Monday, April 30, 2012

By Steve Haston - Satire Writer

Anaheim, CA - In a time where division rivals are highly unlikely to do trade business with each other, the Texas Rangers made a strong push to take Vernon Wells off of the Angels hands. Equally as shocking is the fact that the Angels would have in no way be responsible for the balance of his contract. It has been widely thought that, should the Angels come to a deal for Wells, his contract would largely be paid by the Angels because of Wells’ declining production. Jerry Dipoto commented “When the call came in I was really surprised. Texas doesn’t need any help in the outfield and Wells is very expensive. Then came Nolan’s (Ryan) one condition.”

“I said look JD,” Ryan drawled over the phone this morning, “you can have the two Double-A bullpen arms AND we’ll cover Wells’ salary, but,” at this point he begins to chuckle, “but you have to extend Mickey Hatcher indefinitely.” Hatcher, the long time hitting coach of the Angels and the man that keeps Clairol Asphalt hair dye on the shelves in Orange County, is a favorite amongst baseball insiders. Known as one of the nicest guys in the game, his longevity in coaching has been partially attributable to his likeability and demeanor.

“At first I thought this was one of Scioscia’s jokes,” Said Dipoto, “I figured he had dirt on Nolan from back in the ‘80s or something. Last week Mike had me on a conference call with Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser setting up a time for them to throw bullpen sessions because they wanted back in the game. On April Fool’s day he had me convinced that he was going to move Ianetta to first and let Pujols catch 90 games this year because Pujols’ career CERA is 0.00”

There was no joke to this proposed trade, though, and Ryan demanded to see the extension language in writing prior to even considering moving forward.

“In this case, the best defense is keeping Hatcher in charge of our competitor’s offense,” Ryan succinctly summarized. “And let’s face it, you know Wells will hit .320 here with 45 home runs. It’s a lock. It’s a shame they wouldn’t pull the trigger.”

Dipoto refrained from citing which detail killed the deal, but did shed some light on the situation. “Look, I wasn’t opposed to the idea of extending hacker . . . I mean hatchet--damn it Hatcher. There it is Hatcher. I can’t believe I slipped up like that. As I was saying, I wasn’t opposed to the idea, it just didn’t make much business sense to go into a contract when the man is working on a voluntary basis right now.”

This story is a fictional piece of satire.  It is meant to represent the good natured sense of humor in the community.  Please accept it as nothing more or nothing less than that.
The member who selects the correct total number of runs scored for this Angels home series vs. the Minnesota Twins will receive two tickets to this Sunday's game against the Blue Jays which you'll be able to go on the field and play catch, get two Angels hats and of course two tickets. More importantly, the $100 valued package paid for by will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

A great way to give back to our members for their loyalty and donate toward a very good cause.

If you're out of state and not able to make the game on Sunday, you can still participate and then donate your two ticket package to the local member or contributor of your choice.
The tiebreaker will be the member with the lowest third number of their IP address I have on file for them.

So, if you want to choose a number for the total runs scored for the Minnesota series and that number is already chosen, that's fine too.

Select the total runs scored in this homestand's three-game series against the Minnesota Twins by tonight's first pitch at 7:05 PM PST. Post your total runs scored on our Message board here.


If you'd like to donate toward this charitable event and send a couple members, or go yourself, please hit this link up to purchase the tickets and package for $100.

Make a donation here & reference Angels Tickets for your Halo Tix

Friday, April 27, 2012

By Brian Waller, Columnist

After winning their first series of the season last weekend many fans, myself included, thought the Angels had worked through their early season struggles and were ready to put together a string of wins, boy were we wrong. After being swept by the Rays the Angels will try and salvage their current road trip this weekend as they travel to Cleveland to face the Indians.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


That's right, and the OC Sports Grill have become partners and one of the many benefits we'll be offering to our members besides free Pizza today and Friday, is a beer of the month poll that we'll run here on our website, so that you the fan and beer drinker can choose which beer you'd like to have when spending time at the Official Home of every month.

I'm really excited about some other BIG things we have to announce regarding our partnership for YOU the fans and members, but one thing at a time.

With all of that said, VOTE HERE! Whichever beer has the most votes will be on tap at the OC Sports Grill starting on May 1st, 2012.  

Here's the Beer of the Month Choices

NOTE: Not all of the beers that were in our recent poll were available, but these were the top 5 voted beers that the OC Sports Grill can get. We will have a new poll every month to decide what the next beer of the month should be, and so on.... The top voted for beer Kilt Lifter is unavailable, but Dogfish Head 90 Minutes can be had in a future poll.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Albert Pujols looks to connect for his first home run of 2012 against the Rays this week

By Brian Waller, Columnist

The Angels are coming off of their first series win of 2012 as they beat the Baltimore Orioles two out of three games over the weekend at the “Big A”. The Halos got great pitching performances from Jerome Williams, Jered Weaver and Dan Haren and the offense finally seemed to click as Mark Trumbo saw regular playing time. The shaky Angels’ pen was at least adequate over the three game series. It was a roller coaster ride as always but they allowed only 1 earned run in 5.0 innings (Scott Downs did give up a hit which scored two runs on Sunday but they were charged to Dan Haren).  Downs has been the most reliable pitcher out of the bullpen the past two seasons so fans should not be too concerned about his recent performance. The offense and starting rotation both seem to be getting on track, if the bullpen continues to improve and not implode constantly then the Halos look poised to string together some wins in the very near future.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Written By Christian Ilten - Contributor

Playing baseball was my dream, I was always ready on Saturday mornings to lace 'em up and get out on the field for Little League, because one day, I was going to be the first baseman for the Anaheim Angels... Unfortunately, injury told me that I wasn't going to get to that dream, but injury would not keep me away from the game.

Going to Angels games, I always loved hearing the broadcasters voices on the "Calling All Angels" video played before every game. One night, I decided, I am going to be a broadcaster one day. Now I have taken many steps to become a broadcaster and I have done a lot of research and such and I feel like I could one day be a Major League Broadcaster. But, for school this year, our Economics project told us to go into the field we wanted to get into, research, and shadow/intern for a day to see what a day in the life of a broadcaster looks like. So, with this, I contacted Tim Mead, V.P. of Communications for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, laying out everything I had to do for this project. On April 12th, I received a call from the Media Relations Department asking if I would be available Thursday the 19th, and obviously I said yes! This is the story of that night:

At 5:00, I pulled into the parking lot at Angel Stadium of Anaheim to embark on an experience that I would not soon forget. After getting into the park with my credential, I sat down in the first section behind the Angels dugout to just take in the sights and sounds of Angels batting practice. This, however, was a lot different than any other time I had been to the stadium, because I was dressed in a full suit, no hat, but spiked hair--- No tennis shoes, or flip-flops, but black dress shoes, as I was not here for the enjoyment of the game, but to oversee and learn from the Angels Broadcasters as to how I would be able to get into the business of broadcasting. I proceeded to the media entrance, met with Adam Chodzko from Media Relations, who first showed me the media hub, where OCRegister, LA TIMES, and other media sources find their home at Angel Stadium. From there, he took me up to the AM830 Broadcast Booth, where I first met Darren Chan, then former Angels pitcher, now broadcaster, Mark Langston, and finally, the voice of the Angels, Terry Smith. I sat down with Smith and talked to him about how he got started with broadcasting, how he used to play, and then one day just said to himself "This isn't what your going to do"... and he decided to get into broadcasting. I asked him about his favorite moment about broadcasting, and he said that obviously the World Series was huge, but also, his first MLB game, because "just as a player, you could say 'I finally made it to the Major Leagues."

