October 27, 2010

The Top Ten things I'd like to see at the 2010 World Series

10. A foot race between Pablo Sandoval and Bengie Molina. Winner gets a XXXL Antler t-shirt. Loser does a belly flop into McCovey Cove.

9. Nolan Ryan sitting next to Robin Ventura with his arm around his neck. Yes, I know Ventura has never been associated with the Giants, but it’s a funny thought never-the-less.

8. Expanded instant replay. Yes, I had to go there.

7. Steve Perry singing the National Anthem in San Francisco with Barry Zito on guitar. Hey, Zito has to make an appearance in the World Series somehow, doesn’t he?

6. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Brian Wilson of the Giants dressed up as Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys on Halloween? In fact Wilson’s warm up song should be “Don’t Worry Baby” - God only knows how appropriate that would be. Did you like how I incorporated three Beach Boys songs in there? Don’t answer that…

5. Pablo Sandoval doing the Ozzie Smith flip. Then again, didn’t we already have an earthquake during a Giants World Series in 1989?

4. An Ian Kinsler trifecta, where he is hitless, speechless and ring-less. I’m just saying.

3. The look on Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez’s face if the Rangers win. This idea could make for a great Master Card commercial…. Alex Rodriguez's contract: $275 million. Mark Teixiera: $180 million. The look on their faces after the ALCS: Priceless. There are some things money can’t buy.

2. None of the Ranger pitchers going more than five innings. After all, the Rangers bull pen lead the American League in innings pitched. That’s right. Let’s look at the facts and ignore the hype (excluding Cliff Lee).

1. Chuck Norris throwing the first pitch in Arlington and then challenging Kung Fu Panda to a fight. “Kung Fu, eh? Let’s see what you got Pablo!”

October 25, 2010

Evidence that the Loch Ness Monster is real?

I never thought I’d see this day. I mean seriously; there are a lot of things I thought I’d see before I ever saw the Texas Rangers in the World Series. Things like men landing on Mars or real life video of the Loch Ness Monster seemed much more likely.

I have to tell you. As great a story at this Rangers team might be, I am having a hard time with it. If you’re one of those Angel fans who are happy for Vladimir Guerrero, well then – you’re just a better person than I am. The idea that Vlad could get a World Series ring in Texas after six years without one in Anaheim just isn’t sitting well with me. Call me selfish; call me a jerk; whatever. The idea that it’s even possible for him to win in another uniform is just downright depressing.

Suffice it to say, I’ll be cheering for the Giants.

I admit, it will be hard to root against Bengie Molina, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Let’s face it, I have had to endure way too many Yankee and Red Sox titles lately and even though those are tough to swallow, it’s something I’m familiar with. This whole Rangers in the World Series thing is another matter. It just leaves a sour feeling in my stomach.

I will say this about the Rangers. There’s a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing that Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira had to watch the Rangers celebrate their ALCS win. I mean, I’m sure both guys never thought they’d see the day when the Rangers would do something like that. Every time I think about that, I have to smile. Come on, it has to make you smile too doesn’t it? Here are two guys who left Texas for what they thought was a sure thing (getting to the World Series multiple times) in the Yankees only to lose to them when most people thought that just couldn’t happen. It’s just beautiful and I thank the Rangers for giving me that.

Now, I’m sure if I let myself, I’d find a lot of reasons to root for the Rangers; however, I just can’t go there. You see there are a lot of other things that really bug me about the Rangers.

First of all, what’s the deal with having red uniforms? It’s bad enough that you have a lot of ex-Angels are on your team, but stealing the team colors too? Then there’s the whole disliking Ian Kinsler thing and well, let’s just stop with that. I’d rather not focus too much on the negative today. Let’s just say it’s just easier and a lot less painful to cheer for the Giants.

Speaking of the Giants; one thing I really appreciate about them is that they’re not hung up on contracts. Barry Zito has a $126 million contract and he was left off the post-season roster. Aaron Rowand is in the third year of a five year, $60 million contract and he’s spending quite a bit of time on the bench.

