We've taken another step towards Opening Day...actual games being played. Today's game will be televised starting at 12:05 PT. In the meantime, have some Halolinks:
Although I absolutely HATE the way he wears his cap, it's hard not to root for Chad Cordero: Angels' Trout, Cordero happy with spring debuts - The Orange County Register. "Cordero, who is in minor league camp, isn't likely to be spending too much time in the Angels clubhouse anytime soon. He has a lot of work to do, and he's expecting to start in the minors, but he viewed Monday's performance as a big step. "I'm so happy I'm getting this opportunity to play again," he said. "It felt so good. I'm not even worried about giving up the home run. It was so good to be out playing. ... I feel like a little kid again." It looks like his velocity is there, now it's just a matter of working on his command.
Dipoto said Chad Cordero threw between 89 to 91, which is right around where he used to be. "I thought he looked great," he said. #Angels— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 25, 2013
It appears the national media, or at least the national internet media, has found the story: Tracy Ringolsby: Chad Cordero making inspirational comeback - angels.com. "Manager Mike Scioscia didn't even initially know Cordero was in camp. "I saw him in the Minor League clubhouse, and he walked by me," said Cordero. "He told me he didn't even recognize me." But during a recent bullpen session that Scioscia and several staff members observed, Cordero got their attention, and he reinforced that with his one-inning effort on Monday. "He was like 40 pounds lighter, so I didn't recognize him," said Scioscia, "but once he got on the mound, you could tell it was him."
And...Angels reliever: 'I was (Mike Trout) once' - USA Today. "Cordero, saying it was the most nervous he'd been since facing Sammy Sosa in his rookie 2003 season, gave up a leadoff homer to Seattle Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan, then retired the side. When he walked off the field, his hands still shaking, he couldn't stop grinning. Angels manager Mike Scioscia was the first to greet him, congratulate him and apologize for not recognizing him last week during their physicals."
We don't personally know the players, and all we have to go on regarding their personality is what we read or see during the games. So, after his great year last season, and all of the praise he received during the off season, it's good to read Mike Trout is still, well, Mike Trout: Angels phenom Mike Trout not changing approach or attitude after MVP-caliber rookie campaign - Yahoo! Sports. "I see absolutely no change in his personality or work habits," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said earlier Monday morning. "They've always been off the charts."
I saw this and cracked up. The LA Times is just now finding out about this Trout kid: Mike Trout emerges as brightest star on star-studded Angels roster - latimes.com. "Mike Trout showed up one month into last season, and the spotlight has not left him. In a star-studded clubhouse — Pujols has three most-valuable-player awards, Josh Hamilton one — the 21-year-old Trout is the brightest star." If they'd pull their head out of Magic's ass they might find something a little more interesting further south of Chavez Ravine.
Here's an interesting article that looks at one of the Angels situations this spring. It also pointed out something I've often wondered, but never felt too inclined to research; what is the breakdown of flyball location?: Does Outfield Alignment Actually Matter? - FanGraphs Baseball. "So, if we just focus on balls in the air that are fielded by an outfielder, the numbers break down like this:
Left: 53,054 – 29%
Center: 78,460 – 43%
Right: 52,823 – 29%
An update about the Halo's two banged up relievers, and some news on today's game in this notes post: Madson, Burnett throw lightly from flat ground - angels.com "I'm good," Burnett said. "I won't be missing any [regular-season] games or anything, just taking my time. We have plenty of time." Madson continued to feel good on Monday and is expected to throw again from the same distance on Tuesday, representing the first time he's thrown on back-to-back days since suffering a setback after a Feb. 1 bullpen session. The Angels are expected to unveil their new offseason prize Tuesday, when Josh Hamilton debuts with his new team against the D-backs' split squad."
A healthy Tommy Hanson could make things sooo much better for the club: Tommy Hanson Could Be X-Factor - The Orange County Register. "I feel 100 percent," Hanson said. "I feel like I did two years ago, when everything was coming together. I'm going good and my body feels good." That's good news for the Angels, because Hanson represents the X-Factor in the rotation."
Greinke admits money was reason, made Texas offer before LA deal - CBSSports.com. ""It's obviously the No. 1 thing,'' Greinke said. "I could play for the worst team if they paid the most … If the last place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I'm going to go for the $200-million no matter what team it was.'' It also looks like which league a teams plays in has a little effect on his dicision: "It's boring watching American League games to me,'' Greinke said. "With the Angels we had [Mike] Trout, [Albert] Pujols, [Mark] Trumbo, [Kendrys] Morales and [Torii] Hunter, but it wasn't as much fun as watching Milwaukee's team. There's much more strategy. I don't know anyone who likes the American League games better. Maybe some fans do. But if you're not an actual DH, you probably prefer the National League.''
Two years ago, Vernon Wells was traded to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera, and now Rivera may be blocking the Angels' ability to trade Wells to the east coast. Well, that and the fact Wells makes almost $21 million more than Rivera for basically the same production: Vernon Wells going from Angels to Yankees? Not likely - latimes.com. "The Yankees could use a right-handed bat to complement starting outfielders Granderson, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki. But the Yankees have former Angels and Dodgers outfielder Juan Rivera in camp on a minor league contract, and the performances of Wells and Rivera last season were comparable. Wells, 34, hit .230 with 11 home runs and a .682 OPS in 77 games. Rivera, 34, hit .244 with nine home runs and a .661 OPS in 109 games."
Ever hear of "early retirement"? Outfielder Vernon Wells plans to retire after Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim contract is up after 2014 season - angels.com. "Wells still loves the game, but is eager to return to his home in Southlake, Texas, long-term so he can be a full-time father. He also has an interesting career route he's eager to pursue: ownership."
Lyly Spence makes a good analogy here: Golden State: Cali becoming center of MLB universe - angels.com. "Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo shape up as a modern murderers' row, capable of threatening the club record of 883 runs in 2009. This renewed rivalry with the A's looms as a classic puncher vs. boxer confrontation." The Angels batting order does look like a puncher rather than a boxer, and it's going to be fun watching the team beat the shit out of the other guys.
Rob Neyer does a bit of a FJM on the idiot in Miami. Jeffrey Loria writes a letter to ... who, exactly? - Baseball Nation. "We're in this together and I humbly ask that we start fresh, watch us mature quickly as a ball club, and root for the home team in 2013. Hey, we'll be there at the ballpark in 2013. Right there with the other 43 people in Miami who, after all those winning teams you've built, still love baseball."
I don't know, but I doubt it'll have much of an effect: Weiner says increasing drug penalties possible - NBC Sports. "Weiner says Monday after meeting with the Toronto Blue Jays players have expressed interest in making the sanctions for failed drug tests more severe. He also says there have been discussions with Major League Baseball about possible changes that could take place in 2014."
It's called the "Kazmir Effect" Indians sell out opening day in six minutes - CBSSports.com. "Last season, the Indians averaged only 19,797 tickets sold per game. Only the Rays had worse attendance, and their issue is location and stadium. Cleveland has no such problem, as we've seen in the past. Remember, the Indians sold out 455 straight games, from June 12, 1995-April 4, 2001."