Some have asked in the past, “Supposed they played a baseball game and nobody came?” They got their sad enough answer in one of baseball’s most beautiful ballparks Wednesday afternoon. Edgy because of the city’s riots this week, and after having postponed twice, the Orioles elected to play the White Sox without an audience, with baseball government’s sad approval and Baltimore’s sad acquiescence.
Now that it’s a consummated deal, and Josh Hamilton really is going back to the Rangers, on about four-fifths of the Angels’ dollar, it just keeps getting better and better. The more that comes forth, the more it seems as though the Angels, in NBC Hardball Talk‘s Craig Calcaterra’s words, shot themselves in the foot, by the manner with which they handled Hamilton’s self-reported Super Bowl Sunday substance relapse, and the manner in which they came pay as much as they will to be rid of him.
When Josh Hamilton joined the Angels, discovering his new home park was a pitcher’s park for the most part, and finding pitchers otherwise began exploiting his willingness to chase out of the strike zone, life became difficult enough on the field. It became impossible, though, when the Angels’ management decided his reward for copping to an off-season substance relapse, on Super Bowl Sunday, without being compelled to do so by a drug test or an arrest or another factor beyond his own conscience, should be his head on a plate.
They say that when you’re lucky the breaks go your way. Was one of them supposed to be a portly old pitcher who can barely out-run a dump trick with a flat tire chasing down and catching a baserunner—even if it was A.J. Pierzynski—to consummate his own pickoff?
And was the team catching this kind of break en route their eleventh straight win supposed to be the Mets? Never mind the supposed-to-bes and focus on the is and ares.
Last year’s likeable Royals seem bent early on becoming this year’s unlikeable breed. They’ve lost one key relief pitcher and seen a key starter take a hit in the bank account over last weekend’s foolishness, and from the early comments it seems as though they’ve learned . . . nothing.
In the name of God and His servant Stengel, and there were those who thought they were one and the same once upon a time, exactly what the hell was that we saw in Kansas City over the weekend? Who did these Royals and Athletics think they were—the Dodgers and the Giants? The Red Sox and the Yankees? The Romans and the Carthaginians? Hockey players?
Merely six games have passed in the new season but there are questions as to whether the Los Angeles Angels’ 2015 might be dying before it really begins to take shape. And whether their own owner and front office hasn’t detonated a poison gas bomb that will take months to clear.
God knows (as does His servant Casey Stengel) that I had better things to write about on the day after Opening Days. Things like Nationals’ shortstop Ian Desmond calling second baseman Dan Uggla (yes, Virginia, that Dan Uggla) off a by-the-book popup, dropping the ball, allowing the Mets first and second, leading to Lucas Duda busting up Max Scherzer’s no-hit bid with the two run single that made the difference in the Mets’ win.