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Archive for January, 2012

Pete Rose does not belong in the Hall of Fame…

There probably isn’t a more controversial subject amongst baseball fans that gets a rise out of people than mentioning Pete Rose and whether or not he belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Even to this day people go ballistic about his absence or that someone thinks he should be allowed in there. I mean if you base it on statistics alone, he absolutely belongs in the Hall of Fame…

The argument that I have, against the fact that by statistics alone Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame, is that Pete Rose does not belong in the Hall of Fame. Let me see if I can make a case as to why a man who absolutely belongs in the Hall of Fame, absolutely does not belong in the Hall of Fame.

Before I make my case as to why Pete Rose does not belong in Cooperstown, let me give some reasons that I absolutely believe that he should be in there. Pete Rose has more hits than any other baseball player that has ever and quite possibly will ever play the game. He was Rookie of the year, he is a three-time World Series Champion, he won an MVP award, he’s also played in more games and had more at bats than any other player in baseball history! He holds so many records that it seems ridiculous to not have him in the Hall.

The Hall of Fame is full of people with a history of substandard treatment and regard for humanity in general. This isn’t the Hall of Decency, the Hall of Valor or the Hall of Gentlemen, it is the Hall of Fame. If you look back at the time that Pete played you can’t really argue that there were many that had more fame than he did either. The man that he beat out for most hits, Ty Cobb, was an ardent racist. Current Hall of Fame residents Cobb along with Tris Speaker were both forced into an early retirement because of allegations of game fixing, which both got free from ultimately on a technicality. Cobb even at one point attacked a man in the stands for ruthless heckling as well as possibly even killing a would be mugger!

Now why Pete Rose ultimately does not belong in the Hall of Fame. First off is the precedence that MLB has set for gambling over the years. Just going back to the 1919 Chicago Black Sox that fixed the World Series for their gain. If you have seen the movie 8 Men Out you know that the guys on the White Sox were being financially taken advantage of by owner Charles Comiskey who had driven the players to try and seek other ways of getting the money some had been promised and then slyly cheated out of.

Players from the 1919 White Sox that were banned apologized and begged to be let back into the game to no avail, even after death none of them has been reinstated… So it  shouldn’t depend on apologies either now. If you take a more extreme case such as Shoeless Joe Jackson,  who couldn’t even read and signed a statement admitting he bet couldn’t get back in the game?! Joe Jackson was right up there as a hitter with Ty Cobb back when he got banned! Another case from the 1919 White Sox is Buck Weaver, From Wiki-Buck Weaver was banned because he knew of the conspiracy, but did not report it to MLB authorities and team ownership; Weaver successfully sued owner Charles Comiskey for his 1921 salary. Not sure how he could win that lawsuit but not get back in the game but that’s another issue altogether!

So now let’s get to Pete… First off in 1989, Pete Rose accepted a lifetime ban from baseball from then Commissioner Bart Giamatti who died just 8 days later. He vehemently denied ever betting on baseball, for 15 years he adamantly said he never bet on baseball (Why would you accept a lifetime ban for something you never did?!). Approximately 15 years later when he finally came clean and apologized people seemed to think that he should just be set free and allowed back into baseball which would’ve obviously led straight to the Hall. There is a belief that if Pete had come clean immediately instead of having it all dragged through the mud that he would’ve already received his welcome back to the game, but I don’t believe that. Again, history has shown that baseball (when it comes to gambling and the like) is a very unforgiving sport.

The more I think about it the more I think Pete will never get in. I kind of admire the fact that baseball has taken a strong stand on this, to be honest it’s good for baseball because they just don’t put up with betting on the game from their people. I do admire that.

Pete is laying in the bed he made. All players know that gambling brings this penalty and I guarantee that Pete knew. Not one of the Black Sox were ever reinstated… Something else to consider is that none of those players were at Pete Rose’s level of stardom and greatness within the game but what I think this all comes down to is that people fail to embrace is that rules are rules and when you break them there are consequences… None of us are above the law, if you do something long enough you will get caught. I wonder how many times Pete thought about quitting or considered what the consequences would be if he did get caught?!

