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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Jays Rougned up. KC dampened.

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The State of Texas took to the road and held up the Playoff Train. The Blue Jays got Rougned up by Odor and the Royals got too little of Morales to fend off the 'stros.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The AL West keeps rolling along, undefeated so far in the 2015 playoffs, outscoring the American League 13 - 5 in the process. And MLB showtime is taking a hit with Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Adrian Beltre all getting injured in their Game 1 (only Beltre is doubtful for Game 2). For one night, Texas became a baseball state, ignoring the NFL debacle on display over in that other sports league. Rob Neyer is probably a little disappointed this morning.

Today we have the full slate. Rangers/Blue Jays are probably already playing by the time you read this (9:30am PDT), followed by Astros/Royals (12:30pm), Cubs/Cards (3:30pm) and finishing up with Mets/Dodgers.

There are actually 8 games to be played between now and when I can have more fun with disgustingly cheap puns, jokes, and alliteration. So here are some Left behind Links:

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Angels Baseball

Brain Drain: Chris Gwynn has seen the writing on the wall up in Seattle, and resigned his post as Director of Player Development. Expectations are high that Arte is gonna lose Scott Servais next as Servais takes off to fill the Mariners' post under Jerry Dipoto. For the unfamiliar, Servais was once the Director of Player Development for the Rangers, coming over in 2011, and is THE person who LITERALLY wrote the book that we know as The Angels Way - the franchise guidebook for player development to clone the running success of the Cardinal organization............

Pay Me: Ok, this calculator is fun, but warped. You can use it to select various LAA players and see what they were paid per minute AND how their pay compares to yours. It's no real surprise that somebody who is among the 1 in 10 million qualified to do something makes a lot more zeros than you or me, who are more like 1 in a few dozen. So it's fun, but go all shaming people or anything. Except in the case of Josh Hamilton, subject of the article title. That is where things are warped. Since it averages player pay over 162 games and over an average of 2 hours and 52 minutes per game, it skews Hambones performance pay. IMHO, since Hamilton only played in 50 games, he should have his salary averaged over al the games he was unavailable at all. I put his actual per minute rate for what Arte shelled out in 2015 at $2,953. That works out to be that his piss is 569 times more valuable than mine........... (Side note: Josh Hamilton is now 0 for 21 with 6 K's in the playoffs since 2011.).............

Trout Porn: MLB puts up a video highlight reel of the LAA 2015 season and, oddly, it includes an unusual amount of scenes with Mike trout hitting home runs, and Mike Trout flying over the outfield fence to rob home runs, and Mike Trout crossing home plate - all with a smattering of other Angels doing cute things............

Personnel Update: Conor Gillaspie and Vinnie Pestano have both elected to pursue Free Agency rather than report to Salt Lake. These are not two guys I am going to spend much time worrying about that they show up on some other roster and become playoff heroes next year...........

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Elsewhere in Baseball


Where's OSHA?: It's only a matter of time before OSHA gets involved in the dangers of MLB rain tarp deployment. With a nationally broadcast episode last night in Kansas City as the grounds crew prepared for a rain delay, I'll bet that more than one bureacrat saw that whole thing and is working the phones even now.............

Rare Crime: This past Wednesday evening Jake Arrieta did something that had only been done 6 other times in MLB playoff history. He, as a pitcher, stole a base. Revenge is sweet............

Without a Coast Bias: The Royals had already figured out who their ALDS opponents were going to be. They made an assumption, and they were wrong.............

No Vin: Dodger fans are finally going to get to watch their team play on television, but they are going to be doing so without Vin Scully. At least, not until next season............

Rub Some Mud On It: Now, Pete Rose is not somebody who strikes me as being in possession of a strong cane of mental acuity. I wouldn't put any money on him were he a Jeopardy! contestant. in fact, I always had the notion that Rose suffered from more than one too many blows to the head among all that head first diving he was famous for in his career. When Rose is watching the ALDS and sees Josh Donaldson knock his own head against Odor Rougned's knee on a shitty slide into second base, Petey takes serious exception to any concern for Donaldson's cranial health. After all, it never hurt Pete! Did it?...............

Math Wins: This shouldn't be a surprise to most folks here at HH, what with our general opinion concerning the lack of respect we feel that the LAA powers that be tend to have concerning the use of as much information to win games as one can get their hands on. But when one takes a look at this past 2015 season, one finds that teams that were more analytical in nature won more games than those teams which were not. And they are disproportionally represented in this year's MLB playoffs. There is one thing that needs to be called out, though. The analytical ranking of MLB teams was done prior to the start of the season, when Jery Dipoto was running (some) things in Anaheim. Even with him in the GM seat, the Halos were ranked as only "One Foot In". When he left, would ESPN have dropped LAA into the "Skeptics" bucket? If so, they would have taken their second half wins with them.........

