The February 20th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Burnett hurt his back lifting his kid, why we need WAR and much more...
The Story: Sean Burnett apparently suffered his back injury while lifting his child into a shopping cart.
The Monkey Says: This is something of an annual tradition for him it seems. If I recall, he hurt his back last spring reaching into his locker or something like that. It is good that he is already feeling better and that the injury only ever lasts a few days, but it is still troubling that he can tweak his back so easily.
The Story: Sam Miller explains why we all need WAR as a statistic, no matter what our feelings are towards sabermetrics.
The Monkey Says: The jumping off point, of course, was the Trout-Cabrera MVP race, which is great because it gives me an excuse to link to this wonderful piece. This is one of the best, most rational and most understandable pieces I have ever read explaining WAR. Alas, I fear that this is just one of those things where people have already made up their mind. It is kind of like explaining all the obvious holes and flaws in a devout person's religion. What you are saying makes perfect sense and is hard to argue with, but the devout person is almost always going to choose to disregard all your points because accepting them would be such a monumental shift to their world view.
The Story: The Angels are missing Torii Hunter's clubhouse presence.
The Monkey Says: That's heart-warming and all, but ultimately irrelevant. The Angels have plenty of leaders in the clubhouse with Pujols and Weaver. Trout certainly has more than enough youthful energy to go around to compensate for the loss of Hunter's vibrance. I really don't see this being an issue, and I don't mean that as a knock on Torii by any means.
The Story: Nobody, including Mike Trout, seem worried about the high expecations for him this year being too much pressure for the youngster.
The Monkey Says: Well, I mean, what are people going to say? Do you really think Ron Washington is going to come out and call Trout a fluke?
The Story: Kaleb Cowart checks in at #60 as the only Angel in Baseball America's Top 100 Prospect list.
The Monkey Says: [Insert tired comment about how bad the Angels farm system is here]
The Story: Howie Kendrick might still be a candidate to hit second in the Angels lineup.
The Monkey Says: Please, no. Just no. No. No. No. Stick Callaspo there and call it a day already.
The Story: The Angels are lamenting the elimination of the "fake to third, throw to first" pickoff move.
The Monkey Says: Yeah, because they were one of the few teams that is actually good at it. As lame as the move is, I feel like the league has bigger fish to fry than eliminating one stupid pickoff move that has no real harmful side effects.
The Story: Kaleb Cowart has been getting teased in camp after he was briefly detained at the airport for having a stray handgun bullet in his luggage.
The Monkey Says: Baseball players are the smartest.
The Story: Explaining the mythology behind C.J. Cron's scouting profile of "good human being."
The Monkey Says: And while he doesn't always drink beer, when he does, he prefers Dos Equis.
The Story: The revamped Angels bullpen may not actually be any better than the old Angels bullpen.
The Monkey Says: Very true, this overhaul represents no sure thing. However, reliever performance is so volatile anyway, that the relief corps possibly being worse would be the case no matter what they did short of cloning Mariano Rivera. The key, in my opinion, is having depth so that you can cycle through all the arms you can to make sure you find a group that can be productive. The Halos had no relief depth last season, but they do this season, albeit not great depth, but some depth nonetheless.