This is the first Halolinks I've compiled since the Angels started playing their Spring Training games, and I have to say, it's about frickin' time the games have started! We talk during the off-season about what moves should be made, and we debate the moves that have actually been made, but now is the time we get to see the semi-finished product on the field. Savor these days, and use them to get yourself into your own pre-season shape. Figure out how many Doritos you can fit into your mouth and still post comments in the game thread. Oil the clicker you use to count the number of cliches Gubi uses during the broadcast. And for God's sake, warm up your arm before throwing shit at the TV! On a side note, I might mention that I'll be in Arizona next week a few times over the next couple of days. And then I'll mention it next week while I'm there. Oh, and I'll probably reminisce a bit after I get back. Why? Because I'm EXCITED!
- Yeah, I know...it's Spring Training, but Richards' performance yesterday gives me my first glimmer of hope for this season's pitching staff: Garrett Richards dazzles in Cactus debut vs. D-backs - angels.com. "Starter Garrett Richards was sharp in his spring debut -- allowing two hits and striking out a pair while tossing three scoreless innings in the Angels' 3-2 win over the D-backs on Monday in Cactus League action at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.. Richards said he's "just trying not to be a max-effort guy. Just trying to control counts, keep the ball down in the zone, keep a clean, simple delivery, get ahead of guys. But for the most part, just really staying in control of myself and just driving the ball downhill."
Having a solid #3 will go a long way towards the Angels 2014 play-off drive: Richards, McCarthy impressive; Angels beat D-backs - Yahoo Sports. "The Diamondbacks failed to hit the ball out of the infield against Richards, a projected starter. Richards gave up an infield single to Martin Prado and a bunt single to Ender Inciarte. He struck out two and didn't walk a batter."
- Wait a minute, you mean he's already in mid season form?? Does that mean he'll suffer through the dog-days of May? Crap: Richards always arrives in fine spring shape - angels.com. "When I show up for Spring Training, I feel like I'm in midseason form," Richards said after breezing through three scoreless innings in his spring debut against the D-backs on Monday, giving up two hits, striking out two and walking none. "We start out by throwing two, three innings, but basically I stretch myself out to that during the offseason anyway. So when I come in, and we start out early, it's really just me getting my work in. As far as the way I feel right now, I feel strong, feel comfortable, feel good."
- "Up next for the Angels: Tyler Skaggs, a 22-year-old lefty and heavy favorite for the fifth spot of the rotation, gets his first start of the spring as the Angels host the Rangers on Tuesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The game, which starts at 12:10 p.m. PT on FOX Sports West and MLB.TV, is a designated replay game in which the managers will be given challenges to test out the new system. The Angels will also have a "B" game at Goodyear, Ariz., at 10 a.m."
- Albert getting feisty! You go, Dude: Albert Pujols of Los Angeles Angels is healthy, willing to rest when needed - ESPN Los Angeles. ""I want to stay healthy and play every day," Pujols told reporters Sunday. "The numbers are going to be there at the end because I know how to hit."
- This is the dumbest thing I've seen, what happens if the umpires blow more than one call during a game? If you're going to incorporate using replay, why not strive to get the entire game right? Replay upholds caught stealing on Angels' Luis Jimenez - angels.com. "Under the expanded-replay rules, which officially go into effect at the start of the 2014 season, every manager starts the game with one challenge. If it's upheld, he gets one more. If not, he loses it. Umpires can't review a play under their own discretion -- except boundary calls on home runs and home-plate collisions -- until the start of the seventh inning." Even in Spring Training, they prove the system works: New replay system gets first use during Toronto Blue Jays game - ESPN. "In the top of the second, Luis Jimenez of the Angels tried to steal second. Catcher Bobby Wilson's throw was high but second-base umpire Bill Miller ruled that Aaron Hill tagged the runner out. Scioscia bounded out of the dugout and charged toward Miller to argue, just like managers always have done. Instead, though, he chose to use his challenge. After two of the umpires made a quick visit to the Angels' dugout to communicate with the replay umpire, the call was upheld."