Chat with Mark Saxon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPNLosAngeles.com's Los Angeles Angels writer Mark Saxon will stop by to chat some baseball.
Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.
Send your questions now and join Saxon Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT!
Mark Saxon (4:31 PM)
Hey everybody,Just back from Tempe. I'll be around here for a little while, then I'll be back in the desert to report from the middle part of camp.Thanks for stopping by to chat, now let's get to some questions.
Ryan (Newport Beach)
Can Joe Saunders really be a suitable number two? He may be enough to win the division but I can't see us doing well in the playoffs without another stud in Lackey
Mark Saxon (4:35 PM)
Ryan,I tend to agree with you. The Angels might have the deepest rotation in the league, but it really doesn't have the front-end power to match up with the likes of CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Cliff Lee, etc. Then again, the Angels are less susceptible to injuries than those teams because they have five capable guys.
Where do you think the Angels would finish in the EAST? Or the Central, for that matter? Aren't you tired of seeing them win in a mediocre West?
Mark Saxon (4:37 PM)
Probably third a lot of years, maybe second. This year, I think they'd be fighting with the Rays to finish third. In the Central, I think they'd win just about every year. The great advantage of playing in the West is there are only four teams. That's a huge edge statistically, having to beat three teams instead of four. I'm hoping all four teams are competitive this year, which would be entirely unprecedented and make for a great race.
Karen (Costa Mesa)
You hear a lot about how the Angels are a special organization. What makes them different from other MLB teams and where does this come from?
Mark Saxon (4:40 PM)
You do hear that kind of talk around baseball, you're right. I recall hearing it last year after Nick Adenhart's death. Red Sox manager Terry Francona mentioned that there had always been good people in the Angels organization.Personally, I think the common denominator is Angels communications VP Tim Mead. You won't hear anybody say a bad word about him. He's a master of crisis control and makes everyone feel like he is their best friend.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who was the Winning Pitcher when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beat the San Francisco Giants to win the 2002 World Series?
Mark Saxon (4:43 PM)
Chris,I noticed you were rather persistent in getting your question out there. Is this a trick question? I believe the correct answer is Lackey, John. Right?
Jay (coatesville pa)
do you think the new york yankees will win the world seris agian
Mark Saxon (4:45 PM)
Jay,I'll go with "No." Not because I have any special insights into their team, but because I've got 29 other teams on my side. I do like their team's chances better than Boston's, though. You've still got to score in the American League.
Tess (Sierra Madre)
Howie Kendrick has been on the brink of a breakout several times now. What's your feeling on what he's capable of this year?
Mark Saxon (4:48 PM)
Hey Tess,Nice to hear from you again. They were hoping he would break out last year, but it didn't happen until they sent him down for three weeks in the middle of the season. He was on mental meltdown and it proved to be the right move.My gut feeling is his career finally takes off this season. He's going to hit like crazy. It's just an innate talent he has.
Ryan (Newport Beach)
What is your favorite part of spring training? What makes it something you have to experience once in your life?
Mark Saxon (4:51 PM)
Ryan,Spring training is beautiful. It's the weather, the slow pace of the afternoon, the easy access to the players, the kids running around on the grassy hillsides.If you're a baseball fan, I'd recommend it.
Jeff Conn (Berlin, Ohio)
Will the new coaching staff for the Indians have what it takes to save a dying team?
Mark Saxon (4:54 PM)
Jeff, I'd be lying if I said I've given the Indians much thought lately. I do really like the Russell Branyan signing. Man, imagine how awful the Mariners lineup would have been last year without that guy. He was the one guy who stood out and scared opposing pitchers. Just because they play in the Central I'll say they've got a shot.
Mark Saxon (5:14 PM)
OK everybody, kind of a light load of questions, but a lively chat nonetheless. See you next week!