To end this I will say this, I’ve never met Pete Rose in my life but I believe that the only reason he finally admitted he lied is to get into baseball again, not because of remorse, guilt or feeling of wrongdoing that he has. I also believe that he is absolutely one of the greatest to ever play the game of baseball and the Hall is sorely lacking because of his absence. But I do not believe that he should be allowed in the Hall because he knew the consequences of what he was doing and he continued to do it anyways.


A guy who beats to his own drum, Part 2

No need to make you wait, this was just so long that I broke it up to give your reading eyes a break! So without further adieu, the finale!

1/14/2001– So D-Day had arrived, I had to make sure she sat in the right place to be on tape too. For this I recruited my friend Jay, one of the people she knew there. When she came in I said hey you can sit over here by Jay. So the first part was completed. Soon enough the service starts and for me the clock is ticking down, we played the songs and all the while I was thinking 4 more songs, next song I’m thinking 3 more songs, 2 more songs and finally last song… It ended and the pastor got up and said a few things and said he had asked me to say a prayer. So I grabbed my huge leather jacket with the ring in the pocket and I got up there and the first thing I said was that Dan had asked me to get up here and pray today and pointed out where my girlfriend from out-of-town was sitting (that way everyone knew where to look when I proposed!). After that I read the bible verse and I said that I had lied about something and I needed to confess it… You could’ve heard a pin drop… I (in what I felt was dramatic form) removed my glasses that I was wearing during the pause and said that I had lied about Dan asking me to get up there and pray but that the real reason was that I (with my trembling voice from nervousness) wanted to tell my girlfriend that I loved her and I wanted to marry her! She was in complete shock! She didn’t have a clue what was coming! Matter of fact, she told me later she thought I was going to confess that I had cheated on her or something! Well I cried, but I was the only one of us that did! Oh yeah, in case you were wondering, she did say yes!

After we left she called her parents and I called and had her tell my mom the news… My parents were happy, they really liked her. Don’t remember much more than that.

4/28/2001– Just one week before our wedding, the Mavs had made the postseason for the first time since 1990 and my friend Brian Persichitte and I got tickets to go to the first home game for the Mavs (possibly the last as they were down 0-2 at that point). I can remember being on the edge of our seats that entire game and the Mavericks pulled out a win! I can remember walking down the halls chanting UTAH SUCKS! It was a great game! In the time leading up to the wedding we bought a house to live in in Fort Worth.

5/3/2001– The Mavs made it to a game five by stomping Utah in game four in Dallas but they had to still feel confident going back home and they had owned the Mavs for a long time anyways… So a friend of mine, David Landis was over to watch the game in the new house and we watched and watched and the Mavs were down by one with a few seconds and Calvin Booth gets free! Ah yes, to this day I still love Calvin Booth! With 9.8 seconds Booth made the game winning lay-up! Well, it didn’t win it yet… So Utah gets the ball back with 9.8 seconds, plenty of time to break our hearts. Hard to remember exactly but I remember Stockton and Malone both getting decent shots off and I remember David and I just standing in the living room waiting for that time to run off! I was expecting a basket because the Mavs just had a history of losing, but not today! Time ran out and I can still remember David and I just going crazy jumping all around the living room! We were so pumped, it was awesome! And within a few minutes I got a congratulatory call from my future father-in-law who had been watching the game as well, he was pretty pumped up too!

5/4/2001– Today was my last day as a single man… I had to drive to Louisiana for the wedding and I was looking rough. As I stated before, I love the element of surprise so when I showed up I had a nice scruffy beard going. My future wife was like are you gonna shave that thing before the wedding? I said, not sure… She didn’t like that at all! I remember going to the wedding rehearsal dressed in Mavericks shorts, a Michael Finley Mav’s jersey too… Add that in with my look and I was looking awesome! I remember at the wedding rehearsal some goobers showed up wearing a tux! It was so funny to me because of how I looked!

