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Thor'sLinks: Mike Trout wants to steal our hearts.

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Trouty has 5 tools. One of those is speed. It's time to bring that speed back out of the barn and let it run loose.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Mike Trout wants to steal: Well, don't we all? I really like Mike and all, and I'm glad he is making a commitment to use his flashy speed and swipe more bases, but why is it that this story behind his lack of steals keeps changing over the years? Mike Scioscia used to say that is was about situations. Then he said it was about opposing pitchers and their slide steps and their quick deliveries. Now it's about confidence and reads. I never believed the first two, and the last one makes more sense to my own eyeballs. It might have been healthier to just jump to story #3 a year or two ago so that everybody could actually work on it............


Ok, here we go. This is where baseball news happens. With Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

More worries about wasting Mike Trout: It's a sign as to just how magnificent Mike Trout is that we just keep seeing these stories questioning whether or not the Angels are wasting Mike Trout's greatest years? People should stop worrying. First of all, Mike's greatest years are actually still out there in his headlights. He may be old in news terms but he is far from old. He's only 24, for heaven's sake. Call me in 4 years with these thoughts about his greatest years. Second, the POV of the question is all wrong. Instead of thinking about the Angels squandering Mike Trout, it might be more productive to consider how less-than-formidable the Angels would be without any Mike Trout at all. It's the very exploitation of the talent that is Mike Trout that puts the Angels into the playoff conversation in the first place. They aren't wasting him. They are riding him hard. But it's baseball, a game of failure where only 1 team out of 30 "succeeds" each year. It's a tough biz. Lastly, it's never a waste to watch Mike Trout play baseball. Never. Ever. And letting Angels fans watch Mike Trout play baseball is what the Angels are already doing............

Andrelton Simmons wants to hit: Simmons is not exactly all-glove and no bat. He's more like all-glove and almost a bat. At least, last year that was the case. The question now is whether last year was the anomaly or the trend? Simmons himself wishes for some Trout/Pujols magic to rub off, and that he regains some lumber skills..........

Kole Calhoun wants full employment: Calhoun just cannot understand how it is that David Freese remains unemployed. Especially since he carries no QO anchor lashed to his butt. Well, as it happens, timing is everything. Freese has hit the market at a time when there is a glut of 3B throughout baseball. Maybe Japan? Oh, and make a note of this: the Angels never even bothered to make Freese any formal offer to stick around............(By the way, notice at the bottom of that Calhoun link that Roberto Baldoquin has changed agents to Scott Boras, and spent this offseason at Boras' corporate training facility. One thing that Boras is pretty famous for on the positive side is shepherding players and integrate them into Major League Baseball. I would be surprised to learn that Baldoquin is still struggling to assimilate this year.)..........

The Wizard of Wonder: Ozzie Smith is confusticated about modern hitters and their approach to the shift. Sure, as Ozzie laments, the proper response to the shift would be to hit the ball to the hole that the defense has created. Why don't batters do that? Well, for one, modern batters tend to remain in character and hold to the approach to each at-bat that made them who they are. Two, modern pitchers and catchers aren't stupid. They know how to pitch to the shift and make it even tougher to push an inside pitch away to the gap. It's easy for a guy like me to complain about batters not adjusting.  I never played the game at that level. It's even easier for an Ozzie Smith to complain, since he does have that cred, and he doesn't have to bat in the modern era..........

Panda Express: It turns out that Pablo Sandoval's weight isn't having any sort of negative impact on his early batting cage results. In fact, quite the opposite..........

The Yankees Suck: Bejeebus, these guys really don't know how to shut it down, do they? They don't even realize that they need to, or why they would need to. It's galling. The latest in the ongoing Yankees elitist ticketing public relations fiasco comes, again, from team President Randy Levine, who calls out a local politician that is leaning in favor of the majority of his constituency. Essentially, Levine is casting shade on a person who is paid at public sector rates for siding with people who are being blocked out of Yankee games by artificially inflated pricing practices. And the way they cast that shade is to mock the man because he can only attend games when somebody else is able to pay for the price of his admission. Talk about clueless. You know you have gone over the cliff when you can find a way to make me side with Yankee fans...........

