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Thursday Halolinks: Reporting day is finally here!

Angel pitchers and catcher arrive in Arizona today.

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First pitchers and catchers, then God.
First pitchers and catchers, then God.
Norm Hall/Getty Images

I am so ready for spring to start.  For one, because of this.  And two, because...well, BASEBALL. (duh)

The Boys Are Back in Town: 1 day

  • Yep, it's that time of year again when we'll start seeing those "Hope Spring Eternal" headlines: Baseball's renewal comes with spring in its step -, "We associate the beginning of Spring Training with distinctive sounds. Batting practice and bullpen sessions. Baseballs cracking off bats and popping into gloves. Coaches shouting instructions during infield practices, players hustling from one drill to the next. Whether it's your first Spring Training or your 50th, these are magical sounds. Beneath the familiar chatter is the best thing about the beginning of a new baseball season."
  • Reporting for duty: 13 get camp underway today -, "Angels: After a quiet offseason, the Angels will look to rebound from being swept by the Royals last October. The Halos report to Tempe, Ariz., in need of a solution at second base, where Josh Rutledge, Johnny Giavotella, Grant Green and Taylor Featherston are expected to compete, as well as a No. 5 starter, with Andrew Heaney, Nick Tropeano and Hector Santiago among the candidates for the role. And, as always, all eyes will be on Mike Trout as enters his age-23 season, coming off a year in which he became the youngest unanimous AL MVP Award winner."  What will be be looking for this spring?  Angels face 3 big questions heading into Spring Training -, "All eyes will be on Trout once again as he enters his age-23 season, and it'll be fascinating to see what type of season he provides. Will he cut down on his strikeouts, steal more bases and do it all while maintaining his power numbers? Don't put it past him."
  • Can someone please explain to me what this quote means?  Truly, I have no idea what being said here: Cole Hamels to Boston?, Alex Rodriguez, Royals, Mariners and Game Changes -, "As for the Angels, coach Rico Brogna has a great line about their team makeup. "We have a bunch of guys who have the ‘I’m Tom Brady, I got drafted in the sixth round and I’m going to spend every day showing you," says Brogna."
  • Number 4, followed closely by the #5 Mariners: USA Today Power Rankings
  • This isn't the most scientific poll, but there has to be something said for crowd sourcing.  Is Mike Butcher really the fourth-worst pitching coach in the majors?  You and Your Pitching Coaches - FanGraphs Baseball, "I gave number scores to the first five options, descending from 5 to 1 (very good = 5). That allowed me to calculate, for each coach, an average fan rating. Here is a display of those fan ratings:"  When asked for comment, Butcher replied, "Zzzzzz..."
  • If Butcher is one of the worst pitching coaches, maybe he has a built in excuse: Pitchers hurt by new catchers - ESPN, "Garrett Richards, Angels: We've got a small sample size here so don't read too much into it, but Richards had a 1.25 ERA in nine games with Hank Conger catching and 3.46 in 17 games with Chris Iannetta. He'd be hard-pressed to repeat his 2014 performance anyway, but it won't help losing Conger."
  • Whatever.  I'm over it: Baseball’s Worst Contracts - Grantland, ""I feel like the longer the deal, the more risk. Like with Upton or even A-Rod — it’s over in three years. I think the worst contract in the game, far and away, is Pujols."
  • I wonder if those doctors in Anaheim were the one's telling Bourjos to wait on that surgery?  I also wonder if they're not in the same class as Mike Butcher.  Bourjos back in action after recovering from hip injury -, "Doctors had long advised Bourjos to delay surgery because of the uncertainty in how the procedure could affect his playing career. Looking back on it, though, Bourjos acknowledges that he wishes he hadn't waited so long. The postponement led to other complications, including the formation of a cyst as his hip continued to atrophy."