5/5/2001– Wedding day… Of course I shaved because my future wife wanted me too! She even caught one of the groomsman in the hall before he had come in  and asked did Steve shave?! Nice. I have this thing where if I am supposed to be standing still, or if I am standing somewhere listening to someone I just rock back and forth, so the entire time I had to wait up front for the girls to walk up I was just making people seasick! My uncle Joe told me so after the wedding! So the ceremony goes on and it’s funny because we didn’t really pay much attention to the songs or much of what was being said because we were excited to see each other and we were just having a good time up there… The one thing I’m not sure of is if we are really married. When my wife said all of her vows and everything she wouldn’t make eye contact with me,  (she later told me she’d have started crying) she stared at the minister, Gerald Feltus the whole time! I was like what’s going on here?!

You know how people like to write stuff all over your car when you leave? I wasn’t having that, so before the wedding my friend Mark followed me to Schlotzsky’s to park the car because I didn’t want to have to wash the car! It worked well too! Someone even asked me what we were driving before the wedding, I simply said, it’s not here! After the wedding we had to drive all the way back to Fort Worth, about a five-hour drive, and that’s not exactly what you want to do after you just got married!

5/6/2001-5/13/2001–  We boarded an airplane headed for Pennsylvania where we were to spend our honeymoon,  at a resort in the Pocono Mountains. It was really nice up there, among other things we did a lot of hiking, did some horseback riding, went to a game at Yankee stadium, I taught my wife how to skip rocks, I paddled her around in a canoe, we were broadsided by a car, we went … Yeah, we were  broadsided by a car while we were on our honeymoon! Not knowing the area we followed traffic into a lane that wasn’t really a lane and someone motioned for these people to turn and he turned and hit us. So when you tell someone to turn and they do and they have an accident who is at fault? Actually the person who directs you is at fault (or so I’ve heard) and that nice person just took off. Thanks buddy! After we got all that sorted out my wife had to look forward to driving to New York for the game!  The traffic there is crazy too! I understand why they drive around flipping everyone off! I just drove like a Texan, very aggressive, and I was fine. Lastly, the suite we stayed in a was right next to a room where I think they were shooting a movie. That’s all I’m gonna say about that!

At some point, multiple times since I’ve been married as a matter of fact, my father-in-law has said to my wife that Steve marches to the beat of his own drum! I consider that a high compliment! I do march to the beat of my own drum and I am proud to do so!

So anyways, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed reliving the moments by putting them here!

Peace out!

A guy who beats to his own drum, Part 1…

Have you ever had an event that seems really simple but it changes the scope and purpose of your life? One day after church I asked the youth minister if I could play on the drum set that was just sitting in a room totally unused… Who’d of thunk that something as simple as that would’ve shaped who I am, who I married?! That is crazy! How did all this happen? Where did it start? Maybe even earlier than that…

I’ll start where it’s at now…

1/20/2012– 11:57 p.m., I’m sitting on the couch  writing a blog, I really like to write… I’ve been married for almost 10 years now and have two kids, an eight year old boy and a little girl who is almost five.

5/5/2011– My 10 year wedding anniversary…

3/13/2007– My daughter is born…

12/24/2003– My son is born… There’s another entire blog I’ve written on this subject alone, it’s titled Pregnant?!

Early 1999–  I decided to join a “Christian singles” dating service type thing, just because… They’d have these really cheesy events where you’d just hang out with people, it was really dumb to be honest but a key person that I needed to meet was at one of these in a guy named Lyle Huddleston who was a youth minister at a church in Arlington, TX.

Later 1999– I quit going to the church I was at and ended up going to the church where my friend Lyle was… I ended up getting involved helping him a lot with the youth.

Early 2000– Asked Lyle if I could go and try to play the drum set that they had sitting in the church. The set wasn’t being used at all. Started practicing on them and keeping beats just for fun.

Still Early 2000– Was playing on the drums one day and two guys walked in, Chris Turner and Mark Dykes… They were working on trying to do some music for the youth and asked me if I’d be interested in playing in a youth band, I was like of course! Play with other musicians?! YEAH!

