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When will the Dawgs return to national prominence?

Let me jawbone about baseball a bit before answering the question posed above.

Angels’ outfielder, Josh Hamilton is coming around, doubling against wicked submarine relief pitcher Darren O’Day in the Baltimore series and homering against starter Bud Norris, a week or two ago. Hamilton went the other way with both hits.

So what’s wrong with him? Hamilton is beset by allergies, for one thing. For another, the batter wants to stay ahead in the count so he gets a predictable pitch, while the pitcher wants to be ahead in the count, so he can throw an unpredictable pitch. Hamilton has been plagued by unpredictability.

Kudos to catcher Chris Iannetta who drew four walks in the Armed Forces Day win over the White Sox. He has an OBP of .361 (third highest on the roster) while batting just .204. He leads the team with 27 walks.

Injuries haven’t helped the Halos; neither do pejoratives. (Columnist T. J. Simers of the Orange County Register repeatedly calls Angels owner, Arte Moreno, “Angry Arte,” this presumably relating to an unsettled dust-up between the two of them some time back).

Angels’ pitching ace, Jarred Weaver, who has been out since April 7, looks to return by the end of May.

Albert Pujols’ plantar fasciitis can only get better with proper treatment. Hang in there, Albert; I appreciate your gutsiness.

Reliever Ryan Madson is on his way back, and the list goes on.

I wish to thank Arte Moreno for allowing permanently handicapped people and their companions to sit in the Diamond Club for $50.00 each -- yeah, I know all about the lawsuit. Diamond Club seats for the Boston game on Jul 7 are selling for $241.00 each. I have idiopathic Parkinson’s disease and find that sitting in the Diamond Club is good therapy, win or lose, for Angels baseball is the best show in town. Watching baseball is better for me than any dopamine agonist.

Note my Chrysler Town and Country (left) with my wheelchair and its hydraulic lift. I call the Van and wheelchair, Big Red and Little Red, respectively.

Growing up in Seattle, I followed the Seattle Rainiers in the old Pacific Coast League and remember begging the girl who lived next door to bring her sixth grade math book home so I could learn how to compute baseball averages.

And then there’s my fourth grade math teacher who turned learning the multiplication tables into a baseball game, with the four corners of the room being the bases and flashcards being the pitches.

As a young kid I cut the Rainiers’ box scores out of the paper and glued them into a scrapbook, being fascinated with the stats. Nowadays, the At Bat application on my I-phone keeps statistics updated as the game progresses, as does the scoreboard at the ballpark, Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The preceding link is a historical article relating to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the name of which pays homage in part to the Los Angels of the old Pacific Coast League.

Real Angels fans have the songs "Build Me Up Buttercup" and "Calling All Angels" in their Itunes' playlists and enjoy attending games whether the Angels "light that baby up" or not -- you know the Halo outside the stadium.

In 1948, Seattle sportswriters called the PCL Hollywood Stars the "Twinks," and down south the Rainiers were known as the "Suds."

There was no television in those days so we kids relied on radio announcer Leo Lassen for a description of the Rainiers’ games. We used to mimic Leo, as in “Mmm, Gyselman slides” or “back, back, back and it’s over.” “If you’ve never been hit by a foul tip, you don’t know what you’ve missed,” he used to quip in reference to a foul tip hitting the batter, catcher, or umpire. “Pitching is 90% of baseball,” he used to say in his indisputable knowledgeable manner.

Likewise, line play is probably 70% of football, my thoughts borrowing from the last Leoism. So, let me answer the question posed by the headline above (insert drum roll here): the Huskies will return to national prominence when they recruit one or more offensive and/or defensive linemen who are capable of being drafted in the first round of the NFL draft. For example, in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, 18 of the 32 players chosen were either offensive or defensive linemen.

The defensive goal in football is to place the opposing quarterback in predictable situations by stopping the run; conversely being able to run the ball gives the quarterback the option of being unpredictable, for example in play action.

Help is on the way. During the 2013 recruiting season, the Huskies landed two 4-star defensive linemen, according to scout.com. See “Blame it on Ngata” for more on this subject.

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A forecaddie is a caddie who doesn't carry your clubs. A forecaddie will accompany a group of players, working on behalf of all members of the group, but without carrying clubs for any of them. Shown in the photo above (taken in 1995), my 4caddie is about to carry my clubs. See our companion website, richlinde-sports.com.

 

Richard Linde can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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