Monday, September 1, 2014



By Geoff Stoddart, AngelsWin.com Vice President of Marketing & Communications

It’s Monday morning.  

It’s September 1, 2014.  

It’s Labor Day.  

I’m sitting on my back deck, drinking coffee and staring out west towards the Rocky Mountains.  The sky is blue and there are a handful of puffy white clouds positioned above just perfectly.  Yet, amidst all of this beauty, the only thing I can think of is the amazing weekend of baseball that Angels’ fans just witnessed. 

The Angels just completed a four game sweep of the Oakland A’s, the team we’ve been chasing all year for control of the American League West.  On August 16th, we caught them.  On August 18th, we passed them. And entering this four game series, we held a one game lead.  

The weekend was full of amazing moments …

• The A’s media and fans lost their minds over Angel fans doing the Light Wave.  They claimed it was 1) tacky, 2) cheating and 3) akin to shining a laser-pointer in their player’s eyes.  (Shout out to @CSNAthletics, @brodiebrazilCSN and @OakAsSocksGrl for some top-notch drama.)

• Angel fans who previously hated the Light Wave and thought it was dumb, suddenly loved it because it pissed off the other team’s media and fans.  (Shout out to … ummm … me.)

• A’s players came out and said 1) they didn’t even notice the Light Wave when they were batting and 2) the Light Wave was “actually kind of cool.”  (Shout out to Stephen Vogt and Brandon Moss.)

Of course, there were amazing moments on the field as well.  

• The Angels outscored the A’s 18-4 over the four game series.

• The Angels shutout the A’s two of the four games.

• The Angels pitching staff held the A’s scoreless for 29 consecutive innings.  (The 2nd most in A’s team history.)

• With Garrett Richards out for the rest of the season, the Angels were forced to do a “bullpen start” on Saturday, using a club record 8 pitchers (in a 9 inning game).  Led by Cory Rasmus, the staff shut the A’s down, holding them to just 3 hits.

It was a glorious weekend, and today is a glorious day!  The Halos now hold a 5 game lead over the A’s in the AL West and boast the best record in all of baseball, 83-53.  What could be better?!?!

Well … finishing.  

Finishing could be better. 

I’m keenly aware that many Angel fans don’t have much history with the team prior to 2002.  That’s fine.  Nothing breeds success, interest and an increased fan base like winning, and the 2000’s have been certainly been the golden age of Angels baseball.  (The last four years not withstanding.) 

However, the 1990’s were not as golden.  

On the morning of September 1, 1995, the Angels held a 7.5 game lead in the AL West.  All they had to do was not throw-up on themselves for the final 27 games and they’d make the post-season for the first time since 1986 (another year when finishing was an issue).  

Playing .500 ball that September would have done it.  Instead the team went 11-16, forcing a one game play-in game with Seattle.  Randy Johnson threw a near no hitter, and the Angels lost 9-1.  

In baseball, as in all sports (hell … as in life!), you have to finish!  

It was an amazing weekend of Angels’ baseball, but the job is far from over.  In fact, one could argue that the real work is just beginning.  So let’s get after it! 

Now, I’m not going to go all Karate Kid on you and bust out a “finish him” or “sweep the leg” quote.  That would be too cheesy.  Besides, when Sensei John Kreese uttered those words to his fighter, the guy lost.  

Instead, I’ll wish you all a wonderful Labor Day!  

Enjoy the time off.  Enjoy the afterglow of an amazing weekend of baseball.  Prepare for the home stretch.  

And for heaven’s sakes keep those cellphone batteries charged!  Apparently the Light Wave causes great emotional stress and mental anguish to the other team!  

If not to their players, at least to their media and fans!

Friday, August 29, 2014



By Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Staff Writer - 

So, last night was quite a game, eh?  The brass tacks are that the Angels won 4-3 in ten innings.  There’s more to it than that, though, and that more has the A’s fans as butt-hurt as Boston fans when they first realized their team wasn’t going anywhere this year.  

