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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Angels host the Texas Rangers of Arlington

Fire's on the side of the road..........people toe to toe..........Warm your hands on burning blood..........I gotta go... go!!..........20 miles to Texas, 25 to Hell...

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


So your author is still sitting here, wondering. Why is it wrong to presume that a Kevin Jepsen or a Joe Smith should not go 2 innings, especially (in the case of Smith) after not having pitched at all for 4 days and giving a strong showing in his first inning of work?

In this case, Sciscia is quoted afterwards as saying:

"Ernie [Frieri] has been struggling a bit..." (Smith has had only 1 bad outing all month)

and we wanted to give [the Indians] a fresh look." (Smith was still a fresh look. he had face only 5 batters and thrown only 12 pitches, 11 for strikes)

"They haven't seen Bedrock yet." (They hadn't seen much of Smith yet, either)

"We had confidence he was going to get it done" (Implying there no confidence that Smith was going to get it done?)

"and if we needed Ernie to bail him out, he was there." (Still true had you left Smith in there, you dope)

"In trying to build the back end of our bullpen..." (Let me finish that thought for you: we can go with burning through lots of guys and have them all warm up AND throw a few pitches each, OR, we can build up some of our really critical and successful guys and have a few of them throw a few more pitches each.)

"Bedrock has a good arm." (So does Smith, interestingly enough)

"We feel he can handle it..." (Implying, again, that you felt Smith could no longer handle it?)

"and he didn't get it done today." (Just for the record, Smith was getting it done today. So was Jepsen.)

This feels less to me like a "too many chefs in the kitchen" and more like "the chef has too many broths in the stew".


  • Cracks in the Armor: Alden Gonzalez is getting a little feisty. "But that confidence backfired on Scioscia, just like Tuesday's eighth-inning decisions -- not pinch-running Collin Cowgill for Raul Ibanez, not sacrificing the tying run to scoring position and not challenging a close call at second after Ibanez was caught stealing -- also backfired." Of course, the better question is why Ibanez at all?

  • Cracks in the Battlements: Mike Scioscia, defensive specialist, is getting defensive. Now that he has been all over the place with his bullpen assignments (and what seems like he is using every idea EXCEPT a strategy of leading with his best in the highest leveraged situations), and now that he is seeing that all that floundering is not creating results that are uniformly successful, he is getting challenged. And he is not reacting well to the challenges, responding during his presser yesterday "I don't think it's any different from what we talked about. What's different from matching up like we talked about?" Well, one blogger has a pretty fair response to that: "It was a questionable decision for many reasons, most notably that Bedrosian has been far from lights out since coming up to the majors. And if Scioscia didn’t have faith in Frieri to start the inning, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher why he turned to him once Bedrosian got into trouble. Talk about your mixed messages. There’s no excuse for Frieri giving up the grand slam, as he still has to execute, but the margin for error was razor thin and Scioscia essentially set him up to fail."

  • Mike Trout, MVP: Well, we're baaaaaack. With the restoration of the natural order in the world of baseball as Mike Trout clobbers the game for 4 straight weeks now, the pundits have begun placing him back at the top of the heap of All That Are Great. "Trout was the runner-up for this award each of the past two seasons, and he wasn't even that high on the list the last time we checked in three weeks ago. But after hitting .410/.475/.819 since May 20, Trout has not only moved to the top spot in this race, he has also opened up a huge lead." Let the lobbying begin!

  • Mike Trout, MVP Fund Raiser: Wow. Just wow.  Trout merchandise in world-class hot stuff. His game-worn Memorial Day camo jersey is being auctioned off, and as I type this the bidding is already at a staggering $4.125.00. Yeah for the cause and all, but 4 grand for the shirt off his back?

  • Fielder's Dreams: Here is something that just gobsmacked me. I wonder why I had filed to notice?? According to the official team game notes from yesterday, the "Halos have committed just 35 errors - fewest in the AL". Well, they committed 1 yesterday and now have 36, still tied for lowest with Tampa Bay and Toronto. Compare that to last season, when their 112 errors for the season ranked 4th most in all of MLB, 3rd in the AL. And remember how we all cringed at how uncharacteristically bad that was of this franchise? I, for one, readily admit that I have failed to notice the vast improvement/ Congrats, guys!


