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Thursday Halolinks: Congratulations Red Sox, Angels to defend title

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Let's all welcome the 2014 baseball season (and forget the miserable 2013 season).

Rob Carr

Well, that's it.  The 2013 season is now officially over.  Which means this is the first Halolinks of the 2014 season!

  • I have to do it, it's just the right thing to do...congratulations to David Ortiz and the rest of the Boston Red Sox: 2013 World Series -- David Ortiz of Boston Red Sox named MVP - ESPN Boston.  "When Ortiz came to the plate for the last time, in the eighth inning with the outcome safely in hand, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina stood up and spoke to him in the batter's box. Molina softly patted Ortiz twice on the side, too. Well done, pal. Ortiz watched four more wide ones and trotted to first base, having piled up totals that not even slow-pitch softball players dream about: He reached base a whopping 19 times in 25 plate appearances -- the second-most in a single World Series behind the Giants' Barry Bonds (21) in 2002."
  • The Red Sox may have won the World Series, but this headline sums up a lot of people's feelings: It's A Bad Night To Be A Windshield In Boston
  • Okay, now that that's over with, the Angels can move on to the really import task of defending their CotO (Champions of the Offseason) title.  Seldom does a team three-peat, but let's not count the Halos out yet.  Let's start with some pitching possibilities: Free Agent Profile: Phil Hughes -  "A rebound campaign in 2014 would set Hughes up as a desirable arm entering his age-28 season on next year's free agent market. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go the Liriano route and ink a two-year contract (he'd still be able to hit free agency again at age 29), but my prediction is that Hughes will sign a one-year, $8MM contract this winter."  Hughes seems just like the type of pitcher the Angels can use and afford; young, relatively cheap, and local.  Although I lack the confidence of the coaching staff to "fix" players or make them better, Hughes has shown he has the ability to help a major league club.
  • A second baseman?  Why, step right up!  Have we got a deal for you: Blue Jays have interest in Beckham - MLB Daily Dish.  "The Toronto Blue Jays are interested in acquiring White Sox second baseman, and former first round pick, Gordon Beckham, according to's Scott Merkin and Gregor Chisholm. The Blue Jays have been linked to numerous players in the last week, including a pair of Angels' catchers in Hank Conger and Chris Iannetta."
  • Finally some good news (or rather speculation) from the Dodgers and Tanaka: Dodgers trade rumors: In on everyone? - MLB Daily Dish.  "Another reason they aren't the best fit for Tanaka is their ability to furnish a competitive rotation with the players they already have. Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, Josh Beckett, and Chad Billingsley will all be handsomely compensated for their services, and they have Zach Lee, Onelki Garcia, and Matt Magill (amongst others) on deck in the minors."
  • This is pretty neat: Flip Flop Fly Ball - Árbol de Béisbol 
  • I've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating, I used to give Jeff Sullivan a lot of crap about the things he spouted regarding the Angels when he wrote for Lookout Landing, but he's the type of writer I want to be when I grow up: How the Red Sox Got to Michael Wacha - FanGraphs Baseball.  "Just one season ago, the Red Sox lost 93 games. This season, the Mariners lost 91 games. The Mets lost 88 games. The Padres lost 86 games. There was a lot of talent already in place, but the Red Sox badly needed some work, and the franchise identity shouldn’t blind people to the near improbability of the turnaround. No World Series champion has ever had a worse previous season."  (That last sentence should give all fans hope that their team can turn it around for next season.}  I like the way he uses GIFs to help convey his point.  Such as in this post:  Matt Carpenter and a Most Amazing Strike.  "There’s really no controversy here, at least in terms of what should’ve happened. The pitch was over the edge — not of home plate — but of the batter’s box. That means the ball was inches out of the zone."
  • Here's an interesting article from a now former major league player: Why I Quit Major League Baseball - The New Yorker.  "I quit after trying to balance my life as a professional baseball player with my life as a student during the last three years of my career. In the spring and summer, I played ball. In the fall, I studied creative writing and philosophy at New York University. But with every semester that passed, I loved school more than I loved baseball, and eventually I knew I had to choose one over the other. As I submerged myself into an academic environment, I thought often of my parents, who knew nothing about baseball but raised me with a passion for music and language so great that sports seemed irrelevant by comparison."
  • Quintin Berry stands alone - Baseball Nation.  "We usually get these stories every spring, but today we've got a stray piece in the Times about the relative dearth of American-born black players in Major League Baseball. Because somewhat shockingly, there's just one American-born black player among the 50 players on the 2013 World Series rosters. One. Which seems low."
  • When I retire, one of the most important things I'd like to do is spend a summer travelling the United States and visiting places like this: Historic baseball site lost on Boston college campus - Lifestyles.  "That is the site of the old Huntington Avenue Base Ball Grounds, home of Boston’s Americans until Fenway opened in 1912, and the place where the first World Series was played. Thanks to blueprint work by historians, the sites of the ballpark’s home plate and pitcher’s mound were located, and a statue of Young was erected. And 60 feet 6 inches away, there is a bronze home plate telling the story."
  • And finally, as we say good-bye to the 2013 baseball season and head into another winter filled with rumored trades, rumored signings, and rumored moves, I like to say thanks to all of you who participated by voicing your thoughts and feelings.  Below is a screenshot of Halos Heaven's Game Thread link.  Please note that number in the corner: 150300.  That means, in just the game threads alone and not counting the thousand other posts throughout the season, you made over one hundred and fifty thousand comments!  Many were hilarious, some where insightful, a few were lame, but ALL were appreciated.  You guys and gals are the best!Misc_-_001_medium