Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Today in Tempe the Angels will face South Africa's WBC team. Joe Saunders will be making his first spring appearance for the Halos.

In an article that will bring relief to many Angels fans, it appears than an added emphasis on plate disciple is starting to pay dividends for the Angels. So far this spring the team leads the majors in walks. They are also the only club who has drawn more bases on balls than strikeouts.

This is great news! There is an old saying that a walk is as good as a hit, it isn't really, especially when there are runners in scoring position. However, a walk is way better than an out, and for far too many seasons the Angels have been getting themselves out by swinging at balls in the dirt and not working the count to get "their pitch". Angel batters have been making it way too easy on the opposing pitcher.

Over the last month, Fox Sports West has been showing the Angels 2002 World Series run and it struck me just how well that team worked counts. They didn't walk a lot but they made the pitchers work very hard and a lot of the time they were able to oust the starting pitcher by the 5th or 6th inning. If the 2009 squad is going to have success they are going to have to learn to work the counts and recognize when the pitcher is trying to work around a them to get to the next hitter. There are 8 other hitters in the lineup, the guy up at the plate shouldn't have to feel like scoring runs is all on his shoulders. The objective should be to get on base, allow the pitcher to get in trouble and have confidence in the teammates hitting behind you in the order.

Reggie Willits leads the way as manager Mike Scioscia assigns him the task of Spring time Santa Claus. Angels players and coaches have been donating money to buy toys for underprivileged children. Working with a local school they have seen to it that homeless children staying at shelters are able to receive a toys on their birthdays.

Scott Shields talks about setting up for Brian Fuentes and playing in the WBC.

Around MLB

The Manny Ramirez saga appears to be over as he agrees to terms with the Dodgers.

As expected, Nomar Garciaparra joins the Oakland Athletics.

Sports memorabilia, including authentic Angels memorabilia
Love to hear what you think!

Listen to "A Fish Like This" Tribute song to Mike Trout's Greatness

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