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Wednesday Halolinks: Big Money Free Agents Look Good Against Oakland

May 18, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) walks out to the on-deck circle during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
May 18, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols (5) walks out to the on-deck circle during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Wednesday links are the humpiest:

  • This is what Angel fans were dreaming about the day the club signed both Pujols and Wilson: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics - May 22, 2012 - "Wilson and Pujols led the way against the Athletics on Tuesday, the $240 million first baseman hitting his fourth homer, the $77.5 million left-hander twirling eight one-hit innings in a 5-0 victory that snapped the Angels' fourth three-game losing streak." However, the worst part of this clip, "fourth three-game losing streak". Yikes. A couple of other bright spots; after finishing April with an 8-15 record, the win last night put the Halos over the .500 mark for May (11-10). They're also on the positive side of the runs scored/runs allowed paradigm with a +7 after being outscored by 14 runs in April.
  • Yeah, yeah. The A's played some good defense: Defensive gems can't overcome Oakland's lack of offense - Yahoo! Sports. "Third baseman Josh Donaldson made two sensational plays, one of which might show up in end-of-season highlight reels. Donaldson ranged far to his left in the fifth inning, cutting in front of Pennington and plunging for a sharp grounder by Maicer Izturis. The ball rolled free as he landed, and he picked it up while still seated and made a strong, accurate throw from his rear to get Izturis." Here's video of the play:
  • The Angels look to Jered Weaver as they try to put together back-to-back wins before heading to Seattle for the weekend. With a win today, the team will accomplished a two-game win steak for just the 5th time this season. Angels-Athletics Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "Weaver has already shut down Oakland once this season, giving up five hits and a walk in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-0 victory on April 16, and is 4-1 with a 1.21 ERA in six starts against the A's since the start of last year."
  • The following link is pretty cool, as Mike DiGiovanna references FanGraphs and Kendrick's O-Swing%: Angels FYI: Howie Kendrick's strikeouts have increased for a third year in a row - "Kendrick's strikeouts jumped from 71 in 2009 to 94 in 658 plate appearances in 2010, a strikeout rate of 14.3%. Kendrick whiffed 119 times in 583 plate appearances last season, a rate of 20.4%. His strikeout rate this season: 24.2%."
  • This is a compilation from MLB's "notes" post: Aybar exits game after hit by pitch - The first is regarding Aybar and the pitch that bounced off of his knee, "Erick Aybar left Tuesday's game against the A's with a right knee injury, suffered on a seventh-inning hit-by-pitch, but the Angels diagnosed it as a bruise and the switch-hitting shortstop isn't expected to miss any time." Another post looks at Pujols' hitting, or lack there of, "Heading into the second game of a three-game series at Oakland Coliseum, Pujols had been behind in the count in 64 of his 180 plate appearances (batting .156 in that situation), had hit an inordinate number of balls to the left side (causing several teams to shift) and had drawn only 10 walks." And finally, does Kendrys Morales do poorly from the right side of the plate because he sucks hitting right-handed, or does he suck hitting right-handed because he doesn't get the chance to do it often enough? "The Angels' designated hitter hardly starts when an opposing lefty is on the mound -- manager Mike Scioscia uses those as his off-days to keep him fresh -- but it's evident when he does that his timing isn't the same. Heading into Tuesday's game against A's righty Graham Godfrey, Morales was hitting .309 (29-for-94) from the left side but had only three hits and no walks in his 20 plate appearances from the right."
  • Former OC Register writer Sam Miller has found a home at Baseball Prospectus and has been posting some exceptionally great stuff: Pebble Hunting: Baseball and the F Word - Baseball Prospectus. "When I moved up from the 11-and-12 league to 13-and-14, there was a 14-year-old kid named Andrade who had grown himself a pretty good mustache. He caught, and whenever a pitch would get past him, he would yell "F***" as he turned to retrieve the pitch." This is funny because the same thing happened to me when I made the jump from Little League to Babe Ruth. There was a kid in our league with a full beard. And colorful language that the coaches were afraid to mention to him.
  • The tragedy of expectations in baseball - The Hardball Times. "The problem with these disappointments in the middle of May is just that. We are in the middle of May. The character is secondary to the plot, and we've barely scratched its surface. There are plenty of great players and teams who look primed for their fall, but it is impossible to know for some time yet. Albert Pujols can take solace in the fact that in 2009, many called CC Sabathia's record contract with the Yankees a failure through the same period of time. Just a few months later he earned himself an ALCS MVP before capturing a World Series."
  • Interesting article about scouting: Bernie Pleskoff: How scouts use formulas to evaluate tools - "The overall skill set demonstrated by the player creates the template for evaluation. Those "tools" are viewed and reviewed, and conclusions are reached in preparation for the submission of a written report. Once the scout's opinion is in writing, the scout has officially "weighed in." Decisions are considered on the recommendations of scouts."
  • Alleged Alabama Teabagger Arraigned, Pleads Not Guilty - Deadspin. "Brian Downing pled not guilty to charges he committed a sex crime" Not THAT Brian Downing.
  • Have you been playing SBN's Pick 6 game? These guys have. Here are Halos Heaven's top five in Pick 6:

    Rank Player Points
    1 dabird22 744.6
    2 SLOfan 718.3
    3 WiHaloFan 712.5
    4 drtrix 668.1
    5 Ant Fan 657.3