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  1. APRIL 3, 2002 GAME 3 - INDIANS AT ANGELS ANAHEIM -- Cleveland Indians starter Chuck Finley was unable to make his scheduled start against the Angels Wednesday night so he could tend to family matters after his wife, actress Tawny Kitaen, was arrested on charges of spousal abuse and battery. Finley has 189 career wins, while his replacement Ryan Drese went into the game with one. But what looked like a break for the Angels instead worked in the Indians' favor, as Drese out-pitched Angels starter Aaron Sele in a 6-5 Indians victory before 18,194 at Edison Field. The Angels made things interesting by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth. But with the potential tying run on second base, Indians closer Bob Wickman struck out Troy Glaus to end it. Sele's debut with the Angels wasn't unlike the starts of Jarrod Washburn and Kevin Appier in the first two games of the season. Like Washburn and Appier, Sele lasted only five innings and made a lot of pitches -- 99. He wasn't terrible, but he wasn't good either. The Indians got eight hits off him, scored four runs and had at least one baserunner in every inning he pitched. Sele also had trouble getting the big out, as the Indians scored three of their four runs against him with two out. ''It was just one of those days,'' said Sele (0-1), who began last season with eight consecutive wins for the Mariners. ''I got the ball up and was battling it the whole game. You get the ball up to good hitters, they'll put the ball in play and that's what they did.'' Sele walked three, struck out two and fell to 5-8 against the Indians in his career. ''Right now it looks like our starters are having trouble getting their feet on the ground and pitching deep into games,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''We know that'll flip-flop.'' Meanwhile, Drese escaped a first-inning jam having allowed only one run, then settled into a groove and lasted 5 2/3 innings. It was only his fifth career major league start, but he gave up just three runs and earned his second career major league victory. ''We knew he had a very good arm,'' Scioscia said. ''It was a gutty performance. In the first inning we had him on the ropes.'' In the first inning the Angels loaded the bases with nobody out on a single by Eckstein and walks to Darin Erstad and Tim Salmon. Garret Anderson popped to short for the first out. Glaus then lined a single to right field, but because the ball was hit so hard the runners advanced only one base, with Eckstein scoring. Brad Fullmer followed with a hard-hit one-hopper to second baseman Ricky Gutierrez, who began a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play. The Indians offense finished with 11 hits, including two each by Matt Lawton, Omar Vizquel, Brady Anderson and Gutierrez. The Angels also had 11 hits, two each by David Eckstein, Glaus and Bengie Molina. The Indians went ahead for good in the second inning getting four hits off Sele. Russell Branyan drove in one with a single and Lawton drove home two more with a two-out double for a 3-1 lead. Down 6-3 in the ninth, the Angels put together a rally against Wickman, starting with Adam Kennedy's leadoff double. He went to third on Eckstein's groundout, and after Erstad walked, Salmon singled to drive in Kennedy, moving Erstad to third. Anderson followed and swung at the first pitch, grounding out to second to score Erstad and move pinch runner Jeff DaVanon to second. But on a 3-2 count, Wickman struck out Glaus with a splitter, allowing the Indians to take two of three in the series. NOTEBOOK ANAHEIM -- Indians pitcher Chuck Finley, scheduled to start Wednesday's game against the Angels, was scratched from the lineup ''to take care of his family,'' according to Indians general manager Mark Shapiro. Finley's wife, actress Tawny Kitaen, was charged Wednesday with spousal abuse and battery for allegedly attacking him while the two drove home to Newport Beach from dinner on Monday night. ''She kicked him in the thigh, in the leg, in the arm, she grabbed his ear and twisted it,'' said Tori Richards, spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office. ''At one point, her high-heel shoe was on top of his foot pressing the accelerator to the ground.'' According to Richards, after the couple arrived home a third party called 911. Police arrested Kitaen after they noticed abrasions and scrapes on Finley. Kitaen, who since marrying Finley in 1997 has gone by her given name of Julie, was released from Orange County Jail on Wednesday. If convicted of the two misdemeanor counts, Kitaen, 40, faces up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine. A judge also issued a restraining order against Kitaen, ordering her to have no contact with Finley. Kitaen will continue to live in the couple's Newport Beach home. Finley, who signed with the Indians in 2000 after 14 seasons with the Angels, lives in the Ritz Carlton in downtown Cleveland when the team is home. Following Monday night's incident, Finley attended Tuesday's game at Edison Field. Indians manager Charlie Manuel said Finley ''seemed fine.'' But Finley called Shapiro Wednesday afternoon and said he couldn't pitch in the game. It would have been Finley's first start of the season. ''He did not feel like he'd make it to the ballpark,'' Shapiro said. ''And if he did he wouldn't be able to pitch. He's just trying to take care of his kids and family right now. ''My attitude is, he's the same as any player in our organization. Everyone has issues outside of being a major league player that you have to deal with in life. What he's going through is the regular ups and