Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

Nick Adenhart 1986-2009

April 10, 2009

adenhartAs I begin to type this post the Angels/Red Sox game is about to get underway. This is the first game after the tragic loss of the Angels’ rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart.

I was at the Angels/As game on Tuesday night, the second in the four game home opener series. On Wednesday night I watched the third game of the series against Oakland with 22-year old Adenhart pitching. He pitched a helluva six innings. Sure, he got himself into a couple of tight positions with loaded bases, but when he was done for the night he had pitched six shutout innings. The Angels lost that night, but I was already looking forward to the next night’s game — I had tickets for Thursday night.

Then I heard Thursday morning that the young rookie pitcher who had just pitched six shutout innings the night before was gone — a victim of car accident claiming not only his life, but those of two others and leaving a third in critical condition. Thursday’s night game was understandably postponed.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am an Angels fan. There’s an official MLB home plate at my bedroom door with the Angels logo on it. I have a number of baseballs signed by various Angels players over the last number of years. An official Angels batting helmet rests on a high shelf. I’m the kind of fan that wears the jersey of the team’s manager, Mike Scioscia to the game.

Even though I wasn’t at the game tonight, but watching it on television at home, it was emotional. I’m an emotional fan as it is. I cried when they one the World Series in 2002. When I’m at a game I cry almost every time they show the pre-game video on the diamond-vision showcasing great moments in Angels history. So, it wasn’t surprising when I cried during the tribute and moment of silence for Nick Adenhart tonight.


Game Over

October 6, 2008

And, with that… The 2008 Major League Baseball season is over for yours truly. Boston Red Sox’s Jason Bay (damn him this whole ALDS) slides by my Angels‘ catcher Mike Napoli in the bottom of the ninth to win the game 3 to 2, and the series 3 to 1. Time to pack up my jerseys until April and pay more attention to my fantasy football teams. It was a good run for my Angels — 100 wins, 50 on the road and 50 at home. But when it comes to post season play, the Red Sox just seem to have the Halos’ number. To Lackey, Napoli, Weaver, Shields, and any of the other guys who pop into the Goathill Tavern from time to time… I owe you a drink for one helluva season.

Gotta Love Weekday Day Games

June 11, 2008

The baseball fans back east, especially the Chicago Cubs fans, might not appreciate the weekday day game as much as us baseball lovers on the west coast do — they’re a much more frequent occurrence out there than they are around here. Today I attended the second of only three or four (pretty sure it’s just three) weekday day games at Angel Stadium. I got tickets to the game from a friend of mine, and appreciated them greatly. She had offered me tickets to the Angels first weekday day game, but I was unable to accept because I had a telephone meeting scheduled that never happened (grrrrr). When this opportunity became possibly available I was all over it.

Angels at home versus the Tampa Bay Rays — John Lackey pitching my Halos and Scott Kazmir pitching for the Rays, a good match-up. Home runs Gary Matthews Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero. Winning pitcher was Lackey and Rodriguez got his 27th save. Angels over the Rays 4 to 2 — a good day.

The thing I love about weekday day games is the sense of Ferris Buelleresque notion that I’m playing hookie and I’m sticking it to “the man.” Well, when you’re a freelance writer you’re only playing hookie from the scripts waiting to be typed, and it turns out that you’re your own “the man.” But, damnit… It’s so worth it — and needed sometimes.

I Should’ve Gone To The Game

April 9, 2008

I got the email at about 9:00 A.M. this morning. A friend of mine had tickets available to today’s weekday afternoon game between my Angels and the Cleavland Indians. But, being the “responsible” person that I am — coupled with the fact that I’m broke — I passed on the tickets. There’s little on this marble that I like doing more than attending weekday afternoon games. Folks in Chicago get to do it all the time, but they’re a rare occurrence here in Southern California — especially for my Angels. Just knowing that you’re blowing off the day to catch a game is aces in my book. But, I had pages that needed to get finished up on a script. I had emails I had to send regarding future work, and a meeting scheduled for when I estimated would have been about the start of the third inning. (Oh yeah, and I’m broke.)

But, as I wrote I did have the game on the TV in the background. Let’s see… In the bottom of the 2nd, Angels’ catcher Mike Napoli hit a grand slam (the second grand slam of the series against the Indians, with Torii Hunter hitting a walk-off grand slam on Monday night). In the 3rd inning, both Garret Anderson and Casey Kotchman hit home runs. And, in the 7th inning Vladimir Guerrero knocked his second in two games. Yeah… Who’d want to go watch that kind of fun on a beautiful Southern California afternoon?

Of course, my scheduled meeting never happened, and the one correspondence that I did get back wasn’t to optimistic. But, I did get the pages done that I set out to get done and sent them off to collaborator Kleid.

By the way, the accompanying photo is from Friday night’s season opener at Angels Stadium. (I’ve got to grow my goatee long again.)

Baseball Is Finally Here

March 31, 2008

The 2008 Major League Baseball season goes full-swing today with the majority of the franchises playing their first game with the “third” Opening Day of the season — there was the tw0-game Boston/Oakland series in Japan last week and the Washington/Atlanta “Opening Night” game last night in the newly christened $611 million National Park.

