Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:02 pm
TEMPE, Ariz. -- He's just a glove machine.
Which isn't exactly what you would expect for a guy whose bat did all the talking last summer.
But once the Angels signed Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo went from AL Rookie of the Year runner-up to Man Without a Position.
The plan is to employ Trumbo at third base, but that's contingent on him learning the position this spring. There's always left field if that doesn't work out.
Strange transition, moving from the 29 homers and 87 RBIs of 2011 to collecting leather in 2012.
How many gloves has Trumbo stockpiled?
He pauses. He glances at the two by his feet. He wheels around to take inventory in his locker. He crinkles his eyebrows. Finally, he thinks he has it.
"Over 10, easily," Trumbo says. "I have a first-base glove, third base, outfield. Some are shaped differently."
Such as: For now, he's playing third base with an outfielder's glove, instead of a smaller infielder's mitt. He likes the size.
"I'm a proponent of the bigger glove," Trumbo says. "A lot of plays at third base are reactionary. You knock the ball down. You're not turning a double play. Things happen super quick."
As such, Trumbo is more comfortable with the bigger glove.
But the outfielder's glove he uses at third is different from the glove he'll use when (if) he plays left. The one he's using in the infield is broken in so it's more round and wide. The tips of the fingers are pushed down toward the glove's heel.
The outfield glove, it's broken in so it's more slender and narrow (almost like folded in half). It looks larger.
Since the Angels signed Pujols in December, Trumbo estimates he's added five gloves to his collection for test-driving and experimenting with. Options are good.
"It's an art form," he says. "What's comfortable for you, nobody else can tell you."
Biggest danger now as he moves across the infield, it appears, is Trumbo pulling the wrong glove out of his locker.
"It's getting a little cluttered," he says, chuckling.
Sunblock day? Another windstorm took the temperatures down to 60 degrees Wednesday.
Likes: The baby back ribs at Don & Charlie's in Scottsdale. Hadn't been there in several years, but it's a classic old baseball hangout during spring training. Was there the other night and saw George Brett, Robin Yount, Bob Uecker, Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson, former agent Dennis Gilbert, Joe Randa. ... Maxine Nightingale's old hit Right Back Where We Started From. Heard it on the radio today, and can't help thinking of the great flick Slap Shot every time I do. ... Very enjoyable watching Yu Darvish in Peoria on Wednesday. Particularly enjoyable the way he attacks hitters and doesn't dink around.
Dislikes: A stiff wind really made for a chilly day in Arizona on Wednesday. I'll take Florida's early spring weather over Arizona's.
Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Well, I don't know, but I've been told
"You never slow down, you never grow old
"I'm tired of screwin' up, tired of going down
"Tired of myself, tired of this town
"Oh, my, my. Oh, hell, yes
"Honey, put on that party dress.
"Buy me a drink, sing me a song.
"Take me as I come 'cause I can't stay long"
-- Tom Petty, Mary Jane's Last Dance
Posted on: March 18, 2011 2:03 pm
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Scot Shields, one of the premier set-up men in the game for a five-year period as the Angels were racking up AL West titles from 2004 through 2008, will announce his retirement later today.
For a long period of time, Shields truly was, as former teammate Tim Salmon called him Friday morning, the "Rubberband Man." A 6-1 right-hander with a slight frame and a funky, deceptive delivery, Shields worked in 60 or more games every year between 2004 and 2008. He made more than 70 appearances in three of those seasons.
"He evolved into, really, the gold standard for what set-up men are," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "What impressed us about Scot was that he could have gone a lot of places and been the closer. But he committed to this organization, and this organization committed to him.
"He accepted the role when there was a lot of discussion about him being a starter. In the right situation, he could have been the closer. Except we had Troy (Percival) and Frankie (Rodriguez) here.
"He was about winning."
Shields made 43 appearances last season for the Angels, going 0-3 with a 5.28 ERA, before his season ended with arm problems.
Sunblock Day? Rumor has it that the temp in the desert is supposed to drop into the 60s Sunday or Monday. Today, though, it's great. Going to be back in the 80s.
Likes: Maxine Nightingale's Right Back Where We Started From pumping through Tempe Diablo Stadium as Angels ran through Friday morning workout. Great thing about it is, two nights ago I was flipping the TV in the hotel and came upon Slapshot -- and had forgotten how they keep playing that song throughout. Strange how stuff like that happens so often, isn't it? Hadn't heard that song in years, then I see Slapshot and now here it is again a couple of days later. ... Slapshot, by the way: One of the great moments in cinema. ... Thai Elephant in Tempe. ... Dallas Braden wearing that awesome Tam o'Shanter hat for St. Patrick's Day in the video interview we did with him on St. Patrick's Day. I was ready to go out and buy one for myself but, sadly, he didn't pick it up in Phoenix. His grandmother sent it to him.
Dislikes: Days like this, I want to stay back and watch wall-to-wall NCAA tournament games. I know we've got that "Boss Button" that you can click in case he walks up behind you in the office. Problem is, I do that and my bosses still know I'm screwing around because the baseball columns don't get turned in!
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Dealin' card games with the old men in the club car
-- Steve Goodman, City of New Orleans