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"Albert Pujols isn’t “ALBERT PUJOLS” anymore." LOL!!

23 hours, 50 minutes ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/a-different-solution-to-josh-hamiltons-slump.html

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I had to go and write that about Street. What a dipstick. Note to self, the universe always tends toward the perverse.

3 days, 9 hours ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/boxscore-breakdown-120-kole-to-the-rescue-angels-5-rangers-4.html

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Let's take a moment, or the day, to revel in having the best record in baseball after Saturday's game, shall we?


And I know we're supposed to ridicule the "proven closer" thing but, damn, it has sure been wonderfully, calmingly, deliciously boring when leading in the ninth inning lately. I kind of like it.


And who is this Al Sharpton look-alike NFL owner below?

3 days, 19 hours ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/boxscore-breakdown-120-kole-to-the-rescue-angels-5-rangers-4.html

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Oh, here we go. I don't want to see the Mariners in that one game Wild Card playoff.

4 days, 18 hours ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/series-preview-angels-vs-rangers-vs-the-heat.html

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See what happens when Jepsen comes into a fractional inning? DAMN, what a mess!

4 days, 22 hours ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/series-preview-angels-vs-rangers-vs-the-heat.html

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And for those seeking immediate gratification, the Travs seem to have beat up on RJ Alvarez pretty good last night. With Caleb Cowart also getting his contractually obligated every-other-game hit it must have been a pretty fun night.

5 days, 22 hours ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/monkeying-aroung-with-the-dog-days-of-summer.html

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I think they call "a seven-foot tall, furry Rally Monkey" a Wookiee.


And Trout will change his number right about the time he leaves the Angels to free agency. All Guerrero celebrations will be put on hold until then. Who on earth is going to tell him, "Bro, you need new digits" while there is any chance of re-signing him?

5 days, 22 hours ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/monkeying-aroung-with-the-dog-days-of-summer.html

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Well, I AM old enough to remember Fregosi. It was kind of tough for them when all the attention was on Koufax, Drysdale, Wills and the Davis brothers but Fregosi was good enough to get some people (ME!) to watch the Angels while I was in JrHigh and high school.


In more recent history, there will not be many innings where Calhoun gets two hits (and an RBI in each AB) and Trout strikes out twice. Even with noted rally killer Trout racking up the K's, that 7 run inning was pretty sweet.

1 week ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/series-preview-angels-vs-phillies-vs-fregosi.html

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I'm officially worried about the Angels but I do feel better about one thing; I saw that Frieri was DFA'd and I expected to see the Angels had picked him up by this morning. That would be a nightmare coming true. 


I hope the Pestano pickup works out. There were a few years that I really wished he was in an Angels uniform, the guy was awesome. Maybe he can figure it out again if his decline isn't injury related. 


Very unfortunate about Skaggs. 

1 week, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angles-news-tyler-skaggs-to-have-tommy-john-surgery-cron-demoted-to-minors.html

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Speaking of "strength on strength", Kevin Jepsen is fine when brought into a game to start an inning and the Angels have a good-sized lead. Jepsen is fine when brought into a game to start an inning and the Angels are behind. Jepsen will be..."less than fine" when brought into a game during an inning and has inherited runners. And Jepsen will be less than fine when brought in to start a late inning and the game is tied. Basically, Jepsen is fine in low-leverage situations and less so in high-leverage situations. Tied in the ninth, on the road, is not really when you want to see him on the bump.

2 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angels-news-inside-trout-vs-kershaw-pujols-teach-puig-a-lesson.html

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So, I guess the "CJ's well enough to come off the DL" idea was somewhat inaccurate.

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/series-preview-angels-vs-rays-vs-priceless.html

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On the other hand, teams with supposedly unbeatable rosters have failed in pretty spectacular fashion, too. To reach into the bag of clichés, that's why they play the games.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angels-news-angels-content-with-lack-of-additional-trades-skaggs-to-be-examined-for-forearm-tightness.html

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Blah, blah, "cause and effect"...blah, blah, "no historical relationship"...blah, blah. I HATE the All Star break.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/boxscore-breakdown-106-youre-not-paying-attention-orioles-4-angels-3.html

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So...Garrett Richards is Rogue?? It may have been timely if he had used his powers last night.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angels-news-angels-likely-to-stand-pat-at-deadline-wilson-to-return-on-saturday.html

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This guy is rapidly overtaking OP for me. Good with the glove and surprising with the bat. Except for the power numbers but that's fine for a backup. You don't want to bring in a guy that hurts you badly in any one area *cough* Carlos Pena. And the ability to rest Pujols without severe penalty seems to help everyone involved. Love it!