A Sunday afternoon in Spring of 2000– We practiced about four of five songs, first time ever, it went pretty well… Then Chris says to me, (I was honestly thinking “this is gonna be good, we’ll practice for a couple of months and be ready to play in a service!”) Okay be here on Wednesday night and we’ll play in the service. I was like already?! He was like sure, it went good… So we played and it went really well. The guitar player who is to this day a really good friend of mine had up to that point been playing guitar for I think 10 years or so and he said this was the first time he had ever played with a live drummer! I thought dang, I’ve been playing for a month or two and I’m already playing with real musicians! What a trip!

7/2000– Was grilled by Chris’ wife who after about 247 questions thought I might be a good guy for a friend of hers to meet… Said she’d talk to her about me.

7/2000– Met my future wife at church, was playing drums… She got the call and came up within a few days of it. She’s a nurse so she had a few days off. I sucked on the drums that night too, maybe I was nervous. We went to Chris’ house with his wife and we all sat around talking til about 2 or 3 a.m… I finally had to leave and sleep for work the next morning!

8/2000– My future wife was in town for a Mary Kay convention. I called and tried to see if we could get together for dinner, left multiple messages but couldn’t get a hold of her. So I left her a message saying I’m on my way up there to take you to dinner… Hoping she’d get the message before I drove all the way to Dallas! She got it and I picked her up… If you’ve ever seen the movie Office Space you’ll know what I mean when I say she had on plenty of flair! We went to a Mexican place called El Fenix and ate dinner and then I took her back…

9/2000– My future wife, being a nurse, decided to take a travel assignment in Fort Worth so that we could date and see if we really liked being around each other. We dated for a bit and she took me to Louisiana to meet her parents… To say it went bad would be an understatement! I came from a family where we were all sarcastic toward each other and joked around all the time, her family was kind of the opposite… They were much more serious about things so all of my trying to joke and laugh at everything didn’t go over to well. And while we were there I was sitting in a chair and I rested my foot up on something and she asked me to put it down, I said I was just being comfortable or something… So anyways we came back to Fort Worth, I thought that things had went really well… I thought how could her family not like me?!

9/2000– I guess it was a day or two later when I was over at my future wife’s house and I asked her what her parents had said about me… She said she hadn’t talked to them yet but would call, so she called while I was there. I was just laying on the couch when it started… Dad, what did you think of Steve? She sat there for a couple of minutes and then I heard the words “Daddy that’s not fair to say about him”… I thought what?!? What is going on here?!? I proceeded to lay there for a good while listening to her go back and forth and I knew it wasn’t good. I remember tears coming down my cheeks, I was so startled by what I was hearing. She basically ended up saying well I like this guy and you are going to have to deal with it or something along those lines.

Fall 2000– One thing that we enjoyed doing together was going to Dallas Mavericks games. I remember that was the year that Mark Cuban bought the team and I remember taking her to a Chicago Bulls game and seeing him walking through a corridor. He wasn’t known then the way that he is now but I knew who he was when I saw him, we made eye contact and he knew that I knew who he was and we exchanged what’s ups and kept walking.

12/2000– My future wife had finished her assignment and went back to Louisiana. I knew that I wanted to marry her so I went and bought a nice ring and had to plan a way to ask… I am a guy that loves the element of surprise. I like to have as many things be a surprise as possible to be honest so I figured out what I wanted to do and had to figure out how to keep it a surprise… I was going to propose during a church service. So naturally I needed to figure out a way to get myself behind the microphone without drawing any attention or suspicion. Easy enough right?!

12/2000– I went to the pastor of the church and told him my idea and he said he’d go along with it… They video’d the services as well so I had to get her to sit in just the right spot so they could film her reaction.  I told her a week or so before that the pastor had asked me to pray before they took up the offering (this is something that they regularly did and I had done it once before so it worked out perfect). The day before she had asked me if I knew what I was going to say and pray about, (I never just do the minimum when it comes to talking, I had to get my 2 cents in as well) so I told her that I was going to read the verse where it talks about confessing your sins one to another… I knew this would really raise the level of shock and surprise and that she’d not see it coming! My point exactly!

