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Thursday Halolinks: Winning Streak Is Over, But Optimism Remains

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May 30, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Mark Trumbo (44) celebrates after he hit a two run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE
May 30, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Mark Trumbo (44) celebrates after he hit a two run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

Today's Halolinks begin with this philosophy: The best way to begin a winning streak is by smacking the Rangers:

  • Although the Angels lost last night and ended their 8-game winning streak, the mood is much different than if this loss had happened a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it's because the bullpen is looking good, or Albert Pujols is finally hitting, or possibly because the middle of the batting order with Mark Trumbo looks like it could rival the Rangers': Five-run inning helps Yankees salvage series finale in Anaheim - Yahoo! Sports. "Trumbo, who drove home the Angels' first run with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, connected off Nova for a two-run, opposite-field homer in the fourth inning to pull the Angels to within 5-3. It marked the fourth consecutive game with a home run for Trumbo, just one shy of the franchise record set by Bobby Bonds from Aug. 2-7, 1977."
  • You know what would be really cool? If Ervin Santana wouldn't think this way: Ervin Santana: 'I'm a home-run pitcher' - ESPN Los Angeles. "During his tortured, 48-pitch third inning, Santana allowed long balls to Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano. Those were the 14th and 15th home runs Santana has allowed this season, most in the majors. "I'm a home-run pitcher," Santana said. "I'm a power pitcher and, if they make good contact, that's where it's going to end up."How about not letting the opposing hitters make good contact? Just a thought.
  • Looks like the cowboy hat is on the other head...wait, what? Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels - June 1, 2012 - "In the three weeks since the Rangers took two of three from the Angels in Arlington, Albert Pujols has homered seven times, C.J. Wilson has won twice and posted a 1.02 ERA in his last three starts and the Angels had climbed above .500 for the first time since Opening Day before dropping to 26-26 with Wednesday's 6-5 loss to the Yankees."
  • I usually don't take pleasure in other people's misery, but this is FREAKIN' AWESOME!: Mariners use 2 8-run innings to rout Rangers 21-8 - Yahoo! Sports. "Smoak hit two three-run homers against his former team and the Mariners used a pair of early eight-run innings to rout the Texas Rangers for the second straight game, winning 21-8 Wednesday night."
  • Optimism is so much better than Hostility. Just ask Lyle Spencer: Optimism abounds as Angels show potential - "These athletes have caught C.J. Wilson's attention with their attitudes as much as with their multiple skills. "Our team has a lot of guys with personality," Wilson, the Rangers' former ace, said. "A lot of that is showing through. I have this PMA -- Positive Mental Attitude -- tattoo, and Mark and I talk about being positive, focusing on what's coming up, not what's already happened. "He's an extremely talented player. You see him in this utility role, playing all these positions, and that's not easy. But doors are opening up. He's taking pitches that are close, that he used to go after. He's a very cerebral player, studying and working hard. That's why good things are happening to him."
  • These guys are so much fun to watch: Trout, Bourjos a dynamic defensive duo - The Orange County Register. "Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos are getting well-acquainted with the contours of the Big A's outfield walls. Trout played left field in Wednesday night's season finale against the New York Yankees, and Bourjos was in center. It was the fourth consecutive game the speedy young teammates had started at those positions, and they're rapidly gaining reputations as one of the most exciting outfield duos in the majors." Trout is getting attention from other sources: Angels’ Trout showing why scouts live in hit-and-miss environment - "Trout makes tracks so quickly that he creates suspense in routine grounders and turns seen-it-all scouts into salivating spectators. "You’ve got to kick yourself when you’ve (had) a chance to get a guy like that and didn’t," Byrnes said. Byrnes gets to kick himself in stereo. He passed on Mike Trout twice." While doing the things that'll endure him to fans and future fans: Angels outfielder Mike Trout relishes visit with elementary school kids - "And though he's fewer than 10 years older than some of the students, Smith said Trout handled the event as well as anyone, especially in his first school visit with the Angels. "Yeah, they made jokes about it," Trout said, referring to his age. "But it was just a great, great day for me and the kids. I signed some autographs and took some pictures. It was great."
  • I thought this was sort of funny in that, these were the things we fans were truly bitching about while the club floundered: Angels invited scrutiny when adding Pujols, Wilson - Yahoo! Sports. "After giving away most of a month of baseball, the Angels have rediscovered their inner competence. Where it had gone, inexactly, was identified and then beaten to a slow, terrible death for weeks. It was Pujols. It was Aybar. It was the bullpen. It was Scioscia. It was Hatcher. It was every man in red not named Weaver, and then he went to the disabled list."
  • Say what, Mike? "We're glad to be seeing it [happen] in a timely fashion," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. This was his comment regarding the much improved Albert Pujols. Translation: "It's about damn time". Barry Bloom: Angels slugger Albert Pujols' torrid May making skeptics look silly -
  • The Halos were #27 last week: Power Rankings: Angels are finally soaring, Dodgers keep roaring - "#14 - And here they come. Albert Pujols is crushing the ball of late, and the bullpen has improved markedly. (We'll let you know when Ernest Frieri gives up a hit as an Angel.) The loss of Jered Weaver to the disabled list is an obvious blow, but equally obvious is that the Angels are going to contend after all."
  • 2013 Payroll Commitments - Angels: $92MM
  • This is a bizarre story from last night's game: Yankees catcher Russell Martin blasts umpire Laz Diaz - "After the two had earlier argued over balls and strikes, Martin said the umpire refused to let him throw the ball back to his own pitchers whenever a new ball was put into play. "He told me I had to earn the privilege," said Martin, a seven-year veteran, three-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner." What is up with these umpires? Whatever happened to the thought that the best ones were those who went unnoticed?
  • And speaking of umpires...Hawk Harrelson Freaks Out About Umpire Mark Wegner After Puzzling Ejection in White Sox Game (Video) - "Hawk Harrelson is one of the most spirited TV broadcasters in all of baseball, and he's also a bit of a homer. He's also been around baseball forever, so he knows a thing or two about the game. All of those things came together Wednesday afternoon, and the result was a big-time explosion from the White Sox broadcaster." I'm not a Harrelson fan, but this is pretty good:

    Apparently, the reason for the whole thing was because of this guy: A.J. Pierzynski trying to injure people again - douchebags - 30fps. Pierzynski went into second with his spikes high (click link to see frame grab) and was hit in retaliation.
  • Please, oh please, oh PLEASE, let's see this creep end up doing time:McCourt management of Dodgers under grand jury investigation - "Authorities have requested documents from representatives of each of the McCourts, the person said. The investigation started early last year and appears to be focused on the accounting and propriety of Dodgers spending, the person said."
  • I'm waiting for the day "sciosciaism" makes it: "Sabermetrics" Was A Word In The Scripps National Spelling Bee - Deadspin. "The word's appearance in the Bee outraged both baseball purists (who deny the legitimacy of sabermetrics as an idea) and stat junkies (who insist on spelling it SABRmetrics)."
  • I may be old, but I refuse to grow up: Johnson Beats Wang - I'm waiting for a Fister - Furbush matchup.
  • Who mentioned old? Jamie Moyer designated for assignment by Rockies; likely done with Colorado - The Denver Post. "The Rockies designated the 49-year-old Moyer for assignment, leaving them 10 days to trade or release him."