Thursday Halolinks: Mike Butcher Not Worried About Job, Staying Positive And Focused

"Let's see...candlesticks always make a nice gift." - Otto Greule Jr

The Angels' pitching coach says he's not worried about his job, but doesn't seem to know how to fix the Halo pitching staff.

Just when you think things are somewhat crumby, something happens to remind you that life is pretty awesome. The Angels are going to rebound, sooner rather than later, so read your Haloinks and be patient.

As I've mentioned, I live just a couple of hours away from Minneapolis, and as I write this, the rain is falling. It's projected to continue to fall throughout the day, so I doubt there was much of a chance for the two teams to get yesterday's game in today: Wednesday's series finale between the Angels and Twins was postponed - angels.com. "A natural makeup date for this game could come Monday, Sept. 9. Both teams share an off day and the Angels will be en route to Toronto, with Minneapolis basically on the way. The Twins would be in the middle of a homestand." Leave it up to Mike Scioscia to put it all in perspective: Angels-Twins series finale postponed by rain - FOX Sports ''It's neither here nor there,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said in the visiting office at Target Field after the game was called. ''At some point you want to play, because you know you need to play to get where you want to be, but it is what it is.'' At some point you want to talk, because you know you need to talk to get your point across, but it doesn't always work out that way.

Good. La Russa says he is not next Angels manager - FOX Sports. "La Russa said he is so troubled by the talk that he might manage the Angels – and the idea that Scioscia might be in jeopardy at this early stage of the season – that he has considered backing out of a planned trip to Anaheim this weekend for the Tigers-Angels series."

I realize it's a headline and probably not what Mike Butcher is thinking, but I sure hope it's not true and he's still looking for answers to why the pitching staff is doing so poorly. You would think he's got a grasp of what's wrong and a plan to fix it by now. Butcher seeks answers for starting staff - angels.com. "Obviously the stats speak for themselves," Butcher said. "I think the biggest thing is trying to keep these guys positive, more than anything else. That's the biggest thing -- stay positive, get focused, go out there and do what you're capable of doing." Each starter has his own individual issues to iron out, but across the board, Butcher believes the staff is struggling to control counts and put hitters away. He referenced Tuesday night, when the Twins got 10 hits on two-strike counts, as a perfect example." Okay, I take that back...he doesn't seem to have a plan other than tired cliches, "Stay positive" and "get focused"? How about something more along the lines of, "I've been reviewing video from last season, and I've noticed something different with your mechanics"? Angels' Mike Butcher says pitchers 'need to be more in attack mode' - latimes.com. "I don't coach to protect myself. I don't work in fear of losing my job." Butcher, in his seventh year as pitching coach, wants the starters in a rotation with a major league-worst 6.07 ERA to approach their jobs the same way. "

Power Rankings: It's deja vu all over again for slow-starting Angels - CBSSports.com. "#25 - I would never, ever give up on a team after 14 games. I wouldn't after 54 when we're talking about a team with this much talent. But, yeah, I would be pretty worried about the direction things appear to be heading. This ranking may even be a touch generous." No good news in this ranking, but there is a nifty video of Mike Trout being interviewed by Jim Rome on the other side of this link worth checking out.

Which teams and players should we be worried about? - ESPN. "Angels Worry Meter: And this meter would have been at "8," said one scout, if the Angels hadn't abracadabra'd a semi-miraculous, series-salvaging, walk-off win against the Astros last Saturday, then won again Sunday. Remember, the Angels are coming off a spring in which they had the worst record (10-20) in baseball." This post also mentions how worried we should be about Josh Hamilton.

K-Rod must have really burned some bridges when he left Anaheim, because that's the only reason, with the state of the Halo pen, that he should have been ignored by the Angels' front office: Brewers sign Francisco Rodriguez to minor league contract - CBSSports.com. "CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reports the deal is worth $2 million to $2.5 million. K-Rod will spend some time at the team's spring training complex in Arizona. Milwaukee has 30 days to assign him somewhere."

Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels - April 19, 2013 - MLB.com. "The start to Hunter's season and the start to the Angels' season have been polar opposites. Hunter is off to a torrid start with a .414 average and a league-leading 24 hits heading into Wednesday night's game against Seattle. Meanwhile, the Halos are struggling. Their four wins are tied for the fewest in the American League. Some have suggested the club has missed Hunter's leadership." Probably not so much the leadership, but the .414 average in the 2-hole would be nice.

Although this is an awkward sentence, the post is worth reading: Three True Outcomes Throughout History - Beyond the Box Score. "The Oakland Athletics have seen more than 200 more pitches than any other team in baseball through the first few weeks of the season and have the league’s highest walk rate at 10.8 percent."

I bet Mark Trumbo could come close: Can Mickey Mantle's 565-foot homer be matched? - ESPN. "Wednesday marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most famous home runs in major-league history -- one hit by Mickey Mantle off Chuck Stobbs at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. Yankees publicist Red Patterson claimed the home run went 565 feet."

A Brief Examination of Intentional Balls - FanGraphs Baseball. "Two, this is maybe the dumbest and most pointless thing I’ve ever put together. And it wasn’t that long ago that I wrote a post about bunt doubles. In terms of determining wins and losses, you aren’t about to learn anything the least bit meaningful. On the standards of significance, this post sucks." Meaningless, yes. Entertaining, absolutely.

Tony Gwynn Jr. Shows Us How Hecklers Should Be Dealt With. "This video has been on YouTube for almost two years, but we've only just discovered it. And we are very glad that we did, because this may be the best way we've ever seen a baseball player handle a heckler. "

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