LA Angels Weekend News Crash: Baseball is Back!

February 14th was a day of love, spring air, and optimism as we celebrated the most precious of holidays: pitchers and catchers reporting to camp.

By this time next week we’ll be adjusting our schedules to watch the Angels take on the Mariners and White Sox. Here’s a complete Spring Training schedule for the Halos with game times and locations. And I already have game threads queued up for the full preseason.

Between all the new faces and World Baseball Classic, this Spring Training will be a little different than in years past. Here’s what to watch for as camp opens.

All eyes will be on Shohei Ohtani this year. Press lined up for hours outside the Angels offices in Tempe just to get a picture of him walking into camp.

The media circus will only grow as the year wears on. First Ohtani will suit up for his native Japan in the World Baseball Classic. Then his full Japanese media entourage will follow him here where all the local and national media will focus on his impending free agency.

Fortunately the Angels have an inside man who will do everything he can to convince Ohtani to stay.

I’m going to say a vintage Mike Trout season where he genuinely challenges Ohtani for MVP would be the best place to start.

As good as Trout and Ohtani have already been, some of the new rule changes could make them even better. SI is predicting baseball is about to become a lot more exciting and I hope they are right.

I’ve said it here countless times, but a well executed hit and run is pure beauty in my eyes. It incorporates speed and precision, creates movement across the entire playing field, and ends with the drama of “will he make it to third?” I’ll gladly take more base runners, more base running, and more defensive gems.

Trout and Ohtani clearly represent the ceiling of MLB talent. We’ve spent the last few years hoping the Angels would raise the floor beneath them. FanGraphs did a deep dive into how raising the floor is affecting free agency.

There is good news out of Tempe. The Angels added Matt Moore on a one year deal.

To make room for Moore, friend of the site Davis Daniel was placed on the IL with a shoulder injury.

And while the Renfroe arbitration numbers still aren’t out, Luis Rengifo did win his arbitration case against the Angels.

Along with the pops of baseballs hitting gloves in mid February comes an endless stream of predictions and prognostications. Could the Angels be this year’s 2022 Phillies? Yahoo seems to think so.

That same piece lists the Yankees as the team most likely to be this year’s 2022 White Sox. The Bronx Bombers aren’t off to a good start as Frankie Montas needs more work on his shoulder and could very well miss the entire season.

And in the “cry me a river” category FanGraphs is saying Gerrit “SpiderTack” Cole is under rated. I’ll eat some crow here. I really thought he’d turn back into Pittsburgh Cole after his stick icky was taken away but he’s been much better than that.

Remember all that bluster from Roid Sux fans when a club employee wrote the Mitchell Report and didn’t name a single bahstun guy as a roider? A similar story is playing out in LA with regards to sign stealing.

After lots of rumor and innuendo over the years, the Dodgers are being accused of using video to steal signs. Their scheme seems more in line with the Yanks and Roid Sux relaying signs from second base than a full on trash can fiasco, but the Dodgers were among the best teams in the league while sign stealing was rampant.

And we know they had the biggest uptick in spin rate next to Houston when SpiderTack became a thing.

Conveniently, the Dodgers spin rate has declined the most across baseball since MLB started their crackdown on the stick icky.

I mentioned the WBC. Here’s a great primer on the rosters, the tournament, and some cool trivia. Really the best summary I’ve found thus far.

But my headline says baseball is back and I haven’t linked any actual baseball.

NCAA play kicks off nationwide today. Top 25 lists are all over my feed and some West Coast teams, particularly Stanford, are getting some love.

Cal State Fullerton hosts that juggernaut Stanford team for a three game set this weekend.

Additionally, the Dirtbags host Wichita State and UC Irvine plays a home series against Tulane.

The odds of me catching a live game this weekend are pretty high. Get the family out for some small stadium fun in the sun if you can.

I don’t link the Athletic much because of the paywall, but they did a great job with an NCAA coaches roundtable that is worth a link.

