Pineiro and Stokes Look Good In Spring Opener: Halolinks

White Sox 4, Angels 4 - MLB - CBSSports.com
Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer to highlight a three-run third inning, and Los Angeles catcher Mike Napoli also homered as the White Sox and Angels played to a 4-4 tie Thursday before the Cactus League opener for both teams was called after nine innings.

Pitchers pitching, hitters hitting, fans fanning.  Ahhhh, baseball.

A couple links to the Angels MLB.com page:

Pineiro gets feel for pitches, new team - angelsbaseball.com
"He threw strikes, got ground balls," Scioscia said of Pineiro, who struck out two men looking during a 34-pitch effort. "It was good to see the interaction between he and Nap [catcher Mike Napoli]. Every time you play the game you learn some stuff, clean some stuff up. There were a lot of good things we saw." Scioscia also was impressed with right-handed reliever Brian Stokes, who struck out one and walked two in two scoreless innings in his Angels debut. "The ball was coming out of his hand really hot, a good sign," Scioscia said. "He's got some length, and he's a power arm. He's going to help us."

Abreu inspires Angels on, off field - angelsbaseball.com
Abreu didn't wait long to agree after the season to a two-year, $19 million offer with an option for 2012. He earned $6 million, incentives included, on a one-year deal in '09 after leaving the Yankees. "This is where I wanted to be," he said. "Why would I want to leave?" Shortstop Erick Aybar, one of Abreu's younger protégés, had perhaps the most dramatic improvement of all the Angels. Carrying a .262 career batting average and .298 on-base percentage into his fourth season, Aybar led the club with his .312 average and hiked his OBP to .353 -- a gain of 55 points. "Bobby is the best," Aybar said. "He helped me a lot last year, and I hope he helps me this year, too. I admire Bobby Abreu. He's not only a great hitter, but he's a great person.

Napoli homers as Halos tie opener - angelsbaseball.com
The Angels are back home on Friday to face the Rockies at 12:05 p.m. PT, with right-hander Sean O'Sullivan getting the call against Rockies flame-thrower Ubaldo Jimenez. Scheduled to follow O'Sullivan to the mound are lefties Trevor Reckling, closer Brian Fuentes and Andrew Taylor along with righty Tommy Mendoza.

Compare this link from the LA Times (Angels tie White Sox, 4-4, in spring training opener - latimes.com) to the Lyle Spencer link above.  I understand it's hard to be different when writing about the same story, but these two post are almost identical.  Are Lyle Spencer and Mike DiGiovanna the same person or is someone not keeping their eyes on their own quiz?

Tampa Bay's Andrew Friedman ranks as game's best general manager - Tim Marchman - SI.com
Sadly, there isn't any good, objective way to rate general managers. Take the following rankings, then, as largely subjective and based on a few simple criteria having mostly to do with player moves and setting an overall direction for the organization, which are only a part of what a general manager actually does.

15. Tony Reagins, Los Angeles Angels It's hard to get Reagins much higher than this given that he has a tenure of only two years and that he can be given only so much credit for not immediately ruining one of the most consistently successful teams in baseball. Still, he has done an awful lot right, such as signing Bobby Abreu for a pittance last year and trading for players like Mark Teixeira and Scott Kazmir. Perhaps as impressive is what he hasn't done: This winter, for instance, he declined to overpay for homegrown ace John Lackey and beloved leadoff man Chone Figgins. As fits the Angels, he isn't flashy, but he has impressed so far.

What's right about this post is the statement " there isn't any good, objective way to rate general managers".  There's so much that goes on behind the scenes that fans, and even the most informed writers, don't know about regarding what happens in the day-to-day goings on for each General Manager.  Was there anything Reagins could have done differently with the Halladay deal?  Or Cliff Lee?  Trading for one of those two pitchers probably would have moved Reagins up in the rankings, but how much impact did any of those teams GM's have in those deals?  We'll never know.

Ranking American League Offenses: Fantasy Baseball - RotoAuthority.com
The runs per game figures cranked out by these tools reflect only each team's Opening Day lineup, so perfect health is assumed. Obviously that's not realistic, so the actual runs per game figures will be lower in 2010. But if we operate under the assumption that it's all relative, we can rank the AL offenses based on these projections.

