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Friday Links: Astro-comical!

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Angels open series against Astros by turning a solid win into a clown car routine. Somebody needs to start refusing to turn any more pages around here.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As a fan, I can deal with losing. I can deal with winning. I can deal with slumps. I can deal with luck, both good and bad. I can deal with errors and strikeouts and stolen bases and home stand sweeps.

But I cannot deal with stupid.

I cannot recall in my entire life seeing a Major League baserunner get hit by a batted ball. I suspect, - and can only suspect because my ancient memory is fading - that I might have seen this once on a game highlight reel way, way back. But here we have seen it three times in the past week, twice by Angels and both of those times shutting down important late-inning rallys.

Chris Iannetta sleeping on the basepath and failing to advance to third on a fly out by Mike Trout to deep center field when the team is pressing to extend a tight lead is dumb. Brain fart dumb. That same Chris Iannetta subsequently running into a line shot by Albert Pujols - THAT IN A NORMAL GAME WITH A NON-KNUCKLEHEADED BASERUNNER INSTEAD OF CHRIS IANNETTA VERSION 2015 WOULD HAVE SCORED TWO!!! - well, that is just plain stupid. The kind of stupid that I cannot handle. The gods know this about me, which is why immediately after the final, putrid, 9th inning wherein Huston Street blew another game and the loss was official, the skies next door to the stadium opened up and the rain came tumbling down upon my head. And we ain't talking about no Burt Bacharach bullshit.

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The Weekend Series:

HOUSTON ASTROS @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Angels Stadium. Anaheim, CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 7:05 PM PDT Roberto Hernandez (1-2, 4.25 ERA) versus Jered Weaver 0-4, 6.29 ERA) FSW
SATURDAY 6:05 PM PDT Dallas Keuchel (3-0, 0.80 ERA) versus Matt Shoemaker (2-2  5.40 ERA) FSW
SUNDAY 12:35 PM PDT Scott Feldman (2-3  5.50 ERA) versus Garrett Richards (2-1  2.52 ERA) FSW

That Saturday night pitching match-up looks promising!


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  • Luck: Things are going right for you when you make plays like this. And plays like this (which reeks of our short-lived October last year). And plays like this.............Things are going bad for you when your billion-dollar supertar anchor player and team leader fails to remember how to count to three and surenders that play. And things are going bad when you make plays like this...and when you lose a victory when the opponent ties the game off a rookie's very first Major League hit ever, like this.

  • Don Baylor, Major Optimist: Baylor, perhaps failing to realize the offense he manages was last seen on the side of a milk carton, is looking towards guiding this squad of underachievers into the World Series. "I want to get to the World Series as a coach again. I care about this team a lot. That left a bad taste in my mouth last year, losing the way we did. I'd like to come back and go further than we did. I think a lot of guys felt the same way. Mike [Scioscia] has won a world championship here, and I'd like to win one, too."

  • Butera Bye-bye: Jerry Dipoto sent Drew Butera off to Kansas City in exchange for considerably more than a bucket of batting practice balls, getting back Ryan Jackson. But before you get giddy about Dipoto masterfully plucking away one of Sosh's toys, and staging the future by forcing to move towards Carlos Lopez and, eventually, Jett Bandy while bringing back something of possible value, know this: Dipoto wanted to keep Butera. "...it became fairly clear that he was going to get claimed on waivers, so putting together a trade made the most sense..."

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  • Will Ferrell: Ferrell is getting his own baseball card. It's been years since I cared to own any baseball card. I lost the complete Topps 1961 Major League set when we moved to OC , and nothing can replace that. Well, maybe nothing. This might be the one card fun enough to get my hands on and add to my collection of baseball stuff.

  • Nice Catch: This kid is a winner. He knows damned well that you get more mileage out of giving away a foul ball, than you do by hanging on to something you can buy on your way out for 8 bucks. Then again, the kid is an Astros fan and he team was getting their asses handed to them, so maybe he was just of the mind to throw the whole damned game back.

  • Oh, the Horror!: I can imagine all sorts of fans suffering untold conniption fits over this, but the MLB Players have actually been in discussion with MLB over shortening the season back to 154 games. I can't see the owners agreeing to surrender 4 home games worth of revenue. Nor can I see the players pro rating their contracts and rolling back their payroll. Maybe this is just something the players are adding to the list of Big Ticket Items to be argued over when the next agreement is negotiated so they can "concede" something they aren't really serious about in exchange for something they want to win, or win back.

  • Can we add Joyce?: Reds fan have launched an online petition to get Kevin Gregg dumped down to AAA because he is sucking right now. My takeaway is that Change.org has jumped the shark. That, and Yahoo! Sports has a sense of humor. Note how they feature Jered Weaver in the video shot below that dump the sucky pitcher petition story.


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In this place I shall strive to promote news links, tidbits of interest, and pulls of curiosity that you, the membership find throughout the day and copy them from below to this section so that they might be of greater service to the community. Good luck and happy hunting!

DrHalo: The Drew Butera Era has some to an end.

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This Date In Baseball History: 1878 - Paul Hines of the Providence Grays becomes the first player to pull off an unassisted triple play. I'll bet THAT confused the hell out of everyone present............1926 - a fire burns down the the grandstand roof and the left field bleachers at Fenway Park. The Red Sox are so hurting for capital that they pump the insurance money into basic operations and leave the left field are an empty lot. In 1934 owner Tom Yawkey will put up a huge wall there as part of a major renovation............1935 - Reds' catcher Ernie Lombardi hits 4 consecutive doubles in 4 consecutive innings against 4 different Phillie pitchers..........1961 - The new National League franchise for New York announces that their official name shall be the Mets, which won out over other choices such as Avengers, Burros (get it? boroughs??), Continentals (the 'Conts'?) Islanders, Jets, Rebels (??), Skyliners and Meadowlarks. Owner Joan Payton wanted that last one..........1961 - The Yankees and Angels pull off a 5-player deal. The only guy most of you ever heard of would be Lee Thomas. None of the other 4 do much in their careers after this trade...........1966 - Frank Robinson hits a ball completely out of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, a first...........1966 - After 64 years in existence, the last game at Busch Stadium is played, with the Cards losing to the Giants 10-5.............1968 - Jim Catfish Hunter ends a 46 year American league drought and tosses a perfect game for the A's as they host the Twins. Only 6,298 fans are there to witness it..........1971 - The A's trade one-time California Angels Don Mincher to the newly formed Washington Senators. Mincher was also a member of the original Senators, and will become one of the very rare players to have played for both iterations of the Senators. He will also become the only player to be an original Minnesota Twin and original Texas Ranger as he will be on both teams when they move..........1973 - Ralph Miller, the last MLB player to have played in the 1800's, dies at the age of 100.............1973 - Nice bar bet: in a match between the Cubs and Padres, Cubs manager Whitey Lockman is ejected and Ernie Banks takes over as skipper for the duration of the contest. Thus, on this date in the city of San Diego, as he leads the Cubs to a 3-2 victory in extra innings, Ernie Banks will technically become the first black person to manage a Major League team..........1984 - Kirby Puckett makes his Major League debut and collects 4 hits. In 5 at-bats. Plus a steal. In Anaheim. Against the Angels.......... 2011 - Mike Scioscia becomes the 23rd manager in history to reach 1,000 wins with a single team. He did it on Mother's Day..........2012 - Josh Hamilton did something noteworthy on this date, too, but we don't need to get into that.

Stay safe, everyone!