Turk Wendell gave a tooth necklace to Taijuan Walker who, like Wendell, also wears number 99. Will Taijuan wear it during games? Wendell was philosophical on the topic of his number not being retired. Obviously, there are no hard feelings.
Albert Pujols Links
Albert Pujols is open to the possibility of going back to the Cardinals after 2021. There is no word on what the Cardinals think of that. As we all knew, Albert Pujols is very aware of the effect continuing his career would have on his counting stats. Will he get enough at bats to collect another 38 home runs?
Internal Crashing Links
The Angels defeated Texas yesterday 6 – 2. Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and Jose Iglesias all went 0-fer. The start of the AAA baseball season is delayed by at least a month. Meanwhile, if this is like an ordinary year, all those minor league guys don’t get paid for spring training.
Links From Around Baseball
In-game video access will be back this year. What could go wrong? Gio Gonzalez has a minor league deal with the Marlins. He is invited to major league spring training. Meanwhile, the Royals are bringing back Jarrod Dyson. Jose Alvarez is probably going to the Giants. The Angels were not among the teams on hand at the Yoenis Cespedes showcase. That’s a relief. The Rockies cannot afford to extend Trevor Story. Baseball while blindfolded? Cue the Yakety Sax. Gavin Newsom says the State of California is on track to be able to have fans attend baseball on opening day.
Injuries and Surgeries
Astros pitcher Framber Valdez is out with a finger injury. The finger is broken. Aaron Boone will undergo surgery to have a pacemaker installed, while Jon Lester will have surgery to remove his thyroid gland. Both of these guys have a scary medical history. Finally, Diamondbacks outfielder Tim Locastro tested positive for COVID-19. He’s earned himself a timeout.
Photo credit: Rex Fregosi
Arte’s Modus Operandi
The Angels have sent out a survey to season tickets that was due earlier this week. The survey asked season ticket holders if they wanted tickets for April Games even if they will have to be relocated to other seats within the Stadium to meet the anticipated seating spacing that will be required by the Governor. You had a choice not to acquire tickets for this modified seating and instead apply those credits to future games (single game seats, post season or possibly 2022) Since so many season ticket holders will have to be resettled ( I’m anticipating a socially distant seating plan that probably only allows 25% of stadium capacity per game) this will be a major operation to implement that will probably be based upon seniority.
I suspect that the Angels (probably through major league baseball) have been alerted for some time now to the Governor’s impending relaxation of the fan restrictions at the (open air?) sports venues within California because of the time necessary to implement a ticket redistribution plan.
Personally I’m ok with getting relocated even to the Bob Uecker seats if it means watching real baseball again. Not sure about the pricing yet, but, look at the bright side, at least we can watch an Angel game this year without some annoying Yankee, Red Sox or Dodger fan sitting right next to us.
Good point on the crowd likely being mostly Angel fans. I chose Option 2. I’m just not personally ready to be part of any crowd no matter what size and how socially distant and even if vaccinated. There is just not enough info and data about the variants for my comfort level. I probably will be one of those folks who stays relatively isolated until we start seeing less than 1,000 cases per day in the US and minimal to zero deaths.
My wife had an allergic reaction to the MMR vaccine so her doctor said no go for these vaccines, at least not this year. So we will continue with masks and social distancing until we see the same sorts of numbers you mentioned.
Really sorry to hear about the allergic reaction. I think it’s happening more often than we think
Yes we need to remember to be safe for those not able to get the vax.
Thanks for letting the non season ticket holders know. Games with 25% capacity (I wonder what actual attendance has been in 2018 and 2019) and higher concentration of Angels fans seem like a win.
After reading the possibility of attending live games yesterday I logged into my Angels account. No option was given for my preferred Premium E Vouchers but I was able to renew the 20 game package I had for so many years.
I selected by preferred games and on the screen to pay it said any games that were canceled or that my seats were not available due to restrictions would be credited back to me.
Being mostly invincible I pretty much just sneer at Covid when ever it comes around and it goes away. I got both doses of the vaccine but they just leaked out of my shoulder because they felt like life had no point if they were stuck inside me. I’m so desperate for baseball that if I can’t go to a game soon I am going to buy a bunch of action figures and pay some people to enact games with them in front of me. I will totally go to a game if I can get a ticket.
