Angels Hope For Wood, Staff Is Solid: Halolinks

Los Angeles Angels' starting rotation as deep as it gets - Jon Heyman - SI.com
The Red Sox, Yankees and White Sox rotations probably have stronger cases to be cited as the best overall starting staffs based on their top-heavy strengths. But it's hard to make a case any team has a rotation as solid as the Angels from top to bottom "One through five, we're as dependable as any team I've seen in a long time,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And that's important when you get into the grind of the season. Some teams have a good one-two look and some even have a good one-two-three look. But they can't get past that.''

Finally.  Someone gets it.  The Angels have five starters who could easily win 15 games each.  No other team can make that claim.  Well, they can make the claim, but it won't be true.

Brandon Wood has inside track on third base job - latimes.com
"He's a guy we would like to take the position," Scioscia said when asked whether Wood was a lock to be his starting third baseman. "He has to show he's ready, but right now, we're looking for him to get the first opportunity there, with Izzy helping out with the versatility he brings to play second, third and shortstop."

Finally.  Someone gets it. 

The ax begins to fall - ESPN Los Angeles
The Angels cut 17 young players from big-league camp, leaving 49 left for the final 25 spots. Here are the victims, who must give up a good chunk of meal money and carry their gear over to the minor-league complex.

Nothing surprising with any of these guys.

MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

Torii Hunter Owed Apology Over Outrage -- MLB FanHouse
Consider this quote: "American blacks are being phased out and replaced by Latin-American players in some cases. I don't mean this in a negative way, but the Latin-American players make eight and 10 times less money than many American blacks. They're cheaper to sign." That wasn't more of what Hunter told USA Today. That was what former Cincinnati Reds star George Foster told me in 1982. It was for a week-long series I did for the San Francisco Examiner on the decline of African-Americans in the game from 24 percent during the early 1970s to 18 percent back then. Now it's eight percent.

Include me in the owe Torii an apology category.  "I'm sorry Torii.''

In the beginning, a look at the end game for Angels and Dodgers - latimes.com
They played each other Monday just for fun and exercise in front of a sellout crowd at Diablo Stadium, blue prevailing over red, but which team has the best chance to be the last standing in October? Take it position by position, and it's not only close, but how do you answer these questions?

The position-by-position breakdown between the two teams is interesting, but I think the biggest difference is ownership.  And that translates into on-field success.

GM's Corner - A Lunch with Benefits video series - Fox Sports on MSN
Jim Bowden, former GM of the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals lets us into the backrooms of the Major League Baseball teams.

A couple interesting videos about how trades are made.

MLB partners with Victoria's Secret to take swing at female fans - USATODAY.com
The VS PINK brand caters to college-age women with bras, lingerie and sleepwear. The baseball-themed line of crystallized hats, jerseys, T-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, tanks, shorts and fleeces. The youthful gear will feature sayings such as "I Only Kiss Angels Fans"

This just made shopping for wives/girlfriends a lot easier.

Some news about the other A.L. West teams:

Mariners' Lee tossed for throwing at Diamondbacks' Snyder -  CBSSports.com
The blowup came with two outs in the third inning of Arizona's 13-5 victory on Monday when Lee threw one pitch inside, then another that zipped just over Snyder's head. Snyder walked toward the mound, then the dugouts and bullpens emptied, but no punches were thrown. Lee, acquired in a big offseason trade with Philadelphia, says he was just trying to throw inside when a couple of pitches got away from him. In the first inning, Snyder and Lee collided when the Mariners' left-hander was backing up a play at home plate.

How dare Snyder even think about touching Cliff Lee!  I heard Lee once clubbed a teammate over the head with a bat for just looking at his glove.  Cliff Lee is a bad-ass.  By the way, I kidding about both comments.

Hamilton exits game after plunking - MLB.com: News
Hamilton was diagnosed with a bruise on his left hand after getting hit by a pitch Monday night in a Cactus League game against the San Francisco Giants. Preliminary X-rays were negative and he will be re-evaluated Tuesday.

Thank God he wasn't hit by Lee or else he'd be dead.  Dude's a bad-ass...ask Chris Snyder.

Sheets pounded for 10 runs without getting an out - washingtonpost.com
Ben Sheets was battered for 10 runs without retiring a batter in his latest poor showing, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Oakland Athletics 13-5 Monday. Sheets signed a one-year, $10 million contract with Oakland after missing last season with elbow problems that required surgery. He gave up eight hits and a walk, and another batter reached on an error.

Hmmm.  Very interesting.

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