This is part one of today's Halolinks. I've separated the posts in order to keep the Josh Hamilton stuff within its own post to help with commenting. This is the "regular" Halolinks post, while you can go here to talk about Hamilton.
There's been a lot made of Jared Weaver's loss of velocity, and while his pitching "style" didn't rely on how fast his fastball was, the drop in velocity has to be of some concern to the Angels' organization. When talking about the mind game of pitching, location has to be the number one priority. That's why people talk about a pitcher's command of the strike zone, it's not how fast the pitch got there, but where ended up. Velocity becomes a problem when those pitches don't go where the pitcher intended. Last night, Weaver showed us a great example of how important command is in relationship to velocity. During the first inning, Weaver left his not-so-fastball out over the plate and the A's made him pay: Weaver, Angels thwarted by A's 5-run frame - angels.com, "In the matter of a few minutes, Oakland wiped out its early 2-0 deficit by jumping all over Weaver for five runs in the first. The frame was highlighted by Lawrie's no-doubt, three-run shot to left field on the first pitch he saw from Weaver. After recording four RBIs through his first 18 games with the A's, Lawrie has driven in six the past two contests combined. "I think it was a heater up," Lawrie said.
Well, Mr. Lawrie, it might have been a heater up. Or the pitch was possibly a changeup since Weaver's fastball and change look the same to those who track the pitches:
Going over to BrooksBaseball.net: PITCHf/x Tool, 31 of Weaver's 98 pitches were categorized as changeups:
This is MLB.TVs free game of the day. Surely I'll be watching just to see what it's like to two MLB teams playing in front of nobody. Wednesday’s White Sox-Orioles Game Moved To Afternoon, Will Be Closed To Public - CBS Chicago, ""After conversations with the Orioles and local officials, we believe that these decisions are in the best interests of fan safety and the deployment of city resources," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement."
Sad news: Kirk Gibson has Parkinson's disease, vows to 'meet challenge', "I have faced many different obstacles in my life, and have always maintained a strong belief that no matter the circumstances, I could overcome those obstacles," Gibson, 57, said. "While this diagnosis poses a new kind of challenge for me, I intend to stay true to my beliefs. With the support of my family and friends, I will meet this challenge with the same determination and unwavering intensity that I have displayed in all of my endeavors in life. I look forward to being back at the ballpark as soon as possible."
Cole Hamels would look great taking the hill for the Angels, but sadly, I doubt there's enough in the minor league cupboard to get a deal done: Suitors for Cole Hamels starting to line up - USAToday, "The Cardinals just lost ace Adam Wainwright for the season with a torn Achilles. Brandon McCarthy, the Dodgers' biggest free agent signing over the winter, needs Tommy John elbow surgery. The Red Sox starting rotation has the worst ERA in the major leagues. The Blue Jays still haven't replaced frontline starter Marcus Stroman. And here is Amaro, with the most valuable trade chip in baseball, calmly standing by, waiting to take your call."