Trout's career is ballooning: Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel sent Mike Trout his own weather balloon, pretty much making his day. I once owned my own weather balloon, but it was used. After being released into the atmosphere and rising to some maximum elevation where the pressure inside the balloon finally forced it to pop, the parachute decent randomly dropped the beast into my own backyard. The weather station that dangles below the balloon had all kinds of NOAA warnings all over it., stating in very serious government terms that if you could read the labels you needed to dispose of the whole thing right away and not try to do anything with it. These are the kind of things you would ignore much the way you do with warnings on furniture cushions. I wish I still had it, but my dad was such a damned rule follower...........On a side note, Jim Cantore, weatherman, could probably kick your ass. I wonder if he could play left field?.........

Scott Boras goes bonkers: Scott Boras may have many talents, but engineering ain't one of them. Inspired to twiddle with the current draft system, Boras comes up with a level of complexity that could only belong to a board game about Machiavelli taking on Byzantium. I suppose he is trying to unscrew all the ills with a single swing, but yee gads did he create an overly complicated mess of an idea............

BoSux needs to dumb things down: Yeah. That's it. The Red Sox sucked so bad last year because of the smart guys. I'd like to point out the ways of how silly that is, but I am happy to think that the brain trust in Boston is committed to getting outsmarted going forward. Good luck with that............

3 Million and a Day: Ruben Tejada negotiated himself entry into Free Agency a year sooner than otherwise. Via arbitration, Tejada and his agent got the Mets to concede one single extra day of service time, something necessary to qualify for a full season of service. The Mets had done that baseball front office thing of stashing Tejada in the minors to forestall his service time triggers (see Bryant, Kris: Chicago Cubs 2015). Tejada got the time back (the Players Union would have filed a grievance anyway.)..........

Farewell tours: This is cool. Jason Heyward was a rookie when David Ross was his teammate, and Ross apparently had quite an influence on the young Heyward. Ross now catches for the Cubs but has announced that this will be his last season, right when Heyward has jumped over to Chicago. So Heyward is rewarding Ross during his farewell season by upgrading his hotel room to a suite on every road trip during 2016.  $184 million goes a long way towards paying back old debts..........

Girl Crazy: Cole Hamels is pretty pissed. Here he wanted front row seats to watch nearly naked Victoria's Secret models parade in front of him, and was willing to pay nearly $70,000 and fly to London and hide behind his wife for the privilege. It turns out he was pretty screwed. Somehow he believed the ticket seller's story that he didn't need any actual tickets, nor any proof of purchase, nor any documentation of any kind, and all he had to do was show up. He must have felt pretty stupid when that didn't go well. Time for lawyers...........Anthony Rendon is taking the opposite approach. Just show up at camp wearing a cheap-assed t-shirt proclaiming your love for planet earth's richest young female star and hope for the best. Between Hamels and Rendon, as great of a long shot as that is, my money is on Rendon..........Of course, there was that time that Taylor Swift was a Victoria's Secret model..........

Guesswork: You know, a lot of plate umpiring is actually guesswork. It's amazing they are as accurate as they turn out to be. I have written to this before, that human vision has limits below what is necessary to precisely see what a pitched baseball is truly doing. Our frame rate is just not fast enough to see the complete path of a baseball, and our minds "invent" the difference based on our past experience and expectations. (Seriously. We cannot see action faster than a 15th of a second, which is how motion pictures trick us into seeing movies. Do the math and see how far a 90mph baseball will travel in that 1/15th of a second.) So, yeah, umpires project. And, not so oddly, they project in predictable ways..........

God bless Taco Tuesdays: This gets better all the time. The Fresno Grizzlies will officially play as the Fresno Tacos at every Tuesday home game this season. And with updated jerseys, too (although I think I like my white home jersey better)...........You know, it wouldn't hurt the Angels to host their own Taco Tuesdays in Anaheim. But that would require a little imagination, and that might be just too much to ask..........

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Graph of the Day

Mean Street: Huston Street was a bad dude to face last year:

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