(Warning: weird, tangent filled recap coming. Let's face it, these games mean nothing. Why bother you with what happened. If you're curious, see the game notes after the jump)
There are some real advantages to east coast games when the team you root for is just playing out the string. First, the games end earlier so you have more time to recover from the losses or bask in the victories. Second, early games mean a shot at some national coverage which always brings out the crazier opinions among the more name writers in baseball. But mostly, east coast games mean I listen to more baseball on the radio than watch on TV.
I love baseball on the radio. I have a long commute home so a baseball game is certainly more entertaining than LA AM sportstalk radio. The bonus is that the radio team that broadcasts Angel games has actually become quite good. I have found Terry Smith to be an above average play by play guy with just enough of a unique take to make him interesting. A lot of people were concerned about what might happen to the broadcast after the death of Rory Markus, who was an outstanding radio announcer. But Smith has settled in and has an aged, homespun sound to is voice that is just right for baseball
After last year's trainwreck of Jose Mota on the radio, the color duties are now in the hands of Mark Langston. Langston comes from the Mark Gubicza school of bland broadcasting, but he is very knowledgeable and has just enough homerism in him to make his outrage seem genuine when the Halos get screwed on a call or the team performs poorly.
Listening to a radio call of the game, like I did today, gives a very different perspective on what's happening. My grandfather used to listen to Vin Scully on the radio even though he was also doing the TV call just because Vin's voice sounded better with a bit of a radio hum in the background. Batted balls seem to crack harder and fan sounds are more apparent. Now I'm not slagging on the TV guys. Victor Rojas is miles better than Steve Physioc was and we won't even get into the Rex Hudler thing. But radio still seems to fit baseball much better than TV. The announcer has to tell a story in a way that TV doesn't. Maybe I'm old fashioned about this, but give me the audio only from time to time please.
-- Hey, Jered Weaver still owns the city of Cleveland. Jered has given up three runs in 43 innings in C-Town and had another efficient night on the mound. I'd give him the Halo Hero, but I realized I have done that in two of my last three recaps.
-- Josh Hamiton infruriates me. How could someone with this much talent be soooo bad all year. He makes a three run homer seem routine. Too bad it's the strikeouts that are more so.
-- Congrats Dane De La Rosa on your first major league save. No one thinks DDLR is the long term closer, but give the kid a shot...you never know.
There has been a ton of good writing by the MWAH staff about the outfield situation of the future. As I see it, Mike Trout obviously has a spot for life, Josh Hamilton can't go anywhere since he is signed for like a gajillion dollars. Then there is the foursome of Peter Bourjos, JB Shuck, Kole Calhoun and Collin Cowgill. Personally I would play Calhoun every day, he can hit, run and throw, but something about Collin Cowgill intrigues me. He might be a better defender than Calhoun and seems to be fearless. Tonight he made some great plays on defense so he gets the hero. I could live with him as a fourth outfielder on a team of the future.