May 2012

The Halo Has Risen: How the American League West Will Be Won

Eight in a row; which includes wins against the A’s, a sweep of the Mariners and a potential sweep against the Yankees depending on what happens tonight. I am not naive enough to say that it’s because of the firing of Mickey Hatcher, this is what we expected from the Halos from the beginning. The Angels’ offense has been on fire especially Mark Trumbo, “The Prince Fish” Mike Trout, Albert Pujols. The bullpen has been fortified since the acquisition of “Ernasty” Ernesto Frieri who has been on fire. The Angels are only 5 1/2 games back of the Texas Rangers who have been rumored to have signed Roy Oswalt.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks between the Angels and Rangers which are scheduled to meet Friday for a three-game series at Angel Stadium. Will bloggers and sportswriters point to this they series to explain how the American League West was won?

The Angels are hot with one glaring shortcoming, they have lost Jared Weaver for at least the next few weeks, he was put on the 15 day Disabled List with back issues. I think the individual come down to which team can stay healthy for the most part, however I also think that the Angels need to find a way to slow down Josh Hamilton not necessarily by pitching to his weaknesses rather make him uncomfortable, keeping them off balance, and make him adapt to the Angels style of pitching. That’s easier said than done; but I think it’s going to come down to who takes the psychological control of this battle.

It’ll be interesting to see how Oswalt will fit into the Rangers’ rotation will he fortify it or disrupt it? Either way, I believe this is the first piece of the puzzle that will determine how the American League West was won. It will be a combination of a lack of injuries, offensive firepower, defensive prowess, and pitching precision and alternately domination of the psychological game that is baseball.

-ICE

The Sleeping Giant with a Halo Has Awoken

Ladies and gentlemen, the giant silver back gorilla on the back of Albert Pujols has officially left the building! He hit his first Home Run today against the Toronto Blue Jays. This couldn’t have come at a better time, the Texas Rangers have started to hit what appears to be a natural slump. If Pujols can stay on track along with what the media is dubbing to be TNT (Trumbo and Trout) hitting for power the Angels should be just fine. Combine that with the acquisition of Ernesto Frieri who was acquired from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Alexi Amarista and Minor League right handed pitcher, the seven footer Donn Roach.

This is the sleeping giant that the Angels, its fan base, the franchise, and the baseball community was expecting. With the Texas Rangers losing today in a prospective win by the Angels (the game is still in progress with the Angels leading up to this point) the Angels can pull within 6 1/2 games of the Rangers by the end of the day.

The Angels have a road trip coming up against the struggling Minnesota Twins and “the showdown at sundown in Arlington” against the Rangers this upcoming weekend. This series is highlighted by a C. J. Wilson versus Yu Darvish who in twist of irony is facing a very pitcher that he replaced in the Texas rotation. If things go well for the Angels, slice this deficit significantly. The sleeping giant has awakened, the question now becomes can the giant stay awake long enough to win the World Series?

-ICE

Jared Weaver “Weaves” a No-Hitter

Yesterday morning I was formulating a blog entry that I was supposed to write before last night’s game. I was going to talk about mainly about the perceived turnaround that the Angels have been making, as well as a missed opportunity that I believe the Angels squandered with Jorge Cantú who chose to opt out of his contract because the Angels decided not to use him at the major league level.

However all that went out the window last night because Jared Weaver masterfully orchestrated a no-hitter! The first one at home since the combined no-hitter of Mike Witt and Mark Langston. It is also the second no-hitter in two consecutive years going back to last year when Ervin Santana produced a no-hitter against Cleveland last summer in Cleveland. This time the victim was the Minnesota Twins.

I believe that this one however in my eyes is much more special, for starters Jared Weaver is a local kid. He grew up a Dodgers’ fan went to a local university, he attended Long Beach State, he was also coached by his father during his formative Little League years so it was only fitting that his father, his mother, and his wife were present during this history making event. The no-hitter was in doubt to the very end, until the last fly ball of the ninth inning was caught by Torii Hunter to cement history. It’s a great time to be an Angels’ fan, we recently have hosted an All-Star game, celebrated our 50th anniversary, and now deservedly so we are celebrating a special player in Jared Weaver.

Congratulations to Jared Weaver, his friends and family, and the Angels fan base; together, we witnessed history, for those of you that missed it, I’ve included links to the videos provided courtesy of Major League Baseball and both my Facebook and Twitter feeds, enjoy! Go Angels!

-ICE

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