Things are rolling right along right now. Today's game was a victory of a thousand papercuts. There wasn't one big event you could point to that caused the win, just a teams playing good baseball right now on all fronts. Anytime you can coax a win out of a career minor league pitcher, you have to count yourself lucky. On top of that, the offense didn't really start rolling till the 6 inning, and was even no hit for the first five. Once again, what should have been a loss comes up roses for the Halos. Maybe this team will be heard from in October after all.no comments
Streaks are strange beasts. Winning or losing is often arbitrary and not always the outcome of the better team playing better. When a team gets on a winning streak, many will attribute it to players feeling more comfortable, or an easier part of the schedule. These factors are surely at play when it comes to the Angels current 6 game winning streak that has seen them now climb to third in the AL west. But as was also the case tonight, luck and good fortune were also large components in keeping the streak alive. Whatever the case may be, winning is a heck of alot better than losing.
At the risk of being a jinx, the Angels appear to have turned the corner. Their recent winning streak and the historic highlight of Mike Trout hitting for the cycle seem to have sparked something in the team. However, the train is only leaving the station. There’s no telling what twists and turns await ahead and if last season’s late runs for Texas and Oakland have taught us anything, it’s that nothing is over until the 162nd game has been played. Thus, the Angels fan mantra at this juncture should be that of cautious optimism. Be excited, but be tempered. There is still a long road ahead.
Wait a minute... Who speaks like that? Ever?
In today’s age of the uncensored internet, intimate scenes on cable television and the millions upon millions of podcasts, why do we resort to cliches? John Keating (later quoted by Robin Williams in “Dead Poet’s Society”) once said “Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.” We’re clearly not trying to impress the ladies in this instance, but cliches are just that: Lazy. They’re safe. They’re in the comfort zone. Regardless of what’s ahead. The cliches have got to go.
“One game at a time” they say. One game at a time? Well, obviously! How else are you going to do it? Go to a football/baseball stadium conversion and set up two diamonds at the same time? Have Peter Bourjos play right field in one game while having him simultaneously play left in the other? Split an already anemic bullpen in half? If you’re playing frequent doubleheaders, let alone two concurrent games, you’re clearly doing something wrong.no comments
Last night's Angels-Royals game was an eventful one between tape measure home runs, copious pitching changes and a narrowly avoided blown save. Still, the Angels managed to win their fifth game in a row, yet that is not the highlight of the game. That distinction goes to the insane and/or brave Royals fan who sprinted on the field and avoided security long enough that he not only got on camera but actually stole the rosin bag right off the mound and hoisted it like a trophy for all to see:
Not to glorify his juvenile and illegal behavior, but this might be the greatest idiot running field on the moment I've ever seen. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to enjoying it more than I probably should've. But you know who didn't enjoy it, the reliever on the mound at the time, Michael Kohn. In fact, Kohn took to social media to voice his displeasure.
Dear Mr. Fan who ran on the field tonight. Congrats on making it all the way to the mound. But don't ever touch my rosin bag. #gotheem— Michael Kohn (@MichaelKohn58) May 24, 2013
The moment may have been fun, but Kohn is right. You never, EVER touch another man's rosin bag.
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The May 24th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Weaver says he's ready to return, Mike Trout hit for the 'super cycle' and much more...
The Monkey Says: Weaver says he feels good and is ready to go. He also says he was touching 90 MPH by the end of his rehab start, which is very intriguing. If that is really the case, it means I might've been right about my crackpot conspiracy theory that he was secretly nursing an injury to his throwing arm all this time. Or maybe Jered is just misinformed of what the radar gun was saying.
The Monkey Says: He is only the 17th player to hit for the cycle and steal a base in process. That still doesn't make the cycle a sign of greatness, but it does make his statistical accomplishment quite a bit more fascinating.
