The Angels are going for the Snuggie record

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Matsui reporters.jpgThis press release came out of Anaheim Angels central earlier today:

On Tuesday April 6, 2010, the Angels will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the “largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets.”
All fans in attendance at the Angels vs. Minnesota Twins game (7:05PM)
will receive a complimentary Hideki Matsui Blankie courtesy of Konica
Minolta.

“We are very excited about this special opportunity,” team spokesman
Tim Mead said. “Setting this world record will be a unique and
memorable experience for our fans, the first of many in 2010.”

According to the release, the current record for the largest gathering of people wearing “fleece
blankets” is 17,758 set by the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 5th.
That, of course, was widely billed as the “Snuggie” record,
named after those ridiculous wearable blankets. I suppose the keepers
of the record books make them call it the “fleece blanket” record so
that the Snuggie corporation doesn’t get free advertising out of the
deal. You know, like the beer company that is the namesake of the
record book sanctioning the record.

Anyway, I don’t want the world to
end on April 6th, but if it does — and this event makes it slightly
more likely to happen in my view — I will be tickled by the notion that alien
archaeologists might one day find our world and think that our
civilization worshiped a god named “Konica Minolta Matsui” by
assembling by the tens of thousands while wearing synthetic ceremonial
cloaks in his honor.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.