Watching Jeff DaVanon

Watching Jeff DaVanon

A weblog devoted to #55 of the Anaheim Angels, Jeff DaVanon. How is he doing? Is he getting his due respect yet? Let's watch and see...

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Are We Not Men?

We are D-Vo! In the top of the seventh inning of today's game at Yankee Stadium, trailing 3-1, Scioscia turned to this site's namesake player and J. D. did what he does best. - He worked the count full before drawing a walk and later came around to score. Nearly every 5 at bats, (5.1) Jeff touches home plate. His 36 runs are the fifth most on the team despite his minimal playing time. His on base percentage is third highest, but since it's actually higher than his slugging percentage, we won't dwell on that figure.

Jeff needs to keep making the most of his limited opportunities. In each of the past two years, he's become a part of the record books. Last year he hit for the cycle. And the year before? - He hit multiple home runs in three consecutive games. There are only fifty-eight games remaining. What will Jeff do this year? - Let's watch and see...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Meet Confidential

FYI, you might notice a new voice here at Watching.... My husband, who probably was sick of me parroting his theories without giving him due credit, is now posting as well. More than a year after I started this blog, I am proud to say I am finally bringing you the sort of informed, well-written, coverage that I always planned to think about providing. It just isn't coming from me.

OK, back to it.

Hey Bill...Wait a minute!

That's what I shouted as I spied Bill Stoneman darting through the Angel Stadium concourse after another Angel loss. I've seen him in his focused sprint toward the Angel offices at the conclusion of a few games, but he never stops or acknowledges any greetings.

Clearly Scioscia has lost confidence in his bullpen and help is needed. He's violating his 5/100 rule and letting his starters remain in the game much longer than they should. (5/100 Rule defined: Over the past couple of years, Scioscia has given his starters a rather long leash. Remember Bartolo - circa 2004 pre all-star break? Whether or not a pitcher was clearly having an "off" day, or if he had his best stuff, Mike would allow/force his pitchers to stay on the mound until he gave up five runs or threw one hundred pitches - whichever came first.) Recently though - with Santana and Byrd (including yesterday in Toronto), he's violated his rule (to ill effect and allowed his starters to go beyond the five run limit.

With the notable exceptions of Frankie, Scot, and occasionally Brendan, he'd rather stay with his struggling starter than bring in Joel, Esteban, or heaven help us - Kevin.

Joel would be just fine if Mike didn't keep sending him out to the mound for multiple innings. With only a couple of exceptions, his numbers are solid when he completes one inning or less of work. He took care of Kevin Gregg's mess yesterday and only gave up a run when Mike had him go back out after getting two much needed outs while stranding two of Kevin's runners on base. He's a former closer and needs to be used in a similar manner. He's not a long reliever, but that's what the Angels would like him to be.

Esteban has been spotty all year long and is basically dead weight. His seven-figure pricetag serves only as an example of the sellers market that exists for pitchers today. Besides a collective groan when he's introduced over the stadium loudspeakers, I've noticed fans around me grab their bags and start filing out toward the exits when he makes his way toward the mound.

Kevin Gregg has entered Ben Webber territory. (One of my favorite letters to the LA Times was in 2002 when a fan pleaded to Scioscia to not let Mr. Goggles take the mound ever again. - I'm just about ready to draft a a similar one.) Sure, he just pitched 3.1 innings for a 0.00 era performance. But he allowed an inherited Byrd runner to score and later needed to be bailed out by Peralta after he walked and hit consecutive batters. How much confidence does Scioscia have in him? Well, before yesterday he hadn't pitched since July 10, prompting my wife to wonder if he was still with the team or if he had been sent back down to Salt Lake City. ("Not yet, " I replied.)

Recent stories among various media outlets have hinted that Stoneman is shopping around for relievers. We can only hope that we won't end up with another Bret Prinz, but will instead acquire a quality arm that will give Scioscia the confidence he needs to motion toward the bullpen before the game is out of reach. Until that happens though, and it may not before Sunday's deadline, take Sean's advice and be a fan!

Monday, July 25, 2005

At the Ballpark

There is nothing like going to a ballpark, and Angel Stadium is mine. I live and work in Los Angeles, which means I endure sitting in traffic for over an hour in order to see most games. However, once I walk through the tunstiles those gridlock memories are a thing of the past. I have always been an Angels fan - Los Angeles - California - Anaheim - Los Angeles (of Anaheim.) The name has changed almost as often as the names of the players and coaches, but the Angels has always been my team.

I grew up watching as many games as I could on channel 5. I watched them clinch the pennant in'79 and '82 on television, and every time I wished I could be there. I was at the ballpark when Donnie Moore was one strike away from victory. I was at the Big A when Erstad caught the final out of that magical 2002 season. And after deciding on a last-minute roadtrip to Oakland, I was at the coliseum to - yep, 'watch Jeff DaVanon' catch the ball that clinched the 2004 division title.

Now, you can find me at the ballpark at nearly every home game. I know the ushers and vendors by name and they know mine as well. Even the parking lot attendant asks were my wife is when she's not with me. (Yes, I realize how lucky I am. I owe Jeff DaVanon more than I can ever repay.)

I know not everyone is as fortunate as I (or loves traffic as much as I do) and cannot attend as many games as they would ideally like. But everyone should make a few trips to Angel Stadium each year. When you do, there are a few things you should be sure not to miss. Get there early for batting practice and stake out a good spot near the left field foul pole or the right field pavillion and shag a home run ball. Visit the family zone under those pavillion seats and watch the kids try to hit a Jerod Washburn fastball. Go ahead and splurge on some overpriced concessions - not from a stand, but from one of the charismatic vendors roaming the stadium steps like Michael or Todd (our favorites.) And even if you have field level seats, do yourself a favor and go up to the Bar and View on the upper level (near section 421) and order a drink from Bob. He's been there for over eighteen years and makes one of the best bloody marys you'll ever have!

The team is away for a bit, but they'll be back in town next Monday to start a home stand with the O's and the D-Rays. (I tried to schedule a business trip to New York this weekend in order to see the Angels at Yakee Stadium, but my meeting was rescheduled, so I'll just have to wait until Monday like the rest of you.) But hopefully then, I'll see you at the ballpark.

Monday, July 18, 2005

reason for smiles

Jeff hit his first homerun from the left (they should write articles more often about how much he sucks from the left I guess) and it came with two RBIs. Jeff scored the only RBIs in the game for the Angels. All in all, it was pretty sweet. But a 1-run victory is always stressful.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Devo now, Devo always

Jeff hit his first homerun of the season Friday night. A single brightspot in the baffling series against the Seattle team. No doubt about it, the Mariners had our number. You can always rationalize a few losses, but 4 straight to a single team when we weren't missing any glaringly obvious components? Like I said, baffling.

At the start of the series, Jeff debuted with new music, "Whip it" by Devo. This follows the brief music-free stretch he experimented with after the total failure of what I think was a Shakira tune.
His performance since the change to Devo would lead me to think we'll be hearing it for some time.

Friday, July 08, 2005

I have an elsewhere to be

So as of a few days ago I'm a contributor at BrownBullFrog a general-purpose baseball blog. I'll still be posting here and cross-posting, as I don't feel exactly comfortable unleashing jeff-centric bits on an unsuspecting public.