April 6, 2010

Opening Night Review

The 2010 Angels opened to a sell out crowd last night and the reviews are in. Granted, you’re basically only going to see my review on this blog because well, that’s just the way I roll. I’m just saying.

Hideki Matsui was easily the star of the night with two hits (including a homerun) and two runs driven in. His arrival in Anaheim seems to be a big hit; as fans in the right field pavilion greeted him with a sign reading “MatsuiLand.” Very cool. It was reminiscent of the Wally World gang that established their beach head back in the Wally Joyner days. I don’t know about you, but I love stuff like this. Kudos to the fans in the right field pavilion!

I guess it’s time for me eat some crow. During the off season, I posted an entry voicing my concern over the Angels’ interest in Matsui. One game into the season, and I’m already prepared to say I was wrong. Not only is Matsui fast becoming not only an offensive force, but a fan-favorite as well.

I love the Matsui dynamic in the clean up spot. For the last six years, we’ve basically had the free swinging Vlad Guerrero in that role and although Vlad was tremendous as an Angel; having an OBP machine like Matsui in there makes me feel very confident.

It appears Matsui’s impact is far reaching. Even as we were leaving the stadium last night, there were two camera crews from Japan interviewing fans about the game. It’s the kind of stuff that creates a buzz in the stadium and I like it.

Jered Weaver didn’t exactly rock the house, but our “rock star” definitely got the job done. The bull pen was solid; although I have some concerns about Fernando Rodney’s velocity which topped out at just 89 mph. Here’s a guy who reportedly can hit 100 mph on the gun throwing significantly below that.

Side note: When asked about Rodney’s velocity on the post game show, Jeff Biggs replied to one caller with “his velocity is fine.” I’m hoping Biggsy provides better responses than that moving forward. It looks like the post-game show might go through some growing pains initially as they iron out some of the logistics. I’ll excuse the fact that he’s in a studio and not in a locker room, but this show needs to have better access to the players and manager after the game.


Erick Aybar looked like a force to be reckoned with. I loved his debut as the every day lead off hitter. He had two hits, a walk and two runs scored. If he keeps that up, Figgins will become a distant memory.

I know, I know, I walked right into a Brandon Wood discussion with that last statement and while it’s true that Wood struck out three times last night, I’m simply not concerned. If anything, I’m anxious because I want him to shut the doubters up once and for all. He will. Trust me.

I’m thinking that Kendry Morales just put the American League on notice last night with his first homerun of the season. This one came from the right side of the plate and if this is a sign of things to come, the AL West and the rest of the league are going to have their hands full. It’s early, but Morales has the potential to be the most dynamic hitter in the history of the Angels.

There, I said it. What’s more; I believe it too.

Now, what was up with the crowd last night? It was pretty quiet until about the 7th inning. I heard a caller on Roger Lodge’s show this morning saying last night had a play-off-like atmosphere. Huh? I don’t think so. It was as if the fans were waiting for something to happen.

Looks like Josh and Jake (514 Fanatics) will have to get the crowd going tonight.

Joe Saunders takes the hill; so you know Cheryl and I love that.

BallHype: hype it up!

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