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Vlad Rubs It In As Angels Lose In Texas Again. Halolinks

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Things should be getting back to normal with the Halolinks post. I've made it back to Wisconsin after having a great time with my two families (3 kids in SoCal and my HH family). Only eventfully thing to happen on yesterday's flight home was the opportunity to be "that guy". You know the one, you're sitting in your seat waiting for the plane to back away from the gate when you notice a really hot woman walking down the aisle. You glance at her, you glance at the empty seat next to you. You look back up to her just in time to see her sit down next to some other luck mo-fo. Yesterday I was the lucky mo-fo when a gorgeous young girl sat down in the seat next to me on my flight from Denver to Madison. Long brown hair, "full grown" upper body. Anyway, she looks me in the eyes and whispers a sultry "hi". Sits down next to me, fastens her seatbelt, flips up the arm rest that separates us and....sleeps the entire flight. With her mouth hanging open. Lucky mo-fo indeed. Here are the links...

Weaver struggles as Halos lose slugfest - angelsbaseball.com
The Angels produced their largest inning of the season Tuesday night, then proceeded to cough up a big lead in an 8-7 loss to Texas as the Rangers won both contests of a two-game set. Weaver struggled with his fastball command the entire start, and it cost him in the bottom of the fifth. He sandwiched two outs around a single by Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, then got stung by Ian Kinsler, who pulled a fastball for a two-run home run down the left-field line to trim the Angels' lead to 7-5. Weaver gave up two more singles after Kinsler's homer and was pulled one out shy of getting the chance at his fifth victory of the season. Reliever Trevor Bell came in and immediately gave up the lead. Nelson Cruz's two-out, two-run double tied the game at 7. Bell gave up the lead in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Young. The Angels couldn't do anything against the Rangers' bullpen, which put up 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief.

I missed this game (someone should figure out how to broadcast games on airplanes), but here are some highlights from last night's game - Napoli shows off strong arm behind the plate. Torii Hunter lookin' good - Hunter hits a two-run shot to left-center. And that guy who used to sit in the home dugout in Anaheim goes deep - Guerrero hits a solo shot in the fourth.

Angels-White Sox Preview - FOX Sports on MSN
John Danks (3-2, 2.25 ERA) looks to follow up Garcia's effort with a strong one of his own as he tries to avoid a third straight loss Wednesday. "I'm going out there trying to give us a chance to win," said the left-hander, who's 1-2 with a 3.34 ERA in six starts against the Angels. Though the White Sox are 9-10 at home, they've won five of seven over Los Angeles (18-23) at U.S. Cellular Field. In order to continue that successful stretch, Chicago will likely need to get the best of scheduled starter Joe Saunders (2-5, 4.96). The left-hander allowed four hits and struck out six to snap a three-game losing streak with his second career shutout in a 4-0 win over Oakland on Friday. Saunders is 3-2 with a 3.49 ERA in six starts against the White Sox, including 2-0 with a 1.66 ERA in three at U.S. Cellular Field.

So was Saunders' last start a sign of good things to come, or just a fluke to make us feel bad? We'll start to find out tonight when he goes against the White Sox.


MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

Erick Aybar isn't setting the table at the plate - latimes.com
He is hitting .207 since April 18 after going two for five Tuesday during the Angels' 8-7 loss to Texas at the Ballpark in Arlington, dropping his average from .298 to .236. His .304 on-base percentage entering the game ranked 18th among major league leadoff hitters.The Angels might make a switch atop their batting order once Maicer Izturis returns from the disabled list in about a week. Izturis could take Aybar's leadoff spot and replace the struggling Brandon Wood at third base, at least on a part-time basis."We have confidence that Erick's going to do the things we want from a guy that's supposed to set the table, and hopefully we'll start to see it," Scioscia said.

Juan Pierre anyone? No? I didn't think so.

Power Rankings: Team meetings must be scheduled with care - CBSSports.com Baseball
19. Angels - The bullpen hasn't been great and the offense has been hobbled by faces old (Abreu, Matsui) and new (Brandon Wood, whose blind-squirrel approach to hitting has forever soured me on prospect prospecting. Never again shall I get my hopes up about a player who's more than six months away.)

Power Poll: First-place Reds enter the top 10; middle-of-the-pack Nationals add big arm - Sporting News
18. Angels (22).

Angels pitch in to help neighborhood field - The Orange County Register
The Angels Baseball Foundation and Major League Baseball are teaming up to install the benches and backstop, the infield dirt and an outfield mural. The first pitch will be on July 13, the same day as the All Star Game at Angel Stadium that is making this project possible. The Angels, as the host team, expect to round up more than $2 million for community projects and scholarships. And one of the highlights will be that old field at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana.

Kinda nice to see the All-star game is helping more than just the major league team.

Angels aim to replenish rich farm system - angelsbaseball.com
The Angels certainly value having plenty of homegrown talent in their system. After all, 14 of the 25 players on their roster were either drafted or originally signed by the Angels, including three of their five starting pitchers, the entire starting infield and both catchers. All told, 18 homegrown players have seen playing time with the Angels this season, and that number is certain to grow thanks to one of the best farm systems in baseball.

Think You Can Be GM? You Have No Idea -- MLB FanHouse
Most fans (I am including talk show hosts as fans) believe that the general manager's job is all about putting together the major league team. Certainly that is a major part of the job, but it is far from the entirety of it. There are many more responsibilities that a general manager has beyond just building the 25-man roster in the big leagues. Let's take a look at some of those duties and then we will look at the major league roster construction.

