Saturday, September 10, 2005

Angels 10; White Sox 5

Only caught bits and pieces of this one during commercials in the Notre Dame - Michigan game. I was with a bunch of Domers, so I didn't complain. They're everywhere in this town. The parts I saw, Bart looked shaky, which seems to jibe with throwing 111 pitches in six innings. But apparenty, he's healthy, which is incredibly important. The old man and the really old man both hit homers, which is pretty amazing. Considering this team could barely score in five straight games, scoring in five straight innings is something I never would have expected. Yan was apparently crappy, but hey, he got the job done last night when it counted. I don't care if he's crappy in games in which the Angels have big leads. Incidentally, that's the second time the Angels have put up 10 against the White Sox.

They've already won as many games as I expected them to on this trip, and they cling to their lead over the A's, so if they can win two more, I'd imagine they'd head home no worse than tied for the division lead.

Great game - Angels 6, White Sox 5 (12)

I gave up on this game at least six times. But we stayed through the final pitch, and in the end, I was the only guy in our section cheering. The Angels almost always lose when I go to Commiskey, but tonight they found a way to get it done.

Crazy first inning. I've never seen a guy face seven batters in one inning, give up four hits and two runs, all while using only 16 pitches. Some really nice glove work by Zach Sorensen to go along with a couple of knocks. The bullpen was heart-attack inducing (non Kelvim edition), but effective. Bobby Jenks got some measure of revenge. I wish the kid well, and ultimately that was kind of a perfect way for him to face the Angels. He was on top of his game, but it wasn't enough to win. I'm fine with that.

Vlad, well, I don't really know what to say about Vlad. We were all watching the ball in left center, expecting it to go out. When it hit the wall, we looked down and say Vlad walking to first, and I screamed, which is something I rarely do. He looked out at second from where we were sitting, but there wasn't much of an argument. He also looked out at home, but again no argument. However, more than out, he looked really, really, incredibly stupid. It's impossible to express how lucky the Angels were to get that result on that play. Quite frankly, after what happened earlier in the season, I can't believe he didn't get hurt.

Shout outs to Robb Quinlan who played a very fine third base, and cranked one to the opposite field. And I can't forget Juan Rivera, who really threw a beauty to the plate to nail Rowand. It didn't look like it was hit hard enough to get him, and Rowand is fast. But the throw, the catch, and the tag were perfect.

Terrific night at the ballpark.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Fafnir for head of FEMA!!

Imagine the number of people in New Orleans who would have been saved if only we'd had the right people in charge.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Angels 3; Red Sox 0

Well, it wasn't easy, although for 7 innings, Paul Byrd made it look pretty easy. He was fantastic until losing it a bit in the 8th, giving up a double and a rare walk. Shields came on, causing yours truly to cringe a bit. But Shields responded by striking out ManRam, Renteria, and nemesis David Ortiz, the last two with the bases loaded. Frankie was shaky in the ninth, but he found a way to throw the breaking ball for strikes at just the right time, striking out the side, although he loaded the bases in the process.

For the second straight night, Larry Young embarrassed himself, making his case for being the most pathetic excuse for an umpire in Major League Baseball. This time, he botched a completely routine tag up by Cabrera who moved from second to third on a foul fly out to right. Trot Nixon jumped into the stands, caught the ball, exchanged some high fives, ran up for a beer and a helmet sundae, made a few phone calls, and was in the process of hitting on some ZooMass co-eds in the fifth row when Cabrera decided to leave for third, which he reached easily. The Sox appealed to second, claiming that Cabrera left early, and inexplicably, Young agreed. Two ejections later, the Sox were out of the inning.

But that wasn't the strangest moment of the night. That came in the top of the seventh when Bengie Molina actually beat a throw to first base. Sure, it was only after Renteria went into the hole and made a great stop, then went to second to try to get the lead runner, but he legged it out all the same, and it became an RBI fielder's choice.

The good news is that Escobar was up and throwing in the 8th, which may be a sign that Bart will be ready to go on Saturday, a game which I may be at, but probably not. Sunday I may skip out to play golf, but I do have tickets for tomorrow night's game. Washburn goes against Buerhle, so the game should be over in about 37 minutes.


I just walked in the door and saw the replay, but that is THE WORST CALL I HAVE EVER SEEN!! That was Don Denkinger in the 1985 World Series bad. I mean, it's not like Cabrera even gains an advantage from leaving early. He would have been safe by a mile anyway.

If Larry Young is anywhere near an Angels post-season game, I swear, I may bring a gun and shoot him. What a fucking dick of an umpire.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Missed it

Fell asleep in the second inning, and woke up about four hours later. Sorry. Looks like I didn't miss anything.

