Category Archives: LA Angels

Pitchers & Catchers

It’s odd. Usually the day that spring training baseball camps open (like, today!) is a much bigger deal to me. Pitchers & catchers reporting marks the beginning of yet another baseball season with the World Series Championship shining like a beacon in far off October.

But again, we see how much of everything is perception and the relative good or bad brought to our lives by other factors. In this case, my beloved Chiefs.

Most years at this point, the Chiefs haven’t played in about six weeks. Even in the good years, where it might have been only four weeks, that four weeks was punctuated with a horrible, gut wrenching loss snatched from the jaws of victory.

But this year…

We’re still basking in the glory. The memes are glorious. The flags are still up and I’m still watching replays of the playoff games. Today’s mail brought me my copy of the Kansas City Star from Monday, Feburary 3rd. (Guess what’s on the cover?)

So the first spring training games aren’t for another eleven days. Instead of leaping on the baseball bandwagon like a drowning man pushing Rose off of the door into the drink, let’s mosey on toward baseball.

I like this. I could get used to it.

Every year.

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Filed under KC Chiefs, LA Angels, Sports

Someplace Special – September 30th

Anaheim, California

In the decades when it was primarily known as the sole location of the original Disneyland (let’s be real, it’s still pretty much known for that) it was called “The Happiest Place On Earth.” I’ve been to Disneyland a few times over the years but it’s really not my sort of entertainment – this place, also in Anaheim, does it for me.

I became an Angels fan when I moved to California in 1974 to go to school at UC Irvine. Coincidentally, this panorama was taken three years ago when they had a “UCI Night” and gave out Angels/UCI hats. (You can see someone wearing on on the right side of the picture.) I went with my daughter, who is also a UCI alum. (“Zot! Zot! Zot!”)

We have a lot of family memories at Anaheim Stadium, from times I went there when the team was terrible (before the kids were born) to the times we went there for the MLB All-Star Game. We’ve seen playoff games there, we’ve gone to many a home opener, I’ve gone on dates there, I’ve taken infants only a month old there.

Today was the last game of the regular season and that closes out the 2018 campaign for the Angels. For the third year in a row we have a losing season and have missed the playoffs, and it’s been nine years since we’ve won a playoff game and sixteen years since our one and only World Series championship.

The other thing that happened this year is that we didn’t make it to a single game. I can’t verify it, but that may very well be the first time in the 44 years that I’ve lived out there that I didn’t get to an Angels game. In fact, I didn’t get to any games at all this year for the Angels, Dodgers, or anyone else.

That right there may symbolize my 2018 in a single fact as much as anything.

But, as with the Boys of Summer, spring will arrive and hope will truly spring eternal. There’s always next year…



Filed under LA Angels, Panorama, Photography, Sports

No Context For You – November 19th

Regards pretty much nothing, after my beloved Angels missed the playoffs for the third season in a row, I was pleased to see my beloved Kings start off hot and have the best record in the NHL after a month or so, and my beloved Chiefs were the last undefeated team in the NFL when they were 5-0.

The Kings have now lost five of six and the Chiefs have now lost 4 of 5 and I just want to know…

…when do pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Arizona?


Filed under KC Chiefs, LA Angels, LA Kings, Photography, Sports

Opening Day 2017

My beloved LA Kings lost and got eliminated from the NHL playoff race last night – but today is opening day for my beloved Angels, so it’s hard for it to be a bad day.

I was thinking about what it would take to make Opening Day a bad day. Something pretty horrible would have to happen to take ODJ (Opening Day Joy) away from me. And nothing horrible happened.

Neither I nor anyone close to me died. Or got a terminal cancer diagnosis. Or lost a limb. Or an eye.

I wasn’t maimed in a huge car accident. I wasn’t in a plane that crashed, or a train, or on a ship that sank.

My house didn’t burn down.

I didn’t get fired from my job.

There wasn’t a 9.9 earthquake that made California drop into the sea.

So it’s Opening Day and all is right with the world.

Except that the Angels lost the opener. That’s okay. They’ll talk about us in legends almost as much if we go 161-1 as if we went 162-0.

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Filed under LA Angels, LA Kings, Sports

Goodbye, March – Don’t Let The Door Hit You In The Ass

In what was a pretty high stress inducing, low stress relief, royal pain in the ass month, there were at the other extreme some pretty good times. There wasn’t a lot of middle ground it seems.

Without whining and bitching, let’s just say that this time of year, being in charge of two different accounting departments, both for non-profits that are living up to that descriptor, has been…”challenging.” There have been a lot of hours and a lot of wondering, “Okay, how do I solve THIS one?”

