Friday HaloLinks: It's nice to smell baseball in the air once again! Our Baseball Winter is officially done.
Well, I was listening to one of the final AM830 Hot Stove radio broadcasts this past week and I sure hope that this experiment was successful for AM830. I really enjoyed the show - and the break from 24-hour NBA Chat!! - and sure hope it comes back next year. On this particular broadcast, Victor popped out a trivia question where the prize was 4 game tickets for a game to be negotiated, PLUS a possible visit during the game to the broadcast booth!! Now THAT would be a prize worth dialing in to win! Imagine representing HH between Victor and Gubi.
And the answer to this question was something that I would swear I know only because I read it here once on Halos Heaven: name the pitcher who holds the team record for fewest hits in a regular season with at least 200 innings pitched. Of course, two hands on the wheel and my phone in my pocket, all I could do was listen to one wrong answer after another until I pulled into my own driveway. Too late to call in and name this guy.
Well, anyway, that explains my theme this week
(Link to FULL vintage magazine cover here.)
On To Angels Baseball!
- Howie Kendrick: did any of you catch the news this past week that Howie Kendrick is 100% back from surgery? Wait...wha..? Howie needed surgery?? What the heck was that all about, and home come I missed it?
- C.J. Wilson Rules: You know how you eventually got lazy and stopped trying to master your curveball? And how you convinced yourself that major league baseball players don't have that great of a life after all, so you should really focus on something exciting, like accounting? Well, C.J. Wilson laughs. First off, of course, he gets to play baseball for the Angels. And he makes millions. But did you also know that he dates a Brazilian Supermodel? A Brazilian Supermodel who can carry off dressing up like a Super Hero for Halloween, and is willing to do so? A Super Hero Brazilian Supermodel who gets all goosebumpy because she wants to go to the gun range and dust off zombies? A zombie hunting, Brazilian Supermodel Super Hero who decides to collect her beau and go kart racing for the afternoon at K-1 Speed and, what the hell, why not bring along Hank Conger and Angels spokeswoman hottie Alex Curry just to makes things more spicy?!? C.J. Wilson sees your QuickBook, and raises you 5 lifetimes of phenomenal.
- Bill Hall: What the heck is with all the Bill Hall buzz? First we get the note that he has a Jason Ingringhausen-like "play me or pay me" contract. So, I guess, we should start to pay attention here and find that Hall is in The Best Shape Of His Life. And we can report that his chances at shortstop are slim, but there are other possibilities.
Nasty Gettin' Nastier: Ernesto Frieri has, apparently, brought a pretty damned good change-up to camp this Spring. Interesting development, right there...far more interesting than Bill Hall, I gotta say.
- Mike Trout: Trout put on some weight this offseason, and people are now describing him as a fullback. Trout himself says he will lose about 10 pounds during ST, but still...think POWER.
- Silly Merch Idea: Holy crap. Please just say no. I don't want to see this on some Direct to Video Disney production down the road.
eBay Auction Of The Week: Vintage Brian Downing Anaheim Angels Bobblehead Doll. Not something that pops up on auctions very often! All in celebration of OMAM's Acquisition Pantheon Countdown, I'm sure.
This Date In Baseball History: 1934 - Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati join the modern era and obtain radio broadcast rights for baseball games..........1990 - The Great Lockout of 1990 begins, delaying Opening Day by one week due to the loss of Spring Training..........2006 - Sammy Sosa's agent predicts Sosa's imminent retirement..........2006 - The LA Angels score a coup and sign Jeff Frikkin' Weaver.
Rounding Up The Major League News...
- This week I am going to skip the whole Toradol story brewing these days. I'm watching it, but it's still too far over into the wilderness occupied by the "It's Not Illegal!" band of warriors. I doubt it goes away completely, and I may be back with takes on it. But for now, nada.
- For the sabre minds amongst us, Sports Illustrated published an article this week pointing to a new number to think about: 39 batters faced. (Hey, Cougwilly should take note). The crux of this number states that if a pitcher faces 39 batters or more in a single game, he loses. Face less than that, he wins...75% of the time. Curious. Will this replace the 100 pitch count as the easy metric for tracking starters?
