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Kazmir Slides Against Yankees, Dodger Fan Failure. Halolinks

Cheer up, this could be the Angels left fielder.
Cheer up, this could be the Angels left fielder.

Scott Kazmir loses his slider, and Angels lose to Yankees -
"His slider looked really good, like I've never seen it before," Napoli said of Kazmir, the Angels left-hander. "Butch and I gave each other a look like, ‘It's going to be a good night.' " A few innings into the game, those grins were gone, as were three of the balls that left New York bats. Kazmir got to the Yankee Stadium mound, and his slider went AWOL.

I blame Napoli.

Angels-Blue Jays Preview - FOX Sports on MSN
Marcum (0-0, 3.46 ERA), however, has been solid in two starts in 2010, flirting with a no-hitter in Toronto's 5-4, season-opening win at Texas on April 5 and yielding two runs and eight hits over six innings in Sunday's 5-2 victory at Baltimore. Marcum, whose last win came Sept. 11, 2008, is 2-1 with a 3.04 ERA in four career starts against the Angels. Making his first start away from Anaheim this season, Weaver looks to get the three-time defending AL West champs back on track after they lost their third straight series. The Angels (3-7) are off to their worst start since opening 3-8 in 2002. Weaver has felt good in six starts against the Blue Jays, going 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

The Angels are 3-7 in the United States this season, maybe they figure it out in the great white north (take off!).

The Catch of a Lifetime - The Good Phight
I was at today's game. Putting the loss aside (which is easy to do when the Phils are off to a 7-2 start of the season), the game highlight, and one of my lifetime Phillies-game-attendance highlights, came in the bottom of the sixth inning. With my 4-year-old son by my side, well, you can watch for yourself:

This proves that despite all of us bloggers looking like dorks, we do sometimes have flashes of brilliance (I'm still waiting for mine). The look on his son's face is awesome (around the 0:41 mark).

Authorities reviewing video of Dodgers fan being hit by guard - Baseball
Authorities are reviewing a video posted on YouTube which appears to show a security guard pushing a fan from Dodger Stadium, then kicking him and tackling him to the ground. The post indicates the video is from the Dodgers' home opener on Tuesday.

Here's a link to the video: YouTube Video. Just your typical Dodger fans having typical Dodger fan fun. What I found interesting in the video is the commentary of the guy recording it. First, he tells security he can film if he wants when one of the security guys tries to make him stop. Next, he offers to sell the video for $50,000. Finally, he decides he's not so pissed off at the way security is handling the situation when he realizes who is getting beat up, "Nevermind, he's white."

Mike Napoli isn’t happy with lack of playing time -
Mike Napoli started Thursday night, only the third time in 10 games he got the nod at catcher, and while he was happy to be in the lineup, he has been so frustrated by his lack of playing time he requested a meeting with Manager Mike Scioscia this week. "I don't like coming in here and not seeing my name in the lineup," said Napoli, who had a single in three at-bats in a 6-2 loss to the Yankees."Mike is going to catch enough to contribute," Scioscia said. "Playing time is based on production, and first and foremost, we need that defensive presence behind the plate. Jeff is getting more playing time because he's playing at a very high level on defense."

Scioscia's quote sums up what the problem is with Napoli, "we need that defensive presence behind the plate". I say, "we need that offensive presence in the lineup".

Fake trade: Mike Napoli to Texas for Frank Francisco - HardballTalk - NBC Sports
Rangers acquire C Mike Napoli from the Angels for RHP Frank Francisco and RHP Brandon McCarthy. Why it works for Texas: Napoli would give them another big-time power threat for the bottom third of their order. One of the game's five-best offensive catchers, he's a career .255/.356/.490 hitter in 1,105 at-bats. Why it works for Los Angeles: In Francisco, the Angels would get a third closer-type reliever and one who is more dominant than either Brian Fuentes or Fernando Rodney when he's on. While he's off to a rough start right now, Francisco was 25-for-29 saving games last year and he limited hitters to a .200 average in 2008 and a .214 mark last season. McCarthy could also be of real use to a team that lacks pitching depth. Like the Rangers have done, the Angels could stash him away in Triple-A until they need another starter. Matt Palmer just isn't likely to prove to be an adequate fallback again, and the Angels can't expect Scott Kazmir or Ervin Santana to throw 200 innings.

Is Mike Napoli trade-bait? If so, how about the Dodgers now that they've lost Ausmus for a few months? Something like George Sherrill and Trayvon Robinson?

Joel Pineiro reflects on New York Mets' lackluster and 'weird' offseason pursuit - NY Daily News
At the very least, Pineiro was obviously a much-needed upgrade for the Mets' staff. And baseball people whispered during the winter that he was GM Omar Minaya's No. 1 target among pitchers. So what happened? That's what Pineiro would like to know.

What happened? Omay Minaya happened. The Mets organization happened. The Ninja happened.

Vazquez reunion lacking fastball & faith -
Yankees officials recognized that finding an above-average starter was paramount in the offseason. So they inquired about Roy Halladay, but felt Toronto really was not interested in trading him within the AL East. They felt they never really got a chance with Cliff Lee. They liked John Lackey, but worried enough about his long-term health to be scared off by the contract length and dollars necessary to secure the best free-agent starter available. In many ways their decision came down to Javier Vazquez in a trade or Joel Pineiro in free agency.

Tight shoulder makes Izturis a late scratch -
Maicer Izturis was in the original lineup Thursday at third base, but Brandon Wood was inserted for his eighth start in 10 games when Izturis turned up with tightness in his right shoulder.

Hunter stays quiet on Jackie Robinson Day - ESPN Los Angeles
"It means a lot to me, you know that. But y'all will write it wrong," Hunter said when approached by reporters. "Then, I'll be a racist."

Come on Torii, don't be like that.

Power Rankings: Yankees in rarefied air - Yahoo! Sports
16. Los Angeles Angels (3-6; Previous: 5) – Matsui returns to Yankee Stadium, gets ring, taunts new teammates with silly Rally Monkey dance.

How can the Cubs get through five more years of Soriano? - Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports
It's a question the Cubs don't like being asked, mostly because they can't provide an answer. What are they going to do with Alfonso Soriano(notes) for the next five seasons? It has gotten so bad that it's possible the Cubs have resorted threatening Soriano about his playing time — or are at least might be trying to motivate him by leaking threats through the media.

Remember when the Angels were in pursuit of Soriano? They reportedly offered him $80M for 5 years. How dumb do the Cubs look now?

The Post In Which I Use 42% Of My Comedic Abilities -
But here’s what I want to know – how in the hell do you know if you’re working out at 75% or 80%? Who makes up these numbers and how is this verifiable?

What's sad is I use 100% of my comedic abilities. And this is all you get (sorry, no refunds). At least I give it the ole 110%.

Angels League Rankings

Per Game AL Rank MLB Rank
Runs Scored 3.78 11th 24th
Runs Allowed 6 14th 28th

Season AL Rank MLB Rank
BA .267 7th 12th
HR 10 1st 1st
SB 3 12th 21st
ERA 5.51 14th 26th
K 61 6th 15th
BB 37 12th 25th
OPS .731 9th 18th
SLG .412 9th 16th
OBP .319 10th 23rd

April 16 - BR Bullpen
2000 - Chuck Finley of the Cleveland Indians, who was already the only pitcher in MLB to strike out four batters in one inning twice, does it for the third time as he strikes out Tom Evans, Royce Clayton, Chad Curtis (who takes first base on a passed ball) and Rafael Palmeiro in the third inning; Finley beats the Texas Rangers, 2 - 1, with the help of back-to-back ninth-inning home runs from Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome.

One night in Kazmir:

Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar, SS 4 0 1 0 1 1 1 .286
Bobby Abreu, RF 4 0 0 0 1 1 4 .256
Torii Hunter, CF 4 1 2 0 0 1 2 .343
Hideki Matsui, DH 2 1 2 1 2 0 0 .316
Kendry Morales, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .263
Howard Kendrick, 2B 4 0 0 1 0 1 2 .281
Mike Napoli, C 3 0 1 0 1 2 2 .167
Brandon Wood, 3B 4 0 0 0 0 2 1 .100
Reggie Willits, LF 2 0 0 0 2 1 1 .000
Totals 31 2 6 2 7 11
HR - Hideki Matsui (3, Hughes)
RBI - Hideki Matsui (6), Howard Kendrick (2)
SB - Erick Aybar (1, 2nd base off Hughes/Posada)
Team LOB - 9

New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS 5 1 2 2 0 2 0 .333
Nick Swisher, RF 4 0 0 0 1 0 1 .267
Mark Teixeira, 1B 2 0 0 0 3 2 1 .091
Alex Rodriguez, 3B 3 1 1 0 1 0 3 .263
Robinson Cano, 2B 4 2 2 3 0 1 3 .395
Jorge Posada, C 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .345
Marcus Thames, DH 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 .429
a- Nick Johnson, PH-DH 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .207
Curtis Granderson, CF 4 1 2 1 0 0 1 .333
Randy Winn, LF 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .000
Totals 33 6 9 6 6 7
a-walked for Thames in the 7th
2B - Derek Jeter (2, Kazmir), Alex Rodriguez (5, Kazmir), Marcus Thames (1, Kazmir)
3B - Curtis Granderson 2 (2, Kazmir, Stokes)
HR - Derek Jeter (2, Kazmir), Robinson Cano 2 (4, Kazmir, Kazmir)
RBI - Derek Jeter 2 (6), Robinson Cano 3 (9), Curtis Granderson (6)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Curtis Granderson 1
DP - Chamberlain-Jeter-Teixeira
Los Angeles Angels
Scott Kazmir (L,0-1) 4 8 6 6 3 2 3 13.50
Brian Stokes 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 5.06
Matt Palmer 2 0 0 0 3 4 0 5.00
Francisco Rodriguez 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 87-48, Brian Stokes 18-11, Matt Palmer 44-23, Francisco Rodriguez 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 7-3, Brian Stokes 2-1, Matt Palmer 1-1, Francisco Rodriguez 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 23, Brian Stokes 4, Matt Palmer 9, Francisco Rodriguez 3

New York Yankees
Phil Hughes (W,1-0) 5 3 2 2 5 6 1 3.60
David Robertson 1.2 0 0 0 1 3 0 9.00
Damaso Marte 0.2 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Joba Chamberlain (H,2) 1.1 1 0 0 1 1 0 3.38
Mariano Rivera (S,4) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
WP - David Robertson (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Phil Hughes 108-66, David Robertson 30-17, Damaso Marte 20-12, Joba Chamberlain 22-14, Mariano Rivera 4-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Hughes 3-5, David Robertson 2-0, Damaso Marte 1-0, Joba Chamberlain 1-1, Mariano Rivera 1-0
Batters Faced - Phil Hughes 22, David Robertson 6, Damaso Marte 4, Joba Chamberlain 5, Mariano Rivera 1
Game Information
Attendance - 44722
Game Time - 3:33
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Dan Bellino