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Wednesday Halolinks: Will Pressure Get To Pujols Like It Did Wells?

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  • Remember last season when Vernon Wells tweeted, "Too blessed to be stressed" while having the worst season of his career? And then this off-season, Wells admitted to feeling a little pressure while trying to prove himself to his new team? Here's hoping Albert Pujols is "too rad to be bad": Rangers, Albert Pujols, playoffs, replay part of 2012's season of change - Tom Verducci - SI.com. "3. Albert Pujols will face enormous pressure. The guy who turns 32 this month and is in a slight three-year decline now faces the burden of trying to live up to a $254 million contract immediately." Let's add, carry his new team to their first post season in 3 years.
  • Here's an interesting idea: Harden a reliever? Idea is intriguing - Yardbarker. Ken Rosenthal writes, "Harden, a free-agent right-hander, is drawing interest from clubs that would use him either as a starter or reliever, according to major-league sources." Could this be the type of player the Angels could use in the bullpen...a sort of "swingman" in the event Jerome Williams falters a bit? If Harden is able to stay healthy (yeah, right!) and return to his somewhat dominating former self, a hundred innings from him and another from Williams might add up to one tough #5 starter.
  • I missed this yesterday, but Sam Miller points out this season could make the Angels a winning franchise: Why 2012 could be a very cool year for the Angels - The Orange County Register. "This year, though, the Angels have a chance to pass .500 for the second time. In the past decade, they have erased nearly 200 wins off their deficit, and they’re now just 26 games behind .500. A 94-win season gets them there. "

  • Really cool interactive graph, well worth the click through: Hall of wWAR vs. Hall of Fame vs. Hall of Merit - Beyond the Box Score. "Between my own Hall of wWAR, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and Baseball Think Factory's Hall of Merit, there are now three "Halls" that honor the game's best players. So, how do they compare?"
  • Foul Territory: Yu Darvish visiting Metroplex - Star-Telegram.com. "Right-hander Yu Darvish, the Japanese star who is in negotiations for a multiyear contract with Rangers, is in the Metroplex with his father to gain a better understanding of the area and get a first-hand look at the operations of the reigning American League champions."
  • A couple 2011 Angels bullpen mates sign with new teams: Twins Sign Jason Bulger, Casey Fien, Aaron Bates - MLBTradeRumors.com. "Bulger, 33, appeared in five games with the Angels in 2011. He spent most of the season in the bullpen of Los Angeles' top affiliate, where he posted a 4.03 ERA with 11.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9." And the guy who can't figure out how to wear his cap: Rays Sign Fernando Rodney - MLB Daily Dish. "According to a report from the Associated Press, the Tampa Bay Rays have signed free-agent reliever Fernando Rodney to a one-year deal worth just over $2 million."
  • I thought this was interesting because of two things; 1) Who thinks up job titles like this one, and 2) HH resident rocket scientist, redfloyd, may have a future in baseball: Ultimate Astros " Astros go data-heavy with addition of director of decision sciences. "The Astros boosted their commitment to a data-driven existence under new general manager Jeff Luhnow and CEO George Postolos with the hiring of Sig Mejdal as the club’s director of decision sciences." Mejdal at one time worked in the aerospace industry.
  • Cool article: Conjugating Wally Pipp - The Hardball Times. "A much harder date to pin down is when Pipp’s name became a figure of speech, as in "poor old so-and-so got wallypipped by that young whippersnapper." Did that term enter the lexicon during Gehrig’s tenure as the Yankees’ first baseman or afterwards? Did Gehrig ever hear the term, or was he long gone from this mortal coil before sportswriters and fans started to bandy it about? Surely, before Pipp passed away in 1965, he must have heard his name used as a verb in some form or fashion."
  • I'm starting to like these Deadspin, slo-mo posts of remarkable events: Holly Rowe Will Beat Up Anyone Who Tries To Steal Her Interview - Deadspin