Sub-zero temperatures and a family-wide bout with the flu hasn't derailed my happiness. Kids throwing up on doorknobs...not knowing which way to face when using the toilet...snot freezing, inside of your nose! But you know why my attitude is still bubbly? Fricking' pitchers and catchers report in just 16 days, yo! (can I get a "whoop-whoop"!?!) Who'd let something as trivial as 1 adult and two leaky kids jockeying around a one-bathroom apartment in the middle of Polar Plunge II get them down when spring is in the air? Have some Halolinks:
- I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that although Pujols and Hamilton's rebound from terrible seasons is important for the Angels success in 2014, the emergence of Kole Calhoun will be my biggest indicator of how the season will go. If Calhoun can build on, or at least maintain his 2013 numbers, the Halos will be solid from top to bottom of their batting order: Ten breakout players to watch for 2014 - ESPN. "Kole Calhoun, RF, Los Angeles Angels: A big reason the Angels felt they could trade Mark Trumbo for pitching depth was the emergence of Calhoun, who hit .282/.347/.462 in 222 plate appearances. He’s older (26), so his star potential is limited. He has a decent approach at the plate and could hit 15 to 20 home runs. A left-handed batter, he has handled lefties well enough that he doesn’t necessarily have to be platooned."
- Alden Gonzalez has an interesting series starting over at the MLB mothership which looks at different areas for the club. The first subject is the Angels' catchers: Around the Horn: Angels Catchers - angels.com. "The Angels gave up the second-most stolen bases in the Majors (131, two behind the World Series-champion Red Sox), ranked 28th in caught-stealing percentage (21 percent) and tied for 28th in the defensive sabermetric Stolen Base Runs Saved (minus-five). In short, baserunners had a free for all on Iannetta and Conger, culminating in the Aug. 6-7 stretch that saw the Rangers combine for 13 stolen bases in 18 innings (six against Iannetta; seven against Conger). But it's hard to decipher just how much responsibility Iannetta and Conger actually share for that." I didn't realize how bad the two catchers were in controlling the running game, but as Gonzalez points out, it might not be the catchers' fault. One thing, the following quote is pretty ballsy for a player, but a good sign that the Halo clubhouse is open to communication: "I think a lot of guys started putting an emphasis on being quicker to the plate," Iannetta said. "I mean that was the elephant in the room. The glaring issue for why we were giving up too many stolen bases was because we were just too slow to the plate as a pitching staff. We had a lot of guys work."
- Starting pitchers. What would baseball be without starting pitchers? Pretty damn boring if you ask me...all those players standing around waiting for the ball to get to the plate on its own. Zzzzz: Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez could benefit from post-Garza absurdities - MLB Daily Dish. "The draft compensation attached to Santana and Jimenez appears to be causing their markets to shrivel. However, up to eight teams are interested in Santana to some degree at the moment, according to Chris Cotillo -- and Ubaldo probably isn't far behind."
- Fortunately the Angels aren't in on either Santana nor Jimenez, which leaves a list of "other guys". Or are they?
Not sensing urgency on part of #Angels to add SP, but if they do, they seem to be leaning more toward Hammel or Capuano than Arroyo-Maholm.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) January 28, 2014
- The method behind the numbers can be found at the site, but here are the first projected outcomes for the upcoming season: First Projections for 2014 - claydavenport.com. The Halos are projected to finish the season - LA Angels 84 78. Good enough for third-place in the AL West, four games behind the projected division winning Oakland A's, but just one game ahead of the fourth-place Mariners. If these projections are anything close to how the real season will play out, this is going to be a very exciting summer.
Adrian Beltre predicts Prince Fielder will win AL MVP in 2014 - CBSSports.com. "He's going to get the MVP. It's his time to win it. My job is to protect him so that he gets there." Prince Fielder, the AL's Most Voluminous Player.
- I haven't heard anything, so I could be wrong, but it's kinda sad that the Dodgers haven't done anything for the Stowe family. I realize this happened prior to the current ownership's takeover of the club, and there's probably a lawsuit weaving its way through the court system, but come on, step up Dodger suits: Flannery, band raise more than $96K for Bryan Stow - NBC Sports. "Tim Flannery received a heartfelt thank-you voicemail from Bryan Stow, who struggles to put thoughts and words together nearly three years after being severely beaten outside Dodger Stadium on opening day 2011. Flannery, the San Francisco Giants' third base coach and musician, presented the Stow family with $96,000 during the weekend to help with Bryan's care as the father of two and former paramedic continues to deal with traumatic injuries and brain damage from the attack." It's pretty awesome what the Giant team and community is doing.
- This wasn't as funny as I thought it would be: Opera Singer Can't Stop Farting After Surgery, Loses Job and now I feel sad.