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Thor'sLinks: Fortune favors the prepared mind...

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Thou shalt crave far greater strength if the battle thou desireth comes!

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Bejeebus. Let's get real here, folks. The Angels were moments away from being 2-11 over the past 13 games. With the score 1-3, with 2 outs, Mike Trout on the bench after having struck out for the 3rd time in the game and Albert Pujols clogging the base paths at 1st, the count was 0 ball sand 1 strike on Erick Aybar. 2 strikes away from infamy.

From that, the team would score 3 runs out of a single hit and erase 8 more innings of offensive failure. They would steal a win at just the right moment, when we can all bask in the glow through more than 48-hours of happiness.

Just...the...right...moment.

But gawd, is this team struggling still or what? Let's hope for magic links...

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Angels Baseball

Trout Porn: Mike is quietly having [the] greatest season of [his] career. Which is unfortunate, because he is probably having the worst week of his career. Anyway, "After Mike Trout posted three of the greatest consecutive seasons of anyone to start a Major League career, his career could've taken any number of paths....Just about any outcome would have been reasonable. Except for one, that is. Trout wasn't supposed to get better. Guess what: He got better." really, read the link. It's one long dripping love-fest to the amazement that is the still evolving Michael Nelson Trout...........

Huston Street: Street's wife was in labor, and Huston was trolling her in the most audacious way possible. Everything worked out with child, wife and Street himself. "Unbelievable. Blessing everybody's healthy. That's the most important thing on my side of things, and get to come to the yard while everybody's recovering and sleeping and see the boys walk off with a win. Easily one of the best days of my life."..........

Erick Aybar: Finally, somebody shows some cajones. It was Aybar, and it pays off:  "...any way you slice it, the offense isn't doing nearly enough to carry its weight. ...With the reality of the situation weighing heavily on Angels hitters, veteran Erick Aybar decided to take matters into his own hands and do the only logical thing that comes to mind when an offense is struggling: throw everyone's bats on the ground....Of course, the reality is this was all a rather strange coincidence. But sometimes in baseball it's best to ignore reality and focus on whatever helps today make sense."...........

Jered Weaver: This is why they make the big bucks. We mere mortals might look at a pitcher going up against AA batters and giving up 3 runs on 2 homers and 2 walks against 5 K's over 23 batters and say to ourselves, "Nice, but..." The powers that be, however, see something much more incredible. Take Mike Scioscia. Sosh thinks that Weaver is "...a lot further, a lot closer, than really anything we've seen for a while." to be fair, Sosh was not actually watching Weave in person, having other things to do back in Anaheim at the time. So let's hear from Weaver himself, who was there. According to Jered, he's ready now. Look for him come Sunday..........

Dave Dombrowski: Dumbo is the hottest General Manager on the market today, and it's only been one day. Jerry Dipoto needs a new agent, clearly. Anyway, on a list of most likely suitors for the ex-Detroit GM Anaheim ranks highly. But I stick with the caveats: "The problem, of course, is that...the GM is probably the least powerful person in that organization. If you think for a minute that Dombrowski wants to take orders from Mike Scioscia, you gotta be crazy. Also, like Detroit now, the Angels farm system is thin and whether Dombrowski wants to do that kind of building is an open question."............

History: Only three times have teammates finished 1-2 in the season AL home run lead. "Trout and Pujols have combined for 62 homers this season. They rank first and third, respectively, in the AL home run race, with a chance to achieve a feat last performed by Maris and Mantle in 1961. Maris and Mantle are the last teammates to hit at least 45 homers and finish 1-2 in the home run race. The only other teammates to pull off the feat? Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of the 1927 and 1931 Yankees." ...............

Nate Smith: Welcome to AAA, Mr. Smith..............

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Fraudney: The very definition of foreshadowing would be Fernando Rodney finding himself unable to take the heat and goes off hiding into the bushes in the middle of the game. Now that we know how Fraudney was shellacked in the bottom of the 9th and blew the save, extending the game into extras where the Mariners would lose, we know what he was thinking "I'm hiding. I'm not here. You can't see me. I'm invisible. Don't put me in...don't put me in...don't put me in..."..................

