Can you believe that the baseball season is almost here? Well, not the start of the SEASON, but the start of the start of the season...pitchers and catchers start reporting next week (the Angels P&C report February 12, full squad February 15) Here's the dates for everyone: Reporting dates for each MLB teams - Sporting News. In the meantime, here are some Halolinks:
With things finally starting within the baseball world, baseball writers and websites (such as the MLB site) are gearing up with stuff. Stuff like rankings: Anthony Castrovince: Los Angeles Angels' lineup ranks best in Major Leagues - angels.com.
"1. Angels: With Hamilton aboard, the Angels now have two guys who ranked in the top 10 in runs created per 27 outs last season (Trout finished first in that category). Oh, and they have Albert Pujols, who won't be going through the same adjustment issues he did at the start of 2012. Because of their ages, Hamilton (31) and Pujols (33) probably won't be the historically productive pair some fans might dream they will be, but there is little reason to believe an Angels team that ranked fourth in the Majors in runs scored last season won't again be elite. A big X-factor is Mark Trumbo, who disappeared in the second half last season. As it stands, I'll take the Angels' lineup over any other right now."
And it's time to start thinking about your fantasy team: Mike Trout perched atop list of Top 10 fantasy players - angels.com. "Welcome back, fantasy players! Fantasy baseball is just around the corner, and with it comes a new set of rankings. Although many of the top projected players are holdovers from the 2012 list, there are some new faces among the Top 10, most notably American League Rookie of the Year and MVP runner-up Mike Trout."
Finally, the time to start planning your trips to the park is here: Individual tickets for Los Angeles Angels games will go on sale on Feb. 23 - angels.com. "Fans can purchase them online at angels.com, at the Angel Stadium Ticket Office (located at the Home Plate Gate), by phone (800-745-3000) and at various Ticketmaster locations throughout Southern California. The ticket windows are open until 5:30 p.m., with a maximum purchase limit of 12 tickets per person, per game."
Here's an interesting story about former Angels' flame-out Scott Kazmir: Former Mets prospect Kazmir tries to find way back to majors - NYPOST.com. "By pitching through the groin injury, Kazmir says he got away from using his legs and instead used only his arms. Once his groin improved and he eventually began to use his legs again. "It’s almost like I lost the feel for it," he says."
The big PED story from Miami is producing some detailed usage amounts: As A-Rod's alleged doping pattern is revealed, MLB turns up heat - Tom Verducci - SI.com. "The notebooks reported to belong to Florida wellness clinician Tony Bosch connect New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez to a staggering array of drugs and supplements to be used literally morning, noon and night and through multiple delivery systems, including lozenges, creams and injections. Those notes, parts of which the Miami New Times have published online, provide the road map Major League Baseball investigators have begun to follow." Although A-Rod's usage won't have a huge impact on the Angels season, the Rangers will miss Nelson Cruz when they try to chase down the Halos: Subtract Nelson Cruz from the Rangers' opening day lineup - Dallas-Fort Worth Sports News. "Cruz will have to now convince the commissioner and his investigators that he didn't pay $4,000 last summer for a delivery of products from the south Florida company. That payment is part of the new evidence against Nellie. And I repeat, the payment was reportedly made to the same company that a Cabrera and a Colon were buying from when they tested dirty last summer."
Our friends from Matt Welch's real job look at PED usage: John Stossel and Nick Gillespie Talk Lance Armstrong, Doping, and Sports - Hit & Run - Reason.com
Burnett hadn't done anything with the Yankees, but once he left New York, he returned to his successful self. That self would've been very welcome in Anaheim: Vetoed Trades, Part One - FanGraphs Baseball.
Vetoed trade:Yankees send A.J. Burnett and cash to Angels for Bobby Abreu
Completed trade: Yankees send A.J. Burnett and cash to Pirates for Diego Moreno and Exicardo Cayones
Rob Neyer thinks Erick Aybar is under-rated: Wait, Ryan Hanigan is HOW underrated? - Baseball Nation. "So I'm going to go with this ranking: 1. Alex Gordon 2. Ben Zobrist 3. Austin Jackson 4. Erick Aybar 5. (You choose.)"
Nerds! Where are your numbers now? Caltech baseball team ends 228-game losing streak - FOX Sports. "It was a non-conference game, though, and Caltech, mainly a Division III participant, has not won a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest since 1988 - a span of 463 games."
Candlestick Park to be demolished within year - Yahoo! Sports. "Plans were announced today to blow up the 53-year-old, 69,000-seat stadium once the 49ers finish up their 2013-2014 season and move south to Santa Clara. They're the last tenant at the stadium, left to brave the Candlestick wind all alone when the Giants moved to AT&T Park before the 2000 season."
It's all just part of the recipe for a tasty treat: How the Cardinals use sabermetrics - ESPN. "When evaluating a player such as outfielder Oscar Taveras, a top prospect in the Cardinals organization and one of the best in baseball, there are several prongs to making a decision on what turns a prospect into a major league player. Mozeliak says you can think of the process as legs to a table. "If you lose one or two the table falls, so you really need all [of them] to stabilize your decisions," Mozeliak said. "
Within this interesting post is this observation: Baseball Researcher: The Pride of the Yankees Seeknay. "Second, it is important to keep in mind that continuity and accuracy in movies in "the old days" were simply not as important as they are today. A movie released in 1942 was meant to be seen once, maybe twice, in the movie theater. When its run was over ... it was over. Today, a movie has a significant life after its initial release. It is meant to be seen numerous times, not just in the theater, but also on television and at home, via DVD rentals and sales, as well as internet, on-demand delivery. "