Here's hoping you have a great New Year's eve, and 2014 is your best year ever. Your last Halolinks of 2013:
- With everything basically shut-down for the holiday season, the only news outlet with and Angel coverage is Angels.com (duh). Here's the first, and most interesting story...Pipeline Perspectives: Angels' 2009 First-Year Player Draft best of decade - angels.com. "A Draft stocked with this much talent seemingly would give the scouting director who orchestrated it plenty of job security. Especially if that director, Eddie Bane, previously had drafted All-Stars such as Trumbo, Jordan Walden and Jered Weaver. (Incidentally, Trumbo was an 18th-rounder and Walden was a 12th-rounder.) Yet, Angels general manager Tony Reagins dismissed Eddie Bane in September 2010, just 15 months after he oversaw baseball's best Draft in the last 10 years. Not coincidentally, the club's farm system has been on a downhill slide ever since. Reagins lost his job a year later, and the club hasn't advanced to the playoffs in the last four seasons." Bane was quickly hired by the Detroit Tigers after Reagins let him go, and since October of 2012, he has been a special assistant to player personnel for the Boston Red Sox. And then there's this depressing post: Uphill struggle defined five storylines for Los Angeles Angels in 2013. "It began in Spring Training, with a pitching staff that was behind schedule and a $240 million first baseman who was still hobbled. It leaked into the start of the season, when the rotation couldn't get deep into games, the bullpen got taxed and 17 losses made up the first 26 games. And it didn't get better until the very end, when a 23-13 record to finish the season did little more than raise spirits and lower the Angels' Draft position." Remember when some of us were rooting for the Halos to lose in order to secure a protected pick? Yeah, that was neat.
- How much is it going to cost to sign Tanaka? Fangraphs asked the question: The Crowd Speaks: Masahiro Tanaka’s Contract - FanGraphs Baseball. "Six years, $120 million or so. That’s what you guys think Tanaka is going to sign for. That’s what I’m guessing too, though I won’t be too shocked if it’s ends up a bit higher than that."
- I'm finding it hard getting excited about Raul Ibanez. I mean, really...Raul Ibanez. Sure, he won't cost too much, and had a decent half season last year, but...Raul Ibanez. Raul Ibanez eager for fresh start with LA Angels - Yahoo Sports. "''I just feel very comfortable there,'' said Ibanez, a career .349 hitter at the Big A. ''It goes back to '97, '98 ... and I just loved the background. I see the ball really well there. I like the fact it's got nice wide-open gaps. The ball moves well on the grass. I really enjoy hitting there, and I always have. I've always said it's my favorite city to spend time (in) on the road.''
Raul Ibanez on why he hits so well in Anaheim: "Love the background, see ball well, wide open gaps, ball moves well through infield."— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) December 30, 2013
- Two things about the following quote; first, if someone is willing to pay me a couple of million dollars to continue my baseball career, I'm signing. Ibanez confident in ability to boost Angels - angels.com. ""If I didn't know that I could perform at a high level, then I wouldn't even play the game," Ibanez said on a conference call Monday morning. "I definitely expect to contribute to this team and to be a part of continuing the winning tradition here." Second, continuing the winning tradition? Sorry fella, you're a few years too late for that.
- Rob Neyer at his best: Yup. Still waiting for distinction between greenies and 'roids. - Baseball Nation. "What I cannot understand at all is the integrity argument without taking specifics into account. I still cannot see any distinction, integrity-wise, between using amphetamines in 1980 and using steroids in 2000. In both cases, players were using drugs illegally. In both cases, players were hoping to become better baseball players. In both cases, players were, wittingly or not, hoping to gain edges over players who were not using those same drugs. Integrity has little or nothing to do with results. If two students cheat on a test and one gets and 92 and one gets a 73, does the C student have less integrity than the A student?"