downs people go through in their personal lives. But it's tough to go through it when you're in an environment like this.'' Shapiro said he expects Finley to rejoin the team this weekend in Detroit. * Closer Troy Percival underwent an MRI and bone scan Wednesday because of lingering discomfort in his mid-section. Percival was diagnosed with a strained right intercostal muscle and will be out at least until Monday, when he'll be reevaluated. Before the results of the tests were known, Percival, who earned a save Tuesday night, wasn't concerned: ''It's no big story, it's something that's been bothering me for about three weeks. It's more for peace of mind.'' Percival said he first felt the discomfort pitching against Colorado in a spring training game in mid-March, but he ''tried to pitch through it.'' Percival's velocity on Tuesday was down to the 92-94 mph range, below his normal 95-98 mph. ''I haven't been able to jump on a pitch 100 percent,'' he said. ''It's been more like 90 percent.'' * Left-handed reliever Dennis Cook (bruised ribs) will throw in the season opener for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga today. If all goes well, Cook could be activated from the disabled list on Saturday. … ... The Angels are off Thursday and will begin a three-game series in Texas starting Friday. The Associated Press contributed to this story. View the full article
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  3. APRIL 2, 2002 GAME 2 - INDIANS AT ANGELS By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor ANAHEIM -- Kevin Appier's first start as an Angel won't be one to tell the grandkids about years from now, but the end result was one the Angels will gladly accept. Appier, who came to the Angels from the Mets in a trade for Mo Vaughn Dec. 27, bobbed and weaved his way through five innings in the Angels' 7-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians Tuesday night before 20,055 at Edison Field. Appier gave up four runs (two earned) and four hits while making 106 pitches, which helped to cut short his first night in Angel red. The win, though, was more a result of the bullpen and the offense, which scored five runs with two outs. Ben Weber (two scoreless innings), Al Levine (one scoreless inning) and Troy Percival (first save) combined to throw four innings in relief of Appier, allowing one run and two hits. Russell Branyan homered off Percival in the ninth for the only run. The Angels got most of their offense from the top of the lineup, where David Eckstein and Darin Erstad combined for five hits, two stolen bases, four runs and three RBIs. Eckstein had three hits, scored three runs, stole a base and made an outstanding defensive play. Even Troy Glaus went to the opposite field, hitting a two-run double to right-center field in the seventh inning, providing the margin for victory. The Angels stole three bases and ran the bases aggressively all night. It was the type of offense Angels manager Mike Scioscia stressed during spring training. ''That's my style,'' Erstad said. ''Grind it out, scratch and claw, do the little things to win. A lot of guys did that today. We're going to win a lot of ballgames if we keep doing it.'' The game-winning run, though, came courtesy of Indians second baseman Ricky Gutierrez, who is taking over for Roberto Alomar (traded to the Mets). With two out in the sixth inning and the game tied at 4, Gutierrez dropped Bengie Molina's routine pop fly, allowing Glaus to score from third and give the Angels the lead for good. After being shut out by Bartolo Colon in their opener, the Angels got on the scoreboard in the first inning against Indians starter C.C. Sabathia. With one out, Erstad singled and stole second. Tim Salmon followed with an RBI double and 1-0 Angels lead. Appier made a lot of pitches in the first two innings (41) but didn't allow any runs or hits. In the third, though, Omar Vizquel had an RBI triple and Ellis Burks had an RBI single to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead, as Appier's pitch count continued to rise. He made 71 pitches through three innings, 83 through four. ''I didn't think I threw all that badly,'' Appier said. ''They made things really tough, working counts and taking pitches. Really, they were super disciplined at the plate.'' In the fifth, though, the defense betrayed Appier. With one out and no one on base, Matt Lawton hit a hard grounder to Eckstein at shortstop. Eckstein knocked the ball down, picked it up and threw in time to get Lawton. But Lawton was ruled safe because first baseman Benji Gil pulled his foot off the bag. Gil was charged with an error. It was a costly error, because the Indians went on to score two unearned runs in the inning. Burks drove in the first with an RBI single on a hit-and-run play, and Jim Thome drove in the second with a sacrifice fly. ''His pitch count was extremely high for the fifth inning, but Ape battled and made good pitches,'' Scioscia said. ''We didn't help him much with the error, but Ape kept us in the game.'' The Angels got the runs back in the bottom of the fifth by putting together a rally after two were out and no one was on base. Adam Kennedy drew a walk and stole second, and Eckstein followed with an RBI single to right field, cutting their deficit to 4-3. Erstad then ripped a double into the right-field corner, scoring Eckstein from first to tie the game at 4. ''Everybody wants to do it, and we definitely have to do it,'' Eckstein said of manufacturing runs. ''When you have a team that wants to do it, it makes you better. If you move runners over it makes it easier for the next guy.'' The Angels went ahead for good in the sixth scoring the