After we finished a long and informational conversation, I went downstairs to Mr. Chodzko, and he walked me to the rocks in center field, onto the batter's eye, to meet Jose Mota, who was doing the Angels Live pregame show for FSW. As he finished up, I met both Jose Mota, and Michael Eaves, who was filling in for newest member of the Angels Live crew, Chris McGee. We waited for the National Anthem to finish, and as it did, Mota and I walked along the concourse, the whole time asking him questions. He told me that after he got done with his playing career, he loved the idea of doing some broadcasting, as he watched his father when he did some work, as well as being around with names such as the great Vin Scully. He also told me that Radio is a lot easier to do than Television, BUT, that he enjoys doing television over radio, because although "there is the picture, you always are able to color it in a little more"...

We got back to the radio and TV booths, and we parted ways, and I entered back into the Radio Booth, and found myself sitting next to Darin Chan observing Terry Smith and Mark Langston broadcasting a live Angels game, and I was in absolute awe. As the game prolonged, I just watched, learned, and enjoyed. The Angels ended up losing the game, but I could not care less at the time, because for once, just once, I got to sit in on the Angels broadcast, learned so much, and had a great time. As they finished up the broadcast, I said thank you to all of the gentleman and said goodbye, but snuck in a quick interview with Mr. Mark Langston himself. I asked him what it meant to be in a broadcast booth in the exact same stadium he pitched in some years ago... He told me "It brings me back to the game"... Langston went on to say that sure, getting on the radio is cool, but it is all about the game, and how much he is in love with it and never wants to be away from it. It was a great conversation I had before I had to leave for the night.

After that, I decided that I would go back over to the rock garden in center to see if there was anything else I could learn from Eaves or Mota. As I walked, ushers were directing the last few people out of the Left field pavilion exit, and I could hear them murmur "Hey look, it's Chris McGee, that's the new guy"... I just walked past, chuckling in my head, as I made my way to the  rocks. I entered the gate that allowed me into the "credentialed area only" near the rocks, and sat and watched as Eaves and Mota finished up the broadcast recapping the Angels' loss to Oakland. At that time, I asked Mr. Eaves if I could have a quick interview with him, and he said agreed. I asked him a few questions that created answers I could have only dreamed of hearing. My final question to him was "What words would you give to anyone who wants to get into broadcasting?" He answered: "Write! Because regardless if your broadcasting, or anything in media, its about story telling and communicating, and the better you can communicate, the better you can broadcast, and that includes writing. Whether it's print, or for a website, or whatever, you just need to become a better communicator, and even for like a half our show like this [Angels Live] that was all ad-lib, it is a sense of writing in your head, and the better you can write, the better you can tell stories, and that's what broadcasting is, whether its doing play-by-play, or doing a post-game show, you are telling a story." 

After I concluded the interview, I said goodbye, and made the lonely walk through the concourse out the Home Plate Gate. I had never been in the stadium when it was THAT EMPTY... not only was it cool, but it was also discomforting! I made my way back to my car, parked with others of the media in the designated parking lot, started the car and drove home...

The experience is one that I will never forget, that is for certain. Whether I actually make it to the coveted position of broadcaster or not, I learned a lot, and I will take it with me for the rest of my life. Terry even told me some stories that "not many know"... and I feel privileged to be one of the few that does know the story, that does know what goes on in his mind, and I got to see what goes on in an average day for a Sports Broadcaster.

Now I guess the only thing left is... hope I get an A on that assignment? I am actually thankful for the school project, because without it, I wouldn't have had one of the best experiences of my life. I want to thank everybody at AM830, Fox Sports West, and of course, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Organization for making all of that possible! 

Pictured with Mark Langston and Angels PBP radio announcer Terry Smith

By Brian Waller, Columnist

Salt Lake Bees (12-6)
The Bees walloped (yes, I said walloped) the Tucson Padres 16-1 Sunday afternoon in front of 2,025 at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, AZ. First baseman Efren Navarro and designated hitter Paul McAnulty both had big days as the pair combined to go 6-for-11 with 7 RBI’s. The offense didn’t just come from the bats of Navarro and McAnulty though; Alexi Amarista, Ryan Langerhans, Jorge Cantu and Kole Calhoun all had two RBI’s a piece. Mike Trout, who was 1-for-1 with a triple, was pulled from the game in the 4th inning as a precautionary measure after being hit by a pitch on his wrist. According to Bees manager Keith Johnson “everything is good” with Trout and he will not miss a lot, if any playing time. Trout is batting .400 through 18 games so far this season. The Bees got some very timely hits in the game as 10 of their runs came in situations with 2 outs; the offense as whole was 6-for-18 with runners in scoring position. Brad Mills had another solid outing going 6.0 innings, allowing only 1 run off of 6 hits. Mills walked only 1 batter and struck out 3, after his latest outing his ERA this season stands at a sparkling to 1.42. After Mills left the game, relievers Loek Van Mil and Francisco Rodriguez combined for 3.0 shutout innings giving up only 2 hits.

Next up: Eric Hurley takes the mound Monday night for the Bees opposite Padres pitcher Jorge Reyes in game 3 of the 4 game series.

Arkansas Travelers (8-8)
The red hot Travelers won their 5th game in a row Sunday afternoon as they beat the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 8-4 at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in front of 5,350 in Little Rock Arkansas. AJ Schugel pitched 5.0 shaky innings giving up 3 earned runs off of 5 hits and a walk. Dakota Robinson, Steven Geltz and Daniel Tillman would go the final 4.0 innings for the Travs’, giving up only 1 earned run while securing the victory. Designated hitter Casey Haerther gave the Travs’ the lead in the 4th inning when he hit a 2-run home run off of Naturals’ starter Chris Dwyer. Jean Segura continued his recent hot hitting by going 2-for-3 with a walk, 3 runs, and an RBI. Segura has a 7-game hitting streak and is 4-for-7 his last two games. The Travs’ batted .333 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and left only 4 men on base.

Next up: Travs’ pitcher John Hellweg will face off against Tulsa hurler Edwar Cabrera if the first of a 4 game series.

Inland Empire 66ers (9-8)Despite a solid pitching effort by starter Nick Maronde, the 66’ers lost a close one to the High Desert Mavericks 4-3 in front of 1,776 at Stater Bros. Stadium in Adelanto, CA on Sunday. Maronde pitched 7.0 innings giving up 3 earned runs off of 6 hits while striking out 6. Maronde gave up the runs early in the game but settled down and pitched nicely, at one point retiring 15 of 18 batters. It was the second consecutive quality start for Maronde who lowered his ERA to 4.09. The 66’ers had a scary moment early in the game when outfielder Travis Witherspoon collapsed to the ground after hitting the outfield wall hard while he was giving chase to a fly ball; he would exit the game the following inning. There hasn’t been any word yet on the extent of his injury and if he will miss any playing time. Designated hitter C.J. Cron hit his 3rd home run of the season, a solo shot in the 2nd inning. Cron also had another RBI in the game bringing his season total to 15. Inland Empire will start an eight game, seven day, home-stand Monday with a 7:05 p.m. contest against the Lake Elsinore Storm at San Manuel Stadium.

Next up: 66’ers pitcher Trevor Reckling will face off against Storm pitcher Burch Smith in game 1 of a 4 game series.

Cedar Rapids Kernels (9-8)
The Cedar Rapids Kernels beat the Dayton Dragons 2-0 in front of 8,710 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton Ohio on Sunday. Kernels pitcher Eswarlin Jimenez pitched a dominating 4.0 innings striking out 6 while walking none. Joe Melioris came into the game in the 5th inning and picked right up where Jimenez had left off; Melioris pitched 5.0 shutout innings in which he scattered 2 hits, struck out 2, and walked none. In 10.2 innings this season Melioris’ ERA is 1.69, he has allowed only 2 earned runs off of 7 hits. Third baseman Kaleb Cowart and right fielder Andy Workman each had an RBI in the game; it would prove to be more than enough offense for the Kernels due to their exquisite pitching.

Next up: Ryan Crowley will take the mound tonight for the Kernels opposite Dragons’ pitcher Daniel Tuttle in game 2 of the 3 game series. Top 10 Prospects1. Mike Trout (CF) (AAA) ..... 1-1, 2 Runs. Hitting .400.
2. Garrett Richards (RHP) (AAA) ..... 3-0, 1.67 ERA – 27 K’s in 27 IP. 0.96 WHIP
3. Jean Segura (SS) (AA) ..... 2-3, 3 Runs. Hitting .283
4. John Hellweg (RHP) (AA) ..... 0-1, 3.71 ERA. Pitches tonight.
5. C. J. Cron (1B) (A+) ..... 1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Hitting .254
6. Taylor Lindsey (2B) (A+) ..... 1-4. Hitting .283
7. Matt Shoemaker (RHP) (AAA) ..... 2-0, 4.01 ERA.
8. Luis Jimenez (3B) (AAA) ..... Did not play.
9. Kole Calhoun (OF) (AAA) ..... 2-6, 2 Runs, 2 RBI’s. Hitting .316.
10. Kaleb Cowart (3B) (A) ..... 1-4, 1 RBI. Hitting .277.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who: Fans

What: Get a private all-you-can eat dinner, meet a current player on the IE 66ers, and get an Albert Pujols Bobblehead too!

Where: San Manuel Stadium, in San Bernadino

When: Saturday, May 12th at 5:30

Cost: $30 per person (includes the game ticket, dinner, player meeting, and bobblehead)

San Bernardino – is pleased to announce their first Minor League Fanfest with the IE 66ers Saturday, May 12th, at 5:30. Fans from will be allowed into the stadium at 5:30 to watch the team take batting practice and to have a private meeting with a current player.

Afterwards, members will be treated to a private buffet dinner on one of the terraces with hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, potato salad, baked beans, chips, chocolate chip cookies, soda, and water. There is a private, no-host bar located on the terrace as well.

Afterward, fans will be able relax in the covered seating to watch the 66ers take on the Bakersfield Blaze (Cincinnati Reds). Best of all, all paying fans will receive an Albert Pujols bobblehead—the same type of bobblehead that will be given out by the Angels!

Please send payments via Paypal to and join us for a night of fun and baseball at our first Minor League Fanfest!
By Dave Saltzer, Senior Writer and Brian Waller, Columnist
Get used to the name Travis Witherspoon Angel fans because it’s a name you will be hearing a lot of for the next several years. For those not familiar with Witherspoon, he was selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim out of Spartanburg Methodist College in the 12th round (No. 381 overall) of the June 2099 First-Year Player Draft.

Witherspoon has been described by Angels Manager Mike Scioscia as an athletic player with plus speed who can play center field and who has a lot of potential.

The 23 year old outfielder is coming off of a season where he had a combined 13 home runs, 52 RBI’s and an impressive 46 stolen bases for the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Inland Empire 66’ers. Witherspoon began the 2012 season with the 66’ers and looks to be picking up right where he left off; going into Monday’s game he was hitting .302 with 2 home runs, 3 RBI’s and 3 stolen bases in his first 10 games.

Recently, Dave Saltzer and I were able to catch-up with Witherspoon at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino, CA prior to the 66’ers home opener against the High Desert Mavericks. Watch below as we discuss a variety of topics with Witherspoon ranging from his base running to his hot start to the 2012 season.

By Brian Waller, Columnist

Salt Lake Bees (8-4) The Bees continued their winning ways Tuesday night as they beat the 51’s 3-2 in front of 3,091 at Cashman Field. Brad Mills pitched 7.0 strong innings allowing only one earned run off four hits while walking three and striking out three. His 2012 ERA is a sparkling 1.38. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing him up with the big club considering how he has been pitching since spring training. David Pauley came out of the pen and pitched two innings, blowing the save but picking up the win. It was Ryan Langerhans who helped propel the Bees to victory as he went 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI. A day after pumping the dynamic 1-2 combo of Mike Trout and Alexi Amarista; the pair collectively went 1-for-8 with two strikeouts.

Next up: Eric Hurley takes the mound Wednesday night for the Bees opposite 51’s starter Joel Carreno.

Arkansas Travelers (4-8)The Travelers won a close one against the Frisco Rough Riders as they won 5-4 in front of 5,381 at Dr. Pepper Ballpark. John Hellweg pitched 7.0 innings giving up four earned runs off four hits and three walks while striking out six. Steven Geltz looked sharp out of the bullpen as he pitched 2.0 innings of one hit baseball. Outfielder Matt Long had only one hit in the game but it was a big one, a three run triple in the second inning that gave Arkansas the lead. Long also walked and subsequently stole second base, his fourth of the season. Jean Segura continues to struggle in 2012; he went 1-for-5 in yesterday’s game and has only 9 hits in his first 40 at-bats. Although the picked up the win, the Travs’ were just 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.

Next up: Wednesday is an off day for the Travs’.

Inland Empire 66ers (7-5)After a comeback win the previous night, the 66’ers lost to the Modesto Nuts 3-2 in 10 innings at San Manuel Stadium on Tuesday in front of 1,742. 66’ers pitcher Nick Maronde pitched 7.0 strong innings allowing just one earned run on three hits while striking out four and walking only one. It was a nice “bounce back” game for Maronde who lasted only 4.0 innings his last outing, giving up five earned runs while walking five. Bobby Cassevah, Tyler Kehrer, and Bryant George would come out of the pen to pitch the final 3.0 innings giving up two earned runs off of three hits while walking three. As the Angels’ bullpen continues to struggle one has to think that Bobby Cassevah will get a shot with the big league club at some point this season. So far for the 66’ers he has pitched fairly well; in 5.0 innings he has given up one earned run, walked two and struck out four. Centerfielder Travis Witherspoon continues to play well for the 66’ers this season. He went 2-for-4 in yesterday’s game, with one of his hits being a triple. Witherspoon has always been a solid defender with great speed on the base paths but it appears that he is really figuring it out at the plate this season for the 66’ers. Second baseman Taylor Lindsey looks to be breaking out of an early season slump as he went 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk.

