Its how you finish that matters

It’s not how you start – it’s how you finish. A slow start by a team can happen for a lot of reasons, but it’s never anything to panic about. That’s especially true when you have a team of veterans, like we do, who know how to play the game. This is a confident team, and with good reason.

You look at the talent we have, up and down the lineup and on our pitching staff, and you know it’s just a matter of time before it comes together. A lot of times early in the season you’re not in your rhythm, you’re not feeling like yourself. You might get some hits, but even then you know you’re not right. Or you might be hitting line drives at guys and getting nothing to show for it. Early-season numbers can be very deceiving.

There are some guys who come out hitting .450 early in April and May, and everyone’s saying it’s their breakout year. And you know eventually they’ll finish about where they normally do. You find at the end of the season he’s hitting .260, or whatever he usually hits. Another guy might be hitting .150 in April, and everyone’s saying he’s done. And you know he’ll end up hitting .315 with 30 homers.

It’s a long season, and the cream rises to the top eventually.

In this game, you are what you are. You see guys like A-Rod or Mark Teixeira, for example, or David Ortiz, and they might not be driving the ball early. But you know they’ll come around. They’re hitters; that’s who they are. They’ll end up with their numbers, unless they get hurt.

Fans sometimes overreact early in the season, because they’re fans. They want to win every game and get upset when their team loses. We don’t ever want to lose as players, but we understand how this works. It’s a long season, with highs and lows, good times and bad times. You work through the rough times and stay confident that the good times are on the way.

The truth is, you don’t want to be peaking too early. I mean, you’ll take it if it’s there, but you want to be strong at the finish, when it really matters. You don’t want to peak in June and July and fall off in August, September. That’s what I mean when I say it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish. That’s what counts.

Personally, it’s taken me a little longer than usual to get where I need to be physically this season. I had the sports hernia surgery after the season, and I wasn’t able to do my usual offseason workouts. I couldn’t really do anything in January. All I could do was hit.

When we got to Spring Training, I was skeptical about how the groin would react. If I made a really hard turn, was it going to hold up? I never went through anything like this before, and Mike Scioscia was telling me to take it easy. He’s a great manager; he always sees the big picture. He wanted me to slow-roll everything. Once I broke the scar tissue sliding, it was a big relief. It wasn’t until the last two weeks of the spring I really started playing.

I feel good about where I am right now, all things considered. I’m hitting the ball hard, and even though I have only one home run, they come in bunches for me. The big thing is, I’m having no pain with the groin. I’m confident I’ll be where I want to be in the summer, when it heats up.

I really like our team. I liked it last year, and I like it this year. We’re a little different, with some new guys trying to establish themselves, but we’re basically the same team with the same chemistry.

Remember how it was last season? We were a .500 team in June. The Rays killed us in Florida to end a road trip, and we were 29-29. Mike Scioscia had a talk with us after that game, and we came home and went off on a tear. We ended up with 97 wins, which means from June 12 to the finish, we were 68-36.

Hopefully, our fans are patient enough to know where the Angels are going to be in August, September. We’re fine where we are. This team knows how to win. I know the sun’s going to shine sooner or later – on and off the field, in baseball and in life.


  1. yankeesblow

    I’m with you Torii, but Wood still needs to be dumped. It seems to be clear to everyone but your manager that he’s a wasted at bat. And NO, we don’t want you guys to win every game, we KNOW you guys can’t win every game. We like seeing GOOD BASEBALL and when you guys are struggling at the plate because you’re watching 1st pitch strikes and swinging at balls its as if we’re watching AAA ball. When mental errors are being made, when there’s no communication on fly balls, when runners get doubled up on fly ball outs, these are the things that make it hard to watch. I have confidence you guys can pick it up, but the mental aspect of the teams game needs to “up the auntie” if you guys expect to be competitors in the Postseason. BTW, tell Arte we want Rex and Steve back, these new commentators are terrible. Thanks for the blog Torii, take charge, Go HALOS!

  2. respect_the_halo

    I believe… You got to believe.. A slow start is okay but please kill the Yankees this weekend. They annoy me like no other.

