Purgatory Online

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Good Lord, what an embarrassment. And the worst part is that the Angels were in the wrong in nearly every particular.

Let's start with the easy stuff first: Orlando Cabrera committed two errors, arguably costing the Angels the game. So? It's frustrating, sure, but those were just the third and fourth errors of the year for Cabrera. Even after doubling his error count, Cabrera still leads AL shortstops in fielding percentage and has the fewest errors committed (tied with Michael Young). "Oh, sure," you say. "But Cabrera has to be a magificent fielder to make up for his failings at the plate. He's only hitting .249/.302/.367!" Fine. He's still at the top of the league. And his line is .304/.319/.478 in June. If you're going to call him a bad fielder based on what he did last night, I guess it's only fair to call him a good hitter based on what he's done in June.

The rest is not so simple. Or, rather, it's simple - I just don't like it.

1. Brendan Donnelly had a foreign substance on his glove. The rule is clear:
The pitcher shall not...[h]ave on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section (b) the penalty shall be immediate ejection from the game.
(Rule 8.02(b))

According to the umpires, Donnelly had pine tar on his glove, which qualifies as a "foreign substance." Complain all you like, but Frank Robinson was right, and had the right to ask the umpires to check Donnelly's glove. Donnelly's explanation that the pine tar was there to dry his hands is particularly weak; that's what the resin bag is for, Donk.

And that's where it should have ended; Scioscia should have shrugged his shoulders and said "okay, he's busted - sub Shields for Donnelly." This bush-league tit-for-tat crapola, getting in Robinson's face and then complaining about the laces on the glove of the next Nationals' reliever, was pretty poor. More importantly, it showed that Robinson had gotten under Scioscia's skin, which seemed to spread to the rest of the team, most notably to Scot Shields.

2. Jose Guillen is a jackass. But what else is new? I stand by my previous assertion that the fans booing him, particularly before the altercation, were showing a lack of class. Given Guillen's volitility, it doesn't surprise me in the least that he would start foaming at the mouth. I'm sure he felt slighted on Monday, and maybe justifiably so. That is in no way intended to excuse his behavior last night - I'll reiterate, he's an unprofessional jackass. He's a selfish prima donna. He's a prick. But let's get over it, okay?

3. That said, if the Angels really do think that Guillen ratted out Donnelly, he gets one in the ribs today. That's how these things work.

4. Candidate for bigger dipshit than Guillen: the scumbag "fan" who raced over from a different section to get in Ryan Church's face and flip him off after Church had been injured chasing a foul ball at the wall. Church was on the ground long enough for the trainer to come out and see to him, and Angels fans lost an opportunity to prove themselves better than the guy they were so enthusiastic about booing by not giving Church a courtesy round of applause after he got up. That one scumbag, though, deserves to be kicked in the nuts and exiled to Oakland.

All in all, this may not have been the worst game of the Angels season, but if not, it sure did a hell of an impression.

Let's turn the damn page, shall we?