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.
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.