Well, howdy ladies and gents! How is everybody? Checking out the stories of the past week I see that, as expected, you all were in outstanding hands in my absence. Special shout out of thanks to Mayhem, Gorby and dmhead for their support while I was away (and to 5thStarter for being on emergency call). Great job, guys! (And, yeah, I have to laugh at dmhead's realization on Friday that this daily duty is something slightly more than a mere hobby. Ha!)
Now that I am back I can safely let you know more about the whole being away thing. The whole family was out in Tucson for the week helping RubixsQube relocate as he is taking on a new gig at UofA. Our resident Astronomer is joining the NIRCAM team working on the James Webb Space Telescope, humanity's planned replacement for the Hubble. So we were out there putting together a house near the campus. With any luck, I will be taking more time of in 2018 as we all fly down to French Guiana to observe the launch. Stand by....
And while you wait, links!
The Upcoming Series:
Los Angeles Angels @ Seattle Mariners - Safeco Field, Seattle, WA.
|7:10 PM PDT
|Garrett Richards (13-10, 3.71 ERA) vs. Taijuan Walker (10-8, 4.70 ERA)
|7:10 PM PDT
|Nick Tropeano (1-2, 5.66 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (17-8, 3.49 ERA)
|7:10 PM PDT
|Jered Weaver (7-10, 4.71 ERA) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4, 4.05 ERA)
From the official team Game Notes: "MARINERS ON DECK: Halos lead 2015 series 8-5…Club is 4-6 in last 10 games at SAFECO…Angels are 15-17 in last 32 meetings vs. M’s (8-11 on road)…Halos are 74-53 over M’s since 2009."
You might want to read up on how well the Mariners have been playing of late. Then again, consider the author. If he is truly correct the M's will be sacrificing all three games, since he has them flying to Anaheim for the series.
Infield Play: Kids, when choosing a baseball glove, there is Good Webbing Design and Bad Webbing Design. How do you tell the difference? Well, Good Webbing Design allows you to make nice plays like this, where you throw out some guy with a crappy lumberjack beard and shut down a potential rally. But Bad Webbing Design can risk plays like this, where you don't get the 3rd out to win the game. And by not making the 3rd out your pitcher serves up a 81mph meatball right over the heart of the plate to the very next batter, who hits the ball 331 feet, which is just barely over the shortest porch in the stadium, where your left fielder will mis-play it like the 3rd-string AAA Little League outfielder he always wanted to be, and it will become the go-ahead home run. And you lose the game. And by losing the game you lose your Division. And by losing your Division you lose your last best shot at making the playoffs. And everybody sits home in October and watches the new GM do stupid things and ruin 2016. And it will be all your fault. Don't let the entire season be all your fault. Choose baseball gloves with Good Webbing Design............
Johnny Giavotella: Johnny G. is making progress. On that drive out to Tucson to help RubixsQube get settled, HaloVet was on board int he car with Missus Stirrups and myself. Although his medical training is on all forms of living organisms NOT humanoid, HaloVet is still well versed on fourth nerve palsy so we got a veeeery long discourse. We learned all about eye muscles and rapid movement from center to each direction and which muscles control what movements and which nerve bundles control which muscles. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. In simplest terms, the nerve bundle is inflamed and just needs to be left alone to relax and return to normal. In short order, all will be fine, which is what Johnny G. is reporting............
Don Baylor: Good news, everybody! Baylor is open to returning to the highly productive role he has played this year as hitting coach. And Mike Scioscia, for one, is totally in favor: "Donny's been a huge part of the last couple years,...all of us will just kind of see where things are as we get through the season. But Donny's just a great leader. He just keeps working hard."..........
Mike Trout: As the glaring lack of base-stealing productivity becomes ever more obvious with the season winding down (and there being zero chance fo "normalcy" returning before time runs out), we rubes are being fed another spoon full of pablum. Scioscia: Trout being more selective with SB's. Scioscia: "As we talked about before, there's nobody in our team that's seeing the 1.15 slide steps like Mike Trout does when he gets on..." But Alden Gonzalez, essentially, calls bullshit: "But all of the burners are closely monitored. And guys like Dee Gordon and Jose Altuve rack up a high amount of stolen bases in spite of that." Which leaves Sosh to excuse away with, instead, "I think that component of his game will continue to evolve..." That's probably true. Someday Mike will play with a different manager. And someday Pujols will age enough to drop in the batting order. And Mike's game will suddenly "evolve"..........
Oh-a Oh: Social media has killed the post-game radio show that had been put up after road games. Post-game shows after home games will continue (for now, anyway). I, for one, couldn't be happier. I have boycotted AM830 after ballgames as a personal protest to those programs for the past 4 years now. Everybody may be entitled to an opinion, but that doesn't mean that everybody has to listen to it...........
Elsewhere in Baseball
Josh Hamilton: The 2015 Hamilton Bus Tour of Doom has finally run off its last cliff. He is undergoing surgery to repair his left knee. Normally, that should mean "done for the season". But the media can't have that being said about their hard-luck darling, so everybody is putting up silly hopes that Hambone might still make it back in time for the playoffs. Yeah. Like that worked out so well the last time. Somebody confirm for me, though, that it's the Rangers who are on the hook for his medical care anymore. Because, in a way, all this means that the joke is back on Texas. instead of the story being how Arte Moreno is paying gaBILLIONS while Josh performs miracles for the Texas opposition, the reality is that Arte would have had to pay gaJILLIONS for Josh to not perform has Josh remained in red. Instead, Arte got a small discount on not getting a player while Texas is the one who ended up overpaying for Hamilton in 2015. Sweet!........
SuckTober: It's been a tough season, sure. But it's mid-September and the Angels are still in the picture, with a high elimination number (16). In fact, ALL American League teams are still in the hunt, even if barely (Detroit is down to 2). Over in the National League, 6 of the 15 teams are done for the year, with Cincinnati being the most recent............
Lego My Posey: A long, long time ago I once fancied that I was a grandmaster of lego brick building. In truth, I was not half bad but the brick variety we had to work with was severely limiting. In greater truth, there is no fracking way I would have the patience to deal with the tedium while coming up with an otherwise brilliant creation, such as a life-sized version of Buster Posey. Take note, by the way, of the creative promo idea - the kind of thing that is lacking in Anaheim: "LEGO Day at AT&T Park"...........
Mirror, Mirror: Before the season, two of the more promising contenders for the 2015 World Series were the Angels and the Nationals. Both have been disappointing. And the reason for the failures has something common between the two. Depth. Or rather, the startling lack thereof................
OMNI: What's a "lunar trout"?..........Remember back in teh day, when everybody was predicting that Frankie's violent delivery was going to cause his arm to explode? Yeah, well, not so much............Just the fact that everybody is debating the notion of Yeonis Cespedes for NL MVP this year has to be making Oakland fans squirm and madly dash about their slide rules trying to overwhelm the narrative with numbers. And that just makes my day..........Mike Napoli, finding himself far, far afield. And yet, more productive at the plate than The Stoneman Trio...........What? Big, giant, carb handles carting buckets of salt to one's arteries are not perfectly healthy? And NYC officials are upset about this? Have they not attended a baseball game in the past decade???..........Every franchise's worst historical team. Quick, before you click the link, what year would you predict for Anahaim?...........The Cardinal Way............OT: I don't know how much time you spend trolling the Internet for baseball info, but I spend A LOT. And I find the new Hardball Talk format to be totally unreadable, both full browser and mobile versions. I shall miss them as a source...........