Thursday, March 31, 2011

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By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

No two words sound as sweet as those two little words used to start the baseball season. There’s history, tradition and ritual in it all—from the singing of the national anthem, to the flyover, to the umpire yelling those two magical words to start the season. 

Today, the game counts. The stats are real. The wins affect the standings. From now through the end of September, it’s baseball season. Whatever happened (or didn’t happen) in the offseason is behind us. It’s onto rooting for the Angels for 2011. 

After watching this team in Spring Training, I’m excited about it. The Angels didn’t just finish up strong, they finished up stronger. Not only did players such as Hunter and Wells return to action, but players such as Trumbo and Bourjos showed that they’re ready to handle Major League competition. 

Looking at this team, I’m excited about the Angels chances for 2011. Starting with the rotation, I’m looking forward to seeing how Weaver and Haren stack up against the rest of the league. I have no doubts that they can bring it like the best of them and will form a formidable one-two punch that should net the Angels plenty of wins. Santana and Pineiro will keep the Angels in game whenever they start. And, if Kazmir can pitch like he did against the Dodgers, will give the Angels a chance to win half or more of his starts. 

The offense looks better and deeper too. At the start of the season, Abreu, Hunter and Wells will form solid heart of the order that will supply more power than anything we saw in 2010. When Kendrys Morales returns, that heart of the order will become beastly. The 2011 Angels will hit more homeruns and will score more often than the 2010 team. 

The bottom of the order also looks to be improved. A healthy Aybar and Mathis should provide more production than what they showed last year. And P-Bo looks to be ready to breakout. Not only will he play stellar defense for the entire year, he looks to be ready to steal 45+ bags and lead the league in triples. By the end of the season, he could be the explosive leadoff option that the team needs. 

Lastly, the bullpen looks to be much improved and back to being capable of holding onto leads. While there are plenty of questions about Rodney, the rest of the pen looks to be very solid and ready to step in the moment Rodney can no longer close out games. For the past decade the Angels have used a strong bullpen to beat their projected wins per season, and they look to be able to do so again this year. 

Tonight, I’ll be watching the game at home with my boys. We’ll be wearing our Angels gear and ready to cheer on our team. From now through the end of September, our emotions will ride along with how our favorite team fares. Fortunately, there’s a lot to be excited about with this team. With the way this team looks, we’re confident that at the end of the season the Angels will once again stand atop the A.L. West.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Los Angeles Angels Second Baseman Howard Kendrick, Center, Is

Pitchers: Jason Bulger (RHP), Dan Haren (RHP), Kevin Jepsen (RHP), Scott Kazmir (LHP), Michael Kohn (RHP), Fernando Rodney (RHP), Ervin Santana (RHP), Hisanori Takahashi (LHP), Rich Thompson (RHP), Jordan Walden (RHP), Jered Weaver (RHP) (On the DL – Bobby Cassevah (RHP), Scott Downs (LHP), Joel Pineiro (RHP))

Catchers: Hank Conger, Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson,

Infielders: Erick Aybar, Alberto Callaspo, Maicer Izturis, Howard Kendrick, Mark Trumbo, Brandon Wood, (DL – Kendrys Morales, Freddy Sandoval)

Outfielders: Bobby Abreu, Peter Bourjos, Torii Hunter, Chris Pettit, Vernon Wells, (DL- Reggie Willits)

Placed on the 15-day disabled list: First baseman Kendrys Morales (recovery left ankle surgery, left big toe soreness), LHP Scott Downs (left big toe fracture), RHP Joel Pineiro (right shoulder tightness), outfielder Reggie Willits (left calf strain), RHP Bobby Cassevah (right shoulder inflammation) and infielder Freddy Sandoval (left oblique strain).

Optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake: RHP Trevor Bell, RHP Matt Palmer, RHP Francisco Rodriguez and infielder Andrew
Romine .

AngelsWin.com's Senior Editor Geoff Bilau received a call at lunch on Tuesday afternoon from his season seat rep asking if he wanted to throw out the first pitch in tonight's exhibition finale at Angel Stadium against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Apparently, whoever was supposed to throw the first pitch couldn't make it and they normally throw it out to the tickets reps to find a replacement.

They found a good one in Geoff Bilau -- a season ticket holder and faithful fan of the Angels for many years -- who makes sure to spend precious moments at the Big A throughout the season with his kids.

After Geoff threw the first pitch to Angels' farmhand David Carpenter, he had this to say.

It went almost exactly like so many other first pitches I've thrown in my 40 years ... high and outside. I didn't get to warm up at all and we spent 40 minutes down on the field waiting for 6:51 to roll around. I wanted to throw it harder, but when you only get one it's so hard not to play it safe.

