Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By Jonathan Northrop, Staff Reporter - 

Mike Trout is going to finish the year first in fWAR again - he's at 7.8 right now, with #2 being far behind at 6.2 (Jonathan Lucroy). For those who prefer rWAR, he's also at 7.8 but Donaldson is much closer at 7.3, so it isn't quite a lock but it is close.

Anyhow, this will be the third year in a row that Trout has been #1 in fWAR. Aside from the amazing fact that he's done it not just any three years, but his first three years (and will presumably have more years of being #1 ahead), the list of players who have led the majors in fWAR three or more times is relatively small. Here it is, from 1900 to the present (I was going to pick 1901 because that's the year we had two leagues, but I added 1900 to give Honus Wagner his full array):

10 Ruth
8 Wagner, Mays
7 Bonds
5 Cobb, Williams
4 Mantle
3 Hornsby, Musial, Yasztremski, Schmidt, Boggs, Henderson, Ripken, Rodriguez, Pujols, Trout

In other words, Trout is the 17th player to do it. That's pretty good company. Of note are some pretty amazing players that did not make the cut of 3, including Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Mel Ott, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan, and a bunch of other greats and Hall of Famers.

Now again, Mike is just getting started. While we can't expect him to lead the majors in WAR every year, at least not forever, it would seem that he is like to at least surpass Cobb and Williams, and maybe vie with Bonds, Wagner, and Mays. Ruth? Let's see how things look in a few years. Consider it like a no-hitter alert - you can't really start taking it seriously until the 6th or 7th inning. I think in order for him to have a legit shot at Ruth, he's going to have to enter his 30s with at least 7 - that would mean winning it 4 out of the next 7 years. Possible!

By Joe McDonnell, Columnist - 

A year ago if you walked into the Angels' clubhouse, you immediately sensed that it was not the happiest place on earth. 

The Angels were finishing up one of the most disappointing seasons in their history, leaving owner Arte Moreno angry and frustrated with a fourth straight year of missing the playoffs. He had to be wondering why after spending nearly a half billion dollars to sign Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson and Josh Hamilton--his team was on the outside looking in, Again.

Speculation had both Manager Mike Scioscia and GM Jerry Dipoto on the chopping block, even though Moreno gave them the usually-fatal vote of confidence, they were both brought back with mandate of "Win Now."

They have responded, the Halos have clinched a playoff spot and both are serious candidates for post-season awards.

In his 15th year,  former catcher Scioscia has done one of his finest jobs, blending new players with the old players and keeping the team's confidence high during a serious run of injuries to the pitching staff. Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs were lost for the year and rookie sensation Matt Shoemaker is a question mark after an oblique injury Monday night.

This is where Dipoto has shined, when the bullpen needed rebuilding, he did it, acquiring Houston Street and Jason Grilli. Before the season he shored up roster depth and the bench, including a good veteran player and great teammate, John McDonald. Within a year, Dipoto has gone from getting crushed by the media & fans from being the favorite to win the Executive of the Year Award.

I sat down with Dipoto and we talked about the state of the Angels,

Joe McDonnell -- Quite a difference from a year ago, You must be thrilled,

Jerry Dipoto -- Certainly feel good about it and we're confident with where we are, I think the key to our season was starting off a little better than we have in the past few seasons, We had to battle through some injuries and adversity early and some significant injuries with Garrett and Tyler Skaggs going down, There's really something special about this team character-wise and Mike and his staff have done a great job keeping them all together,

Joe McDonnell -- How much of a factor is a player's character when you' putting together a roster?

Jerry Dipoto -- It's huge. It dates back to the off-season when we were formulating out plan for the roster, We wanted to add "makeup" to this club in guys like Raul Ibanez, Johnny McDonald. Houston Street and Joe Smith. players who were off-season and in-season acquisitions, And also Jason Grilli who brings that great personality to the team, There's so much quality and character that we brought in to go along with who we already had here.and it's manifested into such a good group. 

Joe McDonnell -- Just watching them interact on and off the field shows that they really get along.

Jerry Dipoto -- This may be the most cohesive group I've been around. This is the 26th different team I've been associated with in my career, and the way this group gets along, the way they pull for each other and pick each other up when they're down is extraordinary.

Joe McDonnell -- You took a lot of heat from the media and fans the past two years. Would you consider this a season of redemption?

