Yankees To Motivate Angels, Hunter Wants Ice Cream.  Halolinks

Angels set for painful visit to New York - LA Daily News
In a cruel twist of scheduling, the Angels will play the New York Yankees in their home opener Tuesday, which means they will be present for all the pomp and circumstance that goes with the occasion. Worst of all, the Angels will watch the Yankees receive their championship rings from their 2009 title. The Yankees defeated the Angels 4-2 in last fall's American League Championship Series. "You're going to watch it with interest," manager Mike Scioscia said.  "I don't think it will be tough to watch; anything can be used as motivation," Hunter said. "Those guys, they beat us. We got beat by the best team. All you can do is congratulate them, but I really want one of those. I want that popsicle."

"I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passing by", Mike Scioscia in his David Lee Roth-spandex, prancing about the clubhouse.  Picture it.

Yanks' home opener to be one for the ages - MLB.com
The Yankees are set to receive their World Series rings before today's 1:05 p.m. ET home opener against the Angels, taking a ceremonial handoff from two men who have been to the top of the mountain many times themselves: Hall of Famers and franchise icons Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra. "They know all about rings, that's for sure," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I think it's great. Any time we get to see the guys who have meant so much to the history of this club, it's awesome. I pinch myself every time Yogi is sitting in my office.  And then I have to tell the crazy old coot to get the hell out of my chair."

Fixed Skeletor's quote.  I hate it when they don't print the entire quote.

Kendrick a Bronx bummer - LA Daily News
Hideki Matsui will make his return to New York this week, but for the Yankees, it is another Angels player who will have them seeing red. Howie Kendrick feasts on Yankees pitching, and when he takes his hacks at Yankee Stadium over the next three days he will do so as an even more mature player. His .426 batting average against the Yankees is his best against any American League team. He has a .409 batting average at old Yankee Stadium and a .357 mark in four games at the new park, good for an overall batting average in the Bronx of .359. The biggest sign of respect the Yankees have shown Kendrick are the 12 walks they have given him in 29 games. His next highest total of walks against any team is nine against the Oakland Athletics, and those came in 51 games.

I often wonder about these types of stats.  Does Kendrick really hit better against the Yankees than other clubs, or is this just a statistical fluke?  Does it predict future performance meaning he'll continue to do well, or is he due to "regress to the mean"? 

Hudson hints at racism for blacks in free agency -  Yahoo! Sports
As Major League Baseball prepares for its annual Jackie Robinson Day on Thursday, one prominent African-American player questioned teams’ commitment to employing black players past their prime years. "You see guys like Jermaine Dye without a job," Minnesota Twins second baseman Orlando Hudson said Monday. "Guy with [27 home runs and 81 RBIs] and can’t get a job. Pretty much sums it up right there, no? You’ve got some guys who miss a year who can come back and get $5, $6 million, and a guy like Jermaine Dye can’t get a job. A guy like Gary Sheffield, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, can’t get a job. … "We both know what it is. You’ll get it right. You’ll figure it out. I’m not gonna say it because then I’ll be in [trouble]."

Seriously?  The reason Dye doesn't have a job is because he's black and it has nothing to do with his .171 average after the all star break last season?  Or his below average defense?  Or because he won't play for less than a few million dollars?  I'm assuming Hudson is referring to Jim Edmonds when he talks about players who miss an entire year and then come back and get $5 million.  However, Edmonds signed with the Brewers for $850,000 (with incentives that can raise the total to $2.6M), would Dye sign for that much?  Apparently not.  It's rumored he turned down $4M to play in Washington.  Hudson then goes on to sound even more insane when he says Gary Sheffield is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.  He didn't mention which hall of fame that was though.

PAINTER: Angels' Hunter is as good as his word - LA Daily News
It's been one month since Torii Hunter had to call his mom, Shirley, to talk about the firestorm he found himself in during spring training. Hunter was quoted in USA Today for using the word "impostor" in describing Latin players but said his comments didn't accurately reflect how he feels. "She said, `You know who you are. And you know what kind of person you are. Nobody knows you better than yourself,"' Hunter recalled. "She was right."

I think most fans have already forgotten about this.  And rightfully so.

