Thursday Halolinks: Angels Fall Further Behind, But Magical Season Not Over

"Hey C.J., throw some goddam strikes!"

Life would be perfect if only the Angels would cooperate. Instead, we're left with just perfect Halolinks:

American League Wild Card
TEAM W L PCT GB POFF WC
Baltimore 85 64 .570 -- 90.2% 61.6%
Oakland 84 64 .568 -- 84.5% 72.9%
Los Angeles 81 68 .544 3.5 18.0% 17.8%
Detroit 79 69 .534 5 30.7% 3.6%
Tampa Bay 79 70 .530 5.5 4.7% 4.6%

I have no idea how those playoff percentages (POFF) are calculated, and for those who do, please don't try to explain it to me. I enjoy thinking those numbers are somehow created magically through time and intuition. If I find out there's some actual mathematics formula, it'll destroy all of my hope that the Angels can still magically make the post season. Anyway, yesterday's POFF was 31.2%. As you can see, today it sits at 18.0%. We need more magic.

  • C.J. Wilson's bad game was exactly what the Angels DIDN'T need. I have Wilson on my fantasy baseball team (yeah, I know, no one cares about my fantasy baseball team), and I wasthisclose to not starting him after good starts earlier in the day by Andy Pettitte and some Brewer starter I got lucky with that I streamed into the rotation. It might be time to put a shorter leash on Wilson during his next start: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels - September 19, 2012 - MLB.com. "Wilson gave up three early runs and exited after only 2 2/3 innings, and with the Angels' deficit at one, Pujols made an overly aggressive mistake on the basepaths, and appeared to make another on the field, just before the Rangers opened the gap once again." Holland outpitches Wilson, Rangers top Angels 6-2 - Yahoo! Sports. "Wilson (12-10) went winless in five starts this season against the Rangers after leaving Texas to sign a $77.5 million deal with his hometown team last December. He walked the bases loaded in the first inning and gave up three runs on four hits in the third, forcing Angels manager Mike Scioscia to pull him early for Jerome Williams. ''I wasn't happy to get pulled out of the game, but I wasn't doing well, either,'' Wilson said. ''So it's my own fault. We're trying to win the game, so I understand." Glad you understand, now do something about it or get used to it. And forget about my fantasy team!
  • Whenever I see a matchup like tonight's I always write something about it being a sure-thing pitcher's duel. Not tonight. Rangers-Angels Preview - FOX Sports. "The Rangers and Angels have split their last 10 meetings, with the winning team plating at least six runs. Thursday's finale, however, could end that trend. Since Aug. 24, Darvish (15-9, 4.02 ERA) has the AL's second-lowest ERA at 1.55, while Greinke's 1.70 ERA is third best." No, tonight's game will feature the Halo offense teeing off on Darvish regardless of how good he's been recently: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels - September 20, 2012 - MLB.com. "Both pitchers have recorded wins in three of their last four starts -- over which they've combined for a 1.69 ERA (11 earned runs over 58 1/3 innings). " I picked up this little tidbit in the previous post, "Mike Trout broke Devon White's Angels rookie record for total bases in a season on Wednesday with his 284th on a leadoff single in the first." Trout can easily set a new rookie record of 300+ total bases within the next 13 games.
  • This makes no sense what-so-ever. What difference does the inning make? Is he saying that somehow the relief pitchers get better later in the game...that they can't pitch effectively before the sixth inning? 3 up, 3 down: Rangers 6, Angels 2 - ESPN Los Angeles. "As Scioscia has stated many times, his bullpen is simply not built be tested early. He needs his starters to go at least six to seven innings to give his relievers a chance to be successful. Obviously, that was not the case Wednesday night, as Wilson was pulled in the third inning and the Angels rolled through three relievers who gave up a combined three runs, all earned, on six hits." What I find completely baffling is the writer's flip-flopping regarding reliever performance within the same post. In this section, the writer infers how the bullpen didn't do their job, but in a previous section he writes, " Jerome Williams got the call sooner than he expected, but he did his part to keep the Angels in the game when he came in to relieve Wilson in the third inning. He pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up only one hit and no runs and striking out four." Sounds to me like Williams did a fantastic job in relief.
  • Mike Trout Porn - MVP Edition:

    Within this NOTES post (
    angels.com) is this bit about the MVP race: "In some ways, the decision between Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Angels center fielder Mike Trout seems like a tussle over old- and new-school philosophies." That's kind of true. If you believe in WAR you vote Trout, if conventional stats are your thing, Cabrera's going to get your vote.