The first part of the more is the light wave, which sounds close to a light saber, which makes it automatically cool. I had to research a bit about the light wave and here’s what I found:


It’s such a big deal that I found that link on the MLB website and MLB was so concerned about it that they did…nothing at all.  Nada.  It happened again last night though, and even though light couldn’t penetrate either of Vogt’s chins or his scruffy goatee, which obviously isn’t up to Oakland’s “homeless guy beard” standards, suddenly A’s fans are convinced it’s a deliberate and foul effort by Angels management to cheat.

Even though fans have been taking flash pictures for years and cameras are still allowed, it’s cheating because it happened to them just now.  I heard a rumor from my sources (impeccable sources, I tells ya, impeccable!) that in light (ha ha) of this concentrated protest from Oakland that MLB will ban cell phones from games starting now.  So rejoice, fans of the other team from the bay area, your whining has produced results!

The second part of the butt-hurt is over this play:


There was so much butt-hurt about it that Bob Melvin, scarecrow in the offseason and manager of the A’s, protested the game because of the call.  I get the protest; it’s like a challenge in that you roll the dice and hope it goes your way.  If my fan situation was reversed I might even have felt the same way at first.  However, let’s look at the facts here.  First and foremost, Erick Aybar is a baseball genius/idiot, or to quote AngelsWin.com’s Lou, a geniot.  That was a brilliant play on his part.  His base path was obstructed because two players were blocking it, and to avoid them he would have had to go outside the base path and thus been automatically called out.  Instead, he did the smart baseball play and got into a collision.  The umps had a meeting with Melvin and themselves and determined that they made the correct call, and Aybar stayed at 1B.  In a nutshell, the umps made a judgment call (and they’re sticking to that) and you can’t protest a judgment call.  Well, you can, but it will be dismissed.  I’m an internet baseball lawyer and I know my stuff; case closed.  But that’s not stopping the Oakland fans, oh no.  Never mind that if Aybar was on their team (and white, and had lousy facial hair) they’d be praising his baseball acumen and talking about how genius Beane was for signing him to such a team-friendly contract.  He cheated!

Nope.  He played the game the way it’s supposed to be played, and the umps rewarded him by enforcing the rules.  And then the Angels didn’t score a run, meaning the baseball gods passed temporary judgment on them.  That judgment was revoked in the next inning when Pujols went from first-to-third on a single from Hamilton.  Let me repeat that: Pujols went first-to-third.  I’m 45 and semi-fat and I think I might be able to at least keep up with Pujols on the base path, but he made it to 3B without a throw.  I am not kidding.  There’s no greater sign that the baseball gods were on the side of the Angels than that.  And then Howie Kendrick, who I was 100% certain was going to choke, of course came through with the game-winning/ending RBI, and the baseball gods said “Yea verily, thou Oakland fans are collectively a goatish, hedge-born nut-hook!*” and smited them off the field.  And the butt-hurt flowed.  All I can say to the fans of Oakland is this: 

Oh yeah, and this:

 

In case you missed my subtlety there, Oakland is the bratty kid and the Angels are Jimmy Dugan.  Let the butt-hurt flow!

Thursday, August 28, 2014



Just about a week ago, Garret Richards went down with a season-ending injury and with that injury came serious questions about how bad the Angels would be without him (consensus: bad!) and what they would do to replace him (consensus: irreplaceable!).  One of the most talked-about choices to replace him is former Angel and former PED piƱata Bartolo Colon.  He’s cleared waivers so all the Angels have to do is negotiate with the Mets to get him.  True, the Mets aren’t the Diamondbacks so Jerry Dipoto might have to google “Mets GM” to get his contact info, but it can be done.  The question is; should the Angels get Bartolo?

Get Bartolo!

By Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Staff Writer


There’s been a lot of debate about whether the Angels should trade for (or just get for the price of his contract) Bartolo Colon for the stretch run, and for insurance next year because we’re gonna be down two starters for at least the first month, and one for the entire season.  Starting pitching is like gratuitous nudity in a movie or peanut butter on a PBJ; you just can’t have enough of it.  To reduce it to simple math, Bartolo = starting pitching = we need him.  That should be the end, but I’m sure you’ll need more convincing.  Okay, prepare to be convinced.

First and foremost, we need to panic!  Just look at the facts, man.  The god of baseball GMs himself, Billy Beane,  got the best pitcher on the market at the trading deadline and we have to react accordingly or else we’re obviously not serious about winning it all.  Look at some more facts – since Beane made that non-desperation move, the As have drastically improved and taken a chokehold on the AL west, and the Angels have faded since Richards was injured.  What?  What’s that?  Wait a minute; the Angels have actually done better than Oakland since then?  The devil you say!  Well, we still need to panic, dammit.

Secondly, consider our current staff of 1-4.  We have Weaver, who represents the stoners – he should be starring in a commercial for Jack in the Box’s late-night munchies meals.  We have CJ Wilson, the cerebral heartthrob.  Matt Shoemaker and his beard are the manliest of man things, and Hector Santiago – I still weep for him, I have that luxury – is the young dude with the edge.  We’re missing the old fat guy, and we desperately need that demographic in our starting five. Just look at this picture of Bartolo, winding up to throw yet another strike, and try to tell me you don’t want that:


Third-ish, look at the three in-house options to take over the #5 spot in the rotation.  I forget their names, but here are the pictures:



Fezzik is looking a lot better now, isn’t he?

D, everybody loves a returning player, except for AO.  Bartolo’s pitching better now than he was during the last year he was here.  He has a decent stat line and most importantly, he throws strikes.  Let me repeat that: he throws strikes.  Remember that game against us last year when he threw 80 strikes in a row (note: not actually 80) and the Angels took at least 65 of them (note: not actually 65)?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have our pitcher do that to another team, like say Bartolo’s team from last year?  We know that nobody on our staff could pull that one off.  True, we also know that no other team would look at that many strikes, but still. 

Now some of you out there – I call you whiners – might say something about having a proven cheater on the team.  To that I say: is this not America, and does America no longer believe in redemption and second chances?  If America doesn’t, then call me a communist.  George Washington and Bono came to America from Australia for a second chance, and look at the great country they left in their wake.  I don’t care what Bartolo did in the past or how many infant souls he ate to regain his form – ha ha, Bartolo’s form – as long as it’s in the past.  The past is over there, and over here is the present and the future.  Here is what I care about.  If he pops for PEDs again I’ll bust the rust off of my pitchfork and oil up my torch, but until then I’ll keep using them on witches only.  Besides, consider the colorful history of cheaters in the history of the Angels: David Eckstein lying about his height, many players (according to Torii Hunter) pretending to be black, Brad Fullmer doing all of the steroids, Reggie Willits and his corked, power-enhancing bat – the list is long and I could keep going.  Bartolo would fight right (back) in.  I know, sometimes it’s painful to address your past but you have to do it.  

Counterpoint – 11 million noes!  

By Nathan Trop, AngelsWin.com Staff Writer

The first thing I thought of when Glen suggested this topic was; he is fat and ugly…  Then I got to thinking about Bartolo.  Aside from the fact that his weight is only barely less than his salary and Whoopi Goldberg is easier on the eyes than he is, he is paid $11 million next season, his numbers are down, he pitches in an extreme pitchers park, and he is a cheater.

I was at that game where Bartolo threw strike after strike.  I think it was more than 60 in a row.  The Angels lost 6-0 and the only offensive thing the Angels did was show up.  If it hadn’t been the first game I ever took my daughter to, it would be the worst game I ever attended.  But that was three years ago, he has gotten older, and fatter, and now he (probably) isn’t cheating.