1/13/2001– My future wife was in town and the day before I was to propose I remember we were talking and she made a comment something along the lines of me needing to do something because she wasn’t going to be in a long distance relationship forever… I said well if you want we can go look at rings or something?! Little did she know! I feel like this really helped in my element of total surprise.

To Be Continued…

Pssst… The secret is out on Twitter!

I opened up a Twitter account in March of 2009. I wasn’t really sure why other than I needed a Twitter account. I was very confused about the real purpose of it. I still see people today that are really confused about what the heck it’s even good for. I have learned recently that it is a pretty neat tool to have at your disposal.

I’ve always kind of thought that having a Facebook account kept you in touch with everyone but we end up having friends, people who add us because we have friends in common, former friends, enemies, etc… And then we have to see what all of these people are doing or thinking, or they may comment on what we are doing and cause a controversy that blows up and then friendships are ended over a website that is supposed to support and enhance friendships! I’ve heard that a number of divorces are even caused because of relationships that develop from Facebook! Crazy stuff…

Twitter on the other hand is a little different, you follow someone that you want to follow, you see what they say… There isn’t a thread that starts out from all of the random friends or people they know or used to know or the people who have 17 friends in common with them. You just read a “tweet” from someone and keep going. Of course, you can favorite a tweet to keep it somewhere that you have access to as well. You can create lists so that you can follow specific things or groups of people, like say you are following the baseball free agent happenings and you want the inside scoop on it, you follow the baseball writers that are up on that sort of thing and when things are happening you see it as it is happening. You can find a group of people who like the same band you like as well as the band and have all of the latest info directly from them. It would’ve been so nice to have something like this at my disposal when I wanted to know about a band’s plans for the future etc… You can communicate with your favorite athlete or musician as well. Of course there is no guarantee that you will get a response but if you are authentic it’s definitely a possibility!

You can also use twitter as your own platform to express your thoughts, share the things you are going through or have discovered, you can even promote a business or personal blog as well. Of course you have to do it in 140 characters or less, including your name! A cool thing about expressing your ideas is that you can find people that you’d never know otherwise that can agree with your ideas and “follow” you (which means they will see anything you publicly post), they can “retweet” you (which means all of their followers will see what your one post that they retweet says), they can “favorite” a post of yours as well. The more people that follow you, the more people that will see your ideas and possibly share your thoughts and ideas with their friends… And they can share them with their friends, and on and on… Seems that it’s about networking.

How do you get others that you don’t know to see or notice you? From my experience the best way is by others retweeting you and then someone they know sees you and follows you. Next thing you know you are developing new relationships with people you probably never would’ve known and at times you can find your life enriched by these people, it’s a really cool and unique place!

Personally I have had interactions with multiple people I didn’t know before I was on twitter. I have had interactions with at least four different athletes from my favorite baseball team as well! That is really cool to me! You can really learn a lot about a person from twitter, sometimes you learn things you never knew from people you already know! I know some people who don’t use Facebook at all but they are all over twitter so it’s also a different way to just see what is going on in someone’s life.

The more I use the twitter site, the more I like it.

By the way, I’m @stepxen on Twitter! Give me a follow if you want!

Peace out!

Concerts, Divorce and Christianity… Music, Part II…

Nothing in my wildest imagination could have prepared me for the musical shift that was going to take place in my life in late 1995… The only way to describe it is that I was blindsided.

Up to this point in my life music was pretty much god to me, I listened all the time and attended concerts all the time as well. From the early 1980’s to the mid 90’s I devoured music and attended well over *100 concerts (partial list below)… I can’t stress how much I loved (and still love) going to concerts. The crowd, the moment the lights go out, the curtain drops and BAMM! The wall of volume that besieges your ears! Man, gotta love that… I quit a job to go to a concert, I told my parents I had to work to go to a concert, I went by myself at times (I didn’t care, I just had to go!) I drove hundreds of miles to go to a concert, I even took vacations based on where a concert was…This was just my way of life!

