At noon tomorrow, the Angels play a game against the Seattle Mariners in Peoria, kicking off the 2023 Cactus League season. On Sunday, the halos take on the White Sox from Tempe Diablo in a game televised by Bally SoCal.
Here’s a list of the complete broadcast schedule for the Angels 2023 Cactus League games.
This is assuming, of course, that Bally’s is still operating in three weeks. Their parent company, Diamond Sports LLC missed a $140 payment to teams on February 15th and is now 9 days in to a 30 day grace period with a likely bankruptcy filing on the other end.
MLB is closely monitoring the situation. And while all this sound ominous, The Athletic posted a great piece on just how likely we are to still watch all our beloved baseball games. Meanwhile typical punching bag Rob Manfred dropped this great plan:
“I hope we get to the point where on the digital side, when you go to MLB.TV, you can buy whatever the heck you want,” Manfred said Feb. 16. “You can buy the out-of-market package. You can buy the local games, you can buy two sets of local games — whatever you want. I mean, that is, to me, the definition of what is going to be a valuable digital offering going forward.”
One common sense solution I’ve read is to add $50 to the MLB.TV cost if you want to include local games. That equates to the $4 per month or so the regional sports networks typically get from your cable or satellite bill and those funds would be given to the local networks. No lost revenue for the content providers plus more content for the fans is a solid win/win.
If I could pay $200 for a year of MLB.TV including the Angels, I’d almost certainly cut my $80 per month Spectrum bill or at least cut it to the bare bones.
But all this talk about serious stuff is getting in the way of the fun, and Spring baseball is all about fun. Like this:
It is no fun taking your friend deep during practice unless you give him a little ribbing.
Meanwhile take a look at this nice balanced swing by David Fletcher:
For those of you fretting about Angels pitchers getting rocked, this is live batting practice. Pitchers are just getting loose, not trying to get guys out.
One of the few position battles in camp is on the pitching side. The Angels might’ve found the guy for their sixth starter/swingman role. I do think Barria is a good call. He can be stashed in the bullpen and go multiple innings a couple of times when we don’t need a sixth starter then start as needed.
One guy hoping to land a big league spot is Griffin Canning, who is a full go at camp.
Meanwhile the bullpen is a work in progress but might get some serious help soon.
Really, Jeff Fletcher is a great resource this time of year and is putting out comprehensive Spring Training coverage that is much more accessible than content on The Athletic.
In that piece Fletcher notes that Chris Rodriguez is being brought along slowly and that Brandon Guyer has been added as a mental strength coach.
Many of these topics were also covered by MLBTR.
One guy I hope joins the ranks of Angels pitchers in a few years is Jrrangelo Cijntje (we’ll need a nickname), an ambidextrous pitcher who hits upper 90s.
And who doesn’t love a well turned double play?
A familiar face is walking around Tempe Diablo and the back fields: Albert Pujols. He’s honoring his contract as a special assistant, much to the pleasure of Mike Trout and others.
My two pennies: I’ve long thought that college coaches sell the dad/family as much as the player. Having Albert representing the Angels in the DR can only help. If my kid was 15 and a living legend was going to be checking in on him, I know where I’d tell him to go.
From around the league:
One guy who always seemed to have fun playing the game is Kole Calhoun. We won’t see him tomorrow, but could be seeing him in future games against the Mariners.
A very interesting story is developing in Philly where the ultra talented Noah Song is clear to play after being taken off the active duty list. Song has been busy serving in the Navy and hasn’t pitched in a competitive game since 2019.
All the new rules this year means the umpires will need new hand signals. Here’s your primer.
Enjoy your blustery weekend and link what I missed. There is some weather expected in Phoenix on Sunday, but hopefully we get to watch the Angels in action that day.