Category Archives: LA Angels

Play Ball

So, they finally made a deal and Major League Baseball will at last get going, a month or so late. Spring training will start on Sunday and will be about three weeks instead of six or seven weeks, and opening day will be pushed back a week.

But the games originally scheduled for that first week will be re-scheduled, not cancelled, so we’ll have a full season.

A couple of COVID-related rule changes will be abandoned, which I think is great. I was not a fan of having games in double headers only being seven innings instead of nine, and the whole “start with a guy on second base in extra innings” was particularly stupid.

The designated hitter is now universal, which is meh to me. I liked the strategy in having to work around someone who realistically can’t hit (especially since most of them couldn’t bunt or do much of anything else these days) but I also like the offense, so that’s a wash.

Expanded playoffs? Okay. At least it’s not the NHL or NBA where half the league gets into the playoffs every year.

I know that I should be pissed off and I probably swore that I would never go to a game again, but we all knew that was just a temper tantrum with nothing behind it. If they had blown off half the season, or more? Sure, maybe it would have happened. Now? Sorry, I just don’t have the energy or the willpower to turn my back on one of my lifelong major sources of entertainment. There’s too much that sucks these days to give up something I have so much of a connection to, even if they did piss me off.

I’m weak.

Sue me.

But as with this strike or lockout or “work stoppage” or whatever you choose to call it (don’t explain it to me, I don’t care) I have to wonder. It doesn’t matter if it’s baseball or teachers or grocery store clerks or steel workers or whatever. In the end, when you come to a deal and move on, is there one, single compromise or agreement that couldn’t have been made BEFORE the “work stoppage?” One? Anything?

Or did you just waste all of that wear and tear on our nerves, all of that stress, all of that anger, just so that everyone could have a temper tantrum and a glorified dick measuring contest in public?

 

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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, LA Angels, Sports

Hey MLB – READ THE ROOM!!!

An open list of suggestions to the MLB Players Association and owners, who are currently involved in a months-long pissing contest which is delaying the opening of spring training camps and threatens to very soon delay or eliminate a chunk of the regular season —

As I said above – READ THE ROOM!!! In case it might not be obvious to all of you chuckleheads, we, the American and baseball-loving public, are ***NOT*** in the mood for your shit right now.

  • Russia is invading Ukraine while Madman Putin threatens worldwide destruction.
  • It’s year three of COVID, where we still have over 1,800 deaths PER DAY in the United States, but the CDC is bowing to political pressure from morons and cultists and reducing mask useage mandates.
  • It’s year seven of the GOP revealing itself as a fascist cult and enemy of democracy in the United States.
  • The aforementioned fascist, white supremacist, anti-science, anti-knowledge, anti-democracy cultists are trying to ban and burn books, ban medical care regarding abortion and medical treatment for trans folks.

Given all of this, we’re exhausted, frustrated, and furious. We need a break. We were really looking forward to going to the park, sitting in the bleachers, having a beverage and a couple of hot dogs, and catching a game.

But again, it’s the greedy billionaires vs the greedy millionaires, debating once again which group is the most clueless and selfish.

Guess what, guys? WE DON’T CARE ABOUT THE DETAILS. We really and truly don’t.

But we’re going to care a LOT for completely different reasons if you don’t pull your heads out the bodily orifices where you’ve stuck them. If we don’t actually have baseball to go to in April, if we don’t have a way to shut out all of the things above for a couple of hours, if you can’t see common sense and compromise, we’re all going to be mightily pissed off.

We’re not going to be pissed off at the players. We’re not going to be pissed off at the owners. We’re going to be pissed off at ***ALL*** of you.

You think you’ll get by because you have massive TV and radio contracts… which are worthless if you’re not playing games. You have massive naming rights on your stadiums… which are worthless if no one’s in the stands.

Consider also all of those who rely on you for jobs at your stadiums, parking, office staff, and all of the tens of thousands of suppliers and merchants near your stadiums. Bars, restaurants, and so on.

It’s been one thing when you’ve pulled this stunt before, in relatively good times. We got by, although your finances and attendance and popularity always took a hit.

No worries! The fans will always come back! Right?

But these aren’t good times, relatively or not. Things sort of suck right now. We need a pick me up, we need a break – and you’re going to pile on just to prove that you can be more petty and shortsighted than the other guys?

Think very, very carefully about that decision. Take a look at what’s going on in Ukraine and ponder how badly Putin has miscalculated. Your decisions are inconsequential compared to Putin’s mistakes, but for those who love the game, who need the game, and whose livelihoods depend on the game, they’re non-trivial.

Don’t screw up.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Freakin' Idiots!, LA Angels, Paul

My Weekend – January 30th

I hope you all had a pleasant and relaxing weekend. For me – mixed results.

I got a lot of work done on a project for the CAF SoCal Wing, and while it’s “work,” and a fair amount of it, that whole gig is wrapping up so the sooner I get it done the sooner I can reclaim a bunch of my time, so that’s a net good thing.

I checked my car periodically to see if it will work, i.e., let me shift out of “park.” In six or seven checks over the last two days, it locked up three times, the rest of the time was fine. Anyone want to bet that once I get it to the repair shop this week it won’t do it AT ALL for the repair guys to diagnose?

The Kings are on the road and playing well! It’s a pleasant surprise. Perhaps they have a legit chance to get into the playoffs for the first time in about four years. They lost in an overtime shootout yesterday in Philadelphia but won today in Pittsburg.

