Taking care of business

Another postseason, my fourth, and it?s as exciting as ever. It was a good season, despite some unexpected obstacles that we had to deal with. But we got through everything, and here we are at Fenway Park, hoping to take advantage of this opportunity and play the game the way we always do, aggressively and intelligently.

I?m confident in our starting pitchers, all of them. They can all get the job done. I go back to 2002 with John Lackey, our Game 1 starter. When I got traded to the Angels from the Rockies in ’01, he had just been promoted from Double-A Arkansas to Triple-A Salt Lake. We went on to win the championship in 2001, and then we were together at Salt Lake the following year. We had a dynamite team that year, and John got called up to the Angels. I did, too, a month or so later.

I could see right away that he had what it took. It was his work ethic, the way he went after it. He just had that something special that you look for in a guy. He had the athletic talent -? the guy was a good high school quarterback in Abilene, Texas -? and he also had the desire.

You?ve got a lot of respect for a guy like John, the way he gets after it. It?s been that way from Day 1. When you have the competitive edge that he has, you?re able to overcome adversity and dig deep. Whether you?re a hitter or a pitcher, you?re not always going to have your "A" game. The real test is how you respond when things aren?t going your way. That’s where his mental toughness comes into play.

Brita_4

The guys are feeling pretty good, confident. We know we can play with anybody. We just have to get into our game and make things happen. Just play the way we always play, and we?ll be OK.

Garret Anderson has a swollen eye from an infection, but he said he can see fine. Garret?s a gamer, a great pro and great player. He’s always sets the tone around here with his even-keel attitude. He?s everything you want in a leader.

It’s a shame that Junior, Gary Matthews, can’t play in this series with his left knee bothering him. We have a lot of depth, with guys like Reggie Willits and Nate Haynes, but I know how much it means to Junior to be in the postseason for the first time after all these years. He?s meant so much to us all year — his defense in center, his ability to hit in different parts of the lineup and have an impact.

Whether I?m in right field or at third base, it?s not a big deal. I?ve always been pretty adaptable, going back to my early years when I moved from position to position. As long as I?m in the lineup, I?m content.

That?s why this was such a strange year, missing the first month with two broken fingertips. I never had a hand injury before. After I got through that, I went into a good groove with the bat, but I then injured my left wrist swinging from the right side against the Yankees. That set me back a little, trying to regain strength in my hand.

We?ve had a lot of injury problems, but this is a tough-minded team. Our depth has been a huge part of our success. Our young guys and role players have consistently done the job.

Now it?s time to take care of our business. It?s all about winning now. We have tremendous respect for the Red Sox. It should be a great series.

25 Comments

Mr. Figgins,

It’s been an incredible joy watching you play for my beloved Halos this year, and I’ve had to eat many words (as have countless others in SoCal and beyond) for suggesting your name in every trade possibility conceived since 2002.

Never again, I promise that!

Congratulations on such a great season, and here’s hoping it extends all the way into the World Series.

-Sid McHenry

http://thecaliforniateam.mlblogs.com/

Chone, you’re as exciting a player as I’ve seen. Thanks for a great regular season and let’s raise some **** in the playoffs. 🙂

Chone, you are by far my favorite Angel player! Watching you hit, run, and steal bases is amazing! I know you and the rest of the Angels are going to take it to the Red Socks with your game style and go all the way!

Chone, thanks for your blog and for your amazing year as a player for the Angels. I remember when we used you as a pinch runner in the 2002 playoffs. You were so exciting to watch, seeing you for the first time. Congratulations to you and the Angels organization for winning the AL West! All the best to you as you enter the 2007 playoffs against the Sox. I don’t want to make any predictions so not to jinx things. You know how superstitious baseball is. We will just take it 1 game at a time. Let’s Go Angels! WOO HOO!!!

Mr Figgins,

YOU’RE THE MAN!!! GO GET EM IN OCTOBER BABY!! I’LL BE THERE SCREAMING YOUR NAME WHEN YOU COME BACK TO THE BIG A ON SUNDAY!!! SHUT THOSE BOSTON CHOWDERHEADS UP!!! GO GET EM FIGGY!!! WOOOT WOOT!!

Figgy!
My mom and I love to watch you play. You play the game the right way. You hustle, get on base any way you can and you seem to always pay respect to those who have helped you along the way.

The only thing that I would like to see you do more of is bunt. But with the tear you went on this year, finishing 6th in Batting AVG in the AL, go ahead and swing away!

GO GET FIGGY WITH IT!!

Tom L. in Garden Grove, CA

Congradualations Chone and to the rest of the angels for a fantastic season. All around major league baseball 2007 has been the most exciting and fun season to witness. They talk about where is the parody in the sport. Some misguided fans think that baseball comes and goes through Boston and New York. Those teams have the most money…blah, blah, blah. Only one team of the eight that were in last years playoffs made it to this years playoffs. Those dreaded yankees. I have been an angels fan for 40 years. This year has been my favorite..how sweet would it be if the team that emerges as the champion is my beloved Angels.

Figgy,

Thanks so much for the blog. It is so wonderful to hear directly from you! We were at Rally Monday last night, and we So Cals ARE PUMPED! We are absolutely ready for another ring! Lets gitter done, there’s no stopping the A Team! We are sad for Junior also, he has been such a instrumental part of why we’re here. He’ll be in the next round for sure. Big John will come through for us tomorrow. 1 pitch, 1 inning, 1 game at a time.

