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MondoLinks: Halos flat. Get flattened. Steamroller dead ahead.

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Still playing not particularly well, and not getting any particular amazement out of the recent trade deadline reinforcements, things need to swing in a hurry with the White Sox and Blue Jays coming to town.

Angels fans summed up in one photo: watching baseball spiral down the giant toilet
Angels fans summed up in one photo: watching baseball spiral down the giant toilet

(Today's cover photo was actually submitted by our own RubixsQube, taken at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont this weekend, when he noticed a young boy wearing an Angels t-shirt. I found the symbolism too rich to ignore.)

I spent the weekend hard at work studying rum. Thus, I was in a rather happy mood for three days and missed out on all the gobsmack going down in Missouri.

The good news is that I have created an absolutely brilliant blended rum of my own recipe, one that I will be bottling up as gifts for the upcoming holiday season (and, no, the recipe shall not be shared). The better news is that I avoided the blistering failure by our favorite players that would have completely zonkered my attitude this morning and made me generate a link dump of such tone that would stir the masses into a premature death spiral.

So I can avoid going off on the Trout slump, the inability to solve the Eric Hosmer punishment, the brain-dead lineups and in-game decisions, the gutless offense overall, the pratfalls of some pitchers, and on and on and on.

Nope. I can stay upbeat and eager for a change in the winds any minute now as we take off on an historic run to the playoffs, timing the hot hand just perfectly!

In the meantime, enjoy some links form your addleheaded morning author:


Angels Baseball

The Upcoming Series:

Chicago White Sox @ Los Angeles Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim, CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
MONDAY 7:05 PM PDT Carlos Rodon (5-4, 4.61 ERA) vs. Andrew Heaney (5-1, 2.53 ERA) FSW
TUESDAY 7:05 PM PDT John Danks (6-9, 4.58 ERA) vs. Garrett Richards (11-9, 3.55 ERA) FSW
WEDNESDAY 7:05 PM PDT Jeff Smardzija (8-8, 4.78 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver (4-9, 4.60 ERA) FSW

From the official team Game Notes: "WHITE SOX ON DECK: Angels were swept in a three-game series last week at US Cellular (Angels went 1 for 32 w/ RISP in series)…LAA has slightest lead in all-time series with White Sox at 356-355-1…Halos have won last three season series vs. Chicago… LAA is 11-5 in last 16 meetings at Angel Stadium."


Don Baylor: This is why hitting coaches make the big bucks. Because after 3 1/2 months of putrid performance wrapped around 3 weeks of showtime, Don Baylor has come to the conclusion that he is frustrated. Baylor expresses frustration at offense. Why? "Heading into Sunday's series finale at Kauffman Stadium, the Angels were last in the Majors in runs per game (3.0) and slugging percentage (.329) for the month of August while sporting baseball's third-lowest batting average (.221) and fifth-lowest on-base percentage (.287)." So is Baylor getting pro-active with anything? Let's find out. "We've had the same lineup, pretty much, except we've added a couple guys. Sometimes that clicks right away, and sometimes it doesn't."..............Um, nope.............

Matt Shoemaker: Shoe is back on the train to Salt Lake City. Sorry, dude, because I really like you. But this is the kind of shit that needs to happen if one is of the mind that sitting around and waiting for a player to figure things out on company time is harmful to the larger goal. As it is, you just took down another pitcher (Rasmus) with you because your last super-short outing taxed the bullpen and we need fresh arms.  And maybe, just maybe, there are people in the lower levels who are more committed to studying up on a guy's execution and doing the instructional work to correct things and get the guy back online..............