Jerry Dipoto -- That's just part of the gig. You are going to take heat. And next year if we don't (win) I'll take heat again. That's the nature of the business. I always tell the players that pressure is what you make of it. Pressure, to me, is not being able to pay the bills. The guy who doesn't quite make enough money and has to live paycheck to paycheck. That's pressure. What we do here is fun. I'd be lying to you if I said there were never times when I'm a little edgy. There are. But when you have a job in the public eye you have to let stuff roll off  of you. Me, Mike Arte--we're going to get criticized. But we pick each other up and play as hard as we can and hopefully we win.

Joe McDonnell --  There's been lots of talk that you and Scioscia don't get along. True or false?

Jerry Dipoto -- I think what a lot of people don't know is that the first day Mike and I met was the first day we worked together. I came in with philosophies and ideas  from my baseball life and Mike came in with the things he had done in his baseball life. He believed firmly in the things he believed in and I believed firmly in the things I believed in, and we had to figure each other out along the way. That doesn't happen in a day or even a month, but we got to know each other along the way. I don't think we ever had a problem with each other personally and frankly I think we got along fine personally. Once we started to understand each other's baseball, everything became balanced.

(After the interview with Dipoto, I asked Scioscia the same question.)

Mike Scioscia --You have guys with strong opinions in Jerry and I, and a lot of that is healthy. Its's said that we don't get along and that's erroneous. There are some things we talk about that we don't agree on, much like any manager and GM, I think we've become a better team in terms of our manager-general manager relationship. The lines of communication are kept open and I think it's worked out just fine.

Joe McDonnell -- Why has this team been successful in 2014?

Jerry Dipoto -- A lot of factors have made us successful. Mike and his staff have been great. They have so much knowledge. They've payed the game, coached the game and managed the game. We have people in the front office who understand the game, know how the read the numbers, make judgments and get us the right players. And of course the players themselves. We've got a great bunch of guys who play hard every game and all of them have made big contributions. The Mike Trouts', Albert Pujols' Josh Hamitons', Jered Weavers' and Garret Richards are great players and get well-deserved recognition. But this is a TEAM, and if we keep playing like we have, this could end up being a very special year. That's what we're hoping for.

See's Q & A session prior to the start of the 2014 season held in Tempe, AZ, at our Spring Fanfest Event.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


This week we celebrate our 10th anniversary with an interview with long time member, AngelsJunky. The New Hampshire resident is a passionate Angels fan who brings intelligent topics for discussion to our forum and has posted some of the most in-depth blog articles over the years at 

Let's dig right in and get to know AJ better in this week's member appreciation post. When and how did you first come to

Angelsjunky: I was a fellow participant with Chuck Richter on an old site called "BigDel's LATimes Angeltalk Refugees Board," which was just that - a place for folks that got displaced when the old LA Times board went down – about 15 years ago, I think. I can't remember for sure, but I think I had just started up at the LA Times board so I followed the migration led by BigDel.

Anyhow, I hung out there for a few years--including enjoying 2002 with that community--and then eventually moved over to Angelswin; I think it must have been in 2005 or 2006, a year or two after Chuck opened his doors. What keeps you coming back to the site?

Angelsjunky: First and foremost the community, in particular on the forums. It is a fun place to hang out, to laugh and cry, and follow the Angels together through all the ups and downs. Furthermore, I enjoy the diversity of perspectives found there. While there are certainly different "fan temperaments," and you get to know the cast of characters of the forums over time, there are a wide enough range of participants that it doesn't get boring. Also, while people squabble there's an underlying sense that, in the end, we're all Angels fans. What have been some of your favorite articles and threads?

Angelsjunky: It is probably too difficult to pick out just a few, and as soon as you do that you start unintentionally forgetting people. Let's just say that while I'm often considered a stat guy, I appreciate the fact that there are some writers and participants who focus on the more human aspects of the game, and I enjoy reading that stuff as it is all too easy to forget about the real human beings wearing the uniforms. What in-person events have you attended from (Spring/Summer Fanfests, Charity Golf, Charity Softball)?

Angelsjunky: Seeing as I live on the east coast, behind enemy lines in "Red Sox Nation," I don't get a chance to be at any of these events. Still, I hope to someday be able share a beer or two with everyone. Why is your internet home for the Angels?