All in all, it was just a really neat experience that was over almost as quickly as I got up there on that beautifully manicured mound.

Geoff Bilau and his cheering section

Monday, March 28, 2011

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Interview conducted by David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

When a player takes the time to come out and meet the fans, it just makes you want to root for his success that much more. When that player is a rookie, working hard to make it to the Majors, you really want to see him do well. When that player is as humble and nice as Matt Oye, you can’t help but be drawn into following him throughout the year.

At the AngelsWin.com Spring Training Fanfest, we were lucky enough to meet Matt Oye. When we met him, Spring Training for the Minor League players was just beginning. Now, with three more weeks under his belt, AngelsWin.com caught up with Matt Oye to find out more about what it’s like to play in the Angels’ organization and what he has been up to. AngelsWin.com will catch up with Matt at least one more time near the April 7th Minor League Home Opener. Click below to listen to an update from him.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

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By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

Baseball is a game of tradition. It’s a game of hard work and respect. Even the best athletes in the game fail at their craft the majority of the time.

With today’s announcement that Kendrys Morales will begin the 2011 season on the Disabled List, I’d like to take issue with some of the changes that have occurred in the game in an effort to make it more “commercial” and “media friendly”. While fans can argue about the east-coast bias in the national media, and how that affects the game, the bigger bias in the media is for promoting showboating. Whether it’s football, baseball, or basketball, if an athlete showboats in some way, he’s far more likely to make it onto the national coverage than if he didn’t. And national coverage means bigger contracts—so there’s every incentive to do it.

I don’t like it.
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By Coral Marshall - AngelsWin.com Feature Columnist

With Opening Day just around the corner many lady Angels’ fans may be wondering what to wear to show their team pride without being stuck in a boxy player number shirt from the team store. Victoria’s Secret PiNK loves MLB line comes to the rescue again… sort of.

Last year’s launch was a great success, giving Halo (and MLB) fashionistas something to celebrate even through the team’s disappointing record. While the sizing made ordering online difficult it was nice to see MLB apparel that fit the female form properly, and was in appropriate team colors instead of the oft-used pinks or baby blues. The line provided a way for women to assert their love of the game without compromising their fashion sense, or hitting their wallet too hard (we all know how expensive jerseys get). Last year, I personally bought the blue rhinestone tank top as well as the matching pull over hoodie, and was left wanting more. 


Flash forward to early March, while browsing online I noticed that a few things had been released just in time for the Angelswin.com Spring Training Fanfest, so naturally I had to go check them out. Victoria’s Secret is smart in their marketing of the line so as to only release portions on their website, which draw fans into the stores that are currently carrying the MLB apparel, and then hit you with multiple styles that are difficult to walk away from. This wasn’t the case this year, what I saw online was what I was greeted with at the store, still I was pleasantly surprised as I was promised that more would come closer to the start of the season.

I left with the V-neck Tee, for $26.50 plus tax. Again, sizing was an issue as the shirt ran a size smaller than the normal PiNK line, so I’m glad I went into the store to try it on. I was then off to enjoy the sun of Arizona with AngelsWin, and I debuted the shirt at Angels vs. Brewers game as well as the fanfest and received multiple compliments on it. Perhaps my favorite part of the shirt is not the fit itself, but instead the fact that this years line really embraces the history of each of the teams by displaying the founding year on many of the pieces. The V-neck has a “61” patch on the right arm. Honestly, for under 30 dollars this shirt was a steal.

You can imagine my anticipation to see the rest of the line, if the first shirt had been such a great deal how could the rest go wrong. When I received the email earlier this week that there were 10 styles online, I couldn’t wait to check them out and head to the store to see what else there was. To be honest, the rest of the clothing receives mixed reviews from me.

What is available online doesn’t represent the scope of what is in store, which also include yoga pants, shorts, and a few other shirts. While much of what online is functional and cute, it is also more expensive than last year (their bling hoodie is $68 this year). Moreover, some of what looks nice online, specifically the Crew-Neck Tee looks obnoxious in person. What I originally loved about the line, the presence of the 61, turned into some a huge back piece that cannot be comfortable for sitting in stadium seats with the sun glaring down, and at 36.50 for a shirt that would cost 20 in their normal line, I think Victoria’s Secret is pricing themselves out of customers (though I understand there are naming rights that go along with producing these shirts). This years yoga pants, however, are much cuter than last years if you can get your hands on them, since they are only available in stores. They feature a basic black book cut pants with a red band mingled with white Angels’ As  and VS PiNK dogs.

While I was divided on the line as a whole- nothing grabbed my attention to the “have to have it” point outside of the initial shirt I bought, but I will probably go back- I do have one major qualm with VS this year. What was fun about last year was the ability to wear your team’s colors AND look nice. This year, a few of the pieces rely on faded out reds that do not look vintage as much as they look like a pink. VS proved has already proved that you do not need pinks to look feminine in sports apparel, and I don’t know why they felt it necessary to fade out reds that would have been fine in their vibrantly Angels’ original hue. I have no problem with  cutesy sayings such as “meet me in the dugout” “caught looking”, and last year’s “I only kiss Angels’ fans”. They are enough to get the point across- colors don’t have to be changed to do this, which is especially evident in the Padres’ and Dodgers’ lines since they embrace their blues, golds, and whites.

Overall, there are many cute pieces, but I will be staying away from all faded out colors as I wear my femininity and Angels’ red with pride to games. If at all possible, I still recommend trying pieces on at the store since they do not run the same size as the normal PiNK line. A list of stores carrying each of the MLB teams can be found here.

So until next time, this is Coral Marshall with your AngelsWin.com feature report. Check back soon for my next sports bar review.

Friday, March 18, 2011

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Here are some Scot Shields memories and thoughts from some of our AngelsWin.com staff of writers and contributors after one of the best setup men in the last decade retired from Baseball today.

Chuck Richter: Scot "The Rubber Arm" Shields was always a player the Angels could depend on in toward the back half of a close game. Just when you thought he was spent from pitching an inning or two the night before, Shields would take to the mound the very next day and give another solid inning + of stellar relief work. If Scioscia needed him to work 3-4 games in a row, Shields wouldn't waiver, neither would the results.

Scot Shields finished with a 3.18 ERA over 491 games played and played a significant role in the 2002 Championship club, as well as the Angels postseason appearances in '04, '05, '07, '08 and '09. I will always remember Scot's devastating fastball that moved in and out against left-handed batters, striking them out with the bat on their shoulders -- and that nasty breaking ball that generated awful whiffs against right-handed opponents.

So enjoy a nice time in retirement Scot, you definitely enjoyed a successful career while putting a smile on a lot of Angels' fans faces when you closed out the opposition when the game was on the line.

David Saltzer: It's hard to imagine an Angels' bullpen without Scot Shields in it. He was such an integral part of the bullpen for the past decade, that when he got the ball, it seemed like the game was locked down. There isn't any one memory or game that stands out in my mind about Scot Shields. What I will remember is his unselfish play, his consistency, his durability, and his rubber arm. Shields could have been a closer, and for many teams he would have been their closer, but he stayed with the Angels as one of the best setup men in the game. He was an unsung hero in the pen who helped the Angels dominate the decade. He was the bridge to the closer and it felt good to see him get the ball. Thank you Scot for all your work as an Angel.

Adam Dodge: We’ll miss Scot Shields. He illustrated that a skinny redneck with a beer belly and junk food diet could excel in a sport in which some of the World’s best athletes have failed.

Geoff Stoddart: When I was growing up and playing little league (before things got real PC and you could actually chant at the other team), there was a chant our team used to do. “Pitcher’s got a rubber arm!” It was never meant as a compliment. It wasn’t until I began to watch Scot Shields pitch that I became aware that it was actually a gift! The guy was absolutely amazing! He logged 697 innings pitched over his 10 year career with the Halos (433 of those between ’03-’06 alone). He was the Halos best set-up man in the last 10 years and, the argument could be made, maybe ever! Maybe the most special thing about him though is that he was the last remaining player from the 2002 World Series Championship team. I will miss Scot a lot, but will be reminded of him every day. You see, I live right off of South Shields road. So every time I pullout of my community, I will see the sign: S. Shields. Good luck Scot! Don’t be a stranger to the Halos organization and the fans!

Randy Lawrence: It’s hard to believe it’s time for Shieldsie to hang them up but after a couple of years struggling to get back to his old dominant form, it’s the right time. Scott will go down as one of the best set-up men in the league. We’ve had some pretty darn good closers in Percy and Rodriguez but having a guy like Shields to hold down the opposition and get the the closer made for one of the toughest bullies in innings 7-9 in all of baseball. Thanks for all the great memories Scot.

Sean Dodds: Scot Shields was one of the best bullpen pitchers of the last decade. He was consistent, durable and had downright nasty stuff. I usually felt pretty good when Scot came into a game with a lead. His pitches moved so much and it really seemed like batters had a hard time reading his pitches. He was pretty fun to watch. So thanks Scot for all the excellence and effort.

Bruce Nye: Scot spoiled us. He made us think our starting pitchers only needed six innings. He was the closest thing to "automatic" as there was. He set the table and tone for the closers. Without question, he was integral to the 2002 World Championship club.

