Is this post being written because I couldn’t think of a better, more meaty topic for today? Or is it being written as a thinly veiled excuse to use the above photo of a monkey riding a dog? Does it really matter? No, the answer to one of those questions, maybe even all of those questions is “no.” Whatever, let’s monkey around:
- I touched on this yesterday, but I want to touch on it again. I guess I’m feeling pretty handsy. Anyway, People continue to gripe about Josh Hamilton batting fourth and, to a lesser extent, Albert Pujols batting third. What I want to know from you, dear reader, is who exactly is supposed to replace them? Please, tell me. I mean, Aybar has no power and is already an odd hit in the five-hole. People already complain endlessly about Kendrick’s GIDP proclivities. The DH position is a revolving door. David Freese certainly doesn’t inspire confidence. Iannetta’s strength is getting on-base, not clearing them. So, who is left to replace Hamilton or Pujols? I’m out of ideas.
- The C.J. Wilson “whatever, dude” incident finally shed some light on a topic I’ve long wondered about: do front offices try and influence players with stats? There are so many instances where you’d think that showing a player some advanced metric might clue them into what they are doing wrong. For example, when Pujols first joined the Angels and suddenly started swinging at everything. That seemed like an ideal opportunity to show him his career swing rates and convince him to knock it off. Of course, with C.J. dismissing the stats so readily, perhaps it doesn’t happen quite as often as I would think or hope.
- We’ve seen a lot of number changes with the Angels recently (Conger and Boesch), so I think this is a good time to request one more: Mike Trout. The fact that he wears #27 drives me nuts. First, that is Vladimir Guerrero‘s number and it will possibly be retired by the Angels, just like Trout, possibly while Trout is still an active Angels wearing the would-be retired number. That’s no bueno. Second, and possibly more irritating, is that Trout’s Twitter handle is @Trouty20. 20! Not @Trouty27. WTF?! Get it together, Mike. You are either #27 or #20. Get your uniform and Twitter handle on the same page, at least.
- Call me a conspiracy theorist, but does anyone else wonder if the recent visit from the Phillie Phanatic wasn’t really a sort of pilot program to see if the Angels might create an incarnate mascot of their own? I’m just saying I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a seven-foot tall, furry Rally Monkey walking around the Big A next year.
- Part of the reason I think that could happen is that Angels fans have never shied away from cheesy things like furry mascots. Take the “Light Wave” for example. That might be the worst thing to happen in the Big A ever. That includes the brief tryst with having cheerleaders and the Thundersticks. I hate the Light Wave with a fiery passion that consumes my soul. Hopefully everyone comes to their senses and knocks it off. Either that or there is going to be a night where some epileptic kid is in the crowd and gets thrown into a violent seizure by all the flashing lights, leading to a massive lawsuit. I’m thinking it will probably be the latter given the litigious nature of Southern California.
- This morning I linked to the funny post about how Google is already listing Mike Trout as the AL MVP. Thinking about that more, I actually am starting to believe it may not be such a sure thing. For starters, Trout is slumping again and the BBWAA love the narrative of guys “finishing strong.” As such, Trout needs to really turn it around. Then there is the narrative of King Felix leading the Mariners back to the post-season and conveniently doing it with a better WAR (according to fWAR, he is a bit behind in rWAR) than Trout, which I bet many of the old-timers jump on just to sort of tweak the internet writers. I still think it is Trout’s to lose, but I also don’t think it is a sure thing as of right now. On the bright side, at least Miguel Cabrera isn’t involved this time around.