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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Angels alight in Anaheim

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Angels fans finally get to join the 2017 MLB season as the Halos play their first home stand. This weekend should be a bang. A Big Bang.

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels are back home, to open yet another season in Angel Stadium. Still the oldest, and not going anywhere until at least 2030, it's baseball's well-worn lumpy couch that every pitcher wants to sink into. The grass will be fresh, the paint will smell nice, the vinyl sheets of LAA graphics will cover vast amounts of the cold concrete and bring a homey feel to the people standing at the fold-up tables hawking cellphone plans.

The concessions will be excited to break out the same food and merchandise you picked over 81 times last year. The music will echo around the confines and trigger all the familiar ballpark memories you have known and loved for ages.

There will be bunting and ceremony and fireworks to celebrate a brand and shiny new season that, actually, is almost a week old now. And then the Halos will take the field in their bright and clean uniforms. No turning back now. The season is upon us and the Dipoto Mariners are in town.

But then your eyes will turn to center field. And your entire baseball spirit will fill up with the recognition that YOU are the fans that get to watch Mike Trout play baseball. Everybody has gone to bed in New York. In Chicago they are trying to belch out the last of their pizza. In Texas they are rebuilding their 350 small blocks in their living rooms. But in Orange County there will be the setting of a sun behind the clouds of one final incoming rainstorm as the stadium lights warm up and our National Pastime consumes us all.

Have some Welcome-Home-Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

The story yesterday seems to be Tyler Skaggs not having a good start as the Angels lose 5-1. My take was that it was one of those many, many times when the LAA bats just take the day off. Not that they had the most potent possible lineup out there, but the entire roster managed only 5 hits, and 2 of those came from Andrelton Simmons. It's the kind of game that will get blamed on LAA pitching woes, when the reality is that the same lineup against that same pitcher on that same day would have lost with 99% of the active pitchers in MLB right now. Last year, as crappy as the season was, the Angels saw this same Andrew Triggs twice, both in relief, for 5.1 total innings, and scored only 1 run off him then..........

All of the above makes me think more than twice about the common opinion about this team. It ain't ALL about the pitching. Sure, there will be shitty pitching appearances and those will cost games. But if you follow the concept that every team will win 60 and lose 60 and it's what happens in that other 42 games that makes the difference, it's perfectly acceptable to have most of the pitching failure fall into the guaranteed 40 losses. Take this series, for instance. If it is true that Oakland is at the basement of the league, these 4 games should have fallen into either the guaranteed win bucket or the mystery 42 game bucket of potential victory. These aren't the Cubs. Scoring only 3 runs in the two losing games are a part of the failure in this series...........

For his part, Skaggs is taking a Spring Training attitude to his outing. Looking on the bright side..........

I expend a lot of photons trying to pimp Mike Trout's defense, and then he goes and does a thing like this...........But listen closely to the end of this Mike Scioscia interview, where it's blamed on wet grass...........

Get used to it. When things don't go according to plan close calls will go against the Angels, and everybody will go apeshit. My opinion is that the view from home plate makes Revere look safe, but the resolution of the camera totally sucks. However, the view from the upper deck third base camera shows the glove of Adam Rosales snapping before the arm shock of tagging the bag hits Revere. To me, this makes Revere look out...........

Still on the safe side, Garrett Richards is having an MRI on his cramping bicep............

The Angels have prospects? Oh, sure, then you look at those probability charts and your enthusiasm is, um, somewhat tempered.............

Ex-Halo-Run-Our-Noses-In-It Update. As Rahul noted last night DANIEL NAVA OF ALL PEOPLE had a 2 home run game..........Kendrys Morales hit a grand slam home run..........Jered Weaver had a better outing than Tyler Skaggs..........Geovany Soto had a 2-HR game for the White Sox..........

Yesterday I linked to one corner of the MSM was perplexed because they couldn't see how they were already using Mike Trout as The Face of Baseball. Today I link to another corner that claims baseball has a well-established face. Of course, the author is a New Yorker, so in his world we all worshiped Derek Jeter and we all now need to worship Mr. Met........As counterpoint, a Mid-Westerner uses The Face of Baseball as a draw to try and convey his message that there is no Face of Baseball..........

Have you had it on your mind that one of these years Arte is going to have to deal with a long-term mega contract for Trout? (Current contract expires after 2020.) Welp, mega-extensions are evaporating from the scene. By the time we get to Trout time, would things have morphed so far that they not be there for even a G.O.A.T. such as Trout?...........

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Everywhere In Baseball

The first oddball curiosity of the season happened yesterday, as an errant baseball found some way to glue itself to the very front of Yadier Molina's chest protector. At first it's just a funny moment. The the Internet takes over. Then Molina gets pissed at having the obvious called out...........In a few months, when the weather cranks up enough for the common person to start wearing shorts again, somebody is going to plant their hide into a warm vinyl chair and have an epiphany..........

Have some un-news. Derek Jeter or Jeb Bush can't buy a baseball team, because they ain't wealthy enough. Duh. That's why Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush are not trying to buy a baseball team all by themselves. They are merely a part of a much larger consortium. Kind of like how Magic Johnson did/didn't buy the Dodgers............

Yeah, what's up with that? All the greats I grew up with, or heard about daily from my pops and grandpops, are running weak in HoF induction...........

Now here is a trend that is sure to bother more than a few. Posting advanced metrics on the scoreboard. In fairness, that should surely serve to prompt quizzical looks and distracting questions from kids and casual fans. And I  doubt that those will become teaching moments. The kids will care more about returning attention to the whereabouts of the cotton candy vendor, and the casual fan grownups will smugly think that they don't have time to bother learning all that shit. My standing position here remains that advanced metrics need to be renamed/branded into more accessible titles before they get imposed on the masses. It's the same reason we rubes engage science via Nova instead of reading The Astronomical Journal........

Tim Tebow News! In his first minor league at-bat, Tebow hits a 2-run home run...........

Just remember peeps, it's still early and we all need to stay stable and enjoy the ride............Oh, and we still have our watch in effect for which team will be the last one to claim a win, and which the last to get tagged with a loss? There are still 4 teams without a loss (Orioles, Red Sox, Indians and Twins) and 3 teams without a win (Royals, Rangers and Pirates).............

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The Duffle Bag

Happy Birthday, Cameron Maybin............Ryan Howard finally found a gig. It would be fun to see a game where he played against Tim Tebow............Yeah, Ok. Now HERE is a real stat that is a total waste of time.............Thanks to SeatGeek, the best/worst sections to snag home run baseballs in every park. (Uh, we are limiting ourselves to outfield sections here, people.)............


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