We did not go to space today, for the fourth day in a row. SpaceX is trying to launch a satellite but after three days of lousy weather today was perfect. Right up until the point where a cruise ship sailed into the restricted area where debris could fall if there was a failure on the rocket, so the launch got scrubbed at T-0:33. They’ll make a fifth try tomorrow.

Then, of course, after a roller coaster ride of a season, where at one point we were 3-4 and folks doubted we would make the playoffs, let alone win our Division, let alone make it to the AFC Championship game, but we had turned it around to the point where we were favorites to go to our third Super Bowl in a row, getting to here with that mind blowing last second comeback and overtime win last week – after all of that, we choked after building an early 21-3 lead and lost in overtime this week.

Yeah, that sort of sucks. A lot. I’ll live, I’m an adult, I understand that 31 of the 32 teams all finish the season with a loss, I remember that there were years and years when an 8-8 season was a triumph and we never even fantasized about making the playoffs at all, and now we’ve been in the AFC Championship game for a ticket to the Super Bowl four years in a row, we’ve cashed that ticket two of those four years, and we won the Super Bowl in one of the two appearances. (*deep breath*) Nonetheless, this stings.

After a bit of “destruction therapy” (crushing soda cans for recycling, they make a very satisfying “crunch” as they collapse into little hockey puck sized bits of jagged aluminum) it was time to go out with the old:

…and in with the new.

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in sixteen days! (Assuming they can settle the lockout/strike issues by then.)

Let’s hope that the week ahead will be productive and non-stressful for all. (HAH!) It’s time for the stress levels from politics, COVID, and “life” to back away from that red line on the meter.

 

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Filed under KC Chiefs, LA Angels, LA Kings, Paul, Photography, Space

Back At The Field

Between life and the pandemic and quarantine and more life, it’s been like three years (maybe four? No, gotta just be three. I hope!) since we were last at an Angels game in Anaheim.

Thanks to my sister, who had tickets that she couldn’t use, we’re out and about, watching batting practice and breathing in ballpark air.

We got here early enough so that I had time to find one of the most wonderful gifts I’ve ever received – a memorial brick out in the courtyard at the main entrance, which our kids got for me!

See it?!

It’s hot dog time! Plenty of time tomorrow for more stress and deadlines. Tonight, we play ball!

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Mistaken Identity

I was out at the CAF hangar for a few minutes today to pick up the mail and make the bank deposit. We’re still shut down there and while there were a few dozen folks there working on planes and such, for me it’s masked up, in and out.

It’s not rocket science to figure that my political views are not widely shared in that particular segment of the population. So I was surprised when one person asked (jokingly) how I was going to make it to the Trump rally in Tulsa tonight? Was someone saving me a seat?

Huh?

Then a second person said something odd, then a third, then a fourth. A fifth person finally said something about how he thought that I hated Trump, what had changed?

HUH?

He pointed at the sweatshirt I was wearing.

Talk about seeing what you expect to see…

Yes, it’s bright red with white and blue letters, has sort of kind of “that” layout and font (it’s supposed to, it’s a spoof), and the most prominent word is five letters starting with “Tr” and then there’s a “u” in there somewhere.

But! HUH??!!

That first word isn’t “Trump,” it’s “Trout,” as in American League MVP Mike Trout, center fielder for my beloved Angels. And the second word, “Rendon,” is for Anthony Rendon, free agent All-Star 3rd baseman who signed with my beloved Angels over the off-season. (Which sort of assumes the existence of an “on-season,” but don’t get me started. No, really. Don’t.)

This was going to be our year to take the World Series again before the shit hit the fan and the world went into COVID-19 quarantine. My son got me this as a Christmas present when the Angels’ future for ’20 was bright and shiny.

As for Tulsa… 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

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Filed under CAF, CoronaVirus, LA Angels, Photography

Someplace Special – April 08th

Fenway Park, Boston

August, 2004. I took most of the family (The Son was overseas in the Air Force) to Boston. Being us, we had to go to a baseball game there in what was to them a new baseball stadium. In what was to me a cathedral, and old friend, a long-lost happy place.

It had been sort of a shitty vacation up to that point. We had been up in Vermont visiting my mother, which was nice, and had gone to visit Montreal, which was nice right up until our car got broken into, our luggage and my briefcase stolen, and we got the pleasure of spending most of the next three days trying to cancel credit cards and bank accounts before the identity theft got too bad.

We were going to the 2004 Worldcon in Boston and knew the Angels were in town against the Red Sox, so we spent more on 3rd row seats behind the Angels dugout than we spent on airfare. (Thank goodness the tickets had been left in Vermont and weren’t in my stolen briefcase!)

The Sox were up early and after seven innings the Angels were losing, 10-1. The Daughters had brought their rally monkeys (which were ALL the rage that year) and were waving them wildly despite the score. And we scored two in the eighth inning. And then scored four in the ninth inning…

I remember having at least one guy still on base and maybe two, so the tying run was at the plate before they finally got us out and won the game. A lot of the Boston faithful had left early, but those that remained were giving us some serious stink eye.

It was glorious.


I know the world has an abnormally high ratio of shit in it right now – but it also still has a lot of good things, and good things that will come back to us. It’s important to remember that. So let’s remember that and hold onto it when we need it.

Our family and many others are missing the simple pleasures now, like going to a ballgame, or even just watching one on television. It sucks. It’s a constant, nagging reminder that things are not right.

But so far we’re all healthy – I hope you are too. This will pass, and the baseball games will return.

We need to be doing this now in order to help as many of us as possible be around when they do.

Wash your hands. Wear a face mask. Maintain physical distancing.

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Filed under LA Angels, Photography, Sports, Travel

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…

 

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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?

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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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