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Suboptimal

  • joined Dec 21, 2008
  • last login Apr 15, 2014
  • posts 158
  • comments 8018

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  • MLB Los Angeles Angels
  • NCAAF California Golden Bears
  • NCAAB California Golden Bears
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The Straight Dope on the Angels Roster

It's summer, which means two things for fans of a mediocre team that is (miraculously) just three games out of first: (1) it's time to talk about fantastical mid-season trades, and (2) it's almost...

"There are a lot of things that I really need to work on," said Conger, his voice almost a whisper....

"There are a lot of things that I really need to work on," said Conger, his voice almost a whisper. "At this point, for the team, I’m not really bringing much to the table." Conger discounted his offensive contributions of his first multihit game since May 29 vs. Oakland. "For me that’s not – I don’t want to say ‘useless’ – but the four or five at-bats that you put into the game aren’t going to affect the game as much as when you’re behind the plate," he said. "Not calling the right pitches, or blocking the ball or just a simple throw down to second base (is what matters). The hitting part I can really just throw that out the window."

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Callaspo pulls a hammy

Those who watched the game tonight saw Alberto Callaspo come up lame after stealing second base. We don't know how bad it is yet, but the injury is a pulled left hamstring, which usually means several weeks on the disabled list. I never thought I'd have to mention that Alberto Callaspo is statistically the fifth-best hitter on the team.

Mike Scioscia blows up after yet another extra-inning loss

The words don't sound like much on their own, but the LA Times reports that Mike Scioscia's "voice filled with ire" the "longer the postgame interview went on." I edited the tirade for content, without changing its general meaning: "We need to [cliché], to [cliché] and [cliché]. This has gone far too long. We need to [cliché]...It doesn't matter if we have Salt Lake coming in, Altoona coming in, or Orem coming in; we've got to [cliché], that's the bottom line. These guys are better players than this." I'm afraid that's where he's wrong.

Sam Miller challenges Mike Scioscia about Jeff Mathis

Good to know that someone out there owns both a press pass and a pair of cojones. This is the first article I've read in a long time to genuinely add insight into Scioscia's thinking and personality, with a healthy perspective on the nature of expertise. Full of win.

Kazmir's first rehab start did not go well

The Salt Lake Bees are only in the fourth inning against the Memphis Redbirds, but the book has been closed on Scott Kazmir for awhile now. His final line: 2 hits, 3 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 hit batsman, and 6 earned runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched.

Right now, catching is something we're paying attention. Hank, defensively, is doing a nice job. He...

Right now, catching is something we're paying attention. Hank, defensively, is doing a nice job. He has the ability to swing the bat...From what we've seen, we definitely like Hank in the battter's box. If he doesn't do the job behind the plate, it'd be a moot point. -- The inscrutable Mike Scioscia moar Conger plz!! -Love, HH

Barry Bonds is now a convicted felon

Guilty of obstructing justice, but the judge declared a mistrial on the three counts of perjury. He probably won't go to prison.

Fun with small samples

Prior to today's game, Howie Kendrick led all major-league position players with 0.9 WAR in just eight games, and that doesn't even account for fielding. One of our own also brought up the rear: Vernon "0-for-4" Wells has flushed -0.4 WAR since last Thursday alone, not including his bravura performance this afternoon.

This heat map charts the birthplaces of all US-born major-league baseball players born since 1964....

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This heat map charts the birthplaces of all US-born major-league baseball players born since 1964. Who's your daddy, MLB? Source: Baseball Analysts.

Yours truly on No Coverage

A general-interest sports podcast interviewed me last week to talk about Vernon Wells, the AL West, and other Angels-related things. At a time like this, it was refreshing to have a baseball conversation that didn't eventually turn into a debate over the relative merits of hope versus pragmatism.

The latest from Baghdad Bob

Step right up, folks. I present to you the secret ingredient behind Dr. Lyle's Patented Cure-All Tonic For Aches, Pains, Indigestion, Minor Flesh Wounds, And Inadvisable Baseball Decisions (With A Pinch of Peppermint And A Dose of Laudanum). Grass. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, ordinary grass. You'll see this 32 year-old outfielder learn to fly once he's freed of the earthly shackles of artificial turf. You'll forget all your worries as you watch Vernon Wells win an MVP award right before your eyes. Just ask Andre Dawson, who did it after moving off of concrete at the exact same age! Coincidence? Yup. Seriously, the fact that Wells can't field his old position anymore is somehow a good thing?

