The Angels finally clinched the AL West Division title after three attempts. It was a good way to celebrate on Fan Appreciation Day at the stadium.
The race for best AL record now plays a big role in the way the postseason is going to shape up. Mike Scioscia sounds as though he will be resting the regulars for some time during the final week of the regular season. Hopefully it will not impact their record too much. The Angels, Indians, Red Sox, and Yankees are vying for the best AL Record. The Yankees and Red Sox cannot play each other in the first round, so whichever team ends up with the better record will be the AL East Champion and the other team will be the Wild Card. This means that whichever team has the better record of the Angels or Indians will play the wild card team in the first round.
If the Angels play Boston, I envision it being a difficult series for the Angels. I believe they present the biggest challenge to the Angels. The Angels struggle against the Sox in general and really struggle against the team at Fenway Park. The Angels do play very well against the Yankees. Ideally I would think the road to the World Series would be paved much easier if the Angels take on the Yankees in the ALDS and the Indians in the ALCS. It would be nice if the Angels ended up playing the D-Backs or Padres in the World Series. That would open up the possibility of a road trip to a World Series game.
One of the keys to Angels postseason is the top of the lineup getting on base. I am particularly concerned with Chone Figgins and his extremely poor performance in the 2004 and 2005 playoffs. I actually have a bet with my wife regarding Figgins. I don’t think that he will bat over .200 in the postseason. She thinks that he will. If she wins, she gets a new dinette set. If I win, I get to paint all of the numbers retired by the Angels on the wall in our backyard. It’s really a win-win situation for me. Some guys are clutch when it really counts (Erstad, Eckstein, Glaus, Spiezio) and some guys just choke when it comes down to it. My nickname for Figgins is Choke (pronounced shoke instead of shone). I am really hoping he proves me wrong.
Another key to the postseason is the bullpen. The bullpen has been struggling quite a bit lately. Hopefully the guys can get back on track. Scot Shields has been having quite a bit of trouble lately and Frankie seems to turn every game into a nail biter lately. If these guys sort their issues and with Speier in the mix, the bullpen can be quite a dominant factor.
It should be interesting to see how the postseason matchups and roster shapeup. I am looking forward to a red October!
Tonight I had the privilege of taking my Dad to an event at the LA Public Library featuring Alan Alda and Mike Farrell from MASH. My Dad is always doing things for everyone and I finally feel I got to do something special for him. My Dad is a big fan of the MASH television show and owns 2 entire sets of the DVDs.
This event was full when I found out about it but we were able to attend with the help of Mike Farrell. Mike and Alan are each doing their own book tours and this event is the only joint venture on their schedule. The format was basically a conversation between the two of them with a Q&A at the end and then book signing. We were able to sit in the very front row in an audience of 250+ that included Booger (Revenge of the Nerds) and Howie Klein (former president of Reprise Records). The primary topic was MASH but there were lots of other entertaining stories included as well. The event was recorded for a podcast and I will post the link and any official pictures when they are available. Unfortunately photos weren’t allowed during the event but I was able to snap a few pics during the signing.
I wanted to ask a question during the Q&A and also request that they say “Welcome Home” to my Dad. This is a phrase that he tells other Vietnam Vets when he meets them because the troops from Vietnam never received a proper welcome when they returned. Unfortunately the Q&A ended before I had the chance to tell them. I did however suggest that he ask them to personalize that message when they sign his books. He did ask them to sign it “Welcome Home” and they kindly obliged and welcomed him home and thanked him for his service. I must say that it was quite an event. I wish I would have filmed it on video. I didn’t think of it until after the fact. Below are some of the pics from the event.
It was nice to spend the evening with my Dad. We had a snack before the event and then went to dinner at Outback Steakhouse after the event. I know my Dad reads my blog on a daily basis (even though I don’t post that often), so I just want to say “Dad, I Love You and it was a really special evening. I hope you think about this night whenever you get down. Pick up one of their books and read it. Remember to turn the page and look for positive things to look forward to. There are a lot of people that love you very much, myself being one of them”.
The Anaheim Ducks opened training camp today at Anaheim Ice. I took a PTO day from work and attended. I watched the practice and then got autographs from the players afterwards. I got my Stanley Cup jersey signed by Giguere, Pahlson, R. Niedermeyer, Pronger, Marchant, Getzlaf, Parros, O’Donnell, Beauchemin, Rome, and Huskins. Giguere, Pronger, and Getzlaf also signed 8×10’s of them with the cup for me. Afterwards I walked over to Anaheim City Hall and got my photo with the Stanley Cup. The line was pretty short. Below are pics of me with Giguere, Pronger, and the Cup!