Carlos Feliciano, a blogger for “Halos Heaven,” says he has been faithful to the Angels ever since he’s been able to walk and talk.
This past week I had been scrolling through the online community of Angels fans, comments and blog posts, and I came across many talented writers — Feliciano being one of them.
I noticed that he had been writing for this community for over a decade, so I knew he must be extremely knowledgeable on baseball. I decided to look through his past work on the website.
As someone who barely knew anything about baseball before starting this blog, I was intrigued to know more about another Angels’ blogger who was obviously much more experienced than I in sports writing.
I reached out to Feliciano to get some of his insights on the upcoming season, to ask him about his experiences as a Angels blogger and to offer some advice to those who may want to become more involved in sports writing, like myself.
“Halos Heaven” is run by SB Nation and allows bloggers access to write their own articles, post comments, share links, etc. Carlos started out in 2008 by writing a piece on former second baseman Johnny Giavotella, which drew a lot of traffic and earned him an invitation to write for the blog in a more official capacity.
“Baseball is my escape from from my regular adult life,” said Feliciano, adding he always loved the game, but just never felt coordinated enough to actually play it. Instead he aimed toward the analytical side of the game, focusing on newspapers and writing. Whether he decided to write for “Halos Heaven” or not back in 2008, he knew he would be taking part in some sort of way to express his thoughts and opinions about baseball. However, he is grateful to be able to get his ideas out there on an actual online platform.
As many people are with their favorite pastimes, it’s difficult to identify any one specific stressful thing about it. Baseball blogging is a lot of fun for Feliciano. Sometimes he feels it can be difficult to create content during the dead periods in the offseason, but that just gives him the extra push to be creative.
“I like articles where I learn something while writing it, as opposed to having an idea already in mind,” he said. Early in 2016 he wrote a post predicting a strong season for Angels’ baseman C.J Cron, based on data about the player. Cron did have the best season of his career, and Feliciano felt accomplished and proud that he was able to validate his prediction and learn something along the process.
As spring training draws to a close, Feliciano said he has been pleased with the Angels thus far. He questioned the starting rotation at the beginning of the season due to the high amount of injured and recovering players on the team. However, his worries were proven wrong because many have been able to recover and be better than ever, such as Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker. Health is definitely a risky factor in sports, but Feliciano was impressed with the team’s progression throughout the season.
Feliciano doesn’t think it would be crazy to predict a 10-win improvement for the American League team this season. Last season they won 74 games, with a lot poor luck on their side. They’ve developed a solid left field, second base and starting rotation, according to Feliciano. With some good luck, the Angels could even challenge a division title. Mike Trout is definitely a key factor for the upcoming season, because the team can build around the talented outfielder.
I ended my series of questions by asking Feliciano to give me a piece of advice. After writing this blog this semester, I’ve become interested in the possibility of sports writing as a career someday.
“Just do it!” Feliciano responded. The best way is to just start a blog and get to writing because all the tools are right at your disposal, said the blogger.
Feliciano put emphasis on the idea of knowing how to write before you decide you want to. It’s important to know the grammar rules, be conscientious of over-using certain words, and pay attention to sentence structures, said Feliciano. He also made a note to be self-aware as writer because you want your audience to actually sit and read your work.
“Just find your voice and work on it,” Feliciano said.
His response resonated with me, especially because throughout this experience I have been able to find my own voice in my writing and discover an underlying interest in sports, too.
Feliciano has certainly developed his own unique voice and that is what made him stand out to me when I just happened to be scrolling through “Halos Heaven.”