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Thursday Halolinks: Angels can't win them all

It happens to all great teams...sometimes they lose.

Otto Greule Jr

I've written it before, but last night's game reiterated my point; sometimes the other team wins.  I know, that's a very profound statement, but facts are can't win 'em all.  Seattle's Felix Hernandez pitched an awesome game (was that a new neck tat?), and that was that.  Move on.  Turn the page. Forget it even happened.

  • Can't blame that one on C.J. nibbling his way through the game.  Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners - May 28, 2014 -  "C.J. Wilson made only two mistakes, both of them to the Mariners' No. 8-hitting catcher, but the margin for error was almost non-existent at Safeco Field on Wednesday night, because Felix Hernandez was pitching, and that's just the way it typically goes when one of the best pitchers in the game is on the other side."  Jered Weaver is the "ace", but this season, Wilson has been just as good: MLB Recap - Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners - May 28, 2014 -  "Wilson was nearly the equal of Hernandez. Also trying to get his seventh win, Wilson allowed just five hits and struck out five before getting lifted with two outs in the eighth."
  • And according to this: Current Cy Young Tracker - Baseball Musings. Wilson has been the best Angels' stater.
  • This one was a no-brainer, and took maybe 30 seconds to get right, but for some reason I felt they were still going to get the call wrong.  I don't know why, just did: Scioscia wins challenge on foul ball call -  "Leading off the fourth inning with a 2-0 Mariners lead, Smoak skied a C.J. Wilson offering to deep right field and wound up on second base after first-base umpire Dan Iassogna called it fair. Replays, however, showed the ball landed to the right of the chalk, and umpires acknowledged as much after confirming with replay."
  • It is just me, or does it seem the umpires behind the plate are missing more calls?  Or is it we're just seeing more attention focused on them with all of this replay stuff?  Ejections up by 22-percent despite addition of expanded replay - Yahoo Sports.  "Ball-strike calls, which are not reviewable, were by far the top bone of contention, leading to nearly half (30) of the 61 ejections. Last year at this point that figure was 16, with another 12 getting tossed for disputing calls on the bases."
  • Here's some good news on the Halo injury front: Hamilton tests thumb with batting practice -  ""The first few swings I took today I was a little timid," Hamilton said. "I was like, 'All right, cut it loose.' So I did, and it felt fine."
  • And of course, the bad...
  • The guy is getting old, can't catch up to the high heat: Mike Trout’s “Struggles”, Graphed - FanGraphs Baseball.  "Look at the upper half of the strike zone. Last year, he was making contact on pitches towards the top of the zone at around an 80% clip, and when pitchers elevated in, his contact rates were in the 90% range. This year, he’s in the 70% contact range on pitches towards the top of the zone, and pitches up and in have been especially problematic."
  • With last night's win, and this: MLB Recap - Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics - May 28, 2014 -  "Josh Donaldson hit a game-ending three-run homer off Joe Nathan with one out in the ninth and Scott Kazmir pitched his first complete game in nearly eight years to help the A's rally for a 3-1 victory against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night."  The Angels dropped back to 2.5 games behind Oakland.  How are the A's winning?  Here's one of the reasons as pointed out by Lyle Spencer Tracy Ringolsby: Tracy Ringolsby: Josh Donaldson emerging as big-time bat for overlooked A's -  "He's the one-time catcher who was part of a package the A's got from the Chicago Cubs in the July 2008 deal that sent Chad Gaudin and Rich Harden to the Windy City. He made a big league cameo in 2010, spent all of '11 in the Minors, and then in '12, when he was being converted full time to third base and was in the midst of his second demotion of the year to Triple-A Sacramento, he accepted the challenge of A's player personnel director Billy Owen to play as well in the big leagues as he did in the Minors."
  • In case you haven't noticed, and why would you since they don't even play in the United States, the Blue Jays have been winning a few games: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays - Recap - May 28, 2014 - ESPN.  "Pinch-runner Kevin Pillar scored the winning run on a throwing error by pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo and the Toronto Blue Jays won their ninth straight game and completed a sweep of Tampa Bay, beating the Rays 3-2 on Wednesday night."
  • It's too bad the Halos don't have a deeper farm system as this guy would be a perfect addition: Levine: Orioles Interested In Samardzija - CBS Chicago.  "The Orioles have premium young pitching that the Cubs will insist on if they are going to move their ace. Right-handed pitchers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Hunter Harvey and left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez top the list of young arms the Cubs are scouting."
  • By the way, SBNation has a trade deadline story stream already up.  It only has one team so far, but is probably worth checking in on: MLB trade deadline: Team Previews - MLB Daily Dish.  "A team-by-team look at buyers, sellers, prospects, and targets."
  • Women.  What the hell are they thinking?  They can't play baseball, everyone knows they throw like girls!  The Physical Obstacle for Women in Baseball – The Hardball Times.  "Let’s begin with what we widely believe: Men are predisposed towards greater physical ability than women. Male basketball teams shoot the ball further and dunk the ball more frequently; male golfers hit the ball further; male sprinters and long distance runners finish the races faster and hold the fastest records; male swimmers do the same.  Beg for equality as much as I may, genetics (namely, the distribution of testosterone) favors the male athlete."
    For God's sake, stop trying to act like men...
    Wait.  Hold on a's rapper 50 Cent doing his thing:
    Yikes.  That's just one guy.  We all can't be baseball studs. 

    Norichika Aoki Ends Up In A Heap With The Worst Swing This Season

    Nevermind.  Women, I welcome you as our new baseball overlords.
  • The jury should take ownership of the Dodger Stadium parking lot away from Frank McCourt and give it to Brian Stow: Jury selection begins in Giants fan Bryan Stow's civil suit against Dodgers - Yahoo Sports.  "Stow, 45, returned home last spring after two years in rehabilitation centers and hospitals. Girardi said he requires constant care. He has estimated that Stowe's lifetime care could cost $50 million.
  • Ah, that it explains it!  American Sports Medicine Institute.  "During the past few years there has been an “epidemic” rise in the number of professional pitchers requiring ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (“Tommy John surgery”). This is like déjà vu, as a similar sharp rise was seen in adolescent pitchers near the turn of the century. These two rises are indeed connected; that is, today’s pro pitcher in his 20’s was an adolescent pitcher a dozen years ago. Thus in many cases, the injury leading to Tommy John surgery in today’s young pro pitchers actually began while they were adolescent amateurs. Observations by orthopaedic surgeons support this link, as the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in a pro pitcher usually looks like it has worn out over time."
  • I've kept Halolinks out of the Clippers/Donald Sterling stuff, but when I read this Ijust had to comment: At least 3 groups make offers in initial round of bidding on Clippers - Los Angeles Times.  "Sterling's attorney Maxwell Blecher said his client was re-energized this week to contest being labeled a racist, which he has vehemently denied. Sterling wants the formal allegations by the league against him dropped, and perhaps some additional concession, before signing off on a sale of the Clippers. "He wants something to suggest that 'I, Donald Sterling, don't die with this stigma from this controversy over my head,'" Blecher said Wednesday, though the lawyer conceded he was not sure what would mollify the NBA's longest-tenured owner."  Don, Donald, Mr. Sterling...go away.  It's that easy, no one owes you anything.  Just take your billions of dollars and spend the rest of your life far, far away from everyone else.  It's that simple.
  • The mothership is recruiting: Internships jobs at ESPN.  "Looking for jobs by internships? ESPN has career information for you."