Los Angeles Angels

LA Angels: Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells Making Me Want to Go to Wally World

OAKLAND - 1989:  Wally Joyner #21 of the California Angels goes for the ball during their1989 season game at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by:  Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Luke JohnsonContributor IIIAugust 12, 2011

I am having childhood flashbacks.

Chevy Chase, driving a steaming paint chipped station wagon in search of an infamous dust riddled theme park tackles peaks and valleys through the Arizona wasteland.

An infamous high- heel long leg blond woman, flirts with the middle aged father the entire trip, smiling and toying with his strung out heart strings.

He is heading to Wally World, the salvation of a long and hard trip through twists and turns, peaks and valleys. But the park is forever closed. Damn.

I could easily solve our offensive embarrassments this season by slipping into a hot tub time machine, to sway the 1986 Rookie of the Year runner- up to re-emerge and give us the bat we’re lacking.

I blame the foolishness of the Vernon Wells project—owed $63 million the next three years—pushing me to such lunacy and making me fantasy of time manipulation.

But when Mike Napoli causes offensive infertility, cynicism and desperation are of the essence. Ranked 25th overall in runs scored, we might as well join the Elderly Whiffle Ball League of Los Angeles.

I have plenty of faith in our Weaver/Haren combo come September, but that is then negated by a lineup that starts Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson.

Toss in the under-performing geriatric unit of Hunter, Abreu and Wells, and we might as well bring Rod Carew out of retirement.

Wally Joyner (Wally World) hit .289 with 114 home runs and 526 RBI in six seasons with the Halos. The first baseman set a team precedent by putting his body on the line at all times.

A class act old fashioned ball player who quietly went about his business, Joyner, had the keen ability to slap the ball to opposite field or line up and hit the ball out. His patience at the plate was his finest gift and is the type of thing lacking in our lineup today.

After six years of strong play we sent the franchise face to Kansas City, where injuries eventually took their toll. Hitting 204 home runs in his 15-year career, the one-time all-star, called it quits in 2001.

Imagining we had him now to play first, slides Trumbo to a DH spot, adds another left handed bat, and allows Abreu, Hunter and Wells-all hitting below par-to cycle in the outfield.

In an organic way, his presence, allows Angel management to phase out their veteran players in order to build around Bourjos and Trout in the outfield.

Unfortunately this is all a flashback and for us modern day Angel fans, life is depressing enough to make us believe in such cahoot.

For me, a memory of the man for a moment, puts to rest our deficiencies. But when I wake tomorrow he reminds me I am set to face another day watching Vernon Wells get paid 21-million dollars to strikeout.

 

 

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