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Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to work the Angels’ go! It has been 137 long days since the Halos were eliminated from the postseason, but baseball is officially back. Angels’ pitchers and catchers have now reported to the team’s spring training complex in Tempe, AZ. Pitchers and catchers will undergo physicals today with team doctors. While the first real workout is not scheduled until Friday, the warm feeling brought on by Angels’ baseball has already returned.
With the Angels’ pitchers and catchers trickling into the facility today, the beat writers who cover the team have been keeping the fans informed on twitter.
C.J. Wilson did not live up to his own expectations last season, but it appears all that adversity has lit a fire under his hindquarters. 2015 may be a make or break year for the 34-year-old southpaw, and this is exactly the kind of attitude Wilson needs to excel this year. He has to bring that chip with him everytime he toes the rubber this season. The talent is there, so is the work ethic, now Wilson just has to put it together perform on the mound.
Matt Shoemaker is expected to do a lot of the heavy lifting in the Angels’ starting rotation this season. Shoe finished second in Rookie of the Year voting last season, and the 28-year-old appears ready to become a 200 inning pitcher for the Halos in 2015. I am not too concerned about the wright loss, as his remarkable beard weighs at least 30 pounds, so perhaps he just shaved it off prior to weighing in.
The Angels inked Matt Lindstrom to a minor league deal earlier this week. The veteran right-handed reliever has the chance to contribute in a big way for the Angels this season. 2014 was his worst year as a pro, but Lindstrom has strong bounce back potential in the big A. It is encouraging to hear the 35-year-old is fully recovered from the plethora of injuries he dealt with last season with the Chicago White Sox, and he enters camp in the best shape of his life.
Last season did not end the way the Angels’ and their fans had hoped, but 2014 is officially last season. The Halos have a chance to be special again this season, but they have to put last year’s failures in the rear view mirror. Strong leadership and a strong work ethic will be key for the Halos as they attempt to retain their division championship in 2015. Simply making the postseason is not the goal this season, winning the World Series is. Spring training is when the foundation of what we hope will be a World Championship team will be laid.
Donald Hall is a former Poet Laureate of the United States, and he is a well know baseball enthusiast. Hall eloquently conveyed the joy we all feel on this special day though his poem “The Old Game.”
"“The old game waits under the white,Deeper than frozen grass.Down at the frost line it waitsTo return when the birds return.It starts to wake in the South,Where it’s never quite stopped.Where winter is a doze of hibernation,The game wakes gradually,Fathering vigor into itself. As the days lengthen in late FebruaryAnd grow warmer, old muscles grow limber.Young arms grow strong and wild,Clogged vein systems, in veteran oak and left fielders both,Unstop themselves,Putting forth leaves and line drives in Florida’s March.Migrating North with the swallows,Baseball and the grasses’ first green,Enter Cleveland , Kansas City, Boston.”–Donald Hall"
Angels’ baseball is back ladies and gentlemen, and I could not be more excited! Make sure you check back regularly with Halo Hangout this spring, as we are your home for pertinent news regarding the Halos!