June 29, 2010

Bring up the man from down under (and other notes)

As the trading deadline nears, there is talk among Angel fans and sports talk shows, etc. about what the Angels should or shouldn’t do.

Seems like when this time rolls around every year Angel fans get a little antsy. It’s almost as if the Angels front office is judged totally on how they handle this time of year. I don’t think that’s fair, but it is what it is. Fans will soon be clamoring for the Angels to add a “big bat.” That seems to be the mantra year after year.

Personally, I think the bull pen could use a boost; however, I’m not suggesting they go out and acquire an arm per say. I have an internal suggestion. Call up Rich Thompson.

Have you seen the numbers Thompson is putting up at Salt Lake? He has a .061 ERA and .091 WHIP. He has struck out 30 batters in 29 1/3 innings and has not allowed a homerun to date. Opponents are hitting just .177 against him. You have to like those numbers, don’t you?

Now, I’m not suggesting that Thompson will solve all the bull pen issues, but he might be a nice addition in my opinion. Thompson (who is originally from Australia) turns 26 on July 1 and I’d say let’s give him a happy birthday and bring him up!

In other news…

Did you see the exchange between Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton of the Rays? Upton dogged it on a ball hit in the gap yesterday and it ended up costing the Rays a run in a game they lost 2-1 to the Padres. Longoria who is used to doing things the Dirtbag way confronted Upton and Upton took exception.

I have to tell you I love this move by Longoria. Players policing themselves is a good thing and Longoria is the unquestionable leader of that team. Here’s a clip showing what happened:

You know, as I watched Upton jog after the ball, his lackadaisical style reminded of Juan Rivera. Rivera tends to jog after balls hit in the gap as well in my opinion. I know Rivera isn’t very fast and perhaps what I’m seeing as a jog is his full on sprint, but I doubt it. In any case, it’s made me crazy for a while now.

If the Angels do make a move for a bat by the deadline – I wouldn’t mind seeing them upgrade left field. There, I said it. I’ve wanted to say it for a while. I’m down on Rivera. I don’t think he’s putting up the kind of numbers this team needs from a corner outfielder. Besides, his defense leaves something to be desired as well.

Consider this; Rivera ranks 39th in OPS among all American League outfielders. That’s not good. I should add that Rivera does rank in the top 20 among AL outfielders in one category… grounding into double plays. He has grounded into six of them so far.

In the mean time, there’s some baseball to be played. The Rangers are in town and I want the Angels to put the beat down on them big time. This is the kind of series that’s fun and I can’t wait to see the two teams get it on.

Let’s rock!

BallHype: hype it up!

June 28, 2010

I know it's only the Rockies, but I like it

The current home stand has been solid thus far. Winning two out of three games in back to back series’ is getting the job done. Of course it would be even better if the Texas Rangers would slow down a bit and lose a few more games; but that’s okay, they’re about to get theirs.

As we approach the mid-way point of the season it’s interesting to see how things have played out thus far in the AL West. Most of the so-called experts who picked the Seattle Mariners have to be a little red faced right about now (I might even suggest Angels red). Seattle is 15 games out and quite frankly it’s a beautiful thing.

I really got tired of hearing about the supposed great moves the Mariners had made in the off season and how they were going to win the west. Did I mention that they’re 15 games out?

The Mariners are 29th in runs scored this year. It’s amazing to me that anyone picked this team to win the west. Anyone with any common sense could see this team wasn’t going to score runs. By the way they’re 15 games out of first place. Just saying.

Then there are the Rangers… Good grief. They’re playing amazing baseball. Yes, I know they’re schedule of late has been softer than the mid section of the Pillsbury Dough Boy, but they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and beating up on the crappy teams and make not mistake about it – the Pirates and Astros (the Rangers last two opponents) are two of the worst.

A lot of people who do projections are feeling pretty good right about now because this is the group (as opposed to columnists and TV analysts) who predicted the Rangers to have this kind of year.

Will it last? I don’t know. What I do know is that there is a lot of talk about how the dog days of summer will take its toll on the Rangers pitchers and they’ll start to fade. To be honest with you, this kind of assumption makes me nervous. I hate it when people assume something just because that’s what happens every year.

It’s like last year during the play-offs everyone assumed the Angels would lose to the Red Sox because it had become tradition and then when they put the beat down on the Sox, the same group assumed the Angels would beat the Yankees because again, that’s become the tradition.

