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Wednesday Halolinks: Pujols Cold-Spell Lingers As Angels Ride Dead Horses

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While doing a short bit of research for today's Halolink's "theme", I came across these words of wisdom: "The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount." I find it interesting how hard it is for some people to realize it's time to dismount. Here are today's links:

  • It seems everyone has the same thing to say about the Angels, or specifically, Albert Pujols: Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays - April 24, 2012 - ""I'm just not that far away from breaking this thing off, and this offense is not too far way, either," Albert Pujols said after going 0-for-4 and extending his homerless streak to 69 at-bats. "I keep telling the guys, 'It's going to be fun. Just keep fighting, keep pushing.' And I can't wait until it's the other way, believe me. Because it seems like every break is going the other way, and I can't wait until it goes [our] way, because it's going to be fun and everybody's going to enjoy it." More on Pujols' struggles a little later, but this article did have something none of the others did; This interesting bit of salt-in-the-wound, "The last home run the Rays gave up came April 18, by Jeff Mathis." Ouch.
  • Does it really matter the Angels aren't hitting when they run into a pitching performance like last night's? Rays 5, Angels 0 - FOX Sports. ''Great command of all his pitches,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ''He pretty much brought out the kitchen sink. Probably one of his best performances as far as using his entire repertoire.'' Price struck out six and walked one, throwing 80 of 119 pitches for strikes." Does anyone else find it interesting that pitchers facing the Halos have no trouble throwing strikes? Maybe they aren't throwing more strikes, it's possible the Angel hitters are just swinging at anything...
  • Pujols still lagging at plate, but not the only one - "The biggest red flag Hatcher sees lies in the over-aggressiveness of his hitters. The Angels have swung at the fourth-most pitches out of the strike zone in the AL, 31.9 percent, and as a result have drawn the third-fewest walks. "It's the 3-1's and the 3-2's; we don't get challenged in those counts because they know they're going to swing," Hatcher said. "You've got to give yourself a chance to just relax and cut your swing down and see the pitches. Guys are swinging like they know guys are going to throw a strike right there." Hey Mick, they are throwing strikes right there...and over there...and up there. Seriously though, this seems like a very insightful comment from the Angels hitting coach.
  • Dead horse alert: Angels-Rays Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "Pujols is hitting .232 with four RBIs while still seeking to end the longest home run drought to start a season in his career. The nine-time All-Star is mired in an 0-for-16 slump after going 0 for 4 in Tuesday's 5-0 loss in the opener of this three-game series." No worries, C.J. Wilson takes the hill for the Halos. All they need to push across is one.


  • This bunch of Pujols quotes in this post are just odd: columnist Hal Bodley writes that Albert Pujols believes his early struggles could be a blessing in disguise - For example, "Getting to know each other is more important," he continued. "Maybe the struggles I'm going through is telling me something and telling them, 'Hey, look at him. He's going through this, but he's the same guy.' Believe me, I'd love to be able to help this ballclub more than what I have, but if I had started great right off the bat, that's what everybody expected." Umm, Albert, giving your teammates and fans what they expected, in this case, is a good thing. You're not storming the beach at Normandy, it's not some goofy surprise party attended by 35,000 guests, this is baseball. You're expected to hit the ball outta the least occasionally.


  • Time for a dismount? Hunter isn't cleaning up in the fourth spot - The Orange County Register. "Hunter has batted cleanup behind Pujols eight times through Tuesday's 5-0 loss to the Rays and is batting .194 (6 for 31) with 10 strikeouts, four walks and only one extra-base hit (a double). In eight starts batting fifth (with Kendrys Morales between him and Pujols), Hunter has batted .367 (11 for 30)." There's also the famous definition of insanity, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".
  • At least one thing changes: Angels' new game within the game: Where's Trumbo? - Yahoo! Sports. "Mark Trumbo is a man on the move. Trumbo started in right field Tuesday for the first time this year, and the second time in his career, and he went 1-for-4 Tuesday in the Los Angeles Angels' 5-0 loss at Tampa Bay. It was his fifth consecutive start at a fifth different position. Trumbo has gone from designated hitter to left field to third base to first base to right field in the past five games."
  • And let us not forget, the bullpen is still the same: Angels struggling with bullpen woes. "The Angels have blown four leads in their first 16 games, tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for the most in the majors, and the bullpen has a collective ERA of 5.08, 28th in the majors. The Angels have managed to get Walden only one save opportunity and were the last team in the American League to record a save."
  • God, I hope this is just a fluke: Yu Darvish pitches Texas Rangers to victory over New York Yankees - FOX Sports. "Effective with his large array of pitches, including a fastball in the upper 90s and several biting breaking balls, Darvish had a season-low two walks, and the 10 strikeouts were the most by a Texas pitcher this season. ''He just keeps getting better every time he takes the ball. Tonight, he used everything he had, and he was effective, very effective. He's getting more and more comfortable,'' manager Ron Washington said." Oh, great.
  • Does this sound familiar, "Another day, another lineup. Another day, another mediocre offensive effort." Surprise, it comes from here: A's scratch together a couple runs, stumble into victory - Athletics Nation
  • Interesting FanGraphs post of the day: Is Proprietary Information Disappearing? - FanGraphs Baseball. "Matt looked at the effect on multi-year contracts, but for trending purposes, let’s just look things on a year-by-year basis. Players who were on the same team as last year are put into one pool and players who changed teams during the offseason are put in the other. Low sample size players and those who changed teams mid-season are thrown out. Overall, hitters who changed teams did 3.6% worse than those than those who did not, and pitchers did 3.7% worse."
  • Will Babe Ruth's 1920 jersey fetch $2 million? - The Orange County Register. "The oldest known existing uniform worn by "The Great Bambino" could command close to $2 million, said the auction house's managing director, Dan Imler."
  • Hooray! Another baseball movie! Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Put "42" on Deck for April 12, 2013 - Business Wire. "Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures are teaming up with director Brian Helgeland for "42," the story of baseball great Jackie Robinson. Slated for release on April 12, 2013, the film will open in time to commemorate the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson Day—April 15, the date of his first game as a Brooklyn Dodger—and on the heels of the opening of the 2013 Major League Baseball season." H/T:BBTF
  • And finally there's this bit of news: National crisis averted: Canseco’s Twitter account is back - Off the Bench. "After his account went AWOL for a few hours earlier today, Canseco’s Twitter is back on the air, and it’s as nutty as ever." For example:

And all is well in the world of weird.