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The "Other" Team Beats Texas, Kazmir Tight: Halolinks

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Angels 9, Rangers 6 -
Vladimir Guerrero doubled after receiving a standing ovation from Angels fans, but the Texas Rangers lost to Los Angeles 9-6 Thursday.

Angels offense beginning to click -
With Opening Day drawing nearer, manager Mike Scioscia, for the second day in a row, drew up a lineup on Thursday that could surface more than occasionally this season. It responded with some lightning and thunder in a 9-6 decision over the Rangers at Tempe Diablo Stadium. "There are a lot of good signs, starting with continuity in the lineup," Scioscia said. "Bobby Abreu with Torii [Hunter], Hideki [Matsui], Kendry [Morales] and [Juan] Rivera are all connected. We've swung the bats well the last couple days. "We'll get all the pieces together. We like our offense, how deep it is."

Nothing but good news in this post...and nothing most fans didn't already know. It is good to see what looks to be the most regular batting order in use this early in spring. Hopefully this "continuity" will carryover into the regular season.

Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim: Making The Other Team The "Other" Team - 2010 Baseball previews - Deadspin
The default team in Los Angeles is the Dodgers. For now. But the Angels are making their move. They are succeeding. The ground can shift. All it takes is the right owner and the right approach. Who would you rather have owning your team right now: a baseball-obsessive, mustachioed Vietnam vet who has vowed to take over the city, or a Boston real estate developer with less money than everybody thought, hanging on to his half of his estate for dear life?

This is a very good article. Deadspin used to have some solid writing, at least in my opinion, but have become a TMZ-type site covering fallen athletes and moronic fans. It's good to see something not boob-related coming out of there.

More links after the break...

Kazmir latest Angels' starter to skip start - The Orange County Register
Kazmir was scratched from Thursday's start against the Texas Rangers due to tightness in his pitching shoulder, centered around the deltoid muscle. The left-hander threw 62 pitches in his most recent outing, going four innings and allowing three runs on five hits to the Rockies on Saturday. He said the "tightness" and fatigue cropped up just in the past couple days.

Most pitchers go through a "dead arm" phase or some sort of tightness during spring training, so this probably isn't anything to be concerned about. Just keep him away from Santana's chair.

World Series MVP Matsui motors on - Yahoo! Sports
"Matsui!" Moreno cried Thursday afternoon, the first he’d seen of his cleanup hitter since the insurance estimates had come back. "Thanks for the ball!" Matsui flushed and played along. "Any time," he said, laughing. They shook hands. "Everything good? Everything OK?" Moreno asked. "Yes," Matsui answered. "Thank you."

And yet again we're reminded how cool Arte Moreno is. This post is 99% about Matsui, pretty much the same "former Yankee, now Angel" story, but the bit with Moreno is entertaining.

Aybar's new leadoff role crucial move for division champ Angels -
"With Erick, there will be some things he's not going to bring that maybe Figgy [Chone Figgins] brought," says Mike Scioscia, who has guided the Angels to three consecutive AL West titles and five in six seasons. "There was a time in his career when Figgy developed the talent to work deep in the count. "I think Erick will, too. I don't know if it will be by April 5. But what he did last year sets up for what we need for the middle of our lineup [to be effective]."

I think this is the most important thing facing the Angels lineup, and this isn't that big of a deal. If Aybar can continue to develop his on-base skills, it'll impact the Angels. However that can be said about any player regardless of where in the batting order he hits. The lead off hitter only actually leads off the inning once (usually), which is about 11% of the time. The important thing is a hitter getting on base, any hitter, from the guy in the #1 spot all the way down to whomever is hitting last.

Aldridge persistent in quest to big leagues -
Cory Aldridge is 30 years old with five Major League at-bats in 13 professional seasons, but he pushes forward nonetheless, striving to fulfill a dream in the Angels' camp as a non-roster invitee."He's been impressive," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He can swing the bat, and he's made some terrific plays in the outfield."

A player doesn't all of a sudden develop into a major league player after 13 seasons and there are reasons a person becomes a "career minor leaguer". Is it possible a player could fall through the cracks, being overlooked for 13 years as the type of player who could impact a major league team? Sure. Is it likely? Probably not. Not with the amount of scouting and player evaluation in baseball. But wouldn't it be pretty cool if it happens? Absolutely.

MLB: Fallen Angels? - Yahoo! Sports
With two stars now wearing different uniforms, the defending AL West champs could struggle.

Video reviewing the Angels off season.

Padres shifting from not so swift to fast lane -
They have become the Push-Push Padres, with a low drag coefficient, built for speed, built for the spacious Petco Park Speedway, built for derring-do, built to manager Bud Black’s specifications.They no longer are the Plodding Padres, John Deere lawn mowers who ran the bases as if their shoes were lemon meringue pies, moving from first to third with the swiftness of continental drift. Not all these Padres are Usain Bolts, mind you, but many of them have been asked — ordered? — by Black during spring training here to act as though they are. And they’ve bought into it.

Angel baseball is spreading. It's latest victim...the Padres.

Padilla named Opening Day starter -
Vicente Padilla, released just seven months ago by the Rangers, was named the Dodgers' Opening Day starter on Thursday by manager Joe Torre. Torre said that Padilla's selection demonstrates that the Dodgers, while lacking a true ace, have four quality starting pitchers. "We just had to pick somebody, and he was the one," Torre said.

How bad is it when your opening day starter was released the previous season by a team who has been known to be shorthanded in pitching? And how inspiring is it when your manager says, "We just had to pick someone, and he was the one"? What did Joe Torre do, pull names from a hat? Throw darts? The ugliest guy in the room gets the start? Or did Padilla draw the short straw? Another thing. Why isn't anyone writing about how the Dodgers don't have an ace, and how that'll impact their season?

Jim Edmonds earns spot on Milwaukee Brewers 40-man roster - ESPN
The Gold Glove center fielder, making a comeback after taking the 2009 season off, had his minor league contract purchased Thursday, giving the 39-year-old a spot on the 40-man roster."His defense is still there and his throwing arm is still there," manager Ken Macha said. "He still needs more at-bats. But to be away for a whole year and be hitting the ball the way he has this spring has been pretty impressive."

Good job Jimmy!

A's righty Ben Sheets hit hard by minor leaguers -
Oakland Athletics right-hander Ben Sheets allowed three runs and nine hits in six-plus innings against minor leaguers on Thursday in one of his final tuneups before the start of the regular season.

Uh-oh. It might be a long season in Oakland.

Cubs' Lee recovering from freak back injury - Chicago Breaking Sports
Derrek Lee was receiving treatment for a back injury incurred in a freak accident in the clubhouse before Wednesday's game against Texas in Surprise. "He was eating before the game and the chair just collapsed on him," manager Lou Piniella said.

The chairs, they're striking back!

10 minutes with Bill Jame - blogs
What are the biggest issues facing baseball right now?
We’re making a lot of progress on the income disparity between the teams. We haven’t wiped that out but we have made significant progress on that. It could be that the biggest issue now is getting the -- well, I’m between a rock and a hard place here. I’ve got to make news to sell books, but not make too much news to avoid being fired. We have some franchises now that are happy to make money and don’t care whether they win. That destroys the enterprise if you get too much of it. If you get too many franchises that are just counting the cash and are not committed to the effort to win, that seriously undermines the game. At some point, we have to get a hold of that. There may be perverse economic incentives in the game that need to be restructured in order to prevent that from happening.

Joe Posnanski - Heart of the Matter
"There’s no stat yet that measures heart." – Nomar Garciaparra
This, of course, is true … or at least it’s sort of true. There are so many things that baseball statistics do not even attempt to count — pep talks given, bits of helpful advice doled out, small favors done, dinners bought to make a rookie feel welcome, jokes cracked at the batting cage, routine grounders run out, hustle plays that hold a hitter to a single, interviews given when no one else really feels like talking. And so on.

More on this later.

Phillies fan found not guilty of prostitution - FOX Sports on MSN
The 44-year-old from West Philadelphia had admitted to being desperate to find reasonably priced tickets to a home game. She was arrested on October 26 after meeting an undercover police officer at a restaurant in Bensalem and allegedly offering to perform sex acts with him and another man in exchange for two tickets for herself and her husband.

But she was found guilty of being a Phillies fan.

Borbon, CF 4 1 2 1 0 0 0 .290
b-Gentry, PH-CF 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .208
Young, M, 3B 3 0 2 1 1 0 0 .425
c-Brown, M, PH-3B 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .360
Hamilton, LF 3 1 2 0 1 0 1 .389
d-German, PH-2B 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .286
Guerrero, DH 4 0 2 0 0 1 5 .326
e-Hall, PH-DH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .154
Cruz, N, RF 4 0 0 1 0 0 5 .349
Ramirez, M, 1B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .261
Davis, C, 1B 4 1 1 0 0 2 1 .345
Tomlin, Ja, RF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Arias, Jo, 2B 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 .268
a-Murphy, Dv, PH-LF 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 .245
Teagarden, C 3 1 1 1 0 2 0 .259
Treanor, C 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 .217
Andrus, El, SS 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .235
Petit, G, SS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .545
Totals 39 6 13 6 3 10 18

a-Doubled for Arias, Jo in the 8th. b-Struck out for Borbon in the 8th. c-Struck out for Young, M in the 8th. d-Struck out for Hamilton in the 8th. e-Struck out for Guerrero in the 9th.

