Playing Catch (up) For Spring Training


Mar 29, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to keep up with things without the internet. Important things like news, baseball and otherwise, developments for the Angels and the rest of the league, blogging, Twitter. It has been downright traumatizing!

Oh right, you might need some background as to why I’m ranting. My household has been in the process of moving for about a month, and we thought it would be easy-peasy to set up everything at the new place. Nope. It has been quite the opposite. The place is newly built and we were told that it didn’t exist. Sigh. Site surveys had to be done, we were told. It would take 3-5 business days. Well, that’s not so bad, we thought, and waited to hear back from someone.

After 7 business days had elapsed and we hadn’t heard anything, we called and were told that the survey wasn’t done correctly, so it had to be done again. Sigh again. This time it would take 5-7 business days for them to send someone to correct the error. Needless to say, all these “business days” add up quickly. So what we had thought would take maybe 2 weeks turned into about a month regular time. But we finally have internet now! Woohoo!

So, what’s happening around baseball as I know it is that the Angels are possibly looking to make Masahiro Tanaka an offer, have showed some interest in signing Matt Garza, and are looking to perhaps add another starting pitcher to the mix…

Wait. What? Tanaka signed with the New York Yankees already? What is going on?! Ok, I need to take a few minutes to reacquaint myself with the new baseball world before I continue. Let me just take a few minutes to find out and catch up on whatever else I might have missed here…

Matt Garza signed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers for less money than the Angels offered him because he was on vacation and didn’t want anyone to contact him? Yorvit Torrealba is trolling for Chris Iannetta’s job again? Instant replay was expanded? Nice. Now they just need to implement some sort of system to ensure that umpires actually care if they make the right call or not. Derek Jeter is going to retire after this year?

Wow. Ok. So I did indeed miss a lot without internet! But I see A-Rod’s still suspended, so some things haven’t changed.

Well, pitchers and catchers have reported and the most prevalent news is that the Angels haven’t made any of the “big splash” moves that they have the past two offseasons. That, and Mark Mulder’s comeback has been derailed thanks to a ruptured Achilles’ heel.

Big questions surround this year’s Angels when the past two seasons everyone agreed going into Spring Training that the Angels were the team to beat. Who’s going to complete the Angels starting pitching rotation? Can it be Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs? Is the Bullpen going to be better or continue to be one of the worst in baseball? Will Sean Burnett pitch more than a few games this year?

Can Albert Pujols begin to live up to his enormous contract? Will Josh Hamilton be able to return to form? Will the Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo trades come back to haunt the Halos? Is Raul Ibanez going to make a good DH? Can David Freese play like he did when he was the hero of the 2011 postseason for the St. Louis Cardinals or will he be the player he was last year?

The biggest questions of all are: Can the Angels be competitive this year? Can they challenge the stranglehold the Oakland A’s have had on the AL West the past two years? Will they be able to have a winning record against more than just the Seattle Mariners in the division? Or come to think of it, a winning record against the Houston Astros? (Please, please, pretty please?) Will the changes made bringing in Don Baylor for hitting coach, making Dino Ebel bench coach and bringing in Gary DiSarcina to be third base coach be enough, or should the team have looked to make different changes (cough, cough, Mike Butcher, cough)?

Now that Spring Training has begun, we’ll be able to glimpse how the team will play. We can watch and see if they’ll be able to work in harmony, combine their talents well to work as a cohesive unit toward winning. It’s a hopeful time, Spring Training is. It’s with hope that we look ahead to see if the Angels can make it back to a winning record, maybe make it to the postseason again. And I hope that the internet continues to work, so I know what’s happening and won’t need to spend so much time just catching up on what I’ve missed.