    Woods will come around. He just needs to stop swinging at the junk ball. Pitchers know he is struggling and the get him behind in the count almost every time. Once he can lay off the junk and get ahead in the counts, his swing will come around and so will his confidence.

    I do think that blown save the other night was a blow to the momentum you guys had going. We need a bulldog on the mound. I think Rodney is that guy.

    Torii is the best CF in the league. Willits made two heck of great plays diving for the ball last night. Got to love that it. You can tell he loves to play the game…..

    Matsui is a great DH. Sorry but the OF is not where is he belong anymore. He showed that last night. His role is DH and to stay healthy. Go Go Godzilla!!!

  3. ccftw

    Here you go Tori listen to this. Play the game as if it was youre last. There are millions of kids wishing they can be like you when they grow up . You are currently living the dream and as a professional athlete it is easy to take that for granted. So go play the game with some heart and leave it all out on the field day in and day out…

  4. lifetimehalo

    Thank you Torii………….all I ask is 2 out of 3 & I know that when chemistry is right and the mojo and vibes from team & fans work together…………………we”ll get there


    Thanks Torii – I am looking forward to a great season out of you and all the boys.
    I’ve done my share of yelling at Wood (or at my TV rather) but if I were a teammate I’d be more likely taking your approach. It’s frustrating for me because I’ve watched Izturis grow into such a phenomenal player and I don’t understand why Wood is being given so much time to prove himself. Am I being too impatient?


    I agree with you Torii, Wood will come around, as most of the team has. Keep backing Wood and the rest of the team, because they are your family as us fans are too. The Angels is one of the most under rated teams in baseball. As Jeff Biggs said it tonight we are not valued. Quick comment, after Teixeira rammed Bobby wilson, when you were up to bat, did you purposely crashed into Teixeira when you got on first base?
    Keep up the good work I won’t be at the big ‘A’ tomorrow but I will on sunday, cheering you guys on.
    Love you Torii.

  7. angelsgirl012

    Torii! Hope you’re alright after today’s game. Ouch! That was right on your knee cap. And that catch out in center! :O. You are THE MAN! I love you 🙂 We all do!

    keep on truckin! Go ANGELS!

  8. halopower

    Hey Torii, You are soo right its the end that matters, we as fans are just so passionate that any little bump will bum us out, but Im SO CONFIDENT in the Angels, I LOVE this organization you guys have soo much depth in all positions. Wood is coming around as a matter a fact hes been hitting good last couple of games including his first HOMER! He just needs to be more comfortable and confident and that will happen with time. Just hoping Izturis has a good amount of playing time too. N for a remmatch in October with those damn Yankees,,, They annoy me soooo much like no other team in AL. Rest assure that all your fans have faith in you guys.. GO ANGELS!

  9. carmine

    I’m seeing the light…….there is a small opening that is happening. Over the last few games with Toronto and Cleveland, I can see a bright light shinning over this Angel team. Your timing is coming back, it doesn’t take one player to win a game, it’s a team. One player can be in a slump, which we hate to witness, and the rest of the team can carry through. The consistency isn’t there yet, but in a few weeks I do beleive that it will come, and more games will be won!! Keep healthy and play with passion. Good Luck!! GO ANGELS!!!

  10. j_rod

    Wow, this is one of roughest stretches I’ve seen in like 5 years. I can understand a slow start, but wow, our pitching is just not there. Our bullpen, which I thought would be decent is just terrible right now. Jepsen and Rodney are the exceptions, with Palmer doing ok. But Stokes and Shields, just throwing batting practice right now. Our hitting has been struggling, but when you are always down, it just makes you press. Everything is just off right now. Watching great first pitches go by while swinging at terrible subsequent pitches is just frustrating to watch. Mix it up! Swing at the first pitch when you see a trend of first pitch fast balls right in the hitting zone! But to tell you the truth, it’s our pitching that is just not there…I mean we have one of the worse team ERA’s right now. If we score 5 or more runs, we need to win. Come on guys, just relax…you guys have a world of talent, I can see that (being an x-baseball player…you are just over anxious and pressing right now). Let’s go halos!

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