- Last week it was the Chicago Cubs fan-sourcing their logo for the 100th anniversary. This week it's the Pittsburgh Pirates adding fan-sourcing in search of a new primary logo. I don't suppose Laugh Your Booty Off! will be one of the finalists. Although, now that I consider things, it probably should be.
- Speaking of fan-sourcing, the Detroit Tigers appear to be looking for players. Maybe this is something they need to do to save payroll, now that they are apparently coming up short on revenue. Methinks somebody around those parts is hoping for another Vince Papale happy ending...
- Hardball Times took a look at the history of going first-to-third. Basically (and ignoring Mike Scioscia entirely), they track how the need to take the extra base dropped as home run production increased, pointing out the risk of that extra base being too great when you can score from second on a home run just the same. One might note the use of the words "brazen" and "needlessly" and discern a bias of the author. One might also note that there is no correlation to PEDs use during that same time frame driving that home run production, at least not until the comments section. Meanwhile, back to the Tigers, they apparently are not reading HBT. They just went out and hired something called a "baserunning consultant" to work with Austin Jackson, trying to encourage Jackson to run more on the basepaths.
- A lot of spunk pops up around here about the inevitability of "sunk costs". Rob Neyer up at the mothership here at SBNation put forth a link and overview of a James Surowiecki piece in The New Yorker directly speaking to the philosophy of sunk cost. Neyer goes right to our own heart with his baseball relevancy: "The opportunity cost is sometimes obvious, sometimes not so obvious. Having Vernon Wells under contract in 2012 might have kept Mike Trout in the minors for an extra month, which might have cost the Angels a playoff spot and probably cost Trout the Most Valuable Player Award."Deep into Surowiecki's article is one particular Halo moment that reveals the sunk cost effect: "...loan officers were reluctant to acknowledge that loans they’d made had gone bad, whereas new executives were far more likely to take the loss and move on". Mickey Hatcher, meet Jerry Dipoto.
- Hey, what the heck is with the bizarre injuries lately? Francisco Liriano hurts his arm SCARING HIS KIDS? And Joel Peralta hurt his neck FETCHING A DAMNED SANDWICH!!
- MLB Fan Cave 2013 is opening for business, and Garden Grove is representing!
Video Of The Week
Vernon Wells is not as fine a defender as this particular player of the game Cricket:
Another baseball pioneer has passed away. This time our first female scout.........Otis Nixon: World Class Schmuck...........Albert Belle Muscle Flexing? Yes! One more Super Cool Bobblehead heading our way!...........This is always a fun logic puzzle over at Hard Ball Times: figure out the particular game/inning from the clues on a baseball card...........Pitching once a week must sure take a lot out of a guy, because Clayton Kershaw won't have any time left to talk contract once the season starts...........Marcia Smith, feature writer at the OC Register and sometimes visitor here at HH, is being recognized nationally for her work (and we here at HH are following along!)..........Finally, one very brilliant snark shot at the expense of OMG! Jeter. Some of you are advised to read it sloooowly.
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer...AND BOY, ARE WE BUSY! :
Friday & Saturday: Up in San Francisco, St. Gregory's on De Haro st. is hosting a beer and food event sponsored by Almanac Beer: Butchers & Beers..........And Rogue Ales Public House returns for a Rogue Farms Flight Night tasting/release event. Also, in San Jose, don't forget to check out Original Gravity Public House as they feature San Diego breweries.
Sunday: Still in San Francisco, visit the 20th Annual Toranado Barleywine Fest, OR the 2nd Annual Craft Beer 7 Sausage Eating Contest, OR the 3rd Annual 7 by 7 North Beach Pub Crawl, OR the SF Beer Week Blind Taste Challenge..........Out in the IE, The Blue Mountain Beer Company in Grand Terrace is holding a Biergarten Live Music Festival, and Upland is the town for the Dale Brothers 10th Anniversary Beer Festival.