Saturday, September 01, 2007


...Is Stanford that bad or UCLA that good? I'm guessing a little bit of both. The offense looked very good. Indeed, Ben Olson threw for five touchdowns, and if his 289 yards sounds less than impressive, it probably because as a team, the Bruins ran for 338 yards, 195 of which were accumulated by Khalil Bell. They were extremely efficient, averaging about eight yards per play. Olson found nine different receivers, none of whom were Osaar Rashaan.

On the other side of the ball, for the first few drives that I saw, I was left unimpressed. Of course, I happened to miss a good first quarter, and tuned in during the lackluster second quarter - or rather, Comcast pre-empted the beginning of the game to bring us Cubs post-game. The line wasn't getting a ton of pressure, and Trey Brown made some nice break-ups that were borderline interference, which isn't to say he was lucky they weren't called. Rather, the point is that college officials, especially Pac Ten officials, suck, and they'll often call interference on those plays.

But in the second half, the defense really picked up. Stanford never got anything going on the ground, finishing with only 52 yards for the game. T.J. Ostrander had Bruins in his face for much of the game, and his 330 yards passing were more a function of one big play, and a UCLA offense that put enough points on the board to force Stanford into a game of catch-up.

Ultimately, it's an excellent start. It's hard to judge just how good a team is before they play a few games, at which point we can evaluate their opponents as well. And with Michigan's huge blunder, and Notre Dame's embarrassment, the Bruins aren't likely to make a splash in the media. But they'll move up in the polls, and they've done nothing to show that they are somewhere other than where they belong. The defense faces a sterner test next week against BYU at the Rose Bowl.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Petty Theft

The Angels should not have won tonight. They should not have been able to spot Seattle five runs in the first inning and still win going away. But somehow you just had the feeling that if Moseley could come in and get hold Seattle down, they might just get a few runs off of Jeff Weaver. And if they could keep it close in the late innings, well, you never know.

And I don't want this to read like an I told you so. If the Angels had traded for Mark Teixeira, I certainly would have welcomed him with open arms. But when you look at how the Angels won this game, you have to ask yourself if maybe Bill Stoneman knows what he's doing. Over the last few years, the Angels have had a very good farm system, and there have been calls at one point or another to trade any and all of their prospects, some of whom have seen the bloom come off the rose.

Two of the players that whose names have been bandied about are Jeff Mathis and Kendry Morales. Forced into action because of injuries, they combined for five hits, three for extra bases, and four runs tonight. Dustin Mosely, who likely would not have pitched tonight if Joe Saunders had been dealt, threw 5.1 scoreless innings, allowing the Angels to creep back into the game before breaking it open in the 8th. Sometimes, a team goes a whole season without losing a starter *cough*Mariners*cough* and organizational depth is worthless. But that's rare, and the teams that win have guys that can step in and produce when a starter goes down. The Angels would not be where they are right now without the contributions of Willits, Aybar, Morales, Saunders, Moseley, Mathis, and Bootcheck, none of whom were expected to provide much support.

The Angels have now won the two games they needed to win. The Mariners have the pitching matchup in their favor tomorrow, but little Weav may have what it takes to leave Seattle with a sweep.

By the way, the big bat that people wanted so badly? I'm not saying it wouldn't have helped, but let's not forget, the Angels are still fourth in the AL in runs scored. Last time I checked, that's pretty good.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Response

To this post at Rob's site, which is really kind of pathetic. But since the chances are pretty good that he'll delete the response I left in his comments, so here it is:

Wow, I'm flattered to know I've warranted a special post. I'll break character and actually post this response on my blog, since you'll probably delete it. Not exactly why you can't let what I wrote speak for itself, but so be it.

It's funny that I'm accused of personal attacks when it was you that called me an asshole for simply agreeing with another poster that the constant negativity coming from you was getting tired. And this is coming from someone who has been pretty negative in the past. Just ask Matt. But even I couldn't keep up with you on that front.

And accusing me of reading things into your posts, well, it's pretty pathetic. Sorry, but when you say "I won't say [Weaver] failed to do his job" common sentence construction suggests that the writer is implying that there's a case to be made for exactly that.

I'm not allowed, apparently, to suggest the Angels are anything less than a playoff team.

I'd be careful around matches, because you're likely to set fire to all of these strawmen that you've taken such care in building. Has anyone made such a suggestion? Hell, I'm not sure if the Angels are a playoff team. Hell, I've got tickets for five or six concerts in October, and it would make my life a lot easier if the Angels were left out. But I'm not sure how whining about it and worrying about it post, after post, after post adds anything constructive to the discourse. Most Angels fans can read the standings. Most people on Halos Heaven watch every game, and they can tell when the Angels are playing well and when they aren't. And it's not particularly fun to beaten over the head with posts about their poor performances, let alone be reminded of those poor performances EVER AFTER GOOD PERFORMANCES! Christ, I get the impression that when you buy a bottle of water, you immediately dump most of it out just so you can claim it's half empty.

I don't know what it is about this season, but it's certainly been worse than the last few. It's just been near constant negativity about every aspect of the team, all the way down the minors. And I still like some of the things you do here. Certainly the minor league updates (aside from the commentary) is more informative than BA's prospect report when it comes to Angels prospects. But your unique ability to not only see the negative in virtually everything, but find it inspiring enough to write about is particularly grating. And believe me, I'm not the only one who thinks so.

But it's your site. You can wallow in your own misery to your heart's (dis)content. Lord knows I tried to point out how it was bringing everyone down earlier in the season. When Matt did the same for me, I laughed it off and had fun with it. But you seem get more and more defensive. Just don't let all of that misery eat you up inside, because being right isn't worth being miserable, and being wrong makes winning a lot less fun.

Small Town Gets Media Coverage

According to this AP story, the oil boom in an Eastern Montana town has been such a boon to employment that the owner of a local McDonalds in the 5,000 person town of Sidney, Montana has outsourced the drive through window to a Texas telemarketing firm.

Why do I care? My dad grew up in Sidney. It's about five miles from North Dakota and about ninety miles from Canada. My uncle owned an insurance agency that has since been passed to my aunt and cousins. Prior to that, my grandfather owned a clothing shop in town. My aunt and uncle had five kids, and they've added another seven grandchildren, so the Seitz name is fairly prominent in Sidney. It's kind of cool to see the town in the news. I was just back there last summer.