clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

WeekEnd HaloLinks: When every game is apocalypse

New, 98 comments

For all intent and purposes, people, we are ALREADY in the playoffs. We don't have the pomp and circumstance, put the drama and intensity and pressure inning-by-inning is already here, as are the consequences.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Here we go, folks! Three series left, 6 games left at home, and the final weekend home stand of 2015. You wake up today tied with the Twins at 1.5 games behind Houston. We take on the Mariners (and their top 2 pitchers) this weekend while Houston has to deal with the red-hot Rangers and the Twins visit the going-nowhere-Tigers. It's easy to forecast a wild scenario where I rejoin you Monday morning with the Angels having leap-frogged the Astros (and reveling in the suicide watch among Houston fans), but still trail the Twins. And chasing the Twins might continue all the way up to the final weekend, when Minnesota closes with a Royals team that might then be resting and positioning for the playoffs. I foresee lots of hand-wringing. Yeah, we are already in full playoff mode where every inning counts for everything. Until the next inning.

Food for thought: on Saturday the Angels will face Felix Hernandez, one of the Top 5 pitchers in the AL It will be the 6th time this season King Feliz has squared off against the Halos, and the 2nd time in 11 calendar days. Houston has, so far, only had to face Felix once this season, and that was when Hernandez had just fallen off the Train of Dominance he had used to open the season. After this weekend, Seattle will go home to close out their season and Houston will be the first team into town. This means that Houston will miss Hernandez again. And they will miss Iwakuma as well. So I can't really say that we have only ourselves to blame. Sometimes the luck of the draw adds a pinch or two of blame.

Time for Most-Important-Game(s)-Of-The-Entire-Season Links...

______________________________

Angels Baseball

The Upcoming Series:

Seattle Mariners @ Los Angeles Angels - Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 7:05 PM PDT Vidal Nuno (1-3, 3.64 ERA) vs. Garrett Richards (14-11, 3.73 ERA) FSW, MLBN
SATURDAY 6:05 PM PDT Felix Hernandez (18-9, 3.54 ERA) vs. Andrew Heaney (6-3, 3.30 ERA) FSW
SUNDAY 12:35 AM PDT Hisashi Iwakuma (9-4, 3.67 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver (7-12, 4.86 ERA) FSW




From the official team Game Notes: "MARINERS ON DECK: Halos lead 2015 series 9-7 (4-2 at home)…Angels are 16-19 in last 35 meetings vs. M’s…Halos are 75-55 over M’s since 2009…In 14 games vs. Seattle in 2015, Trout is batting .322 (19/59) with six home runs and 11 RBI…Tied with Houston’s Luis Valbuena for the most homers against the Mariners in 2015."

______________________________


Calendars: MLB has set the playoff schedule. I hope it fails miserably because we see a bunch of teams tied for that final WC spot. It's totally possible that the Angels end up tied with the Twins or Astros, or those two end up tied with one another. That would require a 163rd game to decide who gets to play the Yankees in the WC game. And if all three ended up tied, what the hell happens next?  Anyway, a work buddy did blow up my ultimate playoff fantasy, however. He pointed out that my wish for a double-loss elimination tourney in each league leading directly into the WS is exciting but fails because of travel issues between sites. Those things work because all the teams are assembled into one location first. And owners will never surrender the revenue that comes from multiple home games..........But, really, here is one guy who invested the time to think all this through.

Still Posturing: This comes to our attention via steelgolf. Which should be expected, since we are talking about his personal backyard anymore. That development group with plans to blow up the southwest corner with a giant high-rise centric development project of business/retail/condo glitzery has been told by Arte Moreno to go pound sand. They have had to scale back their plans because Arte refuses to yield his land rights to even a single parking space. Not. One. Single. Space. This is his legal right, of course. And if he stays that footage on the lot might be important for a new stadium/parking/retail layout. But if Arte ends up leaving then this outcome will just be shitty for everyone left behind on that property...........

Reality Check: Yup. This team just getting TO the playoffs may be our Big Win of 2015. Once there, unless they get smoking hot at precisely the most luckiest lucky time of all lucky times, their chances against the other playoff contenders are practically nil. Unless they get to face the Twins in every series............

Tough Guy: Albert Pujols is getting the hero treatment for playing with an injury. I am already on record of not being a believer here. He is batting .157 / .255 / .258 since getting hurt, across 24 games. My simpleton pea brain votes for taking 2 weeks off and missing 10 of those games altogether, and boost our roster with more use of an Efren Navarro and his left handed .256 / .299 / .305. Then maybe he comes back healthier and gives us 14 games with anything better than the recent 4 hits in 47 plate appearances. I mean, how could it have been any worse by sitting?????????

The 7 Pillars of Disappointment: Casting about the 2015 season, the bottom 5 most disappointing players who failed to pan out include more than one familiar to Southern California fans. This link is in this section because of #7. I'll say right away that the list has a fatal flaw. No such list is authentic if it fails to include a slot for Josh Hamilton, who has been a uniformed catastrophe regardless of which stadium he calls home..........

______________________________

Elsewhere in Baseball

Musical Chairs: Another Front Office slot has been filled in front of Jerry Dipoto. The Red Sox have named Mike Hazen as their new Senior VP and General Manager. That is a one-step promotion from being the BoSux Assistant GM...........Apparently Hazen was one of the 2,641 finalists still being interviewed by Moreno and Carpino for the LAA GM puppet show............

Addition through Subtraction: The Royals have officially lost their Once-Mighty-Closer for the rest of the year. Greg Holland takes his team-leading 32 saves to the DL with an elbow injury. This explains a lot. Holland was recently demoted due to velocity decline and general ineffectiveness. My guess is that Wade Davis takes over. So before you all start looking at this as silver lining, know that Holland departs the scene with a WHIP of 1.455 and Davis takes over with a WHIP of 0.798. Ouch..........

