Tuesday Halolinks: Angels fans suffering through the season, how much more can we take?

Yeah, that about sums it up. - Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

This has been a tough year to be an Angels' fan. One word that sums up the season thus far is "suffer".

I work Monday nights, so I wasn't able to watch last night's game.  But as luck would have it, I took a break just as the 9th inning was beginning.  Most years I'd have thought, "Cool! Just in time to watch the club pull out a win?"  Instead I got to watch the car-wreck that is 2013 Angels baseball.  This reminded me of something I was reading the other day that included the word "suffer".  When I read that word, my mind immediately thought of the Angels and this season.  I hadn't been looking for a word to describe what I've felt watching this season unfold, but when "suffer" jumped out at me, I thought "There it is.  The one word that captures 2013."  Although I've come to hate the song and the meaning behind it, "Buttercup" doesn't work for me.  Nope, "suffer".  Anyway, in an attempt to ease your suffering, I'll pass this along...Do you know what Angels' fans will be doing after the Angels win the World Series this year?  Turning off the X-Box and going to bed. [INSERT RIMSHOT]

  • We have another bright side to watch as the rest of the team flounders: Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees - Aug 12, 2013 - CBSSports.com.  "Richards (3-4) was impressive in his first start at Yankee Stadium since his big league debut in 2011. He allowed seven hits in eight innings and made several nice plays on comebackers."  I'll admit it, I wasn't much of a Richards fan, but he's starting to win me over.  Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees - August 12, 2013 - MLB.com.  "The biggest difference between Richards now and in his previous stints in the Angels' rotation boils down simply to "his ability to throw strikes," according to Chris Iannetta. "That's really all it is," the Angels' veteran catcher added. "His stuff is the same. It's just a matter of being able to throw strikes and getting ahead in counts and staying in counts. And then when he does throw strikes, it's being down in the zone. The two times he got hurt tonight, he was up in the zone -- the RBI single and the home run. And that's the difference."
  • However, the Halos also have a dark side...Mark Trumbo.  I'm not saying he's Darth Vader dark side, but he's beginning to look like at least one of those dudes with the big black helmet.  Angels fall short in 2-1 loss to Yankees - latimes.com.  "The Angels slugger was hitless in four at-bats Monday night, including a bases-loaded strikeout with one out in the ninth inning of the team's 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees. He is batting .121 (seven for 58) in his last 14 games, his average falling from .252 on July 28 to .235."
  • I'm hoping the Angels make an attempt to re-sign Jason Vargas.  I was a little upset when Jerry Dipoto traded Kendrys Morales away, but it's turned out to be a good deal for the club.  Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees - August 13, 2013 - MLB.com.  "Vargas will return to the Angels on Tuesday night against the Yankees, and although the left-hander won't solve all of their problems, they are excited to get him back."  Tonight he goes against the Yankees and CC Sabathia (remember when the Angels almost signed him?)  Angels-Yankees Preview - Yahoo! Sports.  "Sabathia had given up at least five runs in each of his previous four starts and is 0-3 with a 8.33 ERA over his last five. He's never finished with an ERA worse than the 4.39 mark his rookie year with Cleveland in 2001, and his 25 homers allowed already are a career high. "It's a tough situation," Sabathia said. "Hopefully (Wednesday's good start) will help me out."
  • The Vargas-Morales deal worked out well for both clubbs, the Hanson-Walden deal...not so much.  Jordan Walden spent some time on the disabled list this season, but has had a decent year.  IN 39.2 innings for the Braves, Walden has posted a ERA+ of 156, compared to Hansons' 68.  Yet, I think about all of those innings Dane Dela Rosa and J.C. Gutierrez have pitched instead of having Walden and it makes this deal look even worse.  Hanson optioned to Triple-A to make room for Vargas - angels.com.  "Hanson was slated to start in the Majors on Tuesday, but he could've easily been pushed back to Friday and Jerome Williams -- with an 8.59 ERA in his last eight starts -- could've gone back to the bullpen, which he's done several times this season. Manager Mike Scioscia decided to demote Hanson, because they already have length in the bullpen with Joe Blanton and because Hanson -- a non-tender candidate in December -- can stay stretched out in the Minor Leagues."