Well, so much for that kind of tradition…

So here we are at the end of June, the Angels are 4.5 games out of first and looking up at the Rangers and guess who’s coming to town this week? I’m sure you don’t need to guess. If you’re any kind of an Angels fan, you know.

This is a big series for the Angels. I know Mike Scioscia would disagree and say every series is important, but let’s be real. Any time you face a team within your division, especially one that’s ahead of you, it’s huge. Not make or break huge, but big enough to get the competitive juices going.

The Angels better jump on them this week because when it’s over – the Rangers will get to continue to cruise towards the all-star break with some more cream puffs (with the exception of the White Sox who are surging) by playing at home against Cleveland and Baltimore.

How nice. The Rangers will have played THE four worst teams in baseball in a matter of a few weeks. Whatever. Looks like the Angels will have to do this (win the west) the hard way.

Here’s some things to think about as the two teams square off this week. Even though much is made of the Rangers’ fire power – the Angels have actually hit more homeruns this year (80-75). Then again, it is somewhat telling that although the Angels have out homered the Rangers, their team OPS isn’t where it should be. The Rangers have a .779 OPS (4th best) compared to the Angels’ .732 (17th best).

The Rangers also have a better team ERA (3.90 – 10th best) to the Angels 4.44 (23rd best). Both teams have pitched better over the last month. The Angels have a 3.87 ERA and the Rangers a 3.56 ERA over that time period. Basically both teams are playing well right now.

Okay, enough with the statistics, right? Who am I and what am I doing looking at all these numbers? It must be an off day today. It’s time to play ball.

It will be strange seeing Vlad Guerrero in a Rangers uniform. Same goes for Darren Oliver. I hope Vlad gets a nice ovation and Ian Kinsler is booed like he’s Public Enemy #1. Kinsler’s mouth has given me a good reason to really start to despise the Rangers. Besides, they’re after something that’s ours. That’s right – the AL West Pennant.

I’m hoping for a better showing from the 514 Fanatics this week. I didn’t see many of them last week. I’m not being critical because we all have things in our lives that impact whether or not we can go to baseball games. I’m just stating my wishes. I like being at the ball park with my fellow fanatics. I just miss them and hope they show up in big numbers. It makes the games that much more fun.

Before I sign off on this post, I would like to give a little applause (clap, clap) to Brandon Wood. I know, I know – one grand slam does not dismiss an otherwise miserable season, but I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful because if Mike Scioscia believes in the kid, I’m going to believe in the kid.

I know I’m in the minority (along with my wife Cheryl) when it comes to Brandon Wood, but I still believe he can turn this season around. I like going against the flow anyway and piling on Brandon Wood just isn’t any fun; in fact it sucks.

Now – let’s get after it. Time to kick some Rangers’ butt. Time to remind them who the boss is. Who’s with me?

BallHype: hype it up!

June 24, 2010

Who says there's no free lunch?

Wow. Last night was the perfect example of why I love being at the ball park as often as possible. Why? Because you just never know what you’re going to see.

By now you’ve probably seen the highlights or perhaps like Cheryl and me, you simply saw the game live and you know about all the details. If you haven’t – you can visit the Angels web site to see how the Angels/Dodgers game ended. It ended on a throw from Juan Rivera to Howie Kendrick to get Russell Martin diving back into second base just before Reed Johnson could cross home plate to score what would have been the game tying run. This all happened just after Matt Kemp was picked off second base by Brian Fuentes.

It was a stunning play. One moment we thought the Dodgers were going to tie the game and then bam, it was game over, just like that. Angels win. It was one of those plays where you ask yourself, did I really see what I just saw? As soon as I realized what happened, I couldn't wait to see the replays.

This game was a gift. The Dodgers did everything they could to give away this game and thankfully, the Angels took the victory, thank you very much.

The Dodgers are supposed to be a good team, but I have to tell you that they didn’t play very good baseball. I know I’m biased, but it appears to me the Dodgers play uninspired baseball and has players who seem to think they’re better than they really are. I get the impression some of them walk around with a big chip on their shoulders. It's not swagger either... it's sort of an arrogance. I don’t see a team out there; for the most part, I see a group of individuals doing their own thing. Just saying.


Perhaps, but I’ve heard more than a Dodger fan or two complain about the bone-headed plays and laziness of players like Matt Kemp and Manny Ramirez more than once. Both made huge base running blunders last night (Kemp being picked off second and Ramirez failing to score from first base on a two out double by Kemp). Who do these guys think there are; Juan Rivera?

