Results tagged ‘ Christmas ’

The Halo Is Charged, Will It Finally Shine?

As an Orange County native, I am privileged to have a baseball team to call my own, when I was a child I remember passing by Angel Stadium and being absolutely awestruck at the engineering marvel that it was, and still is. As a child, one doesn’t see the stadium as an adult. All one sees as a child is a big building where baseball players play baseball. A child doesn’t really understand the connections a team may have to its community, city, or fan base; they don’t really understand the identity that a city may have with a certain team and how that team represents that particular city to the rest of the world.

 

That’s what Angel Stadium is for Orange County, a world representative of Orange County’s identity, culture, and location. Orange County is not Los Angeles and it is not San Diego, we stand on our own. This is why it was important to Angels’ fans like me that the Angels stay in Anaheim and not move to Los Angeles or Long Beach. Angel Stadium is the heartbeat of the Orange County baseball fan, simply because we are not Los Angeles, and moving the Angels to Los Angeles would have meant living in the Dodgers shadow from that point on.

 

The Angels agreed to stay in Anaheim through the 2050 season. As part of the agreement, the Angels will buy Angel Stadium for 325,000,000 dollars. It was quite a Christmas gift for Angels’ fans like me. I’m glad they are staying, however I am concerned. Angel Stadium will no longer be city the property, which means that Stadium security will no longer be the responsibility of the Anaheim Police Department and it will be more than likely the responsibility of a private security firm. How is that going to change the fan experience for Angels’ fans and visitors? This will inevitably delay the response of police officers during an emergency since they will no longer be on site as part of stadium security.

 

These particular questions don’t take away from the excitement that I feel knowing that I will be a senior citizen before the Angels talk about moving again, it is a great feeling to know that my team is staying home; right where it is, and right where it should be.

 

The Angels have also been very active this off-season, signing third baseman, Anthony Rendon to a seven-year contract, clearly the Angels want to add power to the offensive lineup, I just hope it’s not the cost of pitching which they unequivocally need.

 

I am ecstatic that the Angels are staying home where they belong, I look forward to becoming an old man and taking my grandchildren, maybe even my great-grandchildren to a ballgame at the same site where that awestruck child filled with wonder looked at the big building where his favorite baseball players played. The Halo is charged, now, it’s time for it to shine.

 

-ICE

Who Needs a Yule Log, When One Has a Hot Stove

I am back wearing my Christmas halo, my microphone broke since my last post, and it’s taken me a while to find a compatible microphone for my voice recognition software. It’s good to put the metaphorical pen to paper again; or in this case microphone to word processor.

Regrettably it’s been a few months so there’s a lot to cover, it’s the holiday season, and because time is limited; for this entry I’m just going to cover the highlights of the off-season that stood out to me. I will expand on the rest of the activity that I don’t cover in this entry at a later date.

On November 12, 2015, the Angels acquired shortstop Andrelton Simmons and catcher Jose Briceno in a trade for fan favorite, Erick Aybar, promising young pitcher Sean Newcomb along with another pitcher Christopher Ellis. Yes, Simmons can be considered a young phenom, the way he flashes the baseball glove is eye-catching, definitely highlight reel material. However, I worry that his handling of the baseball bat isn’t up to par. Simmons may have a longer contract then Erick Aybar, but Erick is a solid defender in his own right, he is more patient than Simmons, he is a clutch switch hitter, and is less likely to pop the ball up in a crucial situation; something that Simmons is prone to do.

The price paid for the acquisition of Simmons is a little steep for my taste, not only did we lose Erick Aybar but the Angels also lost Sean Newcomb. Newcomb is a promising young pitcher, so much in fact that Angels’ fans were wondering whether he was ready to join the pitching staff at the major-league level late last season, although he was not ready, he was very close; and with the Angels’ farm system being as thin as it is in my opinion the trade hurts the Angels more than it helps. While I agree that minor-league prospects don’t always pan out, the Angels need Newcomb, not only because as the old saying goes “you can never have enough pitching”, but also because the Angels pitching staff is on shaky ground as it is, and to count on Weaver or Wilson to carry the pitching staff is simply not realistic anymore, thus, magnifying the need for Newcomb.

The Angels are not only in trouble for what they have done, but they are also in murky waters for what they haven’t done. Earlier this week, Angels’ owner Arturo Moreno was quoted in the local paper stating that it was unlikely that the Angels would pursue a big name free agent outfielder. I have a few issues with that, first the big question is what is this team going to do in left field? The Angels haven’t had a solid left field presence since Garret Anderson. Shall I go down the list? First, on the list is Hideki Matsui, who joined the team when he was well past his prime. Vernon Wells, big contract, little to no results. Josh Hamilton, more of the same the only difference is that the Halos are still paying for him to play for the division rival Texas Rangers. Yes I know I neglected to mention Bobby Abreu; this is due to the simple reason that I feel that unlike the players previously mentioned Bobby did contribute substantially to the Angels and shouldn’t be lumped with the aforementioned group of players.

Second, the Angels need to come up with a long-term strategic plan, cross the luxury tax threshold and responsibly sign a big-name free agent like Yoenis Céspedes to plug the gaping hole in left field, or hold on to promising prospects like Newcomb and forgo players like Simmons. It’s impossible to have it both ways.

The Angels complicated matters further by trading away another promising pitcher to the Washington Nationals. Trevor Gott for Yunel Escobar, who is not a very impressive third baseman defensively, he is a natural shortstop. Here again the Angels are giving up a young hard throwing right-hander, for a questionable third baseman. The Halos in my opinion would be better off re-signing David Freese to a contract in order to resolve the issue at third base.

I would stop short of saying that the Halos’ hot stove is burning hot, it’s more like lukewarm. However it can definitely get considerably hotter. All that needs to be done is for ownership and the front office have to decide which direction they want to go, and commit to going in that direction. For a team that has drawn 3,000,000 fans for more than a decade, the very least Angels’ fans deserve is a clear commitment from ownership and the front office whenever direction they decide to go.

Merry Christmas, and happy holidays and a happy new year!

-ICE

%d bloggers like this: