Monday, May 23, 2016

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By Glen McKee, Sr. Staff Writer - 

This team, this team.  The Angels are like a Katy Perry song, they’re hot then they’re cold.  That was just an excuse to post a pic of Katy but it does describe the last week in Angels baseball.  Let’s check it out again, shall we?

THE BAD.  The series against Baltimore.  Baltimore is a surprisingly good team and they have one of my favorite ex-Angels, Mark Trumboner, bashing for them.  You knew he’d hit at least one HR against us. It was a week where the bad seemed worse than it actually was, but there was indeed some bad.

- The second game against Baltimore.  This one hurt for sure.  To see Shoemaker pitch such a good game and to watch the offense squander opportunity after opportunity was saddening, and then to see Joe Smith blow the game in the ninth was just dreadful.  It felt like playing a triple-header and losing each game.

- The first game against Baltimore.  That one was bad, too.  To see Santiago get tossed for a stupid reason and to know that the bullpen was going to have to shoulder the load was, let me check my thesaurus again, appalling.  Terrible way to start the series.

- The DL.  Not sure if it got more crowded last week or it was the week before that, but yeah.  And once again, where the hell is Huston Street?  Last I saw, we may have him back by next weekend.  We need him.  

- The bullpen.  Like Katy Perry, hot and cold but when it was cold it was freezing.  In four games they pitched 9.2 innings and gave up 1 run.  In the other three games they pitched 12 innings and gave up 11 runs.  And yeah, that blown save…

- The offense behind Shoemaker.  Pujols, lookin’ at you, bub.  Shoemaker pitches a game that should have saved his bacon and the offense didn’t do a damn thing.

- That’s it.  Really, that was all that was bad and even most of those bad things had some good things in them.

THE GOOD.  Yes, there was plenty of good this week if you look at the week as a whole, which is what I’m here to do.  You want examples?  I got your examples right here, buddy!

- The record.  4-3 versus two first-place teams.  I’ll take that any week.  Plus, they beat the Dodgers three times out of four.  That’s sweet.  I know it only counts as three wins in the standings but it still feels good, like finding the extra fries at the bottom of the bag.  

- Johnny Giavotella.  If you’re like me, you’re reactionary and short-sighted and had written this guy off after a horrible April.  Too soon, kemosabe.  Dude has raised his stat line to .271, .293 (take a few more walks, Johnny), .373, and .666 (up the Irons!).  This week alone he hit .385.  He’s fun to watch again.  Hot and cold.

- Mike Trout.  Seriously, when is he ever in the bad?  He committed an error sometime this week, which is notable because Mike Trout committed an error.  He also hit .393, which put him just ahead of Johnny Giavotella.

- Matt Shoemaker.  In his last two starts combined he’s gone 12.1 innings and given up three runs.  Hopefully he’s found whatever he’s been missing for a while.

- Nick Tropeano.  Only one start this week, 7 IP, 1 run.  

- Gregorio Petit.  Hitting .318 the last seven days.  Nice to see our supposedly barren farm system doing as well as can be expected with all the injuries.

THE REST. Seven games in a row last week and heading into Texas with a chance to get some momentum going.  Pujols seems to be warming up a bit.  The lineup no longer features five people every night hitting below .200.  I’m slightly optimistic!

WHAT'S NEXT.  Three games in Texas, a day off, and then three at home versus the Astros.  Lots of Texas in our future.

MY PREDICTIONS VS. LAST WEEK.  I predicted 3-4 total, 2-2 versus the Dodgers and 1-2 versus the Orioles.  Actual results did vary slightly: 3-1 versus the Dodgers, 1-2 versus the Orioles, 3-4 total.  Same destination, different routes to get there. Cumulative totals: 19-19 predicted (could I play it any safer?) and 17-21 total.  

MY PREDICTIONS FOR THIS WEEK. Gonna be a breakout week of sorts. 2-1 versus the Rangers and 2-1 versus the Astros, 4-2 total.  Post your predictions below.

BONUS: The Venus Envy Story.  Last week in a Foe Fodder I promised that if the Angels took more than one game against the Mariners I’d tell this story, so here it is.  It was during the same port visit as my other Seattle story, just a night later (or it may have been the same night, the memory is a bit hazy).  After more than a little drinking, me and my friend Nick found this dive bar that welcomed us in and there was a band playing there called Venus Envy.  Eric Notti found out some of the info about them, maybe he can publish the link again.  Anyway…they were a lesbian band and this is an important distinction for the story.  They played cover songs and changed the lyrics to make them more woman-friendly.  One example is the song “She’s Not There.”  The lyrics I remember were changed to “Let me tell you ‘bout the way she cooks, the way she cleans, and the way she keeps up your house” or something similar.  You get the picture.

Anyway…as I mentioned I was a bit drunk and it didn’t occur to me that they were a lesbian band and I had no chance with any of them, so I thought I had a chance.

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I started talking to the ladies in the band after their set and casually threw out that I was a bonafide military man on a warship because the ladies love that stuff.  One of them, Laura Love by name (more about her in a minute) acted suitably impressed and asked me where I was from.  I used my (at the time) best line “well, originally I’m from sperm but I was born in Ohio.”  Yeah, not hard to see why I didn’t have much luck with the ladies.  Laura and the rest of the band actually laughed at this. I thought I was in, so I decided I’d impress them even more by buying their cassette (this was the early 90s) and a band pic.  One of them even signed it to me “From sperm to the Antietam to Seattle, thanks for keeping us safe Glen!”  The Antietam was the ship I was on at the time.  Then they broke the news to me that they were lesbians.  I couldn’t believe it, I was shocked.  My friend Nick was crying, he laughed so much.  They still gave me a hug and we all had a platonic beer together.  I had that tape and picture for years but don’t know what happened to it.  I loved their version of “Fever,” that they made into “Beaver Fever.”

To finish the story…a few years ago I decided to look into the band again.  I found Laura Love on facebook and sent her a friend request.  She accepted, and then I told her this story.  She said she has no memory of it but she loved it and had to tell it to her daughter.  For some reason that made me happy.

And that’s all there is to that story.
Love to hear what you think!

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