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Thor'sLinks: Most Valuable Player Day

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This is Major Award Week, and today is Most Valuable Player. How many BBWAA winners under the Halo can you name?

G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images

Maybe I got this Eppler cat all wrong. He might be smarter and more strategic than I gave him credit for at first. The dude is sure getting busy, and it's not lost on me that he is doing a decent job of building up a coaching and front office staff that is his team. Not Moreno's. Not Kuhl's. Not Carpino's. Not Scioscia's. His.

Eppler's busy, busy week is too much for spoilers here, bot not too much for links:

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Angels Baseball

Eppler Mania!: Billy Eppler has grabbed the deck and is dealin'. And he is all over the place. It's exciting. On the player side is he loading up his hand with deuces and treys (letting a bunch of cannon fodder walk out as Free Agents, bringing in Cliff Pennington and parking Taylor Featherston comfortably in AAA), and kicking off the annual job of grabbing spare arms (in this case, Lucas Luetge) to create a stockpile from which to figure out a fresh bullpen..........Along the way trumped a couple of face cards with an Ace (snatching Andrelton Simmons away from Atlanta for a Aybar/Newcomb/Ellis)...........Then, on the staffing side, we saw him stacking up kings, queens and jacks. He began by letting Scott Servais and Matt Klentak mosey off to other gigs while, more significantly, replacing Scioscia's pitching and hitting coaches with Charles Nagy and Dave Hansen. Then yesterday - BAM! - on the same 24-hour period he brought into the Front Office Steve Malone (ex-Yankee Head of Scouting) to be our Assistant GM, he hired Ron Roenicke to take over as Sosh's third base coach, pushed Gary DiSarcina over to be first-base coach (where he can do less damage), freeing up Alfredo Griffin for something to be figured out later. And he hired a long-time 3B coach Mike Gallego to join the Halos and take over as director of player development., moved Steve Solich out of the bullpen coach role, hired Keith Johnson as the new manager in Salt Lake, and let field coordinator Mike Micucci walk off to Seattle.........Still not done, however, as the latest rumor is that Eppler is also working to bring back Bud Black as a Front Office resource (to be fair, Eppler is denying that this has been done.) Even if Roenicke and Black are only temporary, it cannot be denied that Eppler is hard at work bringing in an avalanche of serious baseball minds - under his authority - and overwhelming whatever Scioscia cachet we might presume to remain upstairs...........

Trout Porn: Because, on this day, why not?. "I think we've reached the point where Trout is so obviously great and deserving of the MVP award that people look for reasons to not give it to him. He led the league in OPS+, led the league in WAR, and had the Angels in the race on the final day of the season. If that's not MVP worthy, I don't know what is."...........

Prospect-Us: One more look at rationalizing the get of Andrelton Simmons for the price of precious prospects. "I believe Billy Eppler recognized that he was getting more in return with Simmons than he was giving up in Newcomb. So even though he further stripped a barren farm system of talent, the Angels are quite possibly better off long-term for having made that trade."..........Speaking of Simmons, the Braves' GM has raised shields............

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Elsewhere in Baseball

HoF: As we near the end of the BBWAA Awards, what will be left are minor MLB and other media service awards, which leaves us with lots of time to chat about other things while sipping our cocoa in front of the home hearth. Hall of Fame voting is a trending topic. There has been a lot of whining about The Rule of 10, and Rob Neyer brings some rational thought to the discussion.............

K-Rod: Francisco Rodriguez lands once again, being traded to Detroit to become the eye of the Tigers............

Smelly Rose: There are only a few weeks left on Commissioner Manfred's self-imposed clock concerning the fate of Pete Rose. As I have written before, the news a few months ago that Rose bet on baseball as a player, regularly, should seal his fate and make all this wait a worthless anticlimax. But, just in case, some need to argue hard against reinstatement............

Mysteries of the Universe: You may know that little button on the top of a baseball cap as a "squatchee". Perhaps you know it as a "squatcho". Perhaps, like me, you always called it a button, never getting on board with the notion that it actually had a real name. So, if you are like me, then learning where the hell "squatchee" came from (and how officially it might be) is a real treat. If you are a squatchee person, read this and weep..........


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Award Season

Cy Young Results: This is a year where it's hard to go wrong with any of the obvious choices for any of the BBWAA Awards, and the Cy Young results are no different. Dallas Keuchel of the Astros was awarded the AL Cy Young. and Jake Arrieta took the honor for the National League. I personally think that the voting should have been closer between Arrieta and Greinke (I would have taken Greinke myself, what with his better ERA, better ERA+ and better WHIP over pretty much the same number of innings), but maybe the eastern bloc suffers from some Dodgers fatigue............By the way, some pretty damned great pitchers never even won ONE Cy Young. 1973 was a particularly bitter result.............

Do-Overs: Joe Posnanski does about the finest long-form sports stuff available. I always find it hard to disagree with his thought process, even if I disagree with his position. This time, Joe sees a problem within the Manager of the Year voting. He finds it odd that Ned Yost, who has been at the helm for the rise of the Brewers and the Royals, with back-to-back World Series appearances AND a WS title, failed to nab even a single first place vote. That, by his observation, is indicative of a larger problem that needs rectifying. The problem is...Wins............


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Hot Stove Season

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And now, being the full-service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Thursday...for beer...

Friday: Pairing is Caring II Beer & Food event at Monk Space, in LA..........

Saturday: Beer Fest for Beer Geeks at Stout Burgers & Beer in Studio City..........San Francisco Craft Beer Festival at Fort Mason Center..........NorCal Beer Geeks Beer Festival at Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial..........Taste of Autumn Beer Festival at Shark Club in Mesa..........

Sunday: Nada

Stay safe, everyone!

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