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brianvargo

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About brianvargo

  • Birthday 12/20/1971

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    San Diego
  • Interests
    Angels baseball, music, my wonderful family, writing, literature

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  1. I am no runner, but I am a great admirer of Steve Prefontaine, who is as legendary for his colorful personality and pure determination as the many records he set in the sport of distance running during his short lifetime. I know that many runners continue to wear "Stop Pre" t-shirts as a means of honoring the man. I don't know how I feel about appropriating the slogan for Trout, no matter how great his talent, but among certain people it will certainly resonate. It does make sense, but it makes me feel just a tad uneasy.
  2. This will be a telling year for Weave. If there is something to be figured out, and he's actually hit upon and addressed it, then he could end up being the difference between an Angel team that wins 85-or-so games and an Angel team that makes the post-season. He might also figure out a way to pitch effectively into his late 30s, hopefully for the Angels. Of course, if it turns out that his decline was irreversible and led to 2016 being his final big league season, at least in an Angels' uniform, then he'll still rightly be remembered as a Halo great who fought until the end and who truly wanted to be here. There are few players I respect as much, and none I respect more.
  3. Angels are finalists in Heyward sweepstakes, per mlbtraderumors. Jon Morosi: https://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/675031390208057346
  4. I miss Jim Healy. I used to love listening to his show before the Angels' pre-game as a kid. "A-wunnerful, a-wunnderful."
  5. Following this link down the rabbit hole, I was surprised and impressed to discover that Brian Downing had an OPS of .835 in his age-41 season with the Texas Rangers. That's in 391 plate appearances. The previous season he was at .831 in 476 plate appearances. I do wish the Angels hadn't let him walk. It still bothers me that he retired a Ranger. But I digress. Was it Bob Starr who called Mike Witt's phenomenal 12-to-6 curve ball "the yakker"? I'm glad that The Witter is in. As for Dean Chance, he's a bit before my time, but even if he gained entrance to the Angels' Hall of Fame on the basis of only one season, at least it was a genuinely great season: eleven shutouts, a 1.65 ERA over 278 innings, a WHIP of 1.006 - not for nothing was he the youngest pitcher ever to win the Cy Young Award up to that point. I think that we have to consider his achievement in the context of the club's history, too. At the time, the Angels were just in their fourth year of existence and they were very much in the shadow of the Dodgers. And the Dodgers had the two most dominant pitchers in the game in Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. For a 23-year-old kid to come along and steal a little of their thunder by winning the Cy Young at a time when only one was awarded for *both* leagues is an accomplishment of near Trout-like proportions. I guess what I'm trying to express, in my long-winded manner, is that I don't begrudge Chance his spot in the Angels' Hall, either. As for Sammy? About time, I say! At his best, he was about as reliable a hitter as I can recall watching. There were few hitters I'd rather have up at the plate in a clutch situation than Salmon in his prime. His bat speed was incredible, and he could absolutely punish the ball to all fields. What a joy he was to watch.
  6. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but Duke Snider was elected to the Hall of Fame decades ago.
  7. Years from now, we may all look back on the 2010 to 2013 seasons as the development of a foundation of much better things to come, in a way justifying the positions of those who claimed "it's early" in each of those seasons. Looking back on the mid to late 90s, and how talented the team was, and how frustratingly close they would occasionally come to reaching the post-season, it's now much easier to see that they were building toward the amazing decade that followed, kicking off with the 2002 season. I'm not saying that the current team has reached such heights yet, or that they will, but if it turns out that we're entering another golden era of Angels baseball, then the "it's early crowd" has potentially been correct in retrospect since about 2011. Here's hoping!
  8. That was one of the guttiest wins I've seen in my 33 years of pulling for the Halos. I've never been prouder to be an Angel fan. How sweet it is!
  9. Here's sort of a simplified overview of Frieri's Angel career so far, at least as I view it: He comes over to the AL and is, at first, virtually unhittable, thanks largely to a fastball with incredible movement. He gets a lot of strike three calls by throwing it tight to lefties and having it break just over that inside corner at the last moment, as well as a lot of swinging strikes by throwing it - seemingly - right down the middle and having it break out of the strike zone. His stuff is electric. The league makes adjustments, of course. Batters begin to realize that their best bet is either to swing early and pounce on a straight, get-a-strike fastball or let Frieri get a couple of strikes on them and watch as his moving fastball misses the plate, working a walk or at least forcing him into a deep count in which he has to throw strikes. After blowing a few pivotal games, Frieri's confidence is visibly shaken. He becomes streaky. When he's on, he's on, but when he's even slightly off, he looks lost out there. In the latter cases, teammates and fans have to keep their fingers crossed that he'll get something over the plate and that the fat pitches that do get over the plate stay in the yard. This trend continues through 2013, a year in which he appears to make no substantial adjustments to his approach to hitters. Realizing that he needs to be more consistent if he wants to remain a big-league closer, Frieri does make some adjustments, refining his change up during spring training and challenging hitters more often with two strikes. The problem - as I see it, anyway - is that his idea of challenging hitters is to consciously *aim* his fastball. He looks fine, usually, getting those first couple of strikes. Then he'll waste a couple. At that point, you can almost feel him straining to guide the ball over the plate. And over the plate it goes, plenty of speed on it, but flat as a polished stone. The hitters know it's coming, too, and they're sitting on it. It's tee time at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. There's no doubt that Frieri has talent, but his self-consciousness on the mound seems to doom him all too often. That's the sort of thing that developing confidence in your secondary pitches and keeping the faith that things will right themselves will fix. It's a mental problem. Perhaps the long-term solution, if one exists, is to take Frieri permanently out of the super-high-leverage situations that seem to trigger this self-consciousness and let him thrive in a more comfortable role. He could be a solid seventh-inning guy, or a valuable guy to pitch an inning when the Angels are behind three or four runs and want to keep the game within reach. It may not be the sexiest role in baseball, but much of the success of the 2002 team can be attributed to guys like that. As a fan, I know that my confidence in Frieri is a lot higher when he's brought into games earlier than the ninth inning. Personally, I'd like to see Frieri succeed, whatever the solution. I hope he figures things out, and soon.
  10. Congratulations to Albert. Both 499 and 500 were monsters and contributed to an Angel victory. Man, do I love being an Angels fan.
  11. I'd wear the Vlad shirt that the Angels gave away at a Sunday game in 2004 - if it still fit! I wish I were there in person to see the first pitch, not to mention the game that follows, but I'll make do with watching from my living room with my girls, who are equally antsy for baseball to start. Vlad is one of my daughter's favorite Angels, even though she was only two years old when he left. She's got taste!
  12. I think it comes down to this: Mike Trout wants to be an Angel, and he wants to win with the Angels so much that he's wagering his prime years on the team's chances. It feels so good to have a player of Trout's caliber want to be here for reasons that transcend making the greatest amount of money possible. That's no slight on players who maneuver for the best deals they can get - who can blame them? But this is refreshing. I'm proud to be a fan of the Angels and of Mike Trout.
  13. Frankly, I would have liked to have had one year of 4.50 ERA Blanton. I wasn't a huge fan of the contract, to be sure, but I thought that Blanton was going to provide us with pitching of a reasonable standard for a back-end starter. I'm sorry - for his sake, for the team's sake, and for ours - that it didn't work out that way.
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