Angels May Wind up Having to Release Scott Kazmir

Angels pitcher Scott Kazmir didn’t last two innings in his season debut Sunday, casting serious doubt about his ability to make positive contributions to the team this season. Pitching against the Royals where winds were blowing out at up to 44 mph, Kazmir gave up five runs, five hits, two walks, and hit two batters in one and two-thirds innings. Luckily the Angels rallied to take the lead so he ended up without a decision, but he put the Angels in a serious hole to start the game.

Kazmir allowed two runs in the first and three in the second. He got two flyouts to start the second, but then he allowed a solo home run to Melky Cabrera, a double to Alex Gordon, hit Billy Butler, and a two-run double to Kila Ka’aihue before he was finally pulled. Anyone can get roughed up in their season debut — just ask Fausto Carmona — but the poor outing continues a trend that began last year and was evident throughout spring training.

Kazmir went 9-15 with a 5.94 ERA last year, his first full season with the Angels. He struggled during spring training, posting a 6.65 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. His velocity has been down in the 80s mostly whereas when he had success with Tampa, he used to be in the 90s routinely, making it much tougher to get batters out.

I’m not advocating for a player to be cut after one start, I’m simply pointing out that this is a pattern for Kazmir and he’s turning out to be a bust with the Angels. I supported the trade when Tony Reagins acquired him in a trade in 2009, and it appears as if Kazmir has just lost his fastball. The reality is that if the Angels plan to compete for the AL West title, they won’t be able to keep running out a pitcher with a six ERA every 5th day. Then again, after having the bullpen blow three straight games to the Royals, they may have many other problems that are of concern.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

Scott Kazmir Calls Out Rays Fans

I was watching Jim Rome Is Burning Thursday and noticed a familiar guest on the program — Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir — a guy who has been on Jim’s show the last few years. Thing is, every time in the past that Kazmir’s been on, it was early in the year before the Rays were a non-factor in the standings. This time around, it’s a different story; Kazmir’s just as good as he’s always been, but the Rays are one of the best teams in baseball. That’s why when asked about the lack of attendance at home games, Kazmir did not stop himself from calling out Rays fans who should be supporting the team. Kazmir said:

It’s kind of disappointing I guess you could say, coming back home from a road trip and you see maybe 9, 10 thousand fans at the games when we’re in first place and at one time the best record in baseball. It seemed like every home stand there was some type of excuse of why we didn’t get our fans here. If we really had a good fan base that cared about baseball and was a good baseball town, I think they would come out and support us. From what we’re doing right now I think it’s pretty special and I think it would be nice to have that 10th man out there to support us when we get home.

That quote is actually a condensed version of what Kazmir actually told Rome (I didn’t have my DVR to pause and transcribe at work, so I snagged the version SportsCenter played at night). Kazmir went into more detail about the excuses fans had for not showing up. Point is, Kazmir’s right — they should have more fans showing up at their games considering how well they’re playing. If it were May or June, I could understand fans still questioning the legitimacy of the run and being hesitant to show up. But now it’s almost September and there’s no doubt that the Rays are for real. By now the fans should have awakened. At the same time, I jumped on Rockies fans for becoming bandwagoners last year when the Rox got hot. In the end, I suppose it’s much better to have bandwagon fans who at least show up late to the party than to have nobody there at all.

Thing is, if those fans need some baseball tickets, all they have to do is go to Ticket Solutions. They can easily hook up Tampa Bay Rays tickets for anyone interested in jumping on the bandwagon, which I would highly encourage.