On the topic of throwing strikes, does everyone remember the last pitcher we got that was heralded for throwing strikes?  One Joseph Matthew Blanton, the worst pitcher in a long line of bad pitchers to start for the Angels in recent years.  I don’t know why exactly but Bartolo just screams of Blanton.  His velocity is down (roids anyone?) and his ERA is up.  The Mets play at Citi Field, also known as the new polo grounds.  His away ERA is 4.08, in the NL.  Imagine coming back to the AL what it would be like?

His Salary next season is $11 million.  He will be 42 years old.  I just can’t imagine paying a pitcher that much when they are 42 unless they are a knuckle baller or Nolan Ryan.  The Angels desperately need to add (young) starting pitching next season since GR is out for at least the first month but probably longer and Skaggs is likely out for the season.  Having Bartolo almost certainly means that won’t happen.  The Mets would have to take on a considerable portion of his salary and in order to do that the Angels would have to give up too many of the few remaining Rondons they have left.


That leads to the most important part of this entire conversation.  The Angels have the most valuable beard in baseball and behind that masterpiece of pure manhood is the man that will carry Garrett Richards’ torch and the Angels to the best record in baseball and deep into the playoffs.  Matt Shoemaker has stepped up to become the ace of this staff now that Richards is out.  He throws strikes, tons of strikes, has good velocity and right now is mowing through MLB lineups.  I would not be upset with a rotation of Weaver, Shoe, Santiago and CJ.  CJ would be the only one that worries me and there is no way Scioscia is removing him from the rotation, even if we somehow traded for Kershaw.

So no reclamation projects, no obese 40 year olds, roll with what we’ve got and enjoy this time Angels fans.  Lead by the youth of Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, and Matt Shoemaker the Angels are headed back to the playoffs!


After a brief absence of summer vacations & traveling the past 6 weeks it's time to refocus our attention to our long time members and contributors as we celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary. Glen McKee known on the board for years as tin00can is a fan favorite of many. Glen delivers when it comes to adding both humor and color to thread topics and has become an amazing contributor on our blog in tandem with Nate Trop with their Point/Counterpoint satire features for our readers. 

I could go on an on about Glen, but let's hear a bit from the man himself so you can get to know him a little better, and read some of his finest moments from AngelsWin.com over the years. 

AngelsWin.com: When and how did you first come to AngelsWin.com?

Tin00can:  I think it was about eight years ago or so.  I used to post on another Angels fan site, I forget the name of it but some of the old posters (GlausGirl in particular comes to mind) posted there. I think she was the one who told me about AngelsWin.com and at first I split time between the two sites because I felt guilty about not supporting the old one.  Eventually, I made the full-time switch.  

AngelsWin.com:  What keeps you coming back to the site?

Tin00can:  The posters, the information, the camaraderie.  Yes, it’s clique-ish but we have a good group here and it’s a lot of fun.  There are so many good and funny posters.  I’d like to call out a few of my favorites, some of whom I don’t think have been mentioned yet:  Eleven, True Grich, Nate, Tank, Wicked, Mancini, DowningRules, Cory, Tank, Calscuf, Jay, Taylor, SteveStevens, AngelsLongBall…the list goes on and on and I know I’m forgetting at least half a dozen.

AngelsWin.com:  What have been some of your favorite articles and threads?

Tin00can:  This is like picking my favorite child.  Obvious I have them but I don’t want the other ones to feel upset when they learn they aren’t at least tied for first.  I think that others have mentioned them but the Boston fan cruise thread, Cory’s break-up thread, the furniture-sex thread – there have been so many great ones.  The introduction of the vomiting monkey picture was also excellent. 

AngelsWin.com:  What in-person events have you attended from AngelsWin.com (Spring/Summer Fanfests, Charity Golf, Charity Softball)?

Tin00can:  I’ve been to spring training twice, and summer fanfest twice (along with the softball games). Great times, always.  I love them and hope I can get to more in the future.  If you’re thinking about going and you haven’t gone, make sure you go.  