    Come on Mike, get behind your guy. Show him some support: Mike Trout continues his MVP push - ESPN Los Angeles. "Scioscia sounded like a voter, trying to be politically correct, as he listed criteria for an MVP season before stopping with what he ultimately felt would decide the race, well, at least if he had a vote. "There are some things that remain to be seen," Scioscia said. "Personally, I do put weight on where a team finishes unless a guy's stats are so far off the charts that no one is even near him. But I think the value to a team would have to influence in a positive way where a team would finish; I think it still remains to be seen. So I think in the last couple of weeks here, there's going to be something that will happen that will separate one guy from the other."

    Tiger's manager Jim Leyland has no problem showing his support for one of his players, regardless of how wrong he is: Tigers' Justin Verlander blasts MVP voters who aren't ready to vote for Miguel Cabrera - The Detroit News. ""Well, I'm gonna answer that this way," Leyland said. "I will not use a player's name, but according to the Sabermetrics, there's a player that is better than Miguel Cabrera. When the guy that gave me the Sabermetrics told me that, I said, 'Well then should we trade Miguel Cabrera for the player you're talking about,' and he said, 'Oh no, you can't do that.' "And I said, 'Well then you don't believe in Sabermetrics, and neither do I.'" I think Leyland missed the point. There is no way anyone would trade Cabrera for Trout, not because Cabrera's the better player, it'd be because the Angels would be getting ripped off.

    "Okay defensively"? Cabrera leads the league in errors by a third baseman. That's not "okay": A Quick Thought On The AL MVP Debate - Beyond the Box Score. "Basically, the salient points of the article (1) Cabrera has been a better hitter this year, as evidence by his closeness to winning the Triple Crown and (2) he's been okay defensively. I'm just assuming he's trying to troll Angels fans, or fans of sabermetrics, or people who WATCH BASEBALL GAMES, but whatever."

