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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Dodgers have Met their end

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We go into an All Blue playoffs, featuring an NCLS of the pre-Sosh era ex-Halo skippers and an ALCS of two hot-headed power houses.

You can give us our logo back now. You are merely embarrassing it.
You can give us our logo back now. You are merely embarrassing it.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

LCS

Here we go, peeps. The ALCS starts tonight and the NLCS starts Saturday. The MLB, not yet on board with any reseeding plan, force the 97 win Cubs - coming out of the far superior NL Central to gift home field advantage to the 90 win Mets, who took over the catastrophic collapse that was the NL East dung heap.

It is what it is: an un-democratic, monochromatic, poly-dramatic, sabr-mathematic, hyper-climactic, super-fantastic set of League Championship Series. For appetizers, have some undiplomatic links:

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Angels Baseball

Old News: Eh, not much going on in Halo ville at the moment. Dave Hansen is a leading candidate to take over as hitting coach and Bud Black could be back as pitching coach if he does not hook up elsewhere..........

Different Perspective: Compare. Dodgers owner Mark Walter was asked about his manager Don Mattingly, apparently by one of the reporters more used to the LA Angels beat. Walter, oddly, deferred to his staff., specifically his President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman. Said Walter, providing some free public schooling to any other owners who might be in the area: "You can’t hire guys like that and then make the decisions for them." (By the way, one of the very best front office think tanks might just be in the market soon for a new manager, so if you are one of those teams hoping to snag a smart manager, you better hurry up before the smarter employers beat you to any smartest manager out there.)

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Dodgertown Meltdown: Howie "Playoff" Kendrick opened the game last night with lining out to the first baseman, and Howie "Playoff" Kendrick closed the game last night striking out. He finishes the playoffs with a .273 OBP. That actually is a huge improvement for him, since Howie has a career playoff OBP of only .197 out of Anaheim. Anyway, now Howie "Playoff" Kendrick needs a team to play for...........Battling for any run possible against Jacob deGrom, Andre Ethier apparently went afoul of Don Mattingly (Failed to advance a runner on 2nd with nobody out? Ignored a bunt sing? Mattingly not having his back with the plate umpire's shitty zone? What?). A serious public shout match ensued. I dunno, but since Mattingly is a career 42.2 bWar player across 14 seasons, and Ethier is only at 22 bWAR after 10, I side with Mattingly on whatever it was. Anyway, the Dodgers didn't score that leadoff double, and the Dodgers lost by a single run..........With each run important, the Dodgers showed some serious mental stupidity with their shift, gifting David Murphy a free base and an eventual tying run when they slept through their infield duties after a base on balls. Listen close as the analyst takes free dig at smarter baseball: "Well, to all you analytics guys with the shift, everything went tilt."............Dodger hero Mike Piazza is coming out with a new book, and he's all New York. He calls out Vin Scully for turning LA fans against him. For asking a question that scully cannot recall even thinking about asking (but would have been a fair question, nonetheless). Oh, and Piazza would rather go into the Hall of Fame in an unmarked cap than be branded a Dodger...........By the way, if Rob Lowe says it, then it must be official. After all, nothing makes a person a master expert on running a baseball enterprise than spending your life uttering words coming out of the imaginations of somebody else............

Jays-Rangers: Vernon Wells, yeah, THAT Vernon Wells and now living in Texas, notices how pissed off Texans remain over Jose Bautistaand projects the notable Ranger fan hypocrisy. The replies are fun. And one of them is from Kevin Youklis, who points out how much fun next season's first Jays-Rangers matchup is gonna be...........Mark your calendars, because the first game will be Rangers @ Toronto on May 2nd, and the Jays then visit Arlington for a weekend stint opening May the 13th. Friday...........But, yeah, Jose Bautista is already being imitated by youngsters, just as Rangers players feared. Here is Anthony Rizzo............And now we can REALLY say that Bautista tattoed that ball!..........Holy shit! That Bautista mini-me, of whom I linked a photo yesterday, actually had more going on that I was led to understand. He was swinging for the fences right along with his hero in real time with the epic homer!..........

Growing Beanes: Billy Beane cares little for your water problems, fellow Californians. He consumes an average of 5,996 gallons every day. "Beane said he has tried to reduce his water use this year but added that he has a large landscaped yard. 'I certainly pay for it,' he said."..........