The Giants are clearly about putting the best players on the field and that’s not necessarily something team’s do. I applaud them for that. I’m thinking about Scott Kazmir. Catch my drift Angel fans?

I’m also enjoying the fact that Jose Guillen hasn’t been on the post season roster either. If he was, I’d have a hard time watching the World Series all-together.

Also - I’m really liking the “cast off” image of the team. Guys like Pat Burrell and Cody Ross are good stories. One minute they’re out of baseball and the next they’re on the game’s biggest stage making huge contributions.

Other observations, thoughts and ramblings…

I’m happy that Bengie Molina will get a ring and a nice bonus regardless of which team wins it all. Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports points out that his time with both the Giants and Rangers is going to pay off big time. The Giants voted Molina a full share before the play-offs rolled around.

I loved the way the ALCS ended with Alex Rodriguez looking at strike 3 for the final out of the game. I don’t know what it is about A-Rod but most of my memories of him in the post season over his career are of him leaving his bat on his shoulder for better or worse. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d much rather see a guy try to put the ball in play than just stand there looking for a walk.

On the other hand, I didn’t like the way the NLCS ended because a guy like Ryan Howard should be trying to make something happen instead of watching it happen.

I wonder how much Cliff Lee is going to be offered this off season. I’m guessing the Yankees will offer him all of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and all the Coney Island hot dogs he can eat. I’m hoping he ends up some place other than New York and/or Texas.

This post season has really provided us with some stud pitching. Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Tim Lincecum, Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia are as good as there are in baseball. They might be the five best pitchers in baseball not named Felix Hernandez. Remember when Josh Beckett was in their class?

I’ve been trying to look up the pre-season predictions from all the experts to see how many of them had the Giants and Rangers in the World Series.

I started looking last week.

I’m still searching.

ESPN? Nope. Fox Sports? Nada. Sports Illustrated? Negative. This could take a while.

It has to be out there; somewhere, right? Then again...

Isn't baseball great?

Last, but not least – check out Bengie Molina’s blog “Behind the Mask” as he details his emotions of winning the American League and going against his former team.

October 20, 2010

Not bad; not bad at all

Of all the players from the 2002 World Series team that went on to play for someone else; Bengie Molina is the guy I miss the most. I miss him more than Darin Erstad, Troy Glaus, David Eckstein or anyone else.

Last night he reminded me and all Angel fans why he was so beloved. He had what might have been the biggest hit in the ALCS, a three run homerun to put the Rangers ahead for good in game four.

"It's not a bad job for a fat kid who everyone makes fun of when he runs," smiled Molina, after going 3-for-4 with a homerun and three runs batted in.

Bengie has always played the game with the rare combination of both pride and humility. He never sought the spotlight, but it always found him just the same. I never felt like he was ever overwhelmed by any situation. Most of all I always viewed him as a “clutch” player.

Now, I know some sabermetric types and other baseball folk believe there is no such thing as “clutch hitting,” but as long as this game isn’t being played by robots or computers, I will always disagree. Baseball players are human beings with emotions and voices in their heads that speak to them all the time. You can’t tell me that some players don’t thrive in the “big” moment or game. You can’t convince me that some athletes have a tendency to tense up when the lights are at their brightest and the stage is at its biggest.

Some people want the bat (or ball) in their hands when the game is on the line and some don’t. That doesn’t mean they’re going to succeed all the time; it just means that the moment isn’t too big for them. It’s not something you can necessarilly measure or even project, but it’s often very evident.

Maybe I’m romanticizing the game too much here.

Well, baseball will do that to you. Every big play has the ability to flood your mind with memories, thoughts, emotions and so much more. Baseball is about indelible moments and although it’s easy to get lost in the statistics and numbers associated with the game, it’s those walk off homeruns and suicide squeezes that you remember most. And when certain players seem to step up and deliver in key situations time after time, you remember them for being “clutch.” Imagined or real? It really doesn’t matter.

