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TuesdoLinks: Angels walking off with fan's hearts

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These are the last home games of the regular season, and we hometown fans are sure getting our money's worth during this going away party.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Hey Stoneman, THANKS FOR MURPHY! I'm lovin' these walkoffs. By the way, has anybody else noticed how good Alex Curry is getting at avoiding the BodyArmor baths?

The Halos are still flying, now 8-2 over the last 10 games with 6 consecutive wins and getting hot at precisely the best time of the season. Only 2 games out of the AL West lead, still only 1/2 game behind Houston for the final WC slot . (But now within 4 of the Yankees and the top WC slot - wouldn't THAT be fun?!)

Texas lost. Yankees lost. Twins won. Astros won. Baltimore and Boston have been ejected from consideration. Things are getting tight.

Facing Oakland is always a tightrope. The Angels are only 10-7 against the doormats of the American League. So take nothing for granted. Not even Wednesday afternoon, when an ancient barry Zito, fresh off of failing horribly against the San Francisco Giants, will stand in for an injured Sonny Gray. This is the kind of "lucky break" I have been warning about so a week now.

Let's have some more Walk Off Links!

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Angels Baseball

The Cavalry!: Whew! Our great fears have quickly been salved. Bill Stoneman signed Mat Latos to a minor league contract as an extra hunk of wet noodle to hang off of some random left shoulder. (That's LAY-tos and not LAH-tos, by the way). Most recently, Latos was canned by the LADs for his 1.521 WHIP, his 57 ERA+, his 6.66 ERA, and his incredible propensity to surrender leads (13 times this season). I suppose that the theory is that Latos just needs a couple of weeks off, and some tweaking by the LAA coaching staff, and he can fill some late-inning gaps in any double-digit blowouts. Either that, or Arte realized he could save on some relocation expenses...........

Joe Smith: Smith is still of the notion that he will make it back before the season ends. That is this upcoming Sunday, by the way, and he is set to throw only his second bullpen session today. But confidence is high...........

GM Cattle Call: Chris Gwynn is now on the list of outside candidates that have been interviewed. This purportedly happened this past Sunday. I hope that all these interviews are sincere for the sake of the candidates because this kind of open season on the merry-go-round can often be a sign of indecision and checking off of boxes. With Jerry Dipoto officially being hired as Gwynn's new boss up in Seattle, if the Angels really want Gwynn they might now need to hurry up..............

Trout Porn: Mike Trout, even with his shitty August he is once again The Best Hitter in the American League..........Also, Trout, in what I assume was a very close vote against Johnny Giavotellawas named by his teammates as the 2015 Team MVP for the 4th straight year...........

Trout Porn: Among the many things to watch here in the final week of the regular season, would be Mike Trout among the Most Interesting Players. "...this year, Trout’s got a hell of a narrative MVP case. Gone is the speedy, youthful Trout of ages past — the one who encapsulated the wonder of a large thing moving quickly, like Leonard Fournette or the planet Mercury. Instead we have a larger, more powerful Trout — a Nimitz-class version of Trout, if you will. While Donaldson is one of Toronto’s cavalcade of stars, Trout is dragging an aging, injury-plagued, ill-managed Angels team to the brink of a playoff spot the way a harried father of three drags his elementary-school-aged children to the dentist. One man can’t will a team to victory in baseball the way a hot goalie can in hockey, or LeBron James can in basketball. But such rules as apply to normal humans so rarely apply to Trout."

Gio Porn: Yeah. Can you believe it? Gio Porn is due. Since coming back, he is dazzling in the field, and with the bat (2 doubles, 2 triples, 3 RBI , 0 K's). And flying around the bases, (no, not that one, I mean REALLY FLYING!) and did I mention dazzling with the leather?...........

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Uh Oh: By now you all know that the Mariners have hired ex-LAA General Manager Jerry Dipoto as their new General Manager, replacing the fired Jack Zduriencik. (Sorry, random twitter dude having a convo with most excellent M's twitter admin!) There are lots of takes there, but I will focus on one. Lloyd McClendon is rather well known for being an "old school" kind of guy. As in "Mike Scioscia" old school. McClendon must be aware of the history in Anaheim, so he should be curious as to his standing. Well, he and Dipoto have already chatted, and McClendon thinks the conversation went very well, and that the two of them are on the same page.............

Great Question: In baseball, why are unwritten rules disputed and written rules ignored? "As you know, any time you ever learn a game for the first time, the most important things to know about how it is played can’t be learned from the rulebook: they can be learned only by playing. Very often, the rules that you and your friends play by will incorporate numerous commonly agreed-upon interpretations and departures from the written letter of the law."............But wait, unwritten rules are why baseball is dying? Who still tries to claim that baseball is dying? I thought we had agreed that was a joke of ignorance??............

Close Call: Cardinals rookie left fielder Stephen Piscotty crashed headlong into the diving legs of Peter Bourjos as Bourjos was making a play on a fly ball (CF should own the play, but CF needs to call off the other fielders loudly enough to get their attention). Piscotty left the field on a stretcher and with his head and neck in lockdown. This could have been very, very bad. An update from the hospital reports that the kid should be OK.............

Breakdown: The DBacks recently had a communications breakdown with their bullpen when playing in Dodger Stadium, something that has happened before. They struggled with crowd and PA noises and got the wrong guy. Why is this kind of thing not the fault of the Patriots?...........

Ugh: has the Harper-Papelbon episode over the weekend descended into a generational issue between players, with older players believing that they have the power of corporal punishment? It sure feels that way...............

PEDS: Not just for athletes anymore...............

Speak Truth: While there is still time, one young man is racing to document the struggles of early black ballplayers, getting stories never before revealed to the general public. And they are horribly bad. You should read this, and we should all keep a look out for this graduate student's finished product. But be warned, some stories are so tough that they will be kept secret until the player himself is deceased. But it's important stuff. because "It's not just about baseball."............

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