I stopped by the stadium this evening after I finished up work. It was a bit tough to focus on work today with the news this morning. I wore my black Angels hat and a black Angels shirt to see the tribute that fans have setup on the pitcher’s mound outside the stadium. I took some photos of the tribute.
Last night was the home opener at Angel Stadium. I was fortunate enough to take part in the on-field flag presentation during the National Anthem. I’ve done it about five times now and this was the first time that there was a flyover. I was at the bottom center of the flag and the planes flew right above us. It was very impressive. I lucked out and got a baseball from batting practice as well.
The game was great and Joe Saunders shut the team down. The relief corp did a great job as well keeping the A’s shutout. My friend mentioned what happened to that great hitting A’s team that we heard about. Unfortunately my answer was a bit prophetic. I told him wait until they face Moseley tomorrow. They had nine hits and three runs in six innings against him and the bullpen gave up the rest.
Tonight was Angels Hall of Fame blanket giveaway at the stadium. When I first arrived I noticed an Angel Legend standing by the Angels Wall of Fame. It was Jim Fregosi and I waited until he finished a cigarette to approach him and ask for an autograph. I had him sign my blanket and a baseball.
We had seats in the last row of the Upper View. They were probably the worst seats I’ve ever sat in at Angel Stadium. We were given the tickets for my son’s class. It’s quite a different perspective to in that area. The view of the game is not bad actually but I really don’t like being that high up in general. Unfortunately the Angels were comparable to the seats on this evening. The thing that really stood out from the game to me was Juan Rivera leaving five runners on base in his first two at-bats (bases loaded and runners at second and third). There was some drizzle tonight but luckily our bad seats were covered.
Tomorrow is opening day at Angel Stadium. I’m taking the day off work and will actually be watching the Ducks practice at the Honda Center in the morning and then make my way over to the Stadium. I am going to be holding the flag on the field during the National Anthem. It is always an honor to be a part of that.
Last night I attended the Padres-Angels preseason game. It was a good game but Brian Fuentes isn’t looking too spectacular. Angel fans have come to expect a lot out of their closer. We’ve been spoiled with Troy Percival and Francisco Rodriguez. Fuentes had pretty bad spring numbers and last night was the first time I’ve seen him pitch as an Angel in person.
Before the game I went to the stadium to see if I could get a couple of autographs from some 2002 World Series Champion members. I got Bud Black to sign his game-used 2003 ANAHEIM road jersey and David Eckstein signed his game-used Angels helmet and a game-used Anaheim Angels bat of his. I gave my iPhone to a guy to take a pic of Eckstein with me and the guy pushed the wrong button!
It was great to be back at the ballpark and I can’t wait for the season to begin. I’ll be at Angels games Mon, Tues, Wed, and Thurs. Thursday should be quite special with the Halos inducting Brian Downing and Chuck Finley into the Angels Hall of Fame.
Sports Illustrated broke the news today that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003. It should be interesting to see how A-ROID handles this. It’s been well documented that he has been in therapy already.
Below is a photo from Ring Night in 2003 when the Anaheim Angels received their 2002 World Series Championship rings. The photo is of myself with my son and daughter. My son is helping me hold up the “They’ve got A-Rod” sign and my daughter is holding up the “We’ve got A Ring” sign. This is the year that A-ROID tested positive for steroids but it wasn’t revealed until now. The funny thing is he still hasn’t won a championship ring.
I went to select-a-seat at Angel Stadium for season ticket holders. There are quite a few available seats this year and the Angels have relaxed some of their ticket add-on policies due to lack of demand.
They handed out promotional schedules with all of their materials. I’ve scanned the promotional schedule. Some notable nights are Ervin Santana and Mike Napoli bobblehead nights. There are a couple of retro nights and there is an Angels Military hat night. Below is the schedule:
Just like that the season is over. Erick Aybar not watching the ball make contact to his bat was the end of our season. Pitching Scot Shields for 2 innings in a park where he has a career ERA of over 13. It’s easy to critique the many mistakes the Angels made this year. Even such little things as not acquiring David Eckstein for the playoffs. He is a guy that would have watched the ball hit the bat during that squeeze play. I’ve seen him even throw the bat at the ball to protect the runner during a squeeze.
