Today I was able to attend a luncheon at the O.C. Register with Tim Salmon. Tim hosts a luncheon for the sponsors of his golf tournament and the directors of the charities that are involved. The O.C. Register is one of the sponsors and hosted the event. They had a table for Register Insiders. Tim spoke, held a Q&A, and then signed autographs/posed for photos. Below is a photo of Tim and I at the event.
Tim provided us all signed copies of his new book “Always an Angel: Playing the Game with Fire and Faith”. He spoke about what he has been up to lately. He’s been coaching his kids in sports and he went back to college to finish up his degree. He also discussed the process of writing the book. The version of the book that we received is the revised version. He wasn’t happy with the initial release. He said there were too many typographical errors that were missed in the editing process.
Tim said that he will finally be playing in his first all-star game this year. He’ll be participating in the Celebrity Softball game during the All-Star festivities at Angel Stadium. He said he is quite nervous because he participated in the Pepsi Softball Charity game held during the offseason years back. It was quite difficult for him to wait on the ball and according to him it was like the cartoons where they swing 3 times and they’re out before the ball even gets there. That being said he is still looking forward to the event.
I asked him if he found it odd to see Garret Anderson in a Dodgers uniform. He said last year is when it was really odd to see Garret in another teams uniform for the first time. He said that it was a very interesting offseason and that a lot of the older players couldn’t really make the money they were seeking. Garret was looking to play full-time still or he may have been able to land the same role he did as an Angel instead of being a Dodger.
It was a great event and I got several things signed for my collection. At least the Salmon event was something positive going on that was Angels related today as the Halos themselves lost their seventh consecutive game. Hopefully things turn around quickly or the only thing we’ll have to look forward to in Anaheim this year is the All-Star Game.
Well the season began a week ago today. It was quite a thrilling start. I was on the field to hold the flag for the National Anthem with my wife and several friends. We were holding the flag closest to the infield near the center of the flag. The flyover flew directly above us and was quite breathtaking.
The game itself proved to be a great one as well. The team looked great and Matsui was a hit. He even had a group of fans holding up signs in right field that spelled “Matsuiland”.
Below is an image my son snapped of Matsui hitting his home run on Opening Day.
We had great seats and a great time at Opening Day. Below is a photo of us in our seats.
Unfortunately there weren’t many other victories on the homestand. We were part of the Angels’ Guiness World Record for largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets. I was also at the only other victory on the seven game homestand. It was an exciting walkoff by Matsui against the A’s but it shouldn’t have needed to be won in that fashion. Our bullpen has looked quite shaky after a great initial start. So the Angels start the season 2-5 and next play three in New York.
If it weren’t already bad enough that the Angels will travel the most miles of any team in the majors, they also have to witness the Yankees championship ring ceremony. I think the schedule makers were a bit cruel to our beloved Halos.
On a more positive note, my wife won one of five All-Star Fan Fest Golden Tickets that were hidden in 5 different locations on April 9th. They have posted video at http://www.allstargame.com. Click here for a direct link. Here is what she won with the Golden Ticket:
- 4 tickets to all 5 days of All-Star FanFest, which will be held from July 9, 2010 to July 13, 2010 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California
- Vouchers for 20 Holiday Inn Priority Passes, each of which enables the holder to proceed to the front of the line of certain FanFest attractions.
- Vouchers that can be redeemed at FanFest for four (4) hot dogs and four (4) twelve ounce soft drinks.
- A voucher that can be exchanged at the 2010 FanFest for a baseball autographed by Torii Hunter.
Baseball is back! The season begins tonight as the Red Sox host the defending World Champion New York Yankees. Unfortunately I think the Angels were a Fuentes 0-2 pitch away from being the defending World Champions this season. If Fuentes would have done what most little leaguers are instructed to do on an 0-2 count instead of giving A-Roid a pitch that he could clobber, the Halos would have come back to Anaheim for 3 games with a 1-1 split in New York. The Halos former closer Francisco Rodriguez would always throw his slider in the dirt on an 0-2 pitch. How I would have loved to have seen him doing that instead of Fuentes grooving one. My son even commented “I wonder who misses who more, Frankie the Angels or the Angels missing Frankie”.
Tomorrow night is the Angels season opener so it is time to move past what could have been last season. Opening Day is a special day for every team (well maybe not the Pirates, j/k). Tomorrow I’ll be participating in the flag ceremony on the field as I’ve done for many years now. It is a tradition carried on by the friends and family of my high school classmate Steve Ambriz. He was an Orange City Council member that was tragically killed by a driver under the influence on May 25, 2006.
I’ve got a five day weekend to celebrate the start of the season. I attended the two preseason games in Anaheim this week. On Thursday, my mother took me into a suite for Wells Fargo for the game against the Padres. We got autographs after the game from former Angel David Eckstein. On Friday, I had a tailgate with a classmate that I’ve known since elementary school. My son got a ball at the game which he was quite thrilled with.