This Date In Baseball History: 1980 - Freddie Patek, all 5'5" of him, belts three home runs for the Angels as they down the Red Sox 20-2...........1980 - Al Cowans, having just been traded from the Angels to the Detroit Tigers for Jason Thompson a month earlier, hits an infield ground ball. However, instead of dashing to first base, Cowans takes off for the pitchers mound. It turns out that Cowans is still upset about being plunked in the jaw by pitcher Ed Farmer, costing him 21 games on the DL. And it is the same Ed Farmer that is on the mound today..........1986 - Bo Jackson signs his MLB deal to play for the Kansas City Royals. Jackson had turned down more money from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when the Bucs refused to let Jackson play two sports..........1992 - Kelly Saunders becomes just the second woman to pull public address announcing duty in an MLB stadium when she subs in at Baltimore for regular Rex Barney..........1999 - Troy Percival collects his 127th franchise save and sets a new career mark for the Angels..........2003 - Miguel Cabrera collects his first career MLB hit, which is a walk-off 2-run home run against the Rays..........2004 - Ken Griffey Jr. celebrates Father's Day by hammering the 500th home run of his career, while his father (Ken Griffey Sr.) is in the stands watching..........2009 - Jered Weaver of the Angels faces off against his older brother Jeff Weaver of the Dodgers, becoming the 8th set of brothers to oppose one another on the mound. Jered loses, by the way.


  • MLB-Level Stupid: Make no mistake, as much as we all want baseball to make important changes and improve the game, there is just no way we should be coming up with any ideas that are not so well thought out that even MLB official cannot mess them up. Because, as we are seeing, MLB officials exist on their very own, special, level of stupid. In a recent Pirates/Reds game, we had one Big League Manager con the crack MLB New York instant replay review crew to overturn a bases loaded force out at home, based on obstruction. "Inexplicable. Contact was minimal—a toe-tap between Martin and Mesoraco. Martin made every effort to get out of the way. And, remember, this was a force play. Martin's only obstruction was having his foot on the plate to complete the out."

  • Scott Kazmir Miracle: How do they do it? Is it just me, or is there some secret sauce at play that causes erstwhile castoffs to have some kind of career WAR bump as they pass through Oakland these last few years? I mean, this is a great story for Kaz and all, and I am glad for him. Sorry that it never clicked when we were trying to help him out, but still. Before yesterday he was already at 2.5 bWAR over 14 games. His career high is 2007, when he yielded a 5.8 bWAR over 34 games for the full season. And listen to his manager, Bob Melvin: "I had heard last year maybe this is a 100-pitch guy top, six innings maybe....He's been anything but -- and a bulldog, too. When I talk to him between innings, he wants to go back out....Really, I can't say enough about what he's done, not only his performance, but he's been a clubhouse leader. He's a veteran presence for so many of the younger pitchers. He's been absolutely terrific." Expect to see Kazmir pitching in the All Star Game.

  • Boston Asshat: Man, is David Ortiz really starting to get on my nerves. Every time I turn around I find him whining like some over-indulged, privileged little baby. Or a Red Sox. This time, he was making a public spectacle on the field, during a game, in the direction of the press box because a baseball he hit was ruled an error. "I thought people were supposed to have your back at home, and it never happens...It's always like that...I've been here for more than a decade and the scorekeepers here are always horrible...This is home, man...I always look like the bad guy, but they always end up changing it."

  • Carlos Marmol: While I am the kind of guy who believes that Jerry Dipoto has accidentally actually assembled some pretty good pieces in the bullpen for 2014 and it is Mike Scioscia who is screwing that all up, let me be the first to remind us all that this same Dipoto recently went really hard to get us this Carlos Marmol, and it was only due to fate that he did not succeed.


RIP Casey Kasem. Let's all remember him in an Angels jersey............The Padres are already on top of their Tony Gwynn memorial. Even their grounds crew are in on the tribute. Even the guy who drives their lawnmower. And their navy. And the city itself..........Meanwhile, in the case of another recent loss elsewhere, even minor league affiliates know how to react, and represent.............Milwaukee Brewers, going full throttle in their efforts to keep their base morbidly o-beast...............This is great. Dodger Stadium Usher tries to shut down Clayton Kershaw's wife from celbrating her husband's epic no-hitter, because Dodger Stadium Usher has important task to do. And, I mean, what's more important than an usher task??..............Anyway, R.I.P. Tony Gwynn.


And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer...

Friday: The Blue Palms Brewhouse in LA is doing a Roque Ales Tap Takeover...........Visit the San Diego International Beer Festival, if you are down that way, which runs all weekend.

Saturday: Sea Terrace Park in Dana Point is hosting The Great Southern Cal Beer Festival...........The San Diego International Beer Festival continues.

Sunday: MacLeod Ale Brewing in Van Nuys holds their Grand Opening...........The San Diego International Beer Festival concludes.

Stay safe, everyone!