clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Thursday Halolinks: Season Approaching "Must Win" Point, Vernon Wells Should Cost Mike Scioscia His Job

"You had me at, 'too blessed to be stressed'."
"You had me at, 'too blessed to be stressed'."

Oh man, oh man, oh man, oh man, oh man, oh man, oh man, oh man, oh man...Halolinks:

American League Wild Card Standings
Oakland 82 60 .577 -
Baltimore 80 62 .563 -
N.Y. Yankees 80 62 .563 -
Tampa Bay 77 65 .542 3
L.A. Angels 77 66 .538
Detroit 75 67 .528 5
  • If the Angels make the playoffs this season, I'll be happy, but it'll feel a little unsatisfying. After all of the preseason excitement and high expectations, and the season's ups and downs, a playoff berth would seem undeserving. The club was expected to do so much better than to squeak into the last last wild card spot...if they even do, that the booby-prize of a one-game playoff would leave an unpleasant taste in my mouth. Anyway, I'll worry about that future when and if the time comes. Here's the present: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - September 12, 2012 - "From the start of May to the start of this series, the Angels' offense led the Majors in batting average and slugging percentage, was tied for first in runs and ranked second in on-base percentage. So the fact they've scored a combined three runs through the first six innings against three rookie starting pitchers, and have combined to score seven total in 27 innings of this series, is some cruel irony." Isn't weird how inconsistent this team is? One week, or series, they're the hottest hitting team in baseball, the next they're getting shutdown by rookie pitchers.
  • I haven't read or done any studies, but common sense would tell me the easiest scoring situation would be a runner on third with less than 2 outs,: Angels lose third straight to A's, 4-1 - The Orange County Register. "In the fourth, Kendrys Morales reached on an infield single, and Howie Kendrick followed with a double, sending Morales hustling to third. With only one out, however, Erick Aybar popped out, and Vernon Wells flied out to end the inning." and yet the Halos have squandered these scoring opportunities this series: 3 up, 3 down: Athletics 4, Angels 1 - ESPN Los Angeles. "In the past 13 innings, the Angels have had four runners at third base with fewer than two outs and have failed to score." Successful playoff teams do not leave guys on third.
  • At this point in the season I figured I would be writing about the Angels in this way, not the Oakland A's: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - Sep 12, 2012 - "Oakland, the AL wild-card leader, stayed three games behind first-place Texas in the AL West. But the surprising A's have a five-game cushion with 20 to play in the race for the league's final postseason spot."
  • This is crazy. "A year and a half". And that's not really right either, it's a couple weeks short of two entire seasons that Wells "hasn’t performed to the level that he had when he was with Toronto" and yet Scioscia still expects Wells to give the team a lift. Everyone, except possibly Mike Scioscia, knows the old Albert Einstein quote, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Either he's insane or willing to accept the poor performance Wells provides: Wells rewarded with another start for Angels - The Orange County Register. "Offensively, obviously he hasn’t performed to the level that he had when he was with Toronto," Scioscia added. "But he’s a much better player than he’s shown here in the last year and a half, and hopefully he’ll give us a lift here the last month."
  • Can you say, "team player"? Trumbo sits but doesn't question it - The Orange County Register. "It's a very 'What have you done for me lately?' type game," Trumbo said, "and as of the recent month, month and a half, I haven't done too much, so ... we're trying to win a championship, and we're trying to first and foremost make it to the playoffs. So there's no time for feelings."
  • The Angels need a win tonight to keep their slim hopes alive, but it's going to be tough: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - September 13, 2012 - "Now they will turn to Jered Weaver, who missed his last start with biceps tendinitis and hasn't pitched since Sept. 2. The injury has bothered Weaver (16-4, 2.86 ERA) since an Aug. 6 shutout of the A's, after which he has posted a 6.14 ERA over five starts." Yep, the Angels turn to their "ace", but Oakland has a hot pitcher of their own: Athletics-Angels Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "His (Weaver) return sets up an intriguing matchup against Anderson (4-0, 0.69), who is making his fifth start of the season after being sidelined more than a year following Tommy John surgery. Anderson continues to put up impressive numbers since returning. He gave up one unearned run over six innings in a 6-1 victory at Seattle last Saturday."
  • Angels close to squandering Mike Trout's dream season and owner's $160M investment - Yahoo! Sports. "Nineteen games remain. If the New York Yankees and Orioles each win 10 of their remaining 20 games, that puts the second wild-card threshold at 90 victories. To reach that, the Angels would need to go 13-6." Thirteen and six isn't that big of a stretch, so there's still hope. Wait, what did I just write about insanity? Nevermind.
  • If playoffs elude Angels, will Scioscia's job be safe? - ESPN Los Angeles. "When he was asked what he thought about the Angels starting next season against the Cincinnati Reds and becoming the first teams to open with an interleague matchup, Scioscia simply stared into the distance and asked, "What time’s tonight game?" Oh dear. Despite ups and downs, Scioscia still Angels' rock - The rock tied around their necks.
  • Congratulations Albert: With 30th blast, Albert Pujols hits record-setting homer - "Pujols, 32, is the first player to hit 30-plus homers in each of his first 12 seasons -- even though his first in an Angels uniform didn't come until May 6. He's the fourth to hit 30-plus homers in a run of 12 straight seasons at any point in his career, joining Barry Bonds (13 straight, from 1992 to 2004), Alex Rodriguez (13 straight from 1998 to 2010) and Jimmie Foxx (12 straight, from 1929-40)."
  • Pujols, Trout too valuable to be out of lineup - "How much has Trout played? He didn't join the Angels until their 21st game of the season, yet he came into Wednesday ranked second on the team in plate appearances with 549, trailing only Pujols' 588."
  • It says a lot that there's still a conversation going on about this play: Situation didn't allow Angels to let Peter Bourjos run - "We didn't get into a count that worked," Bourjos said. "The pitcher was probably reading me. When he went home, he could have easily thrown to first because his lift leg stayed pretty even, and he kind of hung there for a second." It says that if a steal wasn't possible, maybe some other sort of play should be called forinstead of placing your hopes on the player with the second-most double plays hit into.
  • How 2012’s biggest under-performers can turn it all around - The Hardball Times
    "5. Vernon Wells (0.5 WAR, $21MM) The elder statesman of spectacularly awful contracts, Vernon Wells’ production fell off of a cliff immediately after ink met paper, and that was a year before the contact even took effect. During the length of the contract, from 2008 to the present, Wells has produced 6.2 WAR. He’s cashed checks in the same timeframe totaling $84MM, when including the signing bonus. That’s more than three times the going rate for WAR, and to make things worse for the Angels, he still has two years and $42MM on the books." At this point, I'm so "whatever".
  • Chicks dig scars: Brandon McCarthy's brain surgery scar
  • You have to watch the entire video to see the look of complete bewilderment and fright on Francesa's face. It's hysterical: WFAN radio host Mike Francesa falls asleep during Yankees update (Video) - Yahoo! Sports. "At first, he appears to be dutifully reading something, perhaps notes that will help him engage, or even rebut, reporter Sweeny Murti. But then, it becomes obvious that his head is going lower for another reason"
  • You Can Actually Pinpoint The Second When Dustin Pedroia Learns His Wife Is In Labor. "Oh shit"
  • Banner At High School Football Stadium Has Regrettable Typo. I was once called a pubic nuisance. Not really. But I wish I had.
  • Hey look, Jose Canseco actually doing something that's pretty cool: Jose Canseco’s Old Milwaukee commercials are now online for everyone to enjoy - Yahoo! Sports