I'm not going to bore you with tales of apartment renovation, or how those people on HGTV are a bunch of dicks for making home renovation look so easy. Instead, just links:
- See, I told you games were going to be played yesterday: Major League Baseball Scores - MLB.com
- As the lead to this post states, this isn't a list of bad players, just a list of players who didn't add much value to their teams. Quick, who do ylou think was the least valuable player on the Halo roster last season? C.J. Wilson? Nope. David Freese? Nah. Albert Pujols? Not even. Come on, this is easy...MLB Least Valuable Players For 2015: The American League - The Big Lead, "Los Angeles Angels, Josh Hamilton: This isn’t meant to pile on Hamilton, who’s in the midst of a rough stretch that doesn’t have anything to do with baseball. While Hamilton tries to square away his personal life, his contract is still worth over $90 million for the next three years. Hamilton faces a suspension, on top of a neck injury that meant his season probably wouldn’t begin until May at the earliest. Before his latest off-the-field issues cropped up, Hamilton was already on the decline, playing in just 89 games in 2014. He also went 0-fer the postseason during the Royals sweep of the Angels in the ALDS."
- Other than picking which pitchers will fill the starting rotation, the only true unresolved roster spot the Angels have going into this spring was who was going to play second base. During the trade of Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers, I wonder if Alex Guerrero's name came up in the deal? Trying to Solve The Alex Guerrero Problem - FanGraphs Baseball, "Let’s say, for instance, that Andrew Friedman agreed to pay all of Guerrero’s 2016 and 2017 commitments, only asking the acquiring team to pick up part of Guerrero’s 2015 salary; say $2 million, to line him up with Weeks’ free agent price. That way, the team getting Guerrero is only paying $2 million plus some lower level prospect to take a shot on his short-term value, plus the right to get first crack at re-signing him if he plays well and opts-out of his deal. At just a couple million in total commitment, he’s potentially intriguing enough to go after."
- OC Register's Jeff Fletcher is keeping track of who he thinks will make the Angels opening day roster. (I'm going to refer to the Angels' backup catcher as "Boo Drewtera" from now on): Ongoing opening day roster guesstimate - Orange County Register, "(Updated Mar. 3) Catchers (2): Chris Iannetta, Drew Butera Infielders (7): Albert Pujols, Josh Rutledge, Erick Aybar, David Freese, C.J. Cron, Efren Navarro, Taylor Featherston. Outfielders (4): Matt Joyce, Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, Collin Cowgill. Starting pitchers (5): Jered Weaver, Matt Shoemaker, C.J. Wilson (LHP), Hector Santiago (LHP), Andrew Heaney (LHP). Relievers (7): Huston Street, Joe Smith, Mike Morin, Fernando Salas, Cesar Ramos (LHP), Vinnie Pestano, Matt Lindstrom. DL (3): Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Josh Hamilton."
- Remember yesterday when I wrote that the Mariners sort of snuck up on me as contenders in the AL West? I feel a little better about letting that one get by me after reading this: How the Playoff Odds Have Changed in a Year - FanGraphs Baseball, "While the Cubs have made the biggest leap in playoff odds, the Mariners have made by far the biggest leap in division odds."
- Here are today's links from Angels.com:
Scioscia starts sorting through options at second, "There's an absolute to people winning jobs at Spring Training. Probably not at the analysis you're looking at -- 'Oh, he hit .340 in Spring Training' -- but there are a lot of things we're looking at as to how a guy fits in our lineup. You can make the team in spring, for sure, with the things that you show."
As with the trade for Matt Joyce, anyone else wonder if Jerry Dipoto had doubts about Josh Hamilton's ability to perform and acquired these guys as insurance? Also, I like Cowgill's attitude: Cowgill not taking spot on Angels for granted, "I understand how the game works," Cowgill said. "I understand a lot, maybe more so than a lot of people, because I've found myself in a lot of situations. I don't take anything for granted. So I'm going to keep trying to work and earn it. If [Angels manager Mike] Scioscia's going to play me, it's because I deserve it. He's going to play me because he thinks I give him a chance to win, and that's the only way I want it to be."
Quick! Get in the damn game! Street offers reliever's perspective on pace-of-play rules, "For locally televised games, which make up the vast majority of a schedule, teams will be given two minutes and 25 seconds between innings or pitching changes. But the pitcher must stop throwing warm-up pitches with 30 seconds left on the clock, regardless of how many they've used. "So really, you've got a minute 55," Street said. "It's going to put the onus on the player. It's designed to make sure you're warming up and you're ready to go in the game, so players are going to have to make that adjustment. There's going to be no more getting two or three extras in the bullpen and then getting out to the mound, because in some stadiums, you just won't have time."
The 2015 Angels' bullpen is starting to remind me of the lights-out 'pens of the early 2000's. Regardless of where Bedrosian starts the season, he'll add another power arm capable of shortening games: Focused on improving location, Bedrosian eyes big year, "The big thing is just keeping the ball down," he said. "A lot of times last year, it was up too much, getting too excited. Guys get in the box, and you want to do too much with it. The only thing I have to do is just keep the ball down. That's the only thing I have to do."
- You've got to click this link and watch the video. Freaky (in a good way): Venditte begins spring by recording an out with each arm - MLB.com, "The A's switch-pitcher introduced himself to the Cactus League on Tuesday, recording two outs against the Giants -- one with each arm -- as fans, and even teammates, ooed and aahed."
- Hey, look who lost the pre-season for the first time in three years: 2014-15 Free Agent Spending By Team – MLB Trade Rumors, "The Nationals paced the league in total spending, while the Angels spent the least."
- I don't want to open up a huge can of worms, so I'll just leave this here for you. Mets ask Billy Bean to suit up, but how do players feel about gay player in baseball? - NJ.com, ""I disagree with his lifestyle," Murphy said. "I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn't mean I can't still invest in him and get to know him. I don't think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent." ... Daniel Murphy on Billy Bean: "I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual" - HardballTalk, ""Disagreeing" with Bean or anyone else’s homosexuality is nonsensical. It’s not an opinion. It’s not a philosophy, political position, choice or a world view. It’s a fact. It’s part of who Bean is as a person. To say one "disagrees" with Bean’s homosexuality is no more coherent than saying one "disagrees" with Murphy’s left-handedness. Or with Murphy’s heterosexuality for that matter. Who would ever say they "disagreed" with Murphy’s heterosexuality? What would we think of a person who said that?" ... Daniel Murphy Disagrees With The Gay "Lifestyle", "Murphy seems to be more toward the "oafish but well-meaning" end of the anti-gay spectrum than the "Family Research Council" one, but that doesn't mean he deserves a pass. He can say whatever he wants about how he would welcome a gay teammate. What matters is that he evidently doesn't understand that when he says he disagrees with the gay "lifestyle"—which doesn't exist and can't be disagreed with—four times in one interview, a lot of people, including gay ballplayers, are going to hear, "I don't like gay people and am saying so in what I take to be a socially acceptable way." (Assuming this is nothing more a lack of understanding, it's actually just the sort of thing visits from someone like Billy Bean can help with.)"
- Regardless of which sex you're attracted to, this post will make a difference in your chances of scoring: An Adult's Guide to Hygiene (for Those Who Weren't Taught Growing Up), "Showers are ubiquitous because they are essential to both cleanliness and health. They're also fairly straightforward: acquire soap, rub it on yourself under running water. Simple, right?"