Speaking of Rivera – here’s another great thing about baseball. Two nights ago, Rivera was on the verge of being a goat and one day later, he’s a hero. Go figure. Go Halos.

Anyway, when the third inning ended last night, I felt pretty good about the fact that the Angels had only given up one run.

I feel extra good today knowing the Angels will have won both series' from the Dodgers this year. Why? Other than the obvious reason of just enjoying a win of any kind there's also this... You know the saying “there’s no free lunch?” Not true. My colleague at work Joe will be buying me lunch for the second time this season. You se Joe’s a Dodger fan and well... you can probably figure out the rest.

I only wish I had bet Joe on each game. I’d have five free lunches instead of two and possibly six depending on how things go tonight.

I have to admit, I have been giving it to Joe pretty good lately. I’ve been throwing little “fun facts” at Joe all season. Earlier when the Dodgers were on pace to lose 100 games I used that "fun fact" as a way of needling the guy. He’s been a good sport about it all and I know there may be a day when he’ll be returning the favor (at least he hopes so). It’s all in fun, as it should be.

That’s baseball and that’s part of the joy of being a fan.

When you think about it, those of us living in Southern California have a unique thing going. A lot of us Angel and Dodger fans work together and/or live near one another. It makes for some interesting times. It’s totally different than living in an area where your baseball team is the only team around for hundreds of miles.

I like it this way. Most Dodger fans – those who have grown up watching and loving the Blue Crew are good baseball fans. I like having them around even more when we Angel fans have bragging rights.

As we were leaving the stadium last night – some Dodger fans were openly whining about the bad calls in the game. For them, I simply have this:

BallHype: hype it up!

June 23, 2010

Light it up

Last night Cheryl and I made our way back to Angels Stadium for the first game of the three game Freeway Series against the Dodgers.

It was nice to be back, but where were all the 514 Fanatics? Only a handful of the faithful were on hand and our section was over run with Dodger fans. Not the ideal way to return to the stadium, if you ask me.

In any case – when the Dodgers went up 3-0 early I overheard a Dodger fan telling his wife/girlfriend that “it’s over.” I had to chuckle; although the way Clayton Kershaw was pitching at the time, the same thought might have entered my mind for just a split second only to be followed up with the thought of him eating his words later on.

In the sixth inning, things got interesting. Brandon Wood walked. Howie Kendrick singled and Wood moved to second base. Up came Kevin Frandsen who hit a fly ball to the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp in center field. As the play unfolded, I expected Wood to tag up and move to third, but he never went. The throw to third was off line and Wood would have easily made it which prompted me to wonder what’s going on? This wasn’t Angels baseball. Where’s the aggressive base running? What happened to putting pressure on the defense?

Well as I was questioning the base running of Wood and the Angels, Bobby Abreu stepped up and delivered a three run homerun – making the previous play moot. I have to tell you, I like three run homeruns. Sure beats the heck out of scratching out runs one hit at a time.

In the 7th inning Juan Rivera led off with a double and moved to third on a balk by Kershaw only to get picked off by Russell Martin. Needless to say I wasn’t too happy and thought there went the Angels chance to go ahead. The angst was compounded when Mike Napoli struck out.

Then it happened. Good old fashioned Angels baseball happened. Jeff Mathis and Brandon Wood had back to back singles. That’s right – Brandon Wood! Mathis went first to third on Wood’s single. Now we’re talking.

The Dodgers changed pitchers and Howie Kendrick greeted Ronald Belisario with a run scoring single that also advanced Wood to third base. The Angels were cooking.

Up steps Frandsen. Now, I have to tell you – even though Frandsen has been hitting pretty well since being called up, I have yet to embrace him because his fielding is so horrible (he made his 4th error last night). In any case – Frandsen doubles on a line drive to left field where none other than our old friend Garret Anderson was playing.

Funny thing about Anderson – during the radio broadcast Jose Mota made a comment about how no one has played left field better than GA in all the years he’s been watching the Angels play ball. Well, Mota must have jinxed GA because Frandsen’s double escaped GA for an error and Frandsen ended up on third base. Two runs scored and the Angels were up 6-3.

Now it was time for me to crow a bit and as we were high fiving with Angel fans in our section, I yelled out, “It’s over!” I love it when things work that way.

It wasn’t long after that inning that the Dodger fans behind us left the stadium. True Blue indeed. I’m just saying.

I was wearing my “Light it up” Angels shirt last night and it proved to be an appropriate choice. Can’t wait for more action this evening.

BallHype: hype it up!

