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Wednesday Halolinks: Jason Vargas tames the A's, Mike Trout not talking

Remember when the Angels were good? Remember when shutouts weren't that big of a deal? Jason Vargas pitched a shutout!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This is the last Wednesday of he 2013 baseball season. :-(  But wait!  There's Halolinks :-)

  • We're, wait...we ARE going to spend the next 4 or 5 months talking about what the Angels did wrong this season and how they should go about not doing it again in 2014, but before we get to that point, how about we just sit back and enjoy the beauty of a Halos' pitcher throwing a shutout:  MLB Recap - Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - Sep 24, 2013 -  "Vargas (9-7) threw 110 pitches, retiring 15 consecutive batters at one point and striking out five en route to his fifth shutout and 10th complete game in 153 career starts."
  • It's kinda sad.  This is the last Jered Weaver start of 2013: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - September 25, 2013 -  "The Angels have an opportunity to go 9-0-1 in their last 10 series with a win on Wednesday. Jered Weaver will take the mound after being scratched from his start on Friday. The ace experienced tightness in his right forearm, and doesn't anticipate any troubles as the Angels close their home schedule. "I didn't want people to think that I was just packing it in because it's the end of the season," Weaver said. "We still have a job to do. If I was feeling healthy, I'd be out there. But like I said, it's something that's been kind of lingering, and I just wanted to make sure [Angels manager Mike Scioscia] knew about it and see how he wanted to go about it. I'm excited to go out there and make that last start on Wednesday."  And we're excited to watch you make that final start.
  • Hmmm, this kid must be pretty good to win it two years in-a-row: Trout wins second straight Angels MVP -  "Trout was presented with the Owner's Trophy, given annually to the Angels' MVP, prior to Tuesday's game against the Athletics. The outfielder is just the seventh player to win the award in back-to-back seasons and the first since Vladimir Guerrero in 2006-07."  You would think a smart organization would want to guarantee he'd be around for a while: Mike Trout, Angels not talking deal -  "Of playing in Anaheim, Trout said, "I love it here. I love the guys, my teammates, the coaches. It's a great place to play." But in answering a question about returning to New Jersey this off-season to live with his parents, Trout hinted he is open to playing elsewhere. "It's about time to start looking for a house," Trout said. "I'm trying to see what direction my career takes me. Do I want to buy a house out here or some other place?"  As this post points out, if the Angels do sign Trout to an extension this off-season, or next, that salary gets added when figuring the team's luxury tax.  Who knows, it's possible the Arte, or Dipoto, or someone within the organization has sat down with Trout and said something along the lines of, "We want you to spend the your entire career here, and we're willing to pay you what you're worth --you know, somewhere in the range of $20M a year-- however, just for the next 2 seasons, help us stay under the luxury tax threshold."
  • Two "turn the pages" in one answer.  Nice going Mike: Q&A with Angels manager Mike Scioscia -  "Scioscia: It's been a frustrating experience, but this schedule keeps you going. You have to be able to turn the page and get to the next game. I think as a staff, we've done that, and the players in that clubhouse have done it. It has to start with the manager, and that's something I've put a lot of focus on: turning the page and getting to the next game, especially when some frustrating events take place."  Hey, I got an about not turning the page and learning from what just happened.  Like if Joe Blanton is pitching horrible, you might want to remember that the next time you're thinking of putting him a game.
  • Today's neato: Robert Coello’s Fastball Is Thankful For His Forkleball - FanGraphs Baseball.  "Two things become important to  Coello’s success with the pitch: consistency and his ability to throw it for strikes. They go together, really. Coello and his catcher Hank Conger aren’t so sure these are worries, at least not now. Coello thinks he just has to stay on top of the pitch, like his fastball."
  • Worst-case scenario...driving to downtown Los Angeles to watch the Angels play the visiting Red Sox (or Yankees, or Rangers, or any other team) and their star center fielder Mike Trout. Will the Los Angeles Angels Stay in Anaheim? - Yahoo Sports.  "Some in Los Angeles love the idea of the Angels playing downtown, which wouldn't terribly excite the Dodgers. At the same time, one hates the idea of lifting the Angels away from their home folks in Orange County. They're good people, and good baseball fans, and good Angels fans. They're not real happy right now, but times are tough on the field. "
  • I've asked this question a few times, especially when leading off an inning: Does pride keep sluggers from bunting against the shift? - HardballTalk.  "As we know, it’s become more and more popular to play three infielders on the right side against power lefties … and put the third baseman close to shortstop. it’s proven to be quite effective against many players. But there is a way to beat it consistently. You could bunt the ball down the third base line. This works, even for players we have come to know as very slow."
  • Please, people.  Mike Trout leads the American league in base-on-balls, let's not start complaining about him being too selective.  Or not aggressive enough.  Getting on base is a good thing. Joey Votto Passivity Index - FanGraphs Baseball.  "Some people with "Reds" on their paychecks think Votto should be more aggressive, especially with runners on, since he’s paid to be a run producer. He is a run producer, but not in a way that makes everyone happy. Votto, some people say, isn’t good enough, considering what he allegedly could be."
  • This is frickin' crazy: I Can't Stop Watching This Supercut Of Idiotic Pedestrians.  "And since so many of these incidents — like the guy who lays down in the middle of the street and gets run over around the 1:30 mark — seem to have been done on purpose, it wouldn't surprise me if that were the case. Insurance fraud is rampant in Russia, which is one of the many reasons so many drivers carry dash cams."