On the brink of the 2012 season, while we are all still aglow from this offseason, let's take a moment to praise The Boss. No, not THAT Boss. OUR Boss. Arte Moreno. Arte is a very private man who happens to love baseball at a time when the Yankees were not for sale, the Diamondback franchise eluded his grasp, and Disney had completed their efforts to retain baseball for their home city. So we won Mr. Arte Moreno. The Best Owner In Baseball (Ok, so, technically, back when this SI article was done the Red Sox still held open their window of competitive opportunity. But, as we all know now, that window has closed...slammed shut by the deft handling of Albert Friggin' Pujols.)After selling his advertising business to Clear Channel and taking his shares of that sale onto Billionaire Road, Arte established the Moreno Family Foundation. Doing some deep-dive research, we can discover that Arte spends about 3 hours a week tending tot he needs of this foundation. Not near enough to get in the way of keeping our beer prices low, our beer selection high, and our player roster stocked to the gills. But more than enough to do some phenomenal good deeds in that amount of time. Browsing his Form 990's from 1999 through 2010 the family foundation gave about $8.5 million to various causes. And note the general theme of these gifts. Using the 2003 report the Moreno family is busy servicing the underprivileged children, and community serivce organizations caring for the poor. And that is just one such charity. In 2004 Arte and Carol Moreno established The Angels Baseball Foundation here in Orange County. This foundation has a similar focus, and has received quite a bit of recognition for the all the parallel goodwill conducted here in the Southland.Am I going somewhere with all this? Why, yes I am. One of the fund-raisers that are conducted by The Angels Foundation is the Angels 5K & Kids Fun Run, which will be held next month on April 22 and start/finish at Angel Stadium. Before the season kicks off next week, while we are still in the languid days of ST, registration is now open (here). This is our chance to thank Arte directly, help him help others, and show our support for his efforts to support worthy causes here, and elsewhere in the USA. My family will be represented, and I hope yours will be, too!
MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...
- Speaking of kids...on this date in history: March 30, 1993, Charlie Brown hit the first home run of his (then) 43 year baseball career off of Royanne Hobbs, the great-granddaughter of Roy Hobbs.
- Precisely 15 years later, on March 30, 2008, Ryan Zimmerman will hit a bottom of the ninth, game-winning, home run off of Peter Moylan on Opening Day in the brand-new Nationals Park in DC, as the Nats defeat the Braves 3-2. (Sidenote: Peter Moylan then became celebrated last year for impersonating Royanne by tweeting a pic of himself modeling one of his girlfriend's dresses in preparation for the ESPY's.)
- The Los Angeles Angels go back to back to back to plunk-in-the-back in yesterday's ST game against the Kansas City Royals, winning a slugfest 11 to 8 as the Halos work into the final weekend of Spring Training. The game witnessed a 20-hit onslaught from the Angels bats, bearing witness to the difference between facing AAA pitching and that of a real MLB staff. Kinda like Brandon Woods in reverse. Meanwhile, teh second inning saw Kendry Morales light up Everett Teaford for a home run, followed by Mark Trumbo doing the same, and concluding with Hank Conger leaving the yard with the very next AB. That's three consecutive home runs against Teaford, who promptly responded by nailing Peter Bourjos on the very first pitch. So, in your scorecards, that would be Teaford, spelled W-h-i-n-y B-i-t-c-h. Albert Pujols, by the way, went 4 for 4 with a double and 3 RBI's. Yeah. Machine!
- Did somebody just say something about "pitching inside"? Cricketers are whimps. This guy takes a Phil Neikro quality fastball to one of the more sensitive locations, busts his cup, and becomes famous. Dear New Zealand: allow me to introduce you to Aroldis Chapman.
- Well, as of this moment, late Thursday evening, the entire Internets are ablaze with the story of Bobby Abreu heading to Cleveland. By the time y'all get to read this HaloLinks, the deal may already be done. Or it may be cancelled. Or it may be wrong. Or we hit The Rapture and nobody cares about anything other than how wrong the Ancient Alien wingnuts were about 12/21/2012. I ain't stayin' up all night to get to the final word. So, for linkage, go here. Type "Abreu". Press ENTER.
- East SPiN ( < - see what I did there? I just made that up!) fires up a trial balloon on a potential meme for MLB coverage in 2012: The Angels-Rangers Rivalry. On the last day of the  season...Moreno took Jered Weaver and Dan Haren, his two best pitchers, aside and made them a promise: "Both of you pitched your hearts out. Both of you should've been 20-game winners," he recalled telling them. "And I'm going to go out and do everything I can to get you some offense."
- Clearly the Colorado State Fair and Bud Selig use the same author for their drug test control procedures. The Weinroth's will continue to claim complete exhoneration for their MVP quality livestock.
- Here is an interesting read in the OC Weekly concerning "The 1947-1980 MLB player pension discrepancy". It concerns a groupd of players drop-kicked by both MLB and the MLBPA, merely because of the window of time wherein they played. And when you do the math, what they are asking for, collectively, amounts to approximately what Arte is planning to pay Abreu this season, individually.
- "And that Happens!" For those of you who carry on and on and on and on and on and on...about Gubi and about Jose and about Phyzz and about Rex and about...(Oh. Wait. Now I'm doing it.) Anyway, it could be worse. (It could be raining!) This is one of those clips that is about 2 hours and 54 minutes too short:
- Baseball Bar Bet Factoid for all you Cliff Claven types: It's generally acknowledged that the game of modern baseball was first established here in the USA. But, which country was second? Answer: the first officially recorded game of baseball was played in Hoboken, NJ So baseball "officially" started here in 1845/1846. But, in 1863, just 17 years later, "...the Shanghai Baseball Club was founded. - in China, and - "...By the early 20th century both the emperor and various universities got in on the act and baseball became a fledgling sport before being firmly stamped out during the Cultural Revolution."
- Still traveling the globe to bring you the best in baseball happenings, we fetch an amusing take on the Doyers sale in the form of animation from Taiwan. (Poke around a little and you will find an older one on Pujols and Wilson!)
Holy Cow. Jamie Moyer is older than Pop Fisher. (Even worse, so am I.)..........Have any of you ever been in attendance and witnessed this sort of thing in person? I have. I can tell you that it is far more disturbing than what comes across on video. Eternally frightening. Gives me the heebie jeebies whenever I sit at a game and see fans not paying attention during an at-bat..........OT: FAILED Parent Experiments: Last week it was youth soccer in China. This week it's Easter Egg hunting in Colorado. (Good news on the FAILED Parent Front: One kid is fighting back!!)..........Something to follow: Adam Foster tweets that Trout may have more health issues than advertised.........Lyle Watch is officially on. The Blue Jays have far and away the best record of the exhibition season to date. And the reason, clearly, can only be due to the acquisition of one player..........NFL downtown LA may be officially dead. This would leave NFL Just Up The 57 Fwy From Anaheim in LA County as up to bat next, which would be just in time for Arte to opt out of his current stadium contract and renegotiate with leverage. Just a theory of mine..........Time to turn our morning chatter to food. First, crazy foods in sports. Grab yourself a Fifth Third Burger and then..........
Finally, the obligatory moment we take out of our day, each Friday, for beer:
(Picture I took at a local antique store)