I planned on writing an entry last night, but that post would have been an "End of the Season" post, and since the Padres and Rockies are all tied up after 162 games and have to play a 163rd tonight, I have to wait. After all, doesn’t the season have to be over in order to do a review of it?
Instead, this post is the internet equivalent of putting a single candle into a Hostess Twinkie, lighting it, and singing "Happy Birthday" to yourself alone in a darkened room, as one year ago today I started this blog. The complete text follows:
Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End
Posted 10/01/06 at 10:25 PM
As the day comes to a close, so closes another season of Major
League Baseball. Tuesday will start another round of playoffs,
culminating in a World Series that will guarantee the 6th different
World Series Champion this millennium, as none of the teams in this
year’s playoffs has won a title since 2000.
In other words, my
team and the reason for writing this blog, the Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim, will not be playing anymore baseball this season.
lights at Angel Stadium have dimmed, and while baseball continues in
other parks around the country, we will see no more MLB in Orange
County this year. We finished in 2nd place in the American League West,
giving us our third straight winning season (a franchise record.) While
some fans may be disappointed, considering that I never expected to see
a World Championship come to Anaheim, I’m happy we hung in there as
long as we did. For most of the time I’ve been an Angels fan, the team
has been a second rate club, one with no expectations of victory from
its small legion of fans. With the 2002 season still fresh in my
memory, I still have a feeling of victory and vindication of my
devotion to my team I never expected to have.
consider it a disappointing season when they don’t at least make it to
the Fall Classic. I consider it a gift when we make it to the playoffs.
With that, the 2006 Angels season was a success, and I can’t be disappointed in them for coming in second to the Oakland A’s.
we Angels fans will have to watch the playoffs for the first time in
three years without our team. We’ll be OK. We’ll find other teams to
cheer for, and more to root against. We have owner Arte Moreno’s
promise that money will be spent on free agents in the off season to
strengthen our team. Soriano, Tejada, Manny Ramirez, Barry Zito, many
big names are floating out there as wanting to be a part of the Halos
next season. And we’ll have to wait a few months to find out which of
these (if any) will be wearing our red cap while playing in the Big A
With that, there are a few things I want to make clear about this blog.
I’ve spent the last month or so checking out other baseball blogs, particularly those at mlblogs.com
be a fan’s blog of the 2007 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim season, from
today (the end of the Angels 2006 season) until October (or early
November if we make a World Series run!), the end of next season. And
by "fan’s blog," I mean one that encompasses MY feelings and
experiences through the season.
There are plenty of blogs out
there that deal with the author’s favorite team, and some that follow
news and rumors about those teams with the quality of a local sports
page. But I don’t want to just repost news and events that you can find
in a million links through Google or Yahoo. I want this to be about me,
as selfish and narcissistic as that sounds. As you read this (and I’m
sure not many will, at least until the 2007 season officially starts),
I want you to learn about me as a person and fan with my Angels as a
I don’t want the reader to feel the sterile aura of
the press box as they read this. I want you to feel as though you’re
sitting next to me in the cheap seats, or in front of my TV, or in the
passenger seat of my car listening to the game on the radio with me. Or
missing the game entirely as something else happens in my life.
an experiment, and I hope it turns out well. And I hope you enjoy
reading it, as that will make it enjoyable for me to write.
comment as much as you wish, leave feedback, agree with me or disagree
as you will. And get ready, as we have playoffs starting in less than
36 hours and Spring Training is less than 5 months away!
in anticipation of starting this. There are some great baseball blogs
out there (none really for the Angels, though), but every one I’ve seen
has missed the point I’m trying to make with this one.
Tonight is one of those games I wish I’d have live blogged, but alas, neither my mental state nor home life have been conducive to keeping up with a silly little baseball blog, and jumping right back into the fire wasn’t something I was aching to do.
But tonight’s Angels vs. Mariners game has shown that this series is looking to be one **** of a cap on this season, and possibly the beginning of a great rivalry next year. Tonight this might as well have been the Red Sox and Yankees playing.
Despite the Mariners basically tailgating the Angels most of this year, there was never a sense of animosity between the two teams. When they’d play each other you’d get good baseball, but nothing like the bloodthirst you can see in both dugouts when the Yanks are in Fenway.
That is, until tonight.
I have to admit I didn’t see all the game tonight. My dad and I have watched the show "Survivor" together since I got home from Army training in 2001, and tonight was the season premier. (I’m a firm believer that "Survivor" has ****** since about the third season, but it’s not the show that’s important; it’s the tradition.) So I caught the first hour of the game, then went in to watch CBS with him. During commercials, we’d flip to the Angels game, but we stuck with the show for the entire hour.
