Angels Finally Score, Napoli Keeps Halo.  Halolinks.

Angels end scoring drought with late home-run flurry against Mariners - Seattle Times Newspaper

Mariners manager Daren Brown said. "I thought Pauley really did a nice job for five innings. In the sixth inning, he left some pitches up in the zone and they didn't miss them." Pauley took a two-hit shutout — one of the hits a bunt single — into the sixth. But leadoff hitter Peter Bourjos, the rookie center fielder whose arrival pushed Torii Hunter into right field, blasted a 1-0 pitch over the center-field wall. That ended the Angels' scoreless streak at 31 innings, two shy of the club record. They liked it so much that Bobby Abreu, with two outs, hit a copycat homer to virtually the same spot in center. And after a Hunter single, Hideki Matsui crushed yet another round-tripper to right for two more runs. "It's frustrating," Pauley said of his recent propensity for a mid-game meltdown. "The first five innings are good, and all of a sudden the game speeds up. It's hard to explain, but very frustrating." Fernando Rodney picked up his first save since the Angels traded closer Brian Fuentes to Minnesota last week, preserving Santana's 14th win. But it didn't come without adventure.

Weren't we saying the same things about Jered Weaver last previous couple seasons that Pauley mentioned above, that a pitcher could be cruising along and then all of a sudden...game over.  I thought it was interesting the way he puts it, "the game speeds up".  Anyway, I'm sure we're all glad Weaver's been able to avoid the big inning.  Also, it should be noted that Peter Bourjos is hitting over .200 and has one less home run than Jeff Mathis.  Get your highlights here:  Angels get the out to make up for a miscue - Juan Rivera applies the tag to Franklin Gutierrez after an error by Peter Bourjos nearly cost the Angels in the bottom of the ninth (looked safe to me), Bourjos breaks the ice with a solo dinger - Peter Bourjos breaks a scoreless tie with a big fly to center field in the top of the sixth, Abreu adds on with a long ball to center - Bobby Abreu follows Peter Bourjos' homer from earlier in the sixth with a solo blast to center field (almost to the exact spot as Bourjos'), Matsui doubles the lead with a two-run shot - Hideki Matsui rips a two-run long ball to right field for the Angels' third home run of the inning, Abreu (Bourjos) catches Gutierrez trying for third - Bobby Abreu (no, Peter Bourjos) corrals a double over his (Abreu's) head and throws out Franklin Gutierrez trying for a triple.  Whoever writes the descriptions at MLB completely got this one wrong.  The play was in left field, where Abreu was playing, but Bourjos came all the way over from center to make the play.

Angels-Mariners Preview -  FOX Sports on MSN
With their extended scoreless-inning stretch behind them, the Angels try for a fifth consecutive road victory over Felix Hernandez and the Mariners on Tuesday night. The right-hander allowed eight runs, three homers and walked four in 3 1-3 innings of an 8-0 loss in his last home start against the Angels on May 7. Hernandez, however, has allowed eight runs - one earned - and struck out 40 over 30 innings while winning three of his last four starts overall. He gave up that earned run and struck out nine in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-2 win at Boston on Wednesday. He also became the fourth pitcher in Mariners history to record 1,000 strikeouts. The Angels counter with Dan Haren (2-4, 4.02), who will try to win two straight starts for the first time since joining the Angels last month. After allowing seven runs in seven innings of a 7-2 loss at Minnesota on Aug. 20, Haren gave up one and three hits while striking out eight in a 12-3 win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday. The Angels had scored 14 runs in his previous six starts since being traded by Arizona on July 25.

Jered Weaver has faced Hernandez three times this season, winning twice (he had a no-decision in the other game which the Angels won).  Let's see if Haren has ace-stuff and can do as well against Seattle's stud.