But by 1995 my life had turned upside down. I had moved out on my own, met a girl and within ten months gotten married, divorced and had to move back home again. I was trying to get my life straight but it just seemed to end up more out of control, maybe going off the rails would be a more appropriate way to say it…

In 1995 I accepted the gift of Christ and within two years knew that the god I had made had to be done away with so I took my cd collection of around 400 to a pawn shop and traded them for a guitar. I went cold turkey, only listening to “Christian music” and just in case you don’t know, in 1997 there wasn’t much available that was even halfway decent, AT ALL. I think I had maybe three albums to listen to if you include King’s X, it was tough! I drove 30 minutes each way to work so those three albums got a lot of play! I was looking everywhere for every possible angle to find music that could fit into my limited listening zone.

I found many different bands over the years though. The first band that really stood out was Skillet. I remember going to see them at a small venue and there may have been 20 or 30 people there… Fast forward to a year or two ago and they were playing with Creed to 10,000 people or so, it was like I had seen one of my kids all grown up! Other bands I found were Blindside, Galactic Cowboys, Grammatrain, P.O.D., Project 86, Common Children, Demon Hunter, and the O.C. Supertones among others… Probably the most surprising artist that I found to listen to that fit within the scope of what I was looking for was a guy named, ALICE COOPER… Yeah, that Alice Cooper.

I had heard that Alice Cooper was a Christian, I read an interview with him and thought “I used to like this guy” and thought this was a chance to really get something good. So I went and checked out Brutal Planet (which was the album he was promoting at the time), and let me tell you that is one Brutal Album! I had no idea that Alice Cooper could rock like this, I was so ecstatic! The next album was called Dragontown and rocked just as hard! These two albums were mentioned quite a bit on the Alice Cooper blog so no more is needed here! Having Alice along for the ride seemed to make things a lot better for me…

I went over 10 years and avoided listening to and being involved with just about everything that wasn’t “Christian”, even people. It was something I felt that I needed to do for myself and for my commitment to the Lord. I look back and see many fatal errors and assumptions I was under that weren’t balanced and at this point in my life I am still working on righting the ship! I’ve realized that at any given time we are all in different places in our lives and this was just where I was at. I lost many friendships through no fault other than my own naivety, I hurt people using that same naivety as well but I have made amends where they were available and feel as though I am more balanced than ever!

Looking back I see that my life through the years has been mirrored by the music I listen to. Music tends to be a soundtrack for our lives because there is usually something that we can listen to regardless of how we feel that can define and identify with us.  This, in my opinion, is what  makes music so great. It’s always there. No matter where you are at in life it just evolves with you…

Stay tuned, there’s more!

Peace out.

*KISS, Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Ace Frehley, Frehley’s Comet, W.A.S.P., Cinderella, King Diamond, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Pantera, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Type O Negative, Metal Church, Biohazard, Danzig, Lilllian Axe, Dirty Looks, Judas Priest, Testament, Galactic Cowboys, King’s X, Fight, Flotsam and Jetsam, Helloween, Motorhead, Alice Cooper, Dangerous Toys, The Cult, Aerosmith, Guns N Roses, L.A. Guns, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice In Chains, Mercyful Fate, Slaughter, Kix, Great White, Tesla, Babylon A.D., Bulletboys, Extreme, Saigon Kick, Faith No More, Firehouse, Jackyl, Queensryche, Sacred Reich, Shotgun Messiah, Suicidal Tendencies, many KISS cover bands, probably more as well…

The pictures below in order are:

1. Me with Tom Kiefer (lead singer of Cinderella)

2. Me with Bruce Kulick (lead guitarist of KISS)

3. Me with Jason McMaster (lead singer of Dangerous Toys)

4. Chuck Billy live (lead singer of Testament)

5. A group of people (myself included) including a current member of KISS… Can you guess which guy it is?

6. A group of people Dressed to Kill (myself included) like KISS… Which one is me?

Simmer down now!

One thing that drives me crazy about sports is waiting… Waiting for the season to start, waiting for the game to start, waiting in line for the bathroom or concession stand at the game, waiting in line in your car to exit the stadium parking, waiting for free agents to decide where they want to play, waiting to see what is going to happen in your division before the season starts, waiting for the pitcher to quit waving off the sign! Way too much waiting going on in baseball!

