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WeekEnd HaloLinks: It's a Trout-Donaldson weekend

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Odds are that you will be watching the 2015 American league Most Valuable Player running around the grass in Anaheim this weekend. The question is...what color uniform?

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

That was quick. The Angels regress to their normal just in time to greet the Blue JaysHit and Miss offense? Check. Shaky hole in the starting rotation? Check. Sorry middle relief? Bingo.Winning the series but losing the run differential? Mike Scioscia perfection.

At least we are seeing Mike Trout start to connect again. And Kaleb Cowart connect at all (no hits yet, but no strikeouts, either.).

There is a chance that this was Tropeano's only start this year. The Halos have an off-day next week right about when Tropeano's next start would come up, and Scioscia can skip him. So if Shoemaker gets his act together fast enough, it's possible that Shoe takes that slot the week after next.

Speaking of pitchers coming and going, is it just me or does the opposing team look just as bored with the ineffectiveness of Cam Bedrosian as we do? I'd swear that when he walked Alexei Ramirez in the 8th after giving up a 2-run homer to Adam LaRoche, Ramirez went trotting off to first base like he was being punished with hard labor instead of just getting to take the win and grab his shower.

So have some Capital "L" inks:


Angels Baseball

The Upcoming Series:

Toronto Blue Jays @ Los Angeles Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim, CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 7:05 PM PDT David Price (4-8, 4.69 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (7-6, 2.86 ERA) FSW
SATURDAY 6:05 PM PDT Marco Estrada (5-8, 4.36 ERA) vs. Andrew Heaney (5-1, 2.43 ERA) FSW, MLBN
SUNDAY 12:35 PM PDT R.A. Dickey (5-8, 4.36 ERA) vs. Garrett Richards (12-9, 3.50 ERA) FS1

From the official team Game Notes: "BLUE JAYS ON DECK: Halos have won 10 of 14 and 14 of last 19 overall games vs. Jays…LAA has also won seven of last nine home games vs. Toronto…Halos have not dropped a season series to Toronto since 2007."

Albert Pujols: I like the thought here, that Mike Scioscia plans off-days to keep Pujols healthy. That is important. maybe just as important to plan those off-days NOT when Pujols is already getting hot at the plate?..........

MVP: Here we go again. Trout has only himself to blame by slumping as he does. But now we are witnessing a fan base of anti-Trout miasma growing around the Blue Jays similar to what we saw grow around the Tigers. God forbid anybody speak truth to fanaticism.  And it's the very same old conversations that we were having back in 2012/2013. I blame Billy Beane. Had he not made that stupid move to trade away Josh Donaldson, far more of Donaldson's heroics would have come all by himself and dragged down his RBI and Runs Scored numbers. And, we would have far more statistically rational fans to converse with..........

Wrist Rockets: Yeah, we have been whispering it here on HH for some time, although we have been reading formal denials from all the correct people who should really know. But Mike Trout has not been anything close to the same since he injured his wrist. The key here is power. All of the hitter's power generated by his entire body is transferred to the bat, through his wrists. And this might more of a key than officials are admitting..........

Anniversary: It's now been one full year since Garrett Richards went down with a season-ending injury. August 20, 2014. That's the thing about baseball. it was devastating, but the Halos got into the playoffs anyway. They lost in those playoffs, but that had nothing to do with the absence of Richards. Now here we are one year later, battling for a spot in the playoffs again, and starting pitching is crucial with this lame offense. Richards has given us 149 innings over 23 starts with an ERA of 3.50 and a WHIP of 1.201. The Angels have won 14 of those starts. It's safe to say that without Richards this year, many of us would be focusing on fantasy football leagues. Everything is back to normal, which means we have Garrett Richards and they don't..........

Chris Iannetta: Iannetta is finding out that the Internet is full of dickheads. He didn't know this when he was producing but he knows it now. Unless a player is a Mike Trout, Practically Perfect In Every Way, I don't know whey they feel compelled to make themselves such a target. Sports, by definition, is a vast majority of failure. Only one team wins in the end, and even most of the players on the only team that wins spends a great deal of their time failing. And if you really want to discover whether or not evil is a real thing, just push a few buttons on the Internet. Good for Iannetta for sticking it out on behalf of his good deeds, but I would rather choose to work through the team's outreach system............And, not missing a chance to re-invent the real world, Lyle Spencer uses Iannetta's story to launch an old trope of his own. But Lyle does use "D", because he's an insider!..........

