July 29, 2010

Johnny has issues, but enough about Lackey - let's get back to the future

There was a time when John Lackey was easily rattled on the mound. He could be cruising along and then lose his control and his concentration because of a bad play, a missed cal, a fly buzzing around his head (speculation on my part) or whatever. Over the years, he managed to get better at managing his emotions, but every now and then – that old character trait would rear its ugly head and get the best of him.

Well this week it appeared to me that Lackey still has some issues. Here’s a guy who didn’t just leave town, he basically gave Angel fans the finger on his way out with comments about our supposed lack of passion. Well, John got a taste of some good old fashioned Angel passion Tuesday night when the boos got loud and profound.

Lackey was quoted in the LA Times Fabulous Forum blog as saying, “That won't be forgotten," he said. "That's for sure."

What did Lackey expect? Did he expect us to forget? He went on to say “Nobody wants to get booed like that.” I have this picture of what Lackey must have been like in high school. He must have been the big man on campus who got away with doing and saying whatever he wanted. He probably wasn’t held accountable for his actions.

Well, that act doesn’t play so well in the real world Johnny.

Enough about John. Besides, his team swept the Angels and he got the last laugh. That’s tough for me to swallow, but it is what it is. So be it. There’s always next time.

Since today is an off day, I’d like to take you back to a happier time. A time in the not-so-distant past. I’m talking about All-Star Sunday when the Future’s Game and Celebrity/Legends Softball game took place at Angels Stadium.

I promised you that I would recap the All-Star festivities and even though I’m behind, I still intend to do exactly that. Next up...

The Future’s game had to give Angel fans a lot of hope as two of the stars of that game were Angel prospects Mike Trout (left) and Hank Conger (below right). Conger won the MVP award for the game, but Trout made a huge impression.

Here’s what Keith Law of ESPN had to say:

Hank Conger (Angels) might have won the MVP award for the Futures Game because he hit the home run, but Mike Trout (Angels) was by far the most impressive player and had a better case for the accolade (as did Eric Hosmer). Trout ran the fastest time from home to first that I've ever had from a right-handed hitter (3.94 seconds) and had one of the most impressive hustle doubles I've ever seen. He's a ridiculously good athlete who has great makeup where it counts: on the field, where his instincts and feel are those of a player 10 years older. He played excellent defense in center all day and, given this newfound speed, I don't see any doubts about his ability to remain there, especially because he could add 20 pounds of muscle and still have plenty of speed to maintain above-average range. Currently, he's not the best prospect in the minors, but once the Phillies call up the next guy in this article, he will be.

I’d say the future looks bright, we'd better wear shades.

If you’re interested in seeing Trout – you should know that he’s at Rancho Cucamonga playing for the Quakes after his recent promotion.

As good as the Futures game was; the most entertaining part of the night was clearly the Celebrity/Legends Softball game. It was a special night and served as sort of a Tim Salmon Reunion night as the beloved “Timmy” made the most of the evening.

Salmon embraced the evening and the fans showed their appreciation in grand style, applauding and cheering his every move. Salmon didn’t disappoint as he led his team to victory and even managed a few homeruns to boot. When interviewed on the field, he asked the crowd, if his first homerun of the game could count as #300 (Salmon finished his career with 299 homeruns) to which the crowd responded with enthusiastic applause.

It was a fun night and a great night to thank Salmon once again for his years as Mr. Angel.

Former Angel “legends” Fred Lynn and Chuck Finley were also on hand, along with a host of former players and celebrities. Perhaps I’d be better off, just letting the pictures do the talking… Below are Bo Jackson, Rickey Henderson, Fred Lynn, and M.C. Hammer.

Followed by Rollie Fingers, Chuck Finley, Ozzie Smith and Jenny Finch

And last, but not least Natasha Watley and one more of Tim Salmon.

BallHype: hype it up!

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