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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Haren Harried: Diamondbacks 5, Angels 0

I haven't written anything about either team, save for Tuesday's transactions, since Tuesday's win. Following my brief missive, a commenter chided me for being too pessimistic about the Angels offense. I try to take reasonable criticism to heart — this is one reason I farm out my investment decisions. Yesterday's loss to the Diamondbacks certainly didn't prove anything much in one direction or another on that (though I note in passing that Trout is now 1-for-13 with a walk in his last three games).

Dan Haren leaked base runners all night, but the game didn't really get out of hand until the sixth, when he surrendered four more runs on a surreal two-out rally by the Snakes, giving up a three-run homer to Aaron Hill and an RBI double to Ryan Roberts. On the opposite side of the mound, Trevor Cahill mystified the Angels. In fact, Cahill and the Snakes' bullpen gave up three hits, total, in the shutout.

I actually turned off the TV shortly after that, because I got a text from my wife — she was at the game, I was not, owing to my retirement party yesterday at work — indicating that she was leaving the game early. Helen had gone with our mutual friend Rachael and her nephew Gabe. Rachael has had a lot of health problems recently and doesn't have much stamina.

Now, Gabe had wanted to get a ball signed by a major leaguer for some time, and things kept conspiring against us to make that happen. So when I read in Mark Saxon's ESPN chat earlier in the week that the best places to get autographs are either in the player parking lot past the outfield, or by the home dugout after home batting practice, that gave Helen a strategy to pursue for Gabe.

They decamped to the home dugout, and waited. Reliever LaTroy Hawkins approached, but with body language that screamed, "Not. Signing." My wife, wearing her Cubs cap, vanished from the scene on the grounds that Hawkins' time in Chicago was not happy, and so remembrances of that might not be conducive.

As a teenager, Rachael stayed with a family in France, and stays in touch with them to this day. Out of the blue, they called her, and she answered in perfect French, and started conversing. While this was going on, Hawkins averred as to how his son was taking Spanish lessons, but the hard language is French. And just like that — after hearing Rachael's conversation — he signed Gabe's ball. Gabe, politely, responded with a "Merci". For all I know, Hawkins thought he was signing a ball for a French tourist. Awesome.

ESPN BoxAngels recap

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