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Two Sides to Hideki Matsui, The Impact of Scioscia. Halolinks.

Angels could face a difficult decision about Hideki Matsui -

With Matsui underperforming for much of May, June and July, the chances of his returning to Anaheim in 2011 seemed remote. But if he hits in September the way he has in recent weeks, he could go from foregone conclusion to a tougher winter decision for the Angels, who are all but out of playoff contention.The Angels are expected to make a strong run at Carl Crawford, and if they lure the Rays' left fielder in free agency, Matsui wouldn't return; the Angels would need the DH spot for outfielder Bobby Abreu, who is under contract for 2011. But if the Angels don't add an impact outfielder, there is a chance they would want Matsui back. "It's nice from a player's standpoint when a club asks you to come back for another year," Matsui said. "It would be a pleasure to do so."


Matsui fits in with Angels' underachievers - The Orange County Register
Matsui is one of just three potential free agents (Scot Shields and Brian Fuentes are the others) the Angels could allow to leave this winter, clearing approximately $20 million off their payroll. They will need that payroll relief and probably more if they intend to pursue a high-priced free agent such at Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Carl Crawford. "This is an important time for us first of all to focus on this season, secondly as an evaluation period," Scioscia said, sidestepping the question of whether Matsui fits in the Angels' future plans. "As you kind of absorb the season, you're going to see what things you can move forward with and what things you can't.

Here are two stories in the local rags about the same subject. The LA Times' Mike DiGiovanna wants us to believe there's a chance the Angels bring back Matsui, which seems utterly preposterous if you've been following the Halos at all this season. It was a mistake signing him to play for the Angels in 2010, why would it make any sense to have him on the team in 2011? The OC Register's Bill Plunkett takes the more logical point of view that Matsui will not return and drops the names of similar older free agents as examples (e.g., Jermaine Dye and Garret Anderson). Both articles mention the free agent signing of Carl Crawford having an impact on the decision to re-sign Matsui, but regardless of where Crawford lands, Matsui should not be mentioned as a possible Angel in 2011. You would hope the Halo front office has learned their lesson on signing old, one-dimensional players to clog up the DH spot. If the Angels management is so convinced Mike Napoli is not the answer as their everyday catcher, he's the perfect candidate to be the full-time DH. That is, if he's still with the team.

Orioles-Angels Preview - FOX Sports on MSN
Matsui, though, went 1 for 8 earlier this month against the Orioles, and is hitting .167 over his last 16 games against them. The slugger is 0 for 3 in his career against probable Baltimore starter Brad Bergesen (5-9, 5.84 ERA), who has never faced the Angels. The Orioles have won Bergesen's last four starts, with the right-hander going 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA in that span. He yielded five runs over seven innings and did not get a decision in Saturday's 8-6 home win over Texas. Trevor Bell (1-3, 5.48) will make his fifth start for the Angels after going 0-2 with a 6.38 ERA in his first four. He gave up three runs over 4 1-3 innings Saturday in a 9-3 victory at Minnesota. The right-hander is making his first home start. Bell faced Baltimore on Aug. 3, allowing two runs over 5 1-3 innings and not receiving a decision.

Good news if you're an Orioles hater. With two wins this series, the Angels could officially eliminate Baltimore. The Orioles are just two games away from being the first team without any chance of making the playoffs.

How much impact do MLB managers really have on their teams? - Cliff Corcoran -
Rather, a manager's most important job is widely believed to be the distribution of playing time. It's intuitively true that a manager is only as good as the players he's given, but a good manager can get more out of those players than a bad manager by knowing when, how, and how much to deploy those players.

I disagree with the above statement. To me, the distribution of playing time is the second most important job a manager has, the first being control of the clubhouse. I've never met Mike Scioscia, and I've never been in the Angels clubhouse, but this seems to be the Angel skipper's biggest strength and one of the most important factors in the Angels success. Saber-guys will rail on me for the use of the term "chemistry", and how winning creates its own chemistry, but in my opinion the manager creates a certain attitude within the team dynamic and this has a large impact on the club's success. And from everything I've ever read about the Angels, they always seem to have good "chemistry", an attribute credited to Scioscia.