Yet here I am, still (more or less) on my feet.

Meanwhile, there were two very lovely weeks where it was great to see my son home on leave. He’s in the US Air Force and was finishing a couple of years there and heading towards a couple of years over in this other part of the world, so it was great to see him again. To their credit, my boss and co-workers did a great job of kicking my ass out of the office to go to hockey games and baseball games and conventions with him. (To be quite clear, while the job has its good days and its bad, the people I work with are wonderful.)

The hockey was nice, even if my beloved Kings are hanging onto their playoff hopes by a thread with a week to go. But baseball starts on Sunday and hope springs eternal, even if my hockey team is checking out tee times.

The convention I went to last week was a ton of fun. I saw lots of good friends that I hadn’t seen in a while, in some cases in a long while. I could stand to do that more often.

We made plans, plane tickets, hotel, and car rental for our trip in August to see the total solar eclipse. More on that later, I’m sure!

And despite it all, I have managed to make some progress in the last few days on a number of long-range issues. There’s some satisfaction there, despite the two-steps forward and one-step back nature of it sometimes.

While I can itemize many good things that happened, over it all hangs a pair of clouds – I’m so freakin’ tired all the time, and I dread turning on the news or looking at what’s happening in politics. Both of those things are such a constant drain.

Yet we carry on.

Now we waltz into April. And the jokes are already filling up Twitter and FaceBook. Let’s hope there are some good ones. I could use them. We all could.


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Filed under Family, Habitat For Humanity, LA Angels, LA Kings

Things I Have Learned At My First Angels Game Of The Year

Angels Stadium remains a beautiful park.
The Younger Daughter is Queen of the Photobombs. Especially when the bombee is the lady who gave her a dirty look earlier when she yelled a Monty Python curse.

The crowds are tad sparse this year, especially for a Saturday night with fireworks to follow.
My daughter’s blue car looks purple due to the redshift as she passes us in the carpool lane.

It’s a good thing that baseball food is zero calories and zero carbs!!

At least it will be much easier than normal getting out of the parking lot tonight.

While the wi-fi at the stadium is much, MUCH improved, the PA system (at least in the nosebleed seats) still sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

The replay system this year could still use some improvements, both in speed and in accuracy.

I have a fitted baseball cap. With this ├╝bershort haircut, it’s too big (or, more accurately, my head’s too small) so it sits down on my head so far it rests on my ears, making it difficult to put my glasses on or take them off.

I absolutely HATE blown saves!

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Filed under Fireworks, LA Angels, Sports

Opening Day

It’s opening day for my two favorite baseball teams – the bad news is that they were playing each other. I guess the good news is that I had to be at least half happy with the result.

Baseball has a special place in my heart, having played the game as a kid and having coached my kids in it as an adult. I have many happy memories from my childhood of games seen in Kansas City’s old Municipal Stadium. The A’s weren’t very good, but it was always fun, and there were a lot of weekend double headers.

As an adult, I’ve had a lot of fun going to games in Anaheim (and occasionally in Chavez Ravine) with wives, kids, family, and friends. We still do – do a search for the “LA Angels” tag and you can find plenty of posts. When we travel we try to hit major and minor league parks for a game, and if the Angels are playing against the locals, so much the better. Fenway, Comisky, Safeco – we’ve followed them from one side of the country to the other.

If we need some background noise while working on something, there’s nothing better than a baseball game. There’s a rhythm, a cadence to a baseball broadcast, something that also harkens back to childhood. In the early 1960’s we didn’t have every game on television like we do today. We were lucky to get one game a week, and it rarely was our team. There was no such thing as a local broadcast station or network. If you weren’t there, you listened on the radio. I did a LOT of listening on the radio.

Even now, on a long cross-country trip in the summer, there’s nothing better at night than to pull in some far away broadcast on a clear-channel station. On a good night in the desert you can hear games from San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, Denver, Houston. When my family first moved to┬áVermont and I was missing my friends, my music, and my Cubbies, on a good night I could pull in the broadcast for a few minutes before it faded out.

Not every game’s a gem. It truly is a long season. But that’s part of it all.

I grew up with the game and my kids did as well. I may have screwed up a few things as a parent, but that wouldn’t be one of them. The Youngest Daughter was at opening night in Anaheim tonight with her boyfriend. We’ve been to a lot of home openers, but it was not to be for me tonight. But it’s great to have spring training over, the games counting, and hope springing eternal.

Losing 9-0 in the bottom of the ninth? We’ve got ’em right where we want ’em! It’s hero time!

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Filed under Family, LA Angels, Sports