8. Angels - 5.071

Yeah, okay.  Whatever.

Brandon Wood of the Angels and other prospects whose time is now - Ben Reiter - SI.com
As this season approaches, Wood no longer has reason for restless nights. Barring the occurrence of anything unforeseen, the starting third baseman's job should in 2010 belong to Wood, and to Wood alone. A self-assured and good-natured player who turned 25 on Tuesday, it is the first time he has ever entered camp as a projected everyday regular. Said Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, "Brandon, man, he's not worried about too much. This is not his first rodeo."

My prediction:  He lasts longer than 8 seconds.

Local fans unhappy with Dodgers' exhibition games roster - CNA ENGLISH NEWS
The U.S. Major League team announced Tuesday its 33-man split squad roster that will make the March 12-14 trip. While all-star hitter Manny Ramirez is scheduled to visit, the roster includes only three starters and 17 players with Major League experience. Fans expressed their resentment on the Internet, saying that the roster is "watered-down" while some ticket buyers have demanded refunds.

The Taiwanese fans are getting a firsthand look at what it's like being Dodger fans during the McCourt era.

What Puts Fans In the Seats? - The Baseball Analysts:
One of the important questions to team management is how to put fans in the stands. Obviously winning ballgames helps, but the question is how much and in what way?

I say it's having hot ballgirls.

Babe Ruth Signed a Contract This Day to Be the Highest Paid Baseball Player -- $70,000 - Samuel H. Williamson
I suggested to the editor that the piece on Babe Ruth should say that if you compared his salary to the average person today he would be making $4 million. That this is the kind of relative status he held in New York in those days.

In other words, he'd be making a little more than Maicer Izturis.

Milton Bradley: Blame Chicago for struggles, not me - ESPN Chicago
In an interview with The New York Times, Bradley -- who was dealt in the offseason to the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Carlos Silva -- pointed to his career record to show what happened in Chicago. "Two years ago, I played, and I was good. I go to Chicago, not good. I've been good my whole career. So, obviously, it was something with Chicago, not me. " -- Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley "Two years ago, I played, and I was good," Bradley told The Times. "I go to Chicago, not good. I've been good my whole career. So, obviously, it was something with Chicago, not me."

No matter where you go, there you are.  The one constant has been baseball...I mean Milton Bradley.  Have fun with that Seattle.

Texas Rangers improved their staff by adding Rich Harden - Ben Reiter - SI.com
This is the AL West's most complete team The Rangers, after years of building and re-building, finally appear to possess no glaring weakness. They will hit. They will pitch. And they will field, as their defense -- which ranked last in Ultimate Zone Rating (-51.7) in '08 but sixth (32.5) in '09 -- should only continue to improve. "I think our biggest weakness is probably just a lack of track record, and of consistency," says Daniels. For a while last season, it appeared as if the Rangers might win the AL West for the first time since 1999 -- they led the division by 5.5 games on May 30th, and were in first as late of July 10th.

A lot of people have been talking about Seattle, and how they should be the favorites to give the Angels a run at the AL West title, but I think the Rangers should be feared more.  This is going to be a fun season if play off races are your thing.

March 5 - BR Bullpen
1952 - Norman Bel Geddes, after designing a 5,000 seat complex for the Brooklyn Dodgers in Vero Beach, Florida, states that team owner Walter O'Malley has asked for a stadium design for the team. It is to have a retractable dome, garage, automatic hotdog vending machines, and artificial turf that can be painted in different colors.

Pretty forward-thinking guy that O'Malley was.  This was what, 10-15 years prior to the Astrodome?

1966 - United Steelworkers union official Marvin Miller is named the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Under Miller's guidance, the players union will make major gains such as salary increases, improvements in pension benefits, and the advent of free agency and salary arbitration.

This is the day the baseball owners should refer to when they say "a date that will live in infamy".

Okay, I realize it has to do with the Sux, but it still is funny:

These two are also good...Yankees Suck and Office

Cap tips to ESPN, Hardball Talk, BBTF for today's links.

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