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HumpLinks: Angels torching the second half

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The momentum that the Halos carried into the All-Star break carries on post-break, and not just because of the Red Sox garbage. The Twins are actually really good this year, and are now the latest victim.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last 29 games, the Angels are 21 and 8. They have outscored their opposition 146 to 82, which averages out to a daily final score of 5 to 3. Sustained over the course of an entire season, this rate would give us a W/L record of 117 wins against 45 losses. It's a phenomenal run. And, yes, it started long before Dipoto resigned. It's amazing to think that this happens without the big puzzle piece - left-handed power bat that can play a corner outfield position - that is all the buzz as the trade deadline rapidly approaches - 10 days away now. (Sorry Matt Joyce family and friends, but yes I do know that he is on the roster and no he does not qualify.)

Here are some except-to-solve-too-many-starters-why-make-any-trade links!

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Angels Baseball

Front-all Lobotomy: Interesting speculation from Jon Heyman. C.J. Wilson is "player most likely to be moved" since he represents the one Big Splash signing that was wholly Jerry Dipoto. With Dipoto gone, ejecting Wilson comes easier (and clears the lingering aroma of Dipoto's tenure)..........Also in that paragraph is the nugget that those scouting reports which were not getting passed along to players - causing the most recent rift in the first place - are now getting passed along to the players. Of course, that doesn't mean the players are actually doing anything with them. (My brain was starting to formulate a whacky theory that once the players got all that data out of their heads they could relax and go about their business using their well-known methods and approaches, which finally unleashed the offense. Fighting off all the arguments that consider causality, and coincidence, and regression, I was building my fantasy framework around the stat arguments that by the time guys get to the big leagues, they are who they are and there is little that coaching can do about it. In my mental exercise, the scouting data would have represented the "too much coaching" line of reasoning.)...........

He's the Best...: Mike Trout will have a life-sized bobblehead version of himself unveiled in the Trout Farm this upcoming Friday at 5 PM, to honor his 2014 AL MVP award..........

...But Heel be Better: Mike Trout has an owie. His heel is sore and he was out of the lineup last night, listed as day-to-day.  Pujols was originally supposed to have the day off, but asked to be put back into the lineup after learning that Trout was not playing. Hence any last-minute lineup confusion..........

Andrew Heaney: Heaney ain't going anywhere, at least not yet. He is in our rotation even when Weaver comes back. So either Wilson gets traded soon, or Shoemaker finds a comfortable spot in the bullpen. While you are thinking about this, you need to confess to yourself that this result means that Sosh definitely has changed over the years..............

If the Shoe Throws Fits: Matt Shoemaker's destiny is most likely the bullpen. But he is going out to Splinterville on a major hot streak. The dude is a proven starter, re-inforced. As Alden notes, Shoe carries an ERA of 2.31 over his last 4 starts on his way to his new seat beyond left field. The dude has turned the corner and restored his efficiency, having just drilled a Twins team every bit as successful this season as LAA has been............

Sean Newcomb: Jim Bowden, he the failed GM of signing bonus skimming from Latin prospects, has come up wth yet another lopsided trade proposal. This one calls for Jay Bruce from the Red for Sean Newcomb, straight up. Now, pause for a moment. Bowden has a history of one-sided trades. Sometimes so one-sided that they caused MLB investigations. All one-sided deals usually have a major winner and a major loser, and Bowden ended up on the winner side before. So he is big on unfair deals. He doesn't care that the loser part of this one might be us. But crap, the only people who get paid to be more wrong than Jim Bowden are weather forecasters..............

C.J.  No, the other one: In case you haven't noticed, since coming back up from AAA and getting back on a major league field June 29th, C.J. Cron is blazing hot. Including last night, when he went 4 for 4, Since that time his slash line is .440 / .453 / .760 with 4 home runs...............

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Beautiful: Pause and reflect on this wonderful moment. The Red Sox humiliation in Anaheim is the last nail in the coffin of the 2015 hopes and dreams............

Necessary: After careful analysis, it has been determined that the Houston Astros are in need of upgrading their roster in order to push themselves into becoming a serious playoff contender. Those two needs are, in order, pitching and hitting..........

Unicorn Sightings: An outstanding long-form review of the mythical, historical, 582-foot home run...........

Slightly: Frank Robinson was somehow overlooked in the recent MLB Greatest Living Ballplayers salute...........

OT: Why the British were always destined to lose their global empire..........

Tacos!: The Fresno Grizzlies are doing a one-off promo, and it comes with the most killer of all uni jerseys!  I have already sent in my pre-order for one of those babies.  Order yours here!!!! (Caps can be purchased here.).............

Aim High: Young unattached men everywhere, here is how you overshoot your runway when it comes to your life-long partner. You take the frikkin' chance. Every damned time............

KC Masterpiece: This Saturday the Royals will be handing out bobbleheads of Yordano Ventura, the hot-headed ass-hat who has been the root cause of all kinds of shenanigans this year. The promo is to celebrate "...Ventura, who pitched so brilliantly in World Series Game 6 against the San Francisco Giants." And the bobblehead itself is boosted as having "...a pitcher’s stance and a look of determination." The best part? Ventura has been demoted to Triple A to make room for returning Jason Vargas, since Ventura has had quite a run of shitty outings lately. So Ventura won't even be worthy of being on the roster when they honor him for all his worthiness............But wait! The debacle gets even better! Ex-Halo Vargas didn't even last 2 innings in his return, leaving with elbow issues and an MRI appointment today. Double oops! So the Royals have to fill that rotation slot now somehow. The answer? The other ex-Halo Joe Blanton. Has that incredible lucky streak of the Royals finally run out of gas? In any event, I imagine that the prices for Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels and David Price just went up............

X Factor: One day in the distant future they are going to posthumously name this Award after David Eckstein. He did, after all, win the very first Heart and Hustle Award. It's kind of his thing. (FYI, Mike Trout is the 2015 LAA nominee. Trout was the winner back in 2012.)..........

Kick 'em While They're Down: The Red Sox suck, and we killed them. Now they are over in Texas attending their own funeral. It's awesome. It's tasty. It's long overdue. So, yeah, it's a good time to bring forth this epic moment in their history.  Actually, it's an even better time than you think. Because this is a fresh image to hit social media............

Barry Bonds: Here is a real life example that if you have enough money to afford enough lawyer, you can stand up to the state. Oh, and you also need to associate only with people who are willing to go to prison rather than rat you out..............

Major League: We are going with Mike Trout. The Brewers are going with Harry Doyle. I'd call that a toss up............

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