My dad passed along a healthy love of baseball, boxing, and Motown to me. So enjoy a little Marth and the Vandellas as you scroll through the links. When it comes to the heat, there will be nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide this weekend.
The Angels have been hot this week, kicking the crap out of the AL East with a sweep of Toronto and a series win against the MFY. That’s a 5-1 record over the last six games. Are we allowed to do that?
Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Judge are both hot. On Wednesday Ohtani became the first player in MLB history to have 30 HR and 10 wins in a season.
Ohtani’s three run bomb off Gerrit Cole proved to be the game and series winner. If only Cole still had his SpiderTack….
Now let’s get into some more crazy history about Ohtani. He’s the first Japanese born player with multiple seasons of 30+ HR. And then this is just ridiculous.
In the opposite dugout as Ohtani made history was Aaron Judge who is having a truly great series. Will he beat Maris legitimate HR record of 61? Take a look at the pace others were on at this point.
All anyone could talk about this week was the AL MVP race between Ohtani and Judge.
My personal take is that if you put Ohtani in the Yankees stadium and protect him with the Yankees lineup he probably hits 50 home runs. But you can’t put Aaron Judge on a mound anywhere in the universe and get an ace.
Hopefully Ohtani’s brilliance is enough to overcome the east coast writers bias and he wins another MVP. If so, there will be dancing in the streets of OC.
Also hot at the moment, all year really, is the AA affiliate in Huntsville, Alabama. And the contributions are coming from all over. Maitan has gone from stud to afterthought to something resembling a prospect again.
Another bright light this week was Kyren Paris. Take a look at this debut.
Not to be outdone, the Inland Empire 66ers are closing in on a division title. And they are getting some help in the form of Angels starter Michael Lorenzen tonight.
I sat down for a chat with 66ers closer Kenyon Yovan this week. He has one of the most interesting back stories I’ve come across. Please give that interview a look/listen this weekend.
From around the league, the Baltimore Orioles are the feel good story of the summer. But why are their playoff odds so low?
Carlos Martinez was suspended 85 games for being a woman and/or child beating piece of crap. This is following his 80 game ban for being a steroid cheat.
Kind of crazy how Boston released him right before his steroid test became public. Same thing they were able to do with Marlon Byrd a few years back. Goes right in line with having a team employee write the Mitchell Report.
Not like there’s ever preferential treatment for the Roid Sox.
On to better news, the Cactus League schedule is out. I’m looking at Angels at Dodgers on Friday the 10th then Team USA in the WBC either Saturday or Sunday.
The WBC? Team USA keeps getting more and more stacked. An Ohtani led Japan will be tough. The DR is always tough. I can’t wait.
But if you are trying to combine Spring Training with the WBC expect huge crowds at games that weekend and book your lodgings early. Keep in mind places like Maryvale (Brewers) and Surprise (Rangers/Royals) and Goodyear (Reds/Guardians) rarely get packed.
Enjoy your weekend and try to stay cool. I’ll be staying cool in Crypto Arena for the Ruiz vs. Ortiz fight on Sunday. It should be a good card top to bottom for those wanting a break from baseball.
Link what I missed below.
Jeff thanks again for another well written Friday column – much appreciation 🤙🏼
Team USA will play spring training games against MLB too before the tournament- I didn’t see a tournament game in 2007 but I saw them play the Giants in Scottsdale- it was awesome!
On Mar 8, 2023 it’s USA v SF Giants in Scottsdale – that’s one I’ll target too
He’s never vetoed a trade as far as we know unlike YOU KNOW WHO who very much did!!!
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He sure took the advice “keep a stiff upper lip” literally.
Why would Andy, the kitchen services director at my work, be vetoing trades?
Because Andy had faith in the Wren Heefer
That’s not Andy, it’s ANDREW!!!!!
Oh. My. Gah. The Keyser Soze of making the 2nd most important baseball team in a major market fairly crappy has been under my nose this WHOLE TIME!
We are in 10th place now for the top 5 for lotto drafting. It’s just more fun rooting for the win especially against the MFY and Asstros, so for tonight GO ANGELS!
We need somebody else other than Perry to draft our top 6 picks.
He already sucks after just 2 yrs and his ridiculous 20 pitcher draft (most of them relievers BTW which was really ABSURD!!)
It would be cool to see Maitan actually make it to the MLB. Idk what his problem was, but I remember all the scouts calling him the “next Miggy.”
I think his biggest problem was being what? 16/18 years old?
He’s gotten a lot bigger, moved off SS (being 6′ 2″ and 210 lbs and not turning out to be a SS is a major fail I guess) and generally kinda whimpered through A ball levels. He has made really good progress over the season at AA, but that improvement is only to a .700 OPS with kind of meh play at 3B.
BUT he’s 22. He’s also very talented. It also isn’t hurting us at all having him in the system yet. I’d say they will probably give him another year at RC, see if we can cut a few errors out of that 3B work and raise that OPS by 100 points. He’s still so young, it’s really not unfathomable.
