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TuesdoLinks: Slip slidin’ away.....

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Slip slidin’ away.....Slip slidin’ away.....You know the nearer your destination......The more you’re slip slidin’ away...

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

There is a common saying in modern business, about "being crisp". "Crisp" in execution. "Crisp" in messaging. It's something that managers and team leaders fall back upon when it is clear that the project is falling short of objectives.

Crisp is what needs to be the mantra NOW. Garrett Richards was not crisp. Not crisp in pitching. Not crisp in fielding. And he was not alone. Cory Rasmus was decidedly uncrisp, although it matter not one wit considering the "offense"

So as Texas plays to a civil war and creating an opportunity that is passing us by, let's have links...

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Angels Baseball

Burn: Oh sure. Let's rub it in. Let's Watch an Improbable Astros Comeback, and relish the moment when the fatal dagger was plunged into the hopes of the delusional dugout occupants in red. It's the entirety of the LAA 2015 season, compressed into a single half-inning...........

Mike Trout: Thousands of years before Stan Lee, the Book of Luke, 12:48 gave us "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." It might not seem fair to complain about Trout and his prolonged slump (.234 / .367 / .421 with 4 home runs since he injured his wrist). But facts are facts. This team depends heavily upon his young shoulders and he is still dragging an anchor. We keep hearing about how he is starting to look better, but the playoffs aren't going to happen unless he starts to look better than "better". He is Mike Trout. He needs to start looking "best"...........

Stuff: In this roundup, we learn about Matt Shoemaker and Albert Pujols. The first half dwells on Shoe's frustrating season, with the latest being the forearm strain that has taken him out of the rotation. He has missed 2 starts with no timetable as to when he will return. That first miss was against Zack Greinke and probably hurts the worst. That was a Nick Tropeano start that lasted all of 4.1 innings and launched Mike Scioscia into a bullpen burn that consumed 8 relievers. And with the Angels getting 5 runs, it was eminently winnable. The second missed start was Sunday, where Huston Street was going to give away the game regardless..............Then we get to Albert Pujols and it is reinforced for us that Albert is playing hurt. Again. This is something he claims happened back on August 28th, trying to beat out an infield grounder. Since then he has been hitting .196 / .288 / .294 with 2 doubles and 1 homer. Matt Joyce 2.0. But you know what we don't do? We don't give him 3-4 days off with forced rest and treatment in the hopes that he might be back at 100% for the final 35 games. No. We play him for 40 games at 50% effectiveness. Why? "The very idea that he is not taking any days completely off during the most important part of the season is a sign of his strong leadership, Scioscia said...'Besides having the talent to do things he’s doing in his career, he’s a gamer and I think that’s one of the biggest things that your peers respect is the fact that you go out there and play every day and play when you’re banged up,' Scioscia said." And for anyone who wonders if rest and treatment would not yield recovery, there is this..........

Johnny Giavotella: Johnny G is back at practice. The Taylor Featherston era nears an end? Oh hell no. We need to hang on to Featherston regardless of any impact on our 2015 hopes so that he can stick with us and play in our farm system next year.......... Taylor needs some time to ponder his dilemma, anyway...........

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Zoning In: Finally! The gods of baseball have finally caught up with the Lament of Stirrups. Everybody can now start Analyzing the Strike Zone as a Three-Dimensional Volume. I have argued many, many times that all those animated graphics that we rely upon to argue balls and strikes are figments of somebody else's imagination. In the linked study, which dives deep into the struggles over accuracy in calling strikes for balls that don't spend much time in the zone (which is a VOLUME and not and AREA), you get confirmation of the reality of modern tracking technology. "The PITCHf/x cameras and system that track pitches and display them during television broadcasts show only where the pitches are at the front edge of home plate." Correct. And one commenter goes into even more specifics: "Pitch Fx [does] not calculate pitch positions directly from ball position photographs within about 10 feet of home plate. They extrapolate those positions from photos of the ball path between about 40 feet away to about 10 feet away." There is more there about errors in those extrapolations, but now you know that seeing those graphics that appear to snap into a catcher's mitt are Disneyesque fantasy. There is far more to the link, and far more to my lament, but at least we are in the dialog now..........

Jackals: Recall yesterday how I complimented the fans surrounding Kole Calhoun in his failed attempt to catch Jed Lowrie's game winning home run (in the comments of the Daily Link Dump)? Well, up in Chavez Ravine, here is how the other half behave. Like assholes. The dude was ejected..........

Biz of Baseball: A judge dismissed a class-action suit by minor league players over working conditions. The judge ruled that although they have a lot going for them in their arguments of anti-trust violations, this is an issue for Congress or the very highest court. Since the only way to get to the Supreme Court is to lose a lot at the lower levels and appeal your way up, an appeal would seem obvious. Because Congress would be a non-starter. Every Senator and Representative in Washington has some form of pro team in their backyard and the very problem here is that the team owners are the ones with all the money that could be used to fund campaigns, not the players...........

OMNI: This whole Andrew Heaney stock option thing has observers in a tremendous tizzy. Days and days later, they still can't keep from repeating the same story, as if in stunned disbelief at the whole concept...........Hmmm. ex-Angel skipper Joe Maddon is the NL Manager of the Year unless ex-Angel skipper Terry Collins overtakes him. Imagine that............Jonathan Papelbutt must be The Greatest Teammate Of All Time.............Go ahead, take the challenge and identify teams by their logos. But beware...this is a history challenge! A word of warning, though: spell the FULL name CORRECTLY, and it's not case-sensitive. I missed 3 just due to typos (my score was 25).





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