unearned run on Gutierrez's error. The only hit of the inning was Brad Fullmer's first as an Angel. With Glaus (walk) on first and two outs, Fullmer singled to right, sending Glaus to third. Molina followed with the popup that was dropped. NOTEBOOK ANAHEIM -- The Angels decided during the offseason that they'd be better off spending money on offense, so they let reliable reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa leave. That opened the door for a variety of the organization's younger pitchers to try to win a job in the bullpen. Bart Miadich, Brendan Donnelly and Matt Wise were among those in the mix, but ultimately it was veteran Donne Wall who won the job during spring training. Wall pitched two perfect innings in his Angel debut on Sunday night, a good start in his effort to bounce back from a bad season in 2001 with the Mets. Wall was 0-4 with a 4.85 ERA in 32 appearances last year while battling through shoulder problems. ''I was very frustrated,'' Wall said. ''I tried to stay as positive as I could, but physically, my body wasn't doing what it was used to.'' Wall, 34, is healthy again, and the Angels are hoping that he returns to the form he showed from 1998-2000 with the Padres, when he served as closer Trevor Hoffman's set-up man. In those three seasons Wall went 17-10 with a 2.92 ERA. ''Our job in the bullpen is to get the ball to (closer) Troy (Percival) with the lead,'' he said. ''It doesn't matter if you come in in the third inning or the eighth, just get the ball to Troy.'' * Left-handed reliever Dennis Cook made 31 pitches during a simulated game Monday at Rancho Cucamonga, the Angels' Single-A affiliate. Cook, on the disabled list with bruised ribs, will throw again in the Quakes' season-opener on Thursday. If all goes well, Cook could be activated by Saturday in Texas. ''Oh yeah, I've been antsy,'' Cook said. ''I think I'm close.'' Cook, 39, was injured during the Angels' March 9 fight with the San Diego Padres. Starter Ramon Ortiz, in staying on a five-day pitching schedule, threw 90 pitches in a simulated game Monday at Rancho Cucamonga. He'll make his first start of the season Saturday in Texas. * Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels' opening day dud should be something from which the players can learn. ''Opening day is probably as close as you're going to get to a playoff atmosphere,'' he said. ''You'd like the guys to use the experience to get used to it. Opening day is part of the season and the fanfare is part of the package. You want to use that energy for something positive because there might be a time during the season or in the playoffs when you'll be in the same situation.'' View the full article
  4. While waiting to see if and when the coronavirus shutdown will end and the MLB season will begin, we took some Angels questions via Twitter on Wednesday. If no season is to be played does (Anthony) Rendon have just six years left on the contract? Or seven still? I’m assuming six since Betts will be free agent this offseason. Sucks to be Dodgers if that happens. — @mattyball71 Anthony Rendon’s contract covers the 2020 to 2026 seasons, specifically, so if there is no 2020 season, the Angels simply lose a year of Rendon’s contract. Of course, they also won’t have to pay him his full salary in 2020, so they get some relief in that way. How many games do you think would be too little to even consider playing the season at all? — @TinaTigerl18 You would think that you would need at least 100 games or so for the season to be considered legitimate, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they play as few as 75. Most of the money from TV comes from the playoffs, so MLB is going to do whatever it can to still have the playoffs, even if they follow a significantly shortened season. Being optimistic that there will be baseball by Summer. How are (Shohei) Ohtani and (Griffin) Canning? — @dweinberger66 As of last week, Shohei Ohtani was throwing and still on track to be ready to pitch whenever the season begins. Griffin Canning was cleared this week to resume throwing, about four weeks after undergoing a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow. He could be on the mound by the end of April, and could be ready by the time the season starts. Which pitcher, not named Shohei, do you think will be a boost to our rotation and/or bullpen? — @Br3nd0714 I think the biggest potential improvement to the pitching staff might have come from Keynan Middleton. Middleton lost some velocity on his fastball when he came back from Tommy John surgery late in 2019, but in spring training he was again throwing 96-97 mph. He’s been very good when he’s been healthy, and he potentially gives the Angels three closer-caliber relievers, along with Hansel Robles and Ty Buttrey. A dominating bullpen can cover up a lot of issues with the rotation. Do you think there’s any possibility the Angels get rid of either Simba (Andrelton Simmons), (David) Fletcher, or (Tommy) La Stella for a pitcher above Junior Varsity level? — @RockyFalboa Andrelton Simmons and La Stella are both set to be free agents at the end of the 2020 season, so their value would be limited in terms of acquiring a front-line pitcher, even if there would have been a full season. Fletcher, on the other hand, could definitely be an attractive piece to help the Angels get a pitcher, if they were inclined to move him. With a possible lost season can AP (Albert Pujols) still get to 700 (home runs)? — @DeliriousDrew84 If there are no games in 2020, it will be just about impossible for Albert Pujols to reach 700 homers. He is currently at 656, so he needs another 44 homers. He isn’t hitting 44 homers in a single