Tagged: Angels

Angels? Losers? Huh?

The very definition of noise pollution:
Since the Trading Deadline came and went, people all over with a microphone or an IP address have been unloading on the Angels, consigning them to the “Losers” bin for not making a move.
Hello? Speaking of consignments, how about dropping all these polluters in the looney bin?
Best record in the AL (and only a couple of ticks behind the Dodgers neighbors for best in MLB). And that’s not all. Since the weekend prior to the All-Star break, 17-3. And that’s still not all.
How about this: Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero simultaneously going on the Disabled List coincides with that start of that 17-3 spree. Name another team that could’ve similarly withstood the double-loss of its two biggest bats. No chance. Especially a team, incidentally, considered offensively challenged to begin with once they let Mark Teixeira out of their grasp.
Oh, yeah … the Angels were drilled for that one, too.
And here they are, the Majors’ highest-scoring team. Always willing to help out: With the Metrodome about to be replaced by the open-air Target Field, the Angels jump-started demolition with a 35-run weekend in The Igloo.
In those last 20 games, they have scored 148 runs. For reference, in the preceding 20 with Hunter and Vladi, they had scored 115.
Mike Scioscia, easy call as Manager of the Year? Nope. Not enough. I’m holding out for Alchemist of the Year.
Scioscia ignited his latest batch with a rare blow-up not as memorable as 2006-vintage Jim Leyland (“We stunk, and it’s not good enough. It’s been going on here before and it’s not going to go on here.”) but just as effective.
“That’s a bad game. We need to get better. We need to play with consistency. And if the guys in that [clubhouse] aren’t going to do it, then we’re going to have to look at some changes,” Scioscia had said after a blowout loss to Tampa Bay on June 11 had dropped the Angels’ record to 29-29.
Since: 34-11.
I do get it: Deep-thinking analysts bashed the Angels for not acquiring the added pitching they’ll need to survive October. Can’t win without a fortified rotation, they said. Gotta load up on arms, they said. In other words, you need a staff like the ones of the Braves in the ’90s, jammed with Cy Young Award winners.
You know, those Braves who went into 14 consecutive postseasons, and came out of them alive exactly once.

Now THIS is deja vu

Fell out of bed this morning and for some reason wanted to raid the closet for bell-bottoms and a leisure suit. Oh, yes — the Angels beat the Orioles on Saturday and Sunday after trailing 4-0 in both games.

The Halos had not won consecutive games they’d trailed by four runs in 30 years — since doing it against the Yankees in July 1979. That was the coming-of-age weekend for a downtrodden franchise, and how well I remember it.

On July 13-15, the California Angels tamed the traveling Bronx Zoo

The Friday game was a simple 6-1 victory — except for one thing: a Nolan Ryan no-hit bid turned into a fiasco which led to the end of a baseball tradition, of reporters doing double-duty as official scorers.

With Ryan five outs from the no-hitter, Jim Spencer hit a sinking liner to center field. Angels center fielder Rick Miller — who’d won a Gold Glove the year before — made a desperate bid for a diving catch that came up a few inches short.

Dick (no relation) Miller, the Angels beat writer for the old Los Angeles Herald Examiner acting as official scorer, ruled “Error.” Miller, see, was also working on a Ryan biography and thinking of the advance.

The entire Yankees dugout spilled out and gestured up to the press box in protest. Buzzie Bavasi, the late GM of the Angels, flew into the press box and down to Miller’s seat, screaming, “That’s the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen.”

Flash forward to the ninth, one out: Reggie Jackson drills a clean single up the middle and runs down the first-base line BACKWARDS, gesturing up to the press box and to Dick Miller. Ryan finishes off his one-hitter. Just another Friday the 13th.

Flash forward to Saturday: Down 6-0 after five, the Angels rally and eventually tie it on Don Baylor’s three-run homer off Goose Gossage with two outs in the ninth and win 8-7 in the 12th on Merv Rettenmund’s RBI single.

Sunday: Down 4-0 early, the Angels keep stirring up the already-frenzied fans with another surge culminated by Bobby Grich’s two-out, two-run homer in the ninth off Ron Guidry for a 5-4 win.

Oh … that series took the Angels into the All-Star Game break with a two-game AL West lead over the Texas Rangers, and they would finish the job with the franchise’s first division title before losing the ALCS … to the Orioles.

Getting weird, isn’t it? As the old saying goes, “Well, I’ll be a Rally Monkey’s uncle!”