Angelsjunky: I covered some of this above, but it is THE community to talk about Angels baseball. I also like the fact that while there are sometimes disagreements on the boards, Chuck and the moderators are always willing to listen. They really do care about the community. In your opinion, what is’s best feature: the articles, charitable events, game-day chat, message boards, Fanfests, podcasts, etc?

Angelsjunky: There are lots of good features but as I said above, it has to be the message boards. By way of example, it is an amusing experience to get in on the Gameday thread to complain about, say, Pujols grounding into a double play with one out and the bases loaded, and then seeing that in the time between when you pressed "reply" and "post," there were a dozen other posts made - all some kind of anguished rant. There is shared comaraderie in suffering.

Lighter Side Where do you live and what do you do?

Angelsjunky: New Hampshire* currently, although I lived out west in Colorado and Oregon for about fifteen years so feel equally at home on both coasts. I am a teacher and counselor at a small private high school.

(*That's right, tdawg87, you're not the only NHite) Why are you an Angels fan?

Angelsjunky: I'm one of the rare Angels fans that didn't grow up in Southern California. But my story, in brief, is that I went to visit my grandparents in Palm Springs back in 1980 when I was a little kid. It was spring training and the Angels were there for part of it and when I saw all of the paraphernalia, I was mesmerized. I had grown up listening to my father and older brother talk baseball (mainly Red Sox, as we lived in Vermont at the time), and so was just getting into it; the Angels just imprinted on me and it has been love ever since. Yes, I am a native New Englander who is a fan of the Angels. We must be few and far between.

Anyhow, it wasn't until 1987 when I was 13 years old, though, that I got really serious about following baseball. As long-time fans know, from 1987-2001 was a bit of a dark age for the Angels, and I remember once or twice trying to switch allegiances to a more successful franchise. But I couldn't do it and quickly gave up and accepted my fate as a life-long Angels fan, and was eventually rewarded for it in 2002. What was your first Angels game that you remember? Who’d you go with?

Angelsjunky: I've actually never been to Anaheim, so have never seen them on their home turf. But the first time I saw them was during Spring Training in 1989. I was visiting my grandfather in Palm Springs for a week and he got me tickets for the whole week. It was a lot of fun; I remember being impressed by Devon White, and also seeing a 19-year old Ken Griffey Jr.

But I don't think I went to see the Angels in a regular season game until 1995 (yes, I mentioned The Year That Should Never Be Spoken Of Again). It was September 3rd and the Angels were amidst their historic collapse. I went with my girlfriend and we sat in the Fenway bleachers. I was probably the only Angels fan there and when I cheered after the Angels scored their only run in an 8-1 loss—their 15th of the last 18 games--a snotty-nosed punk of a Red Sox fan (that is, a 13-year old kid) in front of us complained "the only Angels fan in the park and he has to sit behind me." My girlfriend, irritable in the sun and not at all a baseball fan, told him "If you don't like it, you can leave." He didn't, but didn't peep another word for the rest of the game. Sort of a fond, funny memory amidst an otherwise horrible couple months of baseball. Who have been your favorite players? Why? Any great stories or interactions with them?

Angelsjunky: Growing up I liked Rod Carew and Bobby Grich, then Wally Joyner and Devon White. But then in the 90s it was Tim Salmon, Jim Edmonds, and Darin Erstad, and of course Chuck Finley was the old standby and I loved watching Chili Davis hit, as well as Tony Phillips' Rickey Henderson-esque performance in 1995. A bit later, Troy Percival was so much fun to watch. Of the current team, aside from the obvious Mike Trout, I really enjoy Kole Calhoun, who I've had my eye on since he was drafted and always had a hunch would be good. For pitchers I just love watching Garret Richards, and Matt Shoemaker has really grown on me. How do you survive the offseason?

Angelsjunky: The offseason in NH largely means "winter," so I've got bigger problems to deal with than the lack of baseball. But aside from other non-sports related interests, in the sports world I also enjoy football and tennis, and of course there's always Hot Stove season! What’s one thing you’d like everyone in to know about you?

