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Thor'sLinks: Angels second to one

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When day breaks, my friends and I will seek out the lady Death to undo whatever we must to make things right. For that, I will need an army. I will need you to gather and join me in battle... All of us. For no one of us could do this alone.

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It's been a couple of day of pretty bad baseball. Actually, it's 5 losses in the last 6 games with 4 of those to the Rangers and Astros. And the next 3 games are going to see Scott Kazmir, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. The Halos picked a bad time to start playing like it's April again.

Last night reinforced the point to me that all games are not alike. Some games are more important than others. Head-to-head games against your challenger are more important. Because they mandate a 2-game swing in the potential standings out of only one game's worth of effort. It's possible to have the same swing on any other night, but it is not a required outcome. Also, it involves the good/bad fortune of 4 teams instead of only 2. Thus, these are important games, and Houston is the team that is playing like they know it. The Angels are playing, instead, as if they are happy working the long odds.

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How many of you people do as I do, and look at the box score to get engaged in a game already in progress hoping to see runs scored during the Halos' early at-bats - all because it holds the promise of Mike Trout having done something spectacular?? For those of us, that is the first problem when Trout is scratched from the lineup. No matter that the Angels score, as they did last night, it had nothing to do with Trout. Sigh. Oh well, I suppose I will just have to tune in and root for the rest of the guys...link away, link away...

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Angels Baseball

Albert Pujols: One tiny sparkle from last night was an Albert Pujols home run. Bryce Harper had pegged two earlier and tied Albert at 29 for second place in the season race behind Trout's MLB lead of 31. So Pujols answered back and claimed home run #31. That makes Pujols the only player in MLB history to have 13 30-homer seasons in the first 15 seasons of his career.............

The Cost of Doing Business: We all know that the Angels have a very weak farm system. A couple of bright spots, but no depth beyond that. However, this doesn't mean that the farm is not useful. We got ourselves a couple of players capable of upgrading our Big League roster by measurable degrees, and at the cost of prospects that came out of our system. So our coinage was actually worth trade in the realm. That is something worth keeping in mind. Another thing worth keeping in mind is how clever our Front Office brain trust actually is still. Fangraphs projects the futures of the prospects we traded away and, for all intent and purposes, we lost nothing. Concerning Eric Stamets: "KATOH thinks Stamets is a bench player at best. The Mahalanobis distance comps agree...Stamets’ comps are almost entirely high-minors infielders.". And about Eduar Lopez: "His odds of playing in the majors ticked up from 20% to 25%. He’s basically a lottery ticket, and it appears unlikely that he’ll ever suit up for the Rays."..........

Fields of Dreaming: Can there ever be Too many Angels in the outfield? Not if one assumes that the crowd that existed earlier is trimmed away first, and we just concentrate on the new crowd. Which is pretty much what is analyzed in the linked article: "...it is easy to see a marked improvement in value. A platoon featuring Victorino and DeJesus could produce at a level greater than the sum of its parts, as each player would face only opposite-handed pitchers. Plus, as both Victorino and DeJesus are aging and have been injured recently, a platoon system would allow ample rest for all."............

Less of Morin: a day after punking any hopes remaining for the Halos on Tuesday, turning a 5-6 deficit into a 5-10 catastrophe, Mike Morin has been optioned back to Utah. And Morin knows precisely why he is getting exiled: "It’s almost August. Seven and a half ERA, dude."...........While we are at it, Daniel Robertson will be joiningMorin on the plane flight to triple A......Efran Navarro is announced as being DFA'd, but he is in limbo with a future of being optioned himself just around the corner...............

Snobbery: It must be nice to have an all-expense paid gig of following a team as a salaried hack instead of being one of the millions of poor saps who carry the franchise through years of financial and emotional commitment. That way, when the team itself spends months flailing away with gross inefficiency, then teases everyone with a month of success only to flop in the most embarasing fashion when face to face with the current primary competition, you don't have anything to worry about. Or even think about. And you can mock those poor saps from up there in your press box, between bites of your free buffet dinner. Because you are so superior.

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Earthquakes: In this particular trade season, the ground is moving beneath our feet and all the gravity is drawing the heavyweights onto all the roads that lead from Anaheim to World Champion. The already strong and rising Royals beefed up even further by acquiring Cueto and Zobrist. Houston banged it by adding Kazmir and hte Blue Jays landed Tulowitzki. And now Cole Hamels has finally found his new home, and it is in Arlington. (That will be fun next year, when Yu Darvish is back. Any good news might be that this cost the Rangers 6 total players, eating into their super-duper depth.).............One thing to note: the Astros had an even better package on teh table for the Phillies in exchange for Hamels, but Hamels exercised his no-trade rights and scuttled the deal, taking the Rangers in Arlington instead...............The Mets thought they were making a Big Splash by obtaining Carlos Gomez from the Brewers, but ignore all that hoopla because the bigger hoopla is that they pulled out of the deal over medical concerns............The toughest story is that part of the Carlos Gomez deal was for long-time Met Wilmer Flores going away to Milwaukee. He heard the news via player rumor while playing in the game last night. He wasn't pulled because the deal was still on shaky grounds (before being officially canceled). And there he was, all alone, in tears at the news but still holding down his position on the field.............The Dodgers jumped into the barrel of monkeys with the Braves and Marlins and escaped with Mat Latos to be added to their rotation. There is simply way too many moving parts in this to summarize, so click the link...........

Yogi: There is a move afoot to have the President award the Medal of Freedom (this country's highest civilian honor) to Yogi Berra. It's a fine idea, considering the entirety of his life and legacy. A petition was created, signatures accepted, and the document delivered to the White House. Although this is not how the process works, honorees are not determined based on submissions, the petitioners did receive a response. This is actually a positive sign since it defines the fact that awareness has now been raised and recognition exists within the proper forum............

Gassy: The Washington Nationals are infamous for audio terrorism while opponents take batting practice at Nationals Park.  Well, this has gone on long enough as far as the Marlins are concerned. They have retaliated with a counter-attack of flatulence..........

For Sale, Detroit: The Tigers have surrendered. Even David Price and Yeonis Cespedes are up for grabs. With Miggy Cabrera still on the DL and the team 12 1/2 games out of the division lead (and falling), we Halo fans can assume that the Internet is once again safe for mature audiences..........

Tulo: Troy Tulowitzki had a nice opening act up in Toronto. Prior to last night, in 11 at-bats in Rogers Centre he had two hits, both home runs. Last night he went strikeout, home run (RBI, score), double (score), double (RBI, score), ground-out,

Promo: Fun promotions can be so much more than ugly sombreros. The Nationals pull out 80's night and promise to drive anybody over 40 bat-shit crazy. Our own RubixsQube would be pleased.


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And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday Thursday...for beer...(which works better on Thursdays anyway, because it gives you all some runway to take advantage of Friday goings on...)

Friday: Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluespalooza runs through Sunday up at Mammoth Lakes..........

Saturday: Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluespalooza continues..........Coronado Brewing Company in San Diego is hosting A Crafty Two-Day Event. Think "beer and artists"..........Temecula Downs in Temecula will be conducting the I-15 Brew Festival..........

Sunday: Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluespalooza concludes.......... A Crafty Two-Day Event at Coronado Brewing Company concludes..........

BEER BONUS #1: We continue to track the Ales for ALS 2015 project brought to us by red floyd. Nothing set for this week.

Stay safe, everyone!

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(All grammatical errors still remaining should be intentional.)

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