News From the Commish: Rob Manfred was on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday, and we got a few tidbits worth following. First off, the Pete Rose banishment situation and review will be concluded this year. Manfred's big question to himself has nothing to do with any Hall of Fame consideration, but the reality of Rose being able to immediately hire back on as an MLB employees should he revoke the ban. Personally, with the more recent news and evidence concerning Rose's gambling and denials, and how that showed that he still has never come clean even on what was known, would lead me to believe that the Commissioner is going to tell Rose "no"..............The other tidbit is that Manfred sees a future with two more expansion teams, bringing each league to 32. That would result in 4 divisions of 4 teams each and eliminate the Wild Card. Target cities could be Las Vegas, and even Mexico City..........

Wrigley Wrockin': Joe Maddon recently complained about a recent AC/DC concert, and how it chewed up his home field and has resulted in bad hops during game play. Well, this is what Joe was complaining about...........

Comedy Central: Screwball baseball cards.  Keith Comstock's is particularly ballsy...........

The Payoff: The Blue Jays invested in the trade opportunities, and their newsworthy deals have allowed them to hit the jackpot. Not just in the win column, but in the ledger books..............

Not So Fast: Yeah. Remember when the Astros dogpiled at the Trade Deadline and added Carlos Gomez and we all thought that we were boned? The Mike Fiers part of that trade is working out, but the Gomez half of a deal that cost Houston Domingo Santana AND 3 prospects has been humiliating. And that outcome could have belonged to the Mets............

Class is in Session: Take the time to open a study book and learn a few things you didn't know about baseball this year.  As a teaser, the Angels are the best team in all of baseball to pitch for...........

Big Pastie: Yesterday I linked to a small factoid as to how David Ortiz responded to a survey question concerning an alternate career, where Papi answered "porn star". Today we have an update. Ortiz has a job offer, at roughly the same price as his per-game rate this year..............

Negative, Ghost Rider. The pattern is full: This is only slightly OT. The FAA has authorized a sports league the use of camera-laden drones over stadiums with games in progress. It's the NFL and not MLB, but a precedent is being set. What I love, though, are the restrictions. First off is the physically impossible requirement (if actually flown over an NFL football game in progress unless the stadium is evacuated) concerning altitude. The drone must be at least 500 feet away from the fans, but cannot fly more than 400 feet off the ground! Who the hell are the people having such a hard time at basic math??  (Just to give some basic help here, if a drone were flying at the max altitude of 400 feet over the dead center of a football field, and the drone has to be at least 500 feet away from the nearest fan, Uncle Pythagoras tells us that this nearest fan needs to be sitting at least 300 feet away from that middle of the field. You have seen football games. You know that is utter bullshit. It's closer to 1/3 that distance.) Oh, yeah, only astronauts who walked on the moon are allowed to pilot the things.............

______________________________


This Date In Baseball History: 1929 - Miller Huggins, the first successful Yankee manager and the first Yankee manager of babe Ruth's career, dies today. A telegram announcing his death arrives at Fenway Park where the Yankees are facing the Red Sox. Time is called as all the players from both teams are assembled at home plate and informed of Huggins' death. Plate umpire Bill McGowan request a moment of silence within the stadium as the crowd rises and the flags are lowered to half-staff..........1930 - With the Cubs still in contention owner William Wrigley, Jr. had already announced that Rogers Hornsby would be his player-manager for the 1931 season. So, on this date, with 4 games left in the season and the Cubs still mathematically alive, current skipper Joe McCarthy resigns his post. McCarthy will move over to the Yankees, where he will command the Yanks to 7 World Series victories in 8 appearances over the next 15 full seasons..........1949 - Flagpole sitter Charlie Lupica finally climbs down from his perch after 117 days as the Cleveland Indians are finally eliminated from the pennant race. Lupica had committed to remain aloft until either the Tribe clinched or were eliminated. Bill Veeck, ever the promoter, had the flagpole severed from Lupica's grocery store and carefully trucked over to Municipal Stadium with Lupica still atop his platform. After the losing contest, 33,977 fans remained and cheered as Lupica finally dismounted, where he kissed home plate and was gifted a new car by Veeck..........1954 - Ted Williams plays in his final home game at Fenway Park before "retiring" at the age of 35, and his fans rain their adoration upon him. During Spring, Williams will have his divorce finalized and any contract to play baseball again will not be a part of the settlement with his ex-wife. Thus, Williams will immediately "un-retire" and play 6 more MVP seasons..........1965 - at 59 years of age, Satchel Paige becomes the oldest player to appear in an MLB game...and at age 34, Willie Mays becomes the oldest player to hit 50 home runs in a season..........1968 - Mickey Mantle takes his final at-bats in Yankee Stadium as Luis Tiant leads the Red Sox to a 3-0 complete game victory..........1974 - Dr. Frank Jobe removes a tendon from the right wrist of Dodgers pitcher Tommy John and transplants it into John's left elbow, reconstructing John's UCL. John will recover and go on to win another 164 games, and the first-ever "Tommy John surgery" goes into the history books..........1997 - NBC's "ER" performs a live broadcast of this date's episode. In the background, to demonstrate to the audience that the broadcast is, indeed, live, televisions randomly show the Cubs game in progress versus the Astros. Coincidentally, the show's producers cut to the game right when Brad Ausmus clocks a 3-run home run. Ausmus was taping the show to watch later, never realizing he would be a major part of the show. By winning the game that night, against the Cubs, the Astros clinched their Division...........1979 - Frank Tanana defeats the Kansas City Royals and the California Angels win their very first Division title..........2014 - Derek Jeter drives in the walk-off winning run in his last game at Yankee Stadium..........

______________________________