I’m looking forward to the 2010 season. I was disappointed that the Halos let Lackey go. He has such a great pitching mentality. He is quite a gamer as illustrated by his reluctance to leave ALCS game 5 last year. I think the Halos made the right decisions with regards to Vladimir Guerrero and Chone Figgins. Figgins has been a complete disappointment in the postseason and he is now on a team where it won’t matter 🙂 I am excited to see what Brandon Wood can do this year and hopefully Kendry Morales can meet or exceed what he did last season.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my blog so there are a couple of offseason things that I want to update. In January, my friend Tom Duino ‘s wife Kathleen baked him a cake for his birthday. It is quite an impressive cake so I had to share it.
Another event that happened during the offseason was a visit to our little league fields from my favorite Halo player, Darin Erstad. Darin spent a couple of hours going to all of our fields and meeting with all of the players. He had signed photos that he handed out and he signed everything that the kids brought for him to sign. He posed for photos and everyone really enjoyed his visit. It was pretty amazing that he took the time for the kids and I couldn’t believe he brought 350 autographed photos for all of the players. They were all signed with his name and an inscription of “’02 WS Champs”. He also was kind enough to bring me a bat that he used when he was on the Angels. Darin is as great a guy off the field as he was on the field. Below are some photos from that day.
I received a copy of the 2010 Angels Promotional Schedule already. There are some great promotions for the upcoming season. Some of the more interesting include a couple of bobblehead nights (Aybar, Saunders, and a Kids Angels Snoopy bobblehead), a Torii Hunter Gold Glove figurine, an Angels garden gnome, an Angels candy jar, an all-star banner, and an Angels fedora. The kids get some pretty interesting giveaways that are strictly for kids including a pool raft, a Rally Monkey soap dispenser, an Angels pillow case, a camouflage hat, and an all-star jersey.
I created a PDF of the promotional schedule and it also include the 2010 season schedule for the Angels on page 2. Click here to download it.
The Angels have traded Gary Matthews Jr. to the Mets for reliever Brian Stokes. The Matthews signing was a terrible move by the Angels. I voiced my displeasure to anyone that would listen from the day it occurred. Unfortunately it sounds as though the Angels are going to be paying $21 million of the $23 million remaining on his contract.
I mentioned the trade and what a bad signing it was on Facebook today and one of my friends commented about Mo Vaughn being the worst Angels signing ever. Mo actually had two 30+ HR seasons for us but basically his signing will be remembered as a flop as well.
Ironically we traded Mo Vaughn to the Mets for a pitcher as well. We traded him for Kevin Appier before the 2002 season began. It was funny that Mo and Troy Percival exchanged words in the media after Mo’s departure. Percival stated that Erstad was the clubhouse leader and Vaughn’s leadership wouldn’t be missed. Mo shot back that they haven’t done anything, there ain’t no friggin’ flags at Edison Field. That first season without Mo changed that. The Angels of course did win the World Series that year, something that Mo never accomplished.
The Mets were also involved in what was undoubtedly the best ever trade in Angels franchise history. The Angels traded Jim Fregosi for Nolan Ryan. So perhaps it is a good omen that the Angels are making this trade with the Mets. Only time will tell.
It appears that there will be new batting practice caps for all MLB teams in 2010. I’m not sure why but the Yankees, Tigers, and Devil Rays have home and road variations. Click here to see all of the new caps.
Click here to go to the new Angels BP cap order link on mlb.com. Below is a photo of the new cap:
My wife called me home from work today because our game room was flooded with water. The second of three storms came through today and it was quite powerful. Tornado warnings were even issued which is a rarity in this area. I got off of the freeway and drove until I had to stop at a stoplight. I looked to my left and there was a full rainbow above the Big A. I grabbed my iPhone and took a quick snap. Below is the photo:
The Big A at Angel Stadium had a tribute up to Rory Markas today. Below is a photo I took while heading to the Anaheim Ducks game.
The Anaheim Ducks had a tribute on the scoreboard just before the Ducks-Red Wings game with a moment of silence and the following image:
Rory Markas, an Angels radio broadcaster when the Angels won the 2002 World Series has passed away. He was 54 years old. He had just been promoted to the television broadcast booth this offseason.
Rory’s famous call of the last out of the 2002 World Series: “Here’s the pitch to Lofton. Fly ball centerfield. Erstad says he’s got it. Erstad makes the catch. The Anaheim Angels are the champions of baseball”. The audio clip of this was immortalized in the Angels Talking Bottle Opener.
I’ve seen Rory interact with fans many times over the years and he was always a class act. It was very obvious how thankful he was to be in the position that he was. He was a great talent and will truly be missed.
I imagine that the Angels will probably wear a patch on their uniforms to commemorate Rory this upcoming season. Below is a design I put together that I think would be a fitting tribute. I added a little extra glow around the Halo. I think the patch should be rectangular to differentiate it from the diamond patch for Preston Gomez and the circular patch for Nick Adenhart that were worn on the 2009 Angels uniforms.
ESPN Magazine annually ranks the best franchises in all of the major sports (NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB). This Friday the issue will be coming out that ranks the Angels as the number one value in all of the professional sports. The Angels have been in the top 10 the last four years. Last year they ranked in number 6 and were outranked by the Anaheim Ducks who came in at number 5.