Although we have been seeing some signs of life, the pulse still isn’t strong in the Angels. OK, the injuries haven’t been as disastrous as they could have been, with Luis Jimenez covering third base more than adequately, and although we miss Erick Aybar, Harris and Romine haven’t embarrassed themselves at shortstop. The pitching has been predictably unpredictable, but Weaver will be back at some stage (right??!) and until then Garrett Richards should settle in and possibly even cement himself into the rotation. As mentioned elsewhere, the moves by Mike Scioscia which may have at first seemed like signs of panic (moving Trout to two, bringing up Roth, etc) have in fact, whilst not setting the diamond on fire, turned out to be pretty solid, under the circumstances.
So why stop there? Why not push the boat all the way out, and see what floats? Here, tongue firmly in cheek, are five suggestions:
5) Only allow Josh Hamilton to take batting practice against CJ Wilson.
He’s said he wants “routine”, right? They go way back. And as long as JH is going to keep swinging at everything he faces, and CJ thinks the strikezone is roughly the size of the Big A itself, maybe this will force at least one of them to sort their shit out.
4) Replace the entire starting lineup with bench players and call-ups.
Just for one series, as a wake-up call to the big guns. Have a look:
Infield: Jimenez, Romine, Harris, and Tommy Field.
Outfield: Shuck, Calhoun and Bourjos (he’s been through enough uncertainty over the last 18 months, leave him alone.)
Catcher: Hank Conger
SP: Garrett Richards
Bullpen: Roth, De La Rosa, Nick Maronde and Frieri (who hasn’t pitched enough to take any blame…yet.)
Doesn’t look too bad, does it?
3) Bring in penalties.
How about a rule where, if you screw up running the bases, you’re forced to do a lap of the stadium in your underpants? *
If you bobble a routine fly, you have to juggle for the entire next inning.
Or if a pitcher walks in a run during a tight game, he has to go ride “It’s A Small World” four times in a row, without earplugs.
*This will not work for Mike Trout. He’d get as far as the Trout Farm, and never be seen again.
2) Stop calling Albert Pujols “The Machine”.
Have you noticed that he plays better with a smile on his face?
Call him “Mr. Happy”, or something, let him enjoy himself. It suits him.
1) Replace “Buttercup” in the 7th innings stretch with Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of”.
Ok, that one is just for me. But seriously, wouldn’t that be cool?
Because, let's be honest, after the events of this week? It's worth remembering that it's just a game.