Today kicks off the final homestand of the 2021 season for the Angels. I’ll be there this weekend to see if the team store does its usual massive sale to clear inventory.
While this season hasn’t shaken out the way I’d hoped, it has been a blast spending time at the ballpark with family and friends. My 3 year old (4 this weekend) knows and sings every word to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at home and at the yard. Singing that with him during the 7th inning stretch is a highlight of fatherhood I never considered and enjoy immensely.
The brightest spot on the field has clearly been Shohei Ohtani. But he’s been in an offensive slump since the All Star Break. Will that hurt his MVP chances?
Meanwhile, if Vladdy Jr. finishes second in the MVP race he will likely do so having one of the best non-MVP seasons ever. He’s killing it in both slash and counting stats. He’d join a very small list of guys to lead the league in all three slash categories and not be named MVP.
One name getting lost in the mix here is Marcus Semien. He has a higher WAR than Jr. per BB-Ref and the gap is miniscule on FanGraphs. Marcus is having an amazing year. Put him in pinstripes or Fenway and this is a three horse race.
Semien is definitely poised to cash in this off season. As is teammate Robbie Ray. For their part, Toronto is hopeful they can keep both of them but that will be very expensive.
A big part of Ohtani’s MVP candidacy is based on his pitching. Unfortunately, Ohtani will not pitch against the A’s this weekend after feeling sore. Jeff Fletcher also adds the tidbit that Ohtani might get a break at the plate due to the slump. As much as I love watching him play, I’m fine with giving him some well deserved rest and looking towards 2022.
Alex Cobb will be pitching this year. Do we want him to stick around in 2022?
The next best thing about 2021 has been looking toward the future. Brandon Marsh has played well. On Wednesday his homer came off the fastest pitch to be turned around for a HR in the league this year, a whopping 100.8 MPH.
Jo Adell cut down his strikeouts. Jared Walsh went from All Star to ice box but has heated up again. That adjustment and perseverance from Walsh is a great thing to see.
To really take a look at 2022, take a look at the players who will be up for bid this off season. See anyone you like? I do and we’ll have our full “If I Was Perry” series coming up after the World Series.
Keep in mind the free agent market isn’t the only way to add talent. Take a look at this off season’s trade candidates. It is a big list with some serious game changers.
I love a piece that takes a broad subject and gives it a face and a voice. The LAT did that with Kieran Lovegrove as it focused on the conditions players face in the minor leagues. Thanks to Cowboy26 for sharing this in Wednesday’s links comments.
Speaking of minor league baseball, this weekend is your last chance to see the Inland Empire 66ers. They are doing a great Angels impersonation and sit just a couple games under .500.
I also love it when people give back to their communities. MLB gives the Roberto Clemente Award to the player it feels best represents Clemente’s character and drive to give back. Reading through the accomplishments of these players I think Mr. Clemente would be quite happy with them. And they deserve more attention than they get. And let’s not forget the players who have won the award in previous years.
Players can impact lives in a lot of ways. One of my favorites is the way they bring smiles to kids faces. There seems to be far more player/kid interaction in baseball than any other sport. The White Sox had a great time with a young fan prior to playing the Angels this week.
Have great weekend and please link what I missed below.