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Thursday Halolinks: Angels Achieve High Level Mediocrity, Take A Day Off

If the players aren't playing at a "high level", who's to blame?

Patrick Smith

Off-day Halolinks:

  • I wish yesterday's game was typical instead of one of those rare games where things went right. But with the way this season is going, even wins can create negative feelings. Angels stop four-game skid - Yahoo! Sports. "The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Angels (28-38) and prevented the Orioles (37-29) from completing a sweep of the three-game series. It also stopped Baltimore's three-game winning streak. "You're going to have those days when you don't get the break," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But you have to play everything at a high enough level to win the game, and today we did." What does that even mean, "play everything at a high level"? Does that mean when the team loses it's because they didn't play at a high enough level? Are these "levels" adjustable? If so, who's responsible for cranking up the "level" knob? Possibly the manager? So, is Scioscia really saying, "I wasn't able to get my players to the level they needed to be in order to win this game"? Also, did everyone of my sentences within this paragraph end with a question mark?
  • I like how the crazy Associated Press writer uses the word "positive" in the same sentence as "a 2-4 trip". Angels 9, Orioles 5 - FOX Sports. "Hank Conger homered, Pujols had three hits and Howie Kendrick contributed two doubles to help Los Angeles (28-38) avert a three-game sweep and put a positive finish on a 2-4 trip that began in Boston."
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  • I can't decide which catch I like better...Peter Bourjos’ amazing catch robs J.J. Hardy of a homer — just like Mike Trout did a year ago - Yahoo! Sports. "Keeping with the symmetry: Even the reactions from Angels TV analyst Mark Gubicza were similar.
    • Trout last season: "He's way over the wall ... That's an unbelievable play."
    • Bourjos on Tuesday: "That is well over the wall ... That is unbelievable."
  • Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles - June 12, 2013 - "But the reality remains harsh: At 28-38, the Angels are still double-digit games out of first place in the American League West and need to win 19 of their next 27 just to have a winning record by the All-Star break." I think this will be my litmus test for the season; if the Angels are above .500 by the All-Star break there's still a chance. Otherwise, meh.
  • The west coast Yankees will face the east coast Angels: New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels - June 14, 2013 - "The Angels will try to keep that momentum going against a Yankees team trending in the opposite direction. After suffering through a stretch where they lost six of seven games to the rival Mets and Red Sox, the Yanks had won six of eight entering Wednesday night's game against the A's."
  • I understand why it seems odd that the Angels do stuff to honor Yankee players, but everything I've ever read about Mariano Rivera points out what a really good person he is: Yankees' Rivera surprises longtime A's employee - NBC Sports. "The 43-year-old Rivera said this is the most creative display of appreciation yet during his farewell tour before he heads into retirement after his 19th major league season. He's doing similar things in each city, getting a thrill in each stop by making one person's day. "Oh, I love it, yes. I'm enjoying every minute," Rivera said. "They all have their own personality. I decided before spring training that I wanted to do something different and make sure I said thanks to the fans - not just the regular fans, but also those behind the scenes, like Julie, who has been here (more than) 20 years. That's wonderful." This is very classy.
  • What? Someone lied?? I'm shocked! Japanese baseball officials admit to altering the baseball to increase offense - HardballTalk. "In April NPB said the specifications of their ball — each of which bears the signature of its commissioner Ryozo Kato — "have not been changed", a statement that was repeated several times since. But on Tuesday NPB came clean, saying they had asked manufacturer Mizuno to "adjust" the ball to give it greater bounce off the bat and demanded the company keep quiet about the switch."
  • Former Angels' scout and minor league manager Tom Kotchman is now working for the Red Sox: Red Sox scouts recall when Tim Tebow almost became an Angel. ""We wanted to draft him," Kotchman remembered, "but he never sent back his information card. Either it never got to him, or … It’s Tim Tebow. Who knows if it got to him, and if it did we just never got it back. Otherwise were were going to take him." Seven years later, the notion of the newest New England Patriot playing for the Angels seems like a match made in … you know."
  • Hawk Harrelson is the best at being the worst: Jose Bautista demonstrates a lesson in lineup construction for Hawk Harrelson - South Side Sox. "As Jose Bautista came to the plate as the second hitter of the game, Steve Stone noted that Bautista was the rare slugger in the No. 2 hole. He couldn't really explain it, but that didn't stop him and Hawk Harrelson from attempting to discredit it."
  • This was easy to predict. 3DTV Is Officially Never Going to Happen. "That was it. That was 3DTV's best chance. ESPN just decided to discontinue its push for 3DTV sporting events, deciding its time would be better spent focusing on traditional high resolution broadcasts and Tim Tebow daguerreotypes. And that, in a nutshell, effectively kills 3DTV's chances of ever going mainstream."
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