season at age 41 in 2021. Even if they play half a season in 2020, it will be tough (to reach 700), based on his age and the trajectory of his performance. Pujols was healthy the entire 2019 season, and he hit 23 homers. When the season starts, will the date correspond with the previous schedule? Or will we start from scratch against Houston? — @GeorgeKittle11 The schedule is a very complicated web, so restarting it would be virtually impossible. When the season started late in 1995, after the strike ended, they simply picked up the schedule where it was in late April. Wherever they pick it up, they’ll need to tweak it to make sure teams have the same number of games, and the same number of home and road games, but I suspect they would simply add games to existing series were they are off days now. How does a shortened, or even canceled, season affect (GM) Billy Eppler’s job? Would he have a better chance of getting an extension or a worse chance? — @FletchSZNN Only team owner Arte Moreno truly knows the answer to that one. If Moreno had decided before the season even began that this was going to be Eppler’s last year as general manager, then perhaps he could still make a change at the end of the season, regardless of what happens. However, if Moreno was truly waiting to judge Eppler based on what happened in 2020, then it would seem like he would at least give him a one-year extension if there is no 2020 season. Do you think MLB will change the playoff format now that all other leagues have at least 14 teams in the playoffs now and MLB is still at 10? — @WillieJ2323 The idea floated during spring training – six teams playing best-of-three series and one getting a first-round bye in each league – was probably going to happen, perhaps as soon as 2021, from my understanding. The TV partners like it, and the players like it, so that’s reason enough for it to happen. As for what happens in 2020, it’s anyone’s guess. It seems likely that they will do something besides the standard playoff system, just because extra playoff games would help make up some of the lost revenue from the shortened season. What’s your best lineup for this team? — @EricSpitz As a matter of fact, Strat-O-Matic has been running a simulation of the season using its computer game and I’ve been supplying the Angels lineup. I tweak it a little each day, but normally I’ve been using something like this: David Fletcher 2B, Mike Trout CF, Anthony Rendon 3B, Shohei Ohtani DH, Justin Upton LF, Albert Pujols 1B, Brian Goodwin RF, Andrelton Simmons SS, Jason Castro C. The hard part is balancing the playing time between Fletcher and Tommy La Stella. Manager Joe Maddon said in spring training that La Stella would play second against right-handers, so that means Fletcher was probably going to play right field, or else fill in for a Simmons, Rendon or Upton on the other days. How do you think the Angels organization is going to adjust using Shohei Ohtani in a shortened season or are they going to stay with the once every seven days model? — @darylbresach I don’t think the length of the season affects the Angels’ desire to have Ohtani pitch once a week. They are very cautious about the intensity of his workload, so they want him to have the day off before and after he pitches. If he pitches too often, that puts stress on his arm and takes him out of the lineup as a hitter too much. They believe that pitching once a week, and hitting as many as four days a week, is how they maximize his value at both. One potential change, however, is that the Angels had planned on using Ohtani to pitch before or after a scheduled off day as much as possible, so he could get the day off without missing a day in the lineup. Many of those days off may become game days in a truncated schedule. Related Articles Former Angel Jim Edmonds tested positive for coronavirus, but is now symptom free Angels’ Griffin Canning cleared to resume throwing Angels’ Andrew Heaney bides his time during coronavirus quarantine Former Angels star Jim Edmonds goes to hospital for coronavirus testing Angels minor leaguer uses coronavirus shutdown to build college recruiting site Do Arte (Moreno) and Billy (Eppler) really believe they can be contenders without an ace or a closer? Sorry, Heaney is not an ace and closers by committee don’t work. Another wasted Trout year. — @nohohomi First, Robles’ performance last year certainly warrants him getting credit for being a closer. As for the ace, the Angels tried to sign Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Zack Wheeler and they tried to trade for Corey Kluber. They struck out on all of them. Instead, they tried to build a team around the offense and the bullpen, similar to what the Milwaukee Brewers have done each of the past few years. It’s not the ideal way to go about it, but it was the best option they had once they missed out on the front-line starters. What are some of the road trips that you look forward to covering when the schedule comes out each year? — @NCAngelsfan I always enjoy going to New York, because it’s unlike any other city. The crowds everywhere would drive me crazy if I lived there, but it’s a fun city for three or four days. I also love Seattle, and I’m fortunate enough to get three trips a year there (normally). I think Minneapolis is also highly underrated. The ballpark and the city are beautiful, as long as you don’t go in April and get snow. What’s your favorite food to grub on at Angel Stadium? — @badberny Cathy’s Cookies are pretty great. We started a tradition late last season in which a different writer would buy a bucket of the chocolate chip cookies each Saturday home game, and they would be shared throughout the press box. View the full article