YES WE CAN and WE WILL!

Carole in Yucaipa

Chone, greetings from Mexico City! Thanks for such a wonderful season, and it is not over yet. God bless you guys during the postseason.
Halo power!

A former O.C resident

Israel Castillo Ph.D

Figgy,

The regular season has been great. You no doubt are the most exciting player in the MLB. I was so happy when you set the all-time mark for stolen bases. I was there too.

Thanks so much figgy. PEACE OUT!

Chone,
My wife and I met you at Spring Training right after the 2002 Championship…we talked about calling Scioscia and demanding you more playing time for you…although I was never able to get through to Mike, he did it on his own (got you in there everyday) and here you are, back in the postseason, again.

Get the Sox in Boston and come back to ANAHEIM – where we’re ready to back our Angels all the way!

Hey Fig. Good luck at Fenway. I’ll wear my lucky Angels hat tomorrow.
Signed,

your only fan in Brooklyn.

Chone,
I recently moved to San Francisco and have to don my road greys and brave the Oakland Coliseum to see you and my Angels play. Through the jeers and taunts, there is a lot of respect for you and your game in the crowd. Thanks for a great year and give ’em **** in the playoffs!

Hey Chone,

I?m an Angel fanatic out here in Shanghai, China for the playoffs. Seems my satellite tv won?t be playing any games so I?ll be listening to them on MLB.com radio.

I can?t tell you how much these games mean to me. My brother-in-law is from Boston and is part of the Red Sox nation and I have been taking flak all year from him. It sure would be nice to beat them when it counts.

I hope you can refind your stroke during the playoffs?you?ve been hitting so great most of the year. If you can hit 2 or 3 singles per game like you?ve been doing for most of the year, you can single-handedly be a difference-maker. One of those guys behind you will hit you in and that may be all we need. (I?m so stoked about our pitching and I?m calling two shutouts our first two games).

Here are some questions I hope you can answer in your next blog post (if you write one):

Is GA?s eye problem really an infection? Or did his wife sock him in the eye while he was asleep for something he said earlier in the day?

Do you call Juan Rivera ?Gimpy? in the clubhouse?

Are you afraid John Lackey is going to swallow his own tongue every time he speaks? Can you understand a word he says? (I can?t).

And finally:

Everybody knows that Boston fans are chumps, but would you describe them as super-chumps? (Actually, don?t answer that one. We don?t want you to get into trouble).

Stay loose, have a great time, play your game, and kick some Boston butt!

All the best!

Mr. Figgins,
As I tell my lil leagers when I coach first base ” Let’s just have some fun!” I always encourage my team to watch the ANGELS, and watch Chone Figgins. The way you handle yourself on the field and how you play the game. You are a great roll model for kids in a sport that has had much negetive press. I know you will have a great series.

LET’S GO ANGELS!!!

figgy aka flash

now u tell izzy,aybar,haynes,willits and urself, to be aggresive on the bases and yall are gonna be fine.if there’s one thing the redsox dont have is SPEED!

so u know 1st to 3rd on singles.

hit and run.

base stealing

all that good stuff…distract the redsox!

dont let their power intimidate u

you guys are built for october, show the world why the halos are the team to beat this year and for years to come!

oh yea and tell vladdy to go yard on the redsox! lol

alrite flash, ill be watchin yall from southern cali!

go halos baby!

peace!

Figgy! So excited to see your blog!! You should do this ALWAYS!

It has been a pleasure watching you, since 2002!! The love you have for the game comes across every day you play!!

I wont wish you luck because you dont need it. You have the heart and talent needed to succeed. Just Believe!

Have a great series!! See you on Monday!

p.s. tell the Angels team store to order more t-shirts with your name on them as they keep selling out. 🙂

Great blog, Figgy! You are a such a joy and a delight to watch play baseball! You’ve had a great year and I know you will continue to do great in the play-offs! In fact, I know you ALL will! Good luck tonight, thanks for all your hard work! GO HALOS!!!
P.S. Figgy, you have the BEST smile in all of baseball!

Chone best luck,pal!!!

I received an email this morning that I can buy tickets through the 2nd chance drawing, but there was no ticketsavailable.

Anyhow my sons and I are big fans of you and wish you best luck for the game.!!!!

PS: Steal one for us tomorrow!!!!

Congratulations Figgy!
The Geiger Family loves you and we are so proud of the team this season! Best of Luck to you and the team!!!

GO ANGELS!!!!!

Chone,

You are incredible! My wife and I love to see you succeed! You smile when you do something great. That tells us that you are enjoying yourself, and it makes us cheer for you even more! Thank you for all that you do and the way that you do it. Go get those Red Sox and anyone else you encounter this postseason!

Mark and Megan Erickson

Mr. Figgins,

Thanks so much for an intelligent and cogent blog. You, your teammates and most of all, Mr. Scioscia will have a great time playing this series. I wish you the best of ‘skill’ because luck is for the superstitious.

Others think we have no culture or fan base in So Cal, but let me assure you that ‘it ain’t so’.

From the Desert,

I remain an Angels Fan

Congrats, Figgy on making the Divison Playoffs! We will be with you guys every step of the way! It has been an exciting season and we have been so glad to be at the Big A to share those great moments with you including you base stealing record! You are truly the heart of team and we wish you the best.

Keep smiling and May the Halo force be with you!

Lynne and Lori Bowman

Redondo Beach, CA

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it nice to see you doing so well,keep up the good work.

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