Next up: The 66’er and the Nuts will play the final game of the three game series tonight as Manaurys Correa will start for Inland Empire. The Nuts have yet to name a starter for the game.

Cedar Rapids Kernels (6-6) The Peoria Chiefs rallied in the later innings to edge the Kernels 7-6 at O'Brien Field in front of 587. The Kernels lead 6-2 after the top of the sixth inning, but the Chiefs scored one run in the sixth, three runs in the seventh, and one more in the eighth for the victory. The Kernels offense looked good as they appeared poised to take game two of the three game series. They got early home runs from second baseman Kevin Moesquit and first baseman Gary Mitchell. DH Matthew Scioscia had a solid game as he went 2-for-3 with one run and one walk. The offense was 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position but their timely hitting wasn’t enough to overcome the shaky pitching. Kernels’ starter Michael Clevinger only lasted 5.0 inning, giving up two earned runs off of six hits. Clevinger didn’t walk any batters but he had five strikeouts and had a lot of deep counts which made his pitch count rise fairly quickly. Jacob Negrete came on in relief and got rocked. In only 1.0 inning he gave up three earned runs off of three hits and a walk. Joe Melioris who pitched the 8th inning and Carmine Giardina who pitched the 9th would not fair much better as they gave up a combined four walks and two runs which would be all the Chiefs needed.

Next up: Ryan Crowley will take the mound tonight for the Kernels opposite Chiefs’ hurler Jose Rosario in the final game of the three game series.

4/17/12 Box Score Top 10 Prospects
1. Mike Trout (CF) (AAA) ..... 1-4, 1 Run. Hitting .407
2. Garrett Richards (RHP) (AAA) ..... 2-0, 2.14 ERA – 21 K’s in 21 IP. 0.76 WHIP
3. Jean Segura (SS) (AA) ..... 1-5. Hitting .239
4. John Hellweg (RHP) (AA) ..... 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K’s on Tuesday. ERA stands at 3.71.
5. C. J. Cron (1B) (A+) ..... 1-4, 1 RBI. Hitting .277.
6. Taylor Lindsey (2B) (A+) ..... 1-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Hitting .225
7. Matt Shoemaker (RHP) (AAA) ..... 2-0, 3.26 ERA.
8. Luis Jimenez (3B) (AAA) ..... Did not play. Hitting .294.
9. Kole Calhoun (OF) (AAA) ..... 1-4. Hitting .288
10. Kaleb Cowart (3B) (A) ..... Did not play. Batting .349.

What’s better one day of Angels baseball and free pizza? Two days of Angels baseball and free pizza!, along with our partners at the OC Sports Grill, are thrilled to announce a 2nd free pizza day for members and subscribers of!  All members and subscribers can take advantage of coupons for a delicious FREE pizza from the OC Sports Grill on both April 26th and 27th! The OC Sports Grill is Orange County's choice Sports Bar and Grill to watch Angels Baseball throughout the season, while enjoying tasty beverages and delicious food.

Still hungry after the free pizza?  Make sure to try their highly acclaimed Machine Burger - it is delicious and enough for two.

When the Halos are home, be sure to hit up the OC Sports Grill for pre-game fun and a post-game nightcap!  Hang with the players while you revel in the superior service of Southern California’s friendliest hostesses - who happen to be very cute, too!  The OC Sports Grill is THE Sports Bar for All Seasons with “Always a Front Row Seat” just for you.

Click on the coupons below, print and bring them with you to the OC Sports Grill on April 26th against the Rays and/or 27th when the Angels leave Tampa to start a three-game series in Cleveland against the Indians.  You buy the beer … will take care of the pizza!

Click on the image to enlarge, then print it out to bring to the OC Sports Grill on April 27th to watch the Angels vs. the Indians at 4:05 to get a free pizza.

Click on the image to enlarge, then print it out to bring to the OC Sports Grill on April 26th to watch the Angels vs. the Rays at 10:05 am to get a free pizza

Check here weekly on specials we're providing to both our members and readers of

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

By Brian Waller, Columnist

Salt Lake Bees (8-4)The Bees beat the Tucson Padres 6-2 Monday night in front of 3,997 fans at Spring Mobile Ballpark. The win helped the Bees take the 4-game series from the Padres and improved their overall record to 8-4. Matt Shoemaker pitched 8.0 impressive innings improving his record to 2-0 on the season. Shoemaker threw 106 pitches, 61 strikes-41 balls while striking out five and walking three. Other than first baseman Efren Navarro, all position players for the Bees collected at least one hit in the game. Third baseman Jorge Cantu hit a 2-run homer in the 3rd inning, it was his 3rd home run of the season. Shortstop Andrew Romine went 2-for-4 and had a stolen base bringing his total for the young season to five. With outfielder Alexi Amarista back in triple-A and batting 2nd behind Mike Trout, the top of the order for the Bees looks very good. In Monday’s game the dynamic duo went 3-fo-8 with 2 runs.

Next up: The Bees head to “Sin City” to face the Las Vegas 51’s for a 4-game series. Brad Mills takes the mound for the Bees in the opener opposite 51’s starter Bill Murphy.

Arkansas Travelers (3-8)The Travelers lost 2-1 Monday night against the Frisco Rough Riders in front of 3,276 at Dr. Pepper Ballpark. As the score reflects, it was quite the pitcher’s duel. Travs’ pitcher AJ Schugel took the loss as he gave up two earned runs off three hits in 5.2 innings. Schugel had major control problems, issuing five walks to Rough Rider batters. Caleb Graham, Mike Piazza, and Dakota Robinson came out of the Travs’ pen and pitched a combined 2.2 innings of no hit baseball. The lone run for Arkansas came off an error by Frisco pitcher Johan Yan in the 9th inning. Other than shortstop Jean Segura going 1-for-4 while collecting his 3rd stolen base of the season there wasn’t much offense for the Travs’ to discuss.

Next up: The Trav’s wrap up their 3-game series with the Rough Riders tonight as John Hellweg gets the start opposite Frisco pitcher Miguel De Los Santos.

Inland Empire 66ers (7-4)Inland Empire came from behind to secure a 4-3 win over the Modesto Nuts Monday night in front of 1,025 at San Manuel Stadium. The 66ers, who improved to 7-4, trailed by two going to the 8th but got three consecutive two out hits to score three runs for a win. Donn Roach didn’t get the win but was fairly effective on the mound as he went 7.0 innings allowing only three earned runs off of six hits while striking out five. Jimmy Swift had the big hit of the game; he was inserted as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning and came through with a two run double that proved to be the difference. First baseman C.J. Cron was held hitless. After going 5-for-5 on April 10th, Cron has only two hits in his last 18 at-bats. Catcher Brian Hernandez had a big day for the 66’ers, he was 3-for-3 with one RBI and one stolen base, he is now hitting .333 this season.