  • Read that last sentence again.  "Manager Mike Scioscia decided to demote Hanson".  Is that a typo?  Did the writer mean to say "General Manager Jerry Dipoto decided to demote Hanson", or is Scioscia calling the shots in roster make-up?  Here's an interesting Ken Rosenthal article: Signing Mike Trout long-term will be troublesome for the Los Angeles Angels - FOX Sports.  "As for Scioscia, little has changed since early in the season, when I wrote about how these Angels barely resembled his crisp, aggressive teams of the past. Just last week, Scioscia held a team meeting after the Angels allowed six stolen bases in an 8-3 loss to the Texas Rangers, then conducted a special workout on fundamentals the next day. I’ll repeat what I wrote in May: Fourteen years is a long time for a manager to stay in one place. Especially when everything no longer is the same."
  • Two different views on Pujols' possible case against Jack Clark: Albert Pujols probably shouldn’t bother suing Jack Clark, even if Clark is lying - HardballTalk.  "Pujols told reporters that he planned to take legal action against Clark, presumably for defamation. He shouldn’t. And it has nothing to with whether he, in fact, took PEDs or not. It has everything to do with the nature of defamation cases."  And:  Albert Pujols, that suit would fit a sport's needs - latimes.com.  "Albert Pujols needs to come through in the clutch, and we're not talking home runs or RBIs here. Pujols needs to pursue his lawsuit against Jack Clark. Call it slander. Call it defamation of character. But don't call it off."
  • How did they get those seats?  Oh that's right, they make more than I do:  Three Red Sox Players Spent Their Off Day At The Blue Jays Game.  "You would think that three professional baseball players—who are forced to spend a good chunk of their lives in baseball stadiums—would find somewhere, anywhere else to be during one of their precious off days. Not Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Dustin Pedroia. Those bros just can't get enough baseball."
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  • The Angels have a pretty decent club if they weren't allowed to make any transactions: The All-Homegrown MLB.  "For the purposes of this piece, I attempted to use only those players that are currently on a Major League roster. However, I was forced to use a few players that have made a career of riding the shuttle from the Majors to the minors, as well as some prospects that are currently in the upper minors. It was, believe or not, difficult to construct these teams, as the development of talent in the game has not been close to equitable. There are some interesting names missing here, as some teams have simply developed too much talent to fit onto a 25-man roster."
  • Reports -- Slugger Jose Abreu defects from Cuba - ESPN.  "The right-handed hitter is a former MVP in Cuba. He had one of the best seasons in league history in 2010-11, hitting  .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBIs in only 66 games. He hit .360 with three homers and nine RBIs in the most recent World Baseball Classic."  And probably won't get noticed by the Halos.
  • Nice Guy Mikey: Trout's high school field renamed in his honor - angels.com.  "Now the reigning American League Rookie of the Year Award winner, Mike worked alongside his sponsor, BODYARMOR SuperDrink, to upgrade that batting cage prior to the 2013 varsity baseball season. In return, the Millville High School baseball field, which was also refurbished during the renovation process, was officially renamed Mike Trout Field at a dedication ceremony on Monday atop the Empire State Building." 
  • See, it could happen:  Dodgers continue remarkable run with 4-2 win over the Mets - latimes.com.  "With their 4-2 win over the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium on Monday night, the Dodgers are a remarkable 38-8 in their last 46 games. And the last team in franchise history to accomplish that feat was a forerunner of the Dodgers, the Brooklyn Superbas of 1899 — 114 years ago. This was the sixth consecutive win for the first-place Dodgers, who are 21-3 since the All-Star break and 18 games above .500 for the season."  The Unsung Heroes of the Dodgers Crazy Run - FanGraphs Baseball.  "For all the talk about the Royals, Braves, and Tigers, the hottest team in baseball over the last 30 days is actually the Los Angeles Dodgers. During that stretch, the Dodgers are 21-4 and have outscored their opponents 115-63."  Since July 12th, the Angels are a robust 9-18, and have been outscored 106-134.
  • Dude.  DUDE!  Ex-MLB player Curtis on trial in sex assault case - Yahoo! Sports.  "The 44-year-old Curtis is accused of multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. Prosecutors in Barry County say he touched girls between the ages of 13 and 16 last year when he was a volunteer weight room strength trainer at an area high school."
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