August 24, 2010

A loss is a loss, but I'm not at a loss for words

The folks that were so sure the Angels would overtake Texas are kind of speechless these days. They kind of mumble to themselves and say things like “there’s not much you can say about that” when referring to the latest Angels loss.

Me on the other hand, I’m really not at a loss for words.

Last night was a typical Angel game for 2010. Fall behind early and never recover. Sure go and mount a little rally, but come up short in the end. I heard something to the effect that the Angels are around 1-54 when trailing after eight innings. I don’t know how anyone expected them to come from behind to win the west when they can’t even come from behind in a game.

It’s not like they didn’t have their chances. Torii Hunter came up three times with runners in scoring position and came up empty every time. I wonder if he’ll have a closed door meeting with himself today.

Speaking of which, do those things really work? I mean you might see an immediate impact for a game or two, but the residual effect seems to be minimal to me. I mean if you’re having a lot of these things there are bigger issues involved aren’t there?

You know times are tough when I start taking shots at Hunter. Hunter is my favorite player, but even he’s not immune to a little criticism now and then.

So… I’d really like to know what Scott Kazmir’s problem is. Is it mental, mechanical, physical or spiritual? Is it all of the above? Or is it something completely different? RaysIndex makes some bold claims about why the Rays traded Kazmir to the Angels.

Pitching is such a mystery and the Angels pitching has been a huge puzzle all season long. Seems like some of these guys; like say Ervin Santana have been taking us on roller coaster rides for years. One day he’s awesome. The next he’s mediocre, then comes the horrible outing, followed by the game when he has dominating stuff. Trying graphing his ERA for the past six years; it looks like a mountain range.

This is a team that came close to going to the World Series last year and this year they’re about as far away from being that team as Jeff Mathis is to hitting even .250. Why does Mathis still have a job? I’m never going to understand the “man crush” Mike Scioscia has on him. After six seasons Jeff Mathis has a career .200 average. I suppose we should be happy that he’s at least hitting his weight. Hmm. I wonder what would happen if he gained 50 pounds?

Look, I know that Mike Napoli isn’t going to win any gold gloves behind the plate, but playing Mathis over him is ludicrous.

Really want to know something crazy? In 2008 Mathis hit .194 and he followed that up in 2009 by hitting .211. That translated into him being able to more than double his salary through arbitration from $450,000 to $1.3 million. I’m telling you, you can’t make this stuff up.

So last night Mike Sciosica decided to put Juan Rivera at first base. Yes, Tub of Goo himself was making his first ever start as a first baseman. When you think about it, if he has to be on the field that might be the best place for him. I mean first base probably requires the least amount of athleticism. Of course, I’d rather he not be on the field at all, but I’m just crazy that way.

You see Juan Rivera can’t be any good. Why? He doesn’t play “D” and if you take the “D” out of good, you’re left with goo. Thus the nickname “Tub of Goo.” I should have thought of this earlier. Doh!

I told you I wasn’t at a loss for words. This team has given me a lot of material to work with this year.

On the bright side; and yes, there’s always a bright side. I love watching Peter Bourjos run down fly balls. It has already gotten to the point where I expect him to catch everything and I mean everything. When a foul ball is hit into the upper deck, I check the nearest tunnel to make sure Bourjos isn’t about to run out and make the catch.

Terry Smith (Angel radio play by play announcer) was commenting last night that he’d like to see a foot race between Bourjos and Carl Crawford. Poor Terry doesn’t get it. Bourjos is so fast, a better race would be between him and Top Fuel Funny Car. After all; Bourjos doesn’t have feet, he has wheels.

Speaking of wheels… wheels roll and last night the Angels rolled over big time. Catch the 9th inning? The Rays closer, Rafael Soriano only needed nine pitches to close out the game. He threw nine strikes and struck out the side. That’s about as perfect as you can get. By the way, Soriano will be a free agent at the end of the season. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

In closing, I'd like to wish Tim Salmon a happy 42nd birthday today. We miss you Timmy!

I'd also like to remember Nick Adenhart, who shares Salmon's birthday. Nick would have been 24 years old today. He too is missed dearly for entirely different reasons. Let's never forget.

BallHype: hype it up!

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