Saturday, July 09, 2005

Fuck this fucking team

Seriously, it's one thing to go into a slump, but they're getting absolutely destroyed by a really crappy team.

I hope I'm wrong, but I'll say it right now. The Angels will not make the playoffs this season.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Your Questions Answered

Anonymous asks:
I need to know exactly what the bean bag tournament is and I was kind of hoping for a recap of how you got to the quarterfinals. Maybe over the all star break since you wont have a game to write about. Oh, and have you listened to British Sea Power at all?
I'm not sure if it's simply a Chicago thing like 16 inch softball and Italian Beef sandwiches, or if it's more of Midwestern thing in general, but I never played bean bag until I got to Chicago. It's basically a variation on horseshoes, or jarts (which was a totally awesome game as long as you didn't get impaled by a jart). You usually play with four people, two teams of two each. Partners stand on opposite ends of the court, or field, or whatever the hell you want to call it. You have four bean bags. You throw them onto an inclined board that's about three feet long and two feet wide with a hole about five inches in diameter near the top/back of the board.

If the bag lands on the board and stays, you get one point. If it goes in the hole, you get three points. There are probably other ways you can score it, but in our tournaments, the teams cancel each other out. In other words, if I get one on and one in, and my opponent gets two in, he/she gets two points (six minus four). You generally play to 11 or 15. At the block party I go to, we try to have guy/girl teams, but there are always more guys than girls, so there ends up being a couple of guy/guy teams. They have to play each other in the early rounds, so you can't get two guy/guy teams in the finals. Last year I was on a guy/guy team, and we had an epic choke in the semi-finals. We were playing to 11, and we had a 10-0 lead. We proceeded to lose 11-10.

This year it was pretty uneventful. A lot of people were out of town, and the weather sucked, so attendance was poorer than usual. My partner and I won our first round game pretty handily. The next round was the quarter-finals, and we got smoked. I think we lost 15-0. We lost to the team that eventually lost the championship to my former law school roommate/current co-employee, and the sister of the guy that invites us (she had home field advantage, as she lives at the house where we were set up for block party). I was disappointed in my performance, but I'm going to blame that on the wet weather. Also, I was drinking more heavily than usual in the early part of the day, so I was buzzing pretty good. And the bags were much heavier than normal. And the boards sucked, too. Given enough time, I can come up with more excuses.

The winners generally are required to spend their winning ($1 per person entry fee) on pitchers at the bar where everyone ends up at the end of the night. I can't comment on this year's winners, as one is underage, and the other bailed before being forced to pony up for beer. I'll try to give him a chance to defend himself.

With regard to BSP, I've listened to the new album maybe once, but it didn't grab me right away. I'll try again. They're a band that I know is in my sort of 'genre' I guess, but for whatever reason, I've just never got around to listening to them. I don't think the first album is available on Rhapsody, so if that's the one I should be listening to, I may be out of luck.

As for the All-Star break, I have something special planned (note to self: plan something special for the all-star break).

Mariners 10; Angels 2

Well, there's not much to say, really. Sometimes you get a game like this. You give up a ton of runs, and you get shut down by what is essentially a pretty crappy team. Baseball's weird that way.

Colon was not good. He got the first two batters of the game, gave up a couple of singles, and then turned back into Nibbler. He was afraid to pitch to Beltre, walked him, and Jeremy Reed made him pay. As it turns out, maybe he was right to be afraid of Beltre, as he would drill a three run double just an inning later, putting the game out of reach for all intents and purposes.

On the bright side, they got a great start on a night where they didn't need it. And Colon didn't waste a great offensive effort. If you're gonna lose, lose big.

Tomorrow night it's a kind of soft throwing lefty against a REALLY soft throwing lefty. Moyer always seems to pitch well against the Angels, but he's been pretty bad this year. If good Washburn shows up, then the Angels should win. Of course, they should have won tonight based on matchups, so who knows. I probably won't have much to say about tomorrow night's game, as it's looking like a date night. Sorry, but you're forewarned. I'll try to make it up to you somehow.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

More fun with Sitemeter

Within the last hour, this site has been visited by someone searching for the word "corksuckers". Not really all that unusual. What's unbelievable is that a search for Corksuckers brings up this site first! It leads to this post. In honor of the word "corksuckers", I thought I'd post the following quote from a very funny movie, Johnny Dangerously:
I would like to direct this to the distinguished members of the panel: You lousy corksuckers. You have violated my farging rights. Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes... like yourselves.
Seriously, I honestly can't believe that this is Google's first response for corksuckers. And the funny thing is that the post originally had the word "cocksuckers", but was later replaced, ya know, for the kids, and included a reference to Roman Moroni (misspelled, naturally).

