Here at the sports desk, located somewhere below decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, given that football, basketball, and hockey are all in full swing, we naturally choose today’s topic to be … baseball. Do you think we want to talk about the Rams after last Monday’s debacle against the 49ers?
Anyway, news is that the “No, Really, We’re Spiritually In Los Angeles, Even Though The Only Time We Play There Is When There’s An Interleague Game Against The Dodgers” Angels have made the first big splash of the annual off-season, free agent frenzy by signing Noah Syndergaard to a one year, $21M deal. It’s hard to know which is more astonishing, the dollar amount or Syndergaard’s agent accepting a one-year deal for a pitcher — regardless of the fact he’s thrown a total of two innings in the past two years, courtesy of Tommy John surgery.
Syndergaard, when healthy, isn’t a dominant pitcher. He’s too good for such a mundane descriptor. If his 6’6” frame, topped with enough hair to make Bigfoot reach for Rogaine in order to keep up, isn’t intimidating enough, there’s the 100+ MPH fastball and a slider faster than most pitchers’ fastball with which to contend. Syndergaard taking the mound for your team is a comforting sight, as you know any offensive effort on your part has an extremely high probability of not being wasted by your pitcher letting the other team back in the game at the next possible opportunity. The Angels are betting Syndergaard can return to form. A safe bet, even if it doesn’t work, since the Angels are not on the hook for a multi-year money flush.
The Angels are a study in contrasts. They have all-universe talent in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. They also have … um, not much else. Some decent role players; a serviceable third starting pitcher in Patrick Sandoval. However, the bullpen is weak and the defense is average. Even if Syndergaard delivers as in the days of old, it’s going to take several more instances of team owner Arturo Moreno breaking out the checkbook to place the Angels in conversation with the Astros in the American League West. Still, the Angels are at least trying to get better. Which is more than I can say for the A’s *sigh*.