Angels Stadium

The Angels can drop the “of Anaheim” from their name under their new lease

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UPDATE: The original version of this post linked to a story that, it has been brought to our attention, was blatantly plagiarized from Bill Shaikin’s report from the Los Angeles Times. Apologies to Shaikin and the Times. And shame on the jerks who just reprinted their article without link or attribution.  

The Angels have been negotiating with the Anaheim city council over their lease at the Big A. Which I don’t think is “The Big A” anymore, but old habits die hard. Anyway: under the lease the Angels had the right to relocate after 2016 if they wanted. It’s now been extended to 2019 as Arte Moreno and the city continue to negotiate over a longer term arrangement.

The more interesting part for those of us without a stake in the lease: the Angels can now drop the “of Anaheim” from their name if they want to:

Another portion of the lease that will energize fans is that Anaheim is giving up it’s stake to the Halos name. In the past, the Angels were required to have “Anaheim” in their name, hence the “of Anaheim” in their title. In it’s current state, Moreno can remove the suffix and simply call his club the Los Angeles Angels.

They’ve been the Los Angeles Angels. The California Angels. The Anaheim Angels. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. At this point, it really doesn’t matter where they say they’re from. We know where the ballpark is. I just regret that they didn’t go with “The O.C. Angels” at some point. They coulda ridden some temporary pop culture wave with that about ten years ago. Alas.

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.