Did you guys see this? About how Bobby Valentine is the public-safety director of Stamford, Connecticut?

Valentine spent much of Friday in meetings discussing the emergency response to Hurricane Irene with city officials, recommending the city set up a Twitter account to provide residents with real-time updates on preparations and announcements. He did not return messages left Friday.

[Mayor Michael] Pavia said city officials will have a direct line to Valentine during the 8 p.m. game.

So many ????????s. Just the best.

Let’s do this Sunday Night game. The Rangers beat the Angels, Jeff Mathis allowed a bunch of runs to score, and we have an A, an A (part 2), a B, a C, and a D to discuss today.



When talking up Jeff Mathis' skill,
Or the Angels' fielders drop the pill,
If Santana walks the leadoff man,
Or Rodney brings out his gas can,
When he picks up the bullpen phone to call,
Or when nothing's going on at all,
When the bounces don't go the Angels' way,
When ARod makes Brian Fuentes pay,
When the Angels are winning
When the Angels are losing
When the sliders aren't spinning
Or when Weaver is cruising
For a wild pitch
For a double play
For a double switch
For a hair turned gray
When umps blow calls so close at base,
The cameras cut to Scioscia Face.

A (part 2)

Another Scioscia video. I particularly love this Scioscia video.

I love the Steve Sax, I love the Dan Gladden and the Jack Clark, and I love the Ashford and Simpson. I loved watching umpire John McSherry’s rotund tukhus (yes, I did the work to figure out which game that was and who was behind the plate) dance at 1:08. I loved that it was so ’80s that everybody in this video is a senior citizen now (Simpson is dead!), except Vin Scully, who is just the same. I loved this video.

Obviously, though, I loved it most because it provided the earliest Scioscia Face I’ve seen on film. It’s the proto-Scioscia Face.


One of the confounding things about Jeff Mathis is that, when you first heard of him back in 2003, he was a good hitting prospect in the high-A California League. In Rancho Cucamonga that year, he hit .323/.384/.500 as a 20-year-old catcher. Of course, he’s now a terrible hitter, in the conversation for the worst hitter of all-time.

Fascinating thing, though. Jeff Mathis has a .195/.258/.302 career line as a major leaguer. If we use a Minor League Eqiuvalency calculator to convert that line in Anaheim to Rancho Cucamonga/single A, we get an equivalent line of 284/.387/.475. That’s the same!

Going further back, if we translate his three-plus seasons in Salt Lake to Rancho Cucamonga, we get .313/.385/.540. And if we translate his season in double-A Arkansas to Rancho Cucamonga, we get .258/.350/.461. Same, same, more or less.

So, basically, Jeff Mathis peaked at 20. He hasn’t become any worse; he just hasn’t become any better.  That’s a weird way to fail, but that’s what it means to be a busted prospects.


A conversation from earlier this year between Yankees announcers Michael Kay and Ken Singleton.

KS: “I always felt that the team that lost the World Series was a dangerous team the next year, because they know what it’s like to come this close and not come away with the victory.

MK: Ron Washington said that was something that he had to sell to his team. He said when you lose the World Series, you just want to get back there and make up for it. He said, “I told them you have to win the division, you have to get to the playoffs and you got to get through two separate layers of the playoffs to get back to the World Series, so you can’t just think and obsess about getting back to the World Series.”

I roll my eyes when TV guys spout nonsense with no evidence backing it up, so I suppose it would be just as bad to say this is nonsense without looking it up. So here goes.

Obviously, teams that lose the World Series are going to be dangerous the next year. They were in the World Series! They’re pretty good! The question is, are they more dangerous that a team that just won the World Series? And are they more dangerous than a team that nearly made it to the World Series?

And, without making any claims for why, the recent history supports Ken and Michael. In the past thirty years, teams that lost the World Series the previous season have averaged 88 wins per season. Teams that won the World Series have won 87. And teams that lost to the team that lost the World Series won an average of 85 the next season.

So that’s something. Probably nothing, actually, but it’s at least something. Maybe teams that win the World Series are less likely to make improvements to their roster. (The Giants bringing back 23 of the 25 players from their winning roster, for instance.) On the other hand, the difference between World Series winners and World Series losers is almost entirely attributable to the Marlins’ post-1997 firesale. I personally wouldn’t bet on World Series losers to regularly outperform their conquerers the next season, but there’s at least enough here to give Ken and Michael the benefit of the doubt.


In the first two games of this series, the Angels faced two left-handed starters. Mark Trumbo started both games and went 1 for 8. In Sunday’s game, against the right-hander Colby Lewis, Trumbo got the start again.

On May 26, you wouldn’t have expected Trumbo to play in this game. At the time, he had a .869 OPS against lefties, and .669 against righties. So the Angels signed Russell Branyan to be the perfect platoon partner.

A weird thing happened that day, though. In the ninth inning, Trumbo homered off Grant Balfour to push the Angels to within one run. Balfour has held righties to a .215/.300/.315 line in his career, and after he beat Trumbo with a first-pitch fastball, Trumbo hit the next one for a long home run.

Since then, Trumbo has been great against righties and poor against lefties. He has homered off Rich Harden, off Tim Hudson, off Hiroki Kuroda, off Mike Adams for a walk-off win. He has homered twice off Felix Hernandez, including a 471-foot home run on this pitch:

And so now, against righties, he has an .817 OPS for the season, and against lefties he has a .675 OPS for the season. It’s weird. I don’t think it means that Trumbo is going to be better against righties for his career and I don’t think it means they signed the wrong guy to be a platoon partner and I don’t think it means anything other than “look at this small sample it’s a hoot!” It’s just weird, and it’s the unconventional route that Trumbo has taken to become a Rookie of the Year contender.

Sam Miller is a baseball writer who covers the Angels for the Orange County Register. He is on Twitter