There is a lot of hoopla and hyperbole that surrounds Opening Day, that, by the third inning, usually fades into the background. Players feed off the initial adrenaline before collapsing back into the routine of the game. Tonight, this effect was on full display. Some things were new: Albert Pujols got a huge ovation, then went out and put up an 0-3 with an intentional walk; Vernon Wells got a hit. Some things were old: Jered Weaver dealt an 8 inning shutout; the Angel offense almost squandered this effort with their trademark anemic offensive support for him. But even with the shine of Opening Day fading off and being replaced by the grind, the first sparks of Halo offense came through and gave the crowd a reason to cheer and those of us at home reason to fire up the hyperbole all over again.
- Yes, Albert went hitless, but I can guarantee the only take away from this happening was that the Twitterverse almost imploded under the weight of “he isn’t worth it” jokes. See Also: Ianetta is the Anti-Mathis for putting bat to ball and Mark Trumbo couldn’t field his way out of a wet paper bag references.
- Do you get the sense we are in for a big Erick Aybar year? It has already been well documented that he’s in a contract year and will most likely be a free agent. My only hope is that he plays well enough to help the Angels but not so well it makes his whole contract situation a distraction. As we have seen in the past, Erick is often not the most focused guy out there. Talk about his future could hurt more than help.
- Okay, so maybe the two Mark Trumboo-boos (copyright:Monkeywithahalo) are cause for concern. My take is that he looked like a scared Freshman on his first day of high school out there and, over time, he will relax and be at least slightly below average. Or, at least I think I can talk myself into that being what I hope will happen.
- Very happy to see Kendrys Morales get a hit in a meaningful game. I’ll just leave it at that.
- A word about the broadcast: I chose to sit with the Fox Sports local guys rather than the bland ESPN coverage. For the most part, it was fine, except for a few of the changes to the scorebox. This was at least a two inning discussion by several of us on Twitter (by the way, if you aren’t following us, you are missing out on some grade A snarkiness by our newly minted collection of writing geniuses. Seriously, follow us . . .we’re fun to hang with). The consensus was: why did they change it when we could read it just fine? But the real capper was the commercial they play for upcoming games. The sheer CGI-bred awesomeness of technicolor globes of light screaming through downtown LA was worth the price alone, but paired with the voice over you get a thing of cheesy greatness:
Something is descending upon the city, casting a crimson halo in its wake:
a team materialized, turning the hopeful into believers.
The momentum is building. The time has come. The Angels have LANDED.
(Cue uncomfortable players standing around looking lost)
After a so-so spring, Jered was his usual dominant self. I don’t think he even had his best stuff. Remember when he was the only one to gripe about Jeff Mathis leaving and messing up his chemistry? Yeah, pretty sure he’s okay with the new guy after all. The more things change, the more they stay the same.