I have a confession to make -- I didn't watch Tuesday night's game. My son was one of 6,500,000 people who bought Grand Theft Auto V yesterday, and I thought I'd be a nice guy and let him play it on the big TV rather than the little one in his room. That's me, nice guy, questionable parent. Nah, not really. I'm just one of those people who don't think video games effect kids as long as they have parents who do actual parenting. And besides, my son is 17 years-old, any damage my parenting skills may have done has already happened. Regarding the game (the baseball game, not the video game), it seems like I wasn't the only one who skipped it, the Halo bats must've been a few of those other 6.5M. Here's some Halolinks:
- There was talk in one of the other threads about how different the Angels' season would be had they pulled Joe Blanton from the rotation sooner and replaced him with Garrett Richards. Yet, Richards wasn't that much (if at all) better than Blanton heading into July. In his first 56 IP of 2013, Richards had an ERA of 5.30, while batters were hitting .271 against him (during the same period, Blanton's ERA was 5.07). It wasn't until later in the season when Richards turned some corner and started pitching to a 2.70 ERA. Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics - September 17, 2013 - MLB.com. "Donaldson's single handed the Angels only their seventh loss in their last 25 games. The setback was a byproduct of going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position -- one night after going 7-for-15 while plating 12 runs -- and it spoiled a night in which Garrett Richards once again dominated, pitching seven-plus innings of one-run ball to put his ERA at 2.90 in 11 starts since rejoining the rotation. The 25-year-old right-hander scattered seven hits, walked two, struck out six and used his curveball more often than usual to get out of tough jams, limiting the A's to one hit in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position." I'm not saying switching the two pitchers would have been the wrong move, but at the time, I can see why the club stuck with Blanton for a little while longer (4 more starts).
- MLB Recap - Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics - Sep 17, 2013 - CBSSports.com. "There had been 11 full-counts between the teams and none of those batters reached base until Crisp's free pass. Donaldson fell behind 0-2 before coming through against Kohn. "Mike almost got back from the brink. Really one pitch away," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Just couldn't get the fastball where he wanted to to Donaldson and he hit it. ... Had Crisp 0-2 then lost him. Just a couple pitches got away from him and cost him." In the same bizarro world where Richards replaced Blanton and the Angels season turned around, Michael Kohn probably wouldn't be pitching in this situation. "The Angels lost for only the third time in their past 13 road games a day after a 12-1 victory to snap the A's five-game winning streak. This victory clinched the season series for Oakland over the Angels for the third straight year."
- Another all-time first Trout thing: Angels lose to Oakland Athletics, 2-1 - latimes.com. "With his 25th homer Tuesday night, Trout became the first player in AL history with 25 homers, 30 stolen bases and 100 walks in one season." And there's this: Trout on verge of sabermetric history - angels.com. "Trout's Major League-leading 10 fWAR last year was the highest in history for someone in his age-20 season. His current score would be the highest for someone in his age-21 season or younger, with Rogers Hornsby the current leader at 9.5 in 1917. No player has posted a second straight 10-plus WAR campaign in his age-21 season. And the list of players -- any age -- to boast back-to-back such seasons is about as prestigious as it gets ... • Ty Cobb (1910-11) • Babe Ruth (1920-21, 1923-24, 1927-24, 1927-28, 1930-31) • Hornsby (1921-22, 1924-25) • Ted Williams (1941-42, 1946-47) • Mickey Mantle (1956-57) • Willie Mays (1964-65) • Barry Bonds (2001-04)" It amazes me the players Trout's accomplishments are compared to. This list is literally the best players who ever played the game, and I find the comparison confusing to me. Not because I don't think Trout belongs in this group, but because I've added something to these players. Their mystique created a false image of how a great player should look when they're actually playing. I picture Babe Ruth hitting home runs during every at-bat, or Ty Cobb getting a base hit, stealing second, then third, then home in each game. Stuff like that. I realize Trout is a great player, but I pictured great players playing greater.
- It's always interesting to see how two different sources have two different takes on things. This one touts Griffin's recent good numbers: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics - September 18, 2013 - MLB.com. "Griffin has a 3.60 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP over his last 25 innings and is coming off an eight-strikeout performance against the Twins. " While pointing out Vargas' struggles since returning from the DL. "Vargas, who has a 5.54 ERA in seven starts since he returned from the DL, was roughed up his last time out, as he allowed eight runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Astros, though only one of the hits went for extra bases." This post gets right to the point about Griffin: Angels-Athletics Preview - Yahoo Sports. "Oakland Athletics starter A.J. Griffin has allowed more homers than any pitcher in baseball." To be fair, this post does mention that giving up all of those homers hasn't had too much of an effect on Griffin's success.
- I'm curious as to who is driving this possible signing, Jerry Dipoto, Mike Scioscia, or Arte Moreno? Los Angeles Angels scouted Masahiro Tanaka, Japanese pitcher, according to report - ESPN Los Angeles. "The Angels had a scout in Japan last week to watch Tanaka, who could cost the team a posting fee of $25 million, according to the paper." Thanks to a head's up from Commander_Nate for pointing out the possible changes to the posting system described in this FanGraphs post: The Ramifications of Possible Changes to the Posting System - FanGraphs Baseball. "The major proposed change, according to Lennon, could have "as many as three teams chosen among the top bidders, with the Japanese player then allowed to choose the club he’d prefer to play for and negotiate with."
- Within this Ken Rosenthal article is this: Low-budget Oakland A's fearless against MLB's big spenders - FOX Sports. "For what it’s worth, Mike Scioscia is expressing confidence to friends that he will remain Angels manager. What that means for general manager Jerry Dipoto is not clear." It goes on to mention that a possible replacement for Dipoto is Bud Black. Nothing against Black, but this would be the worst thing the organization could do. If anyone should be replaced I feel that should be Scioscia. And then to replace the wrong guy with the guy who should've been let go's friend would be insane.
- At this point they're just rubbing it in: The A’s are Moneyballing Again - FanGraphs Baseball. "The A’s teams of last year and this year have won 182 of the 312 games they’ve played, the second best winning percentage in the game, despite the fact that they were spending a fraction of what their high revenue competitors were throwing at players."
- Or maybe not: A's deal with more sewage issues - Yahoo Sports. "The Oakland Athletics dealt with another sewage problem Tuesday, this time in their dugout instead of the clubhouse area and nearby hallway. Some players reported foul smells from the bathroom end of their dugout, while infielder Jemile Weeks said there was ''a good amount'' of water being cleaned out of the area during the team's 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Angels."
- This could be the metaphor for sooo many things: Astros bringing up the rear - Baseball Nation. "Alternate title: "Asstros." But that would be tacky."