April 25, 2016

Way faster than a speeding bullet

I’m not going to do the play justice, but let me post this just the same.

Saturday night, a ball was hit by Kyle Seager of the Seattle Mariners deep in the hole at shortstop.  Now, usually when I watch a game, the game and each play has a certain rhythm and timing to it all; at least that’s normally the case.

On this particular play the ball went into Andrelton Simmons’ glove and .5 seconds later was on its way to first base for what looked like a routine out.  The play was anything but routine.  I don’t know if you realize how fast .5 seconds is, but when a play happens that fast – you think your eyes are playing tricks on you. 

It was as if real-time was on extra, extra fast forward for a split second as the play unfolded.  My eyes were focused in one area, anticipating when the ball should fly out of Simmons’ hand, but the ball was way ahead of my anticipation.  It was like *ping* - ball gone.  It was freaky.  It was cool.  It was magical.

I can’t imagine anyone having faster hands.  It was like Muhammad Ali in his prime, flicking jabs – only faster; much faster.  It was like the best magician in the world doing a slight of hand trick.  I’m surprised I didn’t hear a sonic boom because surely that play happened faster than the speed of sound. 

I can see why Simmons is considered the best defensive player in the game.  With Mike Trout in CF and Simmons at SS, I can’t imagine a better defense up the middle.  This is going to be fun to watch all season long.

April 18, 2016

Caution: Winding Road Ahead

Somewhere out there in the great state of Minnesota, there’s a Twins fan who is writing or has written a post on his or her blog similar to the one I wrote last week about feeling better about their team.  I mean, the Twins were 0-9 prior to facing the Angels and now stand at 3-9.  That’s right, the Angels were swept by the winless Twins.  Swept!

Now, I’m all for creative inspiration, but I have to say – the Angels took this too far.  Are you kidding me?  Is this the kind of roller-coaster season the Angels are going to have?  Each of those three games were winnable.  They had leads.  They should have won each of them.  They didn’t and I’m back in that place I hate.

I’m in anxiety land; the “this-season-reminds-me-of-last-season” place.  Losing sucks.

This is where fear and loathing lives.  I really don’t want to go there.  Not even for a short visit.  I really don’t.  I don’t know if I can take it.  Again, I really don’t.

Baseball is a funny game.  Teams often lose the games they’re supposed to win and win the games they’re supposed to lose.  Match-ups that look like “pitchers’ duals” on paper often turn into Homerun Derbies in real life.  It’s all so unpredictable and this is the beautiful thing about baseball.  It’s also one of the frustrating things about the game.

So, here we go.  Buckle up.  Close your eyes if you have to.  Rub a rabbit’s foot.  Do whatever you need to do.  We’re just getting started Angel fans.  Regardless of where the road takes us; let’s just go-together.  Maybe we’ll have some laughs along the way.  Perhaps we’ll shed a few tears.  Who knows?

It’s baseball, people.  Anything can happen.

April 15, 2016

Winning is Fun... Again

A funny thing happened on the way to the abyss; the Angels made a 180 degree turn and swept the Oakland A’s.  Now, if you know how much I dislike the A’s, you know how happy that makes me.  Sweeping any team is nice, but sweeping the A’s?  Oh, that’s like an extra serving of your favorite dessert. 

I’m just sorry there weren’t more A’s fans at the stadium to see their team get demolished.  In three games the A’s drew a total of 38,079.  They averaged 12,693 a game.  I bet there are garage sales in the area that draw more people than that. 

Now, I’ll admit that the stadium is a giant toilet and all, but seriously?  It’s not like its July and the A’s are already 20 games out of first.  It’s April!  What a franchise.  What a fan base.  Let’s make a movie about this team.  Oh wait…

It’s funny what a little four game winning streak can do.  It allows me to exhale and more importantly allows me to keep my sense of humor in the proper perspective.  Instead of making fun of my favorite team, I get to make fun of my least favorite team.  Win-win, right?

Moving on.

I will be curious to see how the Angels and Mariners series unfolds later this month.  I wonder if there will be any fireworks… (Insert dramatic pause here)… when the two managers exchange lineup cards!  I don’t think Mike Scioscia and Scott Servais exchange Christmas cards and yet, they’ll have to exchange lineup cards tonight.  I wonder if one of the two ex-catchers will try to squeeze the other person’s hand a little harder when they go to shake hands.

Wouldn’t it be funny if Scioscia and Servais got a little heated before the game even started?  Imagine the benches clearing before the first pitch… Of course, that will never happen – but a guy can dream, right?

That’s all I have for now.  Go Angels!

April 7, 2016

How to Rant Like You Mean It

Maybe it’s just me (probably not), but after just two games – 2016 feels a lot like 2015.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t care much for the 2015 baseball season and the idea of possibly reliving it again just doesn’t sound like much fun.

I know it’s early.  You don’t have to tell me it’s early.  I know what day it is.  Please don’t start.  And I don’t want to hear about patience.  My patience ran out a few years ago.  My expectations have even dwindled a bit.  No, let’s be honest – my expectations are in the toilet.  This isn’t fun.  It’s just not.  No, not even a little bit.  Losing sucks. 

It’s funny – every time I anticipate a game or a series where the Angels could really make a statement – they make the wrong kind of statement.  The first two games against the darlings of baseball, the supposed favorites to win it all and yadda, yadda, yadda – were just demoralizing.

Where do I begin?

First off – hats off to the Cubs.  They lived up to the hype in the first two games, but a word or two of advice.  Don’t start making plans for a parade.  I mean, hasn’t the last 100 years taught you Cub fans anything?  I know you think Joe Maddon is some kind of messiah, but until he actually wins it all – he’s just another manager in my book.  Then again, they'll probably make a movie about him

After all, they made a movie about Billy Beane specifically highlighting the year the Angels won the world series – so what do I know?  Call me a hater.  The shoe probably fits.

If I sound a little grumpy, I guess I’ll need to kick it up a notch because I’m a whole lot of grumpy.  Losing does that.  Losing by a combined score of 15-1 puts me at the troll-who-lives-under-a-bridge-kind-of-grumpy. 

My Dodger friends are loving this.  Hey, they need to have a little fun after not smelling a world series in 28 years.  They deserve to feel a little giddy.  Yay for them.  Rah, stinkin’ rah.  *Yawn.*

I hate it when the Angels fall below .500.  Whenever that happens I start to play that game… you know the game – how many wins in a row do they need to make it back to .500?  I hate that game.  Makes me crazy.

At this point the Angels are on pace to go 0-162.  They’re team ERA is on pace to be 7.50 for the year and they’ll score exactly 81 runs – which will all be driven in my Craig Gentry. 

Relax, I’m just messing around here.

I’m sure I’ll start to feel better the first time Mike Trout launches one into outer space and Huston Street comes in to slam the door shut. 

You might want to stay clear of me until then though.  Don’t worry – I’m not going to kick any puppies or anything.  I’m not that bad just yet.  

Check back with me in a week.  If I don’t post on this blog by then it will be a safe bet that I threw my keyboard against the wall and then for good measure took my monitor and tossed it into an eco-friendly recycle bin.