September 8, 2011

Perfect after all

If the Angels had lost to the Seattle Mariners last night and wasted an absolutely tremendous effort by Jerome Williams, I probably would have lost my mind.

Today I feel like I could lose my mind over the lack of national coverage regarding his effort. I often find it funny and somewhat frustrating when I look at what the national media chooses to focus on.

Despite his story; which is amazing – and his performance (in a pennant race no less) some folks chose to focus on Guillermo Moscoso instead.

Folks like Fox Sports had headlines about Guillermo Moscoso flirting with a no-hitter (he gave up two hits in 8 2/3). I then checked Yahoo Sports and didn’t find any headlines about Williams. Nothing even on Yahoo’s Big League Stew. Stinkin' A's....

ESPN? Are you kidding me? Of course not… but Moscoso gets another headline on their site. Nope.

I’m not saying the game didn’t get any coverage at all… but given Williams’ effort, you’d think he’d make a few headlines.

Finally – Sports Illustrated stepped up to the plate and delivered on giving some credit, where credit was due… “Williams stars as Angels rally past M’s in the 8th” blog.

I then searched Google to see if I could find some more… and found that USA Today had this piece: “Unlikely Jerome Williams making a name with Angels.

On a local level – Mark Saxon of ESPN-LA wrote a great piece titled “Jerome Williams: You couldn’t make this stuff up.”

If you don’t know Williams’ story – you should check out some of the pieces from the LA Times:

Angels FYI: Jerome Williams back in the big leagues


Jerome Williams is still pinching himself about chance with Angels.

In short, Williams was a first round draft choice of the San Francisco Giants in 1999. Pitched in 76 games from 2003-2007 and then found himself on the outside, looking in.

After stints with a few minor league teams, trips to play in Taiwan, Puerto Rico and Mexico and then with two independent league teams, he finally made his way back to the majors. Along the way he battled an injury to his shoulder and weight problems. It's quite a comeback.

He didn’t just squeak in either – he’s actually having an impact which makes his story all the more compelling.

This is the kind of story that fans absolutely love. We love under-dogs and when they end up on our favorite teams doing everything they can to help our team win – its perfect match. Cult heroes are born in such a manner and Williams is fast becoming a fan favorite. After the way he pitched last night; how could he not?

Williams wears #57 – which was the number worn by Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez. It would be a nice additional note to this story if Williams has the same impact on the Angels post-season effort that K-Rod had in 2002.

It’s the stuff movies are made of… forget “Moneyball” – this is a much more compelling story, if you ask me.

Last night Williams put an exclamation point on his return to the big leagues. Given how often teams go looking for pitching, it’s a testament to the Angels scouting system that they found Williams and were able to sign him.

Williams is another part of the story (this season) that is unfolding before our eyes. Williams didn't have a perfect game and he didn't throw a no-hitter (he gave up one hit in eight innings), but his story is all so perfect just the same.

Are you reading this book? In other words – are you watching this pennant race? Every game has something unique to offer. We're making memories here folks. Where are you?

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