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WeekEnd HaloLinks: For Halos, the rest is easy.

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The Angels offense took yesterday off. And nobody seemed to notice.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday was an off day, but the Angels still lost ground to the Astros. With so little to make fun of, let's just jump directly to a long list of links:

Angels Baseball

The Weekend Series:

Seattle MarinersLos Angeles Angels, Angels Stadium, Anaheim CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 7:05 PM PDT Taijuan Walker (5-6, 4.94 ERA) versus Matt Shoemaker (4-5, 5.20 ERA) FSW
SATURDAY 4:15 PM PDT J.A. Happ (3-4, 3.78 ERA) versus Garrett Richards (7-5, 3.66 ERA) FOX
SUNDAY 12:35 AM PDT Felix Hernandez (10-4, ?.?? ERA) versus Hector Santiago (4-4, 2.68 ERA) FSW

Now THERE is something you never expected to see: a weekend lineup of pitching matchups between Seattle and LAA, where two CYA candidates will make an appearance, and the best ERA on the board belongs to Hector Santiago. From the official team Game Notes: "SEATTLE ON DECK: Halos lead 2015 series 4-2…Angels are 11-14 in last 25 meetings vs. M’s (6-7 at home)…Halos pitched two combined one-hitters vs. Seattle last season."

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Sean Newcomb: Sean Newcomb has been named to the Futures Game.  That's the franchise's only representative, which is kind of sad.  Cincinnati has 3 kids playing, and 17 other teams have 2 kids each. We are in good company, though, as 11 other teams have a single rep each. This would include the Cardinals, the Orioles, the Tigers, the Blue Jays, the Bravesand eventhe team from Alcoholic Anonymous. (That last one is just being snarky. It's actually Orlando Arcia of Milwaukee, but the editors screwed up.)...........By the way, rumor has it that he Dodgers declined an invitation extended to Corey Seager. I haven't heard of that happening before...........

Rumor Roundup: Dipoto is trying to convince himself that last season was normal, and that this season to date has been abnormal. Besides, it's not like some MVP-quality left-handed power bat capable of being an everyday left fielder is out there to be had for cheap. Thus, per Dipoto, all we can truly do is wait for normal to return. Maybe it will. Meanwhile, C.J. Wilson is being dangled as the tasty morsel...........Marc Krauss is gone, traded away to Tampa in exchange for right-handed reliever Kyle Winkler. Winkler is a 25-year old minor leaguer who just rose to AAA this year. Krauss is suddenly on a 1st place team. And to make room for Krauss, the Ray optioned Nick Franklin to their farm system. Remember that Nick Franklin name. I am going to use him again..........The Phillies have started to rebuild their front office, hiring Andy MacPhail to lead Operations. Ruben Amaro Jr. is on the last year of his contract and is probably the biggest lame duck in baseball. In the blender there, it is being rumored that MacPhail might take Matt Klentak away from the Angels front office, where Klentak currently serves as Assistant General Manager...........

Musings: Here on an off day, my need for some form of Baseball Solitaire to keep me amused took me back to a well-worn trope. I wanted to see how the 2009 MLB Draft 1st Round selections were working out. It's now been 6 years, and I hadn't checked on them for quite a while. This is, of course, the year we selected Mike Trout at #25. So, factoids: the combined bWAR for that round is 105.3, of which 32.7 belongs to Trout (31%). One of the players drafted ahead of him did not sign, then was re-drafted two years later in 2011, and is still in the minors. And six others have yet to make it to the Major League level, making for a total of seven. Only 3 other players have double-digit career bWAR to date, and Trout still has more than those combined. Four of the players drafted ahead of him have been traded, including Randal Grichuk being sent from the Angels to the Cards. At least one player has been released outright and, oddly, that player (Jared Mitchell, drafted at #23) is now with the Angels. Grant Green, drafted at #13, is also an Angel. And, in the news, Nick Franklin, drafted by Seattle soon behind Trout at #27 and traded to Tampa Bay in a 3-team deal almost a year ago, was just optioned down by the Rays to make room for...Marc Krauss. So folks, if young Taylor Ward does not work out, that would be more common than advertised............


Thinking: Here is a thought. Maybe not the very best possible, but at least it's thinking. While waiting. How about Justin Morneau? "Morneau...a career .281 hitter...can solve all of the Angels DH issues...is in the last year of his contract and the Rockies would only want a mid-tier prospect in return...If the Angels acquire Morneau he will primarily serve as a DH, but could also play first base to give Albert Pujols a day off, this will also allow Efren Navarro to be the everyday leftfielder. This may be the ideal trade where both parties benefit."...........

Not Going Anywhere: David Schoefield has a point. Anthony Rizzo, Paul Goldschmidt, and Mike Trout all came into the Majors at the same time, in 2011. Rizzo has 86 career home runs and only 27 stolen bases. Goldschmidt has 103 home runs and only 58 stolen bases. Trout has 116 home runs and 110 stolen bases. And yet, in 2015, Rizzo has 3 fewer homers but has stolen a base 2 more times than Trout. And Goldschmidt has 2 more homers than Trout, AND he has 4 more SB's. There is no excuse for that...........

