March 25, 2013

Good-bye Vernon Wells... Hello 2013 Season

So long Vernon Wells… and so ends another chapter in the legacy of Tony Reagins.  Slowly, but surely, Jerry Dipoto – the General Manager of the Angels who was hired to replace Reagins is reshaping the Angels to become the team they’re supposed to be.  It hasn’t been easy; although, Dipoto seems to be making it look that way.  Granted, there is much to prove on the field – but it all starts on paper and so far, so good.

The best thing about Vernon Wells going to the Yankees is the simple fact that Peter Bourjos can take a deep breath and just play baseball.  Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing Bourjos have his breakout season.  Mark my words – it’s going to happen.

And since I’m in the mood for predictions, I have a few other nuggets of observation to lob your way…

Don’t be surprised if Josh Hamilton struggles a tad this season.  If it can happen to Albert Pujols, it can happen to anyone.  It’s not something I hope happens, but it’s something I’m prepared for.  Even though I am monumentally excited about the fact that Hamilton will be the Angels’ clean-up hitter, I won’t be surprised if his stats dip a bit.

On the other side of the coin – don’t be surprised if Mike Trout has an even better season in 2013 than he did in 2012.  I know, I know – that would be amazing, but I’ve come to expect amazing from Trout.  It seems like every analyst and expert is saying that there’s no way Trout can replicate what he did last year.  Something in my gut says otherwise…  I truly believe we are seeing a once-in-a-generation type of player and he’s going to be fun to watch. 

People, people, people.. Mike Trout’s power is real.  While most are predicting less than 30 homeruns for him, I won’t be surprised if he hits more than 40.  I say that while fully acknowledging the fact that the only Angel in team history to do that is Troy Glaus who hit 47 in 2000 and 41 in 2001.

Speaking of homeruns – we might see something really amazing in 2013.  In 2000 Glaus, Mo Vaughn, Garret Anderson and Tim Salmon combined to hit 152 homeruns.  Could Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo, Hamilton and Trout surpass that?  They would have to average 38 between them. That 2000 team hit a total of 236.  I venture to say the 236 is safe, but the 152 is definitely in play.

The long ball is not a big part of Angel history – but this year, it could be.  There have only been 34 or more homeruns hit in a season by an Angel just 11 times in 50+ years.  And no one has done that since 2001.  Make that number 35 homeruns and the list goes down to just 7 times.  All that could change this year.

From a fan’s point of view – this is exciting.  Think about it, Angel fans have rarely had the opportunity to think about homeruns as such a big part of the team’s offense.  In fact, most years under Mike Scioscia it’s all about the pitching.  We’re entering un-chartered waters….

As we head into the 2013 season, the American League West landscape has changed dramatically.  The Texas Rangers don’t look to be the favorites, the “hated” Oakland A’s are (according to many of the “experts”) and the Seattle Mariners are much improved.  This might be one of the most competitive seasons for the AL West in a long time.  Welcome to the American League West, Houston Astros – be prepared for a beating.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the Angels will open 2013 in Cincinnati.  I love the fact that the AL West now has five teams, but I’m not thrilled with inter-league games taking place so regularly.  I’m wondering what the opening day lineup is going to look like and whether or not Mark Trumbo will be in the lineup when the team heads to the NL.

Catch phrases for 2013… courtesy of True Grich…

“Prodigious power.”  Don’t you love saying “prodigious power?” I love that phrase.  Who does that make you think of?  If you’re a Marlins fan you probably think of Giancarlo Stanton, but as an Angels fan – the name Mark Trumbo comes to mind immediately.  Not only is he “country strong” as ESPN’s Stuart Scott would say – but he definitely has prodigious power.

“Trout-a-here.”  That’s the phrase Cheryl and I will be using whenever Mike Trout goes yard.  With a hat tip to the stellar Angel radio announcer -Terry Smith who uses the call “that ball’s outta here” – we’ll be doing our own version.

“No Fly Zone.”  Yes, the United States Air Force and even NASA has declared the Angels outfield as a place where fly balls go to die…  with Trout, Bourjos and Hamilton patrolling the outfield – no fly ball is safe and each one will be terminated with extreme prejudice.

Things Cheryl and I are looking forward to…

Booing A.J. Pierzynski in a Ranger uniform.  A match made in heaven if you ask us… oh and if A.J. ever has a son who makes it to the major leagues – well boo him too.

April 19, 20, and 21, 2013 - Torii Hunter’s homecoming.  We miss Hunter and we’ll continue to miss this great ambassador of the game, but we look forward to seeing him back in Anaheim –even though he’ll be wearing another uniform.

The return of Joe Saunders to the AL West.  Our appreciation for Joe is well documented in this blog and we look forward to seeing the ever-classy, under-appreciated, ultra-competitive, all-around nice guy when the Mariners come to town.

The Mariano Rivera good-bye tour.  If ever there was a Yankee that I admired and respected – it’s Mariano Rivera (Bernie Williams too).  It will be nice to say farewell to a man who has had an unbelievable career.  We just hope he doesn’t get in any games while in Anaheim for obvious reasons.

So there you have it… a few predictions and observations.  My apologies for the lack of posting in the off season.  It was a long one and quite frankly, I needed the break.  


  1. Good to hear from you again. I'm excited about this season. Keep up the good work.

  2. Bob in section 514March 26, 2013

    Welcome back! I just returned from my annual AZ visit & I'm ready for some baseball. Looking forward to seeing you & Cheryl soon!