On a sad note, RIP to Tim McCarver. He was a baseball lifer and called many of the biggest moments of the game. That’s your longform read for the weekend. Really great piece there.

Have a great holiday weekend. Squeeze in that extra family time before the Angels start up next week. If you’re going to a college game this weekend, hit me up.

Meanwhile link what I missed below.

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Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

The Angels now have the highest payroll of any team that is still below the the lowest CBT threshold of $233 Million. According to Roster Resource, They have 3rd highest payroll in the American League and the 8th highest of any Major League team:

Mets. $355,053,333
Yankees $292,481,667
Padres $272,165,357
Blue Jays $250,461,786
Doyers. $244,399,125
Phillies $243,377,855
Braves $240,115,834
Angels. $226,751,667
Cubs $224,959,048
Rangers $220,739,167

When was the last time both the Redsox and the Giants weren’t in the top 10 of MLB payroll? But despite the Angels record setting payroll they’re still not in the top 25% of all major league teams.

2GA2Join
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

So you’re saying that we still have over $6MM that we can spend? Come on Perry, get going

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
1 year ago

I was thinking about Damian Lillard winning the 3 point contest…’cause, you know, he plays here in Portland, and how there didn’t use to be 3 pointers. That’s an incredibly radical rule change. That and the 24 second clock are major changes to the game.

That relates to baseball. They changed the ball, way back when and the game changed dramatically. So if I think about it rationally I’m gonna have to just go with whatever Manfred says. Games evolve.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

I assume You were ok when they changed the rules and decided to cut the bottom out of the peach basket then?

Twebur
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

old school..
“Back in the day when we didn’t” know what load management was.
“Back in the day when we didn’t” need to hear about players legacy and brand.
“Back in the day when we didn’t need to hear how the Clippers are good.
”Back in the day when we didn’t need to be scolded by coaches about “stuff”.

Twebur
Legend
1 year ago

Even Cal Worthington knew it was time to sell….but not Evil Arte..
https://abc7.com/cal-worthington-commercials-ford-long-beach-car-dealership/12834566/

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

Elvis Andrus off the board, took 3M to play 2B for ChiSox. Lamentate away.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

With all the other acquisitions this year, There was no room in the building for Elvis unless the Angels wanted to option David Fletcher to AAA and that wasn’t going to happen

2GA2Join
Super Member
1 year ago

I didn’t really want to sign him, but part of me was kind of wondering if we should have signed him as our last resort for having a SS, instead of just sticking with what we have. Because I still don’t think that rolling what we have is a good idea, unless we go with Soto and he is able to play at a high level consistently. Fletcher, Rengifo… not shortstops.

red floyd
Legend
1 year ago

I guess he didn’t leave the building.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Gauchos are starting up. Foresters soon too. Small time ball is great fun.

RexFregosi
Super Member
1 year ago

Here are pictures from Sunday. Didn’t see any position players, just pitchers and catchers again. Arte maybe just dropped in to see his new bullpen.

Last edited 1 year ago by RexFregosi
Mia
Legend
Mia
1 year ago

According to the Athletic, Bachman has his velo back. Excited to see him in game action in Arizona.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mia
Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Mia

Here’s some video. His fastball sounds fast.

https://twitter.com/JeffFletcherOCR/status/1627012326791729153

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Mia

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Mia
Legend
Mia
1 year ago

Just missing the bald eagle screeching

FungoAle
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Mia

He’d be a welcome addition to the back end of the pen

Twebur
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  FungoAle

Let’s hope his “back” doesn’t put him in the background and back on the DL…and hope he can keep all of his ribs.

