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Tuesday Halolinks: Mike Trout Not The Only Reason For Angels Success

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Sometimes life gets in the way of doing the things we like to do and makes us do the things we have to do. Today's Halolinks will suffer because life is telling me I have to take care of some things ( a car with a blown engine) instead of being able to do what I want (spend more time here). Oh well, such is Halolinks:

  • Mike Trout keeps impressing everyone, however this Lyle post also points out the recent Angels' success isn't a product of just Trout's presence in the lineup, but more of a joint effort with Trumbo and Frieri: Fresh faces taking Halos to new heights - There this cool quote about Trout, "We were sitting on the bench wondering how anybody threw him out," Mattingly, the Dodgers' manager, said after watching Trout run wild against his club over the weekend. "You don't see many Trouts. You see parts of the package, but not like that. The hype is well deserved. He's a game-changer."
  • Like the above post, this one highlights the importance of the bullpen stabilizer: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim score big with closer Ernesto Frieri - FOX Sports. "The July 31 non-waiver deadline is still five weeks away. But it’s quite possible that the best deal of the 2012 season already has been made. I’m not talking about Sunday’s trade of Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox to the White Sox – though the White Sox, at the very least, will get a highly motivated player. No, I’m talking about the Angels’ acquisition of right-hander Ernesto Frieri from the Padres on May 3 – a move that transformed the Angels’ bullpen and helped turn around their season." Here's more: Are the Angels inventing a new bullpen model? - ESPN Los Angeles. "Scioscia isn’t willing to commit to the practice long-term and, lately, Frieri has settled into something resembling a traditional closer’s role. Downs has been the X-factor, being deployed in one of the final three innings depending when the other team’s best left-handed hitters are due up."
  • Strong pitching combined with good hitting leads to: Angels-Orioles Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "The Angels (40-33) have batted .280 and scored 147 runs during a 22-8 surge, putting behind them a rough first 43 games in which they hit .249 and scored 154 runs."
  • And I'm not sure he should: Scioscia won't drop Morales from cleanup platoon - Yahoo! Sports. "Meanwhile, outfielder Mark Trumbo leads the Angels with 17 home runs and 49 RBI (including a big-league-high 30 since May 27) while batting .316. But manager Mike Scioscia insists it is not time for Trumbo to take over the cleanup spot in the batting order on a full-time basis. Scioscia still bats the switch-hitting Morales fourth behind Albert Pujols against right-handed pitching. Morales provides the only left-handed power threat in the lineup. Against left-handed pitching, Trumbo moves ahead of Morales and bats cleanup." I like the right-left-right order of the lineup with Morales hitting behind Pujols.
  • Obviously, it's still early, but: Trout takes over AL batting lead - The Orange County Register. "The Chicago White Sox's Paul Konerko went 0 for 3 in a 4-1 loss at Minnesota, dropping his average from .341667 to .33745 (82 for 243). Trout is batting .33816 (70 for 207). He only just became eligible for the batting crown last week, reaching the required number of plate appearances -- 3.1 for each of his team's games." Move over Alex Johnson.
  • Good news: Jerome Williams resumes throwing after hospitalization - HardballTalk. "Williams is on the disabled list, so he won’t be rushed back, but Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles reports that he’s experienced no further problems since the incident and is slated to pitch a simulated game later this week."
  • Disappointed the Halos didn't pick up Kevin Youkilis? How about this guy: Padres will listen to Headley trade offers; it will take 'a lot' to acquire him - "The Padres are getting calls of inquiry on third baseman Chase Headley, and while they head into the trade season with no intention to deal Headley, they will at least listen. That makes sense considering their current standing. But one Padres official summed up what it would take for them to trade Headley in two words: "A lot.''
  • This is awesome. Not because I don't like Skip Bayless, or am enamored with Mark Cuban, I just think it's cool that an owner has the type of knowledge Cuban displays in this exchange. Plus, it's always fun to see a so-called "expert" put in his place:
  • "It's a think-piece": Frank Deford laments the passing of journalism that Frank Deford likes (and which hasn’t passed) - HardballTalk. "But that leads to the second part: giving the reader tweets, texts, blurbs, charts or blog posts with that less-glamorous, less-drama-filled content does not mean that the reader cannot also enjoy the writing Deford thinks is disappearing. The investigative stuff. The in-depth features. The things that only a reporter with good access, brains, skills and the ability to tell a good story can provide."
  • Price gouging in 2012 - Hardball Times. "I’ve checked the fees for all 30 teams. The table below (click link) lists the processing charges, convenience fees, and total cost for someone buying just one ticket or the classic family size of four tickets. Please remember that means, in the latter case, a person would have to pay one order processing charge but four convenience fees. Based on my research, here are the various rates for how teams gouge you when buying the cheapest available seats:
  • This is linked only because I thought it was interesting: Joe Blogs: Youk. "A few people have suggested over the years that the most telling offensive statistic in baseball might be something called "out percentage." I think that’s a pretty good idea. It’s not really a new statistic. It’s just on-base percentage turned inside out, but sometimes it’s a good idea to look at something from a different perspective."
  • You Thought the Save Rule Was F’d... - Bugs & Cranks. "Pitcher A enters the game with the bases loaded and no one out with his team up a run in the sixth. The middle infield is playing back for the DP and the pitcher induces the hitter into a perfect 6-4-3. The runs scores but that was OK since that was what the team was conceding.. The pitcher then whiffs the next hitter. He does his job. Pitcher A gets a blown save."
  • Click this link, it's goofy: Travis Wood’s helmet decal snafu joins long list of ‘Cubbie occurrences’ - Yahoo! Sports. "Do not adjust your computer monitors or tablet screens. That really is Chicago Cubs pitcher Travis Wood stepping up to the plate on Monday night with a helmet decal that looks like it's leaving early for a drink at The Cubby Bear or for a stint as the team's guest conductor for the seventh inning stretch." Made me think, "Who goofed, I've got to know".
  • My son sent this to me. Shufflebots!
  • Very sad news: Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds dies at 50 after battle with pancreatic cancer - ""He brought a tireless work ethic and compassion for baseball to the ballpark every day," Black said. "He was a loyal Padre to the end. Players and coaches were made better by Ak. He will be sorely missed, and what he brought to this organization will never be forgotten." Akerfelds is survived by his girlfriend, Julie, and son, Dalton."

And now, time to go find a new (old) car...