One event that sticks out was game three of the division series against Boston in 09, at the bar by the stadium.  At the time I was attending work-related school in Phoenix, but I drove out to make that event.  It was completely worth it.  The feeling in the bar when Vlad hit that bloop for the game-winning run, when everybody in the room went from silent to elated – that’s what makes the events special.  I still have my Angelswin checklist from that year, with only one box checked.  Another story, related to that one – during the first game of that series I was watching the game at Cooperstown restaurant in Phoenix.  It was about the sixth inning and one of the waitresses came up to me and told me she had a ticket for a concert that night and asked if I wanted to go with her.  I said something to the effect of “Oh man, I’d love to go with you but it’s the first game of the playoffs, it’s the Angels and I’ve been rooting for them since I was a kid…I’ve gotta watch this, ya know?”  She looked at me like I was nuts and said “that’s cool, I understand.”  In retrospect, even though the Angels won I was nuts.  I think my realization of my insanity that night was what drove me to make the trip to Anaheim to watch game three, and that was worth passing up a sure thing.   
  
AngelsWin.com:  Why is AngelsWin.com your internet home for the Angels?

Tin00can:  The people who post here are great, even when I bitch and moan about them.  We also get some inside information here and we have people helping each other out.  It’s truly a community.  Back in aught-eight when I was retiring from the Navy, I wanted to do my ceremony on the field.  The aw.com peeps got me in touch with Tim Mead and he set it up.  That’s also when I learned that people in the organization read the posts, but that’s a story for another time. 

AngelsWin.com:  In your opinion, what is AngelsWin.com’s best feature: the articles, charitable events, game-day chat, message boards, Fanfests, podcasts, etc?

Tin00can:  Again, as with the kids, it’s difficult to pick a #1.  I’d have to go with the message boards; that’s what first got me here and it’s still the main attraction for me.  I’d put the articles and Fanfests tied for second, and everything else after that competing for fourth.


Lighter Side


AngelsWin.com:  Where do you live and what do you do?

Tin00can:  I live in Pinon Hills, CA and I work at Edwards AFB as an F-22 electronics technician.  Prior to this I did the same thing on different aircraft in the Navy for 20 years.  Yeah, I’m gettin’ old. 

AngelsWin.com: Why are you an Angels fan?

Tin00can:  I grew up in Lancaster, CA and we got the Los Angeles news there.  Every day for sports it was five minutes about the Dodgers and a quick blurb about the Angels.  That made them feel like the underdogs to me, and I loves me some underdogs.  As I’ve grown older I’ve discovered that my hatred for the Dodgers is completely rational and justified.  Go Angels!

AngelsWin.com:  What was your first Angels game that you remember? Who’d you go with?

Tin00can: I don’t remember the year but my first game was an Angels/Royals game at the Big A.  True story…I went with a friend of mine and we were hanging out in the parking lot before the game.  We saw Reggie Jackson pull up.  He got out of his car and started walking to the stadium.  When he saw us approaching and obviously wanting an autograph, he went back to his car and grabbed some stuff out of the trunk.  He then said “sorry kids, no autographs, hands are full” and walked away.  Total dick move.  That might be why I never got excited about autographs.

AngelsWin.com:  Who have been your favorite players? Why? Any great stories or interactions with them?

Tin00can:  I started rooting for the Angels in 1979 and back then my favorites were Rod Carew and Brian Downing.  Rod Carew because I hit like he did (slappy), and Brian Downing because he was Brian Effing Downing.  Throughout the years there have been many favorites, but one that sticks out is Vladdy.  Wow, the feeling when I heard the Angels signed him was just…nuts.  I didn’t believe it.  You’d have had to use a jackhammer to get the grin off my face that day.  And watching him play was always entertaining.  