Walsh down one rib, prefers them with dry rub and smoked.
https://www.mlb.com/news/jared-walsh-hopes-to-return-to-all-star-form-after-surgery

WallyChuckChili
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Twebur

comment image

Mia
Legend
Mia
1 year ago
Reply to  FungoAle

Sure, but I think they still want him to start. Maybe a second half addition for a playoff run.

red floyd
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Mia

I guess he was able to take care of business and put it into overdrive.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  red floyd

Hopefully now hes healthy enough to let it ride

max
Trusted Member
max
1 year ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

oh you aint seen nothun yet

Mia
Legend
Mia
1 year ago
Reply to  red floyd

This is one of those songs i’ve heard a million times and never knew who sang it. Had to google that one.

RexFregosi
Super Member
1 year ago

Here’s pictures from today which are mostly the same players as yesterday but now with Sam Bachman who brings gear, Tyler Anderson, and an Anthony Rendon sighting.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

thanks. Another great set! I need a roster listing so I can identify some of the guys. I guess this will do for now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Los_Angeles_Angels_roster

FungoAle
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Nice photos, I can smell the freshly cut grass. Great part of the year.

WallyChuckChili
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

What time to they start in the morning?

RexFregosi
Super Member
1 year ago

Around 10, it varies

WallyChuckChili
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Thanks

WallyChuckChili
Legend
1 year ago

Renfroe wins arbitration $11.9m instead of $11.25m

Gio loses $8.4m instead of $10m

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Fansince1971
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Means Arte is eating Mac and cheese for the next 30 days

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Arte will pay $20.3mil instead of $21.25m so he’s probably happy about it. Seriously, if I just saved $950,000 I’d be excited!

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

But he had to pay out an extra 300K on the ex Venezuelan fugitive yesterday.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

Yeah, but if you’re a billionaire you just burn that money starting your gas fire pit. Cause that’s what people who are ultra good with money do. They don’t give a shit about money.

Rallymanatee
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Glad to hear Nevin elaborating even more on this. Sounds pretty official that they’ll tend towards a 5 man rotation. More Ohtani! https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2023/02/angels-looking-to-increase-workload-for-top-starters.html

FungoAle
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Rallymanatee

I like it. Less Davidson and more Shohei. As it’s his last contract year in Anaheim, Ohtani should have no innings constraints.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  FungoAle

OK. You seem really hung up on Tucker Davidson. Wanna show us on the bear where he touched you? Cause there’s got to be more to it than just the fact that a 26 year old with less than 100 total innings has trouble finding the strike zone.

I mean Heyzoos Christo man. If anyone mentions pitching at all you have to bring him up. It’s almost enough to make me root for the poor slob.

TuckTuck D. Cy Young in 23 baby!

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Yeah. I know he’s horrible. You know what else he is? A guy that pretty much no one in Angelsville has mentioned in months. Maybe he’s been listed by some Angels guy as a player who exists, that’s about it. Other than that, no news. Nothing’s changed. As far as we know, unless he is lights out all spring, dude’s on waivers the second week of March. So why fixate on the guy like he’s your breast cancer diagnosis?

It’s not like they came out and declared he’s the #6 guy or something. In fact, he may be so bad he makes it through waivers and ends up in SLC. Which most normal people will also take note of and then forget/ignore for the rest of their lives.

2002heaven
Super Member
1 year ago

The cheaters main characters (Jeff Luhnow, AJ Hinch, Alex Cora) aren’t even there anymore and yet 80%er Green Eyed Nation still marinates in it……LOL. BTW you don’t know the secret to their success and I ain’t divulging what I know because I can see it and you cretins can’t. Not gonna read a stupid BS book about their improprieties either, BECAUSE IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER!

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  2002heaven

Not gonna read a stupid BS book about their improprieties either,

Wait Toots I thought you committed to us all that you wouldn’t respond to any of our replies? So now you’re just lying to us all? Your mommy aint going to be very happy with you.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

So which one of them new muscles is going to help Jo hit the curveball?

https://twitter.com/JeffFletcherOCR/status/1626639643461705728

Twebur
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Can he pitch?

Looks like the infrequent times he gets ahold of one this year…..it will go a little farther and faster.

