Fryer: Lots of advantages to Angels, Dodgers trades
Taking a tour of the sports world, here and there (except London):
• Sure, it was Dodgers vs. Giants and Angels vs. Rangers front offices during the non-waiver trade deadline, but to Orange Countians it was just as much Dodgers vs. Angels. For a time it was a push -- the Zack Greinke acquisition was an energy supplement the Angels need to overtake Texas, just as the Hanley Ramirez-Shane Victorino additions make the Dodgers superior to the Giants. But when Texas got Ryan Dempster ... advantage, Dodgers.
• Dempster, age 35 and a free agent after this season, was 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA this season for the awful Cubs, a 1.038 WHIP, a strikeouts-to-walks ratio of 3.07, and in 2011 he was 10-14 with a 4.80 ERA. Greinke, 28 and a free agent after this season, is 9-4 (with the Angels he is 0-1, a tough loss Sunday) with a 3.39 ERA, a 1.200 WHIP, a 4.48 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and in 2011 he was 16-6 with a 3.83 ERA. Advantage, Angels.
• It looks like Victorino, exclusively a center fielder for the Phillies since 2009 but with 44 games in left field as recently as 2006, will play in left for the Dodgers with Matt Kemp remaining in center. Victorino is a more consistent center fielder than is Kemp. Yes, Kemp has the superior arm, but a little too often Kemp gets a late break on a shallow fly in left- or right-center field for a hit that could have been an out.
• Some older Dodgers fans have fond memories of hearing the play-by-play voice of Vin Scully throughout Dodger Stadium on all of the radios people brought into the stadium specifically for that purpose. It might be a fun idea for the Dodgers to relive those days by having Scully on the radio for Sunday home day games. Call them "Sundays With Scully."
• Ervin Santana had better movement on his fastball and the slider was slicing nicely Monday during his five innings in Texas. But he was hesitant to attack the strike zone. Given the Rangers' lineup, the hitter-friendly ballpark and a 100-degrees evening, can't really blame him.
• Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher gave up jersey No. 23, the number he wore as a player, too, so that newly acquired Greinke could have it. The previous Angels pitcher to wear No. 23? Steve Sparks, who was a rather nondescript 14-15 over the 1998 and '99 seasons in Anaheim.
• Angels rookie Mike Trout has scored 80 runs in 81 games. The Angels' rookie-season record for runs scored is 103 by Devon White, in 159 games in 1987. So Trout has 58 games available to score the 24 runs needed to break White's record.
• The amount of verbal abuse Vernon Wells gets from fans at Angel Stadium is unlike any we've seen an Angels player receive in quite a few years. He really got a round of it from the guys in the view level Sunday when he did not go Usain Bolt for a foul fly ball. You'd think Garret Anderson was in left field again.
• Anderson easily is the most under-appreciated player in Angels history. The most productive offensive player the club ever had, yet people still think he dogged it.
• The best food at Angel Stadium is at Chronic Tacos, on the terrace level in center field. But the place has no ventilation, making it uncomfortable for customers and brutal for workers.
• NFL teams are in full training camp mode now, including down in breezy San Diego. For the Chargers, the keys to a successful 2012 are a healthy and fumble-reduced Ryan Mathews at running back, and producing a better pass rush. It looked like 7 on 7 drills on too many opposing third downs the past couple of years.
• Chargers' 2011 first-round pick Corey Liuget started 13 games at right defensive end. One sack.
• Former Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo and USC quarterback Mark Sanchez has handled all the junk directed at him in New York with class and dignity. No outbursts from the Jets QB, although one would not blame him for having one or two.
• Another example of why community college is a great choice for high school football players who want to continue playing: 29 players on the 2011 Saddleback College team received scholarships to four-year schools.
• It's comforting for Ducks fans, anticipating training camp starting in a few weeks, to know that Teemu Selanne is returning. It has to be disconcerting to know that a 42-year-old still is the best player on the roster.
• Back to Trout ... yeah, he does look like Mickey Mantle reincarnated. But Mantle passed away in 1995, and Trout was born Aug. 7 of 1991, so forget the reincarnation angle. Curiosity forced research of any sports figure who passed away on 8/7/91, and the only one found was Schottzie, the spoiled dog of late Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott.
• And so we recall that Schottzie would defecate on the turf at Riverfront Stadium, an activity that prompted Major League Baseball to ban the dog from the field. Mrs. Schott's response: "They should be happy I don't have a horse, right?"