Angels blow early six-run lead as bullpen falters in loss to Rangers

  • The Angels’ Albert Pujols watches the flight of his three-run home run during the first inning of Monday’s game against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas. The Angels took an early six-run lead but lost 8-7 in 11 innings. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a three-run homerun against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a three-run homerun against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Texas Rangers relief pitcher Kolby Allard (39) walks back to the mound after giving up a three-run home run to Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, rear, in the first inning of baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. The shot also scored Kole Calhoun and Justin Upton. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates a three-run homerun against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates a three-run homerun against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Rangers starting pitcher Kolby Allard, a San Clemente High product, throws to the plate during the first inning of Monday’s game against the Angels in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani points back at Texas Rangers’ Jose Trevino after fouling off a pitch from starter Kolby Allard in the first inning of baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. Ohtani was awarded first base due to catcher interference. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates a run against the Texas Rangers in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Rangers starting pitcher Kolby Allard, a San Clemente High product, throws to the plate during the first inning of Monday’s game against the Angels in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Dillon Peters #52 of the Los Angeles Angels throws against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 19: Dillon Peters #52 of the Los Angeles Angels throws against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hits a triple against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani slides into third base with a triple against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 19, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

  • Fans look on as Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun makes a catch over his shoulder on a flyout by Texas Rangers’ Elvis Andrus in the fourth inning of baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, center, is congratulated in the dugout after making an over-the-shoulder catch on a Texas Rangers’ Elvis Andrus flyout to end to bottom of the fourth inning of baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Los Angeles Angels shortstop Wilfredo Tovar sprints to field a groundout by Texas Rangers’ Elvis Andrus in the sixth inning of baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Angels relief pitcher Hansel Robles tags out the Rangers’ Jose Trevino down the first base line after Trevino hit a sacrifice bunt in the ninth inning of Monday’s game in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers erased a six-run deficit and won 8-7 in 11 innings. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani breaks his bat hitting into a double play as Texas Rangers’ Jose Trevino watches in the 10th inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani walks to the dugout with part of his broken bat after hitting into a double play in the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • The Angels’ Albert Pujols steals second as the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus is unable to handle the throw to the bag in the 11th inning of Monday’s game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • The Rangers’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa (9) and Scott Heinemann celebrate after Kiner-Falefa hit a run-scoring single in the 11th inning to give them an 8-7 victory over the Angels on Monday night in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Not much irritates a manager more than when his pitchers issue walks with a big lead.

On Monday night the Angels blew an early six-run lead and lost 8-7 in 11 innings to the Texas Rangers, largely because starter Dillon Peters issued four of the team’s nine walks.

“We walked too many guys,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “Simple as that. That was the game for me. We had the chance late, but to me the crux of it was we didn’t tack on and we walked too many guys.”

The Angels stopped scoring after taking a 7-1 lead in the second inning. Peters then let the Rangers get back into the game, pulling within 7-5 in the fifth. They tied the score with two in the eighth against Cam Bedrosian, who also walked the leadoff hitter.

In the 11th, Noé Ramirez gave up the winning run in the 11th. He walked Jose Trevino with two outs, then gave up a Shin-Soo Choo single that sent Trevino to third. Isiah Kiner-Falefa then hit a high chopper to Ramirez, whose throw was wild and allowed the winning run.

It ended a night that started off so well. The loss was especially tough for the Angels because their bullpen had to work so much the day before a doubleheader.

They scored five runs in the first, thanks to an Albert Pujols three-run homer. Shohei Ohtani tripled and scored in the second, pushing the lead to 7-1.

The Machine knows a thing or three about homers in Texas. pic.twitter.com/dk27XO8L2D

— MLB (@MLB) August 20, 2019

Even after the Rangers tied it, the Angels had chances to re-take the lead. In the ninth, they loaded the bases on three walks, but Luis Rengifo popped out. In the 10th, they had the bases loaded with one out, but Ohtani lined into a double play.

In the 11th, just after Pujols stole his first base of the season because the Rangers weren’t holding him at first, Luis Rengifo hit a 108 mph lineout to right field to end the inning.

It was the continuation of a frustrating night for the Angels, who failed to score after putting up seven runs in the first two innings.

They scored all seven runs against left-hander Kolby Allard, a San Clemente High product making his fourth big league start.

