Bobby Grich- Hall of Famer, Santana Ready For Season.  Halolinks

Dino Ebel doin' his part in Torii Hunter's fifth inning home run.

Twins 5, Angels 3: The Bats Wake Up - Twinkie Town
The Twins bats made it clear from the top of the first that tonight was a different ballgame. Where it seemed leadoff hitter Denard Span was down 0-2 before stepping into the batter's box Monday night, he started the game with a five pitch walk. After Orlando Hudson bunted an ugly line drive to first, Joe Mauer nailed a Joe Saunders fastball over the center field fence to put the Twins up 2-0. Singles by Morneau and Michael Cuddyer along with a Jason Kubel walk loaded the bases for Delmon Young, who drove in Morneau with a sacrifice fly to right field. 3-0 Twins. After the first, the Twins bats didn't hit the Angels too hard, going 6 for their last 27 at bats. But a high Justin Morneau home run to right field in the third and a J.J. Hardy blast to center in the fourth was all the Twins would need.

Yeah, it wasn't a good game for Saunders.  However there was this:  Hunter smacks a two-run homer in the fifth -  angelsbaseball.com

Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles Angels - April 7, 2010 - MLB.com Preview
Santana is coming off a down year in which he posted a 5.03 ERA and struggled with a sore elbow that led to decreased velocity. Santana, though, believes he has regained that velocity and it resulted in a good spring in which he posted a 4.40 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. He went 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA with 214 strikeouts in 219 innings in 2008. "I think with Ervin it has always been about maintaining his stuff," Scioscia said. "He had a setback last year with his elbow but two years he ago he maintained his stuff and you saw what he can do. He feels great this year and had a great Spring Training and is ready to go. He has a good a fastball/breaking-ball combination as anyone in our league and when he matches that with command he's very tough."

Note to Ervin:  Stuff some kleenex up your nose and f%$k it, go pitch.

KEISSER: Lederer's mission is get Blyleven in Hall - Press-Telegram
There are other players Lederer believes should be in the Hall - Ron Santo is the most obvious and he doesn't think Ted Simmons got a fair shake. But he believes Bobby Grich, the former Wilson standout, was as overlooked as anyone. It's not just a Long Beach thing, even if the family has deep sports roots here. Besides his father, brother Tom is the community services director for the city of Lakewood and his nephew Brett is the former Long Beach State standout golfer who's now on the pro tour. Grich was a one-and-done candidate in 1992 despite hitting 224 career home runs, second only to Joe Gordon in American League second basemen history when Grich retired, a career on-base percentage of .371 and four Gold Glove awards. Grich led the AL in home runs and slugging in 1981. "His defense is overlooked, no one looks at on-base percentage properly, and he stacks up well with other second basemen who made the Hall," Lederer said. "Getting behind him would be difficult because the only way in is the Veteran's Committee, which is a joke." True that. The committee, made up of existing Hall of Famers, doesn't even hold meetings and it's become the ultimate exclusive club that doesn't want any new members. Difficult yes, but as Lederer has shown on behalf of Blyleven, it's still possible to make the right call.

This is the most important link for today.  Bobby Grich should absolutely, positively, without a doubt be in the Hall of Fame.  Rich Lederer (The Baseball Analysts), if you're reading this, if there is anything Halos Heaven can do to help with your quest, please let us know.

Los Angeles Angels Team Report 4/7/10- USATODAY.com
With the departure of Chone Figgins, the Angels have turned their leadoff spot over to Erick Aybar with the hope that he'll grow into the kind of disciplined, multidimensional leadoff man Figgins was for them last year.  Aybar has the speed and already hit .312 last season (a franchise record for a shortstop). The only question was how patient Aybar would be in the new role. A free-swinger when he came up to the big leagues, Aybar only recently began to embrace the idea of plate discipline, walking more times last season (30) than he had in his first three big-league seasons combined (24).  The first two games of the season have shown some very positive signs. In his first plate appearance of the season, Aybar drew a 10-pitch walk against Twins right-hander Scott Baker. In his first time up Tuesday, he drew a seven-pitch walk. Over the two games, Aybar has been on base five times (three walks, two singles) and scored four runs.  "That's good to see," Angels right fielder Bobby Abreu said. "He didn't just do a job. He did an outstanding job."