2B: Guerrero (5, O'Sullivan), Davis, C (3, O'Sullivan), Teagarden (3, O'Sullivan), Arias, Jo (2, Fuentes), Murphy, Dv (4, McKiernan).
3B: Borbon (1, O'Sullivan).
HR: Treanor (1, 8th inning off McKiernan, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Borbon 4; Young, M 2; Hamilton 2; Guerrero 3; Davis, C 2; Arias, Jo 2; Murphy, Dv 2; Teagarden 2; Treanor 4.
RBI: Young, M (7), Teagarden (6), Borbon (6), Cruz, N (15), Treanor 2 (4).
2-out RBI: Borbon.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Cruz, N 3; Guerrero 2; German; Murphy, Dv.
Team RISP: 4-for-14.
Team LOB: 10.

SB: Andrus, El (4, 2nd base off McKiernan/Wilson, Bo).
CS: Andrus, El (2, 2nd base by Stokes/Mathis, J), Arias, Jo (3, 3rd base by Fuentes/Mathis, J).

DP: (Young, M-Arias, Jo-Davis, C).

Aybar, E, SS 4 0 2 0 0 1 0 .143
g-Navarro, E, PH-1B 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 .333
Abreu, B, RF 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .182
a-Evans, T, PH-RF 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 .207
Hunter, CF 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 .393
b-Wood, B, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 .250
Bourjos, CF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .214
Matsui, H, DH 3 2 2 0 0 0 0 .296
c-Aldridge, C, PH-DH 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 .393
Morales, K, 1B 3 1 2 2 0 1 0 .415
d-Wilson, Bo, PH-C 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 .294
Rivera, J, LF 3 0 1 0 0 0 3 .268
Ryan, LF 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 .375
Kendrick, H, 2B 3 1 2 2 0 0 1 .311
e-Statia, PH-2B 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .133
Izturis, M, 3B 3 2 1 2 1 0 1 .361
Younger, 3B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Mathis, J, C 3 0 1 2 0 0 0 .207
f-Romine, An, PH-SS 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .167
Totals 38 9 15 9 4 3 16

a-Flied out for Abreu, B in the 5th. b-Grounded into a forceout for Hunter in the 6th. c-Singled for Matsui, H in the 7th. d-Flied out for Morales, K in the 7th. e-Struck out for Kendrick, H in the 7th. f-Walked for Mathis, J in the 7th. g-Singled for Aybar, E in the 7th.

2B: Matsui, H (1, Holland), Morales, K (2, Holland), Kendrick, H (7, Ogando), Izturis, M (4, Snyder, B).
3B: Aldridge, C (1, Ramirez, E).
TB: Aybar, E 2; Navarro, E; Hunter; Matsui, H 3; Aldridge, C 4; Morales, K 3; Rivera, J; Kendrick, H 3; Izturis, M 2; Mathis, J.
RBI: Morales, K 2 (12), Kendrick, H 2 (9), Mathis, J 2 (9), Izturis, M 2 (6), Navarro, E (1).
2-out RBI: Kendrick, H 2; Mathis, J 2; Izturis, M 2; Navarro, E.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Izturis, M; Wood, B 2; Evans, T; Ryan.
GIDP: Rivera, J.
Team RISP: 7-for-15.
Team LOB: 9.

SB: Izturis, M (1, 2nd base off Ogando/Treanor), Kendrick, H (4, 3rd base off Ogando/Treanor).

E: Abreu, B (1, fielding), Younger (1, throw).

Holland (L, 0-2) 5.1 8 4 4 0 2 0 5.68
Ogando 0.1 3 2 2 2 0 0 4.15
Snyder, B 1.0 3 3 3 2 1 0 9.00
Ramirez, E 1.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
O'Sullivan 4.0 8 3 3 2 2 0 7.94
Fuentes 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1.35
Stokes (W, 1-0) 2.0 2 1 1 1 2 0 2.25
McKiernan 1.0 2 2 2 0 3 1 7.71
Aldridge (S, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00

Balk: Holland.
HBP: Andrus, El (by McKiernan).
Groundouts-flyouts: Holland 10-3, Ogando 0-1, Snyder, B 1-1, Ramirez, E 1-3, O'Sullivan 6-3, Fuentes 0-1, Stokes 2-0, McKiernan 0-0, Aldridge 0-1.
Batters faced: Holland 23, Ogando 6, Snyder, B 8, Ramirez, E 5, O'Sullivan 22, Fuentes 3, Stokes 8, McKiernan 6, Aldridge 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Ogando 1-1, Snyder, B 3-0, Ramirez, E 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Derryl Cousins. 1B: Dana DeMuth. 2B: . 3B: Gary Darling.
Weather: 70 degrees, sunny.
Wind: 6 mph, R to L.
T: 3:08.
Att: 7,609.
March 25, 2010