    Leave it to FanGraphs to point out something no one else has even thought of: Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, and Measuring Value - FanGraphs Baseball. "However, that last category is the one that never gets mentioned, but is perhaps the one that speaks the loudest out of all of them. Cabrera’s additional playing time has earned him an additional 60 trips to the plate, but in those 60 extra plate appearances, he’s made 54 extra outs."
  • I hate you Seattle: Baltimore Orioles at Seattle Mariners - Sep 19, 2012 - CBSSports.com. "Adam Jones hit a two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning and the Orioles won their 15th straight extra-innings game with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night." No, I mean, I REALLY HATE YOU SEATTLE: Mariners No Match For Whatever The F*** Is Powering The Orioles - Lookout Landing. "But the Orioles aren't concerned about long-term sustainability, because they're just trying to win however they can win right now, every day. And even when you're aware of the unsustainability it can still feel like the Orioles are being powered by magic. Somehow this is a more satisfying explanation than statistical randomness. I guess numbers are cold and we want for our world to be warm and colorful, with magic in it." Forget what I wrote earlier about magic. Magic sucks.
  • This my friends, is a big deal: A's left-hander Brett Anderson exits with right oblique strain after falling in third inning - oaklandathletics.com. "Having already lost their top two starters in Brandon McCarthy and Bartolo Colon, the A's watched with concern as Brett Anderson went down with a right oblique strain during his brief start against the Tigers on Wednesday. Oblique injuries typically call for at least two weeks of rest and often more, meaning Anderson likely isn't to be ready until postseason play, should the A's participate." Oakland has already been passed by the Orioles in the Wild Card hunt, now they're ripe for an extended losing streak. Here's more: A's Brett Anderson Leaves Game With Oblique Injury - MLB Daily Dish. "Anderson left in the third inning after a stumble from his pitching windup. Before his departure, Anderson was already clutching his right oblique after a few pitches in the third."
  • Imagine the season the Angels would be having if they had a bullpen like Baltimore's: The Orioles and the Most Influential Bullpen - FanGraphs Baseball. "But how they’re winning isn’t much of a mystery — when they grab a late lead, they hold on for dear life behind a bullpen that has been especially good in the back end." It'd be "magical".
  • Uh oh...Source says Los Angeles Angels discussing move to Industry stadium from Anaheim - SGVTribune.com. "Angels officials have had preliminary talks about moving the Major League Baseball franchise from Anaheim to Industry, according to a source with close ties to Industry City Hall." The 'Los Angeles Angels of Industry'. Sounds like a team owned by one of the early steel tycoons, or one of the other "Masters of Industry". (Note: I understand that the "of Anaheim" stupidity would no longer be relevant if the Angels moved, but then what would I write about?)
  • These types of article must be read with an attitude of "yeah, but". Such as, "Yeah, but where are you getting this information?" Bobby V isn't the only big-name skipper who may go; Ozzie & others on bubble - CBSSports.com. "There are two dynamics said to be in play here. One is that owner Arte Moreno is said to be unhappy with the team's underwhelming season following his overwhelming spending ($315 million in one day on Pujols and C.J. Wilson). The other is that so far longtime manager Mike Scioscia and first-year GM Jerry DiPoto don't appear to be hitting it off, according to people familiar with their situation. Scioscia never wanted his longtime lieutenant and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher axed, and there's been quite a bit of tension surrounding the underachieving team. Nobody seems to know how this will all work out, though, as Scioscia has a multi-year deal at $5 million a year and good will built through the years. So if he goes, presumably it'll be because he wants to go."
  • Cool story, Bro: Who Is The Blurry Guy In This Photo, And Why Did Manny Ramirez Steal His Pants? The Long Baseball Life Of "The Machete"
  • I don't throw like a girl. My problem is when I sit down. Throw like a girl? With some practice, you can do better. - The Washington Post. "Janet Hyde, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, has studied the gender gap across a broad spectrum of skills. She believes that men and women aren’t as different as they are often portrayed (God, I hope that's not true!) , and she has mined data on social, psychological, communication and physical traits, skills and behaviors to quantify the gap. After looking at 46 meta-analyses, Hyde found what she defined as a "very large" difference in only two skills: throwing velocity and throwing distance." How about growing a mustache? I bet I can grow a better mustache than most girls!
  • Yikes: Man Arrested For ESPN.com Comment That Threatened To Kill Kids Over New LeBron Sneaker
  • Poor white trash is poor white trash: It’s been 10 years since William Ligue and son attacked Tom Gamboa at Comiskey Park - Yahoo! Sports. "The Ligues, not surprisingly, have struggled to stay out of trouble. The elder Ligue, who's now 44, was sentenced to five years in prison in 2006 for breaking into a car, which was a violation of the probation he received for beating Gamboa. The younger Ligue, now 25 and apparently still proud of his 15 minutes of shame, was released from prison in 2011 and is on parole after serving time for a 2010 drug charge."
  • The Last Game of the Season - Bugs & Cranks. "I want Beane to win it all. I want him to win it all in Oakland. Many teams have found success by using sabermetrics, even my beloved Angels have hired a statistically-inclined general manager. But I think I’ve fallen in love with the Hollywood story. In Moneyball, Pitt (Beane) says "It ultimately doesn’t matter how many games you win if you lose the last game of the season."
  • Hey look! I'm linking to links! The world is now going to collapse! Wednesday's Saber-Links - Beyond the Box Score. "The best sabermetric links from around the internet all in one place at Beyond the Box Score" See, they had to add the word 'sabermetric' to their puffing because they know Halolinks are the best! Bitch!
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