So, here we are in the middle of NBA Playoff Season, when every single loss sends the loser’s fans and local media into another round of OHMIGODENDOFTHEWORLDCATSANDDOGSLIVINGTOGETHER panic. With those gloomy skies outside, we need something to brighten our day.
The Lakers – shock! – have everybody not named 4orty freaking out. For us Kings hockey fans, last night’s überdisaster gave us horrific flashbacks to an arguably uglier tank job against St. Louis 13 years ago. The Dodgers? Hahahahaha – though we’re ecstatic to see Bud Selig finally decided to shove one of his size 12′s up Frank McCourt’s…never mind. So, where can we turn for a little sunshine? Jerry Sands mania? Naw. Howzabout…Anaheim – future home of SoCal’s third-worst basketball team and second hockey team that’s trailing 2-1 in its first round series, but also…
Your Los Angeles Angels of Wherever!
We’ve gotten so used to seeing the Halos play like a champion every year that their 80-win season last year seemed like a mirage. Two weeks into 2011, they were off to another flying slightly inconsistent start. Since then, things are looking up. (Funny how winning six of seven against good teams perks things up.) Plus, fate may have intervened on their behalf, with the Rangers Josh Hamiltonless for a couple months.
How about them Angels? Just look at that starting pitching! Jered Weaver and Dan Haren are both 4-0 with ERA’s barely over 1.00, with Haren tossing a one-hitter that stopped Cleveland’s eight-game winning streak. The bottom of the rotation, featuring Matt Palmer and REV’s own Tyler Chatwood are both in very respectable territory. Mr. Anti-Consistency himself, Ervin Santana, has gotten it done three out of four starts. Just don’t say the words “Scott Kazmir” and nobody gets hurt.
The Closer Of The Future, Jordan Walden, appears to be a pretty good Closer Of The Present, and former stopper Fernando Rodney has transitioned from Gas Can to Reliable 8th Inning Guy. The rest of the bully is either pretty dicey or, in the case of Jason Bulger, missing in action, but who’s counting?
The hitters are holding their own too. Howie Kendrick appears to have taken it up a notch or three this year. Torii Hunter isn’t hitting for average, but he’s producing like you’d expect. The kids – Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo – are apparently ready for prime time. Even the resident china doll, Maicer Izturis, is holding up his end of the bargain, staying (mostly) healthy and hitting .388.
Yes, Vernon Wells is fighting it, but considering the team is tied with Texas for first in the West without his stick, whaddya think happens when it kicks in? Kendrys Morales will be back at some point too. That leaves one issue: the giant smoldering crater at catcher…
…where Hank Conger is now settling in. Yeah, it’s way too early to tell, but the kid is supposed to be the real deal, y’know.
Anyway, while the Dodgers Nation is blue, the SoCal hockey season is melting away, and the Lakers are – per their usual – giving us ulcers, if you’d like to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, maybe Angels baseball is your deal.
Well, either that, or you can pound a couple six-packs in Stu’s garage during the next ugly Dodgers game, but Lovey would probably kick your butt if you did that.