Watching Bengie Molina last night took me back. It took me back to a time when he was an Angel. I always believed he had the ability to soak in a moment, take a deep breath, settle himself and if necessary – his teammates’ nerves and get down to business. He was always had a calm and steady presence and I’ve always considered him to be a great leader. He’s not necessarily a” raw, raw” type; he just leads by example.

A lot of conversations will take place between now and next season about what a great addition Cliff Lee was to the Rangers’ rotation and rightly so. It should also be noted that adding Molina to the Rangers club house was just as big. He’s that veteran presence that’s been here before and he never gets too high or too low.

Molina also knows full well about the mind set needed to take down a Yankee club in the post season; having lived that experience as an Angel. He knows no fear.

I find it interesting that he could end up in the World Series facing the team that basically gave him away to clear a spot for the potential National League Rookie of the Year; Buster Posey. I would bet Bengie finds that thought more than just interesting. I would bet that the way he was pushed aside hurt just a tad.

Seems to me that during his free agency years he's frequently the guy no team really wants to sign, but ends up being the guy everyone loves to have on their tea. Even still, though he constantly exceeds expectations; he's also taken for granted. He's kind of an after thought, but one that pays off big in the end.

Remember, this is a man with tremendous pride; at least that’s what I’ve gathered after watching him for all these years as a fan. Now, I don’t know Bengie personally and my only interactions with him have come at spring training or before games when he would warm up down by the bull pen and interact with fans, but the impression I always got was that this is a man who plays with confidence and has his own quiet swagger about him.

Everytime I think about him I keep coming back to his pride and humility.

Take the 2006 season when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays. On May 16 of that year his Blue Jays lost to the Angels 8-3, but the thing that probably stung Bengie the most was that Jose Molina (his brother) stole a base against him.

The next night, Bengie tried to return the favor, but was thrown out by Jose. One can only imagine the post game conversation those two might have afterwards. I’m sure Bengie didn’t like being upstaged by his brother, but at the same time I would also believe he got a good laugh out of the whole thing.

He also got the last laugh.

Apparently he didn’t forget that night in May because a few months later on September 9 Bengie got his revenge and stole a base against Jose. Justice was served and order was restored within the Molina family.

Interestingly both Molina’s had only stolen one base all year; not only that, neither tried to steal a base against anyone else the rest of the year.

It was vintage Bengie.

I even loved the way he interacted with fans. He was always kind, cordial and accommodating. He never “big leagued” anyone. He always made time for as many people as possible. There’s something endearing about a guy who’s always approachable and seems to be the same person regardless of whether he’s signing autographs or launching bombs into the outfield stands.

I can even remember a potentially volatile situation at a spring training game in Tempe after the 2002 season. A few of the players were gathered at the tunnel that leads from the field to the club house. Frankie Rodriguez said something that offended a fan who was trying to get someone’s autograph. I don’t know what he said, but I remember this fan going off and saying some things in a pretty angry tone. Frankie looked a little shell shocked, but Bengie was there and gave the fan a “come on man, you’re not serious” look. He said a few things to defuse the situation and everyone walked away just fine.

Bengie has always had a way of putting people at ease; be it on the field or off it. It’s one of the things I love about him.

You see, every memory I have of Bengie is a good one. Last night, he gave me one more.

October 14, 2010

Post-season baseball brings out the best in all of us

When it became clear the Angels were not headed to the play-offs (was that back in May?), I started hoping the San Diego Padres would win the NL West. I figured I could pull for a team that had Buddy Black as their manager and David Eckstein playing second base.

When the Padres faltered (okay, choked); I looked at the post-season and decided to align myself with the Twins, Rays, Reds and Braves. I wasn’t necessarily picking the teams I thought would win, but rather the teams I wanted to win.

Well, we know how that turned out.