Peters, who had posted a 3.38 ERA in his first nine games with the Angels, could not hold the Rangers.

Although he had a five-run lead before he threw his first pitch, he still walked four, two of whom scored. Peters needed 106 pitches – a career-high – to get 12 outs.

“He didn’t look like he had a good feel for much,” Ausmus said. “He didn’t have his best stuff or his best command.”

Peters also didn’t get much help from his defense. Second baseman Rengifo booted a ground ball that allowed a run in the first, and Mike Trout dropped a fly ball in the fifth, although it was ruled a hit.

PREPARING FOR THE HEAT

The day portion of Tuesday’s split-admission doubleheader will be played with a heat index exceeding 100 degrees, which will create challenges for the players.

“Gotta stay hydrated,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “There is talk about doing some things to keep the guys from getting overheated. Maybe not have the relievers go out to the bullpen right away. Kind of be on alert. It’s going to be 104 for the Rangers as well.”

Ausmus recalled especially hot days from his playing career, such as when players’ plastic cleats began to melt on the sizzling artificial turf. Ausmus said it was especially tough as a catcher.

“Your chest protector soaks all the way through and ends up weighing probably 2 pounds heavier than when the game started. It’s not pleasant and there’s a not pleasant smell that goes with it.”

ALSO

Right-hander Jaime Barría will be recalled to start the day game on Tuesday. The rules allow the teams to also add a 26th man for the doubleheader, so the Angels won’t necessarily need to open a spot for Barría. …

Catcher Kevan Smith, who is on the injured list because of back spasms, has taken batting practice two days in a row and is nearing a return. Smith is eligible to be activated on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Angels (LHP Andrew Heaney, 2-3, 4.76 ERA and RHP Jaime Barría, 4-6, 6.62) at Rangers (LHP Joe Palumbo, 0-1, 11.00 ERA and LHP Brock Burke, MLB debut), Tuesday, 11:05 a.m. and 5:05 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM

Nice Katch Kole 💪pic.twitter.com/b8FQ15XiXj

— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) August 20, 2019

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Leammle Theatres, Southern California’s 81-year-old arthouse chain, could be up for sale ​

The Laemmle Theatre chain, Southern California’s 81-year-old, family-run arthouse cinema exhibitor, has reportedly put all or part of its nine-venue operation up for sale.

“We’re exploring a number of different options,” was all the West L.A.-based company’s president, Greg Laemmle, felt comfortable saying about the situation, adding that he was not denying recent reports. He indicated it was impossible Monday to relate any additional information about the future of the chain, which has theaters in Claremont, Pasadena, Glendale, North Hollywood, Encino, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and West. L.A.

The circumstance arises at a time when what might be called upscale moviegoing – to films made for discerning, adult audiences at theaters that offer fancy drink and food options – is going through some changes.

The high-priced, luxury iPic chain, which operates venues locally in Pasadena and Westwood, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month and is seeking a buyer. Late last year the venerable Landmark chain was sold to the foreign and art film distributor Cohen Media Group. Though a national operation, Landmark is Laemmle’s top local competitor when it comes to showing smart films for grownups.

Those kinds of movies have not been doing too well commercially this year, which is likely a key reason why Laemmle could be seeking a buyer.

“Nobody likes to see this,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst and box-office expert at the Sherman Oaks-based media measurement firm Comscore, added of Leammle’s possible sale. “The Laemmle chain is iconic, within the world not just of the movie theater but within the world of film. Whoever may acquire this company, I hope will keep their traditions and their name alive, because it’s really important.”

But iconic might not be enough to survive in a tough market.

“Adult dramas, or films aimed at 40-plus-year-olds, it seems that it’s been harder for those films to break out,” observed Dergarabedian. “That could certainly be hurting the bottom line for any theater that is relying on not the typical blockbuster, but films that appeal to older audiences and filmgoers that read reviews.”

Dergarabedian noted that Comscore’s overall figure for 2018 independent film grosses was around $120 million, while so far 2019 is registering less than half that, around $45 million, eight-and-a-half months into the year. He also noted that overall North American box office receipts for 2019 are pacing around 6.4% behind last year. And while the summer season is running closer to last thanks to such blockbusters as “Avengers: Endgame” and “The Lion King,” there’s no Laemmle-friendly adult sleeper like last August’s “Crazy Rich Asians” on the horizon before the season ends.

