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Saunders Is Strong, Rotation Is Stronger; Halolinks

Diamondbacks 7, Angels 6 -
"We've got five quality arms," Saunders said. "It doesn't matter when or where I pitch. "I think we've got one of the best rotations in baseball. I'm excited to see where we can go. If one guy does well, the other four will pretty much feed off of it."

The "feed off each other" quote got me wondering; without any letdown in the Angels rotation, what effect does being in a strong rotation have on each of the pitchers within that rotation? Without a "weakest link" in the starting five, the Angels rotation could string together some good win streaks. Will that make them better pitchers?

Spring Snapshot: Angels look to retain their iron grip on AL West - Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports
Every day in spring training until we're finished with the entire league, BLS takes a brief capsule look at each team that we visit in Florida and Arizona. Next up are the Los Angeles Angels, who are aiming for their fourth straight AL West title and sixth in seven years.

Another look at the Angels upcoming season. One thing that stood out for me was the Angels are going for their fourth straight AL West title. As a longtime fan who lived through barren 70's (except 1979) and 90's, it just struck me...fourth straight title. Who'da thunk it.

Angels break ground on All-Star fields -
The project, which is a part of the "Going Beyond" charity and community service theme for the 2010 MLB All-Star Summer in Anaheim, will consist of the reconstruction of a youth baseball and softball field and the construction of a new Miracle League Field, which will provide opportunities for special-needs children to play baseball.

Yay team.

Baseball stats explained - FOX Sports on MSN
The statistical revolution came to baseball long ago, and these days it's as much a part of the game as cowhide, sunflower seeds and functionally illiterate Bill Plaschke columns. And despite much fretting to the contrary, the statistical revolution is nothing to fear, loathe or run from. Statistics enhance baseball. Any baseball argument is informed by the numbers (even if you're using the wrong ones), and any understanding of this great game is made better and deeper by an understanding of the numbers.

Now that baseball statistics require a NASA scientist mentality to understand, there have been a couple stat primers written this off-season explaining what the numbers mean. This one's pretty good.

Bill James doesn't expect Mariners to improve on 2009's 85-win season - Seattle Times Newspaper
"I think the Mariners are a tremendous organization and I think they're getting really close to being on the same level as the Angels," he said. "But I think that this is a consolidation year. They'll play at a similar level to last year, but not better."

What would happen if Jesus Christ started badmouthing his prophets?

Matsui starting over with Angels - FOX Sports on MSN
Hideki Matsui has been known as "Godzilla" for years, both in Japan and the U.S. But now that he has left the Yankees for the Angels, I wondered if the reigning World Series MVP was in the mood for wholesale change. So, I asked him the other day in the Angels clubhouse. Before Matsui could answer, he was preempted by a teammate who had overheard. "Stan," said the deadpan voice. It was Torii Hunter.

Stan Matsui. Stan the Gaijin.

Shields banking on return to form -
Shields admits he still needs to work on a few things -- he's allowed two walks and two hits in his two appearances but was able to escape jams in both outings. But Angels manager Mike Scioscia likes what he's seen so far and, with Shields on track to throw every three days, thinks it will only get better.

A deep bullpen. Screw you pythagoras.

Mathis hopes strong postseason will translate into better at-bats - Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports
Mathis said that he and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher identified a big problem late last season when they noticed he was pulling his head and not making contact on easily hittable pitches. That led to work on standing his ground in the batter's box against the pitch, which led to the nice postseason stretch.

Yay team.

Angels join 30-30 club - The Orange County Register
Members of the MLB Network spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Tempe with the Angels, preparing for Friday’s Angels installment of 30 clubs in 30 days. The episode airs for the first time Thursday at 2 p.m. locally.

Rangers manager Ron Washington failed drug test for cocaine -
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine during the 2009 season.

Oh yeah, and this happened.