What's also kind of funny is that someone keeps coming to the site after searching for "seitz angels". Ya know, you could just bookmark the site. I find it funny, though, because I've often been guilty of the same thing, only on my part it was laziness.

In other news, the Rangers lost, pushing the lead back to 8.5 games. And Bobby Jenks looked good in his Major League debut. Dude can bring some heat. He was hitting 99 on the gun according to what CLTV was showing on the screen. Part of me wants to see him succeed, as he's a former Angel, and I don't really care about the Sox either way. The other part of me wants to see him fall on his face, mostly so that I can make fun of my Sox fan friends. And, of course, I don't want them to give me shit* stick about his success.

*Ya know, for the kids.

Angels 7; Twins 6

What a great game. Too bad I was at work for the whole thing, but I snuck peaks here and there.........and there.......and here, and there, and here again. Santana is making me look very foolish for keeping him on the Guzzlers this year, and he's making me look foolish for not accepting the recent trade offer which could have landed me Clement and Carlos Silva. He is making me look smart for not starting him this week, though (we won't get into how Beckett and Dave Williams are making me look stupid this week).

I'll reiterate what I said last night. Kennedy has got to be the gold glove winner at second base. Is anyone else even close? Bengie continues to hit, Vlad continues to be Vlad, and GA.......what can you say about GA? The guy is awesome. For some kid watching the Angels, he's gotta be the Brian Downing of this team. Quiet, goes about his business, and gets the job done. Some great defense in the 9th made what could have been a rough inning a 1-2-3 routine frame.

Lots of things going on today. The Angels were screwed on the play at third where Morneau came off the bag. I missed it and only saw the replay, but Morneau was clearly out, and that cost the Angels two runs. Santana falling apart used to be a rare sight, but as his fantasy owners can tell you, it's becoming more and more common. He refuses to throw his killer change up with men on base. Paul Byrd reverted to his early season form, where he follows up any offense he gets by giving it right back, as he did after the Angels score three runs in the fifth to tie the game. Not to be outdone, Santana responded by giving up singles to Figgins and Vlad before Anderson smoked one to right field, almost the same place where Kennedy hit his home run off of Santana in the 2002 ALCS. Rivera followed with a solo shot of Jesse Crain that supplied the winning margin.

As if that wasn't enough, Anderson made a very good throw, and was helped by a nice play by Jose Molina, to cut down the tying run at the plate in the top of the 8th on the rare 7-2 double play. Turnabout is fair play. The Angels lost game one of this series when Kennedy was thrown out from center trying to score from second on an Erstad frozen rope of a single.

This is a nice win for the Angels. You can't really ever 'expect' to beat Santana, even in a rough stretch like he's currently going through. They start the trip with a series win and have a struggling Seattle coming in for four straight before the break. Win three of those, and the Angels could find themselves with a very healthy lead at the break.

Speaking of healthy, is anybody else dreading the return of Finley and Cabrera? Someone should tell them that the stadium moved, or give them a "revised" schedule with all games starting at 10:00. Let's roll with Maicer at short and Figgins in center. Who's with me?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Angels 2; Twins 1

This is the second time that Santana has struggled early, escaped, and gone on to pitch a pretty decent game. Maybe he's taking instructions from Washburn. One thing it tells me is that the kid has pretty good poise. That's a hell of a lot more than you could ever say for Ramon Ortiz. You have to admire the way he battled.

If Kennedy isn't the favorite to win the gold glove, especially with bat flip among the ranks of the released, there's something wrong. He's even got the offense to go with it this season, or at least a gaudy batting average. Boy, what a play he made in what I think was the fourth. Can't remember. But it was a great play.

