Thursday Halolinks: Angels Power-Up Offense, Torii Hunter's House Is Safe

Like a Mike Napoli Saturday night, Kendrys Morales could be the center of a powerful threesome.

Consider today as the "standing in line" day of the 2012 Angels baseball season. Without a game today, it's like waiting to get on Space Mountain...the anticipation of a glorious adventure. The ups and downs of the season, the head-jerking turns, the lightning-fast journey that ends way too soon. Sure, we get a view of the idiots on the other rides, but they're wasting their time because this one's the best. Today we wait. Tomorrow the ride begins!

  • I mentioned in yesterday's Halolinks about the Angels number 3 and 4 hitters having the potential to hit a combined 70 home runs compared to 2011's total of 45, but if we throw in Trumbo's repeat of last season's bombs, that three player total can easily reach 100: Angels 8, Dodgers 3 - FOX Sports. "Trumbo, whose second-inning homer was measured at 444 feet, finished the spring batted .328 with six homers and 16 RBIs." The battle for Los Angeles is being won by the south, "The Angels have a 50-36 advantage over the Dodgers since interleague play began in 1997."
  • The infusion of power into the Halo batting order is a big change from the hit-and-run, put pressure on the defense by aggressive base-running style of previous clubs. Not to say they won't continue to go first-to-third, it's just going to be fun to watch the added dimension of slugging to their aggressive style of play: Albert Pujols leads charge as Halos hit four homers - angels.com. "In his first at-bat of Wednesday's exhibition game against the Dodgers, and what would be his final plate appearance before Opening Day, Pujols went deep one last time, taking Dodgers righty Nathan Eovaldi out to left field and setting the tone for the Angels' 8-3 win in the Freeway Series finale at Dodger Stadium. Pujols' spring went even better. The newly signed slugger batted .383 while leading the team with seven homers -- the last of which traveled 441 feet -- and 20 RBIs in 23 games."
  • I love this guy: Albert Pujols' monster contract gives him 'extra chip on my shoulder' – USATODAY.com. ""I'm an Angel now. I work for this organization. I want all of the players to know I'm not satisfied with the numbers I've put up and the World Series I won. I'm hungry for more. I want to win a championship here. These guys haven't won a World Series since 2002. It's time." IT'S TIME!
  • This is an interesting story, and one that could've easily blown up into a racial profiling sort of thing: Police Respond to Alarm At Torii Hunter’s Home - CORONA DEL MAR TODAY. "Angels outfielder Torii Hunter Tweeted this afternoon that Newport Beach police responded to a burglar alarm at his Newport Coast home — drawing guns on him until he produced identification." Here are Hunter's tweets with C.J. Wilson:

    Torii Hunter (toriihunter48) on Twitter -
    Torii Hunter ‏ - My alarm went off in my house while I was in it. 20mins later I saw cops checking out the scene. Went outside and they drew there guns on me.
    C.J. Wilson (@str8edgeracer) - that's racist!
    Torii Hunter - lol... Now u know I can't say that.
  • I wonder what he was watching? Police draw guns on Torii Hunter in his home - angels.com. "After Hunter accidentally triggered his home's alarm, a dispatcher phoned his wife's cell phone, but she is in Texas and did not answer the call. Hunter, who did not play in the Angels' final exhibition game (Actually, he did play. He struck out in his only at-bat), an 8-3 win at Dodger Stadium, saw two officers in his backyard, approaching the back door as he was lying on a couch watching TV, he said."
  • I like Craig Calcaterra, but he completely missed the boat with this post: Police pull their guns on Torii Hunter … while he’s in his own home - HardballTalk. "Man. I spent part of last weekend in Orange County, California. It is a pretty lily white place. You don’t suppose they would have done the same thing if, say, C.J. Wilson came out the door while the alarm was going off, do you?" Unless things have changed since I lived there, "lily white" isn't how I'd describe the diversity of OC. He may be right about what would've happened if it were Wilson's home (although, I'm not too sure I agree with that either), but how would that be something exclusive to Newport Beach? Move the situation out here to Wisconsin, or to Hunter's other home in Texas...or possibly even in Calcaterra's home state of Ohio, and I'd bet it would have the same chance of turning out as it did in California.
  • Jered Weaver eager to kick off exciting year for Halos - angels.com. "I've never been a big fan of the business side of things, so when the Angels offered me a contract, I couldn't help but grab it," said the ace pitcher who signed a team-friendly five-year, $85 million extension last August. "And look what happened. I think it was a pretty good decision overall." Anyone else excited??
  • Amarista beats out Cantu to make roster - The Orange County Register. "Cantu, 30, is a few years past his last surge in the majors — in 2008 and ’09, when he hit a combined 45 homers and drove in 195 for the Florida Marlins. But he thinks he can still help out some major league team with his bat. He’d like that team to be the Angels, if a spot opens up later on. Cantu still hasn’t decided whether to report to the Salt Lake Bees; on May 1 he can opt out of his contract and be signed by anyone. He’s leaning toward going to SLC so he can keep working. "I have a lot left," he said. "I won’t forget hitting. That’s one thing I will never forget." He hit .277 with two homers and 10 RBI in the spring. But Amarista, who can play the outfield as well as middle infield, batted .322 with two homers and 13 RBI."
  • Just make sure Hatcher doesn't get to anyone: Sooner or later, Pujols gets to everyone - The Orange County Register. ""He's already made us better," batting coach Mickey Hatcher said. "Guys like Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells came to camp saying, hey, we ain't screwing this up. This is real. This is baseball."
  • Los Angeles Angels 2012 Schedule by Series - Yahoo! Sports. The 2012 schedule for the Los Angeles Angels consists of 52 different series ranging from two to four games long.
  • November’s hardware awarded in April. American League MVP Votes -
    Albert Pujols 7, Miguel Cabrera 4, Evan Longoria 3, Jose Bautista 2, Robinson Cano 2, Adrian Gonzalez 1, Curtis Granderson 1, Ian Kinsler 1, Mark Teixeira 1. Albert Pujols is expected to keep up his dominating ways in the AL. If he and C.J. Wilson maintain their formidable talent levels in Anaheim, a division crown and another trophy for Pujols' overstuffed shelves could be in order.
  • 10 Historical Events That Would've Been Completed In The Interval Between MLB's First And Last Opening Days This Year - Deadspin: 10. Mike Piazza's tenure as a Florida Marlin (8 days)
  • Forget about that monstrosity in left-center field, this is the coolest thing in Miami: Marlins Park’s bobblehead museum has 588 bobbles, here’s a look at some of the best - Yahoo! Sports
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