Saturday, April 29, 2006

Watch The Monkey Get Hurt (15-7)

Whew. What was once an 8-2 lead over the Angels dwindled to 8-5 as Brandon McCarthy struggled for a second time. Freddy Garcia teased a quality start out of nothing, and in relief Neil Cotts pitched well and Bobby Jenks, called upon to extinguish Vladimir Guerrero in the ninth before the Rally Monkey could get warmed up, whiffed him with a curve. Garcia's velocity is still down (this is a common problem with WBC participants, apparently) and he's got control problems too. Thank you Mister Selig for your silly stunt.

Baseball was meant to be played in the Eastern and Central time zones; if you don't believe me, ask anybody east of the Rockies. Saturday mornings after staying up late to track baseball games tend to bring out the naked blade of the Razor:
  • It is always good for White Sox fans to see Jeff Weaver get pummeled. Weaver was a second-round draft choice of the White Sox in 1997, but he refused to sign. He has since pitched for the Tigers, Yankees, Dodgers, and now for the Angels. He goes on the list with Bobby Seay and Bobby Hill for White Sox fans, the list of players we love to see fail. Yes, we know it's a business, and being drafted isn't a slave auction, but we don't have to root for them, now do we?
  • Speaking of business, the Angels are an interesting one. They won the World Series in 2002 with a combination of home-grown talent, shrewd trades, and scrap-heap reclamation projects (see White Sox, 2005). The next year, they had an off season. The response from owner Artie Moreno has been to try to buy a championship, Yankees-style. In the 2003-4 offseason, they signed Kelvin Escobar, Bartolo Colon, Jose Guillen, and Vladimir Guerrero. In the 2004-5 offseason, they signed Steve Finley, Paul Byrd, and Orlando Cabrera. Last offseason, they signed Weaver and we all know they went hard after Paul Konerko. It's hard for me to root for teams that hire that many mercenaries, players whose original teams (and fans) really want them back. Paul Konerko made a comment last fall that was telling, something about how he couldn't think about leaving without thinking of some kid wearing his jersey being crushed if he left. The Angels are full of people who don't care about that at all. And baseball's future is poorer for it.
  • I have been impressed that the incessant whining about last fall has stopped. The Angels spent a bit of time bitching about the Pierzynski Affair and the Finley Controversy, although mysteriously they all seem to forget Cabrera's flagrant interference with a double play in Game One that scored the winning run, or Scot Shields getting a key checked-swing "third strike" on Paul Konerko that shouldn't have been called. I guess the Angels channeled their anger into buying a few more soulless vagabond players instead of pretending that they wuz robbed.

No comments: