And so begins the legend of the Rally Masks!
It wasn't a come from behind victory a la the fabled Rally Monkey, but one cannot deny the power of the Rally Masks, which improved to 2-0 after tonight's Halo victory. The luchadore masks wasted little time in demonstrating their power by way of a three-run first inning for the Angels, giving them a lead from which they would never look back.
Call me superstitious if you want, but I truly believe these masks have some magic in them and, so as not to deplete it all, we must come up with some ground rules for mask usage, just like with the Rally Monkey:
- The masks only work if Rojas and Gubi wear them. No exceptions.
- The masks may only be worn in a game that followed a loss. Perhaps we should dub them the Slump Buster Masks?
- Ranchero music must accompany the call to put on the masks until a proper theme song can be chosen. I nominate Enrique Iglesias' "Hero" (since the masks will save the day... and kiss away our pain). Ricky Martin's "La Vida Loca" is strictly forbidden.
My only concern is that the masks' powers might only work against teams with "Sox" in their name. I guess we'll have to try them out again later.
- I'm going to try and explain this better here than I apparently did on Twitter. My take on the surprise move of Howie Kendrick starting in left field is that it is A) strongly indicative that the team doesn't want Abreu in the field because he is both a liability and an injury risk. B) An indictment on Mark Trumbo's future in the outfield. Kendrick has zero OF experience in his entire adult life, whereas Trumbo has played a fair amount of right field. Now, I now right and left field are different, but they are similar enough to try Trumbo in left. To me, that suggests the Halo coaching staff thinks that he is such a trainwreck in the outfield that they'd rather go with someone with no experience simply because he is more athletic. C) I get why no Abreu or Trumbo, but why not Callaspo? He has a little bit of outfield experience and is athletic enough for the job. I just think he is someone who is more accustomed to shifting positions, so I'd mess with him rather than Howie (although it clearly didn't bother Kendrick tonight).
- It is official, opposing teams are treating Jeff Mathis like he is a pitcher at the plate. Not once, but twice Trumbo received the intentional pass with runners in scoring position so Danks could get to Mathis. To absolutely nobody's surprise, Mathis made the inning ending out both times. I don't know what it is going to take to get Sosh to go away from Mathis, but it seems like he has a perfect excuse now since he could easily go with Conger a lot more and claim it is to make up for the absence of Wells in the lineup. Right, and I am going to make sweet love to Natalie Portman as soon as I am done with this recap.
- Callaspo was so close to winning the Halo Hero tonight, but the fact that he got thrown out at second on both of his RBI hits cost him. Sorry, Alberto.
- Is it me or is the fact that Pineiro has been lights out since he returned from the DL gone pretty much unnoticed? I'm just saying that Joel has a better ERA than both Weaver and Haren right now.
- Kudos to the Angel Stadium crowd for rightly applauding AJ Pierzynski twice fouling the ball of his own leg, creating a noticeable limp. That dude is a world class asshat.
Other players may have had better nights in the boxscore, but Kendrick acquitted himself nicely with two doubles, a run scored and a run driven in. The real reason though, that he wins this honor is because he so selflessly took on the challenge of playing in left field with essentially no warning or practice. Sure, he didn't get any balls to make a play on, but his grinning acceptance of the assignment sets a great example for everyone on the team, especially the kids.