  The day after Angels Talk phone lines were clogged full of Kendry bashers, he had a 5 RBI game.  He, Izturis, Kendrick, Matthews and the solidly reliable Hunter and Abreu, were getting it together and putting runs on the board.  So, what’s an angry mob of “faux” fans to do?  Without missing a beat, they turned their attention to Scotty Shields and the rest of the bullpen.  And that’s when I get really mad.

     percy.jpg Percy picture by lafmyers

There is no more lonely a job out there than that of a pitcher.  I don’t have to spell out the misfortune that has befallen the Angels bullpen.  If you really are a fan, you know exactly what the situation is.  And if you really are a fan, you are kind and compassionate, not rude and belligerent.  I, for one, am in awe of pitchers.  What they do with a baseball and a grip defies all physics, if you ask me.  Not to mention, I can’t hit a garbage can with an empty Fresca can from three paces away!  I hate to disappoint the haters, but I must point out, the current three game win streak was due largely to Angels pitching.  Maybe that’s why the mob was now focused on Erick Aybar after today’s game.  It doesn’t matter that the Angels won.  They’re NOT in first place in the west so someone must pay (at least according to the angry mob).  Their cries of “Bring in Brandon Wood!” is reaching an Obama-like crescendo.  Doesn’t anyone remember what happened when he came up in ’07?  Wood will get his chance, and I hope for his sake he lives up to the hype this time.  Why is it so easy for these half-hearted fans to dismiss a player like Aybar based on a handful of games?   

Here we are, just hours away from the first of four games at the new Yankees Stadium.  I’ll admit, Angels fans have always gotten a little (okay, a LOT) of satisfaction out of being able to smack those Yankees around a bit.  Yeah, we refer to the Angels as “Yankee Kryptonite”.  When it comes to playing the Yankees, we’ve always been able to have a superior attitude like, well…like Yankees fans have when playing anyone other than the Angels.  But this series is going to be especially hard given the “David vs. Goliath” pitching match ups.

                             

Fresh from his major league debut, Anthony Ortega will square off against A.J. Burnett.  Matt Palmer will have his fifth major league start against C.C. Sabathia.  Okay, I’m nervous just typing it.  But have no doubt, I will be cheering for the rookies, as I always do.  And if you “pretend” Angels fans can’t cut your team a little slack right now, then fine.  This series against the Yankees couldn’t have come at a better time.  These four games will be the true test of your real “fan-ness”.  It’s survival of the fittest.  If you are not a true-red Angels fan, your cover will be blown.  Please keep in mind that I am much younger than this reference might indicate, but will the real Angels fans please stand up? 

        whatsmyline.jpg picture by lafmyers

   

 

Baseball…where the rubber meets the road.

 

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!

Angels Win + Yankees Lose = Happy Girl!

I left work last night and pulled up to the house.  My husband hopped in the car and we cruised down the 57 freeway.  No, I didn’t have any tickets to the Angels’ opener but my husband thought we should drive over near the stadium with the top down on my new (to me, anyway) convertible to see the flyover.  It was a great idea and I got goose bumps as the F-15’s (or F-18’s or B-52’s…whatever they were…hey, I’m a baseball fan but I’m still a girl) flew over the Big A. 

                   

We then stopped at Portillo’s, picked up a couple of Italian beef sandwiches (yes, born and partially raised in Chicago which explains why I do keep an eye on the Cubbies) and were home by the end of the first inning.

Just the sight of those gorgeous white and red uniforms against that bright, beautiful green grass all framed in my 47″ TV (the new love of my life) made me smile from ear to ear.  Joe Saunders had a great game.  I really like him.  Remember when he pitched right after the Virginia Tech shootings and he wrote “VT” in the dirt of the pitcher’s mound?  Good guy.  

                           

I was a bit disappointed that Vlady wasn’t out in right field.  After hearing how well he’s moving after knee surgery, I was really curious to see him in action. (My first post explains why I didn’t watch a single pre-season game.)  He seemed to be in good form as he sprinted to first base so we’ll see.  But I was glad Juan Rivera got a start in left field.  Just a few years ago, I felt like he was right on the verge of a break-out season…but his only “break” turned out to be a broken leg in winter ball somewhere in the Caribbean.  His comeback has been a little slow but once again, I feel like he’s on the brink of great things.  Oh, and last season I grabbed a couple of front-row field seats to a day game and watched as a little baby bird in right field kept running through his legs and around his feet.  Juan was trying to play his position like a pro while avoiding stepping on the little guy at the same time.  It was so cute and as a Bird Mom (of 10), Juan scored big points with me that day.  But I still refer to him as my “Big Gay Guy”.  I think it’s his and Maicer Izturis’s artfully placed blond highlights.  Again, I’m a girl…we notice these things. 

    jusanrivera.jpg picture by lafmyers

How ’bout Howie’s homerun?  Loved it and his RBI single.  He and Aybar pulled off a perfect double-play in the 2nd too.  So what if he had ONE error…who’s counting?  Oh yeah…they do count those, don’t they?  The crowd gave Saunders a nice ovation for his three-hitter.  Arredondo and my Scotty Shields did their thing and then handed it off to our new closer, Brian Fuentes.  Now I don’t want Jeff Miller of the Orange County Register calling me a racist again (read his disgusting column here), but it was a little refreshing to not see anyone get on base in the 9th, wasn’t it?  I’m no Frankie basher, never was, but let’s just say his move to the Mets means I won’t have to refill my Xanax prescription as often.

                                           

I must confess, there’s a little spring in my step today that doesn’t come just from the Angels winning their opener.  Let’s face it…any day the Yankees lose is a good day.  They say money can’t buy happiness.  And the Yankees prove it doesn’t buy championships either. 

 

Baseball…it’s what’s for dinner.