Angelsjunky: Ha ha, I'll have to sleep on that. But probably the less the better.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

By Adrian Noche, Staff Reporter - 

1. Cam Bedrosian, Relief PItcher, Salt Lake Bees
2014 Minors: 2-1  2.00 ERA  18 SV  45.0 IP  16 H  18 BB  82 SO  0.75 WHIP  .109 AVG

Cam Bedrosian might have had one of the most dominant seasons as a reliever in minor league history. You could play a baseball video game on the easiest difficulty and still struggle to put up the numbers Cam has put up this year. In 45.0 IP, Cam was able to strike out 82 batters which is good for a SO9 of  16.4. Cam also kept his walks overall at a decent level with a 3.6 BB9. Opponents hit for a .109 average against him this season. Despite the struggles in short stints with the big club, people have to keep in mind that Cam was barely converted to his relief role a little over a year ago. His stuff is too good to not play a major role in the Angels' bullpen as soon as next season or even this September.

2. Michael Roth, Starting Pitchers, Arkansas Travelers
2014 Minors: 11-7  2.62 ERA  140.2 IP  121 H  54 BB  79 SO  1.24 WHIP  .238 AVG

Michael Roth finally put it all together this season for the Arkansas Travelers. Roth was one of the Texas League’s finest, placing himself among the leaders in numerous pitching categories: Wins (T-3rd), ERA (2nd), WHIP (8th). Roth has also induced almost twice as many ground balls as fly balls this season (26% FB-rate: 51 GB-rate). These numbers could be a product of Roth deciding to pitch to contact more this season, something that made Roth one of the most dominant pitchers in college. It’s hard to get a gauge on if the Angels ultimately see Roth as a starter or reliever, but it would be hard to stick him in the pen if he continues to put up seasons like this.

3. Dennis Raben, 1st Baseman, Inland Empire 66ers
2014 Minors: .292/.362/.579  116 H  15 Doubles  3 Triples  31 HR  94 RBI  38 BB  96 SO  4 SB  63 R  

Although many may be quick to point at that Dennis Raben is a 27 year old in High-A Ball, it’s hard to argue that Raben made a mockery of the Cal League this season. Despite an extremely slow start that saw him batting below .200, Raben still managed to hit .292 this season. Raben also flashed his plus-power with 31 home runs and an .ISO of .287. Raben was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 Amateur Draft by the Mariners but eventually saw himself playing for Independent Ball until the Angels signed him this season. 

4. Drew Rucinski, Starting Pitcher, Arkansas Travelers
2014 Minors: 10-6  3.15 ERA  148.2 IP  142 H  41 BB  140 SO  1.23 ERA  .257 AVG

Drew Rucinski is another former Indy League ball player rising from the ashes with the Angels organization. If you missed one of my earlier articles, this is an excerpt of Ruciknski’s path back to the Majors: 

"Drew Rucinski was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Indians in 2011 and was released after just one season. Rucinski eventually found himself as one of the best pitchers in Indy-Ball, posting a 3.13 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 103.2 innings with the Rockford Aviators in 2012. After another successful season in 2013, Rucinski signed a minor league contract to join the 66ers in the latter half of their season. Rucinski immediately established himself as a key component of the Inland Empire 66ers strong season and postseason run, posting a 1.86 ERA in 5 starts for the Angels’ High-A affiliate.“

Rucinski and Roth were a great 1-2 punch for the Travelers this season. Rucinski won 10 games this season while boasting a 3.15 ERA. Drew also posted strong strikeout and walk numbers with a SO9 of 8.5 along with a BB9 of 2.5. Rucinski should help eat innings out of the pen for the Angels this September and should vie for the 5th rotation spot for the big league club next season.

5. Tyler DeLoach, Starting Pitcher, Arkansas Travelers
2014 Minors: 14-4  2.99 ERA  147.1 IP  104 H  66 BB  161 SO  1.15 WHIP  .198 AVG

Tyler DeLoach put himself on the radar this year with strong years in both Inland Empire (High-A) and Arkansas (Double-A). In both levels, DeLoach struck out near 10 batters per 9 innings but faced some control problems with 66 BB in 147.1 IP. Nonetheless, the southpaw was arguably dominant this season as he held batters to an average of .198. Tyler also helped bolster a Travs rotation which led them to the playoffs. Tyler started 6 games (all quality starts) for the Travelers since a mid-season call up and had a record of 4-0 with a 2.29 ERA.

6. Harrison Cooney, Starting Pitcher, Burlington Bees
2014 Minors: 9-8  2.65 ERA  1 SV  129.0 IP  108 H  51 BB  91 SO  1.23 WHIP  .227 AVG

Harrison Cooney was the ace of the Bees staff this season. Cooney led Bees’ starters with 9 wins, an ERA of 2.65 and 1.23 WHIP. There were questions as to whether Cooney would be a reliever or starter after being drafted in the 6th round of the 2013 Amateur Draft. Cooney might have helped answer those questions this season, leading the team with 22 starts and 129.0 innings pitched. Cooney’s arsenal mainly consists of a low-90s fastball with huge “arm-side” run and a plus slider. Despite this arsenal, Cooney only struck out 6.3 batters per nine innings. 

