Zomg! Nine games into the season and the Angels are 2-7. Time to panic! Mike Trout is a bust, Josh Hamilton can’t not strikeout and Albert Pujols moves like a blogger with a fancy new desk chair and a fully stocked kitchen full of snacks at his/her disposal.
The Angels are without Jered Weaver for a while and can’t seem to get anything right. Time to pack up and call it a season, I suppose.
Much like the hyped ballclub from Toronto, hopes are high for the Angels. They spent incredibly large sums of money during the last two winters and expect, nay, demand a winner. The Angels could not recover from a slow start last season, falling too far behind the hot starting Rangers and the hot-finishing Athletitics to make any noise in September. The second guessing over Mike Trout’s call up will haunt Jerry Dipoto and friends until the next playoff berth.
Now the team faces another tough season with the Athletics doing A’s things and the Rangers espousing the addition by subtraction theory having lost Michael Young and Josh Hamilton. They are headed into a period of extended unknown, with Jered Weaver missing significant time with an injury taxing an already thin rotation.
Jonah Keri of Grantland thinks this might be a blessing in disguise for the Angels, as Weaver looked rough during the early stages of this season and at the close of 2012. While Weaver’s diminishing velocity is a concern, the replacement-level elephant in the room is the Angels paucity of viable starters behind Weaver, Wilson and the rest of the barely-above average gang.
Might Sciosialism finally be on the wane? Surely blaming the manager after nine games is about the dumbest thing anyone can do. It isn’t for a lack of trying by Scioscia, who shifted Mike Trout to second in the order in an effort to get the offense going. Trout is off to a very slow start which, coupled with Josh Hamiton’s slow start, keeps the Angels from scoring runs. Laying a misfiring offense at the feet of a manager through nine games accomplishes nothing.
Scioscia will feel pressure and, if things don’t improve, may take the initial fall for an Angels season that fails to live up to its billing. It’s early, as we all know. But the Angels know all too well the price a slow start can have on an otherwise terrific season.
And the rest
More on the punchfights! Jack Moore digs into the background between Greinke and Quentin [Fangraphs]
Always worth a re-read, Mike Fast on why batters get hit by pitches in the first place. [Baseball Prospectus]
The Dodgers twitter account, forever changing the game.
See you on Monday in Los Angeles: twitter.com/Dodgers/status…
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 12, 2013
Interesting stuff on the optics of the Twins selling special tickets to early BP [Sports on Earth]
The Rangers like meat. [Brisbee Nation]
Click the above link for video/audio of Werth coming up to the GoT theme, but this photoshop is too good not to borrow (gently).
Jason Parks goes back through a 2012 chat to recap how often he was wrong and/or dead wrong. [Baseball Prospectus]
Straight up art from Scott, editor of theScore’s video game blog Franchise Mode
The Good Face is real! [Big League Stew]
A graphic novel about robot baseball umpires gone wild? Give money to these folks. [Kickstarter]