Jeff Passan beat me to it. Fortunately, Passan has a lot more column inches that he can use to get into this than I would have here, so I will just link to Passan. Because, yes, Mike Trout snubs are Ted Williams snubs all over again. Williams came in 2nd in 1941 even though he totally kicked Joe DiMaggio's ass. Williams hit .406 for God's sake. The very next year, 1942, he came in 2nd again to a far lesser Joe Gordon. He came in 2nd a third time in 1947, to Joe DiMaggio again, even though he again absolutely kicked DiMaggio's ass. And later, in 1957, there was yet another 2nd place finish, to Mickey Mantle this time but that was more understandable. But read the full Passan piece and enjoy your moral superiority. We are in excellent company.
By the way, in yesterday's Links, I couldn't even keep up with all the coaching changes. I missed (at least) Jose Molina taking over for catcher instruction. I need a flow chart. For today, you have to settle for Links:
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 19, 2015
Trout Porn Again: Who needs the MVP? Mike Trout may be the G.O.A.T. "Trout already has more career WAR than 96.9 percent of all players in major league history..." Yeah, so THERE!
Public Service Announcement: One of our readers, from Orem, Utah has reached out to us Angels faithful with a request this Thanksgiving season. The following is worthy of a few moments of our time:
From (Police) Sargeant Bill Crook:
I am a huge baseball fan and have been reading HalosHeaven for quite some time. I am also a police Sergeant for the Orem Police Department. We live in Orem Utah and are a host family for several of the Orem Owlz players each year.
Last year I took items that were donated from the citizens of Orem City to the Dominican Republic. This year.....I am going.....to the Dominican Republic again the day after Thanksgiving, on November 27th. Last year we asked for help with donations of baseball equipment and the response was awesome. This year, I will be taking my son, so we will be able to take an even more equipment. Last year a lot of people asked if there was anything else they could do to help. I decided to set up a gofundme account this year. So far I have already gotten support from friends and family. If you don't mind posting that link, I would be very grateful.
Also, I have already talked to LizardSkins, an Orem Company, who want to make a donation of equipment. They make "grips" for baseball bats. I told them that I would mention them in the post.
Thank you for the support,
Elsewhere in Baseball
Pirates of the Carribean: The LAT spills the beans and reveals that MLB will soon be announcing that some part of a 4-game series between the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates will be held in Puerto Rico, returning MLB attention to that country. As background, back in 1990 the MLB changed their rules and required that Puerto Rican prospects to work through the amateur draft. This resulted in a lot of development resources moving to other countries where the rule did not apply and controls on MLB teams didn't exist. That, of course, left Puerto Rico high and dry and it has been a bone of contention ever since..........
Jeterisms: Derek Jeter feels that the story about his gift basket giving is dumb. We think so too. The difference is that he doesn't want us to believe it, and we most certainly DO want to believe it..........
Baseball Biz: Here we go! MLB has announced IN-MARKET STREAMING via Fox. Baby steps. It still requires authentication, so the big limit there is that you have to subscribe to the right RSN. But there is now a small crack in the vault door that guards the stupid MLB blackout policy. This will, by the way, include Angels games.........
Dead Balls: Mike Trout strikes out a lot. As it happens, lots of players are striking out a lot these days. It's a modern dead ball era, of sorts. But this is interesting, especially considering that frustrating thing Trout does (or doesn't do, actually) until the pitcher throws a strike: "The Royals have embraced this new age...They also have stepped away from the patient approach that was popularized by the Moneyball Athletics. There is a good point to this. A pitcher may or may not throw four balls before he throws three strikes in any particular at bat. Based on the last chart, that happens between 7% and 10% of the time. He will, however, almost certainly throw a strike in the at bat. If you put an early strike into play, there is about a 30% chance that you will be safe with a hit and an even greater chance that you will do something positive, like moving a runner or reaching on an error. By working deep into a count, a batter increases the risk of a strikeout and while they also increase the chance of a walk or home run, that isn’t as valuable as simply putting the bat on the ball."..........
Beane Balls: Still arguing in defense of trading Donaldson, I see. Because, like, maybe tomorrow or something.........
Iconic Moments: Each team's most historic point in history. Ours is Scott Spiezio. Maybe?..........