Matt Markley: My family and I will miss Scot Shields very much.  He was and is a class act and a fine example for younger players to emulate.  And everything that came out of his hand was about as crooked as a dog's leg!

One memory of Scot that really stands out for me happened during ST some years back -- my then 3 y/o daughter was dangling a ball out of the stands after a game, cute as a little angel could ever want to be.  Players just walked past, one after another, as though she wasn't even there.  (Not that I blame them, mind you -- it was after a game on a hot AZ day)  Scot Shields not only stopped to sign her ball, but he stooped down and chatted with her for a while -- this little 3 y/o girl who could not have had too much to say.  Needless to say, from that day forward, Scot Shields has been her favorite player -- and thanks in part to him and other class acts like him, she's an Angels fan for life.  It's memories like this one that keeps me coming back, year after year -- regardless of the standings.  I love this organization like no other, and am proud as can be of the kind of people (like Scot) who seem to permeate it.  Quality people, quality ballclub -- does it get any better than this?! 

Thanks for the memories, Scotty!  Hope to see you in Angels red again some day!  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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 (Getty Images)

By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer

In the past, I have been critical of Mike Scioscia’s ability to create over 100 different lineups in a single season. I believe that consistency in the lineup creates strength, and constantly juggling the lineup only leads to lesser performances.

But, if ever an Angels’ team appeared to be destined for numerous lineups, it’s the 2011 team. With so many players battling for positions, and making deserving cases to be on the Major League club, it seems that Scioscia will be the perfect manager to maximize their potential.

However, before Scioscia can figure out how to create another 100+ lineups, he first will have to decide which players to keep on the 25-man roster. Thus, a battle royale is underway during Spring Training.

For purposes of this article, we are going to assume that the Angels will open the season with 12 pitchers on the roster (a good move given the need for more bullpen help at the start of the season), and that Kendrys Morales and Reggie Willits will both be healthy enough to start the season on the 25-man roster (both are not necessarily guaranteed at this point). If any of these assumptions change, more spots will open up.

With those assumptions in mind, the Angels have three main areas where they need to make some difficult roster decisions: Bullpen, Catcher, DH, and Third Base.

Monday, March 14, 2011

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By Justin Williams - AngelsWin.com Contributor

It's mid-March and that means three things for high-profile athletics in the United States: MLB's spring training is in full swing, the NBA's preseason is almost over and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is almost upon us. Given that we're pretty sure that most everybody has had their picks for Spring Training championship pools set in stone for some time, it's now incumbent on everybody to fill out their NCAA brackets. We at AngelsWin would like to contend that if you're going to go to the trouble of filling out a bracket, you might as well join the growing number of AW members that have entered theirs into our board's contest for the 2011 tournament. You get to compete with what is widely considered to be the world's savviest group of college basketball fans and there's even a prize in the form of a $50 restaurant gift certificate (see linked thread for further information). If you'd like to enter, simply check out the following thread in our Sports Central Forum:


So... who's it gonna be? How do you feel about the chances of locals UCLA (a 7 seed), UCSB (a 15 seed), SDSU (a 2 seed) and USC (an 11 seed if they defeat VCU in Wednesday)? Will you fill in your bracket following your heart (I'm talking to you, UCSB fans), your head, or both? Given the absence of my Cal Bears, I'm personally going with the scrappy Roadrunners of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Provided they can get past pesky Alabama State in the play-in game for the sixteenth seed in the East, I feel they have a smooth path to the Final Four. Well... OK. Not really.

Once the winners of the play-in games are determined, there are 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 distinct outcomes possible (though not equally probable), so you had best get cracking. Sign up now to enter your bracket and prove your basketball brilliance to the world's greatest collection of online geniouses [sic].

Since its inception, Angelswin has always been a vibrant community full of passionate fans. As time has passed, many have become good friends with one another and the community continues to grow by leaps and bounds with each season. From the biannual Angelswin Fanfests held during Spring Training (in Tempe) and July (in Anaheim) to our season-spanning gameday and total runs scored contests (which both feature prizes), the activities and community interaction at Angelswin extend beyond that of the typical message board/blog and are second to none when it comes to fan-run sites in Souther California.

Even if you know nothing or next to nothing about college basketball, you should enter: you're amongst good people and there's a decent chance to win a card that will score you some grub!

Good luck and GO ANGELS!
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By Chuck Richter - AngelsWin.com Executive Editor

If you could put together your best Angels all-time lineup to go against other teams all time lineups in a head to head format, what would it look like?

