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.
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.