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Pull out the hanky, Conger wears Mister Anderson’s #

Posted By Bill Mahoney On Jul 5 2011 @ 8:23 pm In LA Angels Of Anaheim | 1 Comment

I am sure you were all wondering (not!) where is the Angels blog? We all had a few days off so maintenance could be done on the site. I think a lot of our posters were scared that this site was gone, but I knew better (not!). The people that run this are outstanding, so I really did know that we would be back real soon. And we are!!

I’ll touch on a few things that stood out to me over the weekend. Hank Conger wears #16. Isn’t there a former high profile Angel that used to wear that number? Yes, there was, and his name was Garret Anderson. Do you read anything in to that? I do. How many people wore Nolan Ryan’s or Rod Carew’s number after they left the Halos? The Angels didn’t start retiring #’s until 1982, but no one used Carew’s #29 after he retired in 1985. The #30 used by The Express was used by 6 players, until 1991. In this day and age though, if the team respects a player, and all their accomplishments, then that players uniform # is put in mothballs until the day it is retired. Anderson is the Angels all-time leader in hits and RBI’s. He also hit the key double that helped the Halos win the 2002 World Series. This has nothing to do with Conger, who is a fine player, but no Angel should have a #16 on their back.
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And let me remind you that I am no fan of Anderson, the person. Most players are good guys, guarded (for good reason), but good guys, Anderson is not. In a roundabout way I used to work with/for the Angels years ago, and it was always a bad day when I had to deal with GA. When you work for a team, you position your questions on the side of being remedial. Anderson would have none of it, or me, or any other producer that asked him for a couple minutes. I know what you are thinking, “Media people suck, and only look to bury the poor baseball player”. Some people do that, no doubt, but not me, or any of my cohorts. We worked for the team, man, and just wanted to get something from one of the all-time Halo greats. And he never said just no, he just wouldn’t look at you, or he would look down and mumble something. Hey, say no, I’m cool with that, but being a jerk is uncalled for. And if any of you think you would be alright with it, than you are lying to yourself.

My biggest complaint with Anderson was his treatment of the fans. I couldn’t count the times that GA walked past a mom and child, or a dad with his son that were begging him for a signature. I’m all for walking past the guys with the baseball card books that are just trying to make a buck, but kids with tattered Anderson jerseys, or carrying the days program. Come on now.

I finally found out the reason why Anderson wouldn’t talk. He said that he wouldn’t speak to someone who didn’t get to know him, or just wanted to ask questions. Sorry man, but I couldn’t be on the Angels beat 50 straight days. I was there about 10, and he said no each and every time, both verbally and non-verbally. No sorry, he did look at me once and say, “Ah, man”.

Still think his jersey should not be worn by anyone. It deserves to be retired, and probably will in the next few years.

At least he did the interview with Rojas and Gubby. It was the shortest one this season though.

Russell Branyan is in the house. Branyan, who can’t hit a lick anymore, finally found a straight fastball he could handle. Thank you, Chad Billingsley for that. Branyan’s first career home run as a Halo helped them beat the Dodgers on Sunday.

Jered Weaver was an easy choice for an All-Star, Howard Kendrick was not. For just being a great team player, Kendrick deserves a shot. So far he has played 3 different positions this year, LF, 2B and 1B, and has just 3 errors, and none in the outfield, where he had never started a game before this year. Hitting .307 with 8 home runs isn’t so bad either. I’m happy for the guy. I wonder if Weaver will start the game? I think he may lose out to Justin Verlander or Josh Beckett, but he is very deserving.

Is Peter Bourjos too fast? the guy gets to balls so quickly, that he sometimes over runs them. He can fly. Did you see the grabs he made against the Dodgers? I love that he is now taking charge in center. He wasn’t doing that earlier in the season.

Now I love this Vernon Wells. Lately, every time he comes to bat, I expect something good to happen. 9 home runs and 20 RBI in the past 20 games for Wells. His bat looks quicker, and he is laying off the bad pitches he was swinging at earlier in the season. I’m sure it helps to be feeling more comfortable in his surroundings. Still not upset that I ripped him so much, but I’ll sing his praises right now.

Just a few games left before the All-Star break and the Angels find themselves tied for first with the Rangers. Mike Scioscia is the best manager in baseball, or at least the American League.

And great showing Angel fans. I didn’t see a ton of empty seats during the 3 games against the Dodgers. Nice stadium, great ownership, fun players, and no random beatings. Angels Stadium is a great place to watch a game. More than 42,000 of you packed the stadium for the 3 games. And most of you were actually in the stadium, unlike at Chavez Ravine.

Tyler Chatwood had a tough game on Friday, but Clayton Kershaw didn’t very well for the Dodgers the next night. Mark Gubicza said it was tough for a guy to come back strong against the team he dominated the start before. When Kershaw got lit, I agreed Until than, I wasn’t do sure about that.

Angels are battling the Tigers now as AL action is back.

Go Angels!!

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