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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Final Five weekends of 2015

There are only five weekends of baseball left in the regular season. This would be a good time to use that moderately successful series against the Oakland pAthetics as a springboard to getting hot.

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I will not be posting the next week as I will be away on "vacation". I put the term in quotes because it's not any R&R window. The entire Stirrups family will be together working on relocating RubixsQube as he takes on his next gig. I'll tell you all about it afterwards, since it's never a bright idea to be overly informative on the Internet concerning whereabouts before the fact.

During this time, I will not have the necessary access or opportunity to be posting, and others on our Masthead team have graciously volunteered to assume the Captain's Chair of The HH Daily Link Dump Winnebago. Here is your lineup!

Monday Mayhem
Tuesday dmhead
Wednesday SubOptimal
Thursday dmhead
Friday dmhead

(and 5thStarter is standing in case of any crisis)

It's going to be different, and it's going to be great. You are all in good hands. I will see you all back here with MondoLinks on September 14th. Let's send me off to PTO-land with some links:


Angels Baseball

The Upcoming Series:

Texas Rangers @ Los Angeles Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim, CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 7:05 PM PDT Martin Perez (2-3, 5.15 ERA) vs. Garrett Richards (12-10, 3.80 ERA) FSW
SATURDAY 6:05 PM PDT Derek Holland (2-1, 2.82 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver (6-10, 4.94 ERA) FSW
SUNDAY 12:35 PM PDT Colby Lewis (14-7, 4.50 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (7-9, 3.37 ERA) FSW

From the official team Game Notes: "RANGERS ON DECK: Halos lead 2015 series 8-4…Angels are 22-9 in last 31 overall matchups…Halos’ 436 all-time wins vs. Texas are most vs. any opponent (436-413)…LAA is 14-2 in last 16 games in Arlington…In those 16 games at Globe Life Park, Angels have outscored Rangers 120-49…In 75 career games vs. Texas, Trout has 63 R, 16 HR & 57 RBI…Cron is batting .392 (31/79) in 21 games against Rangers (5 HR, 18 RBI)."


FIELDING ISSUES (LAA): This is the kind of stuff of off-days. Maybe someday the franchise holds a charity auction and one lucky winner will pay 2 grand for the chance to run around Angels Stadium before a game dragging a rake. Until that day comes, satisfy yourself with this essay. Mourn the Angels if you must, but baseball remains a cut above..........

C.J. WILSON: I applaud C.J. Wilson's commitment to the seas and to the global shark populations as he tweets out support for Richard Branson and the cause. But the lede just kills me. If you track back the data the whole idea that each shark is worth $1.9million in tourism smells very fishy. Essentially, one study looked at an approximate population of 100 reef sharks in one location, presumed that this was all a closed set, and divided that into how much money comes from tourists diving on the reefs that the sharks cruise across. (Do divers dive onto the reefs for anything other than reef sharks? If only 75 sharks were present, would fewer tourists dive on the reefs? If 1000 reef sharks are in the region, and 100 of them can be found in the study area at any one point in time, what does that do to the math?) Pass that around the Internet for 4 years and we get a baseball pitcher making the implication that every shark is worth $2MM in tourism. This is the kind of thing that creates all those cracks in the faith that contemporary citizens have in true science...........

WHOOPS: There is an old adage, dating all the way back to 1974 (not Sun Tsu), which states: "keep your friends close but your enemies closer". This quote packs a lot of intellectual muscle if you spend enough time dwelling on it. It's possible that the Angels are going to be spending a lot of time dwelling on it. The Mariners have decided to interview Jerry Dipoto for their recently vacated GM position...........

GM, OR NOT GM: That is the question. Alden Gonzalez starts every LAA GM search article with the default opening caveats. Then he gets into listing possible candidates. I started reading it and stopped to do one of those cartoon head-spinning moments when I got to the name of "...director of pro scouting Hal Morris, deemed by many within the industry as a future GM..." I have alluded to this a billion times around here, but I have grown to believe that scouting is something at which we are well below average. This, even admitting that I remain in the dark as a function of being a mere blogger and not having been blessed with access to actually research this directly with the principals. I have some serious doubt about the LAA scouting cadre. Even though we have lacked many 1st round draft choices recently, it's not like we have been killing it with the draft choices we did take. Why? We seem to have problems dealing with pitchers our batters have not seen at least once in person. Why? We have bright-minded young pitchers having to chase down random non-employees for their data. Why? And have you compared our scouting staff as listed on the team website with those of other franchises???............

ALBERT PUJOLS: Once again, the Pujols contract is getting badgered. I get it. It's easy to forget that a less-than-Pujols Pujols can still be a far more valuable player than what many other teams have on the field, and that the contract was paid for before Pujols even took the field for the first time in a Halo uniform when Arte signed his TV deal.............

CALLING ALL TEACHERS: If you are a teacher - or know of a teacher - who is involved with 5th-8th grade math, science of physical education...AND....this Saturday is open, rush on over and register for the Angels STEM program on The Science of Baseball, put together by Northrup Grumman Foundation. It's free, and provides a 1-lesson STEM curriculum with materials, a 4-hour workshop, and lunch will be provided..........