Having watched some of it on TiVo, the kid got screwed, and Scioscia did the right thing going to bat for him.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Red Sox 3; Angels 2

One of the reasons baseball is such a great game is because occasionally you end up with wildly unpredictable results. Santana shutting out the White Sox for instance, back when the White Sox offense was at least average. Ramon Ortiz outdueling Pedro Martinez in 2000. Little David Eckstein hitting walk off grand slams. Adam Kennedy hitting three home runs in one playoff game. Of course, the reason these moments are great is because day after day, play after play we see almost nothing but the predictable. That's what makes the unpredictable so exciting.

Tonight was an example of seeing the predictable, over, and over, over. The most shocking thing about this game is that it took the Red Sox until their last at bat to win. The Angels should have been hammered. Let's break it down:

Lackey: I've never seen a pitcher so afraid of a lineup. This is a guy won a seventh game of the world series as a rookie, yet he refuses to throw anything in same zip code as the strike zone when he faces any of the Red Sox big hitters in a pressure situation. Three straight walks, a wild pitch (thanks, Bengie), and he trails 2-0. The miracle is that he escaped having only allowed two runs.

Scioscia: This can be broken into three categories.

1) The bullpen. As much as I want to blame him here (and believe me, I do), he's currently saddled with a pen that simply can't get anybody out. He has one guy with some promise, and that's Escobar, who was excellent tonight. A problem completely of his own making, however, is his refusal to use his closer in a tie game on the road. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen him do it. I understand that to win, you still need to retire the home team in the bottom of the last. But saving your best pitcher for a hypothetical situation is akin to refusing to start a well rested Roger Clemens in game six of a World Series you trail 3 games to 2 just in case you get to a game seven. A relief ace unused is a useless relief ace. But this has been Scioscia's M.O. for his entire managerial career, or do I have to remind anyone of Bernie Williams' homer in game one of the 2002 ALDS? He's not going to change now. Of course, Frankie sucks right now, too, so there's no guarantee he would have done any better. Regardless, the bullpen, and Shields in particular, blowing this game was completely predictable. Embarrassed about all of those losses out of the pen, Scot? Well, get used to seeing one more.

2) Erstad hitting fifth. What the fuck? I mean seriously, what the fuck? I realize this team has little power, but that's not an excuse to just punt the power spots in the order (no pun intended). Vlad on base four times. Vlad left on base four times. Completely predictable.

3) Finley. There is no possible explanation for this move that would satisfy just about anyone who has watched this team on a regular basis. Did he need a lefty? Bullshit. If the platoon advantage is so great against knuckleballers, why do many of the capable switch hitters actually hit from the right side against Wakefield? Was it because he's due? Yeah, and he has been for about 5 months. He's not due, he's done. Honestly, this move was completely unacceptable. Unacceptable, yet predictable.

Ultimately, this wasn't a game I expected them to win. Frankly, I don't *expect* them to win any game, and I haven't since the D-Rays series. But what makes it tough to stomach was the completely predictable nature in which it was handed over to the Red Sox. When you have a certain segment of your roster underperforming, and a manager that feels the need to accentuate that group's failures, you're going to lose a lot of games. Opposing managers don't need to look for a weakness on the Angels. Scioscia and company are putting those weaknesses on full display for all to see.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Great News!

Alex Chilton has been found. He was probably just hanging out, down the street after the hurricane (although I think that was a Chris Bell song), but according to the linked story,
Chilton was evacuated by helicopter from his home Sunday and later flown out of the area.

Chilton, who hadn’t been heard from since shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck, told Easley he stayed in his home the entire time and water had gotten up to his porch. Chilton said he had food and water but was most concerned during the week about roving gangs.
If you're wondering why I keep going on about Alex Chilton, then you probably don't know who he is. If you don't know who he is, you really need to get your head out of your ass and start listening to some good music. You can start here. Coincidentally, when I was shopping at a Walgreens today, the old Box Tops hit "The Letter" came on. Seriously.

Not to make light of the situation, but I'll never be able to think of roving gangs and hurricanes without thinking of this comment on this post on Matt's site:
Don't know if hiding in the attic is a good or a bad idea. Frankly, while I don't really like it, I can't think of a better one without seeing his actual conditions. One *BIG* concern I'd have about hiding there is that there is *probably* no escape route. If detected, you're trapped. Therefore, if he decides that the attic is the place to hide, my random thoughts are

1) Get into hiding early enough that you can be absolutely still when entry is made. The last thing you want is to be heard scrambling into hiding as they enter.