I'm basing mine off best all time seasons with the Halos and who I like for a full season. Your criteria can be totally different however, as you may have a crystal ball and want Peter Bourjos (2011) over Darin Erstad in centerfield, Jim Edmonds (95, 96, 98) or Fred Lynn's All Star season with the Halos over Erstad's 2000 campaign. Some of you may want Garret Anderson in LF over Brian Downing or move Vlad to DH over Baylor and use Tim Salmon  (1995) in right field. Some could argue Troy Glaus (2000) over Doug DeCinces (1982), Joyner's (1986) or Carew (1983) over Kendry Morales' 2009 campaign. etc. etc.

Here's mine: 

Starting Lineup
CF Darin Erstad (2000)
LF Brian Downing (1987)
RF Vladimir Guerrero (2004)
DH Don Baylor (1979)
1B Kendry Morales (2009)
2B Bobby Grich (1979)
3B Doug DeCinces (1982)
C Lance Parrish (1990)
SS Jim Fergosi (1970)

Reserves: Tim Salmon, Garret Anderson, Mike Napoli, Wally Joyner, Troy Glaus and Chone Figgins

Starting Pitchers
SP Nolan Ryan (1972, 1973)
SP Frank Tanana (1975)
SP Jered Weaver (2010)
SP Chuck Finley (1990)
SP Mike Witt (1986)

Relief Pitchers
RP Frankie Rodriguez (2006, 2008)
RP Troy Percival (1996, 2002)
RP Scot Shields (2005)
RP Bryan Harvey (1991)
RP Darren Oliver (2009)

Owner: Arte Moreno
Manager: Mike Scioscia
Bench Coach: Joe Maddon
Pitching Coach: Bud Black

Visit our forum thread to post your all-time best Angels' lineup, pitching staff and overall 25-man roster.  You can also send yours in to Chuck Richter at chuck@angelswin.com

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

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The MLB Network media relations department contacted Founder and Executive Editor Chuck Richter from AngelsWin.com on March 7th to provide questions concerning the '11 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for their MLB Network analysts Harold Reynolds and John Hart to answer,  in preparation for the Angels 30 Clubs in 30 Days episode which debuts on Thursday at 2pm PT. The feature will re-air at 7pm PT  on Thursday and again on Friday at 10am PT. The episode is hosted by Paul Severino & the analysis will be  provided by former GM John Hart and former Major Leaguer Harold Reynolds.

Make sure to watch the Angels 2011 Preview on the MLB Network tomorrow as they will cover both the current 2011 Angels, but also their top prospects.

In the meantime, here's a taste in the video below of what's to come in tomorrow's Angels feature at 2pm PST when the Halos system will be thoroughly evaluated by the MLB Network team.

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AngelsWin.com was excited for the evening festivities on March and at 5:00 pm, the crowd assembled at Hail Mary’s for their annual dinner and shindig. With a packed house, AngelsWin.com was pleased to have as their first set of honored guests the Angels Chairman Dennis Kuhl and Angels’ TV play-by-play announcer Victor Rojas. To hear an interview that AngelsWin.com held with Dennis Kuhl at the beginning of the offseason, please click here and for an interview we held with Victor Rojas at the end of 2010, please click here.

After mingling for a bit, both Dennis Kuhl and Victor Rojas spoke with the fans about a variety of topics, including the offseason, the upcoming 50th Anniversary season, and the team’s prospects for 2011. They both took questions from the fans, and spoke at length. After peppering Dennis and Victor for over an hour, the fans settled down for a good dinner.

Check out the video coverage (below) taking from Patti Heltzel's video camera of Dennis Kuhl's and Victor Rojas' Q & A with the fans that night. 


Victor Rojas and Dennis Kuhl Q&A (2011) from AngelsWin.com on Vimeo.
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On March 5th, 2011 at Hail Marys Sports Bar in Tempe, AZ Angels prospect relievers Steven Geltz and Matt Oye came to attend the AngelsWin.com shindig  and eat and fellowship with fans. Both Steve and Matt are pitchers in the organization and rising prospects. Steve had an incredible year in 2010, striking out 17.36 batters per 9.0 IP while Matt played at every level in the organization except the Major Leagues! For an interview that AngelsWin.com recorded with Steve Geltz in 2010, please click here.

Check out the video captured from Patti Heltzel of Steven Geltz and Matt Oye taking questions from the AngelsWin.com group in attendance.


Steven Geltz and Matt Oye talk to AngelsWin from AngelsWin.com on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


MLB Network’s 30 Clubs in 30 Days episode featuring the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim debuts on Thursday, March 10 at 2pm PT – It will re-air at 7pm PT as well as on Friday, March 11 at 6 & 8am PT. The hour-long episode, hosted by Paul Severino, will feature interviews with Angels players, reporting from Matt Vasgersian & analysis/predictions from Harold Reynolds & John Hart.

