Today is a snow day in Wisconsin. My ex-wife called me last night to let me know the forecast calls for a snowfall of 6" to 10". I replied that that's the same forecast for the women I date. She didn't say anything, but I could hear her eyes roll. So while my kids and I are watching the snow fall, you should enjoy some Halolinks:
Oh, great. This is all we need...Athletics 13, Angels 5 - FOX Sports. "Vernon Wells hit a three-run home run, extending his hitting streak to five games, and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout had three hits for the Angels, who lost their third straight. Howie Kendrick and Scott Cousins also drove in runs." Will a good spring by Vernon Wells change the minds of the Angels decision makers on who starts the season in the outfield? My guess? Yes, I think it will.
It good to see Mike Trout having a nice spring at the plate. I hate to admit i, but I'm a little leery of the season Trout had in 2012. It was so great, it makes me think its no repeatable. Especially since his minor league career showed no indication that it was coming. Angels' Mike Trout goes 3-for-3, Vernon Wells homers against A's - ngels.com. "Trout led off the game with a double off A's righty Dan Straily and came around to score on Howie Kendrick's base hit. Trout also collected singles in the second and fifth innings to raise his spring average to .417."
More good news from yesterday's game: Vargas lets it fly in impressive Angels debut - angels.com. "Vargas, acquired from Seattle in exchange for Kendrys Morales in December, was rarely challenged. He only allowed one baserunner -- a walk to infielder Adam Rosales -- in his two innings, and he escaped the first inning on a popup and a groundout to shortstop." Also within this Angels Notes post is word the club released one of their pring training invitees, "The Angels released veteran pitcher Hiroyuki Kobayashi on Monday, giving the right-hander a chance to land with another team. Kobayashi, 34, went 26-36 with a 3.65 ERA in five seasons split between Japan's Pacific and Central leagues, but this was his first attempt at landing a job in the Major Leagues. "Kobi just wasn't as far along as he needed to be to compete for a job on our staff," Scioscia said after his team's 13-5 loss to Oakland. "It's probably better if he's wants to go somewhere else and hook on." At least they did it early enough so that he might be able to catch on with another team. There was one bummer-thing to come out of yesterday's game, everyone's favorite comeback story, Chad Cordero, didn't do well in his outing. Cordero gave up six runs on 5 hits in just two-thirds of an inning.
Better living through chemistry: Lyle Spencer: Angels left-hander Jason Vargas key part of rotation - angels.com. "Nobody in the Angels' organization knows Vargas better than Weaver, his teammate at Long Beach State. Weaver was delighted to learn they'd be wearing the same uniform again. "He's a mellow guy off the field," Weaver said, "but between the lines, he's going to battle as hard as anybody in the league. We've brought in guys who have been there and done that before. We've lost some key guys, but we've made some key additions. "One advantage to having Jason here is that I won't have to text him and call him all the time now. I can just turn, and there he is. I'm confident he's going to get the job done, and we'll have a strong rotation." Dos this mean we should expect even better things from Weaver in 2013 now that he has one of his BFF's with him in the dugout?
I think the media is making a bigger deal out of the whole "Mike Trout is getting ripped-off" thing than it really is: Mike Trout and a Relative Pittance - FanGraphs Baseball. "I think it’s worth considering the case of Jered Weaver. Weaver’s also represented by Boras, and when Weaver was drafted by the Angels, negotiations went poorly for quite some time. Eventually, Weaver signed, and he was outstanding in the majors in 2006. In 2007, his contract was renewed for just barely over the league minimum. That didn’t stop Weaver from eventually signing a long-term contract extension with the Angels for less than he probably deserved. Weaver gave the Angels a clear hometown discount, despite how things had gone years before. Any awkward or difficult negotiations had long been forgotten." The only thing that cause a little "pause" with me is the comments his agent made about moving from center to left field.
Another FanGraphs post looks at the entire MLB salary scale and how it applies to Trout's situation: How Fair is MLB’s Salary Scale? - FanGraphs Baseball. "While Trout’s renewal has gotten some attention, the reality is that the Angels are just following standard operating procedures for MLB teams. Giancarlo Stanton just had his contract renewed for the third time, and he’s going to make just $537,000 this year, the first year he’s cracked $500K in salary. The Dodgers renewed Clayton Kershaw‘s contract three times as well, paying him $404,000 in 2009, $440,000 in 2010, and $500,000 in 2011. Jason Heyward was paid just $496,000 for his second big league season and $565,000 for his third year. This isn’t just the Angels being cheap. This is the pay scale that MLB teams operate on. This is the pay scale that the player’s association has collectively bargained."
I'm getting a little tired of this story, but when someone like Joe Posnanski writes about it, I'll read it: Revisiting Trout vs. Cabrera MVP debate — with a twist - HardballTalk. "Zaidi and I were talking about this when he told me something that I found utterly staggering. He said that Oakland’s objective model for measuring a player’s value — remember now, we are talking about the Oakland A’s, the Moneyball people, Jonah Hill and so on — found that Miguel Cabrera, NOT Mike Trout, was more valuable in 2012." He also blogs about the WAR stat here Joe Blogs: Finding Peace In WAR. "And so, good news, he says that he intends to meet with Fangraphs folks and try to hammer out a consistent value for replacement level. He said they might try to get Tom Tango and others involved too. " One question I have WAR....why base the number on a fictional replacement player? Why not have the baseline at zero and go from there? Who really cares what the fictional player would accomplish when what we want to know is how much value the real-life player contributed.
This could be the biggest story you'll read today...if it's true: Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, And Ryan Braun Might Face 50-Game PED-Related Suspensions This Season - SportsGrid. "Bisceglie correctly prognosticated that Melky Cabrera would be suspended last season for a failed PED test almost a month before his suspension came."
Anonymous Source: Cano, Granderson, A-Rod and Braun will all be suspended for failing PED test this season.— Joe Bisceglie (@joebisceglie) March 4, 2013
This Bisceglie guy's source got it right with Cabrera last season, so the question it begs is; Did he have inside information or did he get lucky?
I thought Nolan Ryan was part owner of the Rangers? How do you get rid of an owner? Rangers rumors: Nolan Ryan leaving Texas? - MLB Daily Dish. "Ryan remains the team's CEO, but Daniels now has final say over all baseball decisions while George has final say over all business decisions. This would appear to leave Ryan in a reduced role. Still, Simpson reiterated that this is not the case, as he considers the definition of CEO as being "the person in charge." Ryan will continue to "make the anything-of-significance decisions and bring those to ownership for approval." Ownership's goal was to "remove some of the day-to-day stuff from Nolan" but allow him to keep his role when it comes to "significant decisions." I liked Darth Duane's headline for the FanShot he posted: "Rangers May Replace Nolan Ryan With Two 8 and 7 Executives".
And in case you were wondering which team's disabled list Rich Harden would be on: Which Minor League Signings Will Matter the Most? - Beyond the Box Score. "Over his career Harden has more strikeouts (949) then total innings pitched (928.1) and he's gone on record as saying he hasn't felt as good as he does this spring in nearly six years."