June 22, 2010

My All-Star ballot is full of Dirt Bags

I probably don’t mention this nearly enough, but I’m part of a great organization called the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. A number of us (ideally all of us) are posting our picks for the 2010 All-Star game which will be held in Anaheim this year.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this event (the game - not voting); having gone to my first All-Star game back in 2008 at Yankee Stadium with Cheryl. It was one of the best sports experiences of our lives and we’re hoping this year’s mid-summer classic is just as special.

So, without further ado, here are my picks for the 2010 All-Star game.

1B Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)
2B Robinson Cano (Yankees)
3B Evan Longoria (Rays)
SS Alex Gonzalez (Blue Jays)
C Joe Mauer (Twins)
OF Josh Hamilton (Rangers)
OF Torii Hunter (Angels)
OF Alex Rios (White Sox)
DH Vladimir Guerrero (Rangers)
SP Jered Weaver (Angels)

If you’re looking for a long detailed explanation for all of my picks, I’m sorry to disappoint you; that isn’t going to happen. I will touch on a couple things though…

The popular sentiment for first base seems to be Justin Morneau and he’s a fine pick for that position; however, I decided to go with Miguel Cabrera simply because he has hit more homeruns (and there OPS' are close). I also have this vivid memory of a moon shot he hit against Joe Saunders in Anaheim this year that left a huge imprint on my memory. I also happen to think Cabrera is one of the five best hitters in all of baseball.

I won’t complain if Morneau ends up being the starter and to be honest with you - had Kendry Morales been healthy, I would have gladly put on my "homer hat" and given him the nod. Yeah, that’s right – I would have really bent some people totally out of shape. More over, I would have enjoyed doing it too!

I’m not one of those people who get up in arms when the fans vote someone in who the “experts” don’t think is deserving. It’s our game and we should get to decide. Is the voting system flawed? You bet, but I like just the same. Letting the fans decide is perfectly okay with me.

I also took Alex Gonzalez over Derek Jeter because quite frankly having one less Yankee on the team is a good thing. I mean I gave Robinson Cano his due, but that’s as far as I’m going to go. Besides, Gonzalez has actually has a higher OPS and hits more homeruns. Yes, I like OPS as a stat for determining this kind of thing.

I also voted for Alex Rios who has been much maligned in recent years. To his credit he’s had a great come back season and has the 7th highest OPS in the American League (as of today).

And you know I’m going to vote for Torii Hunter not just because he’s an Angel (although it doesn’t hurt that he’s my favorite player), but he does have the 13th highest OPS and is simply deserving of his 4th all-star nod. I can’t believe he’s only been on the team three previous times. I just wish Angel fans would rally to the cause and vote for Mr. “Big Game Hunter.” It’s kind of sad how apathetic Angel fans can be….

As for Jered Weaver – yes, that’s totally a homer pick and besides the game is being played in our house. Who better to start the game the guy who leads the American League in strike outs?

Did I really vote for two Texas Rangers? Well, Josh Hamilton and Big Daddy Vlady are deserving and you didn't really think I'd pick David Ortiz over Vlady did you?

Now, here are my National League picks:

1B Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
2B Chase Utley (Phillies)
3B Scott Rolen (Reds)
SS Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies)
C Brian McCann (Braves)
OF Andre Ethier (Dodgers)
OF Corey Hart (Brewers)
OF Andrew McCutchen (Pirates)
SP Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies)

I voted for Scott Rolen for much of the same reasons I voted for Alex Rios. He has had an amazing come back season and deserves the honor. He also has the 7th best OPS in the NL.

I also picked Mr. “I wear my sunglasses at night” – Corey Hart because of his come back season. I could write about what a disappointment he has been to previous fantasy baseball teams of mine – but writing about one’s fantasy team is about as boring as it gets… So – let’s just say that it’s a surprise to see him leading the NL in homeruns. Even though his teammate – Ryan Braun is the better all-around player – Hart gets my vote.

I should add that I loved voting for “Tulo” and even though he’s hurt right now – he should get the honor of being voted on to the team. I know he won’t be able to play, but he should still receive the distinction of being an all-star just the same. He led all short stops in OPS and he’s a Dirt Bag (Long Beach State alum). Love those Dirt Bags (3 made my list - Longoria, Weaver and Tulo)!

I also thought it was time for a Pittsburgh Pirate to make the starting lineup for an All-Star team. Andrew McCutchen is second only to the Astros' Michael Bourn in steals, but ranks 18th in OPS in the NL.