Burning Bridges behind, and in front: Andy Van Slyke, recently unemployed by Jerry Dipoto in the Seattle coaching staff purge, went to the radio yesterday and caused all kinds of havoc. In one interview he created clubhouse issues for the Dodgers, AND he called out Robinson Cano, AND he called out Fernando Rodney, AND he called out Edgar Martinez. Nice going, there, dad (Van Slyke's son, Scott, is a part of that Dodger clubhouse)..........
Net Effect: For those unable to watch baseball from the ultimate safety of their own sofas, MLB is conceding extended nettings in ballparks for 2016. Now more people can happily chat away with their seat neighbors, tend to their wandering children, and change their spa appointments over the phone with less worrying about those distractions happening on the field of play..........
MVP: Josh Donaldson pulled 23 of the possible 30 1st place votes over Mike Trout, taking the award as most predicted. Thus, as far too many jealous underdog-rooting fans of baseball ignorance can now exclaim (Toronto citizens now joining those of Detroit), Mike Trout sucks. The list of Trout voters is short: Ken Rosenthal (FOX), Joe Posnanski (NBC), Tim Brown (Yahoo!), Sam Melinger (Kansas City Star), Pedro Moura (OC Register), Gerry Faley (Dallas Morning News) and Jeff Wilson (Fort-Worth Star-Telegram). Brown and Moura are the scribes assigned as "local" to Anaheim. The locales going "full Donaldson" were Toronto, Tampa Bay, New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Minnesota, Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle.............And the Greatest Tin Cup Award of all time goes to Chris Assenheimer of The Chronicle-Telegraph, representing Cleveland. He voted Trout 3rd behind Donaldson and....Nelson Cruz..........The other fun one is Naoko Sato of Nikkan Sports News, who voted a guy hitting as low as .230 as late as July 8th (up to that point, the super slumping David Ortiz) the 10th best player in the AL..........
More MVP: Just some food for thought, concerning context...The Blue Jays added Troy Tulowitzki to their roster starting July 29th. So this past season Donaldson hit in a lineup WITHOUT a Tulo, and WITH a Tulo. If you look at Donaldson's numbers before/after, and average each out over an entire 162 game season, what you get is the following:
|BEFORE TULO||AFTER TULO|
I am not going to split those numbers out further to deal with how much of that was merely Donaldson getting hotter than pistols for the second half, which a lot of that BA/OBP/SLG stuff is all about. But it's hard to argue against the increased opportunity he was given by a boost in the batting lineup.
One More MVP: I think this is a fair question to ask anyone who thinks that the argument in favor of Donaldson is completely one-sided and that Mike Trout is a mere "media darling". Donaldson had a great year. Of that, there is no doubt. But if Donaldson had not been traded off the Oakland A's team and onto Toronto this past offseason, would you still see Donaldson as a sure-fire MVP? Before you answer, consider Toronto as a team versus Oakland as a team. Toronto had a higher BA (.269 to .251) and had a higher OBP (.340 to .312) and had a higher SLG (.457 to .395). So it is clear that Toronto players got on base far more frequently than did Oakland, and when they did get on base they got into scoring position from home plate far more often. Donaldson would (A) have come up to bat less often, and (B) done so with men on base less often, and (C) done so with men in scoring position less often. He would have had fewer chances for hits, doubles, triples and home runs, resulting in fewer for all of those. And he would have had far fewer RBI's and far fewer Runs Scored. He would have been exactly the same player in terms of production per opportunity, but he would not be considered an absolute shoe-in. Because context matters..........
OT: Best OT story I tripped across yesterday was that 450 illegal tamales were confiscated at LAX as one traveler tried to smuggle them in from Mexico. How the hell does anyone get 450 tamales into their luggage???
This Date In Baseball History: 1952 - MLB Commissioner Ford Frick declares that he is convinced the PCL will soon become a third Major League, to join the American and National Leagues and bridge the divide to the growing population in the West. The PCL thus becomes the only minor league ever given the classification of an "Open League", above AAA and protecting PCL teams from having AL & NL teams draft away their best players............1990 - Roger Clemens is suspended for the first two games of the 1991 season because of his unruly behavior in the recently concluded ALCS. What's great is they got the wrong guy. It was skipper Joe Morgan and the players on the bench that went apeshit..............2008 - After 35 years at the helm, George Steinbrenner officially ends his reign of the Yankees when the MLB owners approve the transfer of control to his son Hal..........Lots of awards handed out this day, which we won't bother with..........