With new multiplexes that have played major blockbusters on some of their screens, Laemmle Theatres seemed to have been successfully expanding this decade with its North Hollywood NoHo 7 and a state-of-the-art Glendale fiveplex that opened last year. The company also broke ground on a sevenplex in Newhall last year, which it owns through an LLC on a parcel of land given to it by the city of Santa Clarita.

“We are moving ahead with construction in Newhall, and hope to get the theater open as soon as possible,” Greg Laemmle confirmed. He also indicated that drawn-out negotiations are still underway for his company to revive the dormant Reseda Theatre in the San Fernando Valley.

Chain-founding brothers Max and Kurt Laemmle were among the scores of relatives Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle brought to the U.S. from his native Germany during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Max’s son Robert and then grandson Greg have guided the family business with their forebears’ commitment to bringing foreign, art, experimental and just plain good movies to Southern California audiences for decades since.

While such grown-up appeal big studio releases as “Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood” and “Yesterday” have done well this summer, “The Farewell” has been the best-performing non-horror, truly indie release – the kind Laemmle thrives on – of the season so far, with just under $13 million in North American boxoffice receipts. Last summer’s Mr. Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” grossed nearly $23 million.

“Every movie theater relies on the product, and if the movies aren’t bringing people in to buy concessions and you have that monthly nut to keep up with, that can be a tough go,” Dergarabedian observed.

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Oceanfront Laguna Beach house once owned by Diane Keaton returns to market at $15 million

  • A view of the kitchen. (Courtesy of Compass)

  • The dining room. (Courtesy of Compass)

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An oceanfront house once owned by Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton in North Laguna Beach is on the market again.

Perched on a lush promontory at Cliff’s Cove with coastal views, the three-story Mediterranean Spanish revival-style estate that’s been on and off the market multiple times in four years recently resurfaced on the MLS for $15 million – nearly 17% less than the original $17.995 million asking price in June 2015.

With 4,158 square feet of living space, the 1928 house at 989 Cliff Drive boasts a living room that opens onto the formal dining room, gourmet kitchen, study, sunroom and three bedroom suites with private baths in addition to the master suite.

The master retreat includes a balcony, dressing area and spa bathroom.

Stained glass, chandeliers, tiled staircase risers are featured throughout the house.

A two-car garage is accessed by a long stone driveway, with parking for another six cars.

Elsewhere on the .28-acre lot, an interior courtyard offers privacy amid hedge walls, lush gardens and a terrace outfitted with a fireplace, barbecue grill and pizza oven. A public staircase next to the home leads to the sand.

Hanz Radlein of Compass is the listing agent.

Property records show Keaton owned the home between 2004 and 2006. Several years after she sold it, the house went into foreclosure. It sold as a bank-owned home in 2012 for $8.1 million.

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34-year-old man charged with murder of 61-year-old mother in Laguna Beach

Matthew Bryson McDonald, 34, has been booked and charged with the murder of his 61-year-old mother, Megan Estes Hampton, inside her Laguna Beach mobile home, police said Monday, Aug. 19.

The murder, the first in the city since 2007, was reported to the Laguna Beach Police Department at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, after neighbors found Hampton dead inside her home in the Laguna Terrace Mobile Park community, at 30802 Coast Highway across the street from the Montage Resort.

McDonald remains in custody, said Laguna Beach police Chief Laura Farinella. He is being held on $1 million bail.

“Neighbors heard screaming and yelling and went in to check on the woman and found her deceased,” Farinella said. “They gave us a description of a man that may have been family who had been staying with her.”

Neighbors also described the vehicle McDonald may have been driving, and around noon Orange County Sheriff’s deputies pulled him over in San Clemente and took him into custody.

Farinella said Hampton was well-known by her neighbors and appears to have lived in the mobile home community for about four years. McDonald lived in the mobile home with his mother, she said.

Though neighbors had heard arguing before, Farinella said, Laguna Beach police never previously had been called to the residence.

“It’s very sad,” Farinella said. “Nothing before ever indicated any violence.”

Hampton is survived by several siblings.

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74% of economists see US recession by end of 2021, survey says

By March Gordon, The Associated Press

A strong majority, 74%, of U.S. business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the U.S. by the end of 2021.

The economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report released Monday, mostly didn’t share Trump’s optimistic outlook for the economy, though they generally saw a recession coming later than they did in a survey taken in February. Thirty-four percent of the economists surveyed said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. That’s up from 25% in the February survey.


Related: Wall Street’s ‘inversion’ curve translates to ‘Be worried, California’


An additional 38% of those polled predicted that recession will occur next year, down slightly from 42% in February. Another 2% of those polled expect a recession to begin this year.

In February, 77% of the economists expected a recession either this year, next year or in 2021.

A strong economy is key to the Republican president’s 2020 re-election prospects. Consumer confidence has dropped 6.4% since July.

Trump has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets. He said Sunday, “I don’t think we’re having a recession. We’re doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they’re loaded up with money.”

Still, Trump on Monday called on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates by at least a full percentage point “over a fairly short period of time,” saying that would make the U.S. economy even better and would quickly boost the flagging global economy.

In two tweets, Trump kept up his pressure on the politically independent Fed and its chairman Jerome Powell, whom he chose to lead the Fed, asserting the U.S. economy was strong “despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed.”

While the economists in the NABE survey generally saw recession coming later than they had in February, the latest survey was taken between July 14 and Aug. 1 — before the financial markets last week signaled the possibility of a U.S. recession, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average into its biggest one-day drop of the year. Stock markets around the world shuddered as the White House announced 10% tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, the Chinese currency dipped below the seven-yuan-to-$1 level for the first time in 11 years and the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

The 226 economists responding work mainly for corporations and trade associations.

The economists have previously expressed concern that Trump’s tariffs and higher budget deficits could eventually dampen the economy.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on goods from many key U.S. trading partners, from China and Europe to Mexico and Canada. Officials maintain that the tariffs, which are taxes on imports, will help the administration gain more favorable terms of trade. But U.S. trading partners have simply retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Trade between the U.S. and China, the two biggest global economies, has plunged. Trump decided last Wednesday to postpone until Dec. 15 tariffs on about 60% of an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, granting a reprieve from a planned move that would have extended duties to nearly everything the U.S. buys from China.

The economists surveyed by the NABE were skeptical about prospects for success of the latest round of U.S.-China trade negotiations. Only 5% predicted that a comprehensive trade deal would result, 64% suggested a superficial agreement was possible and nearly 25% expected nothing to be agreed upon by the two countries.

As a whole, the business economists’ recent responses have represented a rebuke of the Trump administration’s overall approach to the economy.

Still, for now, most economic signs appear solid. Employers are adding jobs at a steady pace, the unemployment rate remains near a 50-year low and consumers are optimistic. U.S. retail sales figures out last Thursday showed that they jumped in July by the most in four months.

The survey showed a steep decline in the percentage of economists who found the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade “too stimulative” and likely to produce higher budget deficits that should be reduced, to 51% currently from 71% in August 2018.

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Homicide reported on campus at Cal State Fullerton, suspect at large

Police were investigating the homicide of a man on campus at Cal State Fullerton Monday morning and also searching for the suspect who was at large.

The incident was reported at about 8:30 a.m. as an assault with a deadly weapon, according to campus police.

CSUF MAIN CAMPUS: Assault deadly weapon. 8:30 AM 8/19/19. So. of College Park. Suspect male, black hair, pants & shirt. SEE EMAIL FOR DETAILS. @csuf

— CSU Fullerton PD (@csufpd) August 19, 2019

Details about how the man was killed were not immediately available. It was also unknown if the victim or suspect were students or somehow members of the campus community.

At the scene of a homicide at @csuf. Detectives are investigating a dark gray car parked, possibly that of victim, in front of a campus building on Langsdorf Drive. pic.twitter.com/EB3R66GUNo

— Alma Fausto (@AlmaFausto1) August 19, 2019

The city Police Department was handling the investigation in the 600 block of Langsdorf Drive.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

 

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Status Update: 160 employees at 3M in Irvine, former Ceradyne unit, shifting to new owners

3M has sold a specialty ballistics division for $91 million to England-based Avon Rubber, affecting some 160 employees in Irvine, according to the Minnesota-based company.