One last thought – in a season where Roy Halladay has thrown a perfect game and Stephen Strasburg is making headlines, I think the best pitcher in the NL game in and game out has been Ubaldo Jimenez. He’s 13-1 and with an incredible 1.15 ERA. I’m just saying those are some “sick” stats. He’s having the best season no one is talking about. Besides, don't you love saying his name?

There you have it, the 2010 True Grich All-Stars. By the way, it's not too late for you to cast your vote! Vote Angels and vote often (you can vote on-line 25 times)!

BallHype: hype it up!

June 21, 2010

A gift for Charles

Jered Weaver and the Angels don’t know this, but they gave Charles a great farewell gift on Saturday. While Weaver and the Angels were busy shutting out the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field (12-0), Cheryl and I along with family and friends were laying Cheryl’s dad (Charles) to rest.

You see Charles didn’t really like close ball games; he’d prefer to see his Angels win going away. The 12-0 win was absolutely perfect and the kind of game he'd appreciate.

I have this vision of Charles relaxing while watching the game, knowing the Angels bull pen couldn’t even blow this one. It was the most fitting send off the Angels could have given Charles. It makes me smile when I think about it.

And so it begins.

It’s time to get back into the routine of writing for this blog. Charles would appreciate that because he himself was a man of routine. Routine and regimen was a huge part of his life and defined him in many ways. Oh the stories I could tell…

Now, I’ll never live up to Charles’ standard for such things, but I hope to continue contributing to this blog on a more regular basis going forward. It’s been an incredibly tough and emotional few weeks and it will be nice to try and get back to watching Angels baseball and writing once again.

I wonder if I’ll recognize the team? I mean a lineup with Brandon Wood at shortstop, Kevin Frandsen at third base and Mike Napoli at first base is kind of strange. What’s even stranger is that this group has been winning without Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis and Kendry Morales.

Go figure... Go Halos!

So, we get the Dodgers and Rockies this week and the Rangers and Royals next. It seems like forever since Cheryl and I have been to a ball game and I imagine it will be a little strange when we finally get back to the ball park. I hope the rest of the season proves to be memorable and one we will wish we could have shared with our dads. Then again, in some way we will be sharing it with them – even though they’re not here.

Let’s get after it. There’s a lot of baseball still to be played (90 games for the Angels) and I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about it all as the season continues to unfold. As always thank you for reading and while I’m at it – thank you for the countless well wishes and prayers over the past few weeks and beyond. I can’t tell you enough how much it was all so appreciated.

In closing, I leave you with this song... it's a personal favorite of Cheryl's and one that will always make her think of her dad.

Go Angels!

BallHype: hype it up!

June 16, 2010

Tribute to Charles

The freeway series between the Angels and the Dodgers is always much anticipated and comes with huge expectations; however the meaning of those games is entirely different for Cheryl and me.

You see in 2007 while the Angels were sweeping the Dodgers at Angels Stadium I lost my father to lung cancer. This past weekend as the Angels were sweeping the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, my wife Cheryl lost her dad (Charles) to cancer.

What a strange coincidence. Not only did we lose both men the during freeway series; we lost them while our Angels swept. We don’t know what to make of that, if anything – but the oddness of it all sticks with us some how.

At a time when we should be feeling joy and elation, we feel numb and immense sorrow. Every time these two teams meet – we will always associate the games with tremendous sadness and loss. We suppose that both men must be smiling at the results of those games and on some level those games are somewhat of a welcomed diversion from life, but it’s still just strange.

Baseball isn’t life and death and yet we can’t help but associate one with the other.

What can I say? Charles has only been gone a few days, but we miss him more than words can say. What can you say about a man who meant everything to his family? He was a great provider, a handy-man, extremely smart, organized, and had a quiet strength about him. He loved puzzles, boysenberry pie and most of all his family.

Charles’ story is one for the ages. He and his wife Mil have been married for 64 years (one month shy of 65 years). That, in and of itself is amazing. Charles was no ordinary man, he was truly exceptional. These days people throw superlatives around all too easily – especially in baseball and sports in general. One game and some players become over night legends, but all of them pale in comparison to a man like Charles.

If Charles was a baseball player, he’d possess the qualities of all the greats in the game. He was as dependable as someone like Cal Ripken because he was there every day to do whatever needed to be done for his family. He never took a day off from being a dad and a husband.

In many ways Charles was like Willie Mays in that he could do it all. You name it, Charles could do it.

