Angels baseball now 64 percent less annoying

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Sure, they still have the Rally Monkey and Thunderstix, but the Angels got rid of their TV duo of Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler on Tuesday, turning chores over to play-by-play man Rory Markas and color commentator Mark Gubicza.
I’m not going to pretend to know much about Markas, who had been paired with Gubicza doing radio. Gubicza, though, while rather dry at times, seems to be far more in touch with reality than Hudler, who was becoming more of a parody of himself with every passing year.
In Hudler’s defense, his enthusiasm always seemed to be genuine. There are plenty of fakes out there in broadcast booths, but the Wonder Dog was simply being himself. It’s just that his own special brand of obnoxiousness would have worked a lot better in the sideline reporter role, and the Angels might want to bring him back in that capacity down the line.
Physioc, though, brought nothing to the table. When he wasn’t inducing Hudler to repeat a spiel about Angels baseball&#0174, he was getting a play wrong or botching a fact about a player from whatever lesser team happened to be playing the Angels that night.
The amazing thing about Physioc is that there wasn’t even any nepotism involved in his placement. He somehow got his job on merit.
Now, I know it’s not nice to root for people to be fired, but Physioc still has his college basketball duties and I’m sure Hudler won’t be out of work for long. He did play for six teams, after all, and if one of them no longer exists, well, that still leaves four possibilities for future employment.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.