 

No deal by Sox, Angels for Napoli - WEEI.com
The Red Sox, after being awarded a waiver claim last week on Angels catcher and first baseman Mike Napoli, did not reach agreement with Los Angeles on a deal involving the catcher by the time that Monday's deadline for an agreement passed, according to a major league source. As a result, the Angels have pulled Napoli back from waivers, and he will remain with the Halos.According to a second source familiar with the situation, the Angels were "not really looking to move" Napoli right now. Even so, the team could revisit that stance this coming offseason.

I understand teams will place most of their players on waivers during this time of the season, but I'm puzzled as to why they'd place a player like Napoli on waivers if they're "not really looking to move" him.  The only reason I can come up with is they were hoping Nap's would clear and then the club would be able to negotiate with any team.  I've also read that a team can find out who's interested in the player by seeing who claims him.  This is a lame excuse as I'm sure teams are well aware of who's interested in their players.  Also this just leads to the question; why are they interested in trading him?

Mike Napoli remains with Angels — and on the bench - latimes.com
Asked before Monday night's game in Seattle what the odds were of him being an Angel next season, Napoli said, "It could go either way; I'd say it's 50-50. Napoli, like many Angels fans, can't understand why a team that scored all of one run — on a balk — in three games against the lowly Baltimore Orioles over the weekend would not want its home run leader in the lineup.The Angels say Napoli has had ample opportunity. "He's played virtually every day," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "A lot of guys are fighting for at-bats. Mike has been in there a lot, and he's driven the ball for us."

Last week I wrote Mike Scioscia was insane and he keeps adding to my proof.  Or so I thought when I read his above quote.  I almost sprayed coffee all over my laptop when I read "he's played virtually every day".  I was thinking the key word in that quote was "virtually" assuming Scioscia was talking about Napoli's season on his Xbox, but then I looked into it and Napoli has played in 113 of the Angels 132 games.  Of the catchers in the major leagues, he ranks 5th in games played and although he's played just 63 games behind the plate, when (if?) he plays in his next game, it'll match his career high in games played.  Many of us think that total should be higher considering the opportunity to fill in at first base, but at least he has played in more games than Juan Rivera.

Reagins shrugs off waiver-claim chatter - angelsbaseball.com
Three quotes from the linked article:
"That's the system," Scioscia said. "When it's leaked out, a lot of people who don't understand the system sensationalize stuff. That's routine. Don't read a lot into it. Just about every player on this team has been put on waivers."
"It's something that's out of my control," Napoli said before Monday night's game at Safeco Field against the Mariners. "It's good to know that other teams are interested in you. It's good that I didn't go unclaimed."
"He (Joel Pineiro) had a great session today," Scioscia said. "He's passing every checkpoint with flying colors. He turned it loose to day on the mound. We'll see how he comes out of it. We'll see if we can get him in a sim game, hopefully by the end of the road trip."

Angels " Win Probability " Monday, August 30, 2010 - FanGraphs Baseball

20100830_angels_mariners_0_medium

A digital salute to pitch grips - The Hardball Times
One thing I have come to realize is that while a picture is worth a thousand words, a catalog of pitch grip images quickly becomes unwieldy for search and comparison among pitchers. For this task, a table of quantitative descriptions of each pitchers' pitch grips would be desirable. For a single given pitcher, four or five selected images still provide the most accurate and easily understood way to communicate how he grips the baseball. But if I want to know how his four-seam fastball grip compares to the fastball grips of other pitchers in the league, a digital record is needed.

Pretty cool article showing different pitchers and the way they grip their pitches.

Cain is shaken up making a leaping catch - Video - MLB.com
Lorenzo Cain is shaken up as he crashes into the left-center field wall making an amazing leaping catch, Cain remains in the game

Wrigley's peanut-free suite clears way for one fan's special day - Big League Stew -  Yahoo! Sports
Yes, for the first time in team history, the Cubs are hosting a group of fans who are allergic to peanuts in a special suite that will be peanut free. That the mere presence of peanuts makes a ballpark completely off-limits to a certain group of people is often hard for some to understand. During Friday's game, Cubs announcer Ron Santo exhibited a lack of knowledge when he laughed and poked fun at the peanut-free night. "Wait, why don't they just not eat the peanuts?" Santo said. "They can't even be around it?" No, Ron, they can't.