Longtime Register readers might recall that Orange County-based Ceradyne, a maker of ballistics plating and military armor, was sold to 3M in 2012 for $860 million. The company, founded by Joel Moskowitz in 1967, made specialized ceramics for industrial and military use and had offices in Costa Mesa and Irvine. Moskowitz died in 2015.

A statement from 3M said the deal to sell the division was specific to 3M’s advanced ballistic-protection business only.

“It excludes Ceradyne’s businesses related to technical ceramics, specialty additives, thermal and fused silica, and stable isotopes,” a 3M representative told the Register this week.

The company said the deal, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in late 2019 or early 2020. “Some 280 3M employees, who primarily support the business, are expected to join Avon Rubber as a result of the sale,” the statement reads.

Avon Rubber designs specialized defense products, according to Bloomberg. The company also researches, develops and manufactures respiratory protection systems, milking point solutions, liners, and tubing for dairy processing.

Expanded education

Disney Aspire, a fully paid education program for more than 90,000 hourly employees and cast members at The Walt Disney Co., has added the University of Arizona to its network of schools.

Aspire offers nearly 300 degrees and programs at 11 educational institutions nationwide. Disney has committed $150 million to fund Aspire over its first five years and will add up to $25 million more each year after that, according to a statement.

Some barriers to enrollment have been removed, the company said recently, including:

–Covering 100% of costs associated with tuition and required books and fees

–Offering the choice of multiple programs, classes and schedule options

–Providing individual coaching and support from application through graduation

–Employees and cast members are not required to stay at Disney after the completion of their degree or certificate

To learn more about Disney Aspire, go to aspire.disney.com.

Coming Up

The 13th annual Visionary Women Caregivers Luncheon, Alzheimer’s Orange County will recognize caregivers, both paid and unpaid, who live in the county and have shown extraordinary compassion in caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia.

The guest speaker is advocate and philanthropist actress Eva LaRue of “All My Children” and “CSI: Miami” TV shows.

The luncheon will be held Thursday, Sept. 12, at Rancho Las Lomas at 19191 Lawrence Canyon in Silverado. Tables start at $2,500; VIP seats $250; individual seats $155.

Go to alzoc.org/vwluncheon for more information.

Alzheimer’s Orange County is at 2515 McCabe, Suite 200, Irvine, 92614.

On the move

Seth R. Teigen has been named chief executive of Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach, Providence St. Joseph Health announced. With more than 23 years of experience, Teigen was selected through a national search and most recently was president at Ascension Healthcare’s St. Francis and Franklin hospitals in Wisconsin.

Lanän Clark has been named market executive for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s operations in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. A 22-year veteran of the banking industry, Clark will oversee a staff of115 financial advisers in the three counties. Merrill Lynch has offices in Brea, Riverside, Temecula, Ontario and Indian Wells.

Dario Gomez is the new director of sales and marketing for The Westin South Coast Plaza. He will be responsible for the strategy and implementation of all sales and marketing initiatives for the hotel while overseeing the team of sales professionals. Gomez brings more than 30 years of experience with Marriott International to his new post.

Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point has two new additions to their team; executive chef, Jason Adams, and director of incentive and Midwest sales, Kimberly Leary. Adams will oversee the resort’s culinary program including its seven dining outlets, banquets and catering. Leary brings 18 years of experience and will be responsible for leading and developing key growth incentive and sales strategies.

On board

Raad Ghantous of San Clemente has joined the board of directors of Costa Mesa-based nonprofit Project Independence, which serves people with developmental disabilities in Orange County. Ghantous is principal at Raad Ghantous & Associates and specializes in working with 5-star hospitality, spas, wellness centers, restaurants, retail and general commercial properties, plus high-end residential and yacht design.

Martha Notaras has joined the board of directors at Irvine-based ATTOM Data Solutions, a property data provider. ATTOM was recently acquired by Lovell Minnick Partners, a private equity firm specializing in financial and related business services companies. Notaras is a partner at venture capital fund, XL Innovate.

Fundraising milestone

Hoag Hospital Foundation has surpassed its $627 million fundraising goal 18 months ahead of its Dec. 31, 2020. The foundation credited more than 22,000 donors who made 83,000-plus Hoag Promise Campaign gifts. Fundraising will continue until its end date in a bid to meet or exceed its clinical fundraising priorities.