Elsewhere in Baseball

FIELDING ISSUES (MLB): Again, this is the kind of stuff that strikes my fancy on off-days. Over at Deadspin Mr. Baseball puts forth his history of the pitcher's mound. This is a worthy topic of discussion for the history-minded among us, because there was not always a mound in the game. It IS an invented construct of the official playing field. Except, please keep in mind that Mr. Baseball's history is hilarious farce (although I am not quite convinced that every party making comments is aware of that). For a more accurate history lesson on the subject, try BoSox Injection and/or Kenzie Knott's preso.................

CARGO = OPP WENT: One thing that happens a lot on every team site is how fast and hard some ideas are battered down when they are floated by contributors. It happens. Nobody has a crystal ball and it's always easier and safer to predict fail in a game of failure. Several people tried to raise the idea of going after Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies back in July and those people got smacked pretty quickly. I didn't take a side because figuring out trades is not my thing. Well, in hindsight, CarGo would probably have been a better tactic. We could have sold Hector Santiago when he was high, and bundled in the goods (probably the wrong word there) we sent off for Dejesus/Murphy/Victorino, and started at that package to try and grab Cargo when his stock was so low. Because, now that we know that Santiago is not so high, and DeJesus/Murphy/Victorino are not all that, we also know that Carlos Gonzalez would have been a hell of a quality bat since then. A major step forward. But if we don't even try to talk about it, well............

TODAY GILLIGAN: Tomorrow, Skipper. Look, if you are out there envisioning some future time without Mike Scioscia at the helm, you do have to ask yourself who would replace him? By then, all the options that exist today will also be old enough to be retiring. So the world needs to start building a list of future candidates. Oh, look, we have one!.............

OMNI: Lyle knows that today's pitchers are pussies, because Lyle knows when he watched baseball when men were men and catchers were catchers...........Bryce Harper is not a pussy. Harper did something no manly man has done in baseball in at least 100 years. He scored 4 runs and drove in another yesterday without even taking a single at-bat. Really. He did that in an official game and that was his official line..................Poor Detroit Tigers fans. Miguel Cabrera has missed some games, but is otherwise having a killer season. And they cannot trumpet him because it means using the very tools that they dismissed other for using on behalf of Mike Trout..........Yeah. No-hitters. What's with all these no-hitters?..........Isn't it fresh when an umpire chooses to ignore the "neighborhood rule", especially when Chase Utley cannot even be bothered to be in the neighborhood? It's even better when we learn that the umps are upholding a replay review request on a play that apparently is not allowed to be reviewed.............Yeah, people! Let's celebrate the weirdest minor league team names out there, because they are awesome!!! For the record, my Fresno Tacos uni jersey has arrived. And, yeah, I'm rockin' the orange undersleeves, too..................More bat flips!!!!!


This Date In Baseball History: 1906 - The New York Highlanders (Yankees) defeat the Boston Americans (Red Sox) 1-0, to complete a sweep of a doubleheader. In fact, this completes a series for the Highlanders where they have played five consecutive doubleheaders across only 6 days. They ended up winning them all, going 10-0............1928 - The Boston Braves will play the first of 9 consecutive doubleheaders, going 4 - 14 across 12 calendar days. That is bad enough, but when you look at their schedule it was actually far worse. The Braves had already played 4 doubleheaders since August 24th, and 5 games after today, they would play another 4 consecutive doubleheaders over 5 days. In total, during this stretch th braves played 17 doubleheaders and 7 single games across 29 days. Today's players are pussies..............1941 - The Yankees defeat the Red Sox 6-3 and clinch the AL pennant, marking this the earliest point ever that a trip to the World Series is punched. And, considering that we now have a playoff system, this is one of the true records for which there is no chance of ever being broken.............1961 - Joe Horlen comes in as a relief pitcher for the White Sox in the 4th inning, marking his Big League debut. The problem is, Horlen was called up at the last minute denying the equipment manager a chance to prep the correct uniform. So Horlen is run out there in the last road uniform not already occupied, and pitches 4 scoreless innings without a uni number.............1974 - Astros' starter Don Wilson has a no-hitter against the Red through 8 frames but his team trails 2-1 after a series of 7th inning blunders (a pair of walks and a two-run error by shortstop Roger Metzger). So 'stros manager Preston Gomez pulls Wilson for a pinch-hitter in a fruitless attempt to start a rally. Mike Cosgrove will pitch the 9th inning and lose the no-hitter immediately. The Astros lose 2-1............1978 - Pirate Rookie Dorian Boyland makes his first official Major League at-bat. With the count 1-2 the Mets make a pitching change. The Pirates counter that change with one of their own, bringing in pinch-hitter Rennie Stennett. Stennett takes strike 3. But by rule the strikeout is recorded against Boyland, who by this time is sitting on the bench. Yep, Boyland's first Big League at-bat ends with him striking out while sitting in the dugout............1991 - The Statistical Accuracy Committee renders two rulings. The first restates what constitutes a no-hitter, striking 50 games from the historical list. The second eliminates the fuss over per-season records that might be in dispute due to the various lengths of seasons over the decades............1993 - Jim Abbott, pitching for the Yankees, no-hits the Indians...........2012 - The Blue Jays see their home game delayed by rain when their rain-protecting roof takes too long to close in the 6th inning and fans and field are drenched...........