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TuesdoLinks: Cueto implodes & Jays escape 11-8

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The Royals costly trade acquisition Johnny Cueto completely broke down in his ALCS gut-check moment. Giving up 8 runs against only 6 outs, he is the culprit as the Jays only managed to hang on to a win 11-8.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

One of the things you pick up on if you spend enough years watching baseball, is how a player recently traded will spout forth warm and glowing compliments about the new team he plays for, as they proceed further into the playoffs with more and more success. "I love these guys", "the fans are great", "I am excited to be here", "this is a great team to play for", "this is a great place to be", etc. etc.

These are the very things that Johnny Cueto was saying after his dominating victory over the Astros, the performance that propelled the Royals into the ALCS. Although he was not needed so much during the regular season (what with the huge lead the Royals had), he was really acquired for the playoffs. Good thing, since he struggled in the regular season as he worried over his pending Free Agency opportunities and his value was deteriorating as his poor outings piling up.

So there we had it. Kansas City loved Cueto and Cueto loved the KC Royals and the love fest coming out of the ALDS was gushing all around.

Not so much after last night. Cueto didn't even get an out in the 3rd inning, and was tagged for 8 runs, all earned. And walking off the field to the taunts of the Toronto faithful Cueto could be seen smiling at their banter. Kansas City fans aren't going to be happy with that. Especially when their Royals score 8 runs themselves...and lose.

Have some 11-8 Blue Jays winning shell-shock Links:

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Angels Baseball

Lieutenants: Nothing would warm the cockles this winter more than the idea of bolstering the brain trust in Anaheim. We are already chatting about a Dave Hansen as hitting coach. Well, how about a Mike Maddux as pitching coach?...........Matt Klentak, LAA Assistant General Manager under Jerry Dipoto, has long been rumored to be the leading candidate to rejoin Andy MacPhail and become GM of the Phillies. He is still a favorite, but maybe J.J. Picollo, Assistant GM of the Royals, is taking over the lead spot?..........

Trout: Mike, a Philadelphia Eagles fan, can't afford NFL Prime Ticket???..........Nope. This is Mike Trout we are talking about. If he can't watch the game in his own home due to some silly blackout rules, Mike Trout just goes to the damned game and watches in frickin' person..........Yeah, the first of many things that went right for the Eagles last night.

Kendrick vs. Giavotella: Bill Dwyer, a few decades overdue for retirement, does his wraps up on the Dodgers/Angels season with this take: "Two trades I will never understand: The Dodgers moving Dee Gordon and the Angels filling the gap by sending them Howie Kendrick. Even with Kendrick having a good year, it was still one of those trades that hurt both teams." Let me see if I can help here. Sure, Kendrick's departure was a hole that needed to be filled. But, overall, that's not what cratered the Angels. In fact, Johnny Giavotella played more games (129 versus 117) and had nearly an identical bWAR (1.0 versus 1.1). Johnny G lagged a little bit behind Howie on offense but had a much larger number of putouts in the field. MEANWHILE, WE GOT ANDREW HEANEY AND WE GET TO KEEP HIM. Heaney crushed it in 2015 and that is all upside. I'd say that, on balance, when all was said and done that trade did not hurt us. And that lack of actual hurt will only get even more apparent over the next several years as we keep a cost-controlled stud in Andrew Heaney..........

Opening Games, 2016: Here is your chance to get the jump for next year. A perfect stocking stuffer. Only at the official team site starting at 10AM today, you can purchase tickets to the first 4 home games of 2016.  That would be a pair of exhibition games versus Chicago the weekend of April 1st, and the two regular season games hosting the Cubs on April 4th and 5th. The sale ends this upcoming Sunday night at 10 PM.........

LAA Development: That is the LAA Farm System on display right there. Well, a tiny bit of it, and a while ago as Kendry Morales hits his 4th home run of the 2015 playoffs...........Speaking of farms, Roberto Baldoquin knows he hasn't gotten off to a good start, and it appears that he knows what to do about it. The problem is, he doesn't have much time left...........

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Very Superstitious: Ladders 'bout to fall.  Here is a quick and fun historical tidbit about how a fan was ordered by a judge to stay away from a PCL Championship Series because this fan was considered to be bad luck. Seriously..........

Odds Are: (Well, were, before last night began anyway). We are at a 60% chance of a Royals/Mets World Series, with a 43.7% chance of the Royals winning it all. The Blue Jays were down to a mere 20.8 chance of advancing. Losing the first 2 and needing to go 4-2 over the final 5 will do that for a team..........

Don't leave Home Without It: Oops. Yeah. Like, Canada is an entirely different country and everything. Terrance Gore, outfielder for the Kansas City Royals, left his passport at home back in Georgia. So he was prevented from leaving the airport in Toronto and had to fly home and fetch the dang thing.............

This Promo Sponsored by Solo Cups: This is what happens when you cannot hold your beer. Literally. Rogers Centre banned beer can sales from the 500 sections of this year's ALCS, after all the mess people caused in Toronto during the ALDS. Beers up there will be sold in plastic cups. Ok. But I assume cans are still being sold in sections 100, 200, 300 and 400? Those are not any safer when hurled. My guess is that it's just too danged hard for security to figure out who threw what when security doesn't staff the cheap sections. Too far away to pick out the culprits, and the food situation up there is not good enough for staffers to want to spend 3 hours among the rabble...........

Zito Gone: Barry Zito has finally, officially retired. And he does so "on a high note". Yeah, that note would have been the 4 innings he pitched against the Angels on September 30, where he threw 76 pitches over 4 innings and held the Angels to just 2 runs. By far the best out of ALL THREE OUTINGS HE HAD ALL SEASON. That was one of the 3 games out of the final 5 that the Halos lost en route to missing out on the playoffs by a single game. It was the only time that Zito lasted more than 2 innings  and should have been a gimme once it was announced that Sonny Gray was being shut down with an injury..........

Thick or Thin: Yeah, if there is one reason to pull for the Mets over the Cubs, it has to be the pizza...........

SlideGate: MLB, now that the Dodgers have been booted from consideration, can now take their sweet time trying to unravel the Chase Utley thing. And so they shall do.  Personally, I think that is a mistake. If there is anything we learned from DeflateGate, it's that you don't want to be hashing national controversy during an offseason. They should be getting this out of the way while the playoffs still dominate our time and attention..........

Scouting Retort: Joe Maddon may be a very smart guy, but he should know that one does not outsmart the cannon of Yeonis Cespedes.  He has scouts. It's not like it's a secret or anything. Maddon should have issues an edict to his players and his third base coach.

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