I too was completely unaware that a peanut allergy could be so severe.

During tantrum, minor league manager pulls up 1st base, signs it - Big League Stew - MLB  - Yahoo! Sports
Robinson immediately return to the field in a frenzy that included yelling, screaming, kicking dirt on home plate, covering home plate with dirt using his hands and kicking dirt on the umpire. Robinson then jogged to first base and pulled it out of the ground. Was he going to have a Lou Piniella moment and throw it any old place? Better. Robinson instead reached inside the front of his jersey and pulled out a pen — like the kind any manager would use to make notations on a lineup card — and he signed the bag.

Scioscia needs to be more like this guy.  JUST KIDDING!

Clemens swaggers through his arraignment -  Yahoo! Sports
Clemens barely moved as his attorneys and the prosecutors determined when they could start the trial. Walton’s calendar seemed to have a sense of irony when it suggested April 5, 2011, which will be the first week of next year’s baseball season. The date was sealed. April 5 it will be. Clemens always loved the big stage and what could be better than taking on his accusers on opening week?

Two different takes on Manny Ramirez from Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal:

Chicago White Sox make good move acquiring Manny Ramirez -  FOX Sports on MSN
The White Sox didn’t surrender any players. They didn’t commit to the mercurial Manny beyond the end of this season. They did, however, improve their fading postseason hopes. That’s enough to make this move worthwhile. If you can’t fathom why anyone would want to take on Manny and his many headaches, I would invite you to check the American League Central standings. The White Sox trail the Minnesota Twins by four games.

Is Manny Ramirez an improvement for White Sox? -  FOX Sports on MSN
He quit on the Red Sox. He quit on the Dodgers. The Hall includes its share of miscreants, but Manny has routinely engaged in conduct detrimental to his team.  Yes, he produced great numbers. Yes, he was a joy to watch. But certain standards of decency apply.

My take?  I think it's a good pick up by the Sox, especially since they didn't have to give up any players.

And a couple takes on the McCourts:

McCourt divorce trial makes departing Manny Ramirez look normal - Lee Jenkins - SI.com
The Dodgers could apparently handle only one freak show at a time, so Manny Ramirez had to go, ceding the stage to Frank and Jamie McCourt.With the Dodgers virtually eliminated from the playoff race, this divorce hearing is all their fans have left, a chance to watch those who brought down the franchise disintegrate along with it. Here is the rare opportunity for folks in the cheap seats to laugh at ones in the owners' box. The Dodgers lead the league in lawyers, and they will be out in force starting today, as Frank tries to keep the club for himself, and Jamie tries to keep a share, and fans root for both of them to lose. This was no place for Manny Ramirez. He was the normal one.

There are no winners in McCourt trial -  FOX Sports on MSN
You want to know why a team in America’s second biggest market has a payroll less than the Minnesota Twins? Because now as ever, Frank doesn’t have the bank for this. In his opening statement, Susman admitted that the acquisition of the Dodgers "turned out to be one of the most highly leveraged acquisitions in the history of major league baseball." Never mind that he pays himself -- in addition to all the monies and tax breaks he takes from the team -- $5 million per (as opposed to Jamie’s mere $2 million as CEO before he fired her). This will go on for a couple more weeks, the preening and posturing. Then Judge Scott Gordon will make a decision. One hopes it balances the laws of community property with a sense of the community’s interest. Either way, the guy’s got a hard choice, declaring a winner from two losers.

Wow.  Are the McCourts a couple "freaks" and "losers".  I admit from the things I've read leading up to this divorce trail that they seem, how should I put this, outrageous, but not much different than other people with too much money. 