So here we are on the verge (well sort of on the verge, if you count waiting for three days) of the League Championship Series’. What’s an Angel fan to do?

The ALCS is like my worst nightmare.

I can’t cheer for the Yankees and I really can’t stand the Rangers. Yeah, that’s right – I have no love for the team from Texas even if it’s full of ex-Angels. None what-so-ever. Don’t get me wrong, I will always be a huge Bengie Molina fan and I have nothing but the highest regard for Darren Oliver and Vladimir Guerrero. Heck, I even like Darren O’Day and Gary Pettis, who is their first base coach.

It’s just that… well, I can’t stand Ian Kinsler.

If you've followed the “rivalry” between the Angels and Rangers than you obviously know about Kinsler’s “get the bleep off my field” comment from last year. I haven’t forgotten it and every time I think of the Rangers, I think of him spouting off. He just ruins it for me.

I don’t care what Donny Osmond sang all those years ago; for me it’s a clear case of one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch.

Some might argue that I should be loyal to the AL West or the AL in general. I don’t see it that way. If we’re talking about the All-Star game (a game that really matters, don't you know) well then sure, but that’s where my loyalties end.

I just might have to go with an NL team this year. Then again; maybe... just maybe I should go with the team that has the best video? Just watch…

Now aren't you glad you found this blog? I mean come on, where else can you get this kind of analysis and post season coverage?

I know what you're thinking. You've seen all the videos and you've made up your mind. You're thinking "Go Giants!" aren't you? Yeah, me too.

This is play-off baseball and it doesn’t get any better than this.

October 11, 2010

All bets are off

As much as I’d like to say that I’m enjoying the play-offs, I really can’t do that. Sure, some amazing things have taken place like Roy Halladay’s no-hitter, but I can’t say that I’m scheduling my life around the post-season.

I don’t know, I really don’t get a kick out of watching former Angels like Vlad Guerrero, Darren Oliver, Bengie Molina, Troy Glaus, Orlando Cabrera, etc., etc. doing things for other teams. The truth of the matter is that seeing them in their current roles doesn’t do anything for me at all.

In fact, they serve as a reminder that the current Angels aren’t there and I really hate that like you wouldn’t believe.

I haven’t watched an entire play-off game yet. I’m not saying I won’t – just that I haven’t so far.

Let’s just say I’ve had other things on my mind since last week. Since October 5 to be exact when Bill Plaschke of the L.A Times wrote about Arte Moreno and how mad he was about the season and how he was going to do whatever it takes to make his team one of the elite in the league again.

Let’s just say that this article really got my attention and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Moreno said the kind of things every fan wants to hear from his owner. Things like “If you want to continue to perform at the highest level, you have to keep building the business," Moreno said. "And that's what I intend to do."

And things like "We know where our weaknesses are, we know where we are thin, we know where we have to go to market," Moreno said. "It's going to cost money, but our fans need to know what we're committed to winning."

More music to my ears: "You're not in the playoffs, you're not a happy person," Moreno said. ''I just don't like losing, and we're going to make adjustments."

Those are the kinds of statements that make me want to cancel the post season and start the Hot Stove season like yesterday. I can’t wait to see what this team is going to do. When I read those statements by Moreno it got me fired up.

Then something strange happened.

I checked out the Angels official page and found an article written by Lyle Spencer on October 3; just two day prior to the on in the LA Times

The headline struck me – “Whole sale changes by Angels not necessary.”


The two articles had completely different tones. In the Spencer piece Mike Scioscia was quoted as saying “I don't think we need to make a lot of changes," Scioscia said, "but we're always looking to improve our club."

Wait. Didn’t I just read… I mean… Are you kidding… Huh?

You know what I love about Arte Moreno? He’s kind of like Colonel Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson) in the movie “A few good men.” He wants to tell you what’s on his mind and if you wait long enough, he’s likely to do exactly that. He’s likely and willing to break company lines and give you the real deal.

