Three weeks until opening day:
Because he's truly too blessed to be stressed: Richard Justice: Consistent Pujols unfazed by expectations - angels.com. ""He has been wonderful," manager Mike Scioscia said. "When you get Albert in your own clubhouse, you can certainly see not only his presence but why he's maintained such a high level. This guy practices hard, whether it's on the defensive end or on a baserunning drill. It's great for everyone in that clubhouse to see, especially our young guys."
Here's a good, quick interview with the Halo skipper: Mike Scioscia talks talented Angels - ESPN Los Angeles. "Tim Kurkjian catches up with Angels manager Mike Scioscia and looks ahead to season with new additions Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson." Scioscia also talks about Kendrys Morales and how close he is to returning to action.
Still more things we've learned - ESPN Los Angeles. ""Bobby's usually not a crisp starter," Scioscia said. "He likes a lot of at-bats to try to get into that groove." Time may be running out for Abreu.
Catcher Chris Iannetta eager to develop rapport with Angels' staff - angels.com. "After the departure of Jeff Mathis and the arrival of Iannetta, this spring is a bit of an education for everyone involved. "It's going to be a little different, but the repetition of getting out there and getting a feel for each other, I don't think it'll take too much time," Weaver said. "He's pretty good at studying and asking the right questions."
Angels pitchers will deal from a position of strength - Yahoo! Sports. "Haren and Weaver were wearing matching t-shirts that featured Weaver's silhouette and the saying "Long Hair, Don't Care" printed on the back. The camaraderie between the four starters was apparent and I wondered how (or if) that would translate to game preparation."It's not as easy as you would think," Haren said. "Everyone is so different when it comes to pitching styles or repertoire. Obviously C.J. being lefthanded, Ervin's more fastball-slider, I deal more with control and then Weaver does his own thing ... Even in scouting meetings and stuff, we talk about pitching to our strengths rather than going at a batters weakness."
Angels show an intensity in early-spring games - latimes.com. "Before losing to the Dodgers, 9-1, on Monday at Diablo Stadium, they began the day as baseball's spring leader in team batting average (.343) and runs per game (7.2)."
Spring Training Stadium Tour: Tempe Diablo Stadium - True Blue LA. "Tempe Diablo Stadium was the first spring home of the Seattle Mariners, until they struck a deal with Peoria for the 1993 season. Tempe lured the Angels from Mesa (and Palm Springs) by refurbishing the place, and the Angels have been in Tempe for now 20 years."
Future Shock: 2012 Organizational Rankings - Baseball Prospectus
- If he's not worried, I'm not worried...much: Rivera, Dodgers tag Weaver, beat Angels 9-1 - Yahoo! Sports. "I’m really not worried about results, to be honest with you," Weaver said. "I wasn’t really hitting my spots early on." "He was pitching from behind on the count," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But it’s early in the spring." What's interesting is the things that players notice that fans seldom pick up on. For example, here's a tidbit from Weaver about what he took away from yesterday's start: Weaver starts to break in all of his pitches - angels.com. "Weaver noted that the Dodgers hit a lot of foul balls, which is an indication to him that they weren't squaring up on a lot of his pitches, Andre Ethier's first-inning double to left being an exception." I've always thought that when a batter is fouling off pitches it's because the pitcher isn't able to get the hitter to swing and miss (duh), this being a weakness for the pitcher and not the hitter as Weaver suggests.
- Remember a couple of years ago many of us were saying the improved hitting approach was a result of adding Bobby Abreu to the lineup? I know I was one who thought Abreu's approach was rubbing off on the other batters. Now we get to read about Pujols' impact on his teammates: Will Pujols’ patience rub off on Angels’ hitters? - The Orange County Register. "During Guerrero's first six seasons with the team, the Angels ranked 28th, 25th, 22nd, 27th, 27th and 29th in the majors in total pitches seen. They jumped up to ninth in 2009 when a declining Guerrero played only 100 games and Kendrys Morales became the most important hitter in the lineup." The jump in 2009 also was impacted by the addition of Abreu. If you believe a player can make a positive impact on his teammates by having a good approach at the plate, it brings up the question; If a good hitter can have a positive impact on his teammates, does a player having a bad year (I'm looking at you Mr. Wells) have a negative impact?
- UPDATE: Deal of the Day. Google Play has "Moneyball" for your Android phone or tablet on sale today for just a quarter (25 cents). Here's the link: Books on Google Play
- MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...
23. Los Angeles Angels
System At a Glance: Without Mike Trout, this would be a nightmare, and he won't qualify anymore after his first big league game of the season.
Baseball's Owners Impressed With Five Bids For Dodgers As Magic Johnson Leads Way With $1.6 Billion Offer - Forbes. "There were five strong bids," said the source, who did not have permission to speak of the negotiations publicly. The lowest bid from the five groups was $1.3 billion. All the bids included the lease to the parking lots for Dodger Stadium, which would still be owned by McCourt." I still can't believe McCourt is going to walk away from this deal with the parking lots.
Stephen Kaus: Oakland Is Fine for the A's - If the Owners Would Try - Huffington Post. "The ballpark is a pit. It is embarrassing to bring fans of other teams there. It was not always this way. During the glory years of ownership by the Haas family, this same Coliseum was rocking. In 1990, Oakland drew 2.9 million people, second in the league."