It’s Official: The Angels are in Los Angeles

Despite what you, or mapquest, would believe, The Angels play in Los Angeles.

arte moreno.jpgAccording to Eric Carpenter in The Orange County Register, The California Appellate Court officially closed the case brought by the City Of Anaheim against the Angels. The Orange County Superior court found in favor of the team in 2006 and the appeal was upheld in December. The city decided not to spend any more funds to further litigate the case.

“We’re all very disappointed with this,” Mayor Curt Pringle said . “We believe that the wrong decision was made in court twice. … But at this point, we agree that it’s in everybody’s best interest to take no further action.”

So there you have it. The team is officially The Los Angeles Angels, or The Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim if you prefer the long version. To most fans, this is a ridiculous name.

Anaheim is nowhere near Los Angeles, a different demographic and a different county. Orange Countians pride themselves in being different from LA, so changing our baseball teams name because our own local city wasn’t good enough is a bit hard to take.

On the other hand, I want the best team on the field. If the name change can generate more marketing revenue, than I’m all for it. The success of the change has yet to be definitively proven, so only time will tell if Arte Moreno’s gamble pays off.

For the future of the franchise, I hope he’s right.

After all, I already know where the stadium is.

 

Check out the full article at   http://www.ocregister.com/articles/anaheim-angels-city-2315841-court-case       

 

Mr Fantasy…Why I love Grady Sizemore

I know what you’re thinking…this will be another embarrassing love letter blog from a female fan of the hunky, center fielder, Grady Sizemore.

But it’s not. It’s my contention that Grady Sizemore doesn’t get the respect that he deserves. Maybe it’s because he plays for the long suffering Indians.Maybe it’s because he has a group of rabid female fans called “Grady’s Ladies” that wear t-shirts with “Mrs. Sizemore” printed across the front.

 

  "Mrs. Sizemore" Women's T-Shirt

It’s time for this to stop.  Baseball fans need to take Grady Sizemore seriously. Don’t hate him because he’s beautiful.

 

Why do I love Grady Sizemore? Because he’s solid, that’s why. He’s a five-tool player that takes his role as franchise player seriously. He hits for power, he’s got speed on the bases, and he’s a monster in the outfield. Sizemore has been a member of the 20/20 Club (home runs/stolen bases) for the past four seasons in a row. Last year, he reached the 30/30 Club, while winning a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger Award.d.

 

He’s an amazing athlete in center field, diving for fly balls and never getting hurt. Before he sprained his ankle last April, he had a streak of 382 consecutive games played.  As a fantasy player, Grady Sizemore is golden; a guaranteed point machine

 

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It’s not his fault that all of this talent comes with adorable dimples and a dreamy smile. (I just gave away my age, no one under 40 uses the adjective “dreamy”)

Yes, Grady Sizemore is an awesome player who happens to be easy on the eyes.

Get over it.

 

This spring, I’m looking forward to heading out to Goodyear Arizona to see Grady in person. I would wear my “Mrs. Sizemore” t-shirt, but I’m afraid that people would think I’m his mother.

 

Check out my blog on the Orange County Register website

www.fromthedugout.freedomblogging.com/category/afternoon-angel/

 

 

photo credits: images.business week.com

                    cafepress.com

                   halftimeadjustment.wordpress.com

                   www.dougpaulson.info

Torii Hunter Saves the Day

Now that spring training is officially underway, Angels fans are wondering if the dormant Angels front office did enough in the off-season to fill the holes in the lineup. Leave it to Torii Hunter, eternal outfielder optimist to spin me some happy…


Thumbnail image for tyler and steve nash 009.jpgExcerpts from an interview by Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register:

“In my heart — you know I always tell you the truth – I promise you, right now, this is enough. This team has enough to win a championship,” Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said. “Everyone wants and wants and wants more. You always want more than you have.

If you say so Torii, that’s good enough for me. But without Anderson and Teixiera, will we still have enough offense?

 

But I’ve seen (Kendry) Morales. This guy can hit. Then a Juan Rivera – I know he struggled a little when he wasn’t getting regular playing time. But when he’s in there every day, he bangs. Now you add a Bobby Abreu with the numbers he puts up – oh yeah, that’s enough. I’m pretty excited.”