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/efren-navarro-the-angels-latest-outfielder-cult-hero.html

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You can always count on a couple of "0-fers" after a Cowart multi hit game. Rare as they are, and using anecdotal evidence, I think I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest he goes three games without a hit after that 3-4 performance. 0-4 last night gets him well on his way.

3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/

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Maybe an article on Jered Weaver's vanishing something-or-other would be good right about now. Last night was ugly. Again.

3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/josh-hamiltons-vanishing-power.html

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Short on headlines? Try this: Cowart Shines In Wilson's Rehab Win. I know, defies logic on two fronts, doesn't it? It must have happened at some point but I don't know that I've seen an AA box score with Cowart amassing, sit down please, three hits! Two hits is rare enough. It must have been rubbing elbows with the big leagues that did it.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angels-news-trout-excels-on-balls-out-of-the-zone-angels-sign-dominican-prospect-lhp-franklin-salomon.html

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All these close scores are a little TOO exciting for me.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/boxscore-breakdown-104-tamed-angels-2-tigers-1.html

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He has looked pretty good when he starts an inning but you certainly don't want him inheriting any of your runners.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/angels-players-power-rankings-week-18.html

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We've been seeing more of Brian Hernandez at third lately. You'd have to believe the Angels are thinking mound or Eject pretty soon. I'll be interested in seeing him in a few days again. Last time he looked like he was moving in slow motion at the plate. Couldn't decide whether to swing and then lacked bat speed. Just an initial observation.

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/

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Hey, come on! No mention of Cowart's RBI last night? That has to be noteworthy because it doesn't happen often. Of course, he was pinch hitting in the 10th, having lost another start due to poor batting and the best thing he did was keep the bat on his shoulder but give the guy his due! He used the tools available to him. In this case it was NOT swinging at the pitch. RBI!

4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angels-news-angels-scouting-cliff-lee-richards-wont-be-on-an-innings-limit.html

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@jobalexang @Rick K. Here's an example that will take your breath away. I just read that Cliff Lee has been traded three times (!), while in his prime, for eleven prospects. I'd assume they were all what you'd call "top" prospects. And only Justin Smoak and Carlos Carrasco are in the bigs right now. That's just shocking. To have Smoak become the biggest name Lee was traded for shows how volatile the prospect market is.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/trade-alert-angels-finally-get-huston-street-from-padres.html

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Hmm...MLBTR didn't really give a glowing report on Rondon. In fact, Alvarez was the only player they seemed very high on. And he was the Shoe-In (I know, but it's from a Simpson's episode), Golden Lock Of The Week to be called up next by the Angels but he never got well enough. And what's Lindsey's ceiling? Marco Scutaro? So, maybe the Angels gave up only one MLB player (depending on health) with upside for Street. Also, maybe THAT'S why none of us should be GM's; we tend to overvalue our own minor leaguers. After all, if you give up the first, forth and fifth players in the worst minor league system are you really giving up much? It's entirely possible all DiPoto did was trim some fat in this trade.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/trade-alert-angels-finally-get-huston-street-from-padres.html

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All part of the "flags fly forever" theory, I guess. I've been trying to break myself of hating this theory for a good seven years now, or whenever it was I first heard the phrase. I'm just not a fan of such short-sighted thinking even though KLaw gave us all kinds of numbers on how most of our favorite minor leaguers won't do much in the big leagues or even get there. See: Caleb Cowart. Rondon could just as easily follow his path and Angels' brass see him much more up close and personal than we do. Still, I'm torn and thought Smith was fine in the closer role. Maybe not good enough in the playoffs? Is the Alvarez mentioned the apparently MLB-ready R.J. Alvarez? Whatever, I do like that when DiPoto sees a problem he fixes it if he can; no waiting around for the deadline.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/trade-alert-angels-finally-get-huston-street-from-padres.html

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My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Collin pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/second-guessing-scioscia-week-16-sacrifice-bunting-can-be-hazardous-to-your-health.html

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Oh, and if he can get someone to take Cowart AND get something in return he should be the automatic choice for Baseball Executive Of The Year.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/reviewing-jerry-dipotos-trade-deadline-history.html

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Funny, I was going to mention Segura earlier in the Headlines section as an example of a traded guy who caused all sorts of weeping and wailing at the time who everyone has now forgotten about. I don't see that he's really hurt us by trading any of the team's minor leaguers. They are always a crapshoot anyway. Some have shined for a few moments and then burned out, like Segura, and the best one (one he didn't even trade, Skaggs) he got back. And he keeps trying. By piecing and fiddling with the roster we now have the team with the second best record in baseball in Anaheim. Many critics of both DiPoto *and* Scioscia should be silenced for a while just because of that. Even the bullpen has the look of a major league team now. I'd stick with DiPoto if I were Arte.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/reviewing-jerry-dipotos-trade-deadline-history.html

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So, only one actual baseball story today? And that is trade speculation? I hate the ASG break even more this year as the Angels were cruising along so smoothly.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angels-news-mike-trout-all-star-mvp-appreciation-edition.html

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And now the waste of time that is the ASG. At least none of "our" pitchers will be forced to participate and neither of our position players will be ruining their swing at HRD. That's about the best we could ask for.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angels-news-cowgill-to-miss-a-month-with-a-broken-face-richards-snubbed-again.html

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If I may jump in, speaking as one with some experience in this area, aging isn't always a linear progression. We may look at those Cards days and think, "Ok, he's not the .330 Pujols but I'll take the .300 Pujols with the corresponding dip across the slash line." And some players do age that way. You can look at their player page at Baseball Reference and watch the stats drift gently into the abyss of retirement. A guy like Pujols might be aging differently. He is a finely tuned machine, and an awesome one at that, and years of keeping that fine edge with weight lifting, etc., might be catching up with him. Things he could get away with as a ute in training no longer apply as those same workouts may cause a twinge here and an outright pull there, translating into an overall deterioration in performance. Injuries don't heal as quickly and may cause more discomfort than they once did. When things are working right he can still be a pretty feared monster in the box but these times may only last a short while. Thus we see great fluctuations in his performance over the course of the long baseball season. You may have experienced something similar: as I got through my 20's and up into my 30's, 40's, etc., I always felt like all I had to do to play basketball and tennis like I used to was just get back in shape a little more. Sadly, the days when I had "the touch" just didn't appear as often. Maybe for a while I was one of those who slid slowly downhill but, once past a certain age, any little thing threw my game off a whole lot more. I'm pretty sure Pujols' awesome physical being just amplifies the stuff mortals like us might feel. So, I'm just feeling badly for the guy and at the same time I'm just wishing I could hop on board the TARDIS with Dr. Who and go back to convince somebody not to sign him. But we are where we are. I am going to applaud those good days and suffer on the bad. Over the years your reaction might change from "Why the hell can't he hit the ball?" to "Oh, man. That poor guy. I wish he could still do it but I SO know what he's going through."

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/albert-pujols-is-hitting-again-but-will-it-last.html

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Bedrosian looked pretty good after going back to the Travs, maybe it will translate better this time.


I'll shed no tears that Richards misses the ASG. And I'm doing the dance of joy that Trout isn't in the HRD. Stupid all star contests.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angels-news-jered-weaver-back-feeling-better-angels-the-only-expansion-team-with-500-record.html

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Whatever Grilli may do, the reason for the trade, or "exorcism", is obvious. Just look at the Pirates' box score from Thursday (last) night. 5 runs allowed in 0.1 innings. Sure, 3 of his runs were inherited by some other guy but Frieri gave up 5 straight hits in a 3-2 game. He could just as easily done that to us last night in the 5-2 Houston game.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/what-do-the-angels-see-in-jason-grilli.html

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Watching Frieri's meltdowns occur more and more frequently doesn't make me feel like "from a sheer long-term control standpoint" is really that much of a positive. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/halo-headlines-pujols-dealing-with-groin-issue-frieri-grilli-trade-reaction.html

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So, Grilli. If they get Putz, too, I'll feel like my bullpen dreams from 10 years ago came true.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/series-preview-angels-vs-royals-vs-phys-and-the-wonder-dog.html

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MLB.com just told me that Kyle Gibson is "in the midst of a 22-inning scoreless streak". Does this mean he has thrown 11 innings, give or take, without being scored upon? Baseball writers can be so difficult to follow. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/series-preview-angels-vs-twins-vs-fading-stars.html

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I have to admit that I was a little miffed when I read the quickie commentary last week. We've known what was happening to him for years! Then I realized the correct, classier comment had come the day before. Remember that only about a third of tobacco users have their lifespan altered at all. Some significantly, some less so. Tony took his chances and lost a little. I hope this isn't seen as another opportunity for Big Brother to come in and save us from ourselves. To quote Martin Balsam in Little Big Man, "Life contains a particle of risk." And maybe he felt it helped his game. To quote Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock, "[These are] Nicotine patch[es]. Helps me think. It's impossible to sustain a smoking habit in London these days." Or maybe he just thought, "Screw this! I'm going to have fun!" To quote Abdullah 'Firimbi' Hassan in Black Hawk Down, "You Americans don't smoke anymore. You live long, dull and uninteresting lives."


Whatever. Dude did what worked for him. And it worked REALLY well. Good for him.

1 month, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angels-news-skaggs-suffers-minor-setback-scioscia-responds-to-second-guessing.html

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So, what's up on the Cron front? Like The Monkey, I don't see this Price trade happening but could there be something in the works? It would fit the facts if they were holding him out to avoid a cold spell or injury.

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/game-71-still-no-cron-angels-lineup.html

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Well, I wanted Shoemaker to go for the CG because I DIDN'T want to see the bullpen in there. I guess the low-leverage situation was the right time to let Frieri in, the score tallied on a little league play that shouldn't have happened.

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/boxscore-breakdown-70-what-slump-angels-9-indians-3.html

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Maybe it's time to pass along the title of Staff Ace to someone else. We all have a lot of fun pointing at and mocking Hector Santiago for his collapses (often with a lot of help from the bullpen, *cough*Jepsen!) but Jered Weaver is starting to wear me down with his new-found ability to be not quite good enough. That whole reduced-velocity-and-having-pitch-perfectly thing might work for Mark Buehrle and his super-human powers of focus and concentration but Weaver is showing he can only pull the rabbit out of the hat on occasion. Another example of a long term contract being a long downhill slide. Very sad to watch.

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/series-preview-angels-vs-indians-vs-road-warriors.html

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"this will somehow make Scioscia more self-aware". You mean, like...Skynet?

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/second-guessing-scioscia-week-11-intentional-harm.html

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I've only noticed it recently, too, so I'm glad it's not just me. The times I've seen it there were no outs so that's what I'm going with. "0" outs. Like when a new baserunner flashes one or two. An awareness of the situation thing.

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/

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What ever happened to "the other" favorite prospect, Hunter Green? All I can find is "Extended spring training". I realize they probably wanted to keep his innings down but isn't it maybe time to place him at Burlington or somewhere? Injury? Even his tweets are uninformative. About baseball, anyway. I'm curious what his favorite shotgun is, though.


"Duke". Frakking hilarious. Aiming for an older audience?

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/sean-newcomb-is-your-new-favorite-angels-prospect.html

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"Had he been able to keep it close"? How about "Had he been able to throw a strike"? Oh, well. Nerves, I guess.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/boxscore-breakdown-game-59-feeling-a-draft-astros-8-angels-5.html

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"And by good work I mean congrats on having a player fall in your lap."


Which sounds pretty much like the draft history of...what was that guy's name? Oh, yeah. Eddie Bane.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://monkeywithahalo.com/2014-articles/la-angels-news-angels-select-sean-newcomb-and-on-first-day-of-draft-will-green-be-demoted.html

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