If today is an off day, what has the past two weeks been? Stop thinking and start reading today's Halolinks:
- It's the same old story; boy meets girl, boy falls in love, girl sleeps with boys' best friend, girls sleeps with other friend, boy catches girl with roommate, boy gives up lead. It's been told a million times: Athletics 9, Angels 8 - MLB News - FOX Sports. "All the damage in the sixth came off Los Angeles reliever LaTroy Hawkins (2-3). ''When you score eight runs you have to find a way to win,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''Troy had a tough sixth inning. At some point things have to stabilize coming out of the `pen to give us a chance.'' Hey Mike, at what point do you think the pitcher doesn't "have it"? Two runs? Three? How about five?? I think the right answer is somewhere BEFORE five. I say we take him out back and kick the shit outta him.
- Ever wonder if a player has any good advice when facing a former teammate? Here's your answer: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics - August 8, 2012 - MLB.com. "I told the guys to not be overly aggressive and work him into hitters' counts," said A's catcher George Kottaras, Greinke's teammate in Milwaukee. "Anyone can say that about any pitcher, but I emphasized that he really likes to attack his hitters, especially when he gets ahead. He got shy with his fastball."
- OC Register's Bill Plunkett thinks the Angel season might be a nightmare, or at least the bullpen: Angels' bullpen nightmare gets worse - The Orange County Register. "The bullpen's swath of destruction on the 10-game odyssey totaled four blown saves, five losses charged to relievers (all in the past eight games), a 10.54 ERA, 41 hits (including 11 home runs) and 10 walks in 27 1/3 innings." Wait! Bill thinks the Angels still have confidence: Angels' confidence survives challenging stretch. "With Wednesday's loss in Oakland, the Angels completed a 45-game stretch of their schedule during which they played 42 games against teams with winning records." Which is it, nightmare, or confidence? Both? Confident in the nightmare? I'm confused, but at least Mike Scioscia clears things up for me, "You're right. We might. But right now, we're just playing baseball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia" Say what, Mike? That's baseball? Sure glad he cleared that up, 'cause those people were about to buy some Amway products.
- More Mike Trout porn: Putting Mike Trout into perspective - CBSSports.com. "Here, then, is a list of the highest OPS+'s ever by qualifying 20- and 21-year-olds. Although Trout is, as of today, 21 years of age, this is his age-20 season, so that means some players on the list to follow will be older than Trout. Keep that in mind as you peruse these names, which come to us courtesy of the Baseball-Reference Play Index ...
OPS+ That's a list of every qualifier to notch an OPS+ of 160 or better in his age-20 or -21 season. Of the 12 names on that list, you'll find nine current hall of famers, one future hall of famer (Rodriguez) and one of the all-time "what could've been" guys (Cedeno). You'll also find, comfortably at the top of the rankings, Mike Trout. Folks, we're witnessing something very special." I'm sure there's an appropriate thing to say at this moment... probably some formal apology for the "nice ass" remark would be in order, I just... I don't quite know how to word it.
- Oh look, it's a double-feature: Mike Trout's Rookie Campaign Is History in the Making - The Triangle Blog - Grantland. "He is in the midst of one of the greatest rookie seasons of all time. He's doing things virtually no one his age has done before. He might already be the best player in the game. And if he keeps up this pace, we might soon be able to say this: On a per-game basis, he's putting up one of the greatest performances by any player, of any age, ever. First, the obligatory caveats. Trout has played in just 88 games this season. He's got nearly two months left for his numbers to cool off. The smart money should be on some kind of regression. Trout hasn't slumped, hasn't suffered anything close to a significant injury, and is carrying a .398 batting average on balls in play. Everything that could have gone right so far, has." Oh, by the way, nice shoes.
- Kinda getting ahead of ourselves with a preview of tomorrow's game, but it points out an interesting fact: Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels - August 10, 2012 - MLB.com. "With their loss in the series finale against the Athletics on Wednesday, the Angels have a record of 11-15 since the All-Star break, including a 4-6 record during their 10-game road trip. Since the break, they have won just two of nine series over that span, with one coming against the last-place Royals."
- T.J. Simers: Angels beat Dodgers in disappointment department - latimes.com.. "Most everyone says Mike Scioscia is a great manager, but where is the proof if the Angels fail to make the playoffs a third straight year?" If we had to go through a character debate three years ago, would we have won?
- Beacause he's a great manager: Scioscia never lost faith that Pujols would hit - angels.com. "Maybe some began to doubt Albert Pujols when he struggled to begin the 2012 season, perhaps thinking that he wouldn't be able to produce the way that his massive new contract said he should. Not Mike Scioscia."
- Time for some good news!: Maronde snares first Double-A victory - MiLB.com. "The Angels' No. 4 prospect allowed four hits and struck out five over eight innings as Double-A Arkansas blanked Corpus Christi, 4-0, on Wednesday. Maronde walked one and faced five over the minimum for the Travelers. The 22-year-old left-hander retired the final nine batters he faced en route to his first win since being promoted to the Texas League." Great. You're starting Monday.
- The people standing in line for 3 innings should be banned from the stadium: People Are Waiting 3 Innings For The Pat LaFrieda Steak Sandwich At Citi Field - Food Republic. "The sandwich features hand-cut 100% black angus seared filet mignon, Monterey jack cheese, sweet caramelized onions, and is served with a secret au jus on a custom-made and toasted French baguette. " Maybe they should do what Frenchie does: Francoeur steals fan's popcorn after chasing foul ball.
- Ladies and germs, you're next Angels' catcher: Texas Rangers to release catcher Yorvit Torrealba - ESPN Dallas. "After the Rangers acquired catcher Geovany Soto from the Chicago Cubs less than 24 hours before the July 31 trade deadline, they designated Torrealba for assignment. If he is not claimed by noon CT on Friday, he becomes a free agent. Torrealba, who was in his second season with the Rangers, hit .236 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 45 games." Yeah? But what's his CERA??
- Amy Adams! Baseball!
Justin Timberlake!: 'Trouble With The Curve' Trailer: Clint Eastwood's 'Moneyball' - Huffington Post. "In "Curve," Eastwood stars as Gus, an aging baseball scout with failing eyesight who goes out on the road with his estranged daughter (Amy Adams) to find one last top prospect. (Eastwood's Gus has previously unearthed Dusty Baker, Dale Murphy and fake baseball player Johnny Flanagan, who is now a young scout and faux-rival. He's played by Justin Timberlake.) Along the way, Gus and his daughter bond again, she falls for Johnny, and Matthew Lillard shows up as a Billy Beane-type who thinks scouting should be done inside a computer. ("Gus can't even turn on a typewriter," he snarls.)" I'm surprised people are writing about this now. Usually it's the off-season when we get the four or five hundred baseball movie posts. Here's a link to the TRAILER.