February 18, 2010

Damon Watch 2010 and other more important things

My little post about Erick Aybar created quite a stir across the internet. Baseball writers by the hundreds wrote in to tell me I was way off base and that Erick Aybar was the perfect lead off solution for the 2010 Angels.

*Tries to keep a straight face*

Okay, maybe there wasn’t so much as a blip anywhere on the internet regarding my post about Aybar. However, my cat did meow at me a little funny and I took that as a sign that someone actually cared. But now that I think about it, she was probably just hungry.

Fact is I wanted to follow up on my last post and this was the best introduction I could come up with.

So, on this the day; the day after Angels’ pitchers and catchers report for spring training, I have some burning questions to ask.

First of all, how can spring training begin without Johnny Damon? Damon hasn’t signed and quite frankly, I’m concerned. I’m concerned because the moment he does sign, the news is liable to preempt the Olympics, Tiger Woods’ press conference or anything else going on in the world. I’m liable to miss some historical event or bigger than life happening because someone will determine that Damon is more important.

I can see it now… we interrupt this broadcast from NASA where an alien ship has been captured to bring you breaking news about Johnny Damon.

I’m telling you if Johnny doesn’t sign somewhere soon, they might call off the whole baseball season. *Shutters*

Boy, I have to tell you it feels pretty good to get my first shot in at Johnny Damon this early into spring training. Yup, I’m in mid-season form.

I guess when you follow mlbtraderumors and also follow all the baseball writers and bloggers on twitter and see reports like “no news on Damon” you get a little snarky. I’m not exaggerating when I say there are almost as many non-Damon reports as there are actual Damon rumors.

Moving on…

Next up, mark this date down: June 11, 2010. What’s so signficant about that date, you ask? Okay, maybe I asked. Whatever…

It’s the day the Oakland A’s will declare they’re no longer in the race for the AL West pennant and will begin to entertain offers for Ben Sheets and anyone else on their roster who they can trade for prospects.

Why June 11? Well, they will have completed the last game (the previous day) of a three game series with the Angels. They will have been swept and fallen helplessly behind the division leading Angels.

Sweet; I got a shot in on the A’s and Johnny Damon on the same day.

I know; I know I’m always picking on the A’s and Johnny Damon (among others). Perhaps I need a new target or two to spice things up around here.


I’ve got another question. I wonder how well Vladimir Guerrero is being received by Ian Kinsler? I mean I wonder what will Kinsler say the first time Guerrero (and Darren Oliver for that matter) steps on to the field (the same field he told all Angels to get off of in 2009)?

Kinsler is the new A.J. Pierzynski, don’t you know. Only difference is AJ has actually won something.

Speaking of teams that haven’t won anything; how about those Mariners? You know a lot of fuss is being made over the new dynamic duo of Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee. Well, did you know that in 16 career starts against the Angels, Hernandez is 4-5 with a 4.20 ERA? Okay, last year he was pretty good with a 2.30 ERA, but he only won one game in four starts.

Cliff Lee on the other hand is 5-3 in 8 career starts against the Angels with a 3.32 ERA, but didn’t face the Angels at all in 2009. However, we also should note that in four career starts in Anaheim, Lee hasn’t faired so well. He’s 2-2 with a 4.44 ERA.

All I’m saying is that the AL West title still goes through Anaheim and the Mariners are going to need more than just Hernandez and Lee. Their offense has to figure out five starters (Weaver, Saunders, Kazmir, Santana, and Pineiro) and that’s not going to be an easy task for that offense.

Texas on the other hand seems like a more legitimate contender. In fact, a lot of the projections I’ve seen have the Rangers winning the west; while a lot of baseball writers are picking the Mariners.

I say we ignore everyone and just tap into the wisdom of Bert Blyleven, who said, “…the Halos have created a big gap in their division, have a strong minor league system to help replace free agent losses, and despite the improved competition, are still the team to beat.”

Put that man in the Hall of Fame!

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. If you're looking for another opportunity to rail against the establishment, you should check out the PECOTA projections at ESPN and Baseball Prospectus. They've got the Angels finishing last, and as one of the bottom five teams in all of baseball! While I don't necessarily share your Angels faith, such a precipitous decline does seem ludicrous to me.

  2. I've seen it, but it so outlandish tht it isn't even worth a response.

    It's probably the backlash for outperforming PECOTA more times than not.