For more information, go to hoagpromise.org or contact Hoag Hospital Foundation at 949-764-7219.

Boeing award

Irvine-based Infinite Electronics, a global supplier of electronic components through a family of brands, has received a 2018 Boeing Performance Excellence Award. Boeing issues the award annually to recognize suppliers who have achieved superior performance.

New ventures

Tyson & Mendes has expanded to Orange County with a new office in Irvine that will be led by new managing partner Richard Somes. Somes has litigation experience representing individuals and businesses in state and federal courts throughout California. He joined Tyson & Mendes after 12 years working at Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson, Haluck LLP in Irvine.

Status Update is compiled by Inland Empire business reporter Jack Katzanek and edited by Business Editor Samantha Gowen. Submit items to jkatzanek@scng.com or sgowen@scng.com. High-resolution images also can be submitted. Allow at least one week for publication. Items are edited for length and clarity.

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Review: Why you should get a Disneyland Flex annual pass right now

Disneyland’s Flex pass seemed too good to be true, but somehow the new annual passport has surpassed even my high expectations.

If you’re in the market for a Disneyland annual passport, you should buy the Flex pass — right now.

Sign up for our Park Life newsletter and find out what’s new and interesting every week at Southern California’s theme parks. Subscribe here.

The Flex pass can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your annual pass and get you into Disneyland and Disney California Adventure nearly every day of the year.

SEE ALSO: Is it worth getting Disneyland’s new $599 Flex annual pass?

Disneyland issued me a complimentary Flex pass in May to test out during the initial launch of the new $599 annual passport. So far, I’m in love. The love affair is still in its passionate beginnings stage, so there is still plenty of time for disillusionment. But at the moment, I’m ready to get down on one knee and make Flex my forever annual pass.

Believe me, it’s taken a long time to make the leap again. Because I’ve been burned before by the Disneyland annual pass. I was in a long-term relationship with the Disneyland annual pass that lasted 17 years until I couldn’t take the constant price increases anymore. It was never a fair relationship. Disneyland kept taking away perks like parking and adding more block-out dates while charging more for less.

I finally broke it off with the Disneyland annual pass in 2017 when I realized my four to five visits per year were costing me nearly as much as the daily general admission ticket price.

I’ve met a lot of other spurned lovers over the years that have broken up with their Disneyland annual passes and they all tell a very similar story. It just became too expensive. There just wasn’t enough return on investment to justify the continually increasing costs. They miss the good times, but not the big bills.

But enough about the bad ol’ days. Let’s talk about young love.

First, the basics. The new annual pass comes with a unique twist: Flex pass holders need to make advance reservations to get into Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on busy days. In theory, the Flex pass offers visitors access to Disneyland and California Adventure every day of the year but the two weeks around Christmas. In practice, Flex pass holders could face more than 200 block-out days a year when reservations are required.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know about the Disneyland Flex annual pass

When I first got the Flex pass I was really worried that I was going to get blocked from the park all the time. But that has never happened. Except for the Fourth of July, Disneyland has never blocked the Flex pass on a “requires reservation” day. Which means, so far, the $599 Flex pass has worked just like the $1,149 Signature pass at nearly half the cost.

The first few weeks I had the Flex pass I religiously booked the maximum two dates at a time out of fear that the dates I wanted to go to the park would be blocked out at the last minute. I would show my Flex pass at the Disneyland front gate and immediately make another reservation a few feet inside the park. It took me about a month to realize my fears were completely unfounded. The last few times I’ve been to Disneyland I booked my reservation as we headed out the door from home to the park. Once I booked a reservation while I was sitting in Downtown Disney because I figured, “Why not, I’m here.” Currently I have no reservation dates booked on my Flex pass. Why worry? I can go any day I want. Now that’s a trusting relationship.

That’s not to say everything is perfect with the Flex pass. Its Achilles heel is the lack of parking tied to the pass. That means the more you use the Flex pass, the more it costs. Disneyland’s $25 daily parking fee serves as a de facto users fee built into the Flex pass. And that’s not lost on Disney’s number crunchers. It’s no accident the Flex pass launched just as the $100 million Pixar Pals parking structure was opening. Disney’s got to pay for that garage somehow.

