"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Monday, June 04, 2007

West Coast Blues

These late-night games are all well and good on the weekends, but TBL could do without the prospect of a 9:05 first pitch on a Monday. After dropping their first series since the debacle in Cleveland last month, our boys are headed up the California coastline to face the Los Angeles Angels of Absurdly Long Names.

The numbers suggest the Angels and Twins are comparable teams in almost every respect, with the Angels having an edge in starting pitching, the Twins in relief. Their hitting stats are nearly identical. The Angels are coming off a sweep of Baltimore and have been on a nice winning streak overall the last couple of weeks, while the Twins are looking to get back on their nice winning streak after what one hopes was merely a brief stumble.

Probables - Minnesota @ Pick A City, Already

6/4, 9:05:
Boof Bonser, RHP (4-1, 3.61) vs Jered Weaver, RHP (4-3, 4.25)

Notes: Bonser has been improving, Weaver has been struggling. One hopes both trends continue.

6/5, 9:05:
Scott Baker, RHP (1-0, 5.94) vs. Kelvim Escobar, RHP (6-3, 3.00)

Notes: Baker and Escobar are both looking to rebound from less-than-ideal starts last week.

6/6, 2:35:
Kevin Slowey, RHP (0-0, 1.50) vs. John Lackey, RHP (9-3, 2.37)

Notes: This will be a challenge for young Master Slowey. Not only does he need to find his breaking pitches at the major-league level, but he'll be up against a guy who is, quite frankly, phenomenal. Lackey has had the Twins' number for years.

2 rejoinders:

Jim H. sounded off...

The multi-city team name has always bugged me. John Gordon compounds the absurdity by slavishly calling them "The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" almost every time. He mispronounces players' names (Ray-Moan Ortiz, for example), he looses track of the count and the inning, but this he gets 'right.'

I was reading "The Soul of Baseball" last night (highly recommended). One of the teams Buck O'Neil played for in the Negro leagues was called the New York Wizards, though they were based in Florida. Given the times and the circumstances, it was an understandable marketing ploy. But who are the Angels trying to kid?

Third Base Line sounded off...

Well, if there truly is no such thing as bad publicity, all the mockery they've come in for since the name change has been a good thing. Right?

Although, TBL would respectfully suggest that the best publicity is winning, not making an ass of one's organization...