This ‘n That

I don’t suppose anyone would believe me if I said I’d predicted the Phillies would win the World Series in five games …

I told a friend from Philadelphia before the Series began that it would be Phils in five. He said Rays in five, being a typical pessimistic Phillies fan.

Just wanted to catch up on what’s going on with the web site and the Angels in general.

On Friday I’ll start the annual off-season tradition of posting Angels minor league game of the week webcasts. I’ve been archiving webcasts since 2003, so I’ll mix in some “classics” along with replays of 2008 games. First up will be an April 2003 Arkansas Travelers contest at Wichita. Bobby Jenks is on the mound for the Travs.

I’ve mentioned a few times that, in addition to my day job and, I was also working this year on a political project which has soaked up much of my spare time. With Election Day on Tuesday, that’s one time sponge eliminated.

Another big upheaval is that I lost my job last week, so both the spouse and I are now unemployed. The upshot is that it creates an opportunity for us to accelerate our move to Florida, as discussed a few times in this blog. But we have to jump through some financial hoops first.

In any case, it looks like I’ll have a lot more free time to catch up on all the 2008 photos that are backlogged on my hard drive. I’ve been working on the Orem Owlz photos shot last June; those should be done tomorrow. Then I’ll do the Owlz photos shot last September during the playoffs. After that, I’ll loop back to do the Tempe Angels photos from mid-July and the fall instructional league photos. Once those are done, I’ll process all the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes photos.

I also have a ton of video that’s been neglected, especially highlight clips of so many players.

And it’s about time to start writing the annual Top 10 Prospects report.

If we can get to Florida with cash in the pocket and no mortgage payments, then I’ll start work in earnest on the Angels minor league history book I’ve talked about. Statesville NC historian Bill Moose e-mailed a few weeks back to say he’d found another 1961 Statesville Owl, Ed Thomas. And Ed knows the whereabouts of Owls infielder Jerry Fox. It’s truly astonishing so many of them are still around 47 years later.

But first things first.

Because of the unemployment situation, I may start to post on eBay some collectibles for auction. I have a lot of Angels minor league prospect jerseys in the closet. First to go will be Bobby Jenks from the Quakes and Travelers. I’m not sure, though, if they have certificates of authenticity because minor league front offices back then didn’t always do that.

Worst case scenario, I’ll stand on a corner with a bottle of Windex, a squeegie and a roll of paper towels, and offer to clean windshields for a buck …

Obviously, if I’m still unemployed come spring training you won’t see me out at Tempe. But that’s five months away.

For those of you outside of SoCal who may not have seen it, the Los Angeles Times posted a frank interview with Torii Hunter about the Angels’ post-season stinkfest. Click Here to read the article. It’s well worth it.

Particularly revealing is this passage by sportswriter Kurt Streeter about the botched squeeze play:

I burrowed in on the question still haunting Angels fans: Scioscia’s decision to squeeze. There are many who agree that Aybar should have been allowed to hit. But bunting in tight moments, isn’t that the way your team played all year, dink-and-dunk, drip-and-drop, popgun hits and speed?

“No, no,” came a quick reply. “People say that, but that’s not how we played all year. You rarely squeeze. But in the regular season when you do squeeze you can do it because you’ve always got tomorrow. . . . If you lose you have tomorrow to make up for it. In the playoffs it is different. Totally different.”

Hunter also promised a clubhouse attitude adjustment, something I proposed in my October 7 blog. Torii said:

“I am going to start right in spring training making sure the guys know that this year we are going to kick some [posterior]. . . . We are going to put it in everyone’s heads that in the playoffs next year it is going to be different. Don’t start worrying about the pressures of everyone saying we can’t win the big ones or the Red Sox dominating you. Right away, I am going to try to [instill] that.”

Roger that, Torii.

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