Can this be over yet?:

American League West
Team W L Pct. GB
Texas 74 57 .565 -
Oakland 65 65 .500
L.A. Angels 64 68 .485 10½
Seattle 51 80 .389 23

 

August 31 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on August 31.
1964 - Ground is broken for Anaheim Stadium, future home of next year's California Angels.  The REAL "happiest place on earth".
1979 - The Angels regain 1st place in the AL West by beating the Indians, 9 - 8. California scores five runs in the 8th on three homers, then watch as Cleveland scores four to tie.
1990 - Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey, Sr. become the first father and son to play in the same major league lineup.
1999 - Down 12 - 4, the Indians rally for 10 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to defeat the Angels, 14 - 12.
Happy b-day:
1935 - Frank Robinson, outfielder, manager; All-Star, Hall of Famer
1961 - Me
1979 - Shane Loux, pitcher
1979 - Tim Raines, outfielder
R.I.P.:
2001 - Crash Davis, infielder (b. 1919)

Finally, runs!:

Los Angeles Angels
Hitters AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Alberto Callaspo, 3B 5 0 0 0 0 0 2 .286
Howard Kendrick, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 .280
Bobby Abreu, LF 3 2 1 1 1 0 0 .255
Torii Hunter, RF 3 1 2 0 1 0 0 .292
Hideki Matsui, DH 2 1 1 2 2 0 1 .262
Juan Rivera, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .249
Erick Aybar, SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 3 .265
Jeff Mathis, C 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 .196
Peter Bourjos, CF 3 1 2 1 0 0 0 .211
Totals 32 5 7 4 4 2    
Batting
HR - Bobby Abreu (16, Pauley), Hideki Matsui (17, Pauley), Peter Bourjos (2, Pauley)
RBI - Bobby Abreu (67), Hideki Matsui 2 (71), Peter Bourjos (7)
2-OUT RBI - Bobby Abreu (27), Hideki Matsui 2 (29)
SB - Peter Bourjos (4, 2nd base off Pauley/Moore)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Peter Bourjos 2
Seattle Mariners
Hitters AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Ichiro Suzuki, RF 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 .308
Chone Figgins, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .244
Russell Branyan, DH 4 0 2 0 0 1 0 .239
Jose Lopez, 3B 4 1 1 0 0 1 3 .241
Casey Kotchman, 1B 3 1 0 0 1 1 2 .223
Franklin Gutierrez, CF 4 1 3 0 0 1 1 .251
Michael Saunders, LF 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 .223
Adam Moore, C 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 .189
Josh Wilson, SS 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .244
Totals 33 3 9 2 1 4    
Batting
2B - Russell Branyan (18, Santana), Franklin Gutierrez 2 (19, Santana, Rodney)
SF - Adam Moore (1)
RBI - Michael Saunders (28), Adam Moore (9)
SB - Ichiro Suzuki 2 (34, 2nd base off Santana/Mathis, 2nd base off Santana/Mathis)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Kotchman-Wilson, Wilson-Figgins-Kotchman
Los Angeles Angels
Pitchers IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Ervin Santana (W,14-9) 7.2 8 2 2 0 4 0 4.05
Kevin Jepsen (H,20) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.50
Fernando Rodney (S,7) 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 3.86
WP - Ervin Santana (8), Fernando Rodney (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 111-70, Kevin Jepsen 4-3, Fernando Rodney 19-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 8-10, Kevin Jepsen 1-0
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 30, Kevin Jepsen 1, Fernando Rodney 4
Seattle Mariners
Pitchers IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
David Pauley (L,2-6) 6 6 4 4 1 1 3 4.25
Jamey Wright 1.1 1 1 1 3 0 0 4.67
Sean White 1.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 5.13
HBP - Bourjos (by David Pauley)
Pitches-Strikes - David Pauley 99-56, Jamey Wright 33-16, Sean White 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Pauley 11-4, Jamey Wright 3-1, Sean White 2-2
Batters Faced - David Pauley 24, Jamey Wright 8, Sean White 5
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