Next up: The 66’er and the Nuts will play game two of the three game series tonight as Nick Maronde will start opposite Joshua Slaats.

Cedar Rapids Kernels (6-5)Cedar Rapids lost to the Peoria Chiefs 6-2 on Monday night in front of 616 fans at O’Brien field in the first game of a 3 game series. The Kernels’ offense only mustered two runs off of five hits, three of them by right fielder Andy Workman. Workman went into the game in a 1-fo-21 slump to begin the season so it was nice to see him get it going. Kernels’ starter Austin Wood took the loss as he lasted only 4.0 innings giving up three earned runs off of five hits. The Kernels were still in the game when he departed but a rough outing by Reliever Frank DeJiulio put the game out of reach. DeJiulio gave up three earned runs in only 1.2 innings and saw his ERA balloon to 10.13. The Kernels are on a two game skid in which they’ve been outscored 17-3. Prior to the game, Austin Wood was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week for the period of April 5th-15th. Going into Monday’s game, Wood had allowed only 1 run off of just 4 hits while walking 3 and striking out 15 over 10 innings in his first 2 starts of the season. Wood is the first Kernel this season to earn MWL weekly honors.

Next up: Michael Clevinger will take the mound tonight for the Kernels opposite Chiefs’ hurler Patrick Francescon in game two of the three game series.

4/16/12 Box Score Top 10 Prospects

1. Mike Trout (CF) (AAA) ..... 1-4, 1 Run. Hitting .420 w/ .474 OBP.
2. Garrett Richards (RHP) (AAA) ..... 2-0, 2.14 ERA – 21 K’s in 21 IP. 0.76 WHIP
3. Jean Segura (SS) (AA) ..... 0-3. Hitting .241
4. John Hellweg (RHP) (AA) ..... 2.70 ERA, Starts today.
5. C. J. Cron (1B) (A+) ..... 0-3, Hitting .279. Only 2 hits in his last 18 at-bats.
6. Taylor Lindsey (2B) (A+) ..... 1-3, 1 RBI. Hitting .211
7. Matt Shoemaker (RHP) (AAA) ..... 2-0, 3.26 ERA.
8. Luis Jimenez (3B) (AAA) ..... Day off. Hitting .294.
9. Kole Calhoun (OF) (AAA) ..... 2-4, 1 Run. Hitting .292
10. Kaleb Cowart (3B) (A) ..... 1-4, 2 K’s. Batting .349.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jered Weaver takes the mound Monday night looking to get the team back on track against the Oakland A's

By Brian Waller, Columnist

Yoenis Cespedes and the Oakland A’s are next up for the Angels as the two teams prepare for a 4-game series that begins on Monday night at the “Big A”. It will be the first chance for Angel fans to see the highly touted Cuban born player as he comes to Anaheim for the first time in his young career.

The A’s come into the series second in the AL in pitching, but last in hitting. The Oakland line-up might be just what the Angels’ pitching staff needs as they look to gain some confidence and get back on track

Despite the early offensive struggles for the Halos this season, they enter tonight’s game ranked fourth in the AL in batting. Led by the sizzling Howie Kendrick and Mark Trumbo, the Angels will look to continue their recent hot hitting in an attempt to pick up their first series win in 2012.

Pitching Match-ups:
4/16 – Brandon McCarthy (0-1, 2.50 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver (1-0, 3.21 ERA)
4/17 – Tyson Ross (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Dan Haren (0-1, 6.97 ERA)
4/18 – Bartolo Colon (2-1, 3.72 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (0-2, 7.71 ERA)
4/19 – Tommy Milone (1-1, 2.57 ERA) vs. C.J. Wilson (2-0, 1.38 ERA)

4/16 – Sunny – High of 76 degrees
4/17 – Sunny – High of 80 degrees
4/18 – Sunny – High of 76 degrees
4/19 – Partly Cloudy – High of 77 degrees

Game Times/Channels/Promotions:
4/16 - 7:05 a.m. / FSW
4/17 - 7:05 p.m. / FSW / Albert Pujols Bobblehead
4/18 - 7:05 p.m. / FSW
4/19 –7:05 p.m. / FSW / Erick Aybar Gold Glove T-shirt

Sunday, April 15, 2012

By Brian Waller, Columnist

On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the "color barrier" in Major League Baseball as he made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Baseball may be referred to as simply a game but the fact of the matter is that there are few things as closely tied to American culture and society as baseball. The sport is synonymous with summer, with father/son relationships, and with everything American, including apple pie. It would only seem fitting that one of the biggest events in the civil rights movement was tied in with baseball. Jackie Robinson's hard work and perseverance not only paved the way for African American players, it paved the way for all minorities. It was Robinson who opened the door for legends such as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente.

On a day dedicated to celebrating Robinson and what he accomplished, I decided to take a look back at what he meant to Angels' baseball. Robinson's debut took place 14 years prior to the inaugural 1961 season of the Angels and even though he never wore an Angels' uniform, make no mistake about it, an impact was still made. Despite a decade and a half passing since Robinson broke the color barrier, times were still difficult for minorities in America regardless if you were a pro athlete or not. Players of all races were slowly integrated into the game but each owner was still faced with the decision of if they should sign minority players or not.

Angels' Owner Gene Autry was faced with the decision early on in his team's existence. During the expansion draft prior to the 1961 season the Halos selected Cuban born player Julio Becquer. Prior to the start of the season the Angels also signed African American Lou Johnson. Though the two players would not start on opening day, they both made appearances. Becquer would be inserted as a defensive replacement and would be acknowledged as the first minority player to play for the Angels. Later in the game, Johnson would pinch-hit, earning the distinction as the first African American to play for the team. Johnson's time with the Halos would be short lived however as he would be traded at the conclusion of the game for one of the more popular Angels during the franchise's early days, Leon "Daddy Wags" Wagner. Wagner, who was also African American, would play three seasons for the Halos and went on to hit .279 with 91 home runs and 276 RBI's. Becquer would play only 11 games in an Angels' uniform but he would always have the distinction of being the first minority player to wear a halo.

Over the years numerous players of various races have worn an Angels' uniform, those players include Don Baylor, Rod Carew, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Torii Hunter, and just recently Albert Pujols. As baseball fans, and as humans in general we should be glad that our society has come far enough along to where race does not matter and where the color of individuals' skin is irrelevant; more than anything we should be proud at how far we have come since 1947. On a day when every baseball player wears number "42" on their back as a tribute to everything Jackie Robinson did and stood for, as fans lets also take a step back and appreciate what he meant to baseball.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Howie Kendrick celebrates with Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols after hitting his 1st home run of the season

By Brian Waller, Columnist

Game Recap:
Howie Kendrick started the day by tweeting “Dear Halo Fans. Have FAITH. Definitely not a RAT RACE.”…Kind of prophetic considering the day he was going to end up having. The Halos came into Saturday’s game against the New York Yankees having lost their previous 3 due to either an underwhelming performance by the offense, shaky pitching or a combination of both. Saturday however would be different, much different in fact as the Halos pitched well and hit well finally looking like the team everyone thought they would be in 2012.