Although this is an interesting and informative article, it's written by former ESPN analyst Steve Phillips who at one time was a horrible GM for the Mets. Some of the comments are just as entertaining as the post.

More Questions Emerge in McCourts' Tussle Over Dodgers --FanHouse
Over the past 18 months, the Los Angeles Dodgers paid nearly $4 million in "consulting services" to an entity that has done virtually nothing for the club, even as the team has made a concerted effort to raise ticket prices, trim payroll and acquire players on the cheap. Moreover, the club paid two of Frank and Jamie McCourt's adult sons large salaries -- $400,000 and $200,000 per year, respectively -- for services that are undefined and could not be described by either Frank or Jamie McCourt, according to court documents filed in the couple's divorce case.

The WiHaloFan MLB Consulting Firm is now running a 75% off sale. For a million bucks I'll do absolutely NOTHING for your team (except save you $3M in consulting fees). Give me a call Frank.

Brewers put Jim Edmonds on DL - FOX Sports on MSN
The Milwaukee Brewers put outfielder Jim Edmonds on the 15-day disabled list with strained muscles in his left side.

Damn. But it was bound to happen eventually.

Planning a baseball road trip? Check out these unusual spots - Yahoo! Sports
Jackie Robinson's childhood home 121 Pepper Street, Pasadena, Calif. Visit this site and you'll only see a vacant lot with a marker saying that Robinson lived there from 1922 to 1946. But there are plenty of other Robinson-related sites around Pasadena, including a ballpark and a memorial at City Hall that features Robinson and his brother.

How fun would a trip around the country going from one odd baseball place to another odd baseball place be without even having to stop at Fenway?

Sabermetrics and the Mainstream Media : Baseball Daily Digest
Sabermetrics used to be a niche segment of the baseball fan population. This was back before Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs and Beyond the Box Score. Number-crunchers would take to newsgroups and hypothesize and research and debate with like-minded baseball fanatics. Their findings would, generally speaking, produce but a faint echo out of mom’s basement. Hardly anybody in the mainstream media even knew about these innovative thinkers, much less accepted their paradigm-shifting maxims.

Written by our friend Bill Baer. Read it anyhow.

Possible Destinations: Mike Lowell - MLBTradeRumors.com
Earlier in the month, a friend of Lowell's told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that Lowell would like to play for the Twins or Angels. Angels third baseman Brandon Wood has endured one of the slowest starts in the majors, so the Halos are one potential match.

What do you think? Would Lowell help? (answer the poll question)

Why did Weaver throw a pitch to Vlad that was anywhere near the strikezone?

Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar , SS 5 1 2 0 0 1 0 .236
Howard Kendrick , 2B 5 1 1 0 0 1 2 .281
Bobby Abreu , RF 4 2 2 2 0 1 0 .275
Torii Hunter , CF 3 1 1 2 1 1 1 .282
Kendry Morales , 1B 4 1 2 1 0 1 1 .277
Hideki Matsui , DH 3 0 0 0 1 2 2 .229
Juan L. Rivera , LF 4 1 1 2 0 1 2 .250
Mike Napoli , C 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 .226
Brandon Wood , 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 .167
a-Michael Ryan , PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .154
Totals 35 7 9 7 2 13 9
a-Struck out swinging for B Wood in the 9th.
BATTING
2B - B Abreu (13)
HR - T Hunter (6); J Rivera (5)
RBI - B Abreu 2 (19); T Hunter 2 (24); K Morales (29); J Rivera 2 (17)
BASERUNNING
SB - H Kendrick (4)
CS - T Hunter (3)
FIELDING
E - B Abreu (3)

Texas Rangers
Elvis Andrus , SS 5 3 3 0 0 0 1 .331
Michael Young , 3B 4 1 3 3 0 0 1 .298
Ian Kinsler , 2B 3 1 1 2 1 0 2 .317
Vladimir Guerrero , DH 4 2 2 1 0 0 1 .345
Josh Hamilton , LF 4 1 2 0 0 0 0 .275
Nelson R. Cruz , RF 2 0 1 2 2 1 0 .304
Justin Smoak , 1B 3 0 0 0 1 0 3 .181
Matt Treanor , C 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .197
Julio Borbon , CF 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 .222
Totals 33 8 12 8 4 2 13
BATTING
2B - E Andrus (5); M Young (6); J Hamilton (10); N Cruz (7)
HR - M Young (4); I Kinsler (1); V Guerrero (8)
RBI - M Young 3 (25); I Kinsler 2 (6); V Guerrero (32); N Cruz 2 (25)
BASERUNNING
SB - J Borbon (6)
CS - I Kinsler (3); N Cruz (2)
FIELDING
E - M Treanor (2)
Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver 4.2 9 7 7 3 1 3 3.40
Trevor Bell (L,1-1) 1.1 3 1 1 1 0 0 7.36
Jason Bulger 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4.20
Brian Fuentes 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6.23

Texas Rangers
C.J. Wilson 4.1 7 7 7 1 5 2 2.55
Dustin Nippert 0.2 1 0 0 1 1 0 5.16
Darren O'Day (W,1-1) 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.60
Chris Ray 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2.55
Frank Francisco 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 5.40
Neftali Feliz (S,11) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3.43
Game Information
Attendance - 22358
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Doug Eddings