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Tuesday Halolinks: Halos at home with best record

The Angels have the best home record in baseball.

Lisa Blumenfeld

Something seemed a little "off" this morning as I was putting together today's links, and then I realized; yesterday was the first time the club had had a Monday off this season.  The typical Tuesday links had a recap from a game, but with no game, no recap.  And a few Halolinks:

  • It looks like this team likes being at home: Twins-Angels Preview - Yahoo Sports.  "The Angels (41-33) are a major league-best 23-14 at home. Their starting pitchers have a 2.14 ERA during the current 12-2 stretch in Anaheim."
  • This pisses me off...not that Cron is finally going to get regular at-bats, but the attitude from Mike Scioscia like, "He's playing very well, I knew it all along." Cron finding power stroke with regular playing time -  "With the home run on Sunday, Cron became the first Angels rookie to homer in all three games of a series since Tim Salmon in 1993. "Right now, he's going to get a chance to swing the bat," Scioscia said. "He's getting at-bats, and he's swinging the bat very well."  If he's swing the bat so well, why didn't he get more playing time?
  • It sounds like Lyle "4000 Games" Spencer thinks Erick Aybar is "gritty": Lyle Spencer: Amid Angels superstars, Erick Aybar quietly enjoying his best year -  "Critics hone in on Aybar's free-swinging nature and modest on-base percentage as liabilities. This doesn't diminish his many positive qualities. Along with his defense, baserunning and clutch hitting, Aybar ranks among the top three in the league in bunting and executing the hit-and-run in annual surveys of AL managers."  I have to give Aybar credit for improving.  Remember how we used to roll our eyes whenever Aybar made some goofy baserunning mistake?  I can't remember him doing that in quite awhile.
  • If you happen to find yourself in Cleveland in September: Angels, Tribe to play makeup game Sept. 8 at Progressive Field -  "A previously postponed game against the Indians in Cleveland will be made up Monday, Sept. 8, at 10:05 a.m. PT at Progressive Field, the Angels announced Monday. The Halos and the Tribe were rained out last Wednesday, and they will make up the game during one of three common off-days for the two clubs."
  • He's broken out heart before, but wouldn't it be great if Keving Jepsen really has turned a corner and become the pitcher we always hoped he be?  Angels' Kevin Jepsen wants extended stay in back of bullpen - Los Angeles Times.  "With a 2-1 lead in the ninth, Manager Mike Scioscia summoned Jepsen for a rare closing opportunity, only hours after saying the 29-year-old right-hander was "the best equipped he's ever been to pitch in the back end" of the bullpen. But Jepsen put a knee-high fastball into the swing path of Shin-Soo Choo, who drove a solo homer to center field to tie the score, 2-2. Jepsen struck out two of the next three batters, and the Angels won on Howie Kendrick's run-scoring double in the 10th. The next day, Jepsen sought out pitching coach Mike Butcher. "I told Butch, 'Don't let that one outing change your decisions,' I want that opportunity," Jepsen said."
  • This is pretty cool: Tampa Bay Rays take batting practice against 17-year-old knuckleballer - ESPN.  "Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon met Baker recently at an awards ceremony and invited her to Tropicana Field. Maddon says the junior who plays on her school's baseball team was outstanding and has a knuckleball that "moves nicely."
    Here's another video: VIDEO: 17-year-old female knuckleballer throws BP to Rays -  "Chelsea Baker, a 17-year-old female high school pitcher from Florida (her MaxPreps page), learned the knuckleball from the great Joe Niekro. It so happens that she was able to put her skills on display Monday night when Rays manager Joe Maddon let her throw batting practice to his team prior to their 8-1 loss to the Pirates."  But what makes this even cooler is finding Joe Maddon's Twitter page.  He seems like a really great guy.  Plus there's this:
  • I'm not even going to dream about the Angels righting a wrong by acquiring Adrian Beltre from the Rangers, since I doubt they have the pieces to pull off this trade: Rangers explore trade landscape for 'core-type' players; What market is Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Yu Darvish, more - Dallas Morning News.  "Adrian Beltre: Joey Gallo is tearing up Double-A after scorching Class A. Beltre’s balky hamstrings and quadriceps will only continue to get worse as he ages. He is due $17 million this season, $18 million in 2015 and $16 million if his 2016 option vests. As with Andrus, if the Rangers trade Beltre, they are assured of having at least two really young infielders next year. And Beltre is the closest thing this team has to a galvanizing force."
  • Still an idiot: Frank McCourt on his time with the Dodgers: "We created value there . . . " - HardballTalk.  "Frank McCourt, who bought the Dodgers with mountains of debt, mismanaged the team into bankruptcy and engaged in financial conduct which led to a federal grand jury investigation, has amnesia. Or suffers from delusions."
  • Still a bunch of idiots: Jackass Cubs Fan Throws Back Ball Tossed To Him By Billy Hamilton.  "Look, I get that throwing home run balls back is a tradition, albeit a really stupid one. Here's a Cubs fan, flanked by Reds fans, catching a ball tossed to him by Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton—and then throwing it back, despite the best efforts of the people around him."
  • Tim Kurkjian Gets Smoked In The Sausage Race.  "Tim Kurkjian ran in the Sausage Race at Miller Park as the No. 4 hot dog and, man, it did not go well for Hot Dog Tim Kurkjian."