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Weekend HaloLinks: 1st Dipoto, now Josh fireworks?

We started 4th of July very early in Anaheim, admiring a hailstorm of fireworks coming out of the front office all week. Right when things seem to be calming down for a holiday weekend, the Josh Hamilton fuse is lit.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing new has popped up on the Jerry Dipoto news front over the past 12 hours, and everything before that is already all over these pages.

Let's start talking about Bill Stoneman. (How many of you knew that Stoneman pitched two no-hitters in his MLB career, both with Montreal? His first one was in the 9th ever game in Expos franchise history, an MLB record.) Stoneman has already come out and announced that he is an old man who might not have the energy to keep up with all this, and that he has a lot to learn. That is Stoneman's way of reminding us that his trademark performance level as MLB approaches the trade deadline is to do absolutely nothing. So don't even think about it.

Two weeks ago I was building the WeekEnd HaloLinks from Tucson, Arizona. Last weekend it was from the sandy beaches along Carpinteria, Ca. Tonight it's from a seedy hotel near downtown San Luis Obispo. Thursday nights are a happening thing here in SLO, so it's good times and good beer and new acquaintances (which the missus and I make all too easily). I do get around. We have already had our fireworks this weeks as halo fans, but enjoy your holiday anyway, and happy links!


Angels Baseball

The Upcoming Series:

Los Angeles Angels @ Texas Rangers,  Globe Life Park, Arlington

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 5:05 PM PDT Garrett Richards (8-5, 3.54 ERA) versus Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-3, 2.59 ERA) FSW
SATURDAY 6:05 PM PDT Hector Santiago (4-4, 2.58 ERA) versus Wandy Rodriguez (5-3, 3.91 ERA) FSW, MLBN
SUNDAY 4:05 PM PDT C.J. Wilson (6-6, 3.78 ERA) versus Colby Lewis (8-3, 4.13 ERA) FSW

It occurs to me that if Chi Chi Gonzalez and Wandy Rodriguez were to have a child together, that child would make one hell of a golfer. Meanwhile, from the official team Game Notes: "TEXAS ON DECK: Halos lead 2015 series 4-2…LAA is 11-2 in last 13 games in Arlington…Angels are 17-5 in last 22 overall meetings…Halos claimed 2014 series 14-5…Texas took 2013 series 15-4, most single-season losses to Rangers in club history…Halos’ 432 all-time wins vs. Texas are most vs. any opponent…Garrett Richards is 5-0 with a 2.16 ERA (33.1 IP – 8 ER; 10 BB, 36 K) in five career starts vs. Texas…In 70 career games vs. Texas, Trout has 56 R, 14 HR and 49 RBI."


Albert Pujols: AL Player of the Month for June 2015. This makes the 21st time the Angels franchise has won this award, started back in 1958 (Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana both won the award in September of 1976, which I am counting as 2). Pujols is the 14th different Angel to win the award (Frank Tanana is the leader, having won 3 while an Angel). It's the 7th time in his career that Pujols has been named a Player of the Month. Anyway, do you think that this is enough to get an invite to the All-Star game??............

Wheeling and Dealing: The Angels went into yesterday's international signing period heavily handicapped, both of their own doing. They had the smallest pool money because they were silly enough to win the most games in all of baseball last year...AND...when they signed Roberto Baldoquin to an $8 million bonus they cornered themselves into a limit of $300,000 per signee for each of the next two signing periods. In reaction to this, the Angels instead used their pool money to buy players from other teams.  For $879,500, they bought Jason Hoppe from the Rangers, and for $289,400 they bought Gaither Bumgardner from the Mets. Hoppe and Bumgardner are pitchers. Sort of.............