Rebuilding the MLB Playoff System: I once was given what appeared to be a simple puzzle. It was simple to explain, and fun to figure out. I spent hours at it before I was told that it was impossible. As a youngster, I simply took that as my opportunity to become world-famous by being the person who figured out how to solve this particular puzzle. (Remind me someday and I will draw it up and post it. You can use to punish your own kids.) Such is the issue with the MLB playoff system. Every "fix" merely creates a new set of serious problems to be overcome. It's a good problem to have, and an even more fun problem to try and solve, perhaps because it is impossible..............

Long Form Love Affair: Maybe it's too early for this, and better served up during the long, cold winter to be read in front of the fire. Or maybe, on the doorstep of the World Series, maybe it's a good time this very weekend. Either way, this long piece is simply beautiful, and just oozes baseball love.............

Found 'em!: Yesterday I linked to how Chicago fans were not watching their own Cubs defeat the Cards to reach the NLCS. We wondered where the Chicagoans all went. Now we know. They are all standing in line to buy tickets. The waitlist is up to 1,000,000. Hell, with those odds we ALL should jump into that line and set some sort of eternal World Record..........

Stretching the Thinking: Zack Greinke switched up his pitching motion in the middle of his fateful (losing) contest with David Murphy last night.  That's something for all of us to talk about, but that turns out to not mean as much as everybody thinks. Maybe not as much as Zack Greinke was thinking, either..........

The Missouri Thing: With the Cardinals gone and the Royals bouncing the New Kids on the Block, Kansas City becomes the New Bad Guys. In truth, we Halo old-timers have long known the Royals as a major rival. I hate their boringly simpleton blue on white presence...........

Update: The Nevada Gaming Commission has stepped into the FanDuel/DraftKings/FBI/New York Attorney General brouhaha. The State of official gambling has officially kicked unofficial gambling out of the State. In other words, the casinos see an opening, and they want to take the online DFS world back for themselves..........

It's Good To Be King: Larry King has sat with Presidents. Larry King has laid with movie stars. Larry King does not stand for losers............

OT: Definitely what America needs to take its mind off of the Kardashian Kraptastrophe..........

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This Date In Baseball History: 1910 - American League President Ben Johnson vacates Nap Lajoie as AL batting champ due to the shenanigans pulled by Lajoie's opposing manager, St. Louis Browns' Jack O'Conner (who hated Ty Cobb), on the final game of the year. Ty Cobb becomes the official batting champ (which will turn out to be mathematically incorrect anyway, but MLB refuses to revert back to Lajoie to this day..............1912 - 20-year old Fred Snodgrass botches a routine fly ball for a 2 base error in the bottom of the 10th inning. At the time, the Giants were leading the Red Sox 2-1 and were 3 outs from the World Championship. But Snodgrass drops the fly and Fred Engle, the batter, ends up at 2nd base. The next batter, Hall of Famer Harry Hooper, smacks a line drive to deep center field. Snodgrass races over and makes a brilliant catch for the 1st out, but Engle had tagged up and was now at 3rd base Giants pitcher Christy Mathewson, who rarely walked anybody, then walks Steve Yerkes, putting the winning run on base. Tris Speaker then lifts a pop foul but Mathewson, 1st baseman Fred Merkle, and catcher Chief Meyers allow it to drop untouched. Speaker then singles in the tying run. After an intentional walk and then another single the Championship is lost to the Red Sox. And oAnd out of all that, Fred Snodgrass lives the rest of his life as the goat, living down "Snodgrass' Muff"...........1949 - Brooklyn does not renew Branch Rickey's contract as President of the Dodgers. Just 2 years removed from bringing Jackie Robinson into Major League Baseball and breaking the color barrier, Rickey immediately lands with the Pirates.............1957 - Bill Rigney is named as the first manager of the San Francisco Giants. Rigney had taken over the Giants manager role starting in the 1956 season while still in New York, and he would move south in California a few years later to become the first manager of the first American League team on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Angels............1985 - Jack Clark defeats the LA Dodgers for the NL pennant.............2003 - Aaron Boone defeats the Red Sox for the AL pennant...............2005 - The lyin', cheatin' Chicago White Sox defeat the Angels for the AL pennant...........2007 - Bill Stoneman steps down as Angels G.M., to spend more time with his wife.............

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