General Information on 30 Clubs in 30 Days:

MLB Network’s Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days provides hour-long features on each of the 30 Major League clubs previewing the 2011 season. MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, Lisa Kerney, Hazel Mae and Matt Vasgersian will report from all of the 30 Spring Training camps throughout Florida and Arizona, conducting interviews with players, coaches and others associated with each club. The new season of 30 Clubs in 30 Days will continue to provide fans with the most extensive coverage of each club before Opening Day with field reports, interviews, predictions and inside access to every club’s training camp. The series will include segments analyzing each club’s pitching, offense, prospects and the best-ever performance at every position in a club’s single season. For the first time, fans will have the opportunity to submit questions via email, Facebook and Twitter for Amsinger, Kerney, Mae and Vasgersian to ask players and coaches. One fan-submitted question will be included in each episode.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

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(A few of the AngelsWin.com members attending the '11 fanfest gathered for a picture on Friday)

What a weekend it was!

Starting on Friday, March 4th, over 80 fans from AngelsWin.com arrived in Tempe, Arizona to catch a weekend of baseball and to kick off the season with their 6th annual Spring Training Fanfest. As the fans assembled for the game, the Angels prepared to take on the Chicago White Sox. Thanks to a mighty blow from Mark Trumbo, the fans left the ballpark happy with a 3-1 Angels victory.

Later that night, the festivities kicked off with the traditional dinner at P.F. Chang’s. With a large group of friends, good food, and good drinks, the fun continued late into the evening, with many of the fans staying out late at a local piano bar.

On Saturday, the day’s events got underway with a road trip to the Maryvale Baseball Park to see the Angels take on the Brewers. Since it was an early in Spring Training game, it was a mostly cobbled together lineup. Unfortunately, the Angels’ bats were mostly silent during the game. But, for most of the fans in attendance, it was their first opportunity to see Mike Trout in an Angels uniform. Late in the game, he drew a walk and scored the Angels’ only run. Based on what we saw from him over the weekend, the kid can play.

Rather than being disappointed with the loss, the group from AngelsWin.com was excited for the evening festivities. At 5:00, the crowd assembled at Hail Mary’s for their annual dinner. With a packed house, AngelsWin.com was pleased to have as their first set of honored guests the Angels Chairman Dennis Kuhl and Angels’ TV play-by-play announcer Victor Rojas. To hear an interview that AngelsWin.com held with Dennis Kuhl at the beginning of the offseason, please click here and for an interview we held with Victor Rojas at the end of 2010, please click here.

After mingling for a bit, both Dennis Kuhl and Victor Rojas spoke with the fans about a variety of topics, including the offseason, the upcoming 50th Anniversary season, and the team’s prospects for 2011. They both took questions from the fans, and spoke at length. After peppering Dennis and Victor for over an hour, the fans settled down for a good dinner. However, there was more to come.

As Victor Rojas and Dennis Kuhl were finishing up, the fans from AngelsWin.com were in for an additional treat. Minor League prospects Steven Geltz and Matt Oye came to attend the dinner and meet the fans. Both Steve and Matt are pitchers in the organization and rising prospects. Steve had an incredible year in 2010, striking out 17.36 batters per 9.0 IP while Matt played at every level in the organization except the Major Leagues! For an interview that AngelsWin.com recorded with Steve Geltz in 2010, please click here.

After making sure that Steve and Matt were fed (unfortunately Minor League players aren’t paid anywhere near where the Major Leaguers are paid, and every little bit helps), the players spoke with the fans about their lives and experiences in the Minor Leagues. While their humble nature and good manner, they both became quick hits with everyone. When they arrive in Anaheim, they will have a fan base ready to go!

As the evening made its way into the late hours, the fans stayed together to talk with the players and to enjoy each other’s company. But, for most, it wasn’t going to be too late of a night, as the fans from AngelsWin.com were in for one last treat: an early morning meeting on Sunday with Tim Mead in Tempe Diablo stadium.

Arriving at the ballpark at 9:15, the fans from AngelsWin.com entered the stadium early to meet with the Angels’ Vice President of Communications and to watch all the early morning drills. Again AngelsWin.com fans had the opportunity to ask Tim Mead questions about a variety of topics ranging from the Vernon Wells’ deal to looking ahead towards the next collective bargaining agreement. At the end of the meeting, Claude and Rock Bilodeau, the creators of Matsuiland unveiled their latest creation: Toriitown! Upon seeing the sign, Torii was very honored and pleased with their creation saying “beers are on me!” Later, he autographed the sign in the middle of the baseball logo.

After taking a quick break to grab a great meal at Aunt Chilada’s, the fans from AngelsWin.com had one last hurrah watching the Angels take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. Claude and Rock didn’t have to wait long to put Toriitown to the test as Hunter had a great day at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double.

