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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Trout Storm Rising

Mike Trout is slowly warming up to the whole baseball thing. Just in time to greet the re-tooled Seattle Mariners - and King Felix.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

(This should be interesting. I have a 1/2 bottle of 2013 Caymus Cab in my belly as I start this. My neighbor has the other half and is down for the count, but I am twice her size.)

Well, kids, we have back in the W column as the players wing their way back to Anaheim. Not so much because of any offense, though. That aspect of their game is still being printed on the sides of milk cartons. Mike Trout found first gear, it's true, with a walk-single-homer-walk payoff from 4 plate appearances. And to put your mind at ease, to prove how early everything still is Trout has seen his batting average jump 66 points in just 8 PA's over 48 hours.

Jered Weaver wove his magic through the White Sox lineup and never got to 87mph. The umpire, by the way, was having a pretty tough day with Weave behind the plate. I count at least 7 pitches within the zone that were called for balls, and at least 4 pitches outside the zone that were called for strikes. (By the way, at what point will get the word that the team is no longer known as the Anaheim Angels??)

With Seattle in town for the weekend, have some Welcome-Back-Jer-Jer Links:



The Upcoming Series:

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

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 7:05 PM PDT Felix Hernandez (1-1, 1.00 ERA) vs. Nick Tropeano (1-0, 0.84 ERA) FS-W
SATURDAY 6:05 PM PDT Hisashi Iwakuma(0-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (1-0, 2.61 ERA) FS-W
SUNDAY 12:35 PM PDT Wade Miley (0-2, 8.04 ERA) vs. Matt Shoemaker (1-2, 4.70 ERA) FS-W

From the official team Game Notes: "MARINERS ON DECK: Halos claimed 2015 series 12-7 (7-2 at home)…Angels are 78-55 over M’s since 2009…In 18 games vs. Seattle in 2015, Trout hit .338 (24/71) with six home runs and 12 RBI."


Everywhere In Baseball

Trout-Harper: The start of this season has opened the gates to a new debate: where to rank Bryce Harper versus Mike Trout? If you recall, pretty much everybody considered Harper the better prospect/talent/player than Trout when they were still in the minor leagues. Trout made it up first and has been foremost between the two up until last fall. Harper has picked up where he left off and Trout has been nearly invisible. The media has gravitated strong back to Harper. Personally, since I get to watch Trout all the time I am more than satisfied with my enjoyment of baseball and know that I am watching a modern miracle that my grandchildren will write poems about long after I die. And if others consider this miracle not worth their while they are only costing themselves an experience of history. Their loss. But, it's still my duty to bring this stuff to you so that you can make up your own mind. Yesterday we had a battle between Grant Brisbee (pro Harper) and FiveThirtyEight (pro Trout).  (Deadspin aligns with Trout, as well, for the record.) In fairness, Brisbee has a couple of good reasons. Trout plays in a pitcher's park and has his offense more muted. And Harper's personality makes for better news copy. I would add that Harper plays in a more favorable time zone, surrounded by far more people covering the sport (there are, what, 10 MLB teams within about 500 miles of Nationals Stadium?). I predict that before the All-Star break this will all settle down as Harper has to start facing better pitching for a change, and Trout gets away from the blitzkrieg that has been Arrieta/Lester/Hamels/Latos/Sale/Gray (and, yeah, that would be THIS Arrieta)............

Turtle Race: Speaking of slow starts, take solace that we are in good company. Houston has their bandwagon all perplexed. Of course, it is also possible that the shine is in the process of departing from their youthful rose. Maybe last year they were a little out over their skis...........

The Gift that Keeps on Taking: Salt, meet wound. Yes, Randal Grichuck is rising, more and more worthy of being the first-round draft pick that he was. I know how much you guys adore Fernando Salas. Your weekends are bound to get more and more discombobulated as the years roll by..........

WTF??: Ok, so here is a cute and quick link about a minor league mascot that got nailed by a wild throw. Funny stuff. Maybe even have an extra laugh at the incredibly shitty throw. Next. Click. Wait...WHAT IS THIS?? We have a Minor League Baseball game.....on live television(!).....with instant frickin' replay(!!!)........being recorded for later broadcasts!?!?!..........

Casting a Wide Net: Everybody is still taking shots at C. J. Nitkowski's tweet about the person using their cellphone from the first row seats during a live at-bat. Everybody seems to want find ways to castigate Nitkowski for some perceived bias/bigotry/chauvinism/etc. I am more on Nitkowski's side than most commentators I have found, however. I look at that picture and think about all those fans around the subject who one day will have their game views obscured in order to protect the home team's owner from the lawyers hired by the likes of our pink-hatted attendee after something like this happens...............

Turner-ing Sour: Have the Atlanta Braves already sent their grounds crew out to the suburbs to work the infield on their yet-to-be built new stadium? Must be, because the current infield at Turner Field is so bad that the players are threatening to revolt..........

Chef's Corner: Alright, this should put a cap on it. You recall all those links I have been posting to the exotic ballpark foods of 2016? Well, now you can make them yourself, at home. No need to go galavanting around the country in pursuit of deep-fried death when you can bring that experience right into your very own kitchen. All you really need are the recipes, so here they are.  Fair warning, however. In one of my past lives I was a professional cook. I