Who? Most of you aren’t boxing fans so you haven’t heard of Jerry Quarry. But unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman. Jerry fought and lost to Ali twice, the first being close enough to warrant a second in many eyes. He lost to Frazier in a barnburner. Foreman wouldn’t fight him.
What does this have to do with the Angels? Well, outside of losing to Hall of Famers, Quarry racked up 59 career wins including some decent names. He just couldn’t beat the really good ones, hence the 9 career losses. He was good, he was tough, he just wasn’t quite good enough.
That’s a pretty good description of the Angels. Good, tough, just not good enough. That’s what gets you a great record against mediocre and bad teams and a horrible record against good ones. We are Jerry Quarry.
Unfortunately for the Angels, the Rockies, Twins, Rangers portion of the schedule is over and we run into the Dodgers, Blue Jays, Astros and Yankees next. It is going to get rough.
But are there signs that in 2022 we might be a real contender?
One major reason for the Angels plight of .500 is injury and we learned this week that Anthony Rendon is out for the year after hip surgery.
A healthy Rendon and a healthy Trout should be about 15 WAR (5 and 10 respectively) which makes a huge difference.
Shohei Ohtani is everything we could hope for and more and he’ll be back.
Another major reason for the mediocre year is the bullpen. I’ve often heard that every team thinks their bullpen is the worst. The agony of blown late leads just burns into our brains. But late inning leads are becoming less and less secure across baseball.
Perhaps this is more reason to extend AL Reliever of the Month Raisel Iglesias. Other fan bases are already clamoring for him.
The real difference between a genuine contender and what we’ve been for the last half decade or so will be the youth movement.
Jo Adell has a new loading mechanism that makes him much quicker to the ball and off the charts athleticism. He torched the Rangers in his 2021 debut.
Brandon Marsh is struggling, but so have many rookies.
The key is really the youngsters on the mound.
Patrick Sandoval had a great July and is off to a phenomenal start to the unofficial second half. He’s young, taken some big league lumps, and is getting better.
Reid Detmers got his first MLB taste and took a right cross to the jaw. He’s young, still a little raw, but like Quarry he didn’t back down while facing a formidable Oakland team. And he’s shown some really dominant stuff in the minors.
Jaime Barria, Jose Suarez? These guys are making a case to be part of the next Angels team and will be given plenty of time to sink or swim.
And how about the 2022 schedule? Some interesting games and road trips on tap. I might have to catch the Angels on one of those trips and cross another ballpark off the list.
Trevor Bauer’s administrative leave will be extended another week. His attorneys released text messages from his alleged victim. Not to be outplayed in the press, the victim’s lawyers have published a picture of her face after the encounter with Bauer. Warning, that picture is tough to look at.
The Giants activated Brandon Belt from the IL. The first baseman had been out for six weeks.
The story of this year’s draft will undoubtedly be Kumar Rocker. Fangraphs has an interesting take on fixing the draft.
Astros legend J. R. Richard passed away at age 71. Just before my time but the video of his pitching is amazing. A career ended too soon due to a stroke and now a family in mourning. RIP.
Team USA downed South Korea to advance to the Gold Medal game against host Japan. At worst, the Scioscia led squad of prospects and MLB cast offs is guaranteed a silver medal.