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Thursday Halolinks: Goodbye Arizona, hello Anaheim

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Spring Training isn't finished yet, but the team's time in the desert is over.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

And that's it.  We wait all winter for pitchers and catchers to show up in Arizona, we get Rex Fregosi's awesome photos from the Angels' camp opening, read the daily reports on who's hurting, watch the early games featuring guys we'll probably never see, and the later games with all the starters.  Now?  It's all over.  Arizona is just a memory as the season is just a few days away.  Much like last spring when Mark Mulder was trying to make a comeback, we'll soon forget that the club at one time had Matt Lindstrom vying for a roster spot.  Good bye Arizona...until next spring.

  • Was anyone surprised by this?  I mean really, who else was going to make the Opening Day start for the Angels?  Angels targeting Weaver as Opening Day starter - angels.com, "The Angels are "targeting" veteran right-hander Jered Weaver as their Opening Day starter when they play the Mariners on Monday at Safeco Field, manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday. The remainder of the first week four-man rotation is projected to be C.J. Wilson, Matt Shoemaker and Hector Santiago, Scioscia added."  But think about it, could this be Weaver's last Opening Day start?  He has one more year on his contract, and has been a fixture in the Halo rotation since 2006, but soon it will be time for someone else to take over as the Angels' ace.
  • Every year there's a the story of a guy who came out of nowhere to make the team.  This year it's Drew Rucinski: Tough baseball path about to pay off for Angels pitcher Drew Rucinski - LA Times, "The guys I played independent ball with said if you can make it through the mental toughness of playing there, not having the things you wish you had, you should be mentally tough enough to play anywhere," Rucinski said. "It was a grind."  And then this happens: Rucinski stung by homers in last Cactus League start - angels.com, "Rucinski was charged with three runs on seven hits, including the two homers. He struck out four against one walk. The right-hander has a 2.60 ERA this spring and should earn one of the final spots in the Angels' bullpen."
  • My jaw dropped when I saw the Dodgers' payroll.  I knew it was large, but not THAT large: 2015 Payrolls And Salaries For Every MLB Team, "(A note on the AP's numbers: they are not exact, because contract details are closely guarded. But they are based publicly and privately reported salaries, prorated bonuses, and deferred money. Cash transactions and buyouts are reflected in the team payroll figures, so they will differ from the sum of given roster's player salaries. The figures will also change by year's end because of bonuses, trades, and call-ups.)"
  • This is a Red Sox-based article, but very interesting: Are long baseball contracts worth it? - Magazine - The Boston Globe, "Will any, or many, or all of these expensive signings pan out in the long run? Could they, given the vagaries of advancing age and physical health? That question bedevils both fans, who ultimately underwrite these contracts through the tickets and merchandise they buy, and team executives, who sign the players’ paychecks. The answer really depends on how success is measured."
  • Finally, an important update to the Baseball Reference website: You can now add beards, afros, mustaches to players on Baseball Reference - Sporting News, "Have you ever wondered what Mike Trout would look like with a James Harden beard?"

    I think this one is better...
  • Ervin Santana being sued over $40,000 in necklaces - CBSSports.com, "Santana reportedly paid $2,150 back in September for $42,150 in jewelry, but refused to pay the rest of the balance. In October, he declared in writing that the jewelry was fake. And therein the dispute begins."  Maybe that mustache is more appropriate here:
  • Nationals Release Kevin Frandsen – MLB Trade Rumors, "It was about this time last year that the Nats originally added Frandsen, signing him quickly when the division-rival Phillies let him go. Frandsen earned plaudits for his presence in the clubhouse and willingness to contribute in any way possible, but he hit only .259/.299/.309 last year with just one home run in 236 turns at bat. With slightly negative marks from defensive metrics added in, he was a below-replacement level producer."  It wasn't that long ago Frandsen  was making hits for the Halos:
  • I have a friend who thinks everything is a sign.  Numbers, Bible verses at just the right time, "I was just thinking about that!", you name it, she thinks it means something.  So, yesterday I saw the kid spinning through the air GIF and laughed, but then this morning the jockey GIF showed up on my feed list!  What are the chances?!?  What does this all mean??




    I love how the kid in the yellow shirts laughs and says, "Get out of the way, let me show you how this works....eeyyyaaah...oooff!