How historic would an Angels pennant push be? - ESPN Los Angeles
Here's a good way to think about it. If the Angels win 24 of their final 34 games -- a streak that would be easily their best of the season -- Texas would have to go 15-21. Imagining the last half of that scenario is easier than imagining the first part. Texas has shown signs of staggering at times, but the Angels have shown no signs of consistency. And remember, the Angels are in third place. So, even if Texas does collapse, the Oakland A's are more likely to be standing at the finish line when it's over.

Sure, rub it in.

Logan Morrison hits first triple as ill father watches from stands - Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports
Tom did get to see that first hit — a single in San Francisco on July 27 — but only by watching the broadcast on his computer. It wasn't until this series in New York that father was finally cleared to go see son play Major League Baseball for the first time in person.

Cooperstown Confidential: The unofficial ban of Mike Marshall - The Hardball TImes
I’m generally not a believer in the theory of players or coaches being blackballed by Organized Baseball, mostly because I think most teams want to win regardless of personality. Yet, Mike Marshall might be one of the exceptions to that rule.

I remember Mike Marshall's 1974 season with the Dodgers, and was thinking earlier when going through the BR Bullpen stuff on how pitchers early in the history of baseball would pitch 13, 14 or more innings if needed. Often compiling over 500 innings pitched in a season. What's changed with pitchers that they used to be able to pitch all day, and now they're under strict pitch-limits and shortened outings? There are still injuries, but is there less of them? Someone Google this for me. Anyway, here's an interesting article about "Iron Mike".

Roger Clemens scheduled to be arraigned at federal courthouse on Monday - ESPN
Officials at the federal courthouse in Washington say that seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens will be arraigned Monday afternoon on criminal charges. The former pitcher will appear before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton for allegedly lying to Congress about his use of steroids. The six-count indictment alleges that Clemens obstructed a congressional inquiry with 15 different statements made under oath, including denials that he had ever used steroids or human growth hormone.

Within this article, it states the recommended sentencing for this offense is 15 to 21 months. Or right around the same amount of time he spent with the Blue Jays.

August 27 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on August 27.
1946 - At the Owners' Meeting, a committee formed to study integration, which includes Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, delivers its secretive report defending the covert color barrier which exists in professional baseball. The absurd reasons given why blacks shouldn't be allowed to play in the big leagues include an absence of skills due to inferior training and lack of fundamentals as well as the need to respect existing Negro League contracts, but another lesser known motivation may have been profit, as revealed later in the report: "The Negro leagues rent their parks in many cities from clubs in Organized Baseball (and) Club owners in the major leagues are reluctant to give up revenues amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars every year" and the fear white fans would be driven away if black players attracted more minorities to the ballpark.
1982 - In a 5 - 4 loss to the Brewers, A's Rickey Henderson breaks Lou Brock's 1974 single-season record of 118 stolen bases. By stealing a total of four bases Rickey ends the day with 122 and will finish the season with 130.
1986 - Nolan Ryan posts his 250th career victory, allowing one hit in six innings as the Astros beat the Cubs 7 - 1.
2000 - The Angels edge the Indians, 10 - 9, as OF Tim Salmon hits his 30th home run of the year in the 5th inning. Anaheim become the first team in American League history to have four players (Troy Glaus, Mo Vaughn, Garret Anderson and Salmon) reach the 30-homer mark in a single season. The Blue Jays are close with two hitters over 30 and two at 28. It's been done seven times in the National League.
2002 - The Angels defeat the Devil Rays, 7 - 3, as OF Darin Erstad gets five hits, including a pair of doubles, for Anaheim.
Happy b-day (goofy name edition):
1860 - Scrappy Carroll, outfielder (d. 1942)
1877 - Kitty Brashear, pitcher (d. 1934)
1883 - Baldy Louden, infielder (d. 1935)
1888 - Bun Troy, pitcher (d. 1918)
1893 - Dizzy Nutter, outfielder (d. 1958)
1901 - Phil Collins, pitcher (d. 1948) Su-su-sussudio!