Snuggies Have Value, Rory Markas Remembered.  Halolinks

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 07: Ervin Santana #54 pitcher shows how he throws his doubles...or possibly his home runs.

Pitching and power carry Twins to 4-2 victory - TwinCities.com
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire often talks about Carl Pavano's veteran status, about the right-hander's wily ability to break free from jams, keep his composure and stay the course no matter how many runners are stalking the base paths. In Wednesday night's 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, Pavano did his best to illustrate that point. Facing threats in three innings, Pavano, not a strikeout pitcher, extinguished each rally with an inning-ending strikeout.

Angels starter Santana can't keep it going in loss to Minnesota - LA Daily News
Brandon Wood still remains a work in progress. Wood, batting in the No. 9 spot for the first time in three games, went 0 for 4 and ended the game on a fielder's choice ground ball to shortstop. His first-inning strikeout gave him five over the first three games. The Angels had nine hits but failed to deliver in clutch situations, leaving Scioscia to suggest that his hitters are trying too hard to make things happen in the early part of the season. The Angels were 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position Wednesday and 3 for 14 in the past two games, both defeats. "Both sides are trying to get used to night games and things like that," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said. "You're still trying to get over the hype of Opening Day and trying to get off to a good start. "Once we get over all that, I think we'll be fine."

Yeah, I know.  The headline is about Santana, but the clip is about Wood.  I wanted to point out Hunter's quote and throw out a thought; Is it better to start the season on the road?  I imagine opening day is still an exciting event for major leaguers.  Sure, they're professionals, but after all, they are real people too (except for Vincente Padilla who is a creature from Middle Earth).  Does opening the season at home make it harder for someone in Wood's situation?

Angels honor late broadcaster Markas - angelsbaseball.com
The Angels honored their late broadcaster, Rory Markas, on Wednesday night. The team's popular former radio and TV play-by-play voice passed away at age 54 in January. One of Rory's brothers, Troy, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Terry Smith, Markas' longtime broadcast partner and good friend. Another brother, Gary, and Billie, Rory's mother, were in attendance.

Here's the video from last night's tribute: Angels honor late broadcaster Markas

Such a classy organization.

Twins-Angels Preview - Sporting News
Pineiro makes his Angels debut while Hideki Matsui will start in left field for the first time in almost two years when the Angels look to split a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.  Morneau is 6 for 14 with three home runs off Pineiro while Joe Mauer is 13 for 18 with four doubles and a triple. The Angels will try to avoid a three-game losing streak when they oppose Kevin Slowey, who is looking to rebound after being limited to 16 starts because of a right wrist injury that eventually led to surgery to fix a bone chip. Slowey was 10-3 with a 4.86 ERA before the injury. Slowey is 2-1 with a 4.57 ERA against the Angels, beating them with seven strong innings April 18 in his lone matchup last season. Bobby Abreu is 4 for 10 with a double and a home run off Slowey.

I'll have to let this sink in...Joel Pineiro's debut (see what I did there?).

4/7/10: Matsui has a big day in the Angels' loss - Video - angelsbaseball.com
Daily Recap: Hideki Matsui goes 3-for-4 in Angels' 5-3 loss to Twins

Angels make prospect assignments -  The Orange County Register
The Angels announced their minor-league assignments this week and here is where some of the organization’s top prospects will be starting their seasons.

Good job by Bill Plunkett with this post highlighting where some of the guys will be playing. First round picks Trout and Grichuk will be in Single A Cedar Rapids.

Team Marketing Report -- Short Hops
The Boston Red Sox regained the top spot in the FCI at $334.78, about $5 more than the Chicago Cubs and $18 more than the New York Yankees. But Boston, with an average price of $52.32, has been overtaken for the second straight year, if only by a few cents, as the most expensive ticket, by the Cubs at $52.56.

Be sure to open the pdf document at the bottom of this article.  It lists the cost of things like beer, hot dogs, etc. for each team.  You'll have to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the Angels' numbers, as they have the 4th lowest ticket prices.

BBTF's Newsblog Discussion - Angels easily cover blanket record
Congrats Angels fans, for setting the record for most stupid stadium gimmicks for one franchise!

