Friday HaloLinks: Pitchforks and Torches Edition #1

"That boy was our last hope." "No. There is another." (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Well, here we are folks. One week into the brand new season and we already have our first Pitchforks and Torches Day. Two games in a row where we staked one of our front-of-the-rotation aces (first Jered Weaver, then Dan Haren) with a lead and walked away shellshocked in defeat. The bullpen has just finished surrendering 10 runs in only 5 innings worth of work to a team that had previously been unable to win even a single game. This is, in a word, unacceptable.

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Redirecting our attention to another word, it is also unsustainable. No bullpen on the planet has ever gone an entire season at that monumental level of unproductivity. So there must be some pretty good times ahead, right? Right? Modern math says it must be so. I mean, really, if we are going to worry about something being this consistently troublesome over the course of the season, what's it going to be: Albert Pujols or the pen? Because let's face it, as long as a Bourjos is outslugging a Pujols, we have first got to deal with some fundamentals. We might not mind the bullpen collapses so much if we all have a play pool full of Pujols fun in which we get to splash around.

This weekend I plan to hope that I don't spend too much time during the season remembering that we once had a guy who was pretty damned good at the PREVENT SCORING thingy.

MORE AFTER THE BREAK...

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In what must be some sort of historical turnabout, the Los Angeles Angels arrive in New York to face the Yankees as THE visiting draw in the American League, sure to stuff the gates as New Yorkers flock to get a rare glimpse of Albert Pujols in person as for a weekend trio. Home Opening Weekend - smeekend. It's Los ArcAngel that is the reason for the next three days of excitement in The Big Apple. To get you into the mood, here is a small, but fabulous, collection of Life Magazine photos of classic baseball. I am beginning right in the middle of the series, as Mickey Mantle passes on his legacy to....? Hello? Anyone??

FRIDAY

LA Angels vs. New York Yankees @ You Nork - 10:05 AM PDT Start (FOX Sports West)

Ervin Santana (R) 0-1 7.94 ERA vs Hiroki Kuroda (R) 0-1 6.35 ERA

SATURDAY

LA Angels vs. New York Yankees @ You Nork - 10:05 AM PDT Start (FOX)

CJ Wilson (L) 1-0 1.29 ERA vs. Phil Hughes (R) 0-1 3.86 ERA

SUNDAY

LA Angels vs. New York Yankees @ You Nork - 5:05 PM PDT Start (ESPN)

Jerome Williams (R) 0-0 0.00 ERA vs. Ivan Nova (R) 1-0 2.57 ERA

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  • April 6: This Date In Baseball History: In 2002, After striking out three batters on nine pitches in the top of the ninth inning, Cardinal closer Jason Isringhausen gets the win when the Redbirds score a run in the bottom of the frame for a 2-1 walk-off victory over Houston. The right-handed reliever's victims during his immaculate inning include Daryle Ward, Jose Vizcaino, and Julio Lugo, all who go down swinging.
  • 14.26 Seconds: That's how long it took Peter Bourjos to run the bases yesterday during his inside-the-park home run. It's about the time it will take you to read this paragraph. This is the third fastest time recorded since 2010 (one of those times was also Petey). But watch the replay, and notice that he does not even start to turn on the afterburners until he has touched first base!
  • New MLB TV Lookin Feature: In a rather sneaky move of utmost secrecy MLB Network has released an amazing something they call The Strike Zone Channel, apparently for all youse ADHD types. Now, if one does a search for this service they will find all sorts of linkage to media blogs announcing bits and pieces of this. But finding the FULL announcement and description? On MLB Network's own website even? Or on DirectTV or Time Warner? No. This, of course, earns MLB TV the Unclear On The Concept Award of the Week.
  • Halo Merch: A photo review of new 2012 additions to the roster of LAA merchandise is to be found here from the OC Register and I can only say, with a few notable exceptions, (yawn). But (!)...A Retro styled Halo toaster?!? Really? I am totally down with one of THOSE!! I am not quite so sure, however, on the messaging behind the "you can bank on the Angels when pigs fly" piggy bank. (UPDATE: repaired the link)
  • The Business Side Of Baseball: The 2012 Team Marketing Report is out, and the Halos are the lowest average ticket price in the AL at $19.71 per. In all of baseball, only the Pirates ($17.74), Braves ($16.69), Padres ($15.67) and DBacks ($15.74) are lower. And, for the record, the lowest average price per beer in the AL is found at...yep...Anaheim. $4.50 per. In all of baseball, only the DBacks have a lower average beer price, at $4.00. Nobody else in the entirety of the MLB is even under $5.00. Overall, "The Angels...remain one of the best bargains in sports." Yes, the Albert Pujols contract was truly economic insanity and ruination.
  • (Continuing.): For the record, the Cardinals have averaged 26,968 more fans in attendance over the past three years than the Halos (using baseball-reference). Their 2012 average ticket price is listed at $31.57, which is 38% higher than that of the Angels. And their average unit price for beer is $6.50, which is 31% higher than in Anaheim (using the 2012 Team Marketing Report data). If you assume both teams remain at average attendance (hard to believe, considering the extra value that Pujols delivers for putting butts into seats) and that you average 1 beer sold for every fan in attendance, just the gate and beer dollars alone over the higher attendance results in $45,644,406 more revenue for STL in 2012 than for LAA. But the Cards chose to spend $39,522,500 less on their players this season that Arte (using Cots). And the Cards fans blame Pujols.
  • Meme On A Wall?: Being as this is Halos Heaven, the following needs no explanation:

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Let's play some catch === Baseball invented the word "jazz"? The debate rages on..........Oh, Canada, using our National Pastime to conduct class warfare..........(Ha! It didn't work anyway! Canadians cannot hold their liquor.)..........OT: A Man Who Changed The World. Every single one of you reading this post owes some debt of gratitude, and should take a moment to raise a glass..........First World Problems, Tim McCarver Chapter: "There is nothing in my view more disturbing than social networking — nothing." Dear Tim, let me help you find something more disturbing..........I need to retire, so I can follow in the footsteps of my new heros..........Valley Fever Update (remember this and this?): add another victim, Ike Davis..........OMG!! Kansas City Royals Promo Of The Year: Pine Tar Day!..........Whew! Josh Hamilton launches something else into the home stands, creating yet another dangerous situation, but this time tragedy is averted..........Lastly, it turns out that The Unwritten Rules Of Baseball, were!..........

    Finally, the obligatory moment we take out of our day, each Friday, for beer.

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    (Picture I took at a local antique store)

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