It's easy to laugh about these things now, but Bengie Molina, despite the home run, and Maicer Izturis have a lot of explaining to do. Maicer I'll let slide this time, since he's been playing excellent defense, but geez, what an awful drop in the ninth. Bengie, on the other hand, just really sucks behind the plate. I've touched on this before, but he's just gotten lazy. I realize that he took a few foul balls tonight, so I'm not going to harp on it, but seriously. Block the ball, Bengie. You don't need to pick every ball cleanly.

More great work from Shields, although I was sure that Gregg was going to blow it. Nice to see him recover and pitch well. I think Lecroy should have been booted after striking out and arguing vociferously on what was admittedly a pretty bad call. The fact that it was a crappy call didn't keep Kennedy from getting run last night. Of course, running Lecroy would have been just as meaningless as ejecting Kennedy was last night.

Back up by 7.5 after Texas' loss tonight. I would be very comfortable with this lead at the all-star break. I'd be more comfortable if it was bigger. I don't think I'll ever be completely comfortable until all is decided, though.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Twins 7; Angels 5

Missed the first three innings while attending a block party in Oak Park. Lost in the quarter-finals of the bean bag tournament, and lost the egg toss when my partner screwed up on a pretty nice toss, but whaddya gonna do. If the egg doesn't break on me, I consider myself a winner.

Chipping away at your opponent's lead doesn't really work if you constantly let them repair the chips. Tonight, the Angel offense played well enough to win (although they could have been better), but the pitching was not up to par. Lackey turned into bad Lackey in the fourth inning, giving up three runs and blowing a 2-0 lead. Then, after almost getting himself out of a jam in the sixth, he gave up a two run single to lowly Juan Castro, hitting a paltry .241. The Angels were never able to get closer than one run again.

Dallas crushed a ball in the 5th that would have been a home run in most parks, but it hit off the top of the wall and he had to settle for a double. He would later score on an infield single by Kennedy. Adam was later erased trying to score on a single by Erstad. I don't blame Roenicke in this situation. There were two outs, and Kennedy runs well. The problem was that Erstad hammered the pitch. It really got into center in a hurry, and Hunter was able to pick it up while moving toward the plate in a pretty good position to throw. Tough break.

Kennedy was kicked out arguing balls and strikes after striking out for the second out in the bottom of the ninth. He had a case. Hallion had called a high fastball a ball, and on the next pitch, called a fastball just as high and slightly more outside a strike, clearly irking Kennedy. When Kennedy swung and missed the next pitch, he turned and let Hallion know that he (Hallion) sucks. Hallion disagreed and ran Kennedy. Players understand that umpires all have different strike zones, but what really pisses them off is inconsistency. Hallion had two different strike zones on two consecutive pitches at a crucial moment in the game. I don't think for a second, however, that Kennedy would have argued in, say, the third inning, or sixth, or any inning but the ninth, and in anything other than a game that they were losing. For what it's worth, Hallion tightened his strike zone and Figgins walked in the next at bat.

Tune in tomorrow to find out which Santana shows up. Hopefully it's not the same as the Lackey that showed up tonight.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Angels 5; Royals 0

Shortened by rain. They picked a great game to not put on TV. It gave me a chance to watch the Western Open, which I had recorded.

Tiger, although he didn't win, is incredible. You can't believe some of the shots he hits until you play the same course. Or rather, a course at the same location, because he and I aren't playing the same course. The tenth hole is maybe a driver/wedge for me. For Tiger, he just drives it to within 10 yards. 11, on a good day, is driver/five iron/wedge. For Tiger, it's driver/nine iron. That's freaking amazing.

38 out - 36 in = 74

Played Prairie Landing today in West Chicago. 6,950 yards, with a rating of 73.2 from the tips and a slope of 136. Good test of golf, although not as tough as Cog #4 or Pine Meadow from the back tees. Tough greens, no trees (which means tons of wind), and wide fairways, but a lot of junk if you miss the fairway.

Hit all but one fairway, and hit 11 greens. Putted a little better, but still not great. Missed good birdie opportunities on 1, 7, 8, 12, and 15, but carded birdies on 3, 4, 10, and 11. The key, again, was no big numbers. No double bogeys.

I'm guessing as of the next revision, my handicap is going to be somewhere around 5, which is OK for now. I'd like to get it a little lower, but no complaints. That's two great rounds in my last three, and even the one that wasn't great was pretty good.