Friday HaloLinks: Bird Brained Weekend Edition

NEW YORK - JUNE 01: Alex Rodriguez #13 of The New York Yankees is safe at first base as Ty Wigginton #23 of the Baltimore Orioles can't come up with the ball on a throwing error by third baseman Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles in the eighth inning June 1, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx Borough of New York City. Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher scored on the play. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

As the hoopla of the opening baseball games of the 2012 season dies down, and we look for a comfy place wherein to settle for the long campaign ahead, let us take a moment to realize that what we are dealing with is NOT rocket science, and our heroes are NOT rocket scientists! Not like this guy! So in honor of the Baltimore Orioles coming to town this weekend for a 3-game series, let's try to lighten things up and mix in some things avian.

  • Bird Strike: Let's get the pain out of the way first. The Angels lost yet another series the only way a team CAN lose a 4 game series: by losing at least three of the games - this time to the Oakland A's. Bird brained plays in the field combined with serisously un-clutch hitting that left 11 men stranded, and not even three doubles by Albert Pujols could put enough lipstick on this one. From Yahoo! Sports we get this gem: "Erick Aybar made two errors after receiving his Gold Glove trophy and signing his new $35 million contract before the game." The Angels are rapidly becoming the surprise team in baseball, but for all the wrong reasons. Even Tommy Milone, winning pitcher last night for the A's can see the obvious: ''They have good, strong hitting, and usually they play good defense and get good pitching. Luckily we were able to play a little bit better and come out with three Ws.''

LOTS MORE AFTER THE BREAK...

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FRIDAY

Baltimore vs. LA Angels @ Anaheim - 7:05 PM Start (FOX Sports West)

Brian Matusz (L) 0-2 8.38 vs. Jerome Williams (R) 0-1 16.88

[Big Bang Friday]

SATURDAY

Baltimore vs. LA Angels @ Anaheim - 6:05 PM Start (FOX)

Jake Arrieta (R) 1-0 2.66 vs. Jered Weaver (R) 2-0 2.18

[Angels Hat]

SUNDAY

Baltimore vs. LA Angels @ Anaheim - 12:35 PM Start (FOX Sports West)

Wei-Yin Chen (L) 1-0 3.27 vs. Dan Haren (R) 0-1 4.76

[Angels 5K and Kids Fun Run]
[Angels FanFest]
[Family Sunday]
  • A couple of things to watch out for this weekend, from MLB.COM: Eight of the Orioles' first 13 games have been decided by two runs or fewer, and they'll go into Friday's opener against the Angels with wins in three of their first four series..........Baltimore closer Jim Johnson has successfully converted 14 straight save chances, including six this season, a streak that goes back to August of last season..........The Orioles have scored 20 runs in their first five day games and are 4-1 in those circumstances..........Baltimore is 17-11 in its last 28 road games, a streak that goes back to last season.

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  • St. Louis Birds Infest Their Rings With Rodents: The Rally Towel being passe for a couple of decades now, teams everywhere have been wishing to grab some furry member of the animal kingdon as their sponsor into a title, following the 2002 trail blazing success of the LA Angels. The Cards got theirs imposed on them. Close attention to detail in the linked video will reveal that the squirrel was FLEEING AWAY from the Cardinals, but apparently that little fact just gets in the way of mythology so it gets ignored. Anyway, they have planted that plucky little squirrely onto their gazillion dollar jewelry. Albert Pujols is going to need a zookeeper's license soon, seeing as he is surrounded now by Cardinals, monkeys, squirrels, Mariners fans...
  • Baltimore Birds Make the Boston Red Sox the laughingstock of baseball: Before we justifiably get on with the business of booing the Orioles, let us take a brief moment and welcome them into our stadium and give them a warm round of grateful applause for this:

  • Biggest Bird Brains In Baseball History: I know, I know. Linking to The Bleacher Report is sinful. But I figure that it takes one to know one. So if you want to track down a list of the dumbest baseball players, it only makes sense to ask experts in that particular field. Here is their Top 10 Dumbest Baseball Players Of All Time.
  • Roster Lineup Rally!: A few of you are aware that I have launched a study effort to categorize all the starting lineups for the 2012 season for a selection of teams, inlcuding those of Mike Scioscia, and try to get some numbers out of how he compares to other teams this season that we expect to have successful campaigns. I bring this up now because of the conversations here on HH the past couple of days about Sosh alway juggling lineups and never having any consistency. How true is that? How does that compare to other teams? We will certainly know more further into the season, but here is where things stand at the moment:

Team Total Games Total Lineups
Angels

13

11

Rays

12

11

Phillies

13

10

Brewers

13

9

Cards

13

9

Red Sox

12

9

Tigers

13

8

Yankees

13

8

Blue Jays

12

7

Rangers

13

6

  • That's right, boys and girls, Scioscia has already used nearly twice as many different lineups to date (not counting pitchers) as have the Rangers in the same number of games. But it's early, and there is no telling how this will hold up down the road. Right now the only thing you can glean from this info so far is that our skipper is not out on some isolated spigot of land by himself. There are others still mixing things up just like he does. When all is said and done, one interesting data collection that I already see coming out of this effort is some understanding of how many times each player sits in any position in the batting order. (I also can tell that I need to do a lot of work on Excel Pivot tables in the coming months to make this tabulation a lot easier!)

  • Bird Brained Parenting: Ok, it's cute as all heck and all, but how the hell does a child end up running free in the outfield of a live MLB game? Yes, this actually DID happen in the Thursday afternoon game between the Chicago White Sox and our incoming visitors, the Baltimore Orioles. I was not the kind of parent to worry a great deal about my sons getting kidnapped by murderous clown chainsaw wielding jihadists or anything, but I still can't see losing track of a toddler this badly. At least the young boy has a memory to brag about. Better than colelcting baseball cards, I would bet.

  • Bird Brains On The Basepaths: Is this because baseball players are incredibly clever, or because they are incredibly stupid?

  • Bird Brains Behind The plate: Or......What......Else......Is......New (4 links)? It's the old Home-Plate-Ump-signals-dead-ball-turned-into-triple-play trick! I realize that I am a crustacean among baseball enthusiasts, but Good Lord Almighty!!! Can't we pull our collective purist heads out of our collective ass and figure out how to repair a game Cluster F&#!%d due to abject umpire stupidity?? This shit has absolutely GOT to stop!
  • Bird Brained Bird-Billed Fish Finally Fly!: (Sweet illiteration, there.) The long wait is over. Baseball America finally got to see the Florida Marlin Magical Pachinko Machine in action. And, I must admit, I was still even more amazed than I thought I would be. I don't recall reading anywhere that this beast would also include...uh...shall we call it..."discharge"? This thing wouldn't be located right next to the giant hot tub occupied by bikini-clad bombshells, would it? Could it be? And, now that I have seen it working, although it is a lot slower than I imagined (and !Warning! my day job is not as a structural or mechanical engineer) my instincts tell me that this thing is going to prove to be a serious maintenance challenge. I will be shocked if I learn that they are still using this thing 15 years from now. (Happy, though, because that would mean I lived to be 70!)

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..........Santiago Casilla is incredibly stupid..........Pro basketball can be taken over by pigeons.........Pro football can be taken over by pigeons.........Baseball knows how to deal with pigeons..........'Roids apparently render one feather-brained: (Hey Jose, I suppose that if our sun had gone nova in 1911, that also would have prevented 1500+ souls from perishing onboard the Titanic!)..........Speaking of Dodos, keep your prospect sights on this kid!.........."No words to describe that..." as Kelly Shoppach slides into plain dirt 10 feet short of 2nd base on his way to his first stolen base of his career. Bird brain..........Bird Droppings: The Halos have fallen all the way from 1st to 14th in the Power Rankings. Whihch begs the question..."Only?"

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

"3000 beers and all I got out of it was this stupid shirt!"

Finally...

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