A sense of piece could be felt throughout Angels Stadium, for all was well in the halls of Moreno. Oh, and Halolinks:
- Angels' manager Mike Scioscia talked with ESPN shortly after finding out he and Jerry Dipoto would be returning for the 2014 season. There's not much in the interview other than the typical rah-rah stuff, except maybe this: Mike Scioscia says Los Angeles Angels on 'same page' after 'aggressive' talks - ESPN Los Angeles. ""We all have to be accountable, and there are certainly some decisions that I made this year and some guys were played and went about some roles that didn't work out, and you have to be accountable for that," Scioscia said. After falling short, Scioscia said he understood why there was constant speculation surrounding his job. "When a team doesn't meet expectations, there's going to be chatter out there," Scioscia said." Doesn't this kind of sound like he's admitting to some of his mistakes? Like "some guys were played" could be Joe Blanton's many appearances, and "some roles that didn't work out" might possibly be the confusing use of his relievers. Regardless, it sounds like he's at least owning up to the fact something needs to change, now we just hope he has learned from those mistakes and does indeed change.
- If you're an Angels' fan, you must be a baseball fan, and if you're a baseball fan, you must love this moment. But if you need an Angels connection, Mike Scioscia led off the ninth inning of this game by popping out. So anyway, yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the one of the greatest moments in baseball history. October 15, 1988 was game one of that season's World Series, and it featured so many great, goosebump inducing moments when Kirk Gibson sent Dennis Eckersley's backdoor slider over the right field fence. From Vin Scully's "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!" to Gibson's arm pump while rounding second, that moment will remain with me. The Greatest Scouting Report of All Time - Baseball Nation. "Gibson stepped out of the batter's box, and later would say, I remembered what our scouting report said. It said that at 3-and-2, Eckersley throws a backdoor slider. Mel Didier had told me going into the Series, "Podnuh, as sure as I'm standing here breathing, he's going to throw you a backdoor slider if he gets you to 3-and-2. So when I called time and stepped out of the box, I looked at Eckersley and said, "Podnuh, as sure as I'm standing here breathing, you're going to throw me that 3-and-2 backdoor slider." ESPN did an excellent article on this game a couple of years ago, and updated it yesterday: Oral History: 25th Anniversary of Los Angeles Dodger Kirk Gibson's World Series home run - ESPN Los Angeles. "On Oct. 15, 1988, Kirk Gibson hit what many consider the most dramatic home run in World Series history. This is the story of that home run." And this post is excellent: Remembering a Miracle in the Early Days of Sports Video Games. "The score was 4 to 3, two outs in the ninth, when I woke up on the couch. No one was on base. "I don't need to see this," I said. "Nah, stick around," Dad said. I had two games that day, the World Series on TV, and Hardball! on my Commodore 64. If the Los Angeles Dodgers didn't win one, I'd make them win the other."
- I'm wondering who in the Angels' front office, and this includes Mike Scioscia, hates this headline the most: John Lackey and Mike Napoli help Red Sox defeat Justin Verlander in Game 3 of ALCS - HardballTalk. "The Red Sox got a solo home run from first baseman Mike Napoli in the top of the seventh inning to snap Verlander’s shutout bid and rode that to a 1-0 win over host Detroit at a cold and gray Comerica Park. Boston starter John Lackey did his own Verlander impression, yielding just four hits over 6 2/3 frames while fanning eight." There weren't too many who voiced the opinion that they'd miss Lackey when he left via free agency, but in spite of missing time due to TJ surgery, he's been a valuable addition to the Sox. And Napoli? I won't bring it up.
- What's the definition of irony? Peter Gammons: PEDs lasting impact on the MLB postseason - GammonsDaily.com. "There are several Red Sox players who have complained privately that Peralta is allowed to play. They wonder what remains in his body." David Ortiz should just shut his mouth...unlike Peralta, he's failed a drug test. When reading this post, I ran across a link to this one from last August: John Lackey: Red Sox should not have to face Alex Rodriguez - Sports - The Boston Globe. "Lackey said the topic comes up frequently in the Red Sox clubhouse, especially among the pitchers. "Sure, we talk about it," he said. "But talking to the media about it is a little bit different. People have strong feelings. "He took me deep the first time I faced him as a rookie, and he admitted to doing stuff back then. There are a lot of things I want back from him." And in this post from YAHOO!, they use this photo:
A few years ago, Halos Heaven displayed some photoshopped pictures of Red Sox players either sitting with Osama bin Laden, or dress as him. We got a stern talking to and removed them. The above photo of Osama bin Lackey has not been shopped.
- Another day, another Angels prospect does good: C.J. Cron's blast begins huge inning as Mesa rolls - angels.com. "For a player with his reputation for power, Cron's first home run in the Arizona Fall League was appropriately mammoth. Facing Scottsdale starter Aaron Northcraft in the third inning Tuesday, Cron blasted a three-run home run off the scoreboard in left field, a drive of more than 400 feet. Cron's home run sparked a seven-run inning for Mesa, and the Solar Sox went on to a 7-4 victory at HoHoKam Stadium. The victory was Mesa's second against Scottsdale in as many days and extended its winning streak to five games."
- Sure, throw a wet towel on all the fun. Albert Pujols' lawyer discounts suggestion of lie-detector test - ESPN Los Angeles. "The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Martin Singer, Pujols' lawyer in Los Angeles where the slugger plays for the Angels, says sworn testimony, "not inadmissible polygraphs and absurd publicity ploys -- is what counts."
- Ugh. Forget David Price, Los Angeles Angels Should Target Cliff Lee - Yahoo Sports. "If you're in a bar and Kate Upton walks in, it's a waste of your night to even try to get close to her. But don't just give up and go home. Maybe take a shot at that good-looking girl at the end of the bar who looks like she's spent most of the day crying. The Philadelphia Phillies' Cliff Lee is that good-looking girl at the end of the bar. I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Cliff Lee was one of the top three pitchers in the NL this year. Yes, he's wildly overpaid with three years and more than $75 million due to him. However, this sounds almost exactly like the Angels' "type" if ever there was one. Money doesn't really matter here -- actually, the Angels' payroll was down last year even with the Josh Hamilton signing. The Angels are not a team without trade chips, and they also have the kind of financial resources that few teams have." First off, assuming you don't have a shot at Kate Upton means you don't have a shot at Kate Upton. Man-up, Brohiem. Second, money does matter here -- with the Angels, not Upton...although it probably does help your chances -- as the Angels want to stay under the luxury tax threshold. I'm not saying trying to acquire is Cliff Lee is a bad idea, just get your facts straight.
- Funny, that's the same price as a date with Kate Upton: How Much Does a Win Really Cost? - Beyond the Box Score. "So if you’re the owner of an MLB franchise and you want to make your team one win better, you should expect to have to pay $7 million. Planning to bring in a league-average player? That’ll be $14 million. And if you’re willing to splurge to move up 10 games in the standings, you’d better be prepared to open your wallet to the tune of $70 million. (This assumes that there is no significant difference between any given teams’ or general managers’ expected returns on player investments — a notion I plan to challenge in my thesis.)"
- Beyond the Boxscore asks another question: How much does a player improve after his age 20 season? - Beyond the Box Score. "Ricky Henderson and Alex Rodriguez top out the list as the only two players with above 100 fWAR. After roughly 2.5 seasons Mike Trout already has over 20 fWAR. and has passed the likes of Justin Upton, Giancarlo Stanton, among others. Obviously the career outlook varies quite a bit, but just based on the data we can see that 20 year olds tend to end up having solid careers, if not hall of fame careers." So you're saying this Mike Trout kid might be kinda good?
- After a rocky beginning around these parts, Jeff Sullivan is becoming my hero: Calling a Pitch to Adrian Gonzalez - FanGraphs Baseball. "They say Molina’s the best, that he gets in the hitters’ heads. This October, Molina has taken very good care of Wainwright. Monday night, Wainwright and Molina had one particular disagreement. Moments later, the Dodgers had the only run they’d need."
- MLBAM - In Photos: Forbes Fab 40: The World's Most Valuable Sports Brands 2013 - Forbes. "9. MLBAM Brand Value 2013: $480 million Brand Value 2012: $420 million MLBAM is worth roughly $6 billion and is eqully owned by MLB's 30 teams, adding about $200 million in value to every franchise."
- This is pretty awesome: Sicnarf Loopstok wins Moniker title - MiLB.com. "Loopstok beat out contenders like Giuseppe Papaccio, 2012 contender Forrest Snow, Game of Thrones-esque pitcher Storm Throne and the fabled Jose Jose. Damien Magnifico, Stone Speer, Zelous Wheeler and Mikie Mahtook rounded out the top 10. Last year's champion, Rock Shoulders, was not eligible for the 2013 contest. Moniker Madness has previously been won by Seth Schwindenhammer (2011), Rowdy Hardy (2010), Dusty Napoleon (2009), Will Startup (2008) and Houston Summers (2007). "