Even though there wasn’t much to root for in the 90s, watching the outfield of Anderson/Edmonds/Salmon was always fun.  For some reason, rooting for homegrown players feels a little more special. I haven’t had any interactions with the players but when I did my retirement I did get to meet Hud and Terry Smith, and they were both gracious.  I also really enjoyed it when Jose Mota talked at the fanfest a few years ago.
  
AngelsWin.com:  How do you survive the offseason?

Tin00can: By going on AngelsWin.com, and when I can’t take it anymore, I kill a hobo or two.  That always takes the edge off.  I’m a Chargers fan but football is quite a few notches down from baseball for me.  I enjoy going to hockey games but I wouldn't consider myself a major fan.  While I love the weather between November and April, I hate the wait for baseball to start again.  Some days I just sit in my man cave and stare at my picture of Victor Rojas, and wait for the day to end.  Then I go to Del Taco and try to order an Oppo Taco or to Jack in the Box and order a Jimmy Jack, and just get more depressed.  Those months are hard.  (Note: Seriously, I dig Victor Rojas and hope he’s broadcasting for the Angels for a long time to come.  The last announcers I remember liking as much as him were Bob Starr and Dick Enberg.) 

AngelsWin.com: What’s one thing you’d like everyone in AngelsWin.com to know about you?

Tin00can:  I guess it’s that I've never actually seen Adam’s junk, and we’re both probably thankful for that. Probably.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


By Adam Dodge, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer - 

It took nearly five months, but the Angels managed to pass the Oakland Athletics in the standings and will head into this weekend's four game showdown against their division rival with no worse than a share of first place in the American League West. At this moment the Angels hold a one-game lead with both teams in action tonight. 

Thursday's start to the series marks the beginning of the home stretch, one that figures to be the most exciting for the Angels in five years. While it is certainly possible the teams can split the four games and head into September neck and neck, a dominant performance by either team would create some much coveted separation. 

In this edition of Foe Fodder, we will take a closer look at some of the key foes standing in the Angels' way on their march to their first division title since 2009. 

OF - Coco Crisp
When he's not dropping bloopers out of the reach of Howie Kendrick, Coco is a well respected member of the Crips' community. His gang name is Beetle. 

OF - Josh Reddick
After a long day on the diamond, Josh spends his free time hanging drywall in Modesto. 

IF - Eric Sogard
Eric pulls double duty for the A's as a slick fielding middle-infielder and team CPA. He also dabbles in IT and makes the best gosh darn pina coladas north of Solvang. 

SP - Sonny Gray
Sonny likes legos, fig newtons and his best friend Timmy. His favorite subject is social studies because his teacher Mr. Warren is really cool. 

C - Derrick Norris
Has wrecked teammate and roommate Josh Donaldon's IROC Z28 three times. Worst roommate ever! Works the swing shift as head bouncer at Red Hots Burlesque across the bay in San Francisco. 

Rob Neyer

From Wikipedia - In September 2004, Neyer used a pseudonym ("Ike Farrell") on Amazon.com to write a negative customer review of One Day at Fenway, a then-new baseball book by Steve Kettmann.[22] Neyer subsequently took offense to positive reviews that he believed Kettmann's friends and relatives had posted.[23]

"How did this project go so terribly wrong?" Farrell/Neyer wrote. "Presumably the author wound up with plenty of source material, and so I can only assume that he [Kettmann] lacked either the talent or the time (or both) to shape the material into a decent piece of non-fiction."[24]

A Newsday newspaper reporter quickly identified Neyer publicly as the actual reviewer.[23] On September 6, Neyer issued an article explaining his actions, "I had such a visceral reaction to Kettmann's book that I felt compelled to do something" and so, under a "pen name" he decided to write a customer review on Amazon.com.[23] "I didn’t even imagine that it could do anybody any good if I wrote as myself", Neyer rationalized.[23]

Kettmann responded: "The thing that I find strange about all of this is that [Oakland A's general manager] Billy Beane, someone who I thought Rob Neyer respects, read my book cover to cover and told me he loved it."[citation needed]

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