May 10, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Brendan Harris (20) reacts after hitting a home run against Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Axelrod (not pictured) during the fourth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Link Hangout


Plenty of chatter about a few umpires who don’t know the rules, Dan Haren speaks up in defense of Mike Scioscia and, Josh Hamilton doesn’t care what fans think. Two in a row, guys. The Angels have now won two in a row.

Haren Empathizes With Struggle of Former Team

Says that the Angels should’ve kept Torii Hunter, check. Has Scioscia’s back, check. Criticizes the roster restructuring, check. Chemistry is touchy, because it’s hard to imagine that losing teams, have good chemistry. And likewise, the Yankees of the late 70′s, were notorious for hating each other, yet they won back to back titles. Sorry, Danny, this sounds like upset “jock talk.”

After Another Ump Embarrassment, Where Are the MLB Powers That Be?

This kicks off with a few words about the the umpire fiasco from the other night, but it also includes Tom Verducci’s take on what is going wrong with the Angels.

Money Quote:

“Embarrassment” was the exact word Angels manager Mike Scioscia kept using in the dugout on Thursday night when umpires appeared clueless in Los Angeles’ game in Houston — though Scioscia always used a modifier in front of “embarrassment” that cannot be repeated here.

I cannot repeat the word here either. Let’s just say, that it rhymes with “ducking.”

Angels’ Iannetta is stuck in a major slump at the plate

Honestly, I hadn’t even noticed. Luckily for Chris Iannetta, there’s this Josh Hamilton guy, and this Albert Pujols guy, that are attracting all of the eyes. But Iannetta’s recent slide (as well as him being worse than Hank Conger at throwing out runners), is probably why Conger has been getting more extended looks behind the plate. Iannetta did have himself a four walk game the other night, though. That’s not to say that he is out of the woods, but it’s a good sign that he’s making the effort to stop expanding the strike zone.

Welcome Back, Scott Kazmir

Scott Kazmir. Scott Kaxmir. SCOTT BLEEPING KAZMIR! I am fully aware that it was only one start, and that it is very possible that his last start could be his final hurrah as a Major League pitcher. It is also very possible that he is back to being who he was in his early days in Tampa Bay. He’s only 28 years old, so his velocity being back up to 96 is not as crazy of an idea as it may seem. If he is back, and he maintains this performance level, I will be organizing a lynch mob to visit Mike Butcher. BYOB, though.

Money Quote:

Kazmir threw 73 fastballs yesterday, and they were getting progressively harder as the game wore on. The last three fastballs he threw were all 96 mph, and they were pitches 101, 102, and 103 on the day. A guy who lost his spot in Major League Baseball because his fastball was sitting at 86 ended yesterday throwing 96.

All the facepalms.

MLB Has Disciplined the Umps From Last (the other) Night’s Angels-Astros Game

If you are not doing so already, you should be reading Deadspin regularly.

Josh Hamilton Smile, But he Doesn’t Care What Fans Think

I see you trollin”, and hatin’….I’d still rather see Josh ditch the whole “relaxed” thing. He’s been fantastic against the Houston Astros this year, and Brandon Wood against everyone else. And that is winding me tighter and tighter with each one of his at bats.

MLB Whiffs by Banning Competitors Bats on Mother’s Day

I added this here, because this is just preposterous. There is absolutely no reason for the MLB to allow only one specific brand of bat to be used during games on Sunday, other than greed of course. In this Jeff Passan article, he embeds two tweets from Trevor Plouffe, that eventually got deleted from twitter, and I have a feeling that the fine folks at Stand Up To Cancer are going to love this.

Money Quote:

Just not as many as there should be. While the stubbornness of bat manufacturers is evident – just make a label-less bat for one day – their refusal to do so is a legitimate action of protest.

Their argument: Since when is awareness for sale?

The price is the $500,000+ that Louisville Slugger has donated to the Breast Cancer Awareness program. Start saving those pennies Max Bats.

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Tags: Chris Iannetta Josh Hamilton Links Los Angeles Angels