And, while I won’t be seeing a game in person until this Friday with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s home opener against the Texas Rangers, I am jazzed about the Halos’ game today with Minnesota. Other than a shaky pitching rotation — due to injuries to Kelvim Escobar and John Lacky — my Angels are looking strong with the addition of Torii Hunter in center field.

I am in two fantasy baseball leagues this season — both for bragging rights over cash, though knowing me and the fact that their head-to-head leagues, I’m sure there’ll be a side bet or two during the course of the season. Naturally, I ended up with a lot of Angels players on both of my rosters, with some players being on both squads. I have Chone Figgins, Vladimir Guerrero, Torii Hunter, Jered Weaver, Francisco Rodríguez, and John Lackey on both teams — and Garret Anderson and Howie Kendrick on one of the two teams. I’ll admit it here that I’m way overloaded with personal favorites, but that’s how I’ll start the season.

Alright, about a half hour away from turning on the Toronto/New York Yankee’s game — the final season opener in the current and historic Yankee Stadium. Maybe with any luck I’ll get out to New York this season and catch my first and last game at the original Yankee Stadium.

Last Chance League – Fantasy Baseball

March 26, 2008

I decided that being in only one Fantasy Baseball League wasn’t enough to drive me batty this season, so…

I’m putting together another last minute fantasy baseball league for anybody that’s interested using Yahoo’s Fantasy Sports. Scoring will start the second week of the season, April 7th. (Did anybody watch the two games that “counted” between the Red Sox and the A’s that were played in Japan the last two days?) It’ll be head-to-head play with an autodraft that I’d like to schedule for Sunday morning before the Opening Day that we’re having here in the states with the Braves and the Nationals.

If you’re game, send me an email, message, text, signal from the third base coach, whatever, and I’ll fill you in on the details to join.

In Case You Were Sleeping – “Play Ball!”

March 25, 2008

I drive a Toyota Tacoma — a Japanese import that I’ve enjoyed owning for over ten years now. But, did we have to export Major League Baseball’s Opening Day in return? In case you weren’t up early this morning — 6:00 A.M. Eastern, 3:00 A.M. Pacific (such as myself) — and tuned into ESPN 2, then you probably missed the first pitch, as well as the first game, of the 2008 MLB season.

For those of you that were catching your Zs as opposed to catching the game, you missed Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka’s season debut i Tokyo, where he lasted only five innings. The Red Sox, however, managed to still beat the A’s 6-5 in ten innings.

While other teams are still swinging and pitching away in Florida and Arizona for Spring Training games, the Red Sox and A’s have officially started their 2008 seasons  on the other side of the world with games that count. And, they each have exhibition games when they get back to the States.

For the rest of Major League Baseball the season starts this Sunday — a day of the week that should be Opening Day — with the Atlanta Braves playing the Washington Nationals. My Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (who have the best record in the Spring Training Cactus League) kick off the season Monday, March 31st, in Minnesota.

Do Or Die… Sigh.

October 7, 2007

angelsgame3.jpgThis is it… The proverbial “do or die” situation for my Angels. The Halos are going into today’s game at home in a must win situation after losing the first two games of the ALDS to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway. Boston has won eight consecutive postseason games against the Angels, dating back to the 1986 ALCS when it came back from a 3-1 deficit. The young Jared Weaver is making his first postseason appearance of his pitching career. he will be facing veteran pitcher Curt Schilling.

In other MLB Division Series playoff news… Two of the teams — Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies — I picked to go on to the Championship Series are already out. Both were swept in three games. The Yankees, who I also picked to move on are in the same situation as my Angels, and it looks like Yankee skipper Joe Torre may be checking with come next week.

Why ESPN Doesn’t Hire Me…

October 5, 2007

The Major League Baseball Division Series aren’t over yet, but talk about stumbling out of the gate when it comes to predicting the outcomes of the four series currently under way…

  • Angels vs. Red Sox — My pick, the Angels, are down by one.
  • Yankees vs. Indians — My pick, the Yankees, are down by one.
  • Cubs vs. Diamondbacks — My pick, the Cubs, are down by two.
  • Phillies vs. Rockies — My pick, the Phillies, are down by two.

Anybody out there want my football picks for this weekend?

Octoberquest Predictions

October 3, 2007

I thought I’d get my predictions for the 2007 Major League Postseason out there before the first game of the American League Division series between the Boston Red Sox and my Angels kicks off in about six and a half hours from when I’m typing this. Alright, they go something like this…

My Angels vs. Boston Red Sox — Angels over Red Sox in five games. (It ain’t going to be easy.)

New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians — Yankees over Indians in four games.

Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks — Cubs over Diamondbacks in five games. (The Cubs’ll have to earn it.)

Colorado Rockies vs Philadelphia Phillies — Phillies over Rockies in four games. (Rockies may have already blown their wad trying to get into the postseason.)

Now onto the two Championship Series…

ALCS: Angels over Yankees in five games.

NLCS: Cubs over Phillies in six games.

And, last but not least…

World Series: Angels over Cubs in six games.