A few hours later, Anaheim broke the record for most fleece blankets left behind in a parking lot.

I'll admit it, I want one.  And I doubt there were too many left behind...Angels Matsui Fleece Snuggie (New in Package) - eBay

The Business Of Baseball - Forbes.com
The current value of each major league team.

The Yankees are valued at $1.6 billion.  Billion (with a "B").  Almost twice as much as the #2 Red Sox.  Could one of our financial experts please help me out here; one of the categories on this list is "Debt/Value".  What does that mean?  And is the Angels "7" good?

The Compassionate Umpire
The strike zone, as defined by the rule book, is supposed to be a constant of nature, like the speed of light or the boiling temperature of water. Well you know what? Don't you believe it! The strike zone, the size of it, is changing continuously, it gets bigger or smaller after nearly every pitch. Several questions come to mind: How? Why? Are you drunk?

Within this post, John Walsh finds that the strike zone is 50% larger with a 3-0 count than when the hitter is behind 0-2.  Interesting.

Jersey puts Giants in 'San Francicso' -  FOX Sports on MSN
Maybe they left his shirt in "San Fran-cic-so.'' A Giant misspelling resulted in outfielder Eugenio Velez wearing a weird jersey Wednesday. A pair of letters were transposed in "Francisco.''

Follow the link to see the picture of fail.

Kyle Blanks, Troy Glaus wear the golden sombrero - HardballTalk - NBC Sports
I've only witnessed the rare platinum sombrero -- which is five strikeouts -- once, when Pat Burrell did it against the Braves a couple of years ago. Based on how bad Troy Glaus looks in the first two games this season I'll put even odds on him doing it before the first of May.

Poor Troy.

Just what the heck is a "simulated game" anyway? - HardballTalk -  NBC Sports
A lot of fun from the sound of it. Pitchers usually face two or three volunteer hitters from their own team (today Buchholz is facing Bill Hall, Jeremy Hermida and Jason Veritek). Hitters take their cuts against the pitcher's full speed pitches with someone -- often the catcher -- calling balls and strikes. There are no fielders, however. A coach observing the game calls out the result of any given batted ball. A hot shot in the gap is a double. A grounder to where the shortstop would likely be standing is an out, etc.

Have you ever wondered what they mean by "simulated game"?  I have.  I'm also confused when teams say a pitcher is throwing "off the mound".  Does that mean he's not on the mound when he throws?

Longoria's star is rising on and off the diamond - Stan McNeal -  Sporting News
Before long, Longoria could be pushing Derek Jeter as baseball's foremost pitchman. It makes sense because Longoria is reminiscent of Jeter. He has the All-American looks and although obviously confident, he comes across as humble and as guarded as he can be in interviews.  Even though he is young, somewhat rich and famous and still single, he has an image to maintain -- and Alex Rodriguez 2008 is not what he has in mind. Longoria, in fact, says he "had to politely decline" participating in a Rays' promotion in which the club would have given away T-shirts with "Mrs. Longoria" on the back. "I don't want to project the image of me having all these women with my name on the back of their shirts," he said. "That's not something I want out there."

Longoria seems like the kind of guy the MLB needs more of.

Video: Guy dressed as Italian sausage collides with motorcycle cop - Yahoo! Sports
Early on Monday during a relay race to Miller Park, a La Crosse, Wis. man dressed as an Italian Sausage zigged (or possibly zagged) into the path of a police officer on a motorcycle who was patrolling the route. The La Crosse Tribune got the scoop: "It looks a lot worse than it is," Carboni, 51, said of the collision. "It must be that tough Klement's casing." He called his wife and daughter to let them know he was OK. "I've taken harder falls in Hixon Forest," Carboni said. No idea where that is or what it means. Hope he's just paying tribute to the local woods and is not concussed.

This caught my eye because I live just outside of La Crosse and I know what Hixon Forest is.  (It's just a forest, nothing special...unless you're into forests).  It's funny because this is pretty much a common event on a Saturday night on La Crosse's Third street (once held the record for most bars on one street).  A guy running around in a sausage suit, not the motorcycle part.