The Angels reunion with former pitcher Ervin Santana went exactly as planned, as the offense greeted him with four homeruns, including one from his former catcher to win their fifth game in a row. But, four homers was not tonight’s story, folks. Joe Blanton got his first win of the season pitching 6 1/3 innings, giving up 2 earned runs before being pulled in favor of the bullpen. It almost seemed too good to be true so Ernesto Frieri decided to make Blanton sweat in the bottom of the 9th, but Coello took his place with two outs, and finished the game off.
Whenever it appears Blanton is headed for the bullpen, it seems like he steps up for one start to end the argument. With Jered Weaver coming back next week, Scioscia has a tough decision to make. Who stays, who goes? It’s either Jerome or Joe.
A lot of conversation these past two months have revolved around Albert Pujols and his declining performance. The man is a mess of injuries, pressure, and unfair media scrutiny. I recently wrote about how all this could be worked through in an article from last week. One of the talking points was sticking Pujols in the DH spot, indefinitely. This is something we all knew would happen somewhere down the line during his career with the Angels, but I don't think any of us expected it to happen so soon. To be fair, it isn't solely because of his deteriorating skills (they haven't declined as bad as we all seem to think), it's more of a necessity to keep him healthy and allow our young starters to get out on the field every day. Once Bourjos comes back Trumbo is going to taking back the majority of the 1B starts and Pujols is still a player that needs to be playing every day. Adding that to the fact that keeping him at DH allows him to rest his ailing lower body without having to grind through 9 innings of 1B work nearly every day.
I know what you're all thinking, "$250 million to a DH?! Ridiculous! No DH is worth that money". I'd have to agree with you there, but Albert Pujols isn't just any hitter. Let's stop and talk about the money for a second here, many believe this will go down as one of the worst contracts in baseball history and I have to shoot this down immediately. One of the biggest issues people have with this is the size of the contract; everyone assumes that because it's $250 million over the next 10 years it's a franchise crippling contract. This couldn't be any further from the truth. Even with the "albatross" contracts of Josh Hamilton (5 years $125 million) and Albert Pujols (10 years $250 million) the Angels payroll is still under $150 million. This isn't like the Yankees or Dodgers where the organization has taken in a few star players with monster contracts that push the team’s payroll to $200 million+. This is a unique case because the management has worked out very team friendly deals with star players like Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar, and Jered Weaver for the next few years AND they have multiple young stars making scrap money. The Angels will have franchise cornerstones in Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, and Peter Bourjos for most of the decade, and this isn't under the assumption that they will be signed to long-term extensions in the near future.
Again, this isn't like the Yankees where they throw out huge money to A-Rod as a cornerstone to the team, only to see him undergo a rather ugly fall from grace due to an illicit past with steroids and injuries and the franchise immediately goes into panic mode. Albert Pujols is just going to be a supplemental player to the likes of Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, and even Josh Hamilton; he won't be anchoring the power of the offense like A-Rod was expected to. It's up to Mike Scioscia to realize this soon enough and move him out of the three hole and down the lineup in order to get the real star hitters on the team in the key batting spots, as I went over in my previous article.
I know you're all still thinking "But it's still $250 million for a DH!". It does seem like a massive number off the bat, but since this is such a unique situation it has to be looked at from a special perspective. Albert Pujols is practically paying for himself, without a question he will be paying for his own contract throughout his Angels career. How is this? The biggest reason the Angels were willing to throw so much money at him was the monster TV contract the deal would bring to Anaheim. The Angels will be pulling in $120 million a year thanks to the Pujols contract effectively sealing the deal, that's almost the entire Angels payroll right there. Bringing in $120 million a year will be more than enough to cover the cost of the Pujols contract, and then some. The Angels won't be left out to dry if they need to make any other free agent signings or take on extra payroll in a trade, or when the time comes to extend the young stars on the team. This contract in no way is going to come close to crippling the team due to the special circumstances surrounding this contract. Add in the fact that after 2017 the contract will be the only one on the books and it becomes clear that this is in no way a back-breaker for the Angels. No other long-term contracts to manage at that point makes it far easier for the organization to continue building without having to build around any other "albatrosses".no comments