Vernon Wells got it going in the 2nd inning with a solid ground ball single up the middle. Chris Iannetta would then come up and hit a 2-run home run that just ‘eeked over the short porch in right field giving the Angels a 2-0 lead.

During the bottom of the 2nd, Peter Bourjos made a terrific catch on an Andrew Jones line drive for the second out of the inning. When the ball first came off the bat I thought for sure it would land for a hit but Bourjos’ athleticism and speed allowed him to get to the ball quickly to make the catch. The play got a smile and an 'atta boy from starting pitcher C.J. Wilson.

Pujols looked good at the plate today as he went 2-for-5 with 1 RBI. His 2nd hit came in the 3rd inning when he hit a deep fly ball to straight-away center field, all Yankees’ center fielder Curtis Granderson could do was chase it. The hit would drive in Kendrick from first base to give the Angels a 3-0 lead. It was odd how Hughes pitched Pujols during this specific at bat as he got 2 early strikes with his curveball which put Pujols in a 0-2 hole. Hughes than threw a 4-seam fastball to Pujols down the middle of the plate which of course was crushed. In the top of the 6th Pujols nearly got his 1st home run in an Angels’ uniform off of David Phelps but he just got under the 0-1 curveball and the ball was caught on the warning track.

Erick Aybar showed some great hustle in the 4th inning as he reached on an infield single after he hit a hard grounder to Yankees’ first baseman Mark Teixeria who ended up losing the ball after it popped in the air after hitting his glove due to a bad hop. Aybar hustled all the way down the line and slid into first base which put 2 runners on for Howie Kendrick who then hit a 3-run BOMB pushing the lead to 6-0. Kendrick would end up going 3-for-5 with each one of his hits coming off of a cutting fastball. Kendrick’s last at-bat really impressed me, he eventually grounded out to second base but he did see 11 pitches. At bats like that were few and far between for Kendrick in past seasons, it seems like he is really maturing as a hitter.

Vernon Wells hit his 2nd home run of the season in the top of the 5th inning giving the Angels a 7-0 lead. Wells ended the day going 2-for-4 with 2 runs and 1 RBI.

C.J. Wilson was effective today but he was not very efficient with his pitches. Wilson threw 106 pitches, 63 strikes and 43 balls, in 6 innings today. He went deep into a lot of counts and despite allowing multiple base runners in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings; he managed to get out of most jams. Wilson only allowed 1 run today off of 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 2. I don’t want my nitpicking on his pitch count and pitch efficiency to take away from the terrific job he did do. He kept hitters off balance most of the game, hitting both sides of the plate with his 2-seam and 4-seam fastball. Wilson walked the tight rope at times but came through unscathed and definitely did his part to get the Angels back on track. After 2 starts this season Wilson is looking like everything Halo fans were hoping for as he has a 2-0 record and a 1.38 ERA.

Wilson’s high pitch count at the conclusion of the 6th inning all but assured the Angels would have to go to the bullpen for the remaining 9 outs. Kevin Jepsen, LaTroy Hawkins and Jordan Walden combined for 3 innings of no-hit baseball as they struck out 4 and walked none. It was definitely a breath of fresh air seeing the bullpen close out the game with such ease. Hopefully this is a trend that will continue and the Angels can put their pitching woes behind them. Remember Halo fans...Have FAITH because it's definitely not a RAT RACE!


By Scott Stedman - Prospect Reporter

Salt Lake Bees - The Bees bounced back from a tough walk off loss, and won Friday night's game 5-4. The game was in the hands of the bullpen all day due to Brad Mills being with the big club. David Pauley started the game and got the job done - 4 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits. Loek Van Mil and Ryan Brasier also turned in very good performances. Brasier, a 24 year old out of Witchita Falls, TX has thrown 4.2 innings this year, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 5 with 0 walks given up. If the Angels bullpen continues to struggle, Brasier is one of the guys who they could call on. On the other side of the ball, Trout and Calhoun once again led the charge. Trout went 1-3 with a walk and 2 ribbies, extending his hitting streak to 9 games. Consequently, #FreeMikeTrout is gaining popularity on Twitter. Calhoun had the same performance as Trout, 1-3 with a walk. All this success from the young Bees' outfielders makes me wonder if an outfield of Trout, Bourjos, and Calhoun is ever possible for the Angels. Would a fly ball ever drop? Salt Lake is still deciding on a starter for tomorrow.

Arkansas Travelers - The Travs' got the win 4-2 in a game that was dominated by pitching. Strikeout machine Ariel Pena lived up to his scouting report. Pena, the 22 year old righty out of Los Jovillos, Dominican Republic, went 6.2 innings surrendering 2 earned runs and striking out 7. The one downfall to Pena's performance: 4 walks issued. If Pena can cut down on the number of walks allowed, there is no doubt in my mind that he would be one of the Angels very best prospects. His ERA on the year is now 2.31. Drew Taylor and Matt Oye finished of the game with 2.1 scoreless, hitless innings. Offensively, not much went on for the Travelers. The only extra base hit belonged to 26 year old outfielder/first baseman Roberto Lopez. Ground ball specialist Orangel Arenas is the starting pitcher for tomorrow.

Inland Empire 66ers - Rained out. Max Russell goes tomorrow.

Cedar Rapids Kernels - Cedar Rapids lost a closely fought game, 6-5, in which the two teams combined for 26 hits! Ryan Crowley, the 21 year old lefty was unimpressive, giving up 4 runs in 5 innings of work. Crowley's fastball was topping out around 88 MPH. Reliever Jacob Negrete, a 21 year old out of Kingman, AZ, combined with Stephen Tromblee to toss 3.1 scoreless innings and keep the Kernels in the game. Last year in the AZL, Negrete walked just 4 batters while striking out 22 in 18.1 innings. At the plate, Kaleb Cowart continued his extremely hot start out of the gate. His 3-5 today with 3 RBIs raised his average to .394 and his OPS well above 1.000. Surprisingly, the powerful third baseman has already swiped 3 stolen bases this year. Cowart, who won't turn 20 until June, is perhaps becoming the play that the Angels envisioned when they drafted him in the first round in the 2010 draft. "Toolsy" shortstop Wendell Soto added 2 hits and scored 2 runs in the Friday night game. The scrappy Soto is hitting .292 in the young season. Of note: Matt Scioscia threw out 2 runners and showed a promising squat. Tomorrow, Jairo Diaz will take the mound for Cedar Rapids.