I truly believe Albert is deflecting attention from himself with his comments regarding possibly playing next year (ie no retirement tour). However, at the same time, I imagine that somewhere in his psyche he dreams of hitting # 700 and then retiring. I think we would all have those thoughts.
So if he hits 10 or 15 HR this season and is inching closer to 700, who knows what he decides for next year IF he can find a landing spot where he would play. I cannot imagine the Cards would commit to giving him the 500-600 ABs he will need to have a chance at 700. Then the question would be whether he would uproot his family again to tilt at windmills. I have no insight into that but I doubt he would want to either disrupt his family or be away from them for the whole season.
The reality is that IF the Cardinals sign him it would be to allow him to retire a Cardinal. That may eventually happen but I highly doiubt that solid Organization would give a starting roster spot to a aged superstar to give him a chance to pursue a milestone.
Lastly, I cannot help thinking that Newsome’s tweet regarding fans at games means, at most, limited attendance. It may also be a ploy to gain some popularity with a possible recall hanging in the balance.
Pujols lost his chance to retire with a .300 lifetime average, and he’ll come up short of 700 HRs. Stellar career, of course, but I wonder at the tradeoff between a few home runs vs. points of career average. At what point would he have had to retire to keep above .300, and how many career home runs would that have given him? I know the answer is out there, but it’s beyond my skills and ambition to find it right now.
Personally, I think Pujols’ priorities are:
#1- #5 are all advanced by him not retiring, and #6 is pretty low on the list. I think fans care far more about his career average than he does.
I like how Albert says he hasn’t decided if he’s going to play. Pretty sure at least 90% of the GM’s out there have already decided that for him.
Maybe if he wants to sign for dirt cheap he can chase some HR in an Orioles or Rockies uniform.
But if Albert thinks it really is his decision to play on a good team next year, he’s out of his mind.
Completely, 100% agree
Newsom may have just been referring to himself and some friends and donors.
Wonder if The Astros are going to make an offer to Odorizzi now that Framber is down and the doctors are talking surgery. If surgery is indeed the only option then Framber will most likely miss the entire season, or most of it.
I wonder the same thing. Valdez going down like this really opens the door to the AL West. We need to sign Odorizzi stat and close it.
Wishing good health to Aaron Boone.
MLB did not learn using in game video the last time. But the Rob was in the consequences of the cheating, a slap on the hand really. Some team is going to cheat again I believe.
Look closely at that picture of Albert and compare it to his first Spring with the Angels and then say he did not do PEDS. He needs to retire a Cardinal imho because that is where his heart has always been. If Albert gets over 250 AB’s then the team will be hunting this season. By having low number of AB’s would show that Walsh and Ohtani are having good seasons.
Albert’s swift physical decline coincides with the beginning of HGH testing. It could be a mere coincidence, but it was sudden and swift that year.
Perhaps a combination of being older than claimed and losing the fountain of youth that helped him delay aging a bit.
Unlike the age thing, where there is quite the pile of circumstantial evidence, there is no evidence he’s ever used PEDs. His physical decline coincides with being old (possibly older than he is listed) and being injured. From everything we’ve heard, the plantar fasciitis really did a number on him, particularly when he would have to get surgery in the offseason and spend his time off recovering rather than working out.
As for his physique, muscular guys tend to get bigger as they age if they continue their same habits.
Once the games start to count, I suspect he is going to become the most expensive pinch hitter in baseball. I don’t see him reaching 700 homers. You need a good base for hitting and Albert’s feet and knees have been rickety for years.
MLB started HGH testing in 2013, which is the year he missed a huge chunk of the season and saw about a 20% drop in production. Probably a coincidence. Probably the result of his really being 36 instead of the 33 he claims.
But I’ve always put those two facts together in my mind for some reason.
Well Albert is getting smaller! His neck is now about normal and his body is about that now. I have said for years that he used in StL and that his stats there were inflated because of PEDS usage. Look at other “known” users and they still looked buff at 42 years old. Besides his first ten years numbers are just way to high to suggest that he did not use. No one, not even in the 20’s or 30’s ever put up numbers like that.
Wait, your evidence that he used PEDs is that he was really, really good? That’s like saying, “That person is really rich. They must be a thief.”
I guess Mike Trout also is a PED user.
That explains Trout Big Fat Neck!