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MondoLinks: Angels can't go big. Go home instead.

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Going back at least 6 seasons, no AL West team has pitched the Angels tougher than has Oakland. This is even though the rosters keep changing on both sides. I blame scouting. Their scouting is better.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

We have had many teams in the past. One outstanding. Some pretty good. Most average to bad. And even on the bad, there were times when we had brilliant individual contributors. Much like now Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I had to go back to the year 1976 to find a season which finished with the Angels' team batting average below that of the current team average of .242. In that season, the California Angels finished .235. 1992 was close, when they finished at .243, but otherwise it has been 39 seasons since we saw a level of suckage at the plate worse than this. Even with brilliant individual contributors as great as Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

Something has got to give. It's not just in the front office. It's not just in the franchise framework. it's not just in the dugout. We have all tasted the sweet nectar of excellence, from ownership through players to the fans up in the cheap seats, and we are not going to forget it so quickly. We don't need to rush, as baseball is patient. But we are drifting slowly away from our goals and we need some fresh winds.

Let's do what we can, and start with some fresh links.

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Angels Baseball

The Upcoming Series:

Houston Astros @ Los Angeles Angels, Angels Stadium, Anaheim

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
MONDAY 7:05 PM PDT Brett Oberholtzer (2-1, 2.73 ERA) versus Hector Santiago (4-4, 2.77 ERA) FSW
TUESDAY 7:05 PM PDT Collin McHugh (7-3, 5.04 ERA) versus C.J. Wilson (5-5, 3.39 ERA) FSW
WEDNESDAY 12:35 PM PDT Lance McCullers (3-2, 2.45 ERA) versus Matt Shoemaker (4-5, 5.20 ERA) FSW




From the official team Game Notes: "HOUSTON ON DECK: LAA is 10-4 in last 14 home games vs. Houston…Astros lead 2015 season series 4-3…Angels claimed 2014 series 12-7…Pujols’ 46 HRs are tied for most all-time vs. Astros (Hank Aaron) – regular season only…Trout has nine runs, six home runs, two doubles, a triple and 12 RBI in his last 11 contests vs. Houston."

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Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way...

Jered Weaver is off to the DL with an inflamed hip. This is not good news but, by itself, is not fatal. Weave is 1 and 4 across his last 6 starts, with an ERA of 5.31 and slash line against of .295 / .325 / .513 and an OPS of .838.  He is giving us innings, but he is giving the other side runs, too many runs for this offense to overcome. With the All Star break next month, this puts Weaver up for one potential start until nearly a month from now.........

Albert Pujols has overcome the hot start that Nelson Cruz once leveraged, and taken sole lead in the AL home run tally. He now sits at 21 which is 2 ahead of Crux sitting at 19 (and 3 ahead of Mark Teixeira and Mike Trout sitting at 18). Unfortunately, because the rest of the offense sucks, Albert has 25% fewer RBI's than league leader Miguel Cabreraeven though he has 50% more home runs...........

Things are so bad, we are finally losing to Scott Kazmir. What is crazy is that Kazmir is getting all the credit for this. From catcher Stephen Vogt:  "Outstanding. Obviously with his history with the Angels, to come out and do what he did today was just absolutely huge.". And from manager Bob Mevin: "Probably took a couple innings to settle in, then he pitched as well as we've seen him early in the season the way he was pitching. "He mixed his pitches really well today, a few curveballs and changeups to slow them down. Fastball both sides, mixed in some cutters. He was pretty unpredictable today."...........

Merch Update: As a friendly service, I thought that I would share the discovery of a new MLBPA licensed source for T-shirts. Available at Target stores, in-store or online, and also available direct, ProMerch is offering up MLB shirts with a little more attitude than usual, and for history buffs they are printing a growing selection of old-timey baseball dudes. I have in my hand an Albert Pujol shirt and a Mike Trout shirt for current Halos. (I also have a Shoeless Joe Jackson historical shirt just to cause eyeballs to cross fro the surprise.) Not that I wrote licensed by MLBPA, and not MLB. You won't see an MLB hologram on these, but they are still perfectly legal. A note to the wise: the shirts run small, so an XL fits like an X-tall. The material is 75% synthetic so it stretches well and will shrink less. And the prices are better at Target but the selection much weaker than online. Full disclosure: I got mine directly from ProMerch, from co-founder Luke Rodgers. Thanks for hooking me up, Luke, but work on the sizing, ok?

Ironic, no? The umpires delay the game to chat with New York and know, for certain, whether or not the Oakland A's can delay the game?..........

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Just remember, always. There are two reasons why did not get this guy. One reason is because we were already committed t spending so much on this guy, and the other reason is that we didn't want to lose out on the chance to draft this guy. (Is it just me, or does that last guy look a lot like this guy?)...........

If you missed it, David Ortiz got tossed from a game over the weekend for being an asshat again. This time it was after Ortiz got a base hit and made it to 1st base. It started with the plate umpire missing some calls. And lots of folks would rather have the ump talk to an Ortiz later about things like showboating on the field. But that warning hold no water when an entirely different crew will show up a few games later and Ortiz can start all over again. This was the same Ortiz who illegally stepped out of the batter's box while not respecting the game OR the pitcher and beginning his walk to 1st on the mere presumption of a ball 4. The MLB Front Office needs to call Ortiz and give him a bigger warning, letting him know that umpires are going to toss him for any more such tomfoolery in the future, even if he gets a single up the middle. Hey, wait a minute..........

ASG updates: MLB stands by their conviction that they can sniff out phony all-star game ballots. They even claim a top-secret way to ping email addresses to check if they are valid. As a guy who set up SMTP relays for corporate email systems, I call bullshit. But my experience matters little in the grand marketing scheme of MLB, where bad news is actually better than good news..........

The Phillies have been squirrelly for years, and squirrels prove it..........

How does this guy, out of all possible guys, become the one in the crowd who catches ARod's home run for 3,000th hit???..........

Baseball still has a chance to get back into the Olympic Games, being shortlisted for the 2020 Games in Japan............

CardGate: The latest bit of news on this ongoing investigation is that the Cardinals' organization breached into the Astros internal computer network not one, not even twice, but went back for at least a third time..........Also, that story about using passwords off of some master list left behind with the Cardinals is, according the man who was the target for all of this, bogus. Said Jeff Luhnow: "That’s absolutely false. I absolutely know about password hygiene and best practices. I’m certainly aware of how important passwords are, as well as of the importance of keeping them updated. A lot of my job in baseball, as it was in high tech, is to make sure that intellectual property is protected. I take that seriously and hold myself and those who work for me to a very high standard."

Just a reminder, there was this MLB promotion going on that promised if anyone throws a no-hitter you all have a short window of opportunity to secure for your very self, for free, a mostly round and flat food-like product that comes delivered just above room temperature about 10 minutes beyond when you actually desired to be in possession of it. Just remember to tip your driver. Now that Max Scherzer has the 2nd no-hitter of the season, it's game over..........

If it's Father's Day, it's only right that the mother be the one responsible for snagging the foul balls..........

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