I will miss many things about Charles. I will miss the way he could say something just with a look. He was a man of few words, but his eyes and his smile spoke volumes all the time. He didn’t want for anything and never wanted to be the center of attention. Charles was all about giving. He gave his time, his knowledge and his love. He devoted himself to his family every single day. If there was a Hall of Fame for fathers and dads – Charles would be a first ballot Hall of Famer for sure. He is probably the greatest man you’ve never head of; not because he did extraordinary things, but because he did the things he was supposed to do; the things everyone is supposed to do.

He was honest, selfless, humble, and devoted. He was the ultimate role model and it’s a shame more people didn’t know him. Perhaps more people will know about him now by simply reading this blog. I know one thing for sure, I'm thankful to have known Charles and to be a part of his family.

God bless you Charles. All who knew you will miss you.

BallHype: hype it up!

June 8, 2010

One day at a time

Character is often revealed in the face of adversity. It’s something that’s often demonstrated in the world around us. It’s amazing how some people are often at their best when the times are at their worst.

The Angels’ play since the injury to Kendry Morales is showing us once again that this team has tremendous fortitude. And while Morales’ injury may pale in comparison to other tragedies in the world (and in our case - at home); it is somewhat devastating in its own context. The possible impact it had on the Angels’ season was immense.

That being said, when Morales went down it caused me to pause. I thought that if the Angels were ever going to come together, it would be now; right in the face of the adversity because that’s just what they do. They simply find ways to pick themselves up and push forward and that isn’t as easy as it sounds.

The results of that effort has put them back on top of the American League West and quite frankly, it’s great to see the team back on top of the division. I hoped it would happen, but I didn’t necessarily believe it was possible. Yes, I had begun to think the season was lost. Shame on me for doubting.

The sad thing about the Angels’ great play of late is that I really haven’t been able to fully enjoy it. My father-in-law Charles is in hospice care at his home and everything else happening in the world seems somewhat irrelevant. I’ve been trying to keep up with all things Angels, but only because it serves as a welcomed diversion from time to time.

Cheryl and I missed every game of the last home stand to be with Charles. My wife Cheryl spends every waking moment by her dad’s side and I have to tell you that she’s been simply amazing.

This whole experience has been gut wrenching. It’s incredibly hard and it’s mentally exhausting, but she has managed to step outside of her comfort zone to do things that she never knew she could. Adversity does indeed reveal one’s character and my wife is a champion.

The details of watching someone go through hospice care are not for the faint of heart and yet my wife has found the inner strength to do whatever is necessary. Her faith carries her and her love for her dad fuels her. Her nerves are frayed; she’s mentally and physically exhausted; her heart is breaking and yet she pushes on.

Our days blend together and we often feel numb. I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone. It’s the second time for us; as I lost my father in 2007 to cancer.

I have tried to find a way to relate this horrible experience to baseball, but I’m not sure that I can. As we make our way through each day; not knowing what will unfold, I’ve even thought of this blog and at times felt like I should write something; anything.

It’s funny how this blog calls to me at times. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to build an audience and have put a lot of time and effort into making people aware of this blog. The moment I stopped writing, I felt like all the momentum I had built up started to vanish before my eyes. I’m not complaining mind you; I’m just sharing. I just haven’t had the energy or desire to write and felt that any effort I put into this blog would only be half hearted.

So why am I writing today?

I don’t really have an answer. Perhaps it’s because the Angels have miraculously made their way to the top of their division. Perhaps it’s simply just time. Ideas have been rattling through my head over the past week and what you’re reading now is the result of that process. I guess you could say my brain just couldn’t store any more ideas and I had to get them on paper.

Some say “Baseball is life.” I can tell you first hand, that this isn’t really the case. Baseball can enhance one’s life and it can play a huge role in a person’s life, but the game itself is not life.

It can reflect life or teach us life lessons and when it does that, it really is at its best. We learn this all the time and the Angels resurgence is a reminder.

I guess that at the end of the day I relate the way the Angels attack a baseball season with the way my wife has handled her dad’s fight with cancer. She has as much, if not more courage than any baseball player I’ve ever seen play the game; only she is doing what she needs to do in the quiet of her parents’ home and not in front of 40,000 fans. She is a warrior and although she would never see herself in that light, it’s absolutely true.

Every day is different. Every day is a challenge. All we can do is take things one day at a time. The good news is today we can tell Charles that his beloved Angels are in first place. That’s sure to make him smile. Come to think of it, it will make Cheryl smile too and I’m thankful for that.

BallHype: hype it up!