C.J. Cron: This is the kind of stuff that makes a grown man weep. Don Baylor comes to mind. Mike Scioscia took a C.J. Cron who is batting .379 / .455 / .655 for the month of August and even the official team media can't sit idly by and not call out the fact that Sosh sat him yesterday because the Royals were pitching a right-hander. We all know that Sosh is fully behind stats because he will tell you so. And he proves it with Cron, because over the entire season Cron has hit only .255 against righties. Of course, that .255 includes a weak start in April and a huge slump in May. But, whatever. Let's not play the hot hand or anything. We got boxes to think within. If only the guys Sosh wants to bat against the righties would actually hit, then Mike would be a genius. Good for him that failing to hit is not his fault..............By the way. That .255 that Cron is merely hitting against righties? Albert Pujols is hitting only .253 against EVERYBODY...............

Upgrades: It's reported that "Chase Utley wants to join a contender on the West Coast and preferably in his Native Southern California".  If Bill Stoneman wants to get him, he better hurry up. With only 6 wins since July 22, and with the Blue Jays coming to town this week, that Halos might not be contenders when the next MondoLinks roll around. And then the best contender for Utley might be in Houston, anyway..............

Erick Aybar: It's a sure sign that things are tanking when it is put forth that the team is missing the bat of Aybar, when Aybar is a guy who is hitting .200 for August.............


Elsewhere in Baseball

Serious Notes: It's a baseball world and we all belong to it. On rare occasions, individuals that we watch and root for/against carry themselves out into our real world and reveal themselves to be valid targets of derision. In the case of Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, this is not the case. As a baseball person, he is one of us. Out here in our real world it's not about Boston and not about the Red Sox. It's all about a fellow baseball person who is now battling cancer and 99.9999% of the time that is a bitter, brutal effort. Let's pray not to lose a member of our tribe, and let's do it for his sake, for the sake of his family and for the sake of his friends...............

Baseball Biz: Sometimes payroll pays for itself. The Blue Jays traded for Troy Tulowitzki and took on his salary. On balance, since they sent away Jose Reyes and the Reyes contract, the Blue Jays added a net of $46 million to the payroll commitment. This is the kind of thing that scares off owners who have made some erroneous baseball decision for their GM's in the past and now think primarily of sticking to man-made limits. Well, lookee here. The Blue Jay's extra ticket and beer sales have almost paid for Troy Tulowitzki's contract already.............

Nats: If misery loves company, we should send flowers to the fans of the Washington Nationals. The Nats, along with the Angels, were considered by many to be among the top 2 or 3 teams to reach the World Series, and potentially win it all.  They are having a horrible season, now sitting at below .500 with a record of 58 and 59, 4.5 games behind the Mets and falling. And they have lost 8 of their last 10 games. Wow, that's bad. Oh wait. We are only 2 games better than the Nats, only 1 game closer to our division leader, and only 1 win better over our last 10 games. Yeah. This is a Hallmark moment..............

Cord Cutting: Cord cutting saw it's largest migration this past quarter, with 625,000 households cancelling their cable/satellite subscriptions. This has everybody on high alert. I am clearly missing some other data points, because losing 625,000 out of 101,000,000 over 3 months would mean that everybody would be gone in 40 1/2 years...............

Deep Thoughts: There will certainly be a lot of change among front offices between now and New Year's Day. And there might be more than few changes among coaching staffs, too. So MLB has yet another major cycle to deal with the question about diversity. Are we really sure that they are not overlooking qualified and talented candidates? Are we really sure that there are true and strong initiatives at play, and being followed, which allow everybody a fair shot?..............

OMNI: A highlight video that needs to be running as a loop in the LAA clubhouse: how to play the game as if everything now matters. Because if a ballboy can do it, well then..........MLB prospect comes out. Your move, MLB.............Zack Greinke shows he has the bat flip chops of Puig and better foot timing than Mike Trout...............Think about this list for minute, all you LAA fans. Two of these guys actually lead their division. Expectations can be a harsh filter..........When one's team is on a roll, everybody rules the world.................It turns out that KC Royals fans also scored a hell of a lot more than the Angels did in the playoffs last year..............What? Somebody thinks that umpire Doug Eddings sucks? I'm shocked.............It's time to start asking: What Would Dumbo Do?..................Oh, man, Little League third base coach is channeling Gary DiSarcina............