If he can hit, but he’s blocked up at the MLB, they will probably play him at 1B more.
Almost all Latin players are signed at that age including Big Papi Ortiz and the only exception was the “Tres” by the Astros (Jose Urquidy, Framber Valdez, and Luis Valdez in 2015 at age 20.)
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And? You have to actually make a point that connects to the comment you have replied to. That’s how this works Tootie.
So yes. Many LatAm players are signed young. Yes, those are some players who were signed young and were good who are different players from Maitan. No, those three young men from the Astros are not the only exception to LatAm players being signed by age 18. No, those three pitchers will never do a shower scene with you, even if you bring them up another 500 times.
What does this have to do with Maitan sucking when younger and doing better as he has gotten older, while still being 22 as apposed to, say 27?
Didn’t Josh Donaldson first break into the majors at 26 – and he won an MVP. Can be done.
We’re the YKW Angels not the A’s.
Jered Walsh is already a utility infielder here after last year’s great season and Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh are utility OF’s now. Just really deplorable!!!
😢 😥 💩 💩
Too many biases in your cognition here to count. Stick with emojis.
Mostly probably Matt Swanson’s scouts!!!
He’s been here for 5yrs and time to cut our losses and stop being SUNK COST morons. Reminds me of what Radio Sports talk shock jock Jim Rome used to call the Clippers and John “Hot Plate” Williams……..”The Phat Farm” in the 1990’s, for obvious reasons..
“I’m Matt Swanson, failed scouting director for the Angels. I got fired. But I still literally piss more baseball knowledge than you have in your entire head when I wake up in the morning. I can also string together more than six cogent thoughts a day and I can wear shoes without velcro. In all honesty, I’m just better than you. BYE!!!”
Shoes without Velcro 😂
Sketcher’s new Slip Ons
I’m really tempted to do ST and WBC. I’ve had a bunch of fun at ST before. Just not sure I want to commit all the costs associated with it yet. HH had a good ST guide. We should get one up here!
If February 16th is pitcher and catchers report day…only 166 days to go!! `;~}}
I will do another spring training guide. That was my first assignment at HH and I’ve been meaning to update it here.
Guess it’s good I booked our Airbnb for Spring Training yesterday. Did not realize the WBC was going on at the same time. Current plan is to catch an Angels game and a Cubs game.
As far as Ohtani, I understand the potential haul that the Angels could receive back in a trade. But I do not understand trading the staff ace unless it is known for sure he will not be re-signing.
One of first ST games was Angel at Cubs at HoHoKam. Place was a dump, but it was one hell of a fun dump.
Best ever was Cubs at Palm Springs and Harry sang, “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”
I know I’m showing my age but growing up in Chi-town,I never knew Harry Carry. The voice of the Cubs was Jack Brickhouse and to this day I would still prefer Jack
And I thought I was showing my age…YIKES!!!
Typo. One of *MY* first ST games…
Not sure I’ve forgiven my late dad for never taking me to an ST game in Palm Springs, especially when my grandparents lived there!
I love the remodeled HoHoKam. Just a great place to enjoy a day.
The old version was basically a neighborhood dive bar with a field. Tons of fun. Glad I hit it before I got sober.
My thought is that Perry would have that knowledge (whether or not they will extend him). Based on that knowledge, they should or shouldn’t trade him.
He would know based on 2 things. 1: Does Ohtani indicate an interest in staying? Perry probably knows much more than we do. 2: Can we meet his contract demands… and SHOULD we.
Based just on what we knew until recently, it seemed fairly obvious we should trade him. But the owner thing opened a whole new possibility. Can we get a new Daddy Moneybags owner who will not only show Ohtani the money, but also convince him that he’ll greatly improve the team?
This is the first time I’ve been online today, and I see everyone else read and commented on here like 13 hours ago, so I’m probably writing this massive response on my phone with 1 finger for 1 person to read….
Thanks guys, for at least throwing me a bone with 2 good GIFs
Did a USA vs. Mexico WBC game in Arizona years back. Mexico home game for sure, super fun.
Many years ago we did Japan vs Tulane game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Tulane was in town to play AZ & AZ State…Japan’s players were enthusiastic.
They did calisthenics between innings and all payed full attention during play!
Good morning, still feeling giddy from the Yankees series, me too. When you look at the numbers that this team has put up this season, I scratch my head and wonder how did we do that, how did we take 2 out of 3 against them? Grit…….I have never seen a team with so many hitters below .299 % on base pct….. And then look up the amount of walks we give up, smh……So here we go, the last leg of the season and there is still an outside chance of making the Lotto, but I doubt now that we can pull that off even. That’s what happens when we play the AL East and tattoo them, not Lotto for …. For those that drink the Kool-Aid and think that Rengifo should be a starter next year, in his breakout 2022 year he is under 30% on base pct. And he still makes to many mental and physical errors, but with that said he has come through time and time again with the bat….