Yankees Are Rich, Angels Are Winning, Tom Made a Video.  Halolinks.

Angels 8, Giants 0 - MLB News - FOX Sports
Abreu hit his third homer this spring, a three-run shot that highlighted a five-run first inning that sent the Angels over the San Francisco Giants 8-0 Wednesday with boxing great Muhammad Ali in attendance. Many of the Angels had their pictures taken with Ali prior to the game in the locker room. Ali then watched part of the game from a suite behind home plate... Angels starter Ervin Santana pitched five shutout innings, striking out six. ''Those were great hitters,'' said Santana, 17-10 with a 3.92 ERA in 2010. ''They made me think a little bit.''

Yesterday's game was fun to watch as the Angels beat up on last year's World Series champs.  I know spring training stats and win-loss records don't really matter much, but winning games during spring training has to translate into something during the regular season doesn't it?  If you believe in momentum and team chemistry, winning in Arizona could carry over as wins in Anaheim.  At least wins against Matt Cain and the defending champions should be reason to think this year's club does have the potential be successful.  In 2009, the Angels won 26 of their 34 spring training games and went on to win 97 games in the regular season.  During the 2008 spring training season, the Angels finished second in the Cactus league with a 19-10 record before going on to win 100 games when it counted.  The bad news?  The team with the best Cactus season record in 2008 was the Oakland A's (18-8) who went on to finish third in the A.L. West, 24.5 games behind the Halos.  Winning in Arizona does translate into wins during the regular season, except for when it doesn't.  By the way, the Angels are currently 13-12 this spring.

Forbes has released their evaluation of Major League team values.  Here's what I took away from the articles:

  1. The Dodgers are a mess;
  2. The Yankees are really, REALLY rich;
  3. The Angels are the Walmart of baseball...Save money, watch baseball.

Special Report: Inside Baseball’s Debt Disaster - Monte Burke -  Forbes
The Los Angeles Dodgers had become the prized bauble up for grabs in the contentious divorce proceedings between owner Frank McCourt and his wife, Jamie. Court documents revealed that from 2004 to 2009 the McCourts—using the Dodgers and related assets as collateral—had racked up a staggering $459 million in debt, much of which was used personally.

Yankees Soar, Mets Plunge On List of Baseball’s Most Valuable Teams - Forbes
Overall, revenue for baseball’s 30 teams increased 4%, to $6.1 billion. Total operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) fell 5%, to $494 million as rising stadium (rent and operating costs) and team (marketing and player development) expenses ate into profits.

#9 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Forbes.com
Fox Sports West has got be a little disappointed in the $500 million, 10-year deal it signed with the Angels in 2006 to televise the team's games on the regional sports channel as the team's average rating on FS West was just 1.2. The only team with a worse RSN rating in baseball was Oakland.

Should we, as fans, be worried about the low television ratings?


MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

Hisanori Takahashi, Los Angeles Angels, MLB - CBSSports.com Baseball
Angels RP Hisanori Takahashi allowed one hit and no runs in Los Angeles' 8-0 rout of San Francisco in a Cactus League game on Wednesday. Takahashi struck out one as he maintained his perfect spring and has not allowed a run in 11 innings pitched. The left-hander has also not issued a walk and has amassed 10 strikeouts this spring in his first season with the Angels and second major-league campaign overall.

I'm not going to comment on how well I think Takahashi is going to do this season since right after I picked Joel Pineiro to be my surprise performer in 2011 he got hurt.  At least it wasn't serious (I hope).  Anyway, I will say "good signing".

Angels pitcher Michael Kohn hails from prominent South Carolina family - angels.com
It has shown already this spring with some high-quality Cactus League work. He has yielded one earned run in nine innings (1.00 ERA) with seven strikeouts and two walks. "The ball is coming out hotter than last year," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Michael looks very good. He pitched well for us last year, and he's carving out a role in our bullpen."

Previously I've written that I didn't think Kohn would break camp with the big club.  I might be wrong.  Wouldn't be the first time.

2011 Angels Fan Fest guide -  The Orange County Register
The Angels will kick off their 2011 season with the yearly Fan Fest at the Big A, where Angels fans can meet current and former players and coaches, get autographs, have their faces painted, listen to live music, buy Angels merchandise, stop by the AM 830 booth, throw a fastball and do all things Angel at the event designed for the entire family.

Face painting!  I just might buy a plane ticket to get my face painted...or not.  Anyway, the Angels play their final spring training game in Arizona on Saturday and then meet up with the Padres in Anaheim on Sunday.  The reason I brought that up is, I was curious as to how current players could be at the Fanfest if they were still playing their games in Arizona.  Yes, I'm well aware of modern transportation.  Nevermind.  This whole thing takes place Sunday March 27th from 8am to 4pm.

Will the Angels return to AL West dominance, or will Texas or another team claim top honors - OC Register
Fun Fact: The Rangers won the A.L. West last year with only 108 games from Cruz and 103 from Kinsler. Best Case: Young reconiles himself to DH-ing and Hamilton finds contentment in center-field. Worst Case: The young starters falter and force Feliz into the rotation, weakening the bullpen. Forecast: Second. Can they replace Adrian Beltre and Vladimir Guerrero, handle clubhouse issues and also the pressure of repeating?

Two things about the OC Register that I dislike are their insistence on lazily posting their articles using slideshows and Mark Whicker trying to write about baseball.  Here they are together.  Oh, and Mark, Adrian Beltre is still on the Rangers.  They signed him to a really long contract a few weeks ago, so there's no need to replace him.

Curtis Granderson blasts T.J. Simers - HardballTalk
Curtis Granderson took to Twitter last night in the wake of T.J. Simers’ low-rent hatchet job on Marcus Thames the other day. Granderson: I don’t like to criticize media. They have a job to do & sometimes have to be the bad guy. But @LATimesTJSimers should be ashamed of himself … Marcus Thames is one of the best teammates/ friends I’ve ever had. He brings 100% to every team he is with. I love him like a brother.

God I wish Curtis Granderson were available.

Baseball by Tom
Tom made a video about the 2011 Angels:

The reason you might be watching videos made by guys like Tom is because of the ridiculous MLB blackout rules:

The colors represent which teams you CAN'T watch.  - Beyond the Box Score
A very colorful chart of how badly MLB needs to rethink their television blackout situation.  

How Significant Is Batting Order? - FanGraphs Baseball
Most sabermetric analyses of batting order find that the most optimal batting order is worth between five and 15 runs over a typical batting order. From this, it is often concluded that batting order isn’t very important. Is that the correct conclusion?

Who's leading off for the Angels?  Who cares!

Twins Willing To Trade Kevin Slowey For Relief - MLBTradeRumors.com
Now that they have decided on Scott Baker as their No. 5 starter, the Twins are willing to trade Kevin Slowey for a late-inning reliever, according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Today's stupid trade proposal: Fernando Rodney for Kevin Slowey.

The Cleveland Indians are taking social media really, really seriously - HardballTalk
I understand how buzz can make people click YouTube videos and low transaction cost things like that, but I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to figuring out whether one’s efforts to translate buzz into cash on the barrel head are truly working. I do know this, though: the Cleveland Indians are going to figure it out before any other baseball team does.

The thing I like about teams who are struggling to sell tickets is their openness to try new things.  I'm not suggesting this social media thing is a winner, just I like the fact the Indians are willing to give it a shot.  If the Angels are so intent on making the sale of tickets such a high priority, maybe they should look at doing something new rather than just lowering prices.

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