With a 7-2 victory behind them, the fans from AngelsWin.com headed out of the stadium and back towards their home ready for the 50th Anniversary Season to begin. The offseason is over. It’s time for 2011 to get underway.

AngelsWin.com wants to particularly thank Dennis Kuhl, Victor Rojas, Tim Mead, Steve Geltz, Matt Oye for all their time making this weekend particularly special for all the fans. Over the upcoming days, AngelsWin.com will be posting video and audio recordings from all the Q&A sessions, so check back to see all the excitement that happened in Spring Training Fanfest 2011.

Here's some pictures via a slide show (will add more as they come in) capturing a few of these great moments experienced at our '11 AngelsWin.com Spring Fanfest.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

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By Coral Marshall - AngelsWin.com Journalist

Spring Training has officially started, and what better way to kick it off then by watching the first televised game of the season with my dad reviewing a sports bar for AngelsWin.com? I couldn’t think of a better way either, so I woke up this past Sunday with a huge smile on my face as Dad and I headed off to Throwbacks to resume our search for the best sports bar in Orange County. This way, you'll know what options you have this upcoming baseball season, to ensure you can have the best baseball viewing experience next to being at the game.

As I got ready for our impending journey I tried calling Throwbacks, a self proclaimed baseball bar, to ensure that they would have the game on, but to no avail. I understand, it was early, so why would someone need to answer the phone, right? So anyhow, we set off with our newly equipped Android phones and Google maps for guidance. Google wasn't much help, as we got lost several times on our way there, though we finally found Throwbacks amongst a bunch of rollback doors.

As you walk up to the bar you can’t help but notice their shuttle bus used to transport fans to and from games. According to their website “Shuttle leaves 30 minutes before game starts, and will pick you up 20 minutes after game ends”- this seems like a perfect situation, especially since the Stadium stops serving in the seventh. Throwbacks definitely gets a plus for providing a way for fans to get to and from games safely.
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AngelsWin.com's own Senior Writer Adam Dodge has answered the call to be a hero! He's having his head shaved to stand in solidarity with kids fighting cancer, but more importantly, to raise money to find cures.

Please support him with a donation to the St. Baldrick's Foundation. This volunteer-driven charity funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.

Your gift will give hope to infants, children, teens and young adults fighting childhood cancers. So when I ask for your support, I'm really asking you to support these kids. Thank you!

Go here and give money to this GREAT cause as Adam stands side by side with Team Throwbacks this Saturday held at the Throwback Bar and Grill in Anaheim, CA. Any money helps, whether it's $5, $10 or $20 bucks.

Start Time: 11:00 am

Address: Throwbacks Anaheim, 1759 S. Claudina Way

This year our event will begin at Throwbacks in Anaheim at 11am and move to the Auld Irisher in Orange, CA at 2pm and will go into the evening with entertainment food specials and support for the St. Baldricks Foundation.

FUNDRAISING

Raised: $225
Goal: $500

KID HONORED

honored kid
John K. Taggart
Diagnosis: Neuroblastoma
More about John »

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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By Geoff Bilau - AngelsWin.com Senior Editor

The following are my immediate recollections and impressions from the Garret Anderson retirement conference call Tuesday morning:

Anderson said he contended all along that he would have liked to finish his career as an Angel, but that it didn't work out, and though he does carry some regrets about not doing so, he appreciates the opportunity he had to play in Atlanta, especially for Bobby Cox, and to play for Joe Torre after being his opposition for so many years.

He said his proudest accomplishment wouldn't be anything he accomplished individually because he couldn't have shared it with anybody, so he would have to say winning the World Series would top the list. He knows so many fellow players who never even got there and appreciates how difficult it was just to do that and win it and how difficult it was to try and get back there.

MLB.com's Lyle Spencer asked Anderson if he thinks he was misunderstood as a player. He said, "I don't think I was misunderstood — I know I was misunderstood," and laughed. Anderson admitted that he recognizes he brought some of his perception problems upon himself and is sorry for that. "For the most part I was just a quiet person and that leads to a lot of misunderstanding," he said.

Anderson also said retirement wasn't an easy decision, but that there wasn't anything "remotely worth considering" available to him this spring. He said anything would have required a minor league contract and most likely starting the season in AAA. He said being put in the position of having to hope for somebody to struggle or get injured is something he would never wish upon anybody at this stage of their career.

He was asked about a future in coaching and said, "I've learned to never say never."