Target Field a gem Minnesota fans can treasure for generations -  CBSSports.com

Years from now, when they start talking about knocking down Target Field to build another Mall of America or whatever, here's a prediction: This joint won't go as easily as old Metropolitan Stadium did. Not after the $545 million price tag (cost even more than Joe Mauer!), great sightlines to both the field and downtown Minneapolis and the sensational touch high atop center field featuring a giant old-school Twins logo in which twins Minny and Paul, standing on opposite banks of the Mississippi River, shake hands and light up following Minnesota home runs. Here's video of the Twins' new digs...Inside the Twins new outdoor ballpark - Yahoo! Sports

Angels' Scioscia opens up for fans  - The Orange County Register
Dessert came when Scioscia talked about Anne, his wife of 25 years, and how they met after a Dodger game, a batch of chocolate chip cookies in her hands. "I think she knew I was never really skinny," joked Scioscia. "I was skinnier back then obviously and I think she figured out this guy liked cookies." He proposed to her after they made a trip through an In-N-Out Burger drive through. He said, "That's the place. You could see that I try to keep my svelte figure in shape so I don't try to go there too often." Scioscia's order: a Double-Double with grilled onions, light on the sauce. "And if you go light on the sauce, you can have that second cheeseburger," he said. "That's what I figured out."

After finishing his double-double, Scioscia was rumored to have gone "first-to-third".

Scioscia and Gardenhire . . . so far - The Hardball Times
I'll start with Scioscia, as he is the senior of the two men. Perhaps more importantly, almost all his score comes from the two most important portions of the Birnbaum Database, the algorithms that focus on getting players to perform their best. He scores plus-352 in those categories, which amazingly is already the 14th best career mark in history. Looking just at the coaching components for a second, his score (as noted already) is plus-352 in his first eight years. That's the 32nd best eight-year stretch in history. Only 11 men have ever topped it: Billy Southworth, Joe McCarthy, Earl Weaver, Ned Hanlon, Walter Alston, Sparky Anderson, Gene Mauch, Casey Stengel, Jimy Williams (!), John McGraw, and Bobby Cox. That's pretty impressive company. Nine are or will be in the Hall of Fame.

Is Newspaper Baseball Coverage Dead? - FanGraphs Baseball
Major national sports media outlets like ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and FoxSports have embraced the online writers. You can find them all over their Web pages. Newspapers need to realize that passionate and informed "bloggers" are not going away. You cannot beat us, and we cannot beat you. The best scenario for everyone involved (especially the readers) is to join together. Otherwise, there will be no winners. Only losers.

I disagree.  Online reporting has already beaten traditional newspaper coverage.  The war is over, it's just that the newspapers haven't realized it yet.

Does anyone besides Joe West care if teams play long games? - Joe Posnanski - SI.com
First, the average length of all divisional games in the American League was 2:56. So that's a good starting point: You can expect roughly a three-hour game when you have two teams from the same division playing. Only... that's not exactly true.
Look at the average game time, by division:
American League East: 3:06
American League Central: 2:53
American League West: 2:46

I have a theory as to why the East division games last 20 minutes longer.  It's because they're on television more often.  How many times have we already seen Yankee and Red Sox televised rather than any other teams?

Athletics spoil Mariners' home opener with two-hit shutout - USATODAY.com
Seattle has scored just 21 runs while stumbling to a 2-6 start, an especially difficult beginning since it entered the year with playoff aspirations following a splashy offseason. They already look discouraged, and manager Don Wakamatsu scheduled a team meeting for Tuesday before batting practice. "You look out there during the course of the ballgame and you see a lot of guys right now with their heads down a little bit," Wakamatsu said. "It's something we're going to talk about." This is the Mariners' worst start since beginning 1-7 in 2004.

They have their heads down a little bit?  Maybe they're embarrassed Milton Bradley's out there flipping off the fans.

Rays 5, Orioles 1 - nbcsports.msnbc.com
The game drew 9,129 fans, the smallest crowd in the 19-year history of Camden Yards.

Ironically...

April 13 - BR Bullpen
1914 - The Baltimore Terrapins host the very first game in Federal League history, defeating the Buffalo Buffeds, 3 - 2, behind the strong pitching of Jack Quinn. A crowd estimated at 27,000 stands 15 rows deep in the outfield to witness the return of big league baseball to Baltimore.

R.I.P.
2009 - Mark Fidrych, pitcher (b. 1954)

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