Angels Release Mike Napoli, Sign Juan Rivera To Four-Year, $86 Million Extension

The Angels took on Vernon Wells' albatross of a contract in exchange for two perfectly good players today.

A's sign Brian Fuentes for two years

Salary unknown, but the contract is likely worth about $10 million in total. Not sure if he really adds any value for them, but at worst he's another option in an already-deep bullpen.

Fire Mark Gubicza

Victor Rojas is a competent play-by-play man, but Mark Gubicza makes Angels broadcasts on Fox Sports West exercises in selective muting. His nonsensical circumlocution, empty semantics, and ...

Rangers sign Brandon Webb

No word yet on salary. Rich Harden worked out so well...

Premium Defense: A New Punchline For Last Year's Joke

In case you were still confused by the Jeff Mathis tender, so are we.

More disconfirmation of McDonnell's Beltre rumor

Ken Gurnick of MLB.com also says the Angels are waiting Boras out in order to avoid bidding against themselves. This is the third such report today, following Ken Rosenthal and Mike DiGiovanna.

Carl Crawford chose Boston for its musty bookstores

Which of the following is Carl Crawford more likely to own by the end of next season: a Harvard Square bookseller specializing in rare colonial manuscripts, or a .370 OBP?

Tim Brown is kind of ridiculous

As one of the few national columnists who pays any attention to the Angels, I've really tried to like Tim Brown. This op-ed, however, is pretty dumb. First he praises Arte Moreno for being a good businessman, then scolds him for not being a bad businessman. Brown even uses the names "Arte Moreno" and "Peter Angelos" in consecutive sentences. Seriously!

The Texas Rangers recently sent a marketing survey to their fans. It's not as ridiculous as it...

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The Texas Rangers recently sent a marketing survey to their fans. It's not as ridiculous as it looks The auto industry was also recently bankrupt, propped up by subsidies, and yet still loses big contracts to distant competitors, just like the Rangers. My vote would have gone for the Saturn S-series: new brand, same old wagon (but now with more plastic).

Cliff Lee chooses Philadelphia

Cliff Lee has stunned everyone by rejecting a $154 million contract offer from the Yankees in order to return to Philadelphia on a five-year deal worth $120 million (plus a sixth-year vesting option). The Phillies now own the sickest rotation in recent memory, but you have to wonder why they traded him away in the first place. They will probably have to hold a garage sale to unload some of their bloated payroll. Word is that the Rangers made a $161 million offer (including the vesting option), outbidding even the Yankees. Carl Crawford may have snubbed Anaheim in favor of Boston for equal dollars, but Cliff Lee passed on millions just to get out of Arlington.

What Could The Mathis Tender Mean?

If you asked Angels management why they tendered a contract to Jeff Mathis (and some privileged Old Media type should really get on that), they would probably say they did it because Jeff Mathis is...

A's claim Edwin Encarnacion from Blue Jays

"Hey, does anyone want a free third baseman?" It's not like this team could have used one or anything. The A's finished with a better record, so the Angels would have been ahead of them in the waiver line.

An Xbox accessory as a scouting tool?

The imaging technology inside the newly released Microsoft Kinect could provide cost-effective analysis of pitching mechanics. While the article bills this as "preventative medicine," it would more likely be used to screen draft picks and free agents for injury risks, introducing another source of tension between players and management.

10/31 Postseason Review: Forbidden Fruit

Giants 4, Rangers 0 (San Francisco leads series 3-1) The thrill of victory is always accompanied by the agony of defeat. If you want to be a baseball fan in October, you have to be willing to take...

10/30 Postseaon Review: Who Needs College?

Rangers 4, Giants 2 (San Francisco leads series 2-1) Well, that was a little more...conventional. Not that there wasn't some weirdness, like all runs scoring via home runs. Or how about this one: V...

10/28 Postseason Review: Improbable Cause

Giants 9, Rangers 0 (San Francisco leads series 2-0) I admire baseball because it has patterns and regularities in the long term while being totally unpredictable from day to day. Over the course...

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