  5. Jim Edmonds reported on Wednesday night on his Instagram account that he tested positive for the coronavirus, but he said that he’s now symptom free. Edmonds, who began his major league career with the Angels, posted a video in which he explained what happened to him after he was hospitalized over the weekend. “Just wanted to drop a quick note,” Edmonds said. “I appreciate everyone who has sent well wishes and wished me the best. I did test positive for pneumonia and test positive for the virus. I am completely symptom free now and doing really well, so I must have had it for a while before I got tested.” Edmonds, 49, posted on social media on Saturday that he’d undergone tests, but he didn’t report the results until Wednesday.Related Articles Angels’ Griffin Canning cleared to resume throwing Angels’ Andrew Heaney bides his time during coronavirus quarantine Former Angels star Jim Edmonds goes to hospital for coronavirus testing Angels minor leaguer uses coronavirus shutdown to build college recruiting site Reports: MLB, players union reach tentative deal to salvage 2020 season Edmonds urged people to see a doctor if they have shortness of breath. “Don’t take it lightly,” he said. “Take care of yourself.” A Gold Glove outfielder, Edmonds spent parts of his first seven big league seasons with the Angels. He was then traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he spent the next eight years. Since he stopped playing, Edmonds briefly starred with his ex-wife on the Real Housewives of Orange County. He has also worked for the Cardinals as a broadcaster. View the full article
  6. Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning, who missed much of spring training with an elbow issue, was cleared to resume throwing after a follow-up evaluation this week, General Manager Billy Eppler said Wednesday. Canning underwent a platelet-rich plasma injection on March 6 after several rounds of diagnostic tests failed to show any structural damage that could explain the discomfort in his elbow. The tests showed only “chronic changes,” which amounts to simple wear. Canning will gradually increase the intensity of his throwing, and he could be pitching from a mound by the end of April, Eppler said. The Angels had been preparing to start the season with Canning on the injured list, but the coronavirus shutdown has pushed back the start of the season far enough that the former Santa Margarita High and UCLA standout could be available whenever the season begins. Related Articles Angels’ Andrew Heaney bides his time during coronavirus quarantine Former Angels star Jim Edmonds goes to hospital for coronavirus testing Angels minor leaguer uses coronavirus shutdown to build college recruiting site Reports: MLB, players union reach tentative deal to salvage 2020 season Angels manager Joe Maddon uses coronavirus shutdown to connect with people View the full article
  7. By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor APRIL 1, 2002 - OFF DAY ANAHEIM -- After a good and relatively healthy spring, the Angels were excited to open the season Sunday night against the Indians. Probably too excited. The Angels lost, 6-0, but were done in during the first inning. Though settled down after it, starting pitcher Jarrod Washburn was erratic in the opening inning, during which he gave up a leadoff walk and five singles. A miscommunication on a relay play between right fielder Tim Salmon and shortstop David Eckstein resulted in an error, also in the first inning. After getting knocked woozy in the top of the first, the Angels simply were blown away by Indians starter Bartolo Colon after that. ''I love opening day,'' said Salmon, who went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. ''But it seems like it amps you up too much or distracts you. You want to make it happen instead of being under control and taking nice, easy swings.'' About the error, Salmon said: ''I spin to throw to second (on a single by Omar Vizquel) and (Eckstein) is not there. Everybody's excited and we're all trying to be in the right place and make the right play. Sometimes that happens. Eck'll be there 99 percent of the time.'' * Going mostly unrecognized because of the poor start was the work of the bullpen on Sunday. Washburn was done after five innings, leaving three relievers to try to keep it close. Donne Wall, who struggled all of last season with the Mets after coming off shoulder surgery, threw two perfect innings Sunday, striking out two. Lou Pote, who had a poor spring (15.00 ERA), pitched a scoreless inning and didn't allow a hit. Lefty Mark Lukasiewicz gave up one run and three hits in the ninth. ''After the first inning we did some good things on the mound,'' Scioscia said. In case you missed the Angels season opener you can read about it here: View the full article
