The last time I went to the movies I had to decide between seeing "The Dark Knight Rises" or "Prometheus". I picked TDKR and thought it was EXCELLENT. So yesterday I bought "Prometheus", but I haven't watched it yet. I'm curious to know, did I waste my $19.96 or will it be awesome? Did I make the right decision a few month ago? Are you thinking, "Who cares, get on with the Halolinks"? Alright:
- I think the Hank Aaron Award is MLB's version of the Most Valuable Player. And as the description of the award states, "The Hank Aaron Awards recognize each league's best all-around offensive performer." Unlike the MVP award, I think Miguel Cabrera should win this one. Mike Trout was more valuable to his team because of his all-around game, but Cabrera's bat was better...at least this season: Voting under way for 2012 Hank Aaron Award - angels.com. "American League nominees include Billy Butler of the Royals, Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo of the Indians, Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, Jeter, Adam Jones of the Orioles, Joe Mauer of the Twins, Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox, Josh Reddick of the A's, Alex Rios of the White Sox, Kyle Seager of the Mariners, Mike Trout of the Angels and B.J. Upton of the Rays."
- Not too sure if Joe Saunders is talking about postseason games or all games, but regardless, the Angels need to adopt this mindset: Saunders to start Game 4 of ALDS for O's - FOX Sports. ''We don't truly have maybe a one, two, three, four, five kind of rotation,'' Saunders said. ''We have maybe a couple twos, maybe a couple threes, maybe a four, whatever. Like Buck says, whoever is pitching that day is the ace. Every day is the biggest game of the year, and then we move on to the next day and then that day is the biggest game of the year.'' The games in April count just as much as the games in September, have the attitude like they do. Oh, and one other thing, no more "turning the page". Get mad at losses! Don't turn the page and move on, remember how crappy a the loss felt and do whatever you can not to have that feeling again!
- Sometimes all of that rah-rah shit can get annoying, but apparently it works for the A's: Comeback wins are nothing new to A's - Fox Sports. "This season, they had 14 walk-off wins. Wednesday night, they added a 15th. Just as the Detroit Tigers were preparing to celebrate a clinching victory in the American League Division Series, the A's ripped it away. Down 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the A's scored three runs — two on a double by Seth Smith and the game-winner on a single by Coco Crisp — for a 4-3 win that sends the series to a decisive fifth game, also in Oakland.Reliever Grant Balfour walked up and down the dugout imploring his teammates to stay positive. "Balf was pumping everybody up, telling everybody to visualize it in your head, running out there and celebrating like we did on the field," starter A.J. Griffin recalled. "It came to fruition, and we're just pumped to go out there tomorrow and play some more baseball." I imagine for every "Yeah, let's do this!" from someone on the bench, there's a corresponding "Shut the hell up" from someone else.
- Here's a thought, "Daniel Okrent is just a responsible for the advent of modern stats and the popularity of baseball as any other person in the last 30 years." That's my own opinion regarding one of the inventors of fantasy baseball, or "Rotisserie Baseball" as it was originally known. Without fantasy baseball the desire to analyze baseball statistics would be less feverish, and it would reduce the interest of casual fans. He also makes for a great interview: The Quaz Q&A: Daniel Okrent - Jeff Pearlman. "J.P.: Are newspapers, as a physical item, dead? I mean, they obviously still exist. But has the obit been written? D.O.: I think so. The economics just don’t make sense any more. In fact, if you had gone to the newspaper publishers of America 20 years ago and said, "I have a great new business model for you — no paper, no ink, no trucks, no newsstands, no pressman’s union, no mailer’s union," they all would have said "I want it NOW!" Well, now they’ve got it. Online advertising is never going to be the answer for news websites—if I’m selling a car, why would I advertise in the Boston Globe if I can advertise instead on cars.com and craigslist? The revenue will have to come from readers, as it’s beginning to. I think it’ll work, in the long run, for the national papers (the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal), but I’m worried about the regionals and the small local dailies." R.I.P. O.C. Register.
- The future of ticket sales is here -- at least for iPhone owners: On deck for 2013: The end of the baseball ticket - MarketWatch. "In its test run with four teams for the final two weeks of the season, 1,500 e-ticket buyers (12%) chose Passbook delivery. "That adoption rate really floored us – there is no question our fans want digital tickets," Bowman says. "Fans can use the tickets, forward them to a friend, resell them, or even donate them to charity – and they never get lost or left at home."
- I get frequently get emails soliciting links to sites to be included in our Halolinks. Most are for sites looking to sell something and I delete them. Sometimes I get an email that has something worthy of being included...this is one of them and very much so. Checkout this very funny video from The NOCTV (and get a chance to win an official MLB hat):
- There's trouble a'brewin' in Texas as Nolan Ryan calls out Josh Hamilton: Ryan: Hamilton kicked habit at wrong time. "His timing on quitting smokeless tobacco couldn't have been worse," Ryan said Tuesday on 103.3 KESN-FM in Dallas. "You would've liked to have thought that if he was going to do that that he would've done it in the offseason, or waited until this offseason to do it. So the drastic affect that it had on him and the year that he was having up to that point in time when he did quit, you'd have liked him to have taken a different approach to that." And there's this: Nolan Ryan publicly questions Josh Hamilton’s attempt to quit chewing tobacco - Yahoo! Sports. "It's a shame that Ryan would publicly call Hamilton out for trying to do the right thing for his health, no matter the timing of the attempt. Not only does it reveal how far baseball has to go before taking chewing tobacco abuse seriously, but it also looks like Ryan attempting to blame the team's 2012 collapse on an out-of-favor star who probably won't be back for 2013." I read somewhere one of the possible reasons Ryan is going public with this information is to drive the price of Hamilton free-agency. In other words, Ryan is trying to make Hamilton less appealing to other teams. That may be possible, but I think it's unlikely mainly because statements like this would alienate a player and give that player less desire to return. Anyway, it might not make any difference if Hamilton wants to stay in Texas: Josh Hamilton's story and the fall of the Texas Rangers - Grantland. "But Hamilton's error — and the boos that rained down on him when Texas lost the wild-card playoff game to the Orioles two days later — perfectly captures the strangeness of his final days in Texas. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Rangers don't want the free agent back "even if he wants to play here for free."
- What happened to Rangers' GM Jon Daniels? Is Nolan Ryan making the personnel decisions? Rangers' Nolan Ryan: I expect Michael Young back in 'some degree' of same role - SportsDayDFW. "On if he expects Michael Young to be back in 2013: Yes, I do. Michael is our veteran player. He played a role this year as DH and as the ultimate utility man for us, and so do I expect him back? Yeah. And do I think he’ll play that role? Yeah, I do in some degree in that role." Cool!
- Oh no! Not Cap'n Jeets! Derek Jeter day-to-day with bone bruise - MLB Daily Dish. "New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has been diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left foot and has been listed as day-to-day."
- I thought this was interesting: Raul Ibanez's Moonshot Home Run In The 12th Inning Wins Game 3 Of The ALDS - Deadspin. "When Raul Ibanez was brought in to pinch-hit for Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning, it seemed humorous—until Ibanez hit the first 9th-inning, game-tying, pinch-hit home run in Yankees postseason history." It wasn't that Ibanez pinch-hit for A-Rod, but that the home run was a Yankee playoff first...after all of those playoff games in their history.
- Dave Cameron has some thoughts on fixing the Mariners: Dave’s 2013 Off-Season Plan - U.S.S. Mariner.
Sign OF/1B Nick Swisher to a seven year, $100 million contract.
Sign OF Melky Cabrera to a one year, $6 million (plus incentives) contract .
Sign SP Carlos Villanueva to a one year, $4 million contract.
Sign DH Travis Hafner to a one year, $3 million contract. Re-sign
SP Hisashi Iwakuma to a two year, $10 million contract.
Re-sign SP Jason Vargas to a two year, $12 million contract.
Trade 1B Mike Carp and OF Trayvon Robinson for IF Sean Rodriguez and C Chris Gimenez.
- For all of you stat geeks: Walk Like a Sabermetrician: End of Season Statistics 2012. "The spreadsheets are published as Google Spreadsheets, which you can download in Excel format by changing the extension in the address from "=html" to "=xls". That way you can download them and manipulate things however you see fit. The player spreadsheets are not ready yet, but I want to get the team stuff posted. It will may be a week or so until the player stats are posted." Oh, and by the way, can one of you nerds explain to me what the fuck this means? WHIFF! Strikeout Rates Explained - Beyond the Box Score. "Using the formula our regression spits out for using Whiff/Swing to predict K%, we can develop an "Expected K%" in very rough terms that is K%=.007502+(.85006*Whiff%). You can see the graph below for actual K% and Whiff/Swing% with the trend line that roughly denotes our "expected K%" or xK%." Geeks and nerds. A group I proudly claim membership to, but I still don't get what that stuff means.
- More WAR! Introducing the WAR Index - Beyond the Box Score. "In 2012, FanGraphs determined that the overall population of position players was worth 691 WAR. Baseball-Reference said that the overall population was worth a little over 517 wins above replacement. Finally, Baseball Prospectus had the number closer to 433 wins above replacement players. This is actually a pretty big difference."