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Thursday Halolinks: Albert Pujols hits HR 521 in win

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Albert Pujols joined some elite players with his 521st career home run.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It always seems like I'm apologizing about something while writing these Halolinks posts.  If it's not having enough time to do a good job due to remodeling, or internet outages, or skill, something always seems to get in the way of a top-notch post.  However, today's apology has nothing to do with Halolinks.  Nope, I've spread my ineptness to other parts of this site.  I received an email from Rev asking if I could do any of the postgame write-ups while he was in Texas (yes, Rev is in the heart of enemy territory).  "Sure.  I'll do the two Wednesday games and possibly next Tuesday" was my reply.  If you read last night's write-up you'll notice it's a little sparse in content.  Yeah, that's what happens when you fall asleep. You gotta give me credit though, I did wake up to see the last inning.

Sorry (again).

Ever since I re-installed Windows on my computer, I've noticed the number of RSS feeds I used to use to compile these posts has gotten smaller.  It now seems like most of my links go to the MLB/Angels mothership site.  That's not a complaint as their content is very informative, but I do like to give varied looks a things.  So...within the comments, please give me your suggestions for sites you visit and where I can find interesting posts.  In the meantime, here's some MLB.com stuff (and a few others too):

  • How fun would this season be if we get to watch both Albert Pujols and Mike Trout have MVP-type seasons?  Also, how fun would it be to watch the club win a World Series while Pujols and Trout are having MVP-type seasons?  Pujols' blast lifts Angels over Mariners for opening-series win - angels.com, "Pujols' 521st career home run, a two-run shot in the first, helped provide a quick 5-0 cushion for right-hander Matt Shoemaker, who allowed three runs on six hits over six innings to pick up the win."
  • I remember when Reggie Jackson hit his 500th career home run as a member of the Angels.  It seemed like it was a bigger deal then.  That's not to say Pujols' feat isn't impressive, but at the time of Reggie's homer, there weren't as many members of the 500 Home Run Club.  Anyway, Pujols is climbing the career leader board and is now among the greatest names in the game: Healthy Pujols returning to form for Angels - angels.com, "The night after he collected career double No. 562, to move to 24th place on the all-time list and tops among active players, Pujols belted career home run No. 521, second to Alex Rodriguez among active players and now tied for 18th all-time with the Hall of Fame trio of Willie McCovey, Frank Thomas and Ted Williams."
  • Kinda like those days of K-Rod/Percival: Smith, Street form lockdown duo at back end of 'pen, "The Angels beat the Mariners, 5-3, at Safeco Field on Wednesday night, taking two of three and winning a season-opening series for the first time since 2008. And it was Smith and Street who recorded the final six outs, the same script that took the Angels to another level down the stretch last season and one that can be a real difference-maker for them in 2015. The Angels haven't started a season with the eighth and ninth inning locked down like this for about five years, per Mike Scioscia's own estimation."  Also at the Angels' site:  Scioscia: No 'red flags' in Weaver's reduced velocity, "It points more toward being in sync mechanically than anything else," Scioscia said. "He was missing up a lot, never really got his changeup into the game like he can. I wouldn't say there are any red flags. The way he finished up last year and the crispness he showed at times in the spring, he'll get it."  Sorry, I disagree.
  • It sure would have been odd if the Angels were penalized in the Hamilton mess while Hamilton himself received no suspensions/sanctions: Manfred: MLB won't investigate Angels for alleged Hamilton leaks - CBSSports.com, "I have no reason to believe that the Angels did anything inappropriate," Manfred said."
  • Whoa. Anaheim hires new negotiator for Angel Stadium talks - The Orange County Register, "The City Council unanimously selected attorney Wylie Aitken, who is based in Santa Ana. He will be paid $350 per hour plus travel and out-of-pocket expenses to represent Anaheim."
  • Hey, the Angels have enough to buy a Honus Wagner baseball card: 2015 MLB Draft Slots Values By Team - BaseballAmerica.com, "Major League Baseball informed clubs Tuesday of the slot values assigned to the first 315 picks of the 2015 draft."
    Angels ($5,050,100)
    No. Round Slot value
    26 1 2,034,500
    70 2 879,500
    104 3 548,600
    135 4 406,900
    165 5 304,700
    195 6 228,100
    225 7 177,500
    255 8 165,800
    285 9 154,800
    315 10 149,700
  • Mint Condition: Honus Wagner card up for auction - SweetSpot - ESPN, "All you'll likely need is about $1.5 million."
  • This is pretty cool: Adrian Gonzalez makes history with 5th homer in 1st three games - CBSSports.com, "Per Elias Sports Bureau, Gonzalez is the first player in MLB history to hit five home runs in the first three games of the season."
  • Don’t Let Op-Eds Ruin Baseball - FiveThirtyEight, "natesilver: One litmus test for any writer: Does he know his subject? Steve Kettmann might know a lot about baseball, but he doesn’t know very much about baseball statistics. For instance, he describes how wins above replacement compares a player against "some hypothetical median player, the ‘replacement.'" Actually, it compares him against a replacement-level player, who is way worse than the median major leaguer."
  • Hey, it could be worse...they could be playing in Chicago.  Wait, what? Wrigley Field Bathrooms Will Be Ready Next Month, Maybe, "As if peeing at Wrigley weren’t gross enough, imagine what these things must be like by the seventh inning." 

  • Yeah, but does he have a drink named after him?  Jack Nicklaus Sinks Hole-In-One In Par-3 Contest.  "Old man’s still got it. Jack Nicklaus got a hole-in-one on the fourth hole of today’s par-3 contest at the Masters. The Golden Bear’s 75 years old and still better than you."  This is pretty awesome.