Josh Hamilton day-to-day battle tougher with expectations that come with big money

Columnist Mark Whicker chimes in on the Josh Hamilton situation …

The pundits are trying to recalibrate the Angels’ chances in the American League West. The websites that hold everyone but themselves to a standard of behavioral perfection are doing their usual end-zone dance.

Nevertheless, there are people who actually care about Josh Hamilton and can help him. He should gather them.

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Fantasy baseball: Angels’ Trout leads list of top 10 players to pick

Fantasy Sports columnist Rudy Ropp says Mike Trout is the top player in Fantasy Baseball, who else makes his Top 10 players to grab on draft day …

It’s time to start assembling spreadsheets and draft charts, becoming familiar with all the players who changed teams in the offseason and all the youngsters poised to make a splash in the majors this season.

Who to take in the first round is the question that sets the tone for which way to go when assembling the rest of your roster, so here’s how I have the first 10 picks going:

1. Mike Trout, OF, Angels >> Despite his steals total shrinking from 49 to 33 to 16 over the past three seasons and leading the majors in striking out last year, Trout still turned in an elite fantasy season and was named AL MVP. He has arrived in camp this spring saying that he wants to cut down his strikeouts and increase his steals, and improvement in both areas would be great news to fantasy owners. Trout is as safe a pick as they come and is capable in his age-23 season of distancing himself from the pack with his five-category goodness. Projection: .305 average, 117 runs, 33 homers, 105 RBIs and 22 steals.

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Spring training TV schedule released

The Angels released their complete spring training television schedule. The five games against the Dodgers (March 19, March 28 and April 2-4) will not be blacked out in SportsNet LA markets. The April 4 game is on KCOP, the April 2 game is on Prime Ticket, and the other three are on Fox Sports West.

Also, Pitcher Garrett Richards threw off a mound from a full windup for the first time since his knee surgery last year.

- J.P. Hoornstra

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