 

Just listen to him..Torii Hunter can make anything sound positive. He probably thinks that it’s a great time to buy stocks and that the economy will bounce back any day now.

 

“Really, we lost a left-handed bat (Anderson). Now we signed a left-handed bat (Abreu),” Hunter said. “We lost a guy with a high on-base percentage who takes a lot of pitches (Teixeira) and now we got a guy with a high on-base who takes a lot of pitches (Abreu). We also got a guy who’s going to steal 20 bags (also Abreu). That’s just what we needed.

 

There you have it Angels Fans. Everything is under control and you might as well buy your World Series tickets now. If only it was that easy.. But that’s the best part of baseball anyway, isn’t it? Hope abounds every spring because at this point, anything can happen. Everyone starts over. Even the Royals get a chance to dream….

It’s easy to find lots of analysts who will find weaknesses with the Angels. I admit that their success will hinge on the unseen performance of a few players. Abreu will have to hit, Fuentes will have to fool AL batters and close out games, Kendrick and Napoli will have to stay healthy.

 

But I prefer to stick with Torii Hunter…don’t worry Angel fans. Be happy.

Check out the complete article at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/angels-abreu-season-2307944-spring-players

Afternoon Angel In the OC Register

Today I became the first fan blogger on the OCRegister’s From the Dugout Blog.oc register.jpg

Yep. All of those experienced sports writers….and me.

But I’m not supposed to be the baseball expert. I’ll be covering what I know best; the experience of being an Angels fan. The good the bad and the embarrassing..

Please check out my posts at www.ocregister.com

Go to The Angel Page and look for the Afternoon Angel…that’s me in the red floppy hat.

 

As with everything else in this blogging community, we need to support one another.

Please check out my blog and ,by all means, leave a comment.

Give a girl a chance.



Bargain Basement Bobby

 

 

The Angels didn’t wait until the President’s Day Sale to go shopping. This one-year, 5 million dollar deal is just the kind of bargain basement steal that can change the Angels’ luck. In this economy, they say that Thrifty is in. Why spend millions for Mark Texiera at Nieman Marcus when you can get a proven slugger for a fraction of the price at Old Navy?

 

 


 

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I’m giddy with possibilities…Abreu’s bat hitting second in the line up could set the table nicely for Vladdy and Torii Hunter. Plus, he’s better on the bases than Tex.  And don’t worry about the glut of outfielders. The DH will allow lots of room for shuffling bats and give a certain aging Dominican a break from his outfield duties once and awhile.

 

I also love the irony that he came from the overspending, Prada buying Yankees who seem to have an endless budget for free agents. Wouldn’t it be deliciously ironic if Abreu provides the same effectiveness as Texiera for a meager 5 million dollar investment?

 

Money can’t always buy success. Ask the Rays last year. I can’t wait to see if the Angels pulled off the “steal of the century.”

 

 

 

 

 

My Top 10 Favorite Things about Spring Training in Arizona




 It’s raining here today in So Cal and frankly, the whole A-Rod mess has me feeling just as gray and stormy. Time to log on to Stubhub and buy me some happy…

Spring Training is so close I can taste it….In a land where the temperature stays fairly constant all year, my annual trip to Phoenix is as close as I get to catching spring fever.

This will be my 8th consecutive year visitng the Cactus League and I highly reccommend it for any baseball fan. The Spring Training experience is the best way to see baseball at its core..guys spending the afternoon hitting a ball with a bat simply playing the game..There is very little flash. The mood is low key and relaxed. Players aren’t insulated in their clubhouses and actually take time to chat or sign an autograph or two. It is by far the best way to gear up for a new season of baseball.

So here are my favorite things about Spring Training…

 

#1 Great Seats

Spring Training is the only time where you can spend $30 for a ticket and sit in the first few rows directly behind home plate. You can afford tickets that would cost a fortune during the regular season. If you ever want a chance to see players batting ten feet away from you or hear the sound of your favorite pitcher’s fastball hitting the mit, the choice seats at Spring Training are for you.