During a commercial at about 8:30 PM, we switched the channel to FSN West. As soon as the channel changed, we saw a pitch delivered to Vladimir Guerrero which he redirected over the center field wall. Being an Angels fan, seeing Vladdy plant one into the bleachers is nothing unusual, but my father and I both furrowed our brow in puzzlement as Vlad did something neither of us have ever seen him do: After he hit it, he stood there and watched the ball until it cleared the fence, then tossed his bat aside as casually as a Wrigley’s Spearmint wrapper and WALKED to first base. He didn’t jog, he didn’t trot; he WALKED. Guerrero is usually a pretty humble guy; neither my dad nor I had ever seen him show up the pitcher like that. In fact, the only Angel who does that sort of thing is Francisco Rodriguez, and that seems to be more of a celebration that he was finally able to get three people out in an inning (something rare this second half) than shoving anything in the face of the opposition.
It wasn’t until "Survivor" was over and I was back in my room watching the game in HD that I learned the story.
Apparently, what we’d missed by not switching to FSN a few seconds earlier was the Seattle pitcher, Jorge Campillo, nailing Angels catcher Jeff Mathis in the back the very pitch before Guerrero smacked one. Jarrod Weaver hit Seattle catcher Kenji Johjima on a pitch earlier in the game, and Campillo retaliated by hitting our catcher. It just so happened that Vladimir Guerrero got the ultimate revenge by turning a Rawlings Official MLB baseball into two runs and a souvenir. And to make sure Campillo knew the price, he showed him up.
Apparently a rookie pitcher with a couple weeks in the majors thinks he has something to prove and that drawing an ejection (and probable suspension) by throwing at the head of Vlad is just the thing to prove it.
There were three absolutely hilarious moments resulting from this.
First was the reaction of Jorge Campillo after the attempted beheading. As Vladimir Guerrero, rightfully angry, started moving toward the mound and shouting a string of words that made me wish I could read lips in Spanish. An interesting thing about baseball fights is that, should a player charge the mound, it’s a guarantee that both benches will clear. But, should the batter truly wish to charge the pitcher, there is no way those benches can clear in time to prevent them from meeting up and exchanging blows. Obviously, Guerrero didn’t wish to do any physical harm to the guy, or he’d have ran out there and Campillo would be tasting Anaheim mound dirt for the next three weeks.
But, as Campillo saw that Guerrero was moving toward him and realized that there was no way the benches could clear in time to truly protect him, he did an extremely bold and brave thing. He started backpedaling AWAY from Vladdy.
So good job, o brave Jorge Campillo. Next time, you might want to throw at Reggie Willits. He’s more your size.
The second funny moment involved the bench clearing that resulted. As Vladdy was walking to the mound, the camera was in perfect position as the benches emptied onto the field. On the right side, about five steps behind the rest of the Angels, came John Lackey, charging hard. This is the only one of these I actually laughed out loud at.
First, how stupid are you if you’re a pitcher and you get into a fight? Your livelihood rests literally in your hands, and the damage done by throwing a punch could conceivably end your career. So my first thought upon seeing "Big John" were wow, the really DO grow them big and stupid in Texas.
But then, on the replay, I got a better picture of it. Sure, Lackey came charging out of the mound, looking like he was going to open a can on some poor Mariner. But the key lay in the fact that he was a few steps behind the majority of the Angels. Upon further review, it looked painfully obvious that he was running out there to put on a show, basically shouting "Hold me back, guys! Hold me back!" and not intending to actually get into a fight.
So basically, he looked like even more the idiot.
And third was Rex Hudler’s commentary. I may have to complain to the FCC about this, as anything I can do to hasten the Angels to fire Rex Hudler is, in my opinion, a mitzvah (that one’s for you, Scott). While this whole brouhaha is happening, it was obviously beyond our two esteemed commentators to shut up and let the **** thing play out. No, Rex had to throw his idiotic opinions into the ring.
He did this by lambasting Jorge Campillo, saying how wrong it is to throw at a guy’s head. Well, obviously, nobody is going to argue with that. But right there, on live TV, old "Wonderdog" (as in, "I wonder how he keeps his job with no obvious talent?" or "I wonder why, if he’s such a baseball genius, no clubs have come knocking on his door about coaching or management opportunities?") said, basically, "It’s OK to throw at a guy, just not at his head." He went on about this for a few minutes (Rex Hudler droning? NO!) and even said "You’ve got a whole lot of body you can throw at instead of the head."
My response to this is "Well, DUH." Everybody who knows anything about baseball knows that the bean ball is part of the game. It’s like fighting in hockey. But, since the NHL has tried to clean up its act in the last 15 years or so, have you heard a hockey color commentator worth a **** encourage fighting? No, because the image you project is important, even if it isn’t accurate. So, while the bean ball may be an important strategic tool, the last thing you want to say on the airwaves in front of hundreds of thousands of families and children is that it’s OK to throw a hard ball 100mph at somebody, so long as the intent is only to injure, not kill.
Yes, I’m nitpicking here. If Vin Scully said the same thing, I’d agree with him 100% and never call him on it.
But I’m also quite sure that Vin Scully would show the same disdain to whoever threw at an opponent’s head, regardless of the uniform he happened to be wearing.
If Jered Weaver had thrown at Ichiro’s head, I’d lay good odds on Hudler going on the airwaves and saying "Well, you gotta protect your batters" or some other such apologist, hypocritical drivel because Rex just can’t stop being ever the Homer.
As I said before, I really wish I had live blogged this game tonight. There was excitement. Scioscia got his 700th win as Angels manager. And the Angels locked up at least a tie in the American League West. The "Magic Number" is now at one.
It’s a great year to be an Angels fan.
Yeah, I know I haven’t been around much lately. Family crises will do that to you. But, starting now, I should be back to my old blogging ways!
To keep you occupied, here’s a cool video:
Severe family problems have popped up (nothing I’m going to discuss here), and keeping this blog will take a backseat as I get my house, my family, and my head in order.
I’m going to the game tonight to see the Angels take on the AL Central leading Indians. It’ll be a good distraction, something I can use right now.
Until my next post, Go Angels!
No, I’m not talking about the mental health of the Angels pitching staff. I’m referring to this blog.
I still can’t find the stomach to write about last night’s game (imagine if we LOST!) K-Rod has just gotten so **** frustrating. I was there last night, after picking up two tickets for $4.25 on eBay, and I STILL think I overpaid. Sammy Sosa came about 50 feet from hitting on right to me in Center Field, and I suppose that had I caught a home run, I’d have a different value on those tickets. But as it was, when I left Angel Stadium, I left in disgust.
I’ve always been of the opinion that as a blogger, it’s my job to pay attention to the entries, and if anybody wants to leave comments, they’re welcome to it. But I’ve taken a very "hands-off" approach in the comments section of this blog. My one or two readers leave a comment, I continue writing. I’ve received emails from a few of you, and I respond to them in a timely manner (if possible) and with wordy replies (as I love talking baseball!)
But after looking around MLBlogs, I’ve noticed that many of the great bloggers here engage their readers in the comments section, often having full conversations, and it doesn’t take away from their blogs at all. In fact, it does nothing but enhance it.
So from here on out, I will personally respond to each and every comment I get in the comments section in which it was left. Those that require lengthy replies will get their own diatribes in entries.
If I want people to read this blog, after all, I have to let them know I appreciate them reading it!
On to point two:
Chris at "The Ultimate Baseball Collector" and I have chatted a few times on MSN while I’ve been liveblogging. I’ve never been much of a fan of chat programs, but they can be handy little tools once in a while. And while it’s hard watching a baseball game, liveblogging about it, and holding a conversation all at the same time, I’ve found I can do it.
Chris will generally leave a comment in my new liveblog asking if I’m going on MSN, and today, somebody new asked the same thing. So, I’ve had an idea.
I know that I don’t have a HUGE readership, but I also know that for every comment left, there are many people who don’t leave one, so I probably have a few people out there checking in every once in a while. And if my liveblogging of games catches on, I may get more following along with me.
So, every time I liveblog a game from now on, I will be on MSN. I’ll chat (as much as I can at least), take questions, comments, all that good stuff, and integrate it into the liveblog as much as I can. I know I’m asking for trouble, and I know it will probably get overwhelming, but in the meantime, I’ll actually try to CONVERSE with anybody who wants to while I’m liveblogging.
If that proves too much, then I’ll just leave MSN open and take questions.
So, while I’m not sure when the next liveblog game will be (Saturday nights I watch a movie with my dad), keep track of my MSN handle and feel free to tune in:
And let’s see how this experiment works out!
I’ll repost the handle on top of every liveblog entry.
I’ll be back later to gripe about last night’s game, and you know I’ll be cheering for another Halos victory tonight!
Thank you, Garret Anderson!
Due to his unbelievable night last night, many of us Halo bloggers are getting some exposure, including yours truly! While Front Page Fame is fleeting, it sure is nice to be up there for a little bit!
The blog in the spotlight, "Get ‘Em On, Get ‘Em Over, Get ‘Em In" is an incredible vault of Angels knowledge. Lance Davis really knows his stuff, and if you’re a Halos fan, it’s a blog you should really check regularly (hence why it’s in my list over there to the left.)
Tonight, unfortunately, I will be unable to continue my live blogging, as I will be at the game! I’m considering taking a notebook and trying to live blog analog style (you know, pen and paper), but I’d much rather pay attention to the game, so that’s probably not going to happen.
Should be a good game tonight, but because I’m going to be there, the chances of a boring crapfest go up significantly. Either the Yankees will be good and pissed off about last night and we’ll have a genuine bare-knuckles brawl of a baseball game filled with heated emotions and hard playing, or the Yanks got the wind knocked out of ’em last night, and will have trouble overcoming the psychological impact of the beating they took.
Either way, an Angels victory is enough for me!