7. Bo Way, Outfielder, Burlington Bees
2014 Minors: .347/.410/.510  85 H  16 Doubles  6 Triples  4 HR  37 RBI  21 BB  29 SO  13 SB  50 R

Bo Way never stopped hitting after being drafted by the Angels in the 7th round of the 2014 Amateur Draft. His first stop: Rookie League Orem. Way had his way with the Pioneer League, hitting .354 and slugging .554. Next stop: Low-A Burlington. Way kept hitting despite the higher competition with a .354 batting average and .461 SLG. Across to levels this season, Way has a K:BB ratio of 29:21. Just for good measure, toss in 6 outfield assists for Bo as well. Way did as much as he possibly could with his limited time with the Angels organization this season and should be rewarded with some mentions in future top prospect lists.

8. Nate Smith, Starting Pitcher, Arkansas Travelers
2014 Minors: 11-6  2.97 ERA  118.0 IP  89 H  44 BB  118 SO  1.13 WHIP  .210  AVG

Nate Smith had himself a breakout year this season. After dominating hitters in the Cal League, Smith earned himself a promotion to Double-A Arkansas. For the Travs, Smith upped his strikeout numbers from a SO9 of 8.2 with the 66ers to 9.7 for the Double-A affiliation. On the other hand, the southpaw’s walks increased as well: from 2.3 to 4.3. An unlucky injury (broken pinky finger) has left Smith on the shelf for a little over a month but you can expect a strong return to the mound and possibly a Major League debut for Smith next season.

9. Jairo Diaz, Relief Pitcher, Arkansas Travelers
2014 Minors: 4-4  3.48 ERA  15 SV  64.2 IP  61 H  22 BB  85 SO  1.25 WHIP  .248 AVG  

Lost in the organization limelight behind the Bedrosian’s and “formerly” Alvarez’s of the world is Jairo Diaz. Diaz cranks up his fastball in the high-90s and can even touch triple digits. Diaz started off the year in Inland Empire and pitched a lot better than his numbers would suggest. Diaz posted an ERA of 4.78 but his FIP was 3.28. The Angels noticed this and gave him a promotion to Arkansas. Jairo was lights out after his promotion, with a SO9 of 13.2 and BB9 of 2.8. A September call-up wouldn’t be out of the question this season for Diaz, and don’t be surprised to see him dominate Major League hitters with his deadly fastball-slider combo a la Francisco Rodriguez 2002.

10. CJ Cron, 1st Baseman, Salt Lake Bees
2014 Minors: .316/.385/.511  14 Doubles  1 Triple  7 HR  33 RBI  2 SB  30 Runs  19 BB  40 SO

Many expected a hitter like C.J. Cron to completely annihilate the PCL this season. Although he did not, Cron still managed to put up strong numbers in his time with the Salt Lake Bees. Cron managed to improve on every statistical category from 2013 to 2014. The main thing that stands out was Cron’s plate discipline: in 2013 Cron managed to walk only 23 times in 565 plate appearances, in 2014 Cron walked 18 times in just 213 plate appearances. 10 of those walks were in the 18 games that came after his demotion from the big club. Cron showed flashes of his plus-bat in his stint with the Angels and should be a huge help for the big league team this September.

11. Sherman Johnson, 2nd Baseman, Inland Empire 66ers
2014 Minors: .276/.382/.465  146 H  23 Doubles  13 Triples  17 HR  78 RBI  88 BB  104 SO  26 SB  107 R

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Sherman Johnson did it all for the Inland Empire 66ers this season. Did you need a table setter and leadoff hitter? Johnson had 88 BBs, stole 26 stolen bases and scored 107 runs for the 66ers, all of which led his team. Did you need a run-producer? Sherman slugged .465 while driving in 78 runs. Did you need defense? Johnson only committed 4 errors at 2nd base this season while also playing 3rd base, shortstop and outfield this year. 

