The Angels Are on the Docket; Thoughts Around Baseball – Bobby Valentine, The Red Sox, Kemp and More

The first place team in the American League East – yes, the Baltimore Orioles – head to the left coast this weekend to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This is the last stop on their ten game road trip. They are 8-5 on the season.

So far, it has been good for the Orioles. They took three out of four from the White Sox, and the Angels are reeling with a 4-9 record so far.

The season has not been kind to Angels at all. They have had issues with their offense, and also some slight pitching woes, especially with their bullpen. As well, Albert Pujols – who signed a mega-deal with the Angels in the offseason – is hitting, albeit without much power.

Pujols’ track record shows that he’ll be fine. Once he learns the pitchers in the American League, the Angels should be rolling; however, it is still surprising to see. Like I said months ago, Pujols was better off in St. Louis and despite what the Angels offered, why did he leave?

I would say if the Angels don’t get going soon, they’ll be in big trouble considering how hot the Texas Rangers are and the level of talent they have.

Although the Angels are down and out right now, this will be a test for the Orioles. The Angels still have very good pitching on paper, and their offense can break open at any time. That team has way too much talent to be saddled with a bad record.

Moving on to other thoughts around baseball…

Seriously, does anyone think the Boston Red Sox may just not be that all that good? They are in last place in the division, and their pitching rotation, plus bullpen seem to be in shambles. As well, the whole Bobby Valentine/Kevin Youkilis episode this week doesn’t bode well for them at all.

I mean, I thought managers are supposed to have their players back – even if it means lying. I don’t know too many men in Valentine’s position who would have done what he did. Then again, if the players don’t for care him, they should have thought twice about the ramifications before their collapse last season.

But, Valentine needs to stop being a provocateur.

It’s just amazing that Robert Andino’s hit in game 162 of the 2011 season altered the course of the Red Sox’s future as much as it has. If the Red Sox just won that game, perhaps everything that came out afterward and the changes made don’t ever happen.

I think now more than ever that the Washington Nationals will end up in the playoffs and perhaps win their division. They look to be that good. Despite losing last night, their pitching is crazy good. I think they can go against anyone, but if they can play well in interleague play and in their own division against the Phillies, Braves and Marlins, 2012 may be memorable for that franchise.

The Texas Rangers are beasts right now, and the Angels are treading water right now. It’s early; however, the Angels don’t seem to be clicking at all. On the other hand, the Rangers … look like the Rangers of the past two seasons.

Matt Kemp is really, really good. He’s the real deal.

So is Curtis Granderson. He had such an amazing game yesterday. I’m stunned how good he has become since being traded to the Yankees from the Tigers. More and more, it looks like he’s put it all together and is closer to being a complete player now.

I’m on travel this weekend and heading to New York – the first time for two consecutive weekends this month – to hang out with some college friends and also catch the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants tonight at Citi Field in Queens, NY.

This will be the first time I’ve seen at Citi Field; however, I have been there before for a concert. I’ll try to take pictures of the park and let you know my thoughts.