Hector Santiago: Santiago will be seen this weekend, working with his 2015 assortment of smoke and mirrors. The story here is that we should attribute his success to Mike Butcher, who has been working with Santiago on mechanics. Just ask Mike Scioscia: "Hector Santiago is throwing the ball the best he has in his whole life right now. Give a lot of credit to Mike Butcher, I think that Mike has done an incredible job with him, just as he has with Garrett Richards and a lot of young guys." I don't know. I guess the scabs are still sensitive. I just cannot get behind Sosh going out of his way to give props to Butcher at this time...........

No Such Thing as Bad Press: Arte should be thrilled. Some dude is running around Orange County brazenly wearing Halo gear while performing major acts of media attention. And it is working. The guy is all over the news. And he is demand, as in the sense that he is very wanted. Wanted, as in "to be arrested". "The Big A Bandit" has already robbed at least 6 banks and needs to be caught. To me, he looks like a sports writer on his way to the press box...........

Timing is everything: Jerry Dipoto is saying that pulling up anchor and putting his house on the market a few weeks ago is merely coincidence. It was more about downsizing since he has one son graduating from High School and going off to college. I will take him at his word, but then tell him he is an idiot. While it's a great time to be selling a home in Orange County (thanks China), one should never assume that any offspring fresh out of High School has permanently flown the coop. Not these days. Hell, just dealing with holiday breaks is reason enough to hold on to the square footage. College kids arrive with a new-found expectation that all space is dorm space............


Elsewhere in Baseball

Little Big Vladdie: As expected by most everyone, Vlad Guerrero Jr. signed with the Blue Jays. Please grab a chair and sit down when I report this to you, because you are going to choke after knowing that the Angels spent a bonus of $8 million on Roberto Baldoquin. The Blue Jays signed Junior for $3,9 million. Half. Less than half. This one is not Sosh's fault. Nor Arte's............

#CardGate: The first high-ranking Front Office fool involved in teh hacking of Astros computer systems has come forward, and has promptly been fired. You are on your own, Mr. Ex-Scouting Director Chris Correa. "Correa has admitted hacking into a Houston Astros database but said it was only to verify that the Astros had stolen proprietary data, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. Correa did not leak any Astros data, and is not responsible for additional hacks that the FBI has alleged occurred or leaking any data, said the source." Which is lawyer speak for "Yeah, I can't talk my way out of computer evidence but that doesn't mean I'm a snitch!"..........

Strike Zones: Over the decades, baseball has evolved into a competition where the interface between the pitcher and the batter is the pre-eminent importance in the entire game. Everything else battles for the distant second. That battle is defined by the strike zone, a three-dimensional thing in space that exists only in the imaginations of the pitcher, the batter, the catcher and the umpire. And those guys do not agree with one another. The call for robots may be heard, but won't see the field for years to come yet. It is very important for we fans to follow along as the strike zone itself evolves. You have a long weekend ahead of you, so spend a good chunk of it reading this article on the Commissioner discussing a redefined zone over at Fangraphs. it is brutally long, and jam-packed with excellent information.........

MLB Health: Baseball ain't dying, after all. MLB Network just set records for viewership this past quarter. "Via Nielsen, the second quarter of 2015 saw MLB Network average 213,000 viewers in primetime and 117,000 viewers over the full day. Those primetime numbers are up 3% and 11% from the second quarter of 2014, MLB Network’s previous most-watched quarter ever. May and June of 2015 were also the most-watched May and June on record for MLB Network, jumping 16% and 21% from 2014."

Melissa Mayeux: Meet Mayeux, the first woman eligible for International signing in MLB history, as she is interviewed by SBN...........


Ok, it's a holiday and not many are going to be around. Me neither. But for the diehards here is a very abbreviated, all-Halo, edition.

This Date In Baseball History: 1936 - Ted Williams begins his pro career by getting his first professional hit, coming in as a pinch-hitter against the PCL LA Angels at Wrigley Field. He is playing for the PCL Padres...........1970 - Clyde Wright, facing the Oakland A's, throws a no-hitter at Anaheim Stadium...........1977 - Frank Tanana tosses his 14th consecutive complete game...........