Tuesday Halolinks: Angels improving while Josh Hamilton shows up

Bob Levey

After going 3-1 in Houston, the Angels are almost back to .500. In the meantime, Josh Hamilton's bat has finally shown up.

Well what do ya know, the Angels can win a ball game in April. In the Halolinks from last week, I lamented that the Angels had yet to win a game, and although the season was still very young (3 games), was it a precursor of a shitty year.  They haven't hit the .500 mark yet, but they are +1 in the run differential column, which could indicate the club has the ability to at least outscore their opponents.  Also, it doesn't hurt playing the Astros for four games either.  Anyway, let's see if the team can do a little payback in Seattle, and in the meantime, here's your Halolinks:

  • Why hello Mr. Hamilton.  We're so glad you could make it.  Oh yes, please make yourself comfortable.  Put your feet up, take a load off.  We're just happy to finally see you, but we were wondering, is your friend Mr. Pujols going to show up?  We've been waiting for a little while now, but he hasn't appeared.  Do you think you could get a message to him for us?  Please ask him, "What the hell, Al?!?": Hamilton, Angels walk past Astros - The Orange County Register.  "Through seven games, Hamilton has drawn a team-leading six walks, a total he didn’t reach until his 26th game in 2013. Monday’s game, which included an intentional walk, marked just the fourth time in his career he’d drawn three walks, the first since May 13, 2009. In between the walks, Hamilton is hitting an even .500, with 12 hits in 24 at-bats. He’s hit two homers and driven in six runs, including one Monday." 
  • All those hit and walks have earned Hamilton some recognition: Josh Hamilton, Chris Colabello earn co-AL Player of Week honors - angels.com.  "Hamilton, who led all Major Leaguers in slugging percentage (.864) and on-base percentage (.560), hit .500 (11-for-22) with two doubles, two homers, five RBIs and five runs last week. He led the AL in batting average and hits while tying for first in total bases (19). He went 3-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs on Friday before going yard on Saturday. "He's obviously a different player than he was last year," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said this week."
  • This was pretty cool, too bad we didn't know about it when it happened: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros - April 7, 2014 - MLB.com.  "So with two outs in the seventh inning of a near-shutout, and an eventual 9-1 victory, Wilson called third baseman Ian Stewart over as the infielders tossed the ball around after one of his seven strikeouts, to let him know he'd start Astros left fielder Jesus Guzman off with a knuckleball, "because I was afraid he was going to get killed if he smashed it."  This is kind of a crappy GIF of Wilson's knuckleball, but if you look closely, you can see him give a little head tip as if he's saying, "Ah, that wasn't so bad."
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  • I was listening to the Astros' radio broadcast on my way to work yesterday and the Houston announcers were talking about Wilson and the way he "tries to do too much with his pitches" and sometimes he gets "too cute".  This was probably a nice way of saying he nibbles.  They also added that he drives his manager and pitching coach crazy by not "trusting his stuff" and at one point mentioned that he changed the hitter's eye-level, showing our musings about Wilson aren't too far off.  Los Angeles Angels vs. Houston Astros - Recap - April 07, 2014 - ESPN.  "First-pitch strikes were huge for him and when he did get behind in the count he was able to command some off-speed pitches to get back into the count," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He couldn't have really done a much better job than he did."
  • Hector Santiago gets another chance to prove how much of an idiot I am.  Santiago was my pick to lead the Halos pitching staff into the post season, but his first Angels' start wasn't very impressive.  Here's hoping it was just season debut nerves: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners - April 8, 2014 - MLB.com.  "Seattle swept the Angels in a three-game series to open the season in Anaheim, and Tuesday's meeting will be a rematch between Paxton and Halos left-hander Hector Santiago from the season's third game, which the Mariners won, 8-2. Santiago went five-plus innings in that game, giving up seven hits and four runs with three walks and four strikeouts before being pulled after 83 pitches."
  • Within this Ken Rosenthal post is this intereting bit about Kendrys MoralesGiants batters packing some punch early in the season - FOX Sports.  "A source told me on Friday that agent Scott Boras is informing teams that he soon could land a deal for free-agent first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales. Boras, however, indicated that the negotiations for both Morales and his other comp free agent, shortstop Stephen Drew, are far from simple. The way Boras described it, clubs are weighing whether to sign Morales and Drew now or wait until after the June draft, when the players no longer would be subject to draft-pick compensation."
  • ‘Major League’ turns 25 — here are 15 things you didn't know about the movie - Yahoo Sports
    "5. YOU NEVER SEE WILLIE MAYS HAYES THROW A BASEBALL The reason? Snipes can’t throw very well. He had never played baseball before filming the movie. He was athletic, so he could do most of the things needed to be Willie Mays Hayes.  "The hardest thing to do if you’ve never played baseball is throw a baseball convincingly," Ward says. The catch in the final game, where he reaches over the wall to swipe a home run? Snipes made that. "He was freakishly talented," Ward says. Except the throwing thing."
  • Cartoon Foresaw Asshole Redface Guy A Decade Ago. "As if that dumbass-Indians-fan ordeal couldn't get any more surreal, it turns out one cartoonist depicted almost the exact situation in 2002."
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