Happy Points Update: In our continuing discussion of how money tends to buy happiness in MLB (Part 1 here and Part 2 here, both from long ago), we find that this year adds evidence to the observation. "Of the nine largest payrolls in baseball this season, according to Spotrac, only two are among the final eight playoff teams, led by the Los Angeles Dodgers ($314.2 million). However, after the top nine, five of the next six are still alive, and the Astros are the only team outside the top 15 payrolls with a shot at winning it all." And you want to know something interesting? One of the things I found in Part 1 was that your best bet to make the playoffs - and go far - was to stay within the top 14 highest payrolls. Things tend to start flattening out around the 15th/16th highest. And what we see this year is that the only team in the 2015 playoffs NOT under that 14/15/16 area would be the Astros............

Outwitted: Pirate fans are clever. Cubs fans are cleverer...........

The Force is Strong: (H/T Uniwatch) MLB was doing some Star Wars revival cross-promotion with Disney during the National League Play-In game............

Merch Madness: Now THIS is something I would like to see in the Team Store at Angels Stadium! Maybe a laser carved game-used bat where Trout or Pujols reaches some milestone............

Unclutch: David Price might lead a team to the playoffs, but he is exactly average once he gets there. Remember that risk as you lobby for Price during FA season...........

Get Comfy: Commissioner Manfred is not a fan of tweaking the playoff structure, Pirates' fortunes be damned. He doesn't close the door on reseeding, however. (we did link recently to his notion of restructuring if and when there is another expansion.)..........

The Outer Rim Calls It: The Ex-Planet Pluto is calling this year's WS winner, and that winner will be dressed in blue..............

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This Date In Baseball History: 1906 - The first single-city World Series kicks off, with the Chicago Cubs facing off against the Chicago White Sox. The ChiSox win the opener 2-1 on their way to a WS Crown winning the Series 4-2..........1907 - Detroit Tigers 3B Bill Coughlin becomes the first player to use the hidden ball trick when he outwits Cubs center fielder Jimmy Slagle as Slagle takes a lead off in Game 2..............1909 - Ty Cobb does the ballsy thing, and steals home plate in Game 2 between the Tigers and Pirates..........1910 - Ty Cobb wins the AL batting title for the third time in a row, after sitting out the last two games to secure his average. Nap Lajoie comes in second by the slimmest of margins - .3849 to .3840 - when the Lajoie faced off against the St. Louis Browns and Browns manager Jack O'Conner, who hated Cobb, ordered his third-baseman to play way back. Cobb dropped 8 bunts in the 2 games. The official records showed that Cobb had won anyway so MLB ignored all the press outrage. However, years later it was found that Cobb had been accidentally credited with one game being counted twice. A re-adjustment would drop his final tally to below that of Lajoie. And yet, MLB refuses to make the change to the official records and the argument continues to this day..........1915 - Woodrow Wilson becomes the first President to attend a WS game, watching Game 2 in person as the Red Sox defeat the Phillies 2-1..........1919 - The White Sox officially lose the WS to the heavy underdog Reds 5 games to 3, fueling rumors of a fix. The rest is infamy..........1934 - Commissioner Landis mandates that Cardinals' outfielder Joe Medwick leave Game 7 of the WS after Medwick makes a hard slide into Tigers third-baseman Marv Owen. Tigers fans began hurling objects (mostly produce) at Medwick when he returned to his position in the outfield, and the Cards were well on their way to a clinching 11-0 victory anyway..........1948 - Larry Doby becomes the first black ballplayer to hit a home run in a WS, leading Cleveland to a 2-1 win and taking a commanding 3-1 Series lead..........1949 - In Game 5 between the Yankees and Dodgers, during the 9th inning at Ebbets Field, the stadium lights are turned on as darkness approaches in a score-fest (the Yanks will win 10-8). This marks the first time a WS game is played under artificial lights and it won't be repeated until Game 4 of the 1971 WS............1969 - The Angels lose Sparky Anderson just days after Anderson agreed to take over as skipper, when Anderson accepts a better offer to run the Cincinnati Reds. While the Reds are busy winning multiple World Series, the Angels are run by the likes of Lefty Phillips, Del Rice, Bobby Winkles, Whitey Herzog, Dick Williams, Norm Sherry and Dave Garcia..........1980 - In a tight Game 2 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Royals, Willie Randolph is tagged out at home trying to score. George Steinbrenner goes apeshit (watch the video) and demands the immediate firing of third-base coach Mike Ferraro. Manager Dick Howser refuses. the Yankees will be bounced shortly and Howser will be fired immediately. The Yankees had just finished winning 103 games............1996 - The Jeffrey Maier Home Run..........

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