2) Scout out in advance where and how you will hide. If possible, prepare some minimal accommodations and pre-place these into the attic in advance. I'm thinking mainly about some type of minimal flooring to take and distribute your weight comfortably. Think in terms of a few
boards, etc. possibly table leaves or shelves from a bookcase. You may find yourself trapped in place for an extended period of time. You don't want to straddle a 2x4 on the balls of your feet for 90 minutes!

3) Stay ABSOLUTELY still while in hiding. Any movement can easily transmit through the framing and ceiling and give you away. Remember, you're TRAPPED!

4) Ideally, look for a hidden and or secure spot in the attic. Hidden meaning out of direct sight if someone pokes through the trapdoor. Secure meaning offering some cover (not concealment) Is there a fireplace in the house? Can you use the brick or masonry chimney for cover?

5) Are things stored in the attic? Will any of it look inviting th the thieves? How likely is it the bad guys will want to enter the attic?

6) It's likely to be dark in the attic. I would NOT take a flashlight with me. You never know what stray light will escape from attic vents at night.

7) I'd give serious thought to making the house look like it's already been ransacked. Empty drawers onto the floor. Break some glass. Dishes and windows. Throw furniture and clothes around. GET RID OF THE TV, STEREO & OTHER OBVIOUS VALUABLES Move them to deep hiding. (attic?) Do enough so it looks real. This will all be cheap enough next month if it saves your life today. If the place looks ransacked, maybe they'll just walk through and leave for the neighbors. Obviously this all needs to be done in advance, not when you're trying to hide.

8) If you own one, take a fully charged cordless circular saw with you. (Actually, pre-place it.) If you *really* get trapped (by an arson fire for example) I'd want to be able to cut my way out through the roof.

9) Turn the ringer on your cell phone off. Don't want it to ring while you're in hiding. 10) I don't think I'd want to do this with a wife and or kids. Maybe if I was alone. Remember there's no escape route.

11) Don't know the terrain or geography, but consider slipping out the back door instead of entering the attic.

12) I agree with your assessment. GET A GUN.
And Matt's response:
You are a batshit crazy lunatic.
No argument here.

Angels 5; Mariners 3

Not much to say about this one, other than it's about 12:30 on Sunday night/Monday morning, I was at work about 4 and half hours before the game started, I watched the game at work, and I left work about 6 hours after the game ended. That's right, I was in the office for about 14.5 hours on the Sunday of a holiday weekend.

Of course, now that I think about it, it seems pretty silly to be complaining about work with all that's going in the South. Sure do hope Alex Chilton turns up sometime soon. There's plenty of sites all over the place with links to where you can donate. The Red Cross website worked pretty well for me. I'm sure you've heard it a million times, but if you haven't given already, please do.

Anyway, the Angels won, Bart got hurt, Kotch homered again, the bullpen was not horrendous, but that's as far as I'll go, and the A's lost to propel the Angels back into a solo lead.

If the results from today stand (and they're subject to change overnight), then my fantasy team will have gone 0 and 6 this week, and I will have still clinched a playoff spot, as the guy in second in my division went 1 and 5, trimming my lead to 13 games with only 12 to play. The beer is flowing as the Guzzlers celebrate their first trip to the playoffs in their five years of existence!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Just how stupid are the A's and their fans?

The following is an exchange with an Athletics supporter from Matt's site, following the A's thrashing of the 87 year old Al Leiter:

Dick Bennet: This was the earliest Leiter have been knocked out in his whole career - 2/3 of an inning - and it took a great team to do it.

Me: A team so great that it managed one whole run against the Angels starters in over 24 innings.

Dickie: Indeed, Mr. Seitz, even the Mariners can shellac the Angels' pitching, but the A's seem to hold something back against them.

It goes without saying that the Angels bullpen truly sucks. I've been saying it for weeks. So has Rob. But until today, I was not aware that A's fans couldn't tell the difference between starters (who are good), and relievers (who suck). A little tip for Dickie: the starters, to whom I was referring, are the guys who are on the mound when the game begins. File that for future reference.

Then again, perhaps they get it from their genius players, like Eric Chavez, who had this to say about the Magic Man:

"Tonight we should have scored runs off that guy," Chavez told Oakland reporters after the game. "The rest of the league is doing it. We're the only team he's shut down. We need to beat a guy like that."
Eric is too stupid to realize that Santana has had 6 quality starts in his last 7 games. Too stupid to realized that he's allowed 2 or fewer runs in 10 of his 17 starts, and three or fewer in 12. Too stupid to realize that he's got an ERA of 3.32 since the all-star break, which is only that high because it includes a 4.2 inning, 7 run start at Tampa Bay.

So to answer the question in the title of this post, I'd have to say "Pretty damn stupid".