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Distant Replay: Joe Maddon is now on the Mike Scioscia bandwagon about the very poor MLB process this season for replay reviews. His solution? Staff the replay center "with nerds". His point is clear to me. Don't use people who are inside the club and too willing to defer to the field...AND...use people who are highly experienced at using video systems to observe the real world. it's something I have been saying for years. There is a huge population out there from which to draw upon, that have thousands (if not tens of thousands) of man hours worth of experience studying their favorite sport through a camera lens. Surely that kind of experience should result in people well-qualified to quickly render judgment on sports action reviews. And that judgment would be absolute, not qualified by anything called elsewhere...........

Stop Laughing: The Oakland A's are 16-9 across the last month, and might now be poised to be buyers at the trade deadline. Their pitching is strong, their run differential is strong, and the competition in the AL West isn't what it was expected to be. They have absorbed their bad start, risen out of the basement, and are gaining fast on the Rangers who are falling hard and have dropped back into a tie with the Angels............

Dave vs. Dave: Dave Cameron over at Fangraphs blows up Dave Stewart of the DBacks in the fallout of the confusing deal that Stewart made earlier this week that mesmerized the rest of baseball through utter confusion. "Because if he actually believes that a player’s trade value is equivalent to their signing bonus, then he’s simply unqualified for his job."............

Swing, Dammit!: Mike Trout needs to read this. Because we were right. Start swinging at those first pitches more often. "So far in 2015, in plate appearances in which hitters have swung at the first pitch, they have performed better than in general to an extent that has not previously been seen. The patient, rack-up-the-pitch-count days that allowed pitchers to get easy first pitch strikes may be behind us, as hitters are attacking early and with success."

Fans in the Stands: This is how I roll, too............Nice catch.............Bad catch, with a consolation prize.............Make a catch, win a prize.............Nice commit............You go, girl!..............Barehanding it, crossing shadows...........

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This Date In Baseball History: 1906 - Herbert Whitney of the Burlington Pathfinders, having been hit by a pitch while playing against the Waterloo Microbes 2 days prior, becomes the first recorded player to die as a result...........1913 - The initial seeds of the anti-trust exemption, and the earliest roots of free agency busting the reserve clause, occurred on this date when the "outlaw" Federal League - which was operating outside of the NL and AL with higher player pay and little restrictions on player movement, driving up player salaries in the elder leagues - again relocates one of their franchises on this day. This time they move into Kansas City, which is an established American Association territory. In response, organized baseball declares war on the Federal League. Eventual lawsuits will find their way to the U.S. Supreme Court..........1916 - The Cleveland Indian take the field with numbers on their uniforms. This short-lived experiment designed to make scorekeeping easier for all is the first instance of this phenomenon............1961 - The Yankees defeat the Angels in Los Angeles 8-6, as Yogi Berra collects his 2,000 career hit. To celebrate, the Angels roll out a giant cake onto Wrigley Field............1962 - Earl Wilson, the first black pitcher in Red Sox history, throws a no-hitter, winning 2-0 at Fenway Park as the Red Sox defeat the Angels AND Bo Belinsky Belinsky had thrown a no-hitter of his own just a few weeks prior. Wilson not only pitches a no-hitter, but he claims the games only earned run by smashing what will be the game winner with a solo home run in the 3rd inning.......... 1964 - Rich Reichardt becomes baseball's first "bonus baby" when he signs his first pro contract with the Angels and receives $200,000. The bonus system itself was established to stop the Yankees and Cardinals from buying up all the best young talent available (why those two franchises have the most WS titles), and Gene Autry proved that even this system was broken. In response to the Reichardt bidding was and bonus, MLB owners responded by instituting the draft system that lives to this day. That $200K bonus would stand as the record until 1980, when hte Mets would sign Daryl Strawberry........1985 - Wilber Snapp, organist for the Clearwater Phillies of the Class @ Florida League, is ejected by umpire Keith O'Conner for playing "Three Blind Mice" after a close call goes against the home team. (Video of umpire tossing Snapp is here.)..........2013 - One of the iconic boneheaded moments that will drive expanded replay occurs in New York when umpire Mike DiMuro grants Yankee outfielder Dewayne Wise the "Yankee gift" of claiming the player caught a fly ball into the stands, when television replays clearly show Wise dropping the ball. DiMuro missed the call, AND failed to properly execute the follow-up asking to see the glove thereafter. He would later admit to being a knucklehead. In 2014 these kinds of plays are added to the "Expanded Replay" system agree upon by MLB and MLBPA.

This Date In Baseball History (Polo Grounds Edition): 1916 - Here is a giggle: three fans attending a game at the Polo Grounds in New York are arrested for petty larceny. The crime? Choosing to keep balls hit into the stands. (Actually, as late as 1922 a 12-year old boy spent a night in jail for keeping a ball hit into the stands. The judge involved dismissed the case the next day, saying that he would have done the same thing.)............1924 - Virgil Barnes, pitcher for the New York Giants, faces off against his own brother, pitcher Jesse Barnes of the Boston Braves. This match at the Polo Grounds will be the first time in history that siblings start against one another. These brothers now have a section of Kansas State Highway named after them............1938 - Carl Hubbell pitches a complete game at the Polo Grounds to notch his 200th victory...........1944 - In an exhibition event to raise money for war bonds, all three New York Teams will face each other at the Polo Grounds in a special 9-inning contest. Each team will play consecutive innings against the other two, then sit out an inning, leaving the teams to only play 6 innings each. The final score of the Tri-Cornered Baseball Game is Brooklyn Dodgers 5, New York Yankees 1, New York Giants 0..........

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