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FRIDAY HALOLINKS: Kendry Morales AL Player Of The Month, Chone Figgins Likes To Play

Up next for Angels: Friday at Kansas City --
Jered Weaver vs. Gil Meche

Tight AL West might help the Angels in the long run -
The Texas Rangers have done the Angels no favors this season, beating them nine times out of 12 and raising the first threat to the Angels' division dominance since 2006. But the Rangers could do the Angels a big favor this month — by pushing them to the finish.

Numbers are not Figgins' primary goal -
The season is heading down the stretch, with the Rangers breathing down their necks in the American League West race, but the Angels can take solace in having a lead thoroughbred atop the order, at the top of his game.

Team Reports -
In their past five games, Angels starters Jered Weaver, John Lackey, Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana and Scott Kazmir have allowed just two earned runs (plus two unearned) in 33 1/3 innings.

Team Reports II -
Kendry Morales had big shoes to fill when he replaced departed free agent Mark Teixeira as the Angels' everyday first baseman this season. But Morales has stepped in so ably that he and Teixeira now stand side by side as MVP candidates in the American League. "No doubt, absolutely no doubt. If you look at his individual stats and you look at what he's meant to our team, there's no doubt he's as much a candidate for MVP as any of the other names put out there," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Angels' Morales is AL Player of Month - Los Angeles Times
"In 28 games last month, Morales batted .385 (42-109) with eight doubles and 10 home runs and tied for a Major League-best 33 RBI with ... National League Player of the Month winner for August, Ryan Howard. "The 26-year-old posted a .409 on-base percentage and a Major League-leading .734 slugging percentage. Kendry’s RBI total (33) last month set a new club record for August, previously held by Bobby Bonds, who collected 31 RBI in August 1977.

Angels reliever Jepsen finds way to push past tragedy - LA Daily News
Randy Jepsen's last official act didn't involve his son; rather, he pushed his wife off their four-wheeler before it tumbled through the Nevada desert six years ago. The selfless effort left him helpless to prevent the all-terrain vehicle from breaking his neck. He died two days later in a Reno, Nev., hospital at the age of 44.

Whose home cooking: Angels' or Dodgers'? -
Both the Angels and Dodgers used the construction materials at hand _ players from their own minor-league systems _ to create powerhouse clubs. Of course, they did go outside to get some major work done, using free agents (eg., Manny Ramirez and Torii Hunter) and trades (Jim Thome and Scott Kazmir) to finish the job.

Sometimes luck enters into it - Los Angeles Times
The lesson is, if you want to win your division, you have to be competitive against everyone. It still takes good hitting and pitching and solid defense. But a little extra luck once in a while doesn't hurt, either.

Stumble before fall likeliest for Angels -
Currently divided by little more than 30 miles, the question for the Angels and Dodgers today is this: Which is more likely to blow it in the final month? The answer: The Angels.

You see what happens when I link to the OC Register? You get Jeff Miller!

Angels' Bobby Abreu leads by example --
He is the anti-Vladdy, a picture of patience and plate discipline who has imposed his will on the Angels in the six months he has been here, so much so that it is not only the young players who flock to him for advice and guidance. Even Torii Hunter, an old dog in his 12th major league season, has learned some new tricks from Bobby Abreu, the veteran right fielder who has helped transform the Angels into one of baseball's most prolific offensive clubs.

Baseball Daily Digest August Player of the Month — Kendry Morales
Cuban masher Kendry Morales headlined BDD’s Player of the Month voting as the Angels’ first baseman grabbed 6 first-place votes and easily earned the title as our Player of the Month for August.

He was also named player of the month from "Chicks Who Dig", "Cuban", and "Tiex Is A"

Baseball-Reference Blog - Share all of our Stats
Ever wanted to make a statistical point on a blog, to a friend via e-mail, on twitter or in an internet forum? The data you need appears on this site, but we've got twenty columns of additional data and then you would have to cut and paste, delete what you don't need and then maybe add some html or bbcode to get it to look just right?

September 4 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on September 4.