April 8 - BR Bullpen
1966 - At the Astrodome, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers play the MLB first game on synthetic grass. Thanks to the Monsanto chemical company, who proposed using an experimental playing surface of nylon grass, the plan to play on an all-dirt field (say what??), necessitated by the need to paint the dome's glass panes to reduce the glare which prevented natural grass from growing, was alleviated by the use of AstroTurf.
1974 - Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves blasts an historic home run at Fulton County Stadium, breaking Babe Ruth's career all-time record. The 715th home run of Aaron's career comes against Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing and results in a game-delaying celebration. Aaron would finish his career with a total of 755 home runs.
1989 - One-handed pitcher Jim Abbott makes his major league debut for the California Angels. Born without a right hand, Abbott bypassed the minors completely after starring at the University of Michigan, heading directly to the Angels' starting rotation. He lasts only four and two-thirds innings in a 7 - 0 loss to the Seattle Mariners, but will finish his rookie season with 12 wins and a 3.92 ERA, the most ML wins in a first pro season since St. Louis Browns pitcher Ernie Wingard won 13 in his first professional season, in 1925.
2009 - Nick Adenhart of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches six scoreless innings against Oakland in his first start of the season.

SHIELDS!

Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF 3 0 0 1 0 0 1 .083
Orlando Hudson, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .083
Joe Mauer, C 3 1 1 0 1 1 0 .273
Justin Morneau, 1B 4 1 1 2 0 1 1 .400
Michael Cuddyer, RF 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 .455
Jim Thome, DH 4 0 0 0 0 3 1 .000
Delmon Young, LF 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .273
J.J. Hardy, SS 4 1 2 1 0 0 0 .333
Nick Punto, 3B 4 1 2 0 0 2 1 .250
Totals 34 4 7 4 1 7    
Batting
3B - Nick Punto (1, Santana)
HR - Justin Morneau (2, Santana), J.J. Hardy (2, Santana)
SF - Denard Span (1)
RBI - Denard Span (1), Justin Morneau 2 (3), J.J. Hardy (2)
SB - Michael Cuddyer (1, 2nd base off Santana/Napoli), Nick Punto (1, 2nd base off Bulger/Napoli)
Team LOB - 5

Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar, SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200
Bobby Abreu, RF 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .182
Torii Hunter, CF 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .400
Hideki Matsui, DH 4 1 3 0 0 0 1 .455
Kendry Morales, 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 3 .250
Juan Rivera, LF 4 0 1 1 0 0 2 .167
Howard Kendrick, 2B 3 1 1 0 0 1 1 .364
Mike Napoli, C 4 0 1 1 0 1 3 .250
Brandon Wood, 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .083
Totals 35 2 9 2 0 6    
Batting
2B - Hideki Matsui (1, Pavano), Howard Kendrick (1, Rauch)
RBI - Juan Rivera (2), Mike Napoli (1)
2-OUT RBI - Juan Rivera (2), Mike Napoli (1)
CS - Torii Hunter (1, 2nd base by Guerrier/Mauer)
Team LOB - 7
 
Minnesota Twins
Carl Pavano (W,1-0) 7 6 1 1 0 6 0 1.29
Matt Guerrier (H,2) 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Jon Rauch (S,2) 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 4.50
HBP - Kendrick (by Carl Pavano)
Pitches-Strikes - Carl Pavano 102-73, Matt Guerrier 14-8, Jon Rauch 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carl Pavano 8-7, Matt Guerrier 1-1, Jon Rauch 3-0
Batters Faced - Carl Pavano 28, Matt Guerrier 3, Jon Rauch 5

Los Angeles Angels
Ervin Santana (L,0-1) 6 5 4 4 1 4 2 6.00
Jason Bulger 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Scot Shields 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
WP - Ervin Santana (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 105-63, Jason Bulger 26-17, Scot Shields 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 8-7, Jason Bulger 3-2
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 25, Jason Bulger 7, Scot Shields 4
 
Game Information
Attendance - 41533
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Mike Everitt
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