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MondoLinks: Halos scrub out regular season, rust up for ALDS

The Angels, after winning the AL West, put their hot rod into a tailspin, slammed the brakes, tossed their juggernaut into a hard reverse, and screamed backwards towards the finish line. Ok, line finished. Now, can they straighten things back out?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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While you were away...

Have you ever seen a more motley charge into the playoffs? The Tigers and Royals rolled into the post-season with a boring 6-4 record over their last 10 games.  Oakland went 5-5. The Orioles stumbled in at 4-6. And our Halos closed things up by going 3 and frickin' 7. One could look at things and say "Oh hell, no! LAA finished by going 15-9, baby!" But, yeah, that was 10 wins in a row followed by 5 wins against 9 losses. Scrubs played all over the place, regulars were sick, and nobody seemed to think layering on the pounds of rust is going to be any kind of big deal entering a best 3-out-of-5 short series where a lack of urgency kicks your ass to the curb pretty quick. Either Mike Scioscia is some kind of evil genius, or these guys are primed to squander a hell of a lot of effort on their part, and goodwill on our part.

I sure am effing praying that Mike Scioscia is an evil genius. After all we have learned and all we know, that's got to be pretty likely, right?

Let's cut to it quickly. The Halos dropped all three games over the final weekend to the Seattle Mariners. Congratulations, knuckleheads. You finished 7-12 against a team that otherwise wins only 75 out of 150 games all year.

On Friday Night Jered Weaver looked pretty sickly and off his game as the Mariners jumped on hi for 3 runs in the second inning and 4 runs overall, giving up 3 homers and striking out only 5 in 6 full innings of work as the Halos dropped this one 4-3. But that's OK, as the Orioles lost earlier in the afternoon and the home field playoff advantage was fully secured by doing nothing at all. But thanks for the home run, Trout, who leads of the past-game quotes with his mastery of the "turn the page" soundbite.

Saturday Night C.J. Wilson finally showed back up and pitched 6 strong innings of 4-hit ball. Sadly, 1 of those hits came in the 7th inning, after a walk, and resulted in a Seattle run. Since the Angels had only scored 1 run themselves to that point this and none of the 17 total non-pitching players could be imposed upon to score any more, this meant that the fireworks got pushed out to extra innings when Seattle would finally get to the Halo bullpen for a 2nd run and the Angels would lose in 11 by a score of 2 to 1.

Sunday Afternoon saw the Angels face Felix Hernandez, who came into the game now fresh out of boner starts. Hernandez did what Hernandez usually does, and the Angels scored zip against him, but did manage to earn 7 strikeouts. The Mariners rolled up 4 runs against Cory Rasmus and Joe Thatcher, but they really didn't need to be so greedy. Once again Scioscia took an AYSO-styled "everybody gets to play" approach and our gang did little but accidentally score a single run before being chased back the airplane, losing 4-1. So the big news, I suppose, was in not getting shutout. That and the fact that if Joe McDonald does not make the post-season roster, his final at-bat is an RBI double. Oh, happy days.

The next time you see these guys on the field, they will be in a playoff scenario, in a short series, against a team coming off the high of surviving the Wild Card game. Who feels confident about that? Huh?

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Elsewhere in the Heavens of Anaheim: Matt Shoemaker is feeling much better and might make the start for Game 3, which will be on October 5th..............You tell me, if Josh Hamilton makes it back in time to play in the playoffs, is that a good thing, or bad?.............Mike Trout finished the season by leading the AL in runs, which makes 3 straight years. That hasn't been done since when I was born.

Around Baseball: Done. Finally, thankfully, completely...done..............This kind of thing seems like it happens a lot at the end of seasons, when some teams stop caring. Jordan Zimmerman closes out the regular season by no-hitting the Marlins..........On a very happy note, the Yankees got yelled at for missing the playoffs (again!). And the timing, when it is too late to do anything about it, couldn't be more delicious.  Even happier, they get to endure the return of Alex Rodriguez next season.............In case they were wondering why we cal them the A'ss, we get this. Spend half a season backing your way into the last possible spot in the playoffs, in an epic tailspin, and celebrate the result in the classiest way possible............Laugh it up, Phillies fans. You people remain extraordinary losers..............Good show, Jose Altuveinsisting on playing and earning the AL batting title rather than sitting it out and playing it safe.

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Moreno-Carpino Shame Conclusion

So there we have it, ladies and gentlemen. All told, rather anti-climatically, 161 total games lost for the opportunity of remembrance, and sharing this 2014 journey with the legacy of one of our earliest warriors.
1 game set aside for honor.
Those of you who might be thinking that Arte has any emotional attachment to Anaheim, well, by now it should be painfully obvious that this Front Office holds very little attachment to the histories and traditions of this franchise. We are to be happy with Train, nightly, and STFU.

Here one last time is a close-up of the official patch, worn for a few hours for one game.

And, for anyone still interested, our patch is below. All cotton, embroidered, iron-on. I still have some, and they shall forever remain free with a SASE. Just email your request to me and join your fellow HH'ers in the campaign. Or, do as DowningRules did, and join me for lunch and get them in person!

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