Josh Hamilton: That hole out in left field? Yeah, well, it wasn't going to be filled by Josh Hamilton, either. He has a slash line of .244 / .291 / 429 with a measly 5 homers and an OPS+ of 94 since getting back in the lineup, now on behalf of the Rangers. This is not a new thing. Since the start of 2014, Josh Hamilton has sucked and he continues to do so. Just look at this comparison with Madison Bumgarner, NL pitcher. "The point is that Madison Bumgarner has been as good a hitter as Josh Hamilton, since the start of last season. Or at least as productive, if you want to play semantics."..............

Budgets: Some teams have budgets. Some teams don't. And then there are the Dodgerswhose "don't" budget is actually larger than some teams "have" budget...................

Oops: This is fantastic. Eury Perez of the Braves does such a great impersonation of A.J. Pierzynski that he punks himself.................

Baseball Biz: ESPN is tanking, enough to bring even the powerful Disney parent down in financial markets. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of arrogant, provincial, bigoted, asshats. I like, especially, this observation from Bloomberg "Investors have become increasingly concerned about what kind of growth, if any, they can count on for ESPN going forward..." This is something I have been screaming about for years, and castigating ESPN for their failure. ESPN has always hidden behind established viewing patterns while ignoring that it was they who created those viewing patterns to begin with. Their argument is that they are merely showing viewers what the viewers are demanding. But I have quoted Colin Cowherd as having stated on his radio show multiple times that much of this is an artifact of the original programming directors in search of any content, and using their biases to make those early choices to build sports programming at all (lots of table tennis back in the early days). They have since failed grandly to repeat that model and grow interest elsewhere. And now, with growing competition and growing fragmentation, they are running out of gas. It's your own damned fault, Mort.............

Dipsh!ts: Curt Schilling finally has something of merit to say, warning the likes of Jake Peavy and Madison Bumgarner that use of tobacco will result in bad outcomes............

Decisions, Decisions: Yeah, it's not enough to just have picks in the draft. You have to know what to do with them, lest you follow in the diminishing footsteps of the Boston Red Sox. Something I suggest that we pay more attention to around here.............

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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: Capital Beer up in Sacramento spends the weekend Celebrating their 3rd Anniversary..........This year's California Beer Fest makes its stop in Santa Cruz, at Aptos Village Park, all weekend...........

Saturday: Capital Beer up in Sacramento continues their Celebration of their 3rd Anniversary..........California Beer Fest, Santa Cruz, at Aptos Village Park, continues...........The Lost Knight in Los Angeles hosts the Full Pint 8th Anniversary Celebration...........Squaw Valley is putting on their Squaw Valley Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest at The Village Saturday AND Sunday............Veritas Wine & Tapas Plaza in Tehachapi dreams up the Tehachapi Wine, Craft Beer & Food Festival...........LA Weekly magazine sponsors their Burgers & Beer Fest, being held at the LA Memorial Coliseum...........Lake Arrowhead Brewfest, probably the coolest place to hang out this weekend, is in the Blue Jay Village parking lot on Saturday and Sunday...........Blues, Brews & Barbecue at Monterey Bay can be found at the Monterey County Fair  & event Center Saturday and Sunday..........

Sunday: Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles Celebrates their 7th Anniversary. If you go, spend a minute bitching at the manager for me about their incredibly out of date web site.........California Beer Fest, Santa Cruz, at Aptos Village Park, concludes...........Squaw Valley is putting on their Squaw Valley Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest at The Village concludes..........Lake Arrowhead Brewfest concludes...........Blues, Brews & Barbecue at Monterey Bay concludes..........

BEER BONUS #1: We continue to track the Ales for ALS 2015 project brought to us by red floyd. This week is the Ales for ALS Beerfest in Alameda, at Faction Brewing, 2501 Monarch Street. Event is from 1-5 PM

Stay safe, everyone!

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(All grammatical errors still remaining should be intentional.)

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