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HumpLinks: Angels make serious left turn

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The Front Office grabs two left-handed outfielders while their lefty on the mound gets torched. Meanwhile, the rest of the team left their brains back in Anaheim.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

It feels like somebody took my favorite team in for a car wash. It's pretty much the same team, just with the dirt and grime hosed away and all the gum wrappers vacuumed up. Now it looks all shiny and peppy and polished, ready to get back on the road unapologetically. If only one of my rear view mirrors didn't wish so badly to be bolted to an Audi.

In the end, the Victorino + Murphy + DeJesus additions upgrade our outfield platoon system measurably, without costing enough to damage a lethargic farm system. And when the farm is severely weak, it wouldn't take much to of a deduction to cause damage. Besides, our WAG quotient is raised significantly.

So much of this all starts at that moment in history when Zack Greinke took the Dodgers deal. So, so much. But all that is done and we are where we are. This stuff fails to keep up with the rising tides of Houston and Kansas City, but we are still working our way out of the pit dug long ago by the busy shovels of Arte Moreno and Tony Reagins.

P.S. - Don't be surprised to learn that work may still be ongoing to find another reliever and gift Mike Scioscia with his mush-desired 7th-inning role player.

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Last night we got clobbered. Well, to be clear, C.J. Wilson and Mike Morin got clobbered. If only the Red Sox had taken Wilson instead of Josh Rutledge when they sent us Victorino, then last night could have been avoided. Or Boston's problem. The pitching effort yielded 10 runs, 14 hits, (2 home runs, 1 triple, 3 doubles) and a stolen base. Our offense left 8 runners stranded, going 3 for 10 with RISP. And Giavotella kicked in an error while Chris Iannetta blessed Houston with a passed ball. And let's not even get into the bad decision-making among the fielders that don't show up in the box scores. That's quite a bit of suckage to go around. (But there was one brilliant moment. And it occurred when Victorino debuted by successfully executing a rather mysterious looking thing, the likes of which we haven't seen in our uniforms in, what, a decade?)

Bad start to an important series. Remember, we are trying to compete with teams that have players who work their asses off to do things like this. We need some cajones links!

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Angels Baseball

David & David: Alright, you know the bar is low when getting a pair of league average players is considered a significant improvement. And that is just the way the world looks upon yesterday: "Certainly, neither of these acquisitions are major upgrades, but simply having decent performances from LF/DH will be big steps up from what the Angels have gotten from those positions this year. With the Angels making a strong run towards a playoff appearance, these marginal gains could end up having an impact in October.".............

Mike Trout: The Angels played with one MVP tied behind their back yesterday, as Mike Trout was having an MRI scan of his left pectoral fin, injured Sunday against the Rangers. Trout has "a little strain, day-to-day, hopefully won't miss a lot of time". And, thankfully, he will NOT be going to the DL. It's just that his wrist started hurting while taking batting practice yesterday, so maybe a day or two of some ice/heat treatment will help the discomfort.............

Who Gone?: To make room on the bus for the new gritty veterans, existing guys had to be Designated For Assignment. Yesterday it started with Jeremy McBride. Then, later, Vinnie Pestano was shown the door. Matt Joyce remains on life support, but we should assume that a priest has been contacted............In other news, Efran Navarro was recalled and Kyle Kubitza optioned back to Salt Lake. This follows Adam Wilk being outrighted to the Bees the day before, and Nick Tropeano being sent dow on Sunday to make room for the activation of Connor Gillaspie...........

C.J. Wilson: Wilson pooped all over his turn in the  rotation last night, hampering the 2015 campaign. But when he comes home to cry it out he will curl up into the arms of his Brazilian supermodel wife and the two of them will forget all about our woes as they watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean from their new home in Corona Del Mar.............

Colin Cowgill: Cowgill is progressing, and nearing his return to Anaheim.  Just in time to find that the music has stopped and all the chairs are taken...............

Garrett Richards: Listen to Richards, of the "Angles", chat with Doug Gottlieb about recovery from his knee injury.............

David Murphy says farewell to Cleveland (an exit better than that of Troy Tulowitzki)

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Close Call: One has to wonder if the Mets knew that the guy who is supposed to be their closer, Jenrry Mejia, was going to get canned with another heavy suspension for getting caught twice for PEDS, since the timing for their trade with Oakland for Tyler Clippard came just in time..............

Betts Up: Mookie Betts had an adventure. racing to snag a fly ball deep on the warning track he found himself about to collide into the bullpen wall so he vaulted it. Or, more accurately, he tried to vault it. Actually, he crashed into it thigh-high, tumbled over it, landed head first, and dropped his catch...thus resulting in a home run for Jose Abreu. One can only assume that Betts "failed to come down and make a baseball play"................

Whining Ways: Jonathan Papelbon finally got his wish, getting traded out of Philadelphia. He landed in Washington, to work for the Nationals. Papelbon is very effective again, so this should make for some excellent opera when the Nats bus Papelbon back into Phillie to perform in front of those notoriously accommodating Phillie fans. I, on the other hand, wonder how well Papelbon will get along with Bryce Harper. Those two seem to be cut from the same douche mold. Another fun thing, now that he has lost his role as closer to Papelbon, is it Drew Storen's turn to start whining?...........

Hall of Fame: The HoF has imposed some new rules upon the Baseball Writers, essentially commanding the writer's organization to kick their old, dead, weight off their own damned lawns. People who haven't been actively covering the sport of Major League baseball for 10 years can no longer cast ballots. It's a great step forward and should make for some interesting results from now on..............

Omni: Pimping ain't just for the Cubans..........Things go from miserable to worse, as Napoli burns............Someone at MLB Network isn't a fan of John Smoltz..........The Reds have announced a Pete Rose bobblehead giveaway coming this September. Pete Rose. Bobblehead. Nah. Too easy............Ben Zobrist didn't do as much damage in the AL West as Billy Beane had hoped. So he was shipped off. Where he can now do damage any time we face the Royals going forward.............Lady goes all Ashley Madison, gets caught sexting with lover while sitting net to her husband at ball game. Two girls snooping from row immediately behind bust her...............Cool. Guy gets to park early, snags one of those overpriced parking spots on the lots along Lansdowne Street, has a Geovany Soto home run ball land right on his car. All good, right? Wrong. Balls lands on windsheld, shattering it., random passerby walks off with home run ball, guy is stuck with insurance claim and the 450 parking fee............Alex Rodriguez turned 40 the other day. Can you imagine Mike Trout could still have at least 18 more seasons in his future??? Wow.

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