12. Alex Yarbrough, 2nd Baseman, Arkansas Travelers
2014 Minors: .285/.321/.397  155 H  38 Doubles  4 Triples  5 HR  77 RBI  33 BB  124 SO  6 SB  66 R

Alex Yarbrough was just named Texas League Player of the Year. Don’t think that Yarbrough had a huge breakout year but it was still a strong season for the second baseman. Yarbrough smacked a league leading 155 hits, 38 doubles and was second in the league with 77 RBIs. Yarbrough was also an ironman for the Travelers this season, playing in a league leading 136 games.

13. Eric Aguilera, 1st Baseman, Burlington Bees
2014 Minors: .291/.340/.438  149 H  25 Doubles  4 Triples  14 HR  73 RBI  39 BB  111 SO  17 SB  62 R

Eric Aguilera was rock solid for the Bees’ lineup this season, leading the Bees in offensive categories such as home runs (14) and RBIs (71). Eric also hit for a solid average of .291 while flashing his speed with 17 stolen bases. Aguilera should continue his steady climb up the organizational ladder as an above-average hitter from the left side of the plate next season.

Final Minor League Affiliate Report of 2014

Triple-A Salt Lake Bees

The Bees went 3-5 in their final 8 games of the season to give them a final record of 60-84. Grant Green collected 10 hits to go along with 3 doubles and a home run. Outfielder, Brennan Boesch added to his home run total of the season, smacking 3 and giving him a season total of 25. Brennan Boesch was also named the 2014 PCL Batting Champion after leading the league with a .332 batting average. Unfortunately, the Bees will not be playing in the playoffs this season and 11 players received the call up to Anaheim: Cam Bedrosian, Vinnie Pestano, Cory Rasmus, Wade LeBlanc, Brennan Boesch, Tony Campana, C.J. Cron, Luis Jimenez, Shawn O’Malley, Efren Navarro, John Buck.

Double-A Arkansas Travelers

The Travelers went 5-3 in their final 8 games of the season, giving them an overall record of 75-65. The Travelers will be facing Tulsa in the first round of the playoffs starting on Wednesday, September 3rd. 1st baseman, Brian Hernandez, was named the Texas League Player of the Month after slashing a line of .364/.458/.535 for the month of August. Hernandez also slugged 3 home runs and drove in 18 RBI’s for the Travs this past month. Eric Stamets, chipped in another 8 hits and 2 home runs, giving him a .330/.340/.515 slash line for the month of August. Buddy Boshers continued his strong pitching with 0 earned runs allowed in 5.1 innings pitched with 5 strikeouts this past week. Jairo Diaz saved 4 games, striking out 6 in 4.0 innings pitched (1 ER  1 BB). Drew Rucinski pitched 6.0 innings of one run ball, only allowing 6 hits and no walks while striking out 1.

High-A Inland Empire 66ers

The 66ers bounced back with a second half record of 37-33 and will be headed to the playoffs. Sherman Johnson was awarded Player of the Week Honors after hitting .469 this week (15-32) along with 5 home runs, a triple and a double. Johnson also scored 11 runs and drove in 9 himself. Dennis Raben hit another 3 home runs this week, giving him 31 on the season. Angel Rosa collected 12 hits this week, giving him a season average of .348. Outfielder, Mark Shannon, ended the season with a 6-game hitting streak where he had an average of .444 (12 for 27). Austin Wood continued to pitch well after his injury as he pitched 2.1 innings of shutout baseball while giving up 3 hits and no walks to go along with 3 strikeouts.

Low-A Burlington Bees

The Low-A Bees went 3-5 to give them an overall record of 68-71. However, they will be headed to the playoffs since they clinched a playoff spot in the first half of the season. Second baseman, Kody Eaves, has 13 home runs on the season after hitting 2 this week. Bo Way collected 9 hits in 27 at bats to go along with 4 walks. Sean Newcomb pitched brilliantly on the 27th, striking out 10 in 4.0 shutout innings while only giving up 2 hits and no walks.

Class-A Short Season Orem Owlz

The Owlz currently have 2 games left to be played this season but will face the Ogden Raptors in the first round of the playoffs. Catcher, Michael Strentz, is currently on a 10-game hitting streak where he is hitting .410 to go along with 2 home runs and 5 doubles. Wade Wass is currently swinging a hot bat as well with a .419 average in his last 10 games. Second baseman, Andrew Daniel, is the current owner of an 8-game hitting streak where he has 13 hits in 32 at-bats. Keynan Middleton has been throwing the ball well, with just 3 earned runs and 0 walks allowed in his last 2 starts (10.0 IP  8 H  7 SO). Arjenis Fernandez has allowed just 3 earned runs in his last two starts as well (11.2 IP  12 H  3 BB  6 SO).