Prospect of the day: Ariel Pena SP
Updates on Angels top 10 (according to AngelsWin):

1. Mike Trout (CF) (AAA) ..... 1-3, BB. Hitting .385/1.022.
2. Garrett Richards (RHP) (AAA) ..... 2.03 ERA in 2 starts. Will pitch again on the 15th.
3. Jean Segura (SS) (AA) ..... 0-3. Hitting .241
4. John Hellweg (RHP) (AA) ..... 2.70 ERA, having control issues. Starts again on the 17th.
5. C. J. Cron (1B) (A+) ..... PPD. Hitting .303, .899 OPS.
6. Taylor Lindsey (2B) (A+) ..... PPD. Hitting .179.
7. Matt Shoemaker (RHP) (AAA) ..... 3.97 ERA in 2 starts. Will pitch again on the 16th.
8. Luis Jimenez (3B) (AAA) ..... Day off. Hitting .294.
9. Kole Calhoun (OF) (AAA) ..... 1-3, BB. Hitting .306/.949
10. Kaleb Cowart (3B) (A) ..... 3-5 with 3 RBI. Hitting .394.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

By Brian Waller, Columnist

Just when it looked like the Halos' offense was gaining momentum, the rug got pulled out from under their feet. As a fan watching the game today, it kinda was the equivalent of getting punched in the gut. The Angels jumped out to an early  6 run lead Thursday at Target Field against the Minnesota Twins in front of 31,782 but that 6 run lead would evaporate thanks in large part to the shaky Angels' bullpen. As the Angels 'pen imploded, the Twins offense exploded as they scored 10 runs in the final 4 innings eventually beating the Angels 10-9.

Lay Batista and Baudilio Lopez Arrive In Time For First Game At San Manuel Stadium

San Bernardino, CA – The 66ers have added Lay Batista and Baudilio Lopez to the roster for the home opener against the High Desert Mavericks. They will replace Brian Diemer (right shoulder impingement) and Fabio Martinez (right foot fracture) on the active roster, with Diemer and Martinez going on the 7-day Disabled List.

Batista led the Arizona Summer League in innings pitched last year, tossing 64.2 for the Angels in 12 starts and 14 appearances. He joins the 66ers after starting the season in Cedar Rapids where he appeared in two games, throwing eight innings over which he allowed just one earned run.

Baudilio Lopez is joining an Angels High-A roster for the fourth straight year. He pitched for the 66ers in five games in 2011. He joins the 66ers from Arizona where he was in extended spring training.

The team opens the season with its two new players tonight on a Hanger 24 Thirsty Thursday. Tickets are on sale now both at the 66ers box office and online at For more information on the Inland Empire 66ers please contact Sam Farber, Director of Broadcasting, at 909-495-7632.

By Scott Stedman - Prospect Reporter

Salt Lake Bees:
The Bees blew out the Reno Aces, 11-3 on a night in which snow was falling on the field.  Matt Shoemaker started for the Bees and turned in a productive start - 5.1 innings, 2 runs, 3 strikeouts.  Shokemaker has only walked 2 batters in his 11.1 innings so far this year.  Offensively, things were really cooking for Salt Lake.  Kole Calhoun had his best game to date as a Bee, going 3-4 with 2 doubles and 2 great plays in right field.  The 24 year old lefty bat skipped Double-A this year, and the decision seems to have paid off big time.  Third baseman Luis Jimenez and everyone's favorite prospect Mike Trout both had 2 hits, continuing their impressive campaigns.  Of note: Kole Calhoun hit a double in the 9th in pretty steady snow... Definitely  a sight to see!  Tomorrow, Eric Hurley will look to rebound from his poor last start.

Arkansas Travelers:
Off-day.  The Travs' are traveling to Midland, Texas, where Johnny Hellweg will start tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

By Brian Waller, Columnist 

Rough game for the Halos. Really, no other way to start this off then to simply get that out of the way. Weaver wasn't his sharpest, the offense was decent at best and the bullpen was...well the bullpen was it's usual self on Wednesday night as the Angels dropped game 2 of the 3 game series with the Minnesota Twins 6-5.

Weaver pitched well early on in the game but had a poor 4th inning and an uninspiring 7th inning which ultimately led to his and the Angels' demise. He went 6 innings allowing 7 hits and 5 earned runs while walking 1 and striking out 7. A mistake pitch to Josh Willingham in the 4th inning got the Twins rolling as he smashed it for a 2 run home run, it was a pitch that had a lot of the plate, a location I'm sure Weaver didn't intend to hit. Scioscia left him in a bit to long in the 7th as he gave up back to back hits to start off the inning.

By Scott Stedman - Prospect Reporter

Salt Lake Bees - The Salt Lake Bees were battling in a pitcher's duel, until scoring twice in the 9th to secure a 2-1 victory. Garrett Richards toed the slab for the Bees, and he threw a beauty. Richards worked into the 7th, going 6.1 innings, conceding just 1 run and punching out 8. The most impressive stat for Richards was the 8-0 ground ball to fly ball ratio. You read that right, he didn't allow one fly ball all night. That is a very important factor in the Pacific Coast League where the ball can really fly. 24 year old closer Ryan Braiser pitched 2 perfect innings, striking out 2. I imagine the Angels will promote Brasier sometime this year if he continues to throw the ball well for Salt Lake. In the 9th inning, a pair of solo home runs by Ryan Langerhans and Jorge Cantu lifted the Bees to victory. Matt Shoemaker is the scheduled pitcher for Wednesday.

Monday, April 9, 2012
By Scott Stedman - Prospect Reporter

Salt Lake Bees:
Trevor Bell was very sharp for the Bees in 8-2 win. Bell worked 5.2 shutout innings, punching out 4 and walking 3. David Carpenter worked the 8th and 9th innings, and set down 6 hitters in a row with 1 strikeout. Including last season, Carpenter has pitched 21.2 scoreless innings in a row. Meanwhile, Mike Trout continues to sizzle at the plate. Today he went 2-4 with an "oppo taco" home run in the 1st inning to set the tone. Trout is hitting .500 this year with an OPS of 1.242, and I don't believe it is out of the question that he can keep this up. That's a scary thought. Third baseman Luis Jimenez broke out of his mini-slump with 3 knocks including a triple in the 6th, raising his average to .286 on the year. Garrett Richards will take the mound Tuesday, trying to win the Angels 5th starter spot.

C.J. Wilson Pitcher C.J. Wilson #33 of the Los Angeles Angels poses during spring training photo day on February 29, 2012 at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

By Brian Waller, Columnist

Angels' Starting Line-up:
Aybar, SS
Kendrick, 2B
Pujols, 1B
Morales, DH
Hunter, RF
Abreu, LF
Callaspo, 3B
Iannetta, C
Bourjos, CF

Game Notes:

The Angels bounced back nicely after losing two consecutive games this past weekend as they beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 in front of 39,414 at Target Field on Monday. C.J. Wilson took the mound for the Halos opposite Nick Blackburn in weather conditions described as frigid. Although there was sunshine, temperatures dipped into the 40’s which had to be a bit of a shock for Angels’ players as I am sure they became accustomed to temperatures in the 70's and 80’s after playing a month in Tempe, AZ and opening the weekend in Anaheim, CA.

