Thursday, January 23, 2003

Angles Place Pote on Waivers

Ducks 6 - Kings 5

Ouch. This one hurts. The Kings came back from a three goal deficit to take a 5-3 lead before giving up three in the third to lose. That marks the third time in the last however many games that the Kings have scored four or more goals and lost. You just can't do that in the NHL today. I don't know if its poor defense, bad goaltending, lack of hard work, or what. The answer likely lies somewhere in between. They are now seven points out of a playoff spot, and things don't appear to be getting any better. Both goalies (Storr and Potvin) were responsible for three goals allowed, so it's equal opportunity sucking right now. If they don't take at least 10 points in their next 8 games, I think we can close the book on this season.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Kings - Ducks Report

Its an understatement to say this is a big game for the Kings. They trail the Ducks in the standings, and they're both in the midst of the playoff hunt (Ducks currentlt have the last spot). Andy Murray is still pushing the 93 points goal, which is admirable, but I think unrealistic at this point. However, I aslo think that someone will get into the post-season with fewer than 93 points. I can't help but think its going to come down to tie-breakers, which makes these in-division games that much more important. I suppose the next best thing to a Kings-Ducks playoff series as a way to generate interest in the rivalry would be a Kings-Ducks battle for a playoff spot.

Aaron Miller and Brian Smolinski return to the lineup tonight, and the Kings need them to get into game shape in a hurry, as they play 6 games in the next 9 days. This is a crucial stretch, and includes two with the Sharks, whom I probably hate more than the Ducks....for now.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Angels Hot Stove Report

Much has been made in the sabermetric community about the Angels lack of an Oakland A's type offense, and their overall position in the Beane Count. As much as people want to tell me that because their success was due to a high batting average, and that it means they are likely to fall back to earth, I'm not buying it. First, of course they'll likely regress. They won 99 freaking games last year, and last time I checked, thats a lot. But people fail to remember that they made contact hitting a major part of their philosophy, and they struck out 100 times fewer than the next best team. They hit into very few double plays, and while they weren't driving the ball out of the ballpark, they were driving it down the line and into the gaps, which is why they hit a ton of doubles.

As for the pitching, I don't see much of a drop off. I don't think anybody expects Frankie Rodriguez to be as unhittable as he seemed to be in the post-season. I do think that he'll have a very impressive first half as he makes his way around the league for the first time. I think with what we've learned about balls in play, if Ramon Ortiz can keep it in the yard, he may be due for a big jump. I really don't see the defense being any worse. Sele is definitely a question mark, but I think given a whole year to work with Bud Black, Mickey Callaway and/or Matt Wise will be ready when called upon. Chris Bootcheck may also be a possibility in an emergency role, and after the strides he made in the Arizona Fall League, Bobby Jenks may soon be ready. I honestly expect them to win between 90 and 95 games next year, which just may well be good enough to get into the post-season again, especially if Texas improves and takes a few wins away from the A's and Mariners.

Feel free to email me if you agree or disagree.
NBA Admits It Screwed Up

Thanks, NBA! That makes those awful calls in overtime that cost the Lakers the game against the Rockets the other night OK.
Miller, Smolinski Gear Up

This has really been one of the weirdest years I remember in terms of injuries for the Kings. Miller has been out virtually all season, Allison has missed a ton of time, and probably came back too soon. Lord only knows when Deadmarsh will be back (call it the curse of the jersey. It seems everytime I get a jersey with a player's name on it, that player usually gets traded. It happened with Peter Stastny...TWICE!, Brendan Shanahan, Josef Stumpel. Heck, I even got a practice worn Kimo Timmonen jersey before he got dealt). But it hasn't just been the big guys. Eric Belanger's various injuries have cost the Kings the services of their top face off guy. Visnosvky had a strong start before being derailed. The list goes on. I supported Dave Taylor this off-season when he didn't bring in a big name, although I don't buy the team crying poor. The good news is that they're still in the post-season hunt. If they can get these guys back, and somehow sneak in, I think they will be very dangerous. That's a lot of wear and tear that these guys are missing, and if they can make the post-season, that could make a big difference, similar to the way Wayne Gretzky was in mid-season form for the 1993 playoffs when everyone else was wearing down.
Welcome to Angels and Kings Fan Central

More to come as I eventually get around to getting this thing off the ground. In the meantime, if you're bored and you somehow stumble across this page (and honestly, I can't believe that you have), you can kill time by visiting Planet Sucks, Baseball Primer, or the Brunching Shuttlecocks.