AZL Angels

The AZL Angels went 2-3 in their final 5 games of the season. After clinching a spot in the first half, the Angels will be headed to the playoffs as well with an overall record of 30-25. Second baseman, Juan Moreno, collected 8 hits in 18 at-bats and was promoted to the Orem Owlz following the conclusion of AZL’s regular season. Ricardo Sanchez pitched 4.0 innings of shutout baseball on the 26th, giving up a pair of hits and walks while striking out 3.

Monday, September 1, 2014

By Geoff Stoddart, Vice President of Marketing & Communications

It’s Monday morning.  

It’s September 1, 2014.  

It’s Labor Day.  

I’m sitting on my back deck, drinking coffee and staring out west towards the Rocky Mountains.  The sky is blue and there are a handful of puffy white clouds positioned above just perfectly.  Yet, amidst all of this beauty, the only thing I can think of is the amazing weekend of baseball that Angels’ fans just witnessed. 

The Angels just completed a four game sweep of the Oakland A’s, the team we’ve been chasing all year for control of the American League West.  On August 16th, we caught them.  On August 18th, we passed them. And entering this four game series, we held a one game lead.  

The weekend was full of amazing moments …

• The A’s media and fans lost their minds over Angel fans doing the Light Wave.  They claimed it was 1) tacky, 2) cheating and 3) akin to shining a laser-pointer in their player’s eyes.  (Shout out to @CSNAthletics, @brodiebrazilCSN and @OakAsSocksGrl for some top-notch drama.)

• Angel fans who previously hated the Light Wave and thought it was dumb, suddenly loved it because it pissed off the other team’s media and fans.  (Shout out to … ummm … me.)

• A’s players came out and said 1) they didn’t even notice the Light Wave when they were batting and 2) the Light Wave was “actually kind of cool.”  (Shout out to Stephen Vogt and Brandon Moss.)

Of course, there were amazing moments on the field as well.  

• The Angels outscored the A’s 18-4 over the four game series.

• The Angels shutout the A’s two of the four games.

• The Angels pitching staff held the A’s scoreless for 29 consecutive innings.  (The 2nd most in A’s team history.)

• With Garrett Richards out for the rest of the season, the Angels were forced to do a “bullpen start” on Saturday, using a club record 8 pitchers (in a 9 inning game).  Led by Cory Rasmus, the staff shut the A’s down, holding them to just 3 hits.

It was a glorious weekend, and today is a glorious day!  The Halos now hold a 5 game lead over the A’s in the AL West and boast the best record in all of baseball, 83-53.  What could be better?!?!

Well … finishing.  

Finishing could be better. 

I’m keenly aware that many Angel fans don’t have much history with the team prior to 2002.  That’s fine.  Nothing breeds success, interest and an increased fan base like winning, and the 2000’s have been certainly been the golden age of Angels baseball.  (The last four years not withstanding.) 

However, the 1990’s were not as golden.  

On the morning of September 1, 1995, the Angels held a 7.5 game lead in the AL West.  All they had to do was not throw-up on themselves for the final 27 games and they’d make the post-season for the first time since 1986 (another year when finishing was an issue).  

Playing .500 ball that September would have done it.  Instead the team went 11-16, forcing a one game play-in game with Seattle.  Randy Johnson threw a near no hitter, and the Angels lost 9-1.  

In baseball, as in all sports (hell … as in life!), you have to finish!  

It was an amazing weekend of Angels’ baseball, but the job is far from over.  In fact, one could argue that the real work is just beginning.  So let’s get after it! 

Now, I’m not going to go all Karate Kid on you and bust out a “finish him” or “sweep the leg” quote.  That would be too cheesy.  Besides, when Sensei John Kreese uttered those words to his fighter, the guy lost.  

Instead, I’ll wish you all a wonderful Labor Day!  

Enjoy the time off.  Enjoy the afterglow of an amazing weekend of baseball.  Prepare for the home stretch.  

And for heaven’s sakes keep those cellphone batteries charged!  Apparently the Light Wave causes great emotional stress and mental anguish to the other team!  

If not to their players, at least to their media and fans!

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