April 26, 2010

The week in review April 19-25, 2010

Yankee fans are kind of like cockroaches. They’re in every city and no matter what you do; you can’t get rid of them. They’re annoying as heck, but they scatter when the light hits them in the eyes.

This past weekend the Yankee fans were out in big numbers once again and were last seen scampering for the exits by the end of the weekend as their Yankees lost yet another series in Anaheim.

Beating the Yankees never gets old. It's just too bad the Angels didn't sweep.

Many Yankee fans were present at the "Big A" this past weekend. In fact there were far too many for my liking. I’ve never understood why so many Angel season ticket holders vacate the stadium when the Bronx Bombers roll into town. I mean, I can sort of (but not really) understand not wanting to see the Indians (who arrive today), but the Yankees? Come on.

Friday’s and Sunday’s games were the most memorable of the season to date. Classic Angel/Yankee games with the traditional outcome. Nothing beats being there for wins like those.
I got a kick out of all the crisp new Yankee hats and new Mark Teixeira jerseys and T-shirts that were present at the stadium. A World Series title has a way of bringing out the roaches, err… fans in big numbers. I wonder how many of them even know who managed the Yankees before Joe Girardi and Joe Torre.

That being said, I didn’t see any major incidents between Angel and Yankee fans over the weekend and that’s always a good thing.

Winning the series was a great way to end the week, but I expected better than the 4-3 record for the Angels over the last seven days.

As I look back on the week, one player stood out big time; Kendry Morales. "K-Mo" hit .542 for the week with three homeruns, 10 RBI’s and a monster 1.509 OPS. Sha-zam. That’s some big time hitting right there.

Morales already has two homeruns right handed this season after hitting only four from the right side in all of 2009. It’s like I said back in the first week of the season, Morales has put the league on notice. He can hit and hit for power from either side of the plate and he’s on his way to becoming the most dynamic hitter in the history of Angels’ baseball.

Yes; he can be that good.

The funny thing (at least to me) is that most Projections don’t see Morales hitting 30 homeruns in 2010. They’re looking at 2009 as some sort of statistical anomaly, I guess. In fact none of Bill James, CHONE or the like have him even driving in 100 runs.

Okay, whatever… the Angels usually out-perform their projections any way.

Oh and by the way –Morales is this week’s winner of the True Grich Award (given to the Angel who had the best performance of the week) with an honorable mention going to Bobby Abreu who had hit an impressive .385 for the week and a solid 1.121 OPS.

The bull pen did an excellent job as Fernando Rodney, Kevin Jepsen, Brian Stokes and Jason Bulger combined to pitch 18.2 scoreless innings. That’s the bull pen we envisioned before the start of the season. They were getting it done.

All of that being said, the highlight of the week for me was Brandon Wood's bases loaded double that drove in two key runs against the Yankees yesterday. As Wood came to bat; the enormity of the moment was clear. Here was Wood's chance to do something positive. Cheryl (my wife) turned to me and said, "Let's pray for Brandon." We did and Wood delieverd in a big way.

One observation about that inning. When Mike Napoli was batting just prior to Wood, Francisco Cervelli trotted out to talk with his pitcher - Javier Vazquez. At the time, I muttered that he's probably telling Vazquez to not give anything good for Napoli to hit because Wood was on deck. Napoli walked, which fueld my own speculation. What he actually said, I'll never know - but that scenario in my head really made me want Wood to come through even more.

It felt so good to see Wood succeed. Moments like that are truly priceless.

So as we enter the new week, the Angels are 10-10 and two games in back of the hated A’s. The good news is that the Angels haven’t even hit their stride yet, while Oakland looks like they’re playing well above their heads.

I know it’s early (and I'm more than a tad bit biased); but once the Angels hit their stride, the AL West could be in big trouble. I’m just saying.

BallHype: hype it up!

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