  8. As Andrew Heaney sits at his home in Oklahoma, working through a list of the top 100 movies of all-time and enjoying the tree blossoms he hasn’t seen in a while at this time of year, he yearns for the day when he can return to the baseball field. Even if it’s in an empty stadium. As the Angels player representative to the union, Heaney was involved in the conference calls that led to last week’s agreement between Major League Baseball and the players about the way this coronavirus shutdown is handled. One of the possibilities is that MLB games could return without fans in the ballparks, if the two sides determine that is a better alternative than waiting longer to begin the season. While Heaney said that “no player wants to play in an empty stadium,” he conceded it could be a good way to get baseball back sooner. “Baseball shows why it’s the national pastime in situations like this, difficult times for our country,” Heaney said via conference call Tuesday. “It seems to me that’s when the sport flexes its muscles. As players we understand that too. Maybe (the word) therapeutic is overboard, but it can be helpful for people in tough times, tough situations, to flip on a game and see their team play.” The scheduled opening day came and went last week, with players mostly quarantined in their homes, unable to so much as hold organized workouts together. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended no gatherings of 50 or more people through at least mid-May, which means the best-case scenario for the resumption of full-squad baseball workouts is a month and a half away. If restrictions on small groups are eased in May, but large groups are still prohibited, one of the options on the table for MLB is to play games in empty stadiums, just to get the season going. Heaney said he’d support that, as well as other changes that may be made at the back end, like a non-traditional playoff structure. “It’s definitely not a normal season, so I can see the benefit of having an abnormal playoff system that would be exciting and intriguing,” Heaney said. “I think there’s a movement within within baseball to start being a little bit more outside-the-box and not quite so traditional. It’s a very slow movement, but I think it’s getting there.” Heaney said he wouldn’t want to see anything “drastically” alter the system to the point that the regular season was rendered insignificant. This regular season will almost certainly be less than the normal 162 games, but Heaney said for now he’s trying to prepare for a full season. “That’s everybody’s goal,” he said. “It may seem far fetched, but that’s everybody’s goal. If you don’t have that mindset, you are going to get caught off guard. If you’re overprepared, it’s better than being underprepared.” Heaney said he’s working out back in Oklahoma with Garrett Williams, another Oklahoma State product whom the Angels acquired as the player to be named in the Zack Cozart trade with the San Francisco Giants. Heaney said he and Williams go for runs, lift weights and play catch in the street. So far he hasn’t thrown a bullpen, but they are “looking for a bullpen catcher in the next week or so,” perhaps using their connections at Oklahoma State. Related Articles Former Angels star Jim Edmonds goes to hospital for coronavirus testing Angels minor leaguer uses coronavirus shutdown to build college recruiting site Reports: MLB, players union reach tentative deal to salvage 2020 season Angels manager Joe Maddon uses coronavirus shutdown to connect with people Alexander: When baseball’s scheduled Opening Day … isn’t Heaney said he’s been texting and talking to some of his teammates, and they have a video conference upcoming. “It will at least be fun to see some people’s faces,” he said. “The quarantine has been tough.” Heaney said he’s ill-equipped for this much free time because he doesn’t play video games or do art or play any musical instruments. “Not a lot to better myself, if I’m being real honest,” he said with a chuckle. “Just kind of working out and watching movies and watching TV. I’m getting good at Monopoly, though, so that’s something.” View the full article
  9. We’re going to come back to advanced statistics in a bit, but for now, let’s take a break for the old-timers and focus on something a bit more vanilla: The Triple Crown statistics--batting average, dingers, ribbies--as well as runs scored and stolen bases. #14: Batting Average (Active Leaders) When you think of what Trout brings to the plate, batting average isn’t the first thing that comes to mind: he’s never led the league, never hit .330, although has settled in as a solid .300 hitter. That said, his .305 lifetime average is good for 4th among active players, behind only Miguel Cabrera (.315), Jose Altuve (.315), and Joe Votto (.307). #15: Home Runs (Through Age 27) Trout is known for his power, however, and is one of the most prolific young home run hitters in baseball history. HR Total Through Age 27 (1871-2019, all players) Alex Rodriguez 345 Jimmie Foxx 302 Eddie Mathews 299 Ken Griffey Jr 294 Mike Trout 285 Albert Pujols 282 Mickey Mantle 280 Mel Ott 275 Giancarlo Stanton 267 Frank Robinson 262 Trout hasn’t hit 50 in a season yet (although would have in 2019 if he hadn’t lost time injury), but he’s hit 40+ twice and 30+ six times. And here’s where we get to the second Amazing Trout Stat related to HR: Trout is one of only seven players to hit 30+ HR six or more times in major league history. Jimmie Foxx, Eddie Mathews, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols did it seven times. Trout, Frank Robinson and Miguel Cabrera have done it six times. As far as the Angels franchise goes, with 285 he’s just 14 behind Angels leader Tim Salmon, with 299. Trout did it in 1199 games, compared to Salmon’s 1672. Only Troy Glaus, with 47 in 2000, has hit more in a single season, with Trout having the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 11th, and 21st highest yearly totals as an Angel. #16: RBI & Runs (Through Age 27) Usually batting second in the lineup, Trout doesn’t get a ton of RBI opportunities, but he is still not-too-far down the all-time leaderboards for age 27: #16a: 752 RBI, 23rd all-time through age 27. He has scored quite a few runs: #16b: 903 Runs Scored, 10th all-time through age 27. #17: Stolen Bases (SB%) Trout is known for his all-around game, including speed. But after stealinig 49 bases in 2012, he’s only surpassed 30 in 2013 and 2016. That said, where he stands out in his basestealing percentage: Trout is 10th all-time at 84.713%. In case you missed our previous entries:
  10. Hello GoaTrout,

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  11. Jim Edmonds, who began his big-league career with the Angels, wrote on social media on Saturday that he is being tested for the coronavirus. “Held off as long as I could,” Edmonds wrote on Instagram, captioning a photo of him wearing a surgical mask. “Thought I was tough enough to get through. This virus is no joke. #gethealthy” Edmonds, 49, had done some broadcasting with the St. Louis Cardinals in recent seasons, including this spring. He had also become a reality television star via the “Real Housewives of Orange County.” Edmonds wrote that he was still unsure if he had the COVID-19 virus or was simply “super sick.” An eight-time Gold Glove winner, Edmonds broke into the big leagues with the Angels in 1993. He spent parts of seven seasons with the Angels before he was traded to the Cardinals. Edmonds played parts of 17 years in the majors, including stops with the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds. View the full article
  12. While most of the country is sequestered at home trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Jack Kruger is using his time to spread something else: information. Kruger, a minor-league catcher in the Angels system, has devoted his downtime to enhancing an idea hatched a few years ago. Kruger has created a web site to help high school baseball and softball players through the recruiting process. A product of Oaks Christian High in Westlake Village, Kruger got little attention from college coaches during high school. Although he ended up at Oregon, it was only after he left Oregon and transferred to Orange Coast College that he realized he’d been doing it all wrong. Kruger, who ended up with a scholarship to Mississippi State, said his quest for a Division I college opportunity “grew like wildfire” the second time through. “That’s when I realized everyone needs to be doing this,” he said. “That’s when I knew we had something here.” These days, Kruger is dispensing advice on his site, ballerbuilder.com. All of the information is free, although he said he is working toward eventually selling some videos. “I’m basically trying to help people get out of their own way and understand this chaotic, fluid recruiting system that sucks up a lot of time and money from families that probably don’t have it,” Kruger said. Kruger, 25, got the idea to start helping kids with recruiting as soon as he landed at Mississippi State in the fall of 2015. The Angels drafted him in 2016, after one season with the Bulldogs, and he was focused on his career, which reached Double-A in 2019. In December, he began building the web site, which launched in February. A month later, Kruger suddenly had more time than he or anyone had expected. Kruger was in big-league camp with the Angels when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sport. Because he’s now limited to doing gym workouts on his own, he said he is spending six to eight hours a day working on the web site. The site has articles about how players can create the most effective videos or write the most effective emails to send to college coaches. Subscribers can receive emails from Kruger a few times a week, highlighting various tips on the recruiting process. “The general principle is we are trying to create a list and write emails and make sure we send the right video,” Kruger said. “That sounds pretty straightforward, but there are a lot of intricacies within that system we can implement that I’ve never heard anyone talk about.” For example, Kruger said players should be sure to closely look at the players that a school currently has to determine the need. “If you’re a catcher and you’re messaging a school that has a freshman All-America catcher, you are kind of wasting your time,” Kruger said. Finding schools that need you is the key, Kruger said. “A lot of people feel they’re lucky if the school talks to them, but the college coaches need good players as much as players need schools,” Kruger said. “That gives players some more power.” Ironically, the same pandemic that has given Kruger time to devote to his site has also put a hold on the recruiting process that he’s trying to explain. Most high school players are unable to play now, and the NCAA currently has established a dead period so coaches can’t do any recruiting. Players are still free to contact coaches and send videos. Kruger said he recommends simply taking this time to prepare everything so as soon as the dead period ends, the emails and videos are ready to send. Related Articles Reports: MLB, players union reach tentative deal to salvage 2020 season Angels manager Joe Maddon uses coronavirus shutdown to connect with people Alexander: When baseball’s scheduled Opening Day … isn’t Angels make a few more roster moves There will be an Angels Opening Day result, thanks to Strat-o-matic Kruger said he has articles on the specific tasks players can be doing during the coronavirus shutdown, in terms of their development as athletes and in marketing their skills. “Its about gaining strength and athleticism,” he said. “Getting outside and continuing to build your body, even if you can’t work on (baseball) skills. I just reassured players that they aren’t falling behind. There is no one out there secretly playing in tournaments and meeting coaches. Everyone is pretty much at a standstill. But there are still things you can do to further your process.” View the full article
  13. Hello samw,

    Welcome to AngelsWin.com. Please feel free to browse around and get to know the others.