PSA Time: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has a cancer-fighting fund-raiser program called Light the Night Walk that entails a nice evening stroll, that lasts usually for about an hour. Next month, on September 19th, one such Walk will occur at Angels Stadium. As part of the fund-raising effort, you can create your own team or join an existing one. In this case, H/T to Jason Brennan for creating a team and promoting it. If you wish to join Jason's team, click here. Or, of course, you can browse the many other teams in search of somebody you already know...or create a team yourself. Thanks!


Elsewhere in Baseball

Kill Speeds: Here is a question for you. Which player do you think has the greater overall running speed, including speed along the basepaths: LAA outfielder Mike Trout...or...Houston Astros DH Evan Gattis? How can this even be a reasonable question? Mike Trout is one of less than a handful of the fastest running MLB players wearing a uniform today. Well, it's a fair question because of these two, it is Evan Gattis that has 9 triples already this season. Trout has only 2. That means that 9 times Gattis has hit the baseball to the correct part of the field, and get mishandled just enough by the outfielders, as is necessary for him to lumber all the way around to 3rd base before the ball comes back into the infield. This is remarkable because Gattis has 102 hits TOTAL. Trout has 127 hits, and only twice has a ball fallen into any place convenient enough for him to blaze his way to 3rd base. There is a lesson here, and that lesson is NOT that Trout is not hustling in 2015. The lesson here concerns the subjectivity of official scorekeepers and their impact on data. A lot of those "triples" by Gattis should have been outs, or singles, or maybe a double or two. And everything else about them should have been errors. It's fun and funny to watch those Gattis plays. And it's fun to needle Trout. But it's disturbing to so easily observe the human element of scorekeeping and how that can play a role in statistical results. In this example, take those 9 at bats off of Gattis' season and his SLG is .387. Then he has those 9 at-bats.  Had they all been singles his SLG would be .399. Had they all been doubles his SLG would be .421. Had they been 3 outs, 3 singles and 3 doubles his SLG would be .400. But since they were all recorded as triples, his recorded SLG is .442. And we all need to live with that. Forever...........

Worser and Worser: Josh Hamilton is back on the DL. He might end up giving the Rangers only 65-70 games this season. Might. So he was on the DL to start the season, then took a long time to rehab, then came back briefly before going back onto the DL. Then he rehabbed and returned, again. And now he is back out. Again. Now I know that this is all past history and we don't need to pull at scabs. And I am not taking any particular joy from another person's medical issues. No, this is being included today for a different reason. Even without the whole relapse crap, this Hamilton signing would have been a catastrophe. Hambone gave us a full 151 games in his first season, then only 92 games last year (if count those 3 playoff games). This year he is down to under 70, and breaking down regularly. His salary to date is around $64.2 million for less than 2 seasons worth of work (counting the signing bonus and charity contributions but not any other perks). roughly $21 million per bWAR. And there is $60mm left on the contract over the next 2 seasons. It doesn't matter where he plays, or why, that original contract has been a stunning stinker. Arte agreed to open up his wallet for Hamilton, but I don't know how much of that deal was driven by Arte, and how much by Dipoto. That's some serious miss going on there, regardless..........

LLWS: Let's all follow the Little League World Series, now all grown up and full of its very own annual controversies. You can keep up with the going's on at this SBN watering hole. We Southern Californians can be pulling for Sweetwater Valley out of the San Diego area. But be patient, our first game has already been postponed due to rain...........

ROBOTS: Robot lovers are not gonna like this: human umpires are actually getting better, and they are consistent about it. "While umps call balls no differently than they did seven years ago, they’re accurately gauging strikes at much higher rates. This distinction is so large that Brian Mills, a professor of tourism, recreation and sports management at the University of Florida, cites the increasing size of the strike zone as accounting for about half of the league’s 50-point drop in OPS since 2008.  In other words, steroid testing isn’t the only change responsible for MLB’s drop in offensive output. It’s also more called strikes." Still, one of the big problems is the reward and recognition out of all this. "If plate work is important, it hasn’t shown in playoff assignments. According to numbers from, umps who were No. 70, 71 and 76 in the accuracy rankings (out of 79) called balls and strikes in the ALCS last year, with only one of the top 10 umps receiving a league championship series or World Series spot." And that is just brain dead..........