Another minor issue I have with the Flex pass is the inability to cancel your reservation when you book on the day of your visit. Now that I’m doing that regularly, it’s become more of a problem. That means you can’t cancel your reservation if you book at the last minute.

Disney allows Flex pass holders to make last minute cancellations up until 11:59 p.m. the night before your visit. After three no shows, Flex pass holders will find their existing reservations canceled and a hold put on new reservations.

Once I went to the park for an hour just so I wouldn’t end up in the Disney doghouse. On the spur of the moment, I made a last minute Flex pass reservation and then made other plans for the evening. That’s not the world’s biggest problem, but it would be nice if Disney gave same-day bookers an hour-long grace period to bow out.

One unexpected consequence of the Flex pass is that I’m ending up at Disneyland on really busy days. That never used to happen when I had the Deluxe annual pass. I loved the Deluxe pass because it was typically blocked out on the busiest days of the year when locals don’t need to be anywhere near the parks. I miss that unintended backstop.

I was also worried that the unfettered access of the Flex pass would come to an abrupt end when all the annual pass holders who were blocked out all summer started returning. But so far, those fears also appear unfounded. Flex pass reservations are still available on the dates when Deluxe passholders can return to Disneyland on Aug. 19 and Southern California passholders can return to the park on Aug. 26. Flex pass reservations are not required when SoCal Select passholders can return to Disneyland on Sept. 3.

Breaking up with your existing annual pass could be hard to do. As you might expect, Disneyland doesn’t want annual pass holders with the $1,149 Signature or $799 Deluxe passes dialing them down to the cheaper $599 Flex. On the other hand, the Mouse is happy to upgrade pass holders with the lower-priced Southern California and Southern California Select passes to the Flex.

Of course, not everybody needs a Disneyland annual pass. I once heard a Walt Disney Imagineer refer to Disneyland as Southern California’s country club. It’s a luxurious perk of living so close to the Happiest Place on Earth.

SEE ALSO: Is Disneyland pricing itself out of fans’ reach?

I understand $600 is a lot of money and there are many other things that are more necessary in life than getting into Disneyland. I also agree that Disneyland is expensive and annual pass prices have skyrocketed in recent years. If you don’t want to go to Disneyland or you think it’s too expensive, that’s your prerogative. Feel free to vent in the comments section below.

But for those in the market for a more affordable way to get into Disneyland, the Flex annual pass is an amazing bargain. My advice: Get a Flex pass right now before everybody has one and Disneyland has to actually start using the “reservation unavailable” option.

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Rams lose linebacker Micah Kiser to pectoral injury

Second-year Rams linebacker Micah Kiser, projected as a likely starter this season, will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a pectoral injury and will be out indefinitely, the team announced Sunday night.

Kiser, a fifth-round pick of the Rams in the 2018 NFL Draft, was injured in the Rams’ 14-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in an exhibition game Saturday in Honolulu. He underwent an MRI Sunday, and the results apparently revealed the need for surgery.

With Kiser out, four-year veteran Bryce Hager is likely to move into Kiser’s spot as a starting inside linebacker next to Cory Littleton in the Rams’ 3-4 alignment. Hager, a seventh-round draft choice of the St. Louis Rams in 2015, has contributed mostly on special teams during his first four seasons.

Before learning the extent of Kiser’s injury Sunday, Rams coach Sean McVay was asked about Hager’s ability to play a bigger role in the event Kiser were to miss extended time and said Hager is “capable of being a starting player in this league.”

“In practice, you certainly feel his ability to play at a high level, understand some of the intricacies of that inside linebacker spot and what that entails from a communication standpoint from the adjustments that are necessary based on what offenses present,” McVay added. “He’s a guy that we do have a lot of confidence in and that’s exactly why we re-signed him in free agency this year.”

 

Micah Kiser will undergo surgery on Tuesday + will be out indefinitely.

— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 19, 2019

 

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Dana White gives UFC 241 an ‘A+’ grade at Honda Center

Last week when running down the seven previous UFC shows in Anaheim, UFC President Dana White marveled at the last one at the Honda Center.

UFC 214, with three championship fights and headlined by the light heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, not only was it the UFC’s best in Anaheim in terms of attendance (16,610), but it was its most lucrative ($2,448,870 gate).

“You know what the moral of the story is?” White said last week. “We bring our ‘A’ game when we come to Southern California.”

