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MondoLinks: Angels just miss sweep of Rangers

Josh Hamilton's team takes 2 of 3 from Josh Hamilton's team.

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


While you were away...the big news over the weekend is that there is a deal afoot, to be finalized and announced any minute now, that Josh Hamilton will return to play for the Texas Rangers while up to 92% of the root cause for all the enmity earned in Anaheim gets to stay in Anaheim.

(This is the kind of thing that will get announced today and draw all your eyeballs away from my hard work here. But what the hell, it comes with the paycheck. From what I have been reading here on HH over the past couple of months the vast majority of you don't want to be forced to stare at my opinions on the matter anyway. And that's Ok, since being a sports fanatic comes with all kinds of latitude. But just watch me spend the next couple of years getting in my digs. Just warning you all now, ' cuz it's gonna happen.)

So, anyway, the Halos took 2 of 3 from the Rangers, and came oh-so-close to a sweep. Only a parade of 3 consecutive singles off of Joe Smith (while a tired Huston Street was given a break) allowed the Rangers to tie the game up in the 9th. This, after Mike Trout tied the game up with a 2-run blast in the 7th and Johnny Giavotella singled in Grant Green in the 8th to put the Halos up 3-2. The Rangers would score 2 in the 11th, the second run coming on an error by Erick Aybar. And the Angels would respond with only 1 run in the bottom of the 11th as Aybar would try to atone for his error by driving in Albert Pujols. Aybar would end up stranded on the basepaths when Green watched a called third strike over the outside of the plate to end the game.

Meanwhile, C.J. Cron woke the hell up from the long nap he has been having since his blazing Spring Training offensive, going 4 for 4. This success by Cron would be immediately rewarded when he would find himself being substituted out for Green. That's why Green found himself up to bat in the 11th at all. Sweet deal, right there. And, although Hector Santiago took the long road by walking 6 batters, he did strike out 5 and yield only 1 earned run on 4 hits over 5.1 innings to lower his ERA to a team-best (for starters) of 2.28.

The next upcoming series, after a day off today, will be:

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ Oakland A's: Angels Stadium, Anaheim.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
TUESDAY 7:05 PM PDT Jered Weaver (0-2,5.24 ERA) versus Sonny Gray (2-0, 1.91 ERA) FSW
THURSDAY 12:35 AM PDT Garrett Richards (1-1, 3.75 ERA) versus Scott Kazmir (2-0, 0.99 ERA) FSW
(Don't you just LOVE knowing that we had Scott Kazmir on our roster, and our coaching staff couldn't figure out how to make him work again, believing that he was simply "done"?)


Elsewhere in the Heavens of Anaheim: Oh joy! Oh rapture! Matt Joyce finally got a hit. Actually, it's his 8th of the season, which is better than Cowgill or Iannetta, but Joyce had been on an 0 for 26 run...........

At the end of the day, we should all remember that baseball is just a game, and we ALL should be having fun. Take, for instance, Adrian Beltre and Garrett Richards. After Richards sawed off three of Beltre's bats Friday night, Beltre went out to a nearby office-supply store and got some blank business invoices, and wrote one up for Richards to pay him back for his bats. Richards, going with the gag, paid him back with one of his batting practice bats to pay off the "debt"...........

Here is something that I find hard to stomach. That 'cuisine' served in Angel Stadium? It turns out it is guided to such perfection by 1 'Executive Chef', 5 'chefs', 4 'sous chefs', 125 'premium cooks', and 600 concession workers - not to mention wait staff and food runners. And to think I giggle that Del Taco calls Headset Guy on the graveyard shift a 'manager'.............


The best play of the game yesterday was this fan interference moment in the 8th inning, when Calhoun was denied a chance to make an error on a foul ball off the bat of Elvis Andrus. Initially, the play was called a simple foul ball, which ended up in the hands of the fans. But those fans clearly reached across the wall and interfered with Calhoun's back-handed play on the ball. Calhoun is immediate furious and screams at the fans. Scioscia asked for a review, New York watched the obvious, the Yankees were not involved so the call was overturned. Andrus was called out, and Rangers manager Jeff Banister went apeshit and was ejected.

But my favorite part is watching what happened to the fans themselves. There are three principal fans involved, from left to right: (A) what appears to be a teenager, (B) a younger boy, looking to be about 12, and (C) a middle-aged dude. So you got (A), (B) and (C). All three reach for the ball, and I must admit I cannot blame them. As far down the line as they were that fly ball flew a good distance and must have looked for the most part to be coming right at them. It's practically self defense right up to the final split-second. And since they are looking up and to their left, they are not paying attention to any players on the field or where the wall is. So the ball comes screaming in and all three reach for it. None of them catch it. Only (A) gets any touch on it at all and he muffs the catch and picks up the ball from the concrete at his feet in front of the chair next to him. (B) makes a half-decent stab at the ball but fails to commit, allowing the ball to bang off of (A)'s glove. (C) makes a noble reach but whiffs altogether. His bare hand collides with (B)'s glove but doesn't appear to have anything to do with the ball other than perhaps distracting (A) from making a clean grab.

So watch the final few frames, and what do you see happen? Stadium security takes the baseball away from (A), and (C) is escorted out of the stadium! Wha..? Not (A), who actually was the only one who touched the ball and who ended up with it. Not (B), who might have made some kind of play on the ball had it not been for (A)'s superior effort. Nope. (C) is ejected. Security needs access to instant replay.

But, for future sake folks, if you get to sit in the row A anywhere, make a mental note to yourself as soon as you take your damned seat, and decide NOT to try and make a play on any ball hit in your vicinity. It rarely ever ends well. In fact, sometimes it ends up with you getting your ass busted in front of millions and millions of other fans.


Around Baseball:

MLB came down pretty hard on the Royals and White Sox involved in the KCR Traveling Roadshow of Stupidity. What we learn now is that Chris Sale was trying to get his money's worth...........

The Cards just got hit with their version of a Garrett Richards smackdown, as Adam Wainright is lost for the season, apparently ripping his Achilles tendon while batting. I'd laugh at the stoopid National League and their silly resistance to the DL (like Max Scherzer is doing now that he has jumped over there), but then I remind myself that Richards blew out his knee last year playing defense. Nobody is arguing that the AL should have designated fielders, so we just gotta go with the idea that accidents happen........

A lot of folks predicted the Angels to lose to the Nationals in the 2015 World Series. I mention this only because I want to salve your woulds concerning the Halos slow start here in April, by informing you that the Nats have it worse. Lots worse...........

As I wrote up above, baseball is supposed to be fun. And what, I ask, could possibly be more fun than observing an MLB manager blow up in a post-game interview with a 77 f-bomb tirade, all because reporters were, well, reporting. And for Reds' manager Bryan Price, that was altogether too much when it coincides with his team doing its very best to... un-win...........

Baseball - TV Mega-deal contract gets another mega-death blow as the Time-Warner Comcast merger has fallen apart, keeping SportsNet LA out of the set-top boxes of Comcast customers. Dodger fans are still getting screwed. As if I care..........

Hit by pitch? This is NOT how it's done in the Big Leagues, kid. You need to be all jacked up and, like, offended and all. Shoot off your mouth and primp about and puff out your chest and threaten and entire opposing bench or something. Being uber cool is not going to cut it with all the unwritten rules and all..........


Final thought of my day concerning the Hamilton debacle: who really believes that Arte Moreno would still have gone all scorched-earth on Josh Hamilton had the arbitrator decided to overrule the governing contracts between owners and players and suspend Josh for enough games as to save Moreno some serious money?