Games » Los Angeles AngelsJul4
I thought the fireworks show was after the game, but Torii Hunter decided to start one early. Anthony Lerew left a change-up up and it was G-O-N-E. When Hunter hit it, I thought ‘get foul’ because I knew you’d have to buy a ticket to catch that one.
After two highly entertaining games against the Angels, it’s too bad the Royals stunk up the one on national TV. Here’s the problem as I see it: Every major-leaguer is capable of having a great game, every major-leaguer is capable of having a bad one, so the question is: how often are you great?
Right now, the Royals’ starting rotation consists of Zack Greinke and four guys who would be at the bottom of a playoff team’s rotation. Throughout their careers Bannister, Davies, Lerew and Chen have all shown the capability of pitching very well, but not very well consistently, so it’s going to be hard for the Royals to rip off long winning streaks.
And that’s just what they need to do if they’re going to get back in the race.
The All-Star Game…
What a great idea: the very best players at each position in one league, going at the very best players in the other league to find out who’s the best. Too bad that’s not what we do.
The All-Star Game is a mess. They let fans vote so they can see their favorites (I’m pretty sure Willie Mays was named on a couple of ballots) and that allows the big markets to dominate the voting. (Another point: every time you vote or text, someone makes money. Pay attention to who sponsors those things.) They expand the roster to make sure everyone gets a representative (kind of like kids soccer where everyone gets a trophy) and if a player doesn’t get in the game it’s an insult that needs to be addressed by an upset agent.
Bud Selig even allowed the damn thing to end in a tie. The same Great Protector of the National Pastime that turned a blind eye to steroid use. Giving World Series home field advantage to the winner of an exhibition game is a dumb way to try to give the game some meaning.
I’ve got an idea: How about letting the managers select their team, tell them to try their hardest to win it and forget everyone’s precious feelings?
(Wow, I didn’t know I was this upset about it.)
The Home Run Derby…
Maybe someone’s already looked into this, but I’d be interested to know how the guys that compete in the Home Run Derby hit in the following month. The Derby really screws up your swing, which is why some players are reluctant to compete. I wonder how many teams suffered because their guy was opening up and trying to lift the ball for the next few weeks.
I imagine hitters and hitting instructors are aware of this and work on going the other way once the season resumes, but it doesn’t take much to screw up a swing (a stiff breeze will do it to mine) and Home Run Derby competitors are playing with fire.
(So have I taken all the fun out of it for you yet? Just imagine how I am on a camping trip.)
But he started it…
Billy Butler gets hit the night before. First time: OK, you were pitching inside and it got away from you. Second time: not OK. Billy’s a franchise player and if you can’t control it better than that, don’t pitch inside.
That’s the message The Royals and Anthony Lerew sent to the Angels by hitting Bobby Abreu in the first inning. They did it as soon as they could, first inning, two outs, hoping it wouldn’t start a rally.
Home plate umpire Jim Joyce immediately issued warnings. His message? You’re even, now it’s over. He showed me something when he went to the mound and told Angels pitcher Joel Pineiro to continue to pitch his game. More code that means: go ahead and pitch inside, I won’t run you unless I think it’s intentional. That shows a level head and an understanding of how a pitcher has to work.
No wonder the players like this umpire.
Kendall and Pena each block a pitch with a runner on third, Lerew showed his athleticism off the mound isn’t a fluke, DeJesus made a catch against the fence and Guillen showed he’s got a great arm…if you’re trying to kill a hot dog vendor in the second deck.