Tough to do better than that, but in White’s eyes, UFC 241 did, as the final three fights on the card had the arena and fight fans buzzing.

Chiseled middleweights Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero engaged in the Fight of the Night, a three-round slugfest that ended with Costa getting the unanimous decision much to the crowd’s dismay.

In the co-main event, welterweight Nate Diaz showed ring rust is a myth as he dazzled the crowd with a dominant unanimous decision over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

And in the main event, nearly 14 months after suffering a first-round knockout to lose his heavyweight title, Stipe Miocic reversed the momentum in the fourth round and got revenge on Cormier via TKO to regain the most coveted belt in MMA.

In an exclusive postfight interview, White minced no words: “Tonight was our ‘A+’ game.”

The numbers don’t lie. The sold-out crowd of 17,304 set a Honda Center MMA record. The bigger number was the $3,237,032 gate, which set a California record by eclipsing UFC 60’s $2,900,090 when 14,802 filed into Staples Center to see welterweight champion Matt Hughes’ first-round TKO of UFC legend Royce Gracie on May 27, 2006.

White attributed the success to the company’s deal with ESPN. Last year, ESPN and the UFC reached a five-year, $1.5 billion deal to stream UFC fights on ESPN+ and air fights on its cable channels. In March, they struck a seven-year agreement for the rights to sell and stream pay-per-view bouts exclusively on the ESPN+ streaming service.

“This year, we’re going to break the gate record for the year. Almost every event we’ve been doing is selling out, and not just selling out, but crushing our budgets,” he said. “International pay-per-view is up. The Fight Pass went up, even though were on ESPN+, ratings are through the roof. Every part of our business is through the roof right now, so the ESPN deal has been phenomenal for us.”

All Diaz, all day

No fighter received more cheers all week than Diaz, and Saturday was no different.

After a three-year layoff, Stockton’s own ripped through Pettis like he had never left and had the crowd on its feet and chanting his name.

According to Diaz, it’s not that he didn’t want to fight during his time away. It was more a case of the UFC not offering compelling matchups and no one else calling his name.

“ … They’re scared or something,” Diaz said. “But like I said, I don’t want to sound all full of myself and riding around on a high horse and talking (crap), but I’ve got way too much money to be fighting someone who is not interesting.”

One name Diaz did throw out is Jorge Masvidal, who is quickly becoming a fan favorite for his violent style and “take no prisoners” approach. Masvidal was in attendance Saturday and smiled widely at the suggestion as the fans roared their approval.

Count White as a fan of it too. “I didn’t see that coming. I love that fight. I don’t think anybody would not want to see that fight.”

Miocic reigns again

Miocic joins Cain Velasquez, Randy Couture and Tim Sylvia as the UFC’s only two-time heavyweight champions.

He spent the past 13-plus months spending time with his newborn daughter and continuing to work as a Cleveland firefighter – two inspirations for coming back to reclaim his title.

“I wanted to show my daughter that times get tough and you have to dust yourself off and get back up,” Miocic said. “A bunch of guys at the station, when I lost, they cried. That really bothered me.”

This time, it was Cormier who was emotional, struggling in the Octagon to address whether he might hang up the gloves at 40. “I’m going to go back and talk to [wife] Selina and my coaches and we’ll figure out what’s next.”

Cormier said he should have focused more on wrestling Miocic, which he did in the opening round, at one point scooping up Miocic, holding him aloft for several seconds before slamming him and scoring points via top control.

“That was the strategy. That’s probably the biggest letdown is how I let my coaches down,” Cormier said. “They were begging me to wrestle. That’s probably the most disappointing thing is that I didn’t do what I was trained to do. I feel like I let my coaches down.”

White credited Miocic digging left hooks to Cormier’s body in the fourth round – “Whoever came up with the game plan to start going to the body … brilliant … that was the move” – for changing the fight in his favor.

Cormier has no reason to be upset, White said, as the former light heavyweight champion was winning the fight – 30-27 on one card, 29-28 on the other two – and is still considered one of the sport’s greatest fighters.

In fact, Cormier (181) and Miocic (123) combined for a UFC heavyweight-record 304 significant strikes landed.

“When you see two really good guys fighting each other, it’s always like, it’s tough to see anybody lose,” White said.

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