2002heaven
Super Member
1 year ago

comment image
I’ve figured out THE WAY OF THE ASTROS and why the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Braves will never catch them, no matter how high these teams raise their payrolls.
Que Vic “The Brick” Jacobs from AM 570 gong sound effect!!

red floyd
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  2002heaven

I noticed you left Jerry’s Kids off of the list.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  2002heaven

Hey Toots, Assuming you are capable of reading a book without cartoons or pictures, If You want to figure out THE WAY OF THE ASTROS Read:

https://www.amazon.com/Winning-Fixes-Everything-Houston-Astros/dp/006304904X

You’ll get the whole story about how admired and respected the disgraced GM and their winning Owner are in the baseball world. Of course after reading this book, despite not being the winning Astros Dynasty, incompetent winless Evil Arte doesn’t really seem so bad.

Mikeal1st
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Does Bally Sports Plus steaming app show the Angels games?
An article I read says you can subscribe for $20 a month/$190 a year but CordCutternews.com doesn’t have it listed.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Mikeal1st

Probably includes local blackouts. Cause why have a system that actually works the way people want?

DowningDude
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Mikeal1st

I’d buy it

Fansince1971
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  DowningDude

My suggestion is to go month to month. You may not be that interested by the All Star break.

ihearhowie3.0
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Mikeal1st

Sounds like part of Bally bankruptcy would be MLB putting local games on MLB.tv streaming which would be kind of amazing news for cord cutting.

clover_black
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Mikeal1st

Bally probably isn’t gonna be around much longer so I’d go month to month.

I get the mlb.tv package and use a vpn to bypass blackouts.

Rallymanatee
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  clover_black

What VPN site do you recommend?

clover_black
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Rallymanatee

unlocator (dot) com

It’s actually their Smart DNS that I use. They have setup guides for multiple platforms and I believe free trial.

I do use Private Internet Access for a VPN but the smart DNS is better imho for streaming.

Rallymanatee
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  clover_black

Thanks for the tip

clover_black
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Rallymanatee

Just looked into it and Private Internet Access offers free smart DNS included with their VPN.

Lol, I’ve been paying Unlocator all these years during baseball season.

Ah well. Good to know.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Mikeal1st
Trusted Member
1 year ago

I loved that SI article and hope the rule changes do bring back a more human than analytic type of play. I miss it, and if the stats hold up with lefties… OOOOOOhtani! Wait, is Judge a left hander? The article also explains why I have no interest in soccer.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

MOAR STEELZ!

RexFregosi
Super Member
1 year ago

Here are pictures from today from Tempe

Catchers were throwing to bases early as a group. Some early interviews, then pitchers warmed up. The DH decided to warm up with the pitchers so that was cool especially to see him having fun with them. Can’t see the Anaheim infield but got a look at the SLC infield. and Moore.

tanana40
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Thanks Rex, I look for these every year. Much appreciated.

Rallymanatee
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Thanks Rex. Those are bringing my soul out of hibernation.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

This is interesting. https://twitter.com/JeffFletcherOCR/status/1626631544872833025 When was the last time the Angels were open to new ideas and bringing in outside coaching consultants?

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Cowboy26

Well. 2018 through now.

I am really liking the Axelrod/Hezel/Wise pitching braintrust. I’m also glad that the team sees the value in bringing in a guy who has already worked with 2/12th of our position player roster. Seems like Thames and Plantier are openminded as well. Most good, it seems Arte is continuing to let PTP gather his nerd force. That’s the most important thing, Arte is staying in his lane on all this.

Fansince1971
Legend
1 year ago

This just in – Carpino appointed ‘Master of Pitching’ and Kuhl ‘king of Hitting’. All decisions to be run by them. All coaches report to them. Carpino’s big idea is less spin rate more speed. Kuhl says ‘swing for the fences’ – marketing department likes HRs!