The guy was every bit as classy as ever. I hope the Angels facilitating this conference call means he'll continue his relationship with the organization, including guest coaching opportunities in Arizona and things around the stadium. It would be great to see him back in Angels red one way or another.
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ANGELS PRESS RELEASE

TEMPE, AZ – Garret Anderson, one of the most consistent players to ever wear an Angel uniform, Tuesday announced his retirement following a distinguished 17-year Major League career, 15 of those with the Angels. In doing so, Anderson released the following statement:

“It is with mixed emotions that I have decided to retire from baseball. I know I will miss many aspects of the game, the grind of playing every day, hitting with the game on the line, the clubhouse banter, making a good defensive play, the guys, the roar of the crowd after a win, and the friendships made throughout the years. It was truly a privilege to play this wonderful game and for that I want to thank several individuals.

“To the Autry family, thank you for taking a chance and letting me play at the raw age of 22. To Disney and Mr. & Mrs. Moreno, thank you for allowing me to play most of my career in an Angel uniform. To all the managers and coaches, both in the minor and big leagues, and players that had a hand in my success, thank you. To the Angel fans, I want to apologize for being somewhat difficult to read at times and thank you for your support even still. I’ve appreciated your encouragement over the years. Most of all, I want to thank my Heavenly Father for giving me the talent to play this great game.”

“Garret was an incredible player, one with a calm demeanor and quiet confidence that allowed him to excel in this game,” said Angels Manager Mike Scioscia. “Garret’s role in where the Angels organization is today cannot be overstated. He had a tremendous passion to play this game and a deep understanding of how to play to win and that was very important to this organization. We wish him and his family nothing but the best as he begins the next chapter of his life.”

“Garret was a student of the game, someone who always came to the park prepared to play,” said Angels General Manager Tony Reagins. “It is gratifying for me to know he leaves the game among the greatest Angels of all-time.”

Born June 30, 1972 in Los Angeles, CA, Anderson attended Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, CA where he starred in football, basketball and baseball. He was recognized with a pair of All-Los Angeles City and All-League Honors during his prep career in baseball, and as a junior, helped lead his team to a Los Angeles City Championship.

Drafted by the California Angels in the fourth round of the 1990 MLB Amateur Draft, Anderson would spend all or parts of five seasons in the minor leagues before making his Major League debut on July 27, 1994 against Oakland. He recorded his first hit on a single to right field against Ron Darling, and finished the game two-for-four.

A year later he was promoted to the Angels on April 26th and remained a fixture with the club the remainder of the season. He recorded the first of his 287 lifetime home runs on June 13th against Minnesota’s Kevin Tapani, and finished the campaign hitting .321 with 16 home runs and 69 RBI while finishing second in A.L. “Rookie of the Year” voting to the Twins’ Marty Cordova.

During the next eight seasons, Anderson would play in 1,254 games, or an average of 156 per year. He recorded 600-or-more plate appearances in each of those campaigns, and registered four consecutive seasons of 100-or-more RBI (2000-2003), a span during which he averaged 119 RBI per season (479 total).

His career was filled with milestones and honors. He was a three-time All-Star (2002-2003, 2005); All-Star Game MVP and Home Run Derby Champion (2003), The Sporting News “Rookie of the Year” (1995); a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2002-2003); led the A.L. in doubles (2002-2003); collected 2,000th career hit (July 1, 2006) and established a club record for most consecutive games with at least one RBI (2007).

In a career filled with big hits and accomplishment, his finest moment came October 27, 2002 when his bases-clearing double would prove to be the game-winner in the Angels 4-1 victory over San Francisco, resulting in the club’s first World Championship.

Anderson, who spent the final two years of his career with Atlanta (2009) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2010), remains the club all-time leader in the following offensive categories: games (2,013), at-bats (7,989), runs (1,024), hits (2,368), total bases (3,743), extra-base hits (796), doubles (489) and RBI (1,292). He is also tied for third in average with Johnny Ray at .296, third in triples (35) and second in home runs (272).


By Adam Dodge - Angelswin.com Senior Writer

* This article was originally written in 2009 after Garret Anderson and the Angels could not come to terms, ending GA's long and successful career with the Angels. Today, it is still relevant as Garret Anderson who even played a season with the Dodgers as a bench player, never had the type of success elsewhere that he did while with the Angels.

They say that all great things must come to an end. Fortunately, those great things must also have a beginning; and sometimes we’re lucky enough to enjoy them from start to finish.

In 1990, the California Angels used their fourth round draft pick to select a slender 17-year-old outfielder out of Kennedy High School in Granada Hills. Now, 19 years later, the Los Angeles Angels bid farewell to their all-time franchise leader in games played, plate appearances, hits, runs, total bases, extra base hits and runs batted in.

For all intents and purposes, Garret Anderson’s Angels career ended on Oct. 28, 2008, when the organization announced it would not pick up his $14 million option for 2009.

But what a career it was.

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