So right now there are two things Angels and Rangers fans are waiting on: one is are the Rangers going to come to an agreement with Yu Darvish, two is if the Rangers do or don’t sign Yu Darvish are they going to sign Prince Fielder? That’s the $200 million question right now amongst fans of both teams.

Living in Texas I have some Rangers fans that I talk to and they just want this deal to be done. They realize that they need pitching more than hitting, they also realize that adding Prince Fielder can make up for a certain lack of pitching. There is nervous tension among real Rangers fans right now and there is also noticeable tension amongst Angels fans too.

Let’s take a quick look at what the Angels have done this off-season so far:

1. Traded Tyler Chatwood for Chris Ianetta (catching help)

2. Traded Jeff Mathis for Brad Mills (minor league guy)

3. Sign LaTroy Hawkins (bullpen depth)

4. Sign Albert Pujols (much-needed bat in the lineup)

5. Sign C.J. Wilson (shoring up the rotation)

6. Re-signed Jerome Williams (shoring up the rotation)

7. Extension for Howie Kendrick

In other words, the Angels have done a lot to improve their ballclub this off-season. Yet even with all that the Angels have done you’ve got fans freaking out because the Rangers might sign Fielder and/or Darvish…

Here is what I think, there is no reason to freak out whatsoever. The Angels kept up with the Rangers until late in the year and still had a shot at the playoffs up until a few games were left. We’ve added all of the above, one of those things that we added just happened to be the ace of the Rangers staff and while they’ve made some moves as well they haven’t made up for the loss of Wilson. If they add Darvish they are adding an unproven pitcher at least at the MLB level. If they add Fielder they are getting one of the best players in the game, a proven clutch hitter that would destroy the Ballpark in Arlington.

Let’s just say the Rangers add Fielder and Darvish, it’s like us adding Pujols and Wilson except for Darvish not being a proven MLB commodity just yet. They’ve kept pace with what we’ve done if they add Fielder, not to mention that they already had a pretty awesome lineup already.

I think we’ve done enough to make the playoffs this season, whether it be by winning the West or getting in on the Wild Card (or two) I think next year we won’t be left in the dust. So quit freaking out and get ready to enjoy the ride! Have some faith in your team and enjoy the ride because the West is going to be wild this year!

No concrete predictions here, just observations…

Peace out…

Jordan Walden’s new attitude…

Imagine this, you show up for work at your job, you’ve got an important job and there is some pressure but it’s definitely not the be all end all important job in your department. The guy who handles the job with all the pressure has been making costly mistakes and people talk about them needing to move you into his position but you know your boss has a history of respecting people and their positions, he isn’t going to just disrespect your peer and promote you… It could happen but given your bosses history it’s a long shot.

So less than a week into a year when you think your role at work is defined your boss calls you into his office and says Jordan, Rodney isn’t working so you are going to take over his job effective immediately.You still have to sit in the same office with him all the while knowing that he can’t be happy that his failure has so quickly thrust you into his job, not only that but now you are performing a job that comes with much more pressure than what you were doing before… Add in the fact that you are a rookie at what you are doing?!

How do you think you’d respond?

Jordan Walden is going to be the Angels closer on opening day 2012, a big change from where he entered 2011. When Walden showed up at training camp in 2011 he was a set up guy. So he surely didn’t have the mentality of the closer.This year? Gotta imagine he’s in a different place with a new attitude. He has a full season of closing under his belt now. He will be reporting for work on day one knowing what his role with the team is. He will know that his boss trusts and believes in him. He will also know that he has to be on top of his game.

The expectations for the Angels are going to be high this year. With all the off-season acquisitions there will be a  target on their back. Teams will be gunning to make them look like fools. Teams will want to show the Angels that you can’t buy a title. All the Angels have to do is show up and play their game. They have a great infield, a great outfield, an outstanding pitching staff and a bullpen that is going to have to answer the call…

Will Waldo the man of the year? Is he going to come in with that killer instinct?

I think he will.

Peace out.