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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Angels 9, Rangers 5

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself -- well...how did I get here?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

Talking Heads, "Once In A Lifetime"
There's a school of thought that says Talking Heads was a performance art piece by Brian Eno, without whom the band -- not to mention artistic center David Byrne -- were unable to exist. There's something to that: Byrne's increasingly pretentious post-Heads albums didn't do anything to lift his status. The real genius of the Talking Heads left behind, Byrne's ego overran his talent, and he languishes today as a creator of vanity records for a small audience.

While the Heads are a story of squandered talent, Bartolo Colon's is one of talent nearly realized. His early years with the Indians revealed a tremendous amount of potential, but the old adage about "those whom the gods would destroy, they first label 'promising'" seems applicable. Whether it's the pressure of a big-money contract, age, weight, or simple decline, Colón's first year with the Angels has to be written off as a near-complete bust. He's got one of the highest ERAs on the staff, and enjoys the won-loss record he does thanks to spectacular run support rather than quality starts.


Sean viewed the series loss to the Jays as a fluke, but I'm not inclined to do that, not after subsequently splitting with the last-place M's. Take the series with the M's and one more from the Jays and today we're tied for first with the A's or maybe even a game up. If you think that today's loss to the M's will get repeated again, well, the Angels are in good shape, but this hasn't been that kind of year for the club; they get some breaks, but we just can't count on Oakland's bullpen turning into a pumpkin.
And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!
Looking at this matchup on paper, it seemed pretty even: Bart and Chan Ho Park have had about equally terrible seasons measured by ERA, though Colón had come off two pretty good starts against Toronto and the Chisox, where CHP (is there a Ponch and Jon joke hiding in there?) has had only two quality starts in five since he returned from the DL in August.

So: Bad Bart showed up for the first inning but settled down to Good Bart for the remainder of the game. This is becoming something of a pattern for him; his first innings have a .899 OPS against, but his .796 OPS against in the 4th through the 6th, while hardly putting him in contention for a Cy Young, still amounts to a huge improvement. Luckily for the Angels, the lingering effects of Chan Ho Park's back problems, the same ailment that kept him down the previous year, kept him down again. Unluckily for the Angels, Park is only signed through 2006; the crapshoot that is Bartolo Colón is signed through 2007.

Aside from the Angels' chronically moth-eaten lineup -- how many times do they have guys with 0-fers in the lineup in the first three lately? -- Vlad finally -- finally -- came through with some power. Moreover, Glaus had his first multi-hit game since the Boston series in August, including a home run, the first in nearly a week. And, despite losing Garret's bat -- a thing of questionable utility considering his 0-8 run in the last two games -- at this point we know there are far better options in center than Anderson. Whether DaVanon is one of those remains to be seen, but I'd rather give him more time than the creaky Garret.

Finally -- somebody needs to figure out why Donnelly has acquired a 3.71 ERA. Is it the bone chips in his elbow? Is he another Ben Weber waiting to happen in 2005?

Recap


Coda: I'm really, really, really getting sick of Blogspot. I've been trying to publish this entry since 4:30 this morning or so (insomnia -- don't get me started), to no effect. Anybody know of a good/cheap blogging package to use? I don't want to have to use my server at home thanks to poor upload performance.

Comments:
You understate Frantz/Weymouth. Jerry Harrison, of the Modern Lovers, was no slouch either.
 
Rob,
This is my guess, but it more then likely because of the problems with the hurricane down in Florida. Its just not Blogger. Many other sites are running at a snails pace and have been doing so since Ivan came in. From my understanding, a lot of the internet operations for this country are down there.

I have no proof of this, but like I said. Its just not this website.

Cheers!
 
Tasty -- Frantz and Weymouth had some decent solo albums but IMO nothing of the caliber of their collaborations with Byrne/Eno. But I've heard My Life In The Bush of Ghosts, and wasn't impressed either; there might be something to it.

Tommy -- it might be, but I'm skeptical. None of the root DNS servers are in Florida, although I admit it might be the case that routing problems are causing delays in name resolution.
 

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