Scioscia on the other hand is like one of those guards at Buckingham Palace. No matter what you do or say to them, they’re not going to give you anything. Not a smile, not a wink; nothing.

So here’s the deal and this has been my gut feeling since the season ended. Forget whatever you thought might happen because when most people look at the Angels, they see some obvious holes that need filling. You know things like letting Hideki Matsui walk, making Bobby Abreu the full-time DH next year, etc., etc. You don’t need me to rehash all the scenarios that are pretty much uniform in their thought.

Prepare to be wowed. Prepare to see things no one saw coming. Let’s just say that all bets are off and I’m prepared for anything. I happen to believe Moreno when he says that he hates losing and wants to do something about it.

Now, some might find this alarming. Some might fear that he’s going to do something rash in the heat of the moment and some how make this club worse in the process.

Perish the thought. I get the feeling that Moreno let’s things burn in his belly for a bit and thinks long and hard about how do make things right. I don’t think he’s afraid to go after what he wants and I’m betting he’s asking all the right questions; hard questions and when all is said and done – he’ll have the answers and a plan to put this team back where it belongs.

I want Arte in that place. I want him so angry that he can’t see straight and when he’s done being mad, I want to see him with a laser-like focus and barking out orders to his staff.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part. Maybe I’m making this out to be way bigger in my own little head than I should, but then again – it’s just how I feel. I want answers; I want the truth and I’m ready to handle it.

Bring it Arte. Angel fans are looking for a few good men.

October 9, 2010

Why do you love baseball?

Earlier in the week I asked the question Why do you love baseball? I posted this question on my other blog The Baseball Docent.

Several people have responded and their stories are posted on that site. Every story is unique and entertaining in their own way. Some of the stories may make you laugh and some may make you shed a tear. Some of the stories may even jog a great memory of your own and all of them will probably have you contemplating the question yourself.

I hope you'll take the time to check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Again, several stories are posted at The Baseball Docent. If the stories inspire you to answer the question yourself - feel free to write down your thoughts and send them to me (contact information is on the blog).

October 8, 2010

Making a dream come true

Ever wonder what it would be like to work for a major league baseball franchise? Wonder how you make that happen? Well, it’s like anything else worth achieving; it takes hard work and dedication.

A prime example of that is represented in Ryan Cavinder’s story. Who’s Ryan Cavinder? Ryan is a Media Relations Representative with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and he was kind enough to take the time to give us an inside look at what he does, how he got there and what it’s like to be a part of a major league franchise.

Ryan’s family and mine have known each other for years. His grandmother and my mother are like sisters (his dad and I are close in age). I’ve able to follow Ryan’s path to the Angels from afar and was delighted when he agreed to telling his story. So… let’s get to it.

TG: First of all Ryan; I know that you’re an Angels fan. How long have you been a fan of this team and did you have any favorites growing up?

RC: I have been an Angels fan all of my life. I spent most of my childhood in the cheap seats at the Big A with my dad and brother. We would make an annual trip out to spring training with my grandpa and then catch about 20 games or so during the season.

Some of my favorite Angels growing up were Wally Joyner, Luis Polonia, Jim Edmonds and Darin Erstad.

One of my favorite memories comes from one of my all-time favorite Halos. My dad and brother and I would always wait after the games in the parking lot to get players autographs. I was a pretty shy kid, so my brother would get most of the autographs and I’d try my best to follow his lead.

One day Rod Carew, who was the hitting coach at the time, came out and signed a few baseballs on the way to his car. He didn’t have time to sign for everyone, so he said goodbye and left me without an autograph. My brother came away beaming about his signed baseball and I immediately burst into tears.

My dad started to console me as the crowd departed and that’s when I heard a voice from behind me whisper, “Little boy, come here”. There was Rod, waiting to sign my baseball and give me a word of encouragement. Having had the chance to get to know Rod over the past few years has been a special treat for me. He is still the same caring individual he was that evening some 15 years ago.