There are a number of moves to be made during the offseason. We’ve probably seen Frankie’s last game as an Angel. We may have seen Garret Anderson’s last game as an Angel as well. I don’t think Jon Garland is worth resigning and he may not have been worth trading for Cabrera. We definitely could have used Cabrera’s glove and clutch hitting in the postseason. There is an option for Vlad and it may be cheap but the guy is really not all that he is made up to be. He doesn’t deliver in the postseason because he swings at everything. He is a menace on the base paths and he isn’t a reliable right fielder. He has a strong arm but it is not necessarily accurate. If I had my choice, I would focus all efforts on resigning Teixeira. I am completely blown away by this guys performance. He is patient at the plate, a switch hitter, hits for power and average, and he is a gold glover on defense.
The Angels front office should make some additional moves this offseason as well. They are trying to copy the Red Sox with their singing of Sweet Caroline by singing “Build Me Up Buttercup” at the ballpark during the seventh inning. Does anyone not realize that this is the anthem for the team this year? Why do you build me up, just to let me down?
I’m also hoping that the city of Anaheim wins their appeal of the name change lawsuit. Arte Moreno has done a lot of great things with the team except for renaming them to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The team is not in Los Angeles county or city and the name change is an insult. The classic song Take Me Out To The Ballgame says to root for the home team but the Angels team isn’t even named after the home location. The Angels reside in Anaheim, a part of Orange County. He could have named the team something that everyone would identify with such as the older California Angels, Southern California Angels, or OC (Orange County) Angels but instead chose to opt for something he didn’t realize would be such an insult. Bud Selig should not have allowed this to happen and this is one of the few errors that he has made while commissioner. I find it very funny how MLB is so strict in enforcing their trademarks but they haven’t enforced anyone to use the proper name “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” on anything. You can find MLB sites with Los Angeles Angels and many tickets are sold at visiting parks with simply “Los Angeles Angels”. This is clearly a violation of the contract that was signed and I really hope that the proper name is restored to “Anaheim Angels”.
The matchups have been set. The games begin tomorrow. The postseason is such an adventure. You never know what players are going to perform well under the pressure of the postseason. Some players are clutch, some guys choke. I’m hoping that Mark Teixeira is one of the clutch guys. This will be his first postseason. He’s a guy that could be the LCS or WS MVP. One guy that hasn’t stepped up in the postseason is Chone Figgins. I’m hoping he gets his act together this year and maybe I’ll be able to use my tickets that are shown below:
I attended all three home games in Anaheim this weekend. I was hoping to see Francisco Rodriguez establish a new record for saves but unfortunately there were no save situations. Frankie was brought in on Saturday night in what may be his final regular season appearance as an Angel. Frankie ended the season with 62 saves. His last save was recorded on September 24th in Seattle.
Sunday the team won their 100th game of the season, surpassing the 2002 Angels record of 99 wins. It’s quite amazing to think that the 2002 Angels were the Wild Card in the American League and the 2008 Angels have one more victory and have the best record in the major leagues.
Tomorrow the Angels will host Rally Monday. Current and former players will be in attendance including Tim Salmon and Torii Hunter. Smashmouth will be performing. I will be in attendance as well.
Surprisingly the Angels playoff games this week start a bit later than I expected. The first game is at 7pm on Wednesday and game two of the ALDS is at 6:30pm on Friday. I will be participating in the on the field flag presentation during the National Anthem during game one. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the flag presentation for two opening days, September 11th, and this will be my second time during the playoffs.
Luckily the Halos aren’t looking to next year yet but their 2009 schedule is already available.
They are going to open the season at home in Anaheim on April 6th. Hopefully the Halos will be hoisting a World Series Championship banner that night 😉 The A’s will be in town for a four game series to start the season. The A.L. West will be playing against the N.L. West in Interleague games next year. The Padres and Rockies will play in Anaheim in addition to the annual visit by the Dodgers.
What an exciting homestand it was in Anaheim this past week. I was at all of these games except the day game on Wednesday. If they would have had the chance to clinch with the win only (not have to wait for Rangers to lose later) then I would have made an effort to be there.
- Monday – The Halos clobbered the Yankees and there was a benchclearing brawl.
- Wednesday – The Angels beat the Yanks and then waited until the Rangers lost and celebrated their clinch of the AL West Division. The earliest it’s been done in the West.
- Thursday – I was able to hold the flag on the field for the National Anthem and caught a ball during BP that Ichiro hit. A nice souvenir from the game in which Francisco Rodriguez tied the major league saves record.
- Friday – Mike Napoli hits a two-run walkoff shot in the bottom of the ninth.
- Saturday – Francisco Rodriguez breaks the all-time single season saves record.
- Sunday – Chone Figgins hits a walkoff hit to score Sean Rodriguez.