There are many milestones in life. Obviously birth, graduations, marriage, birth of your children, retirement, and ultimately death. But one of the most important milestones a person will hit every year is the playing of the first spring training game. Today is that day for Halo fans. The Angels will meet the Brewers in Tempe, and the game will be broadcast on FSW (and MLB.tv). Days come and go, but milestones happen only once in your life...unless you're a baseball fan, and then they happen every year.
Before the game, read your Halolinks...and make your bed (more on that later):
- Did anyone really think this situation would be easy? No one thought to have an odd number of people on the panel? Arbitrator will decide whether Josh Hamilton should enter rehab - ESPN Los Angeles, "The commissioner's office and the MLB Players Association each appointed a lawyer and a physician to the committee, which determines whether the drug policy was violated and a course of treatment, according to the Times report. The committee deadlocked on the course of treatment, necessitating the involvement of the arbitrator, the source told the Times." By the way, I would have linked to the original LA Time article, but I've already read my allotted 5 articles this month, so I'm blocked from their content. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to read the post from Rev: Angels Await Josh Hamilton Fate - Halos Heaven
- Today's Alden content:
This is huge. Within this post, Richards mentioned he wasn't even thinking about his knee while doing pitcher fielding practice: Knee not an issue as Richards does PFP, "Richards is still getting a feel for his offspeed stuff, but he said, "I feel like I can go out there and compete right now."
Oh brother, even the Angels' staff realize Wilson is a nibbler: Rotation order in focus as Angels set first spring week, "The Angels don't necessarily care about splitting the lefties in their rotation. Rather, they like to avoid having back-to-back starters who don't consistently pitch deep in games, which is probably why Wilson -- coming off a relatively down season -- is slotted between Weaver and Shoemaker."
MLBPA's Clark preaches support for Hamilton, "What I hope for is support for Josh," Clark told reporters after meeting with Angels players. "There are always baseball concerns. There are, more importantly, life concerns. We have protocol in place to handle the baseball-related issues. But I'm hopeful that anyone who is part of the baseball family who finds himself in a tough spot is more interested in the support he's getting as a person, beyond baseball."
- We've had this discussion earlier, with the main concern being his fielding shortcomings, but now that his price has dropped, is there any interest? To move him, Dodgers offering to pay down Ethier's contract by half - CBSSports.com, "The Dodgers have offered to pay down "about half" the $56 million remaining over three years on Andre Ethier's contract in efforts to trade him, sources familiar with the talks say. ... Their offer to pay down the contract to the point where Ethier is making only about $10 million a year, or perhaps a bit less than that, may seem more than reasonable. But it apparently hasn't enticed teams to the point of a trade."
- It looks like Dan Haren won't be sitting on the beach this season: After retirement thoughts, Dan Haren back 'for one more year at least' - CBSSports.com, "Although realistically, of course he knew the chances were slim that he could handpick his new team in a field crowded with available starters. Anyway, Haren knew best that the Angels, one of the two remaining Southern California options, were a distinct long shot since it was only two years ago when they declined his option and offered a 50 percent pay cut before he signed for a raise in Washington. The Padres were said to have had "mild" interest but they shot even higher, landing James Shields to round out their rotation. Haren, indeed, seemed to still be seriously weighing retirement. But he seems to have recovered nicely, however. "I'm here," Haren answered to a question about whether he is OK with the trade away from Southern California. And if Haren is here, he is committed."
- Okay, I admit it, I have a soft spot in my heart for Alex Rodriguez. To me, it's possible to overlook some of the things he's done in his life, the PED use, the centaur portrait, dating Cameron Diaz, and being a Yankee, because he was baseball's Mike Trout before Mike Trout was all Mike Trout-y. Why not root for Yankees' Alex Rodriguez?, "And while many players appear to have used steroids in this time, few succeeded on the field as remarkably as Rodriguez. Unless you think PEDs are magic pills that conjure greatness from nothing, the chance to watch Rodriguez himself should be compelling. How gripping will it be? Consider what Rodriguez did on the field. He broke into the big leagues at 18. At 20, he did things few players have done at any age: posted a .358/.414/.631 slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage), while hitting at the Kingdome (so that his OPS+, which accounts for the ballparks in which he played, was a gaudy 161, fifth in the American League), and played Gold Glove-level defense at the most vital defensive position." That's why I think these sort of things are stupid:
- Each morning I get an email about some sort of interesting fact of the day. In honor of the upcoming baseball season, today's interesting fact was about the dirt put on baseballs. This article is pretty old, but still interesting: The dirt on baseball - CSMonitor.com, "There's a special technique to rubbing up a baseball. The mud - and a little water - goes on the leather, but not the seams. If it's not done right, the pitcher will throw the ball back to the umpire. "If you don't apply the mud uniformly," warns Mr. Zibelli, "the pitcher can't get the proper grip. At 90-plus miles per hour, it doesn't take much to throw the tracking off." Also, another post that's a couple of years old, but informative none-the-less: Made in Costa Rica: U.S. Major League baseballs - Reuters, "In professional games the balls quickly become too dirty and scuffed by bats to use, or get lost in the crowd on a foul ball or home run. To feed the demand, the factory turns out as many as 2.4 million baseballs a year, all assembled by hand."
- Make your life better, Make Your Bed. Make Your Bed? Make Your Bed!, "Today, I plan to correct that. I would like for you, my male readers (lovers, every last one of you), to join me in an annual challenge I put out: During the entire month of March, make your bed. Every day."