Angels Welcome New Additions to Anaheim

By Michael Hllywa

What better way to spend a Wednesday afternoon then by hanging out with your new bosses, getting treated to lunch and then testing your stomach on Mr. Toads Wild Ride? OK, maybe that’s not exactly what went down yesterday afternoon, but it beats the headline “Joe Blanton shuts down ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney because of a binge eating episode.” Mr. Toad’s it is.

Now that I’ve got the obligatory “Joe Blanton is not skinny” joke out of the way……The Angels introduced Blanton, Ryan Madson, Tommy Hanson and Sean Burnett to the media as Angels on Tuesday, giving us our first taste as to how these four players will look when they play a game wearing slacks. A couple of notes from the presser:

1. Burnett is short and wears his hat crooked. Please put your hat on straight sir.
2. Ryan Madson is being paid by someone to do his awkward smile all the time. I would have made it a part of the contract that he is forbidden to smile.
3. Joe Blanton doesn’t look all that big. He’s still not thin, but, it is possible that he is joining the “Best shape of my life” trend.
4. Tommy Hanson is wearing number 48. Not quite sure if I’ll be able to handle that.

We’ve got video:

Isn’t that cute, Madson and Hunter grew up Angels fans. It’s a nice narrative, but it only really means anything if they can bring home a championship. And, is it just me, or does Burnett look like he’s about to throw up all over Mike Scioscia‘s shoulder? It’s OK small fry. All you have to do is be better than Jason Isringhausen and LaTroy Hawkins, and that shouldn’t be all that difficult considering that it is, well, Jason Isringhausen and LaTroy Hawkins.

Well, there it is, four new additions to the Angels pitching staff, or 25% of the Angels staff in 2013. It’s not a bad cast of characters, it’s just not what Angels fans wanted. We’ll be fine though, I promise. Do you remember the 2002 pitching staff? I do. A mediocre starting rotation and a bullpen that made each game a six inning game. This could, quite possibly, be one of the best bullpens that Scioscia has presided over during his tenure as skipper. And, on paper at least, it is definitely not the worst starting rotation that he has had.

Jerry Dipoto got creative and thrifty with how he plugged holes on the staff for next season. And slowly but surely, my confidence level in this team is rising. And since I’m the resident “the sky is falling” person ’round these parts, that means something. Or it just means the sky isn’t actually falling. But, it could mean something. It could.