TG: What is your current role with the Angels and how long have you been doing it?

RC: I am the Media Relations Representative for the Halos and I just finished my third season with the club. My job description covers a wide range of responsibilities, but includes arranging player interviews, producing game information used by writers and broadcasters, traveling with the club on road trips and writing the media guide.

Future Angels Brain Trust (in red)? Ryan is on the far left

TG: How many people do what you do?

RC: There are four full-time staff members in the Media Relations department, including my boss, V.P. of Communications, Tim Mead. Teamwork is crucial in our department as many of our responsibilities require constant communication.

TG: When did you decide that this was the career path you wanted to pursue?

RC: After finishing my senior season of high school baseball, I realized that I did not want to play ball for a living and to be quite honest I was probably not talented enough any way. I love the game so much and I decided I would do whatever I could to be around it. I had a passion for people and for public relations so I decided my dream job would be in the public relations office for the Angels.

TG: How did you make it happen?

RC: When people ask me this question, my answer is always, “A little bit of hard work and a whole lot of luck”. In all honesty, I worked tirelessly to put myself through school at Chapman University where I received the tools necessary to make it in this business.

I was fortunate enough to build some relationships in my time there and those relationships ended up landing me an internship with the club. Once I had my foot in the door I realized how close I was to my dream. I didn’t let anything stand in the way of me and my dream. Two years as an intern paid off as I was offered my current position at the beginning of this calendar year.

TG: I know you had a lot of different jobs through college and while working as an intern. I think it speaks to your desire to make it in the business you’re in. As you look back on those experiences, do you have any thoughts?

RC: I definitely think the many jobs I worked in college and while interning with the Angels taught me a lot about being dedicated to my dream. I had to make sacrifices to get to where I'm at but every one of them has paid off.

TG: Tell me more about your background; did you play any baseball?

RC: I played baseball at Valley Christian High School, a small high school in Cerritos. Though our school only had about 800 students, we had a very successful baseball program. After a brief stint at the University of Arizona, I wound up at Chapman University where I graduated in 2008 with my B.A. in Public Relations and Advertising.

TG: What is a typical day like for you?

RC: It seems like there is never a typical day here at the ballpark, but for a typical home game I arrive at the ballpark in the morning and begin preparing our game notes. Game notes offer our broadcasters and writers specific stats, trends and interesting notes to use in their articles/broadcasts.

On a typical day, we also are busy setting up interviews for our players, both with Fox Sports West (FSW) as well as with radio stations and writers. The better part of the afternoon is spent in the clubhouse where we are available for the players and the media to fulfill any requests they may have.

During the game, we are in the press box assisting the media with their coverage of the game. I’ll normally leave the ballpark about 30-60 minutes after the conclusion of the game. It makes for a very long day but it is incredibly rewarding.

On the road trips I have many of the same responsibilities; however I am the only one to fulfill those duties so it presents a whole new challenge. The up-side to that are the incredible hotels, chartered flights and amazing cities I am able to visit.

While the team is on the road and I am not with them, we (staff) are preparing for the next home stand and assisting the person from our office that is traveling with game notes and such.

TG: What will you do in the off season?

RC: Baseball’s offseason is very short and once you factor in the beginning of free agency, the winter meetings and the holiday season it’s almost time for spring training!

A large amount of our time in the offseason is spent preparing the coming year’s media guide. This offseason will be special as we will be preparing for the 50th anniversary celebration in 2011. We have a lot of special surprises in store and it’s going to be a very exciting year!

TG: What is your role at spring training?

RC: Many of my responsibilities are the same whether in Tempe or Anaheim, but the environment is much different. For instance, on a typical day in Anaheim we may have between 5-10 player interviews; while in Tempe we can have upwards of 20-30. Spring training is heavily covered by the media due to the fact that there are so many teams within a 15-20 mile radius.

This last spring was my first opportunity to be in Tempe for the entirety of spring training and it was a real treat. The relaxed atmosphere out there provides me a great opportunity to build relationships with our players.