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#2 Staying at The Buttes

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If you’re lucky and you can afford a splurge, staying at The Marriott Buttes is definitely worth it.  Tempe Diablo Stadium is right down the hill and you can literally watch the game from some of the rooms. Best of all, you can walk down right after breakfast and catch practice then cool down in the pool before the game.
kids in pool.jpgAfterwards, there is a sweet poolside bar that serves amazing margaritas. Every once and awhile, players stop by after the game. John Lackey likes to stop by for post game celebration and we’ve shared chips and salsa with Rex Hudler. If you’re there to watch baseball, The Marriott Buttes is the best spot to stay.

  

#3 Catching Baseballs

 This isn’t really my thing, but my son Tyler loves to catch baseballs. His favorite trick is to stand on the hill behind the outfield during batting practice and catch one of Vladdy’s home run balls. You’d think this was only a kid thing, but it’s not. I’m always amazed at the amount of fully grown adults diving for baseballs in the parking lot. I guess at Spring Training you never have to grow up.

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#4 Seeing the Players Up Close Before the Games

In the regular season, you’re lucky if you get to see your favorite players as they run out on to the field from your upper deck seats. At Spring Training, you can get up close and personal with your favorite baseball players.
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A Spring Training Tip:  On away game days, Tempe Diablo Stadium is open for fans to come in and watch batting practice for free.

 

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#5 Getting Autographs

If getting a souvenir signature is your goal, you should be able to fill an entire baseball with them.

The Angels are really good about this. They set up a walkway that players use to get from the field to the locker room. Fans are allowed to line up for signatures and players stop and sign along the way. They tend to be more willing to sign at the begining of Spring Training rather than the last few days before the regular season.
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John Lackey stops to sign in 2004

 

#6 The Stadiums

Spring Training Stadiums are small and intimate, more like minor league parks. There isn’t a bad seat in the house. Tempe Diablo has been recently refurbished, but still has small park ambiance. Just remember to bring your sunscreen. Most Spring Training stadiums are short on shade. I know it may seem like a good idea to impress everyone back home with your new tan, but if you don’t bring the spf 30, you’ll go home looking like a lobster in a baseball hat.

spring training 07 052.jpg  Matt and Tyler at Hohokam.jpg

Hohokam Stadium is in the town of Mesa and is the Spring Training home of the Cubs. For a homesick Chicagoan like myself, it’s the closest I can get to Wrigley Field. At Hohokam, you can get a Chicago dog, drink a cold Old Style and the elderly ushers make you feel right at home. If you happen to catch a game on St Patrick’s Day, you’re in for a special treat.

#7 Mark The Beer Guy

No discussion of Hohokam Field would be complete without mentioning Mark The Beer Guy.

A celebrity vendor, Mark is part of the show at a Cubs game. He’s 6’8″ tall and wears samples of his wares clipped to his shirt. If you tip him, he’ll give you one of his baseball trading cards. He throws right and pours left, by the way.

 

 
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#8 You’ll Never Know Who You Might See….

For a baseball junkie, Spring Training offers all sorts of opportunities to see your favorite baseball personalities. Keep your eyes open. In 2005, I noticed a guy on the Cubs bench who looked like Ryne Sandberg. Sure enough, it was him.  During the 7th inning stretch, I leaned over the dugout wall, asked politely for his autograph and he signed my Cubs hat. I ended up with autograph from my favorite Cub player in the year that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.           

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Angel Owner Arte Moreno

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Angel Announcer Rex Hudler, my daughter Katie and her friend Matt

 


tyler and steve nash 012.jpg 

Tommy Lasorda on the Dodgers Bench

#9 Angels vs The Cubs

In the past, I always thought that I’d have to see Hell freeze over before I would get a chance to see the Cubs face the Angels in a game. At Spring Training, I can do it every year.

And since both teams so bitterly toyed with me last year…I’ll have to travel to Arizona once again to see my favorite teams match up.

#10  Passing on my love of baseball to my kids

If you are a baseball fan and you have children who are remotely interested in the game, you owe it to them to go to Spring Training at least once. You have a chance to spend tons of quality time sitting in the stands, teaching them how to keep score and explaining the strategy of the game, without the hassles of your busy schedules at home. At Spring Training, it’s all about baseball and my kids have loved it over the years.