By Brian Waller - Columnist

To be quite honest I wasn’t planning on writing anything other than the game recap for the Angels/Twins game but then it occurred to me what day today was, it was April 9th. On this day three years ago, after pitching the game of his major league career the previous night, Nick Adenhart, along with Henry Pearson, Courtney Stewart and Jon Wilhite were hit by a drunk driver. All but Wilhite would die as a result of the accident. I'm sure each of us can recall just where we were when we heard the news and how it made us feel.

I personally didn’t know Nick Adenhart, but I didn’t have to know him to be affected by his passing. This was something that transcended the game of baseball. The loss was something that reminded everyone how fragile life truly is. If tragedy can strike players that are followed and idolized on the diamond, then it can happen to anyone at any given time.

It was a time when Angels' fans, myself included, took a step back and realized that the game that we follow with such passion and vigor was actually just that, a game. As news of the tragedy spread, fans slowly congregated, sometimes dozens at a time outside an empty and dark Angel Stadium to pay their respect to the young promising pitcher. A small collection of hats, cards, flowers and candles left in his memory on the brick pitcher's mound in front of the stadium slowly grew to an overwhelming display. On the radio, sports talk shows that usually debated pitching match-ups and roster moves instead turned the airwaves over to the fans who were calling in to share their memories of Adenhart. There was a unique camaraderie between Halo fans, although many of us never met Adenhart, as long time fans of the franchise the loss still hit close to home.

It’s hard not to think “what might have been” for Nick Adenhart; he most likely would have been pitching in the Angels’ rotation this season. In his last outing, on April 8th, 2009, with his father in the stands, Adenhart pitched like the pitcher everyone expected him to be, he received a no-decision but he kept the Angels in the game. The talented pitcher we all followed through the minor leagues surely would have made his mark on the team in terms of wins and losses, strikeouts, and all other important statistics. His passing however left a greater mark on the franchise, the team and the fans as it reminded us just how fragile life is. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding the Angels this year and get excited about the potential this team has. Let’s take a minute today though to reflect back on the great person this franchise and the world in general lost 3 years ago today.

RIP Nick Adenhart

Sunday, April 8, 2012

By Brian Waller, Columnist  

After dropping the opening series to the Kansas City Royals 2-to-1, the Angels now will travel to Minnesota where they will face the Twins for a 3 game series spanning 4 days. With all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the season opener it was only fitting the Halos won the game, it was a tad disappointing to see the team drop 2 out of 3 games to start the season.

There are silver linings in that dark cloud though people, the bullpen, the obvious weak link was very strong for the Angels this weekend. It was the starting rotation that put the team in an early hole as Dan Haren and Ervin Santana were not their usual selves, giving up an uncharacteristically high number of runs and hits. The ace of spring training, C.J. Wilson will start it off for the Halos in Minnesota on Monday as the Angels look to rebound from two consecutive losses.

The offense showed glimpses of the promise it showed during spring training but it wasn't consistent enough to propel the Halos over the Royals this past weekend. The Angels must work on their patience at the plate and their base running as they move forward in April. Minnesota was swept this past weekend by the Baltimore Orioles so the Angels should be able to capitalize on the rough start by the Twins.

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer celebrates his 5th inning home run Sunday against the Angels
By Brian Waller, Columnist  
The first series of the season didn't go as planned for the Halos. They won the season opener which was good, but they lost the remaining 2 games against the Kansas City Royals and their early season record stands at 1-2.

Although offensively the team did not hit like they had been during spring training, a tip of the hat does have to go to Howie Kendrick. He started a rally in the first by hitting a single up the middle of diamond, then he went 1st to 3rd on a wild pitch by Jonathan Sanchez. Kendrick would later be driven in by  Albert Pujols, hopefully a trend that carries over into the rest of the season.

By Scott Stedman - Prospect Reporter
Salt Lake Bees:
The Bees fell behind 6-1 in the 4th inning and couldn't recover, losing the game 8-2.  25 year old Reliever Jeremy Berg had a terrific outing, going 2.1 perfect innings, striking out four. David Carpenter, who got a long look in Spring Training with the big boys also had a flawless inning of work, showing a very strong change up.  In other news, Mike Trout is a machine.  2 more hits for the New Jersey native, who wore gold and black cleats, full of awesomeness.  Those 2 knocks put him at .538 on the season with 1 stolen base thus far.  No need to rush him, I don't mind watching Bobby Abreu in left field having fly balls drop a couple feet in front of him.  Veteran Jorge Cantu, who played second base tonight, picked up his first 2 hits of the year.  Crafty lefty Brad Mills will go for the Bees in a day game.

Arkansas Travelers:
The Travelers also picked up a loss, after the bullpen could not nail down a 5-2 lead.  Ariel Pena started the game, and had a very shaky first inning, walking a batter and giving up 2 hits.  After that rough frame however, he allowed just 1 hit in 4 more innings.  He was in line for the win, but a few sloppy relief appearances squashed that chance for Ariel.  Jean Segura had an awesome day at the plate, going 2-4 with an opposite field big fly in the 4th inning.  Later, he added a stolen base and a double to raise his season average to .400.  Outfielder Matt Long also turned in a productive day at the plate, going 2-4 and providing versatility in the outfield for first year manager with the Travs', Mike Micucci.  Tomorrow, Orangel Arenas will start for Arkansas.

Inland Empire 66ers:
The 66ers suffered their first loss of the new season, dropping the series finale 5-4.  Catcher Jett Bandy led the offensive effort against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, going 2-3 with a home run, a double and a base on balls.  The Angels are being extremely aggressive in promoting Bandy from the Arizona League to A+ ball, and so far it is working out.  First rounder CJ Cron collected his first extra base hit of the season, a double, but went just 1-4 playing first base.  Nick Maronde, 2011 3rd rounder got the start and tossed 4 beautiful innings for Inland Empire.  The left-handed Maronde struck out 5 hitters and walked just one.  Not much else to report from San Bernardino, but they hope to turn it around on Sunday, starting Max Russell. 

Cedar Rapids Kernels:
The Kernels were let down by their bullpen on Saturday and lost a rough one to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, 7-6.  21 year old Ryan Crowley started for the Kernels and did a very good job.  The 6'3" lefty went 4 innings, striking out 6 and just allowing 1 run.  A flurry of relievers followed Crowley, but none were very effective.  The most interesting of the bunch was 20 year old Dominican lefty Eswarlin Jimenez.  Jimenez tossed 1.1 innings and gave up a run, but his stuff was impressive.  The lefty featured a fastball in the low 90s, a big slow curve, and a sharp change up.   Look for Jimenez to have a monster year in the pitcher friendly league.  Offensively, shortstop Trevor Hairgrove and center fielder Chevy Clarke stole the show, with a pair of 3-4 performances.  Hairgrove had a double and a home run in his first start of the young season.  Last year,  the shortstop out of UC Riverside hit .254 for the Rookie Ball Orem Owlz.  Chevy Clarke dazzled in every way possible on the sunny Saturday midday game.  At the plate, he went 3-4 with a double.  In the field, he made a pair of running plays in the outfield.  And on the bases, he stole 2 bases showcasing his blazing speed.  Chevy worked very hard in the off season and is primed for a huge breakout year for the Kernels.

Prospect of the day:
CF Chevy Clarke

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

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