TG: Ryan, you are obviously in a position that a lot of people would love to be in. Have you ever had any “wow” moments where you had to pinch yourself?

RC: There have been countless “wow” moments in my short time with the club, many of which I never even dreamed possible. Celebrating with the team in the clubhouse after clinching division titles in 2008 and 2009 most definitely top that list. Being around such baseball greats such as Rod Carew, Vin Scully and Reggie Jackson has also left me saying, “wow.”

TG: What do you do when you are not absorbed in all things Angels?

RC: It’s difficult to truly separate myself from this club, but when I do - I try to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends. I also love to be outdoors and I have a passion for distance running.

TG: Do you have any advice for people looking for a career in baseball?

RC: Never take no for an answer. Persistence is key to making it in this business. It is crucial in this market to take any job that will get you some experience. If there isn’t a job open; go for an internship. If there isn’t an internship available; volunteer. Much like the challenge the players face, you have to be willing to do it for free and prove yourself before anyone will be willing to pay you.

TG: Angel fans know that Tony Reagins (the current General Manager) started as an intern. I believe the Yankees’ Brian Cashman and Red Sox’s Theo Epstein also started that way. Can you envision yourself as a future GM?

RC: I don't envision myself being a GM one day but I would not rule it out. I love that side of this business and have been inspired by the path Tony took.

TG: Anything you’d like to add? A funny story perhaps? How about your first road trip?

RC: My first road trip was a surreal experience. This is the way to travel. I’m a young guy not far removed from college, so the days spent in European hostels and road tripping in the U.S. aren’t far behind me.

The chartered flights, the hotels and the incredible food (and tons of it) are more than a young guy could ask for. As a matter of fact, I gained six pounds on my first road trip. Six pounds in seven days, while working out! Needless to say, it was on that first trip that I learned how to say no.

The only other thing I would like to add is that if anyone would like to get a hold of me they can feel free to reach me at ryan.cavinder@angelsbb.com.

That concludes our interview. I’d like to thank Ryan for his time and insight.

October 7, 2010

Mike Scioscia returns to "The Simpsons"

This comes to us courtesy of “The Hall of Very Good” blog and is being reposted with permission.

Athletes appearing on "The Simpsons" isn't a new thing.

From Roger Clemens to Yao Ming. Tom Brady to Tony Hawk...the guests stars have run the gamut. But no athlete (outside of the fictional Drederick Tatum) has appeared more than once.

Until now.

Read this from FOX:

In an effort to bolster her resume, Lisa jumps at the opportunity to coach Bart’s little league team, and despite having little understanding of baseball, leads them to a record-winning streak. But when Bart confronts Lisa for taking the fun out of baseball, she benches him from the championship game. Hoping to lift his spirits, Marge spends the day with Bart at an amusement park where MLB manager and former catcher Mike Scioscia (guest-voicing as himself) reminds Bart of his genuine love of the sport. Meanwhile, with one last chance to win the game, Lisa makes an unexpected call and learns that there is more to sports than winning in the all-new “MoneyBART” episode of "The Simpsons".

So that begs the questions...will this Sunday's episode make reference to the series' famous "Homer at the Bat" episode where the then-Dodgers catcher (turned Angels all-time winningest manager) Scioscia was hospitalized due to radiation poisoning?

Will this open the door to us finding out whatever happened to Ozzie Smith after he disappeared while visiting the Springfield Mystery Spot?

More importantly...is anyone still watching The Simpsons?

Okay, so this is what Mike Scioscia is up to this off season? Well, when you think about it; this past season certainly had a lot of “doh!” moments, so this is certainly appropriate. I mean every time Erick Aybar (or Gilligan as I like to call him) did something goofy, I felt like saying "doh!."

I just never figured Scioscia could get a job doing voice over work given how awful his Howard's Appliances radio ads are. But what do I know?

Hmm. Another thought - I bet Bart Simpson could out hit Jeff Mathis. Just saying.

Thanks again to The Hall of Very Good for letting me repost this.

October 4, 2010


The headline says it all; the final tally for 2010.

I suppose some sort of analysis of the just completed season is in order. Then again, I’m a little tired of pointing fingers and all that. Truth be told, I’m kind of glad the season is over. The season was all kinds of frustrating and the year has been emotionally draining on many levels.

That being said, I do feel obligated to do a brief recap. Fortunately, I can sum up the season failures fairly easily.

The reason for the Angels poor showing can be directly tied to Brandon Wood’s epic failure at the plate, Erick Aybar’s inability to become a good lead off man, the continued horrible play of Jeff Mathis (and Mike Scioscia’s puzzling loyalty to him), Scott Kazmir’s miserable performance and a bull pen that was no friend to Smokey the Bear, let alone the Angel starting pitchers (they couldn't put out a match with a fire hose let alone a fire).

The list above does not represent all the reasons the Angels failed; however, they are the most significant outside of Kendry Morales’ injury in my opinion.

Let the Hot Stove Season begin.

Here’s the first shot heard around the Southern California scene, courtesy of Torii Hunter and the LA Times.

"Arte is [ticked off]," Hunter said. "And when he's [ticked off], great things happen."

Don’t tease me Torii. Please let me look back on that quote with fondness come next spring. I want to look back and say, "Arte really didn't mess around." I’ve been hearing a lot of "big" talk of late from Tony Reagins, etc. and I want to believe what I’m hearing. Time to walk the walk.

Let’s make Plan A, (whatever the heck it is) a reality. No stop gaps. No settling. Make some magic and let’s get back to winning. Make this off-season one to remember for all the right reasons.

Now, how do we fans stay tuned? Let me break it down for you.

Between now and the day pitchers and Molinas report (and beyond), I’ll be checking MLB Trade Rumors frequently (and you should too). When I say frequently, I'm talking about every ten minutes (just kidding... sort of).

Anything that might happen or actually does happen will be found there (it's not all rumors). Consider it your one-stop shop for all things Hot Stove.You wan to know who all the free agents are - check out MLB Trade Rumors. Need a list of Scott Boras clients? MLB Trade Rumors has it. Man, I should get paid for this plug!

You should also check in with the OC Register’s Angel Blog regularly. It's really the best source for Angels-specific information in real time. Sam Miller and Dan Woike along with a cast of thousands (give or take that many) keep Angel fans on top of all the action.

And add AngelsWin and Halos Heaven to your internet book marks. The two fan oriented sites are usually among the first to hear about any late breaking Angels news. Let me put it to you this way - if an Angel fan hears it, sees it or heaven forbid, smells it - they're likely to post about it at one of the two sites on their active message boards. Both also have great blogs, conduct in-depth interviews with players, front office people, other not-so-famous folks and much more.

LA Angels Insider is also another great resource for all things Angels (they even let me post a blog there once in a while). Eric Denton runs a first class site with lots of exclusive content.

If you use Twitter, you need to follow Sam Miller (@SamMillerOCR), Dan Woike (@OCR_DanWoike), Mark Saxon of ESPN (@markasaxon) and Lyle Spencer of MLB (@LyleMSpencer).

Be sure to check out all the Angel blogs (see my blog roll on the right) and please keep coming back to this site; after all, I’m not going any where and I get depressed when my site meter dips too low.

That should keep you on top of all the Angel news all off season long.

In closing today’s post, I’ll leave you with a few photos from the last home stand. Enjoy!

Photos: Top Row: Bobby Grich at the 50th Anniversary Announcement, followed by Ervin Santana. Second Row: Mark Trumbo followed by Peter Bourjos and in the last row: The Matsui faithful.


Top Row: Bobby Wilson, Hideki Matsui, Torii Hunter
Bottom Row: Mike Scioscia, Howie Kendrick, Scioscia again