Somewhere, Arte Moreno is sulking and elsewhere Scott Boras is chortling. The bane of Arte's existence, Mark Teixeira, made Moreno regret those dubious free agency negotiations once more as his two homers sunk the Angels in this series and under .500 on the season.
New York Yankees (32-24) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (30-30)
Pitching Probables: NYY – Bartolo Colon (3-3, 3.26 ERA) LAA – Joel Pineiro (2-2, 3.52 ERA)
Game Info: 12:35 PM PT; TV - KCOP; Radio - KLAA 830 AM
I never thought I would see a day where Bartolo Colon was not only back in Anaheim, but back and pitching well for a contender like the New York Yankees. It seemed like it was just yesterday that the Fat Man was busy losing his velocity and while gaining pounds on the Angels' dime.
Colon is hardly the pitcher he was back in his Cy Young-winning prime, but he has put together a pretty solid season thus far which makes me wonder that if he can pull off an improbably career comeback, might not another wayward Angel ace? I know this is a total tangent, but I'm talking about Scott Kazmir.
Like Kazmir, Colon was a power pitcher who saw his promising career as an ace circle the drain very quickly after he hurt his arm, thus reducing his velocity. Colon had some other issues, but he ultimately found a way to commit himself to getting back to the bigs and he did that by learning how to pitch without dominant velocity. That is something the Halos have to be hoping Kazmir can figure out, but seeing how it took Bartolo a few years to work his way back on a permanent basis, I wouldn't be holding out any hope of Kaz figuring it out before his rehab assignment expires in the next few weeks.
New York Yankees (31-23) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (29-29)
Pitching Probables: NYY -- Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.67 ERA) LAA – Jered Weaver (6-4, 2.10 ERA)
Game Info: 7:05 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 AM
I use to despise the Yankees with all the venom in my heart. I couldn't stand the smug nature of their owner. I hated the pinstripes and the arrogance of he Yankee fans. I hated the fact that when the Yanks were in town the Big A felt like a road game. But something has changed over the past few years. I have transferred that hatred to the Red Sox, rendering the Yankees slighlty less significant a series in my mind. Not sure if that is shared by all Angel fans but I for one feel less enthused to see the Yankes then I used to.
Howie Kendrick and Vernon Wells are eligible to come off the DL very soon, with Howie's return scheduled for this Saturday. This poses a problem for the Angels however, with the signing of Russell Branyan what happens to the other spot currently occupied by an unlucky Angel? Who is going to be riding the pine for the forseeable future?
Branyan's arrival on this roster means more shakeups for this team. Oh joy!
Daily Links for the LA Angels including Erstad named the head coach at Nebraska, Trout could be called up now and avoid being a Super Two, Ric Wilson discusses preparation for his first draft and much more...
The Monkey Says: My boy is all growns up. Erstad, my favorite player ever and a Nebraska alum (one of these points is pertinent to the conversation, one is not, I'll let you decide), always seemed destined to manage at some level and it is really impressive that he was able to ascend to the top job with the Cornhuskers so quickly.
The Monkey Says: That is actually a pretty big deal, because if he qualified as a "Super Two" he could hit free agency a year early. It is kind of an academic point though as it seems unlikely that the Halos will call up Trout anytime soon, if at all, in 2011.
The Monkey Says: This will be a big draft for the Angels as Wilson is already under pressure to perform since he is replacing the well-regarded Eddie Bane. As for strategy, it sounds as if he will be similar to Bane, but wants to be more "physical" which is kind of a weird statement. It doesn't sound like he is talking about athleticism and might be talking about focusing on power hitters, but we won't really know what he means or if he is even being straight with the media until after the draft unfolds.