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Thursday Halolinks: Using your extra All-Star day, Trade Rumor season starts

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Now that we've officially moved into the second half of the 2013 season, let's look forward to trade talks and winning Angels' baseball!

"WTF, this ain't Halos Heaven!"
"WTF, this ain't Halos Heaven!"

How are you going to spend your extra day without baseball? Watch a movie with the family who may no longer remember who you are? Take your wife (or significant other) to dinner at a restaurant that doesn't give you a straw with your drink? Have a conversation with a family member or friend that doesn't include the sentence, "What the hell is Mike Scioscia doing?" Not check with a certain sports blog every 20 minutes to see if there's any new stories about your favorite team (you can still do this, however I can't vouch for the new content)? How about getting caught up on those trade deadline rumors? One thing you can continue to do is read your, right now:

  • Here's the biggest "no shit?" headline you'll read today: The Los Angeles Angels have not performed to expectations despite a big payroll and high-profile names - However the post does contain some interesting tidbits on the performance of this club, such as: "4. Little things have ailed them, too. The Angels have inexplicably gone from ranking second in the Majors in Defensive Runs Saved (DNS) in 2012 to second-to-last in 2013. They've hit into an AL-leading 94 ground-ball double plays. And they've made 38 outs on the bases, tied for second in the Majors." When you have a mediocre pitching staff, you need to convert every opportunity into an out. To allow extra base runners is going to be a problem this team cannot overcome.
  • I know we talk about this a little in game-threads, but here's a website that actually keeps track of these things: Does Clothing Determine Success? MLB Team Jersey, Cap Stats - Chris Creamer's SportsLogos.Net. "Have you ever thought to yourself, "it seems like those guys always lose when they wear that jersey"? Well, it turns out there may be some underlying truth to your sartorial assumption." Here's the Halo's record in each of their uniforms:
  • Los-angeles-angels-2013-jersey-stats-355x590
  • I know. I never, ever thought I would include a link to a legitimate article posted on the Bleacher Report, but here it is. If Peter Gammons were dead, he'd be rolling over in his grave: The Alarming Increase in MLB Pitchers Who've Had Tommy John Surgery - Bleacher Report. "One-third of current MLB pitchers have had Tommy John surgery. Of the about 360 who started the season, 124 share the all-too-familiar triangular scar. How surprising is this number? It stunned me! In recent talks with baseball officials, none guessed more than the one-in-nine number I had often seen quoted over the last decade (and quoted myself). Worse, none of us had any idea when this change had happened or noticed the acceleration." he post actually points out a rather shocking fact that almost a third of the pitchers in the major leagues have had TJ surgery.
  • Jeff Sullivan at his best: The Worst of the Best: The Wildest Pitches of the First ~Half - FanGraphs Baseball. "It’s objectively incorrect to refer to what’s happened as the first half of the season, since every team in baseball has played at least 91 games and every team in baseball won’t play at least 182 games. But "first half" is the accepted terminology, and it’s the easiest way to grab your attention, and you know what I mean when I say "first half", and technically we’re about halfway to the conclusion of the World Series. It’s been more than the first half of the regular season, but it’s been about exactly half of the complete, competitive season."
  • And again: The Worst of the Best: The Wildest Swings of the First ~Half - FanGraphs Baseball. "The swings you’re going to see? These batters should be laughed at, albeit probably from a distance, without their knowledge. Coming up: five swings at the pitches furthest from the center of the strike zone, as determined by PITCHf/x and me. We’re covering the whole season to date. Get ready to think about Vladimir Guerrero."
  • Shocking! Shocking, I tell you!! How Fox Faked Crowd Enthusiasm For Neil Diamond Last Night. "Instead, though, Fox manipulated the audio—cranking it up all the way during the "bum-bum-bum"s, and back down afterward. (You can tell because the musical accompaniment also magically gets louder, then softer again) Crank up the volume. (Thanks to pereubu77 for the tip)