Okay, two games, but this could be REALLY good news if Aybar can keep getting on base this consistently.

Torii Hunter is taking Brandon Wood under his wing - latimes.com
The first question to Manager Mike Scioscia in Tuesday's pregame news briefing, from a television reporter, was whether it was too early to be concerned about Wood, who remained in the lineup Tuesday night. The season, at the time, was one game old. "Yeah," Scioscia said. "We have a lot of confidence in Brandon's ability. It's going to take some time for him to get comfortable." How much time? "We'll give him five at-bats," Scioscia said. "He'll have one more [Tuesday night], and that's it."

The Sosh showing some humor.

Hunter drops some knowledge -  ESPN Los Angeles
After Wood’s rough season debut Monday night -- 0-for-4 with three strikeouts -- Hunter spent the better part of Tuesday afternoon talking to the first-year starter about the travails of transitioning to the major leagues. Reggie Willits was told he’ll re-join the team early next week in New York. The reserve outfielder will travel to Rancho Cucamonga to play Single-A games this weekend as part of a rehab assignment. His return could coincide with the Angels sending a pitcher -- possibly Matt Palmer -- to Triple-A since starter Scott Kazmir is scheduled to return around the same time.

The reason this link is here is for the second part of the post which states Willits was told he'll re-join the team next week.  What then happens to Terry Evans?

Matsui Keeps Production on Track After Move West - NYTimes.com
Matsui, who is renting a house in Huntington Beach, less than 20 miles from the stadium, was asked if he was surprised to carry journalists in his slipstream as he traveled west. "Basically I’m not surprised," he said through his interpreter, Roger Kahlon. "Even though the team changes, Matsui’s still Matsui." 

That's enough of that Hideki.  It's hard to get a read on how a quote was actually said, but we don't need anyone saying later in the season, "the douchebag's still a douchebag".

Angels prospect Chatwood to get some home cooking - PE.com
Chatwood is not only on Scioscia's radar, he also has the eye of the Angels front office, which decided to let him open the season close to home with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. He'll spend the summer eating his mother's spaghetti and will continue his professional development just 30 miles from where he grew up. "If I get to live at home again, that'd be awesome," Chatwood said. "That's probably one of the biggest adjustments, being away from home for such a long season. You don't get to see your family that often. It's tough. All the college guys have lived on their own for three years. That first year living on my own was a little different experience."

Players union might file grievance against owners -  CBSSports.com Baseball
Baseball players may file a collusion grievance charging owners with conspiring against free agents last winter. "We have concerns about the operation of the post-2009 free agent market," new union head Michael Weiner said Tuesday in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. "We have been investigating that market. Our investigation is far along but not yet complete." Agents for players, without going into specifics, have claimed they received multiple similar offers for free-agent clients and have pushed the union to contest the practice.

Probably just some pre-collective bargaining agreement posturing by the players union.

Yankees president fires back at Brewers owner -  Sporting News
In Monday's USA Today, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio bemoaned his low-budget team's struggles in signing Prince Fielder while the Yankees were spending more than twice as much on salaries. "We're struggling to sign (Fielder)," Attanasio told the paper, "and the Yankees infield is making more than our team." Yankees president Randy Levine apparently didn't take kindly to the comment. He offered a sharp response Tuesday, according to ESPNNewYork.com. "I'm sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers," Levine told the web site. "We play by all the rules and there doesn't seem to be any complaints when teams such as the Brewers receive hundreds of millions of dollars that they get from us in revenue sharing the last few years. Take some of that money that you get from us and use that to sign your players."

Don't you love it when the rich folk fight? 

Here's further proof that Halos Heaven's parent company, SBNation, is becoming more than just a site with blogs.  Mr. Reagins, anytime you're ready for that interview...

Billy Beane Visits Athletics Nation: New Season Edition 2010 Part 1 - Athletics Nation
Blez: What do you think of what the competitors in the AL West did and do you think this is the four-team race most are claiming it will be? What do you think of the other teams?
Beane: I would say it's probably the most closely bunched division. The Angels certainly lost some players from last year but I think they're coming up with a pretty good core group of players that are going to return. They also made some pretty good moves, particular with Pineiro at the end, that puts them in a position that they historically have been over the last 10 years, which is going in as an early season favorite. That being said, they did take some losses. I was happy that they lost (Chone) Figgins but I wasn't necessarily happy that he just switched divisional rivals because I think he's going to have a big impact for Seattle. I still think it's a more closely packed division than the last couple of years and last year the Angels were clearly the superior team and were able to weather the injuries early in the season to still run away with the division. That will be difficult for anyone to do this year and I think health will determine where teams finish this year more so than any other recent season.

