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Game 45: Twins at Angels

This week’s TT After Dark series continues in the suburbs of Disneyland.

California Angels (1979-85) Rod Carew
“Hi, I sang Rudolph, and would never say stuff like Cal Griffith did!”
Photo by Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images

Time: 8:38 Central

Weather: California comfy, 69° at first pitch

Opponent’s dead SB site: Halos Heaven. A very active independent blogsite: Crashing The Pearly Gates

TV: BSN (for now, maybe elsewhere eventually), free game of the day (out-of-market only). Radio: Electromagneticastical!

What’s there to know about Angels starting LHP Reid Detmers? Well, he hails from the cow town of Nokomis, IL, and became a highly regarded prospect. He had a cup of coffee in 2021, then was solid in his “rookie” season last year — he had an “immaculate inning” in July and a no-hitter in May.

Eh, so what? The guy I thought would be starting today, Patrick Sandoval, had an almost-no-hitter in 2021 against the Twins. That’s objectively cooler. And it was broken up by Brent Rooker, now mega-mashing balls for the A’s. That’s SUPER cooler.

Plus, you know how many interesting Sandovals there are? Like, a lot, dude. Including former World Series ace Pablo, a Navaho code talker named Merril, a Freddy who was once named “Mental Skills Coach” by the Royals (now living in my old home state of Oregon), and the lead singer of Mazzy Star. You gotta remember Mazzy Star! Underrated band!

Who’s got the name Detmers? Nobody. The closest is some guy who was a Vikings third-string quarterback for four days. Anyways, Reid throws a 95-ish fastball, hard slider, and curve. YTD digits (note the BAbip, which has bitten Detmers and helped Ryan against LHB):

Hey, remember 2022 in Angels stadium shenanigans? Owner Arte Moreno does!

You may recall that Moreno has been trying for years to get not just a new building (that’s so 2010!), but a giant chunk of highly-discounted land around the building for him to build on and profit off of, all in the name of Progress. And, for one brief, shining moment, it looked like Moreno would have all his wishes come true. The city council, pressed hard by mayor Harry Sidhu, had agreed to a sweetheart of a deal.

Until, um, it turned out Mayor Harry had been taking bribes from the Angels (probably)... and was under investigation for that, among other things... and had to resign lest he be physically thrown from City Hall by angry Mouseketeers.

Let’s pause here for a moment, and ponder just how blatant your political bribe-taking has to be before it qualifies as “illegal” or even “noticed” in America. Campaign contributions are, for the most part, always allowed, as are all manner of appearance fees, travel reimbursements, and the like. To get labeled as corrupt by voters and possibly criminal by authorities means you are really rolling in graft.

Anyways, that meant the stadium deal was kaput, at least for now. So Moreno (whose part in the bribery apparently was so common among sports owners that it drew no indignation nor investigation) was listening to buyout offers. His poor heart was broken, his great dream shattered.

Yeah, that’s over, and he likes being owner again. Plus he’s started having talks with the new mayor, and gushing all over the media about how there’s no limit on Angels payroll when it comes to extending Ohtani (although Moreno does say “he has to figure out if this is where he wants to be,” which is usually owner-speak for “take a little less money than the Yankees/Mets would offer in free agency.”)

Wow. Maybe Moreno’s had a change of heart. I imagine a little Angel on his shoulder saying “the fans still support this team, Mr. Moreno. And Ohtani is great for baseball, a game you once loved. Do the right thing, and the stadium situation will resolve itself.”

Then I imagine a little devil on the other shoulder, saying, “sure, Arte, sure. And to make extra sure, let’s talk to the press about signing Ohtani while we’re also discussing your real estate plans with the Mayor. Remember — if you sell the team now, it’s only worth 15 times what you paid for it. It’s worth waiting for even more money later, right?”

Which shoulder spoke louder, I wonder? (Not really, I’m pretty sure I know.)

Today's Lineups

Donovan Solano - 1B Mickey Moniak - CF
Carlos Correa - SS Taylor Ward - LF
Byron Buxton - DH Shohei Ohtani - DH
Kyle Farmer - 3B Hunter Renfroe - RF
Kyle Garlick - RF Brandon Drury - 1B
Ryan Jeffers - C Gio Urshela - 3B
Willi Castro - 2B Luis Rengifo - 2B
Trevor Larnach - LF Chad Wallach - C
Michael Taylor - CF Zach Neto - SS
Joe Ryan - RHP Reid Detmers - LHP

Old friend Gio Urshela sighting! Except, he wasn’t really around long enough to be an “old friend.” Kinda more like that apartment neighbor on your floor who holds the elevator door when you’ve got stuff to carry, and never hogs the laundry room, is always polite, but you never really know them. Not that any of us can ever really know anyone.