Angels vs Cubs.jpg

 

So there you have it..I hope I have convinced you to give Spring Training a try..If you can’t make it this year, keep checking my blog. I’ll be posting daily entries from Tempe this year.

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         GO HALOS!!!!                                             GO CUBBIES!!!!

 

                                          

To Blog or Not to Blog

Why am I doing this? I think that’s an important question for any new undertaking, and this blog is no different. I love to write and, obviously, I love baseball. A blog seems like the logical thing to do. A more important question may be, why should you spend your precious time reading my ramblings about America’s favorite pastime? Let’s tackle that one.

 

1. Sheer curiosity….what does a 45 year old mother of two know about baseball anyway?  I am a life long baseball fan who never misses an Angels broadcast and follows the Cubs religiously from thousands of miles away. I have been to spring training 6 years in a row and I’ve managed 5 fantasy baseball teams. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I may surprise you.

 

2. I’m a girl….I believe that the female fan is a silent species. Yes, there a few excellent blogs, like Julia’s Rants or Confessions of a She-Fan, but for the most part, chicks who know sports are a rare breed. It’s time to bring a little more estrogen to the table.

I love baseball for the strategy, the tradition, the pace, and for the guys in tight white pants. I’m not afraid to admit it. It’s part of the game…and for those of you who just rolled your eyes, I’m sure you admire Maria Sherapova solely for her exquisite backhand…

 

3. Most of all, I love the game. I really can’t think of anything else that fills me with such hope and joy; that consistently demands my attention and never bores me at all. (Don’t tell my husband) Of course, nothing else has broken my heart so thoroughly as baseball either. Throughout its history, through free agency and steroids, it has remained as constant and reliable as the return of the ivy to Wrigley Field each summer. Baseball matters to me and I’d like to share it with you.

 

So there it is. If you’re still reading this, I thank you. You have lots of excellent choices out there in the blogosphere and I’d like you to keep me on your radar. I’ll try to make you laugh.

 

Go Halos, Go Cubbies…go baseball.

 

I’m in big trouble…

It’s February 3rd, and I’m so desperate for baseball that I’m watching the MLB Channel’s coverage of the Caribbean World Series. I’m not only watching baseball that doesn’t matter, I’m watching baseball that doesn’t matter being played in another country. I’m counting the days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training; that would be ten. I have browsed the Angels and Cubs websites, checking the schedule for the season. I am planning my road trips. I am so ready for baseball it hurts.

 

Its not that I’m a pathetic loser with no other interests or hobbies. I’ve got plenty on my plate. It’s just that nothing is as satisfying as an afternoon in the sun, drinking a cold beer with my bare feet propped up on the seat in front of me, watching my favorite boys take the field. Maybe it’s the weather. Californians don’t get spring fever; we don’t have the right to it. But with the Santa Anas blowing balmy breezes off the desert, it turns my thoughts from football to baseball, from poinsettias to palm trees. It’s the only seasonal change that we really have.

 

Last week my husband and I enjoyed another January ritual, we picked out our season seats for the year. We drove to Angel Stadium, happy that we had actually moved up in the seniority of season ticket holders, and anxiously waited with other red-wearing fans to select the perfect spot. After we were issued our wristbands, we all casually “run-walked” to the field, hoping to find the perfect prime seats that some loser ticket holder had given up. But it was the same as it always was; only outfield seats and nosebleeds were there for the taking. We did move up to the Club level this year; a definite improvement even though we’ll have to turn our heads sideways to see home plate. At least they’ll bring me my beers.

 

As I sat in my new seat, looking over the torn up field that is ready for the Monster Truck show, I was filled with hope. A new season. A new chance for success. Maybe this will be the year…That’s the best part about baseball after all, the renewal that comes every spring, even if the thermometer shows no change.

 

So what do I do in the meantime? Buy a “Sporting News”, scour the fantasy baseball projections, and dust off my Rally Monkey? 40 years of being a Cubs fan has surely taught me patience. But soon, somebody please, just Take me out to the Ballgame.

 

Erik Aybar just hit a rope to center field in the Caribbean World Series. Maybe he’ll do that in the real World Series in October.

 

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