Jump Around – Pitchers & Catchers Report in a Little Over Two Weeks!!

I was out running errands this afternoon listening to a pretty decent punk set on one of our local radio stations – Bad Religion, Social D! – when the DJ threw House of Pain’s Jump Around into the mix, a fun hip hop song from my high school days now known to Angels fans everywhere as the Rally Monkey’s song. I was already kind of rocking out in my car to the Social D but I happened to be at a stop light when House of Pain came on and, I couldn’t help myself, a full on car dance ensued. That song has so many great memories for me – fun with friends, school dances and many, many Angels rallies – that I did not care who saw my goofy display. What? Like they’ve never given in to the urge to car dance before? Anyway, Jump Around lead to Blitzkrieg Bop and then what do you think the DJ played next? Yeah, no joke – Muse’s Uprising, the song played in the middle of the 1st inning before the Angels’ first at bat. Strange Clear Channel pre-programmed play list coincidence or Angels fan DJ in mid-Winter withdrawals? My evidence is entirely circumstantial, but I prefer to believe the latter.

My point in sharing this (other than offering yet another example of how Uprising has been following me everywhere, haunting me all winter long and hopefully a small amount of entertainment) is that, in addition to my usual instant goose bumps, Angels related songs are finally starting to make me feel giddy excited again instead of just wistful. Pitchers and catchers report in a little over two weeks!! I am excited about the Angels 2011 season, something I definitely was not a few weeks ago when every free agent so many of us coveted for a Halos uniform donned other baseball caps instead.

A large part of my excitement stems from reports that the Angels and Jered Weaver are starting to talk long term contract extension instead of just the standard salary arbitration talk. Honestly, if the Angels can make this happen and keep Weaver in a Halos uniform well beyond 2012, I would consider this a pretty successful offseason. Seriously, pay the man. It doesn’t sound like he’s being unreasonable and, to all appearances, last year was just a taste of what he’s capable of achieving in the years to come. Even more important? It’s my birthday in a little more than two weeks and a long term Angels contract extension for Weaver would be simply the best birthday present this girl could ask for. Yes, I am sure the Angels understand the significance of the birthday argument and care deeply. Why do you ask?

Another part of my excitement? I keep reading and listening to more interviews with Vernon Wells and, I have to say, his excitement about joining the Angels and assertions that this is a competitive team that doesn’t sit at home in October are infectious. I may be a stat loving (recovering) math geek, but I am far more moved by those intangible player traits – heart, clutch, grit – and my own gut reaction to certain players. Yes, he’s streaky and I understand about the splits but I have a good feeling about this. Right now, listening to Vernon Wells’ interviews, it sounds like he is genuinely excited to come to Anaheim this season, ready to move to wherever the team needs him to move in the line-up and in the outfield and eager to get out there and win – all traits that remind me of other successful Angels players and make me think Wells will fit right in. I recently learned that Torii Hunter had been lobbying hard for the Angels to sign Wells – silly perhaps, but that endorsement carries a lot of weight with me. Perhaps my gut is overly optimistic but right now it’s telling me that 2011 is going to be one of Wells’ strong years…and I say that after never having felt truly optimistic going into the 2010 season.

Oh, and most exciting of all? Kendry’s coming back!! This is reason enough to prompt its own happy dance, car, Angels related music or no. Hey, it’s been 11 whole days since I’ve mentioned this and I thought it was worth repeating…yes I counted. Recovering math geek, not recovered math geek. Now where did I put that iPod? I feel a little House of Pain coming on!


  1. Michael David

    Happy early birthday. Be sure to have some beer or wine and relax a bit before Spring Training starts and it’s fast and furious until November.
    On a totally unrelated note, just wondering what your favorite authors are when it comes to historical fiction and fantasy?

  2. xpress34

    Kristen –

    Great blog!!! I have to agree with you that sometimes certain songs ‘follow you’. It’s awesome when you get a DJ who plays just the right songs in just the right order when you’re listening to the radio!

    Good luck to your Angels! As you saw in my b Blog I’m a Rockies and Rangers guy… 😉

    Thanks for the kind comment on my blog as well – I’ll be following your and maybe (depending on your time frame and if you go) we’ll run into each other at Spring Training! The wife and I will be there March 19th to March 26th – and you know I’ll be blogging about it!

    All the best!


  3. blithescribe

    Smitty – Thank you for the compliments and for dropping by and commenting! Yes, I saw that you are a Rangers fan as well as a Rockies. I love chatting with other baseball fans, especially rival team fans. As happy as I am getting about the Angels coming season, I still really envy the Rangers offseason – well done. That’s roughly when we hoped to go to Spring Training too, but I think it’s probably not in the cards for us to go this year.
    Jane – Thank you. I hope you are right!
    Ron – That is my hope and gut feeling too and I wouldn’t have pegged you for any other song. I wonder, do you every randomly hear Go Cubs Go on the radio or is that strictly a stadium song?
    Mike – Thanks! Oh, fun question, and one I could go on for pages answering :). The short list: For historical fiction – David Liss, Kenneth Follet, Larry McMurtry, Emma Donoghue, Arturo Perez Reverte, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and I love, love, love Harry Turtledove – alternate history, yes, but the man seriously knows his history. For fantasy authors – I will always have a soft spot for Tolkien and Lloyd Alexander and also love Neil Gaiman, Sergei Lukyanenko, Joe Abercrombie, Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris. Christopher Moore is another favorite author and he crosses over into both historical and fantasy fiction. Who are some of your favorites?
    – Kristen

  4. blithescribe

    Mike – Those photos are fantastic! Your kids will remember times like that forever I’m sure. That’s a pretty good book list too. I like Dan Brown and have a couple of the others on my list of to-reads.
    Jeff – Thanks! Always pleased to offer someone a wine break excuse. I actually usually claim the entire month of February – my birthday being right in the middle – so, there, you have 28 more excuses.
    – Kristen

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