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HumpLinks: Slow and Steady Wins the A's

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The Angels newbies drove 70% of the Halo offense last night, and that offense just kept coming, and coming...

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Just in case you had forgotten what baseball is all about, last night should have been the wake up slap across the face. Just stick around. Fortune can come at any time, even after they shut off the beer concessions. And it can come from any source, even if that means "every source but the expected".

It doesn't matter that the A's were off to a good start, in the end they are not very good and the Angels need to beat them early and often. We need these wins and that one last night might come in real handy a few months from now. So even while the Angels offense was, for most of the game, almost as impotent as that Oakland "fan" support embarrassing the background of the gamecast last night, they kept working it. And it paid off with a very nice victory.

Have some come-from-behind Links. But get them in quick because today's is a 12:35 PM start:


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Everywhere In Baseball

Horsing Around: You probably already got the down low on all this, but some of the Halos visited the Golden State Warriors practice facility yesterday in a confluence of galactic superstars. Joe Smith can go to his grave bragging not about striking out this or that future Hall of Famer, but of having gone toe-to-toe with Steph Curry and besting him in a quick game of P.I.G. My guess is that Curry thought they were playing H-O-R-S-E- was was spotting his visiting guest as a courtesy. Oh, and Mike Trout knows a thing...or two things...or even three things...about the game of basketball himself.............

Pitch Perfect: Looking back a season ago at 2015 starting pitcher performances in the AL West, some curious results come into play as we witness what each player has carried over into their first one or two starts of 2016. My favorite review concerns our own Jered Weaver: "Ah, the wonder of Jered Weaver. Most of the pitchers we’ve discussed thus far have superior stuff, while Weaver occasionally tickles the mid-80s with his fastball. It’s never been about stuff for Weaver, though. He’s one of the elite contact managers of his generation, with a career Unadjusted Contact Score of 88. He’s always been a pop-up machine, posting 90-plus percentile ranks in six of eight seasons, including a 94 mark in 2015. As his stuff and K rate have ebbed, his management of contact authority of all types has improved; his grounder authority allowed was over two STD better than average last season. Do not bet against this guy; he does whatever is necessary to compete. Weaver’s 2015 'tru' ERA is more indicative of his ability than his traditional ERA or FIP."..........

Arbitrary Suggestions: Ok, so we all know that the salary arbitration system is pretty flawed. Perhaps not as badly flawed as the Qualifying Offer system, but pretty flawed nonetheless. Not bad enough to get rebuilt in this year's CBA negotiations, but worthy of thought. So what would happen if we allowed that thought to be rational? This would happen: basically, restricted free agency, Because it works............

Human Resourcefulness: The next step in optimizing leverage from the investment a franchise makes on a player is to maximize the health and potential of that player's mind and body. teams are growing their off the field staffs in an effort to do just that. Just check the Front Office Staff listings on the various team websites. (Please save yourself the anguish and don't bother to compare them with LAA. We're talking about other teams now.)  This is not new science, but it is the new science behind baseball and it is growing...........

GM's Do Matter: Theo Epstein is conquering baseball once again. Yes, he deserves a buttload of credit for the Cubs current promise. He also deserves a lot of the credit for running up the Cubs payroll from the $134MM he inherited to the $172MM he manages today...........

Changing it up: This is simple to summarize: "Righties are throwing more changeups inside to righties. And it’s working." It's the right thing to do..........

Drool: Moving to lefties, how does this sound" 6'5" left-handed pitcher who throws in the 90's, up to 97, has recorded 29 of his 33 outs this season so far on strikeouts, and is only still in high school? Yeah, that would be Jason Groome, who has zero chance of falling all the way to the Angels at slot #20. (Yeah. #20. That's why tanking is so valuable.)........... (Turk corrects: The Angels actually have slot #16, due to other teams losing their first round picks.)

Pitch Angle: There is this odd inside phenomenon where a pitcher appears to be throwing a ball at a speed different than the ball is actually moving. For some, it appears to be faster. For other some, it appears to be slower. This stat is perceived velocity, and is a part of the new proprietary MLB statcast data. But pay attention. This phenomenon may seem to help in causing confusion with the batter, but the results don't necessarily align with pitcher success...........

Fun Factoid: When Mike Trout hit his 100th career MLB home run on April 17th, 2015 he was 8,654 days old. Bryce Harper is at 99 career MLB home runs, and as of today he is 8,649 days old...........

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The Duffle Bag

The Dodgers are going above and beyond to promote our LA Angels franchise roots and heritage, turning our interlocking L & A logo into a glorious 3-D vision on their batting helmets..........Recall when we did not get Adrian Beltre and the Rangers did? That meant that Commissioner Selig was pissed at the Rangers and not at Arte..........I have been saying this for years now. Players who won some sort of achievement award from the prior season should have some special artifact on their uniform the next season to signify that distinction. The Royals get it...........Tough luck in Philly. Aramark needed room within Citizen's Bank Park for the bold and creative move of establishing vending services for such things as hot dogs and pizza, and drove a local staple - the Schmitter Sandwich - right out of the ballpark. Those things look pretty good, actually. My guess is this what caused all this commotion........Obvious writer writes obvious column about obvious projections for Albert Pujols..........Just sayin', but if anybody could con me into paying 10 bucks for a cocktail built to taste like swill they need to do more than hand over a single one of those dollars to charity..........The umpires are off to a shitty start as well. We might want to start documenting all this, so that we can keep proper track of just how bad things might be this season............

OT: h/t to Deadspin. This 5 minute marble race through a sand course might be the most exciting thing you see today.

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