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  14. Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have a deal, ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported Thursday night. The players have voted on it already. MLB owners are expected to ratify it Friday. The deal draws a path forward as baseball tries to figure out when it will return from the stoppage because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the deal, MLB has the right to shorten the 2020 draft to five rounds, ESPN reported, citing unnamed sources. Additionally, it can delay the start of the international signing period until as late as January 2021. MLB also can shorten the 2021 draft to 20 rounds as well as push back the 2021-22 international signing period to January 2022 through December 2022, per the report. The most important thing for the players: In the event the entire 2020 season is canceled, they will receive full service time, meaning players entering the final year of their contracts such as Mookie Betts, Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, J.T. Realmuto and others would become free agents in November regardless of whether games are played. In addition to the service time issue, because the season will clearly be shorter, the arbitration rules will be adjusted so players are not penalized for putting up counting stats that don’t stack up to past comparables from 162-game seasons. Related Articles Dodgers’ Andrew Friedman preaches ‘perspective’ amid ‘unknowns’ of coronavirus shutdown Angels manager Joe Maddon uses coronavirus shutdown to connect with people Alexander: When baseball’s scheduled Opening Day … isn’t Angels make a few more roster moves There will be an Angels Opening Day result, thanks to Strat-o-matic View the full article
  15. During this unexpected hiatus from what he is normally doing at this time of year, Joe Maddon has immersed himself in 21st century communication. In the past week, the Angels manager has created a video from the seat of his bike, held a video conference with all of his coaches and been interviewed by a pair of college students about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on baseball. “Anything to provide some content and make it interesting, if I can,” Maddon said. “I am trying to help everyone get through this, and promote Angels baseball. … Just trying to figure out a way to stay connected with everybody.” With much of the country quarantined to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Maddon has been mostly sequestered with his wife, Jaye, in their luxury recreational vehicle, which is still parked in Arizona. Technology, however, allows him to still reach out to a variety of audiences, including a class of graduate students at George Washington University. About six years ago, Maddon began talking to students – from junior high to college – via video conference. He said it was his way to help use technology to connect baseball to the next generation. Maddon estimated he’s done about 40 to 50 such sessions since then, mostly from hotels while on the road. They are arranged by Rick Vaughn, the former Tampa Bay Rays PR man who is now Executive Director of Respect 90, Maddon’s charitable organization. Vaughn worked for the Baltimore Orioles when he met former Orioles beat writer Mark Hyman, who is now a professor of management and tourism studies at GWU in Washington. Hyman was set to teach a class on the business of spring training. He had arranged for his class of 18 students to visit Arizona during the final week of spring training, but the coronavirus shutdown changed those plans. Hyman converted the class to one exploring the impact of COVID-19 on spring training, as told through the eyes of journalists, economists, political figures and – thanks to Vaughn – one manager. “I think it’s impressive that (Maddon) would take a half hour out of his day to meet with college students who he doesn’t know and he doesn’t have any particular connection to,” Hyman said. “From the perspective of a college professor, there is no substitute for students meeting people in decision-making roles.” Thomas Simpson, who is pursuing his Master of Business Administration, was one of the two students to interview Maddon. They will share the interview with their classmates, who are meeting remotely, next week. “Joe was amazing,” Simpson said. “We were really happy he would take this time during a time of crisis to speak with two graduate students.” Maddon, who also plans to video conference with kids this summer through a program run by the Angels, said he also gains something from those type of chats with students. “It’s fascinating to me to be challenged by guys like that,” he said. “They make you think about exactly what I’m doing.” Simpson said he and his classmate, Thomas Luther, spoke to Maddon for about 20 minutes using Blackboard, an app for online teaching. Maddon talked to them about the logistics of what happened when spring training was shut down, and also about leadership in general. “He was very engaging and very positive,” Simpson said. “He said, ‘This is how I view myself as a leader, not only in the baseball community, but in a time of crisis.’” Maddon has said on multiple occasions since the sport shut down that he feels it’s important to spread positivity and create a distraction at a time when there is so much bad news. That’s why he strapped a video camera on to his helmet for a 30-minute bike ride around the RV park in Arizona earlier this week. Maddon essentially told stories about his minor-league baseball career during a stream of consciousness monologue, allowing viewers to listen as they watched the scenery go by. Related Articles Alexander: When baseball’s scheduled Opening Day … isn’t Angels make a few more roster moves There will be an Angels Opening Day result, thanks to Strat-o-matic Memorable Opening Days from Angels seasons past Angels GM Billy Eppler said team still clear of coronavirus as players work out on their own Maddon said he plans to do more of that, perhaps narrating as he walks around various landmarks of Angels history in Arizona. He also may do a little cooking instruction with his crock pot in the RV, he said. Besides that, he has plans for continued video meetings with his coaches and players, all in an effort to keep everyone engaged and motivated while baseball is in an indefinite hiatus. “If you permit yourself, you can fill your day up pretty easily,” Maddon said. “This is something I have never really gotten into before. Right now, I think social media is as important as it’s ever been.” View the full article