Beer Summit with GM Jed Hoyer - Gaslamp Ball
It was a very casual and fun atmosphere. All the other people there were quite knowledgeable about the team and had some interesting questions for Jed. However, we didn't just grill him the whole time. Conversation topics ranged from football (he's a lame Pats fan), to movies (I recommended he check out Sugar), to the boorishness of David Wells.

ModernTube: Ryan Franklin forgets about Al Hrabosky -  Yahoo! Sports
The Cardinals just dumped a bunch of their season spots on YouTube — view them all here — and one of the best is Ryan Franklin(notes) modeling the facial hair of past St. Louis closers Bruce Sutter and Dennis Eckersley.

Funny video of the day.

April 7 - BR Bullpen
1970 - The Milwaukee Brewers play their first home game after their recent relocation from Seattle where they had played the 1969 season as the Pilots. The Brewers lose to the California Angels, 12 - 0, as major league baseball returns to Milwaukee, WI after a five-year absence.
1995 - Tammy Genz of La Crosse Wisconsin signs with the Gardner family.  (Today is our 15th anniversary).

Angels get snuggled:

Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 .111
Orlando Hudson, 2B 5 1 0 0 0 1 4 .125
Joe Mauer, C 4 1 1 2 0 0 1 .250
Justin Morneau, 1B 3 2 2 1 1 1 0 .500
Michael Cuddyer, RF 4 0 3 0 0 0 1 .571
Jason Kubel, DH 2 0 0 0 2 1 1 .000
Delmon Young, LF 3 0 1 1 0 1 1 .429
J.J. Hardy, SS 4 1 1 1 0 1 4 .250
Nick Punto, 3B 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 .000
Totals 32 5 9 5 5 6    
Batting
2B - Michael Cuddyer (1, Saunders)
HR - Joe Mauer (1, Saunders), Justin Morneau (1, Saunders), J.J. Hardy (1, Saunders)
SF - Delmon Young (1)
RBI - Joe Mauer 2 (2), Justin Morneau (1), Delmon Young (3), J.J. Hardy (1)
PK - Michael Cuddyer (1, Saunders)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Blackburn-Hudson-Morneau, Punto-Hudson
Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar, SS 3 2 0 0 2 1 1 .333
Bobby Abreu, RF 3 0 1 0 1 1 1 .143
Torii Hunter, CF 4 1 3 3 0 0 1 .500
Hideki Matsui, DH 3 0 0 0 1 1 4 .286
Kendry Morales, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 .250
Juan Rivera, LF 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .125
Howard Kendrick, 2B 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 .375
Brandon Wood, 3B 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .125
Jeff Mathis, C 3 0 1 0 0 1 2 .286
   a- Maicer Izturis, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 33 3 8 3 4 6    
a-fouled out for Mathis in the 9th
Batting
2B - Torii Hunter (1, Blackburn)
HR - Torii Hunter (1, Blackburn)
RBI - Torii Hunter 3 (3)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Kendrick-Aybar-Morales, Aybar-Morales, Stokes-Aybar-Morales
E - Erick Aybar (1, Misplayed grounder)
 
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn (W,1-0) 6.2 8 3 3 4 4 1 4.05
Brian Duensing (H,1) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Matt Guerrier (H,1) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Jon Rauch (S,1) 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 103-69, Brian Duensing 3-2, Matt Guerrier 11-7, Jon Rauch 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 10-4, Brian Duensing 1-0
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 30, Brian Duensing 1, Matt Guerrier 3, Jon Rauch 3
Los Angeles Angels
Joe Saunders (L,0-1) 5 8 5 5 2 4 3 9.00
Matt Palmer 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 0.00
Brian Stokes 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.00
WP - Joe Saunders (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 86-55, Matt Palmer 24-14, Brian Stokes 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 6-4, Matt Palmer 4-1, Brian Stokes 3-0
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 24, Matt Palmer 8, Brian Stokes 6
 
Game Information
Attendance - 43510
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Tim McClelland

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