Last edited 1 year ago by Fansince1971
gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Fansince1971

Everyone digs hot chicks
Hot chicks dig the long ball
Plan complete

red floyd
Legend
1 year ago

Pain heals
Chicks dig scars
Glory lasts forever
comment image

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

Machado is opting out. Let the golden unicorn paper champ dreams begin. We can sign him and have him play short. And extend Ohtani. Then trade for DeGrom and sign Nola. Then all we have to do is cut Iphigenia’s throat on a local beach and I think Arte will have shown enough championshit committness to satisfy absolutely no one.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

NO JEFF! SIGN EVERYONE! 10/500! CHAMPIHAM SANDWICH!

comment image

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

After Rendon wins the MVP award this year , Perry can trade him to the Mets for 2 of their top prospects so Billy can fill the hole left by losing Correa.

Then we can take the money and resign Shohei and pick up his young apprentice Roki Sasaki .

If we want to sign machado to play 3B I’m ok with that but he better not get into Zach Neto’s way.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Cowboy26

If we get an owner who is committed to winning and whining then he will force the MLB to allow what we will call Twozees. Then we can pay both Rendon and Machado and also Amed Rosario but we will pay the twozee fee so that those three PLUS Neto can play at the same time on the left side of the field. Owner won’t care because billionaires get rich by just pissing away millions that they didn’t even realize were there.

MarineLayer
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

That would be SO Arturo. I bet he does it.

HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
1 year ago

We should be able to add Soto and Burnes too.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

Amen.

red floyd
Legend
1 year ago

Burnes?

comment image

Designerguy
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  red floyd

They’re not booing. They’re saying “Boo Urns.”

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  red floyd

Burns?comment image

WallyChuckChili
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

He can also become 18 again

Fansince1971
Legend
1 year ago

Take it to warp speed! $500m payroll or bust!!

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Fansince1971

Wuss. If you were a true Angels fan you’d say 700M.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
1 year ago

forget M. We want B.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

That’s the spirit. No dream is too big when you just have to demand someone do it for you.

LanaBanana
Super Member
1 year ago

Are all of the spring training games not on TV this year?
According to my schedule for the first week the games on Feb. 25, 27, 28, and March 2 are not televised.

LanaBanana
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Ok, so mostly just not the first week.

LanaBanana
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I know. That’s concerning.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Here’s the thing. I think MLB will likely let Bally “owe them” and will cover any payroll trouble Bally teams have while this gets ironed out.

I mean, do you really see THE MLB, or even most teams on their own, setting up broadcast and content departments at this point for this year?

What they’ll do is “Expos” the broadcast costs and let Bally keep doing it, then play like Bally or who ever buys Bally will pay them back. The big concern being if this leads to weird mid-season spending freezes, Zoom broadcasts and nobody taking care of the possum army that has conquered the Oakland Coliseum.

Twebur
Legend
1 year ago

Some info here….possibly if needed MLB Network would cover the games.

https://www.sportingnews.com/us/mlb/news/mlb-broadcasting-2023-bally-sports-bankruptcy/vk3nf9igd7ph49m9tfckj0o5

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Yeah. This looks about right to me.

Fansince1971
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

$80 per month? That’s like 1998 prices. My cable bill is like $220 per month. Add streaming on top and it’s like $275!

Simba
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Sounds like you are paying for a lot of extras. I had a Charter/Spectrum stream only package for $35 last season that included Bally, but got annoyed at the fake surcharge fees for carrying the over the air channels, and cancelled. I think it was $20-$30 for just the public airwave channels. Haven’t decided what to do this season, would love to just pay $200 for MLB TV if that got me the Angels season.

ScoopleDoople
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  LanaBanana

Oh I just saw that too 🙁 I’ll have to change my Outlook calendar. I love those day Spring Training games.

Last edited 1 year ago by ScoopleDoople
Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  ScoopleDoople

Especially if Manfraud becomes the new MLB director of programming

Biggiswrth
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Dirtbag opening weekend. Hope to hear a lot of Back in Black in these games!!