I have been an Angels fans since 1976, and I would say every year there are a handful of players that frustrate me to no end. This year is no exception. I will say the Angels have rid themselves of couple of guys who were the bane of my existence: Brandon Wood & Jason Bulger. Jeff Mathis used to frustrate me, but I have learned to love his catching. His lack of hitting drives me nuts, but man can that guy call a game. Vernon Wells is moving up my bad list, but he is on the DL, and has proven to be a credible Major League hitter.
What am I getting at is Kevin Jepsen. When I heard the Halos were recalling Jepsen when they DL’d Francisco Rodriguez, I cringed. Jepsen has ability, but no confidence. He didn’t look good at Salt Lake, and hasn’t/didn’t look good in Anaheim. When he came in to the game in the 10th inning Wednesday, I looked at my friend and said, game over. I said Jepsen will give up at least 2 runs, and he did just that. My favorite run he allowed was on the first pitch to Paul Konerko, who he was trying to intentionally walk. The pitch was about 5 feet over Hank Conger’s head. That horrible offering allowed Alexei Ramirez to score the eventual winning run. Jepsen’s ERA is now 9.00
I guess I could call out Jordan Walden & Fernando Rodney, but for the most part they have done a great job, especially Walden. You aren’t going to get every one out, every day, so night’s like Wednesday are going to happen.
Torii Hunter hasn’t had his most productive season to date, so it was nice to see the official scorer give him a little love. Hunter’s ball should have been caught by Juan Pierre in the 1st inning, but it was ruled a hit. Pierre had the ball, hit the wall, and the ball came out, but he had it long enough for it to not be called a hit. It was also an RBI hit, I should add.
It’s amazing that the Angels are 21-17. They are a talented team, but an infield of Callaspo, Aybar, Izturis and Kendrick just doesn’t scare ya like Teixeira, Cano, Jeter and Rodriguez, or even Young, Kinsler, Andrus & Beltre. Shockingly, the Angels are about even with the Yankees, but better than the Rangers. Mike Scioscia gets more out of his players than any manager in baseball. The last infield like this may be the mid 80′s Cardinals. I think they started Jack Clark, Tommy Herr, Ozzie Smith and Ken Oberkfell.
I was talking to a guy at the stadium and we were remarking about how many Angels coaches go on to be successful managers. I am surprised Alfredo Griffen is still with the team. His skill level as a player and coach is unquestioned. I get the feeling that Mike Butcher and Rob Picciolo will get the call in due time. I wonder if Mickey Hatcher wants to manage. He gets ripped on quite a bit, but it’s hard imagine the Angels winning all those AL West titles, and a World Series without his tutelage.
I’ve never been a guy who gets so angry at the players or umpire, that I rush down to the field and scream. One guy was so pissed at what he perceived as a missed call, that he came down to field, cussing and screaming at the umpire. I love the passion, but I must say they don’t hear you, and you’d would be better off screaming from your seat. The majority of players, and all umpires, tune all extraneous noise out. How do I know this? I have talked to each, and each tell me they hear nothing but what’s going on between the white lines. Keep on yelling, the enthusiasm is awesome.
Sad news. Kendrys Morales is out for the year. One simple walk off home run celebration, will put the 1st baseman out for nearly 2 years. He has to have surgery to remove scar tissue around his broken ankle, and the recovery time is around 6-months. I guess we’ll find out how good Mark Trumbo will be. I said last time the Angels wold be foolish to non-tender Morales, and gauge other teams interest. Now, maybe that isn’t such a bad idea, especially if Trumbo plays as well as he has to date. How much can Morales agent, Scott Boras, ask for a player who hasn’t played much in almost 2 seasons. Sorry, that wasn’t necessary.
Angels head to Texas.
About the Author
Written by Bill Mahoney
O'kay I'll talk about myself a little. I've been working in the television/radio industry for over 21 years. I started at 2 so I am just a tad over 21 (That is a joke). My career has taken me around and and even out of the United States. Right now I call Vegas home, but I just never know where life will take me next. Until 2002 my irrational love for the California/Anaheim/LAA had taken me down some very dark roads, but with Arte Moreno in charge I finally saw the a light at the end of the road. I really love most every sports and having as much fun as possible.