OMNI: Ervin Santana, now pitching for the Twinsmisses the Marine Layer..........We may have Salty Nuts Guy, but it's the D'Backs' Lemonade Guy who gets Taylor Swift............This photo is MINT! Love this couple. H/T/ Uni Watch...........Up above we noted that yesterday was the 1-year anniversary of Garrett Richards' knee injury. Well, it was also the anniversary for a mythic-grade tale about babe Ruth that I had never heard before. A mutt stole his mitt and he had to catch a fly ball bare-handed?...........Do you think that maybe NOW Billy beane regrets trading Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie and some spare parts? Nope. Because those spare parts are going to come in very handy, long after Oakland would have been able to afford Donaldson...........Laughable Lyle, still trying to convince the world that the world is flat...and Jeff Mathis is awesome. And then he just starts trolling for traffic..........I am telling you right now. You will never see this happen again in your life..........On the other hand, this you probably will. Except with her. She ain't getting invited back..............If you are a dude who is into lumber-sexual, you absolutely must have the proper skills to properly maintain your personal wilderness.


This Date In Baseball History: 1881 - Abner Dalrymple becomes the first batter ever to be intentionally walked with the bases already loaded. At the time, it is the 8th inning and Dalrymple's White Stockings (today's Cubs) are leading 5-0 so this makes the score 6-0. Final score will be 11-2...........1908 - After failing on his first two tries, Senator Gabbie Street catches a baseball dropped from the lookout window near the top of the Washington Monument...........1931 - At the tender age of 36, Babe Ruth hits his 600th career home run..........1935 - Ripper Collins, playing first base for the Cardinals, goes 9 innings in the field without being credited for any put-outs. Not even an assist.  Ripper will repeat this result 2 years later, making him the only player to have done this twice in MLB history..........1947 - The very first Little League World Series is held in Williamsport, PA. The hometown team, the Maynard Midgets, win it all. No word yet on any protest...........1951 - MLB names Emmett O'Donnell as the next Commissioner of Baseball. MLB will lose this one, as O'Donnell is Major General in the Air Force and Harry Truman redirect O'Donnell to remain in Korea as commanding general of the Far East Bomber Command. MLB will turn and select Ford Frick, commander of asterisks..........1980 - Charlie Finley announces that he has sold the Oakland A's to a trio of San Francisco executives (led by Walter A. Haas, Jr.) dedicated to keeping the A's in the Bay Area..........2002 - The longest game in Little League World Series history is played, with Louisville besting Fort Worth 2-1 in an 11 inning semi-final game. of the 49 total strikeouts in the game, Louisville's Aaron Alvey will collect of them over 9-innings of no-hit pitching..........2005 - The Florida Marlins suspend their bat boy for 6 games because he accepted a 4500 bet from Brad Penny to drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour without throwing up. The kid drank the milk, in the allotted time, but couldn't keep it down. The Milk Processor Education Board will step in and offer to cover the wager..............2006 - Toronto pitcher Ted Lilly, gifted an 8-run lead, takes the mound in the top of the 3rd and promptly give back 7 of those runs. Seriously, it was amazing: walk, single, double, home run, home run, double, ground out, single. At this time, with the score 8-5, 1 out, runners at the corners, Toronto skipper John Gibbons goes tot he mound to pull Lilly. Lilly ignores Gibbons, and even refuses to exit. The two get into an argument that carries into the dugout, then into the tunnel, then into a fist fight. Gibbons receives a bloody nose. Both of Lilly's runners on base will also score, punishing Lilly with 7 runs surrendered, all earned. Toronto will end up losing the game 12-10. For his part, Lilly will start only 7 more games as a Blue Jay and be allowed to walk after the season...........2007 - Garrett Anderson hits a 2-run double, then another 2-run double, then a 3-run home run, then grounds out, then a grand slam, and finally a ground out as he collects 10 RBI's against the Yankees at home in an 18-9 victory.