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Angels Sweep Canada, Willits Makes The Rounds. Halolinks

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Ervin Santana and Reggie Willits celebrate after the Angels finish the sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ervin Santana and Reggie Willits celebrate after the Angels finish the sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Los Angeles Angels sweep Blue Jays -
Santana was simply untouchable. Entering the game at very uncharacteristic 0-2, and 6.94 ERA, Santana pitched a complete game, limiting the sagging Jays batting order to four hits and no walks. Romero and Santana couldn’t have put on a more impressive display of pitching. Romero, the lefty, located his fastball and rang up four of his five strikeouts with a wonderful, sharp curve he had on tap all afternoon. Santana similarly was spot on with his fastball. He was ahead in the count with almost every batter he faced. In the sixth inning for instance, he needed only four pitches to send the Jays back to the field (three easy pop fly outs). All this made for a classic pitching duel between two talented throwers at the top of their games.

It was nice to see Santana out duel Romero and cap off an excellent weekend for all three Angels starters. This is what Angel fans were looking forward to for this season...great starting pitching from 5 spots.

Tigers-Angels Preview - FOX Sports on MSN
After getting knocked around through the first week and a half of the season, the Los Angeles Angels are finally receiving some solid starting pitching. Joel Pineiro looks to build on a stellar performance and help the Angels win a fourth in a row Monday night when they open a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers. Pineiro (1-1, 2.77 ERA) looks to keep it going as he takes the ball for Los Angeles.In an interleague game against Detroit on June 18, Pineiro gave up four runs - one earned - and five hits in seven innings of a 6-3 loss for St. Louis. He is 0-2 with a 4.95 ERA in his last three starts against the Tigers after going 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA in his first six starts against them. The Tigers arrive in Southern California after defeating Seattle 4-2 on Sunday, snapping a three-game losing streak. Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer against the Mariners, and is batting .423 (11 for 26) with three home runs and 12 RBIs in six road games this season. Cabrera's former Florida teammate Dontrelle Willis (0-0, 4.91) takes the ball in the opener, set to make his third start of the season - and first not against Kansas City.

Pineiro had a dominating outing the last time he took the hill, let's see if he can do it in back-to-back games. I'm not being skeptical of his talent, I'd just like to see him go on a roll to quiet some of his critics.

Just like old times for Angels trio -
It was like old times on Saturday for Reggie Willits, Erick Aybar and Howard Kendrick. The three athletes were back doing all the things they accomplished while coming up together in the Angels' farm system, and opportunity knocked again on Sunday. At Double-A Arkansas in 2005 and Triple-A Salt Lake the following season, Willits and Aybar traded off hitting first and second in the lineup, with Kendrick in the No. 3 spot. They did a lot of damage together.

Willits played all three outfield positions against Toronto this weekend, possibly indicating why Scioscia prefers having Willits in the majors while Evans is playing in Salt Lake City.

Tigers will be greeted by familiar face in Fernando Rodney when facing Angels | -
What makes him so tough? "Fernando is very attacking but very wild," Detroit reliever Joel Zumaya said. "And that is what makes him so good. He can throw 98 (mph) and paint (the corner) or 99 and hit you in the forehead." Zumaya shrugged his shoulders and smiled. How do you dig in against that?

Fuentes heading to Cal League - The Orange County Register
Angels closer Brian Fuentes is tentatively scheduled to join the Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes for a minor-league injury-rehabilitation assignment Monday. Fuentes will pitch one inning for the Quakes in Lake Elsinore as a final step before he is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday.

These two links kind of highlight a contrast between the Angels 8th and 9th inning guys. One's a deceptive lefty who makes his living off of location, the other is a power-arm righty looking to intimidate batters with his stuff. Put them together and the back-end of the Angels bullpen can be very effective.

Hunter's feeling the pain of playing on turf - Angels Blog - ESPN Los Angeles
Hunter said the new surface in Toronto is too soft. "That turf is mean," Hunter said. "Go run in the sand at the beach for about an hour and see how that works out for you." Originally, Scioscia wanted to keep his 30-something outfielders in the lineup for all three games here, but that plan didn’t work out. Bobby Abreu, who has had some nagging overall soreness, got Saturday’s game off.

Nine Innings: Torii Hunter
1. If you could trade places for one day with anyone in baseball, who would it be?
Torii Hunter: Trade places for one day in baseball - player or…?
Touching Base: Anyone.
TH: Anyone, okay. I’d take Arte Moreno. Be the owner. Always awesome.
TB: What would you do for that day as an owner?
TH: Collect the check, the check that he gets for all the revenue and everything like that. Just be him, see what it’s like.

First off, I love Torii Hunter. He seems like a great guy, would be a great team mate, is a great player, but this comment baffles me. Hunter is making $18M this season and $90 over the course of the 5-year contract, out of anyone who he could be, he wants to me Arte Moreno to see what it's like to have all that money? I'd agree it would be interesting to Moreno, not because of his money, but because it'd be interesting to see what it's like to run a major league team. I'd hate to have Hunter stop talking to the press considering he's the source of so many great quotes, but after the "imposters" comment, he might be on the road to "STFUville".

Speeding up: Jered Weaver, Angels : Photo Gallery
Speeding up: Jered Weaver, Angels One of the biggest questions hovering around the Angels – Who will replace John Lackey as the No. 1 starter? – might have been answered already. Weaver is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA, and the Angels have won each of his three starts. Good thing, too. The majority of Mike Scioscia’s other pitchers have stumbled early: The Angels entered Monday with a 4.46 ERA, fourth-worst in the AL.

Who will replace Lackey was never a question that most Angel backers had. They knew Weaver was going to be the ace the Angels were looking for. Now he's just proving it to the rest of baseball.

Hollywood cowboy legends are being honored on four U.S. postage stamps - LA Daily News
Then came Gene Autry, known as "America's Favorite Singing Cowboy," and a dapper pioneer in radio, film and TV. While flying supplies over Burma during World War II, he was the only American serviceman allowed to wear his non-regulation cowboy boots. The easy-going star from Studio City became the longtime owner of the California Angels and founder of the current Autry National Center. Jackie Autry is thrilled with her late husband's stamp, which Rodriguez drew from a movie poster for "Gold Mine in the Sky." "I think it's wonderful," Autry said from her home in Palm Springs. "I think it's a wonderful tribute to the man who entertained three generations of children. "I think the stamp does him justice.

All-Star package prices are astronomical -
If you're an Angels season-ticket holder, too bad. You get first shot at a ticket to the July 13 All-Star game, but only if you're willing to buy a package that includes a ticket to the July 12 home run derby, a ticket to the July 11 Futures Game for top prospects, two tickets to the fan festival at the Anaheim Convention Center and a $12 game program. All that, and a $25 processing fee. Total cost for a $185 All-Star game ticket: $467. Total cost for a $360 All-Star game ticket: $977.

April's latest news and notes - FOX Sports on MSN
Oakland has won nine games -- tied for the most in the majors -- and begins the week with a 2½ game lead in the American League West. And according to one veteran scout, there’s little reason to expect the young A’s to fade soon. In fact, the A’s could be on their way to a winning season for the first time since reaching the AL Championship Series in 2006. "Their starting pitchers throw strikes," the scout said. "There is some risk (with the rotation overall) because (Ben) Sheets could get hurt. But they should be encouraged with the way things are falling for them, pitching-wise. As long as their starters are healthy, they’ll be able to compete."


Tough to turn fixer-uppers into winners; requires commitment -
He is a "fixer," an astute baseball mind hired by ownership to turn around a moribund franchise. Like others in this elite group of diamond specialists, he has been asked to rescue teams before. His experience indicates each case is different, each market presenting unique challenges. The job of a fixer entails more than upgrading talent on the field. Problems can run deep, and remedies are often neither instant nor inexpensive. "In Minnesota, when I got there in 1985, things needed to be modernized," says MacPhail, 57. "The scouting reports were 3x5 cards with no verbal whatsoever. The median age of a Twins scout was 78. We had two living in North Dakota and none in Texas. The first hire I was fortunate enough to make was Terry Ryan (who served as Twins GM from 1994-2007)."

This is a pretty interesting story.

April 19 - BR Bullpen
1966 - The California Angels play their first game at Anaheim Stadium. Rick Reichardt of the Angels hits the first (regular season) home run in the new ballpark, but California loses the game, 3 - 1, to the Chicago White Sox.

The Giants' Willie Mays connected for the first home run at Anaheim Stadium on April 10th, 1966.