Here are a few President's Day Halolinks and other baseball news for your perusal:
- Alden Gonzales covers the situation regarding our 5th spot: "Right-hander Jerome Williams has been perceived as the odds-on favorite for the fifth spot in the Angels' vaunted rotation. But for now, manager Mike Scioscia will call it an "open competition. Along with Williams, who's out of options, the Angels will also have budding prospect Garrett Richards vying for a spot alongside Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Ervin Santana. Richards, 23, posted a 5.79 ERA in 14 Major League innings last year, but has an electric arm and went 12-2 with a 3.15 ERA in Double-A." I just hope the winner of this spot doesn't make us wish we would have landed Joe Blanton.
- Excitement in the Air as Angels Start Reporting. "Even when you've been in this game this long, you're always excited this time of year," Scioscia said. "Spring training is really a fun time - seeing the guys again, getting them together and getting on the field. But I'll admit there's a little different excitement this year." It's great to see Scioscia excited about spring like the rest of us. Either it is totally genuine, or he's still glowing from the 6 lb. chocolate valentine heart that Jeff Mathis sent him six days ago. Old feelings die hard my friends, they die hard, and no amount of chocolate can hide that fact.
- Kendrys Confident Things Are Different This Year. "On Sunday, the day pitchers and catchers -- and injured players, like Morales and Mark Trumbo -- reported to the club's Spring Training facility, Morales was cleared by doctors to begin running outside, yet another step in a process the Angels hope will eventually get him sprinting full speed around the bases." Although it's early, any good news on K-Mo is great news as our lineup could definitely use his bat.
- Additions Have Halos Excited to Get to Work. "There's something about Spring Training that automatically elicits optimism, regardless of circumstance. "Right now, everybody's undefeated, "Angels owner Arte Moreno pointed out. "There should be a lot of optimism from everybody." I'm sure most of us are excited to see this team take the field this season, probably more so than any year I can remember. I'd love to see Trout and Walden make some noise this season.
- Yankees Send A.J. Burnett to the Pirates. I'm going to miss seeing his tattoos at the Big A. I also hope they don't give him Jeff Mathis' old locker as no one is big enough to fill those cleats, per a tweet by Lyle Spencer that may have never happen.
- Nolan Ryan is exuding confidence about the 2012 season: Ryan, Rangers ready for interesting race. "I saw a determination to get back to the World Series," Ryan said. "They wanted to prove they were worthy of being champions. From start to finish, we had that attitude. I hope to see the same attitude and approach to work this spring." It's good to see that kind of confidence from the team owner, nevertheless, I guess it hasn't set into his bald head yet that the AL West belongs to us for the next five years at least. No amount of naked Yu Darvish can bridge that Gulf.
- Mets Will Wait to Deal with Wright. From the New York Post. This needs to a fan post but I didn't have time. I'm thinking Trout and Trumbo could get it done. It's the wright move for all the punny reasons.
- And on a lighter note: Astros enter camp with possible every position up for grabs. I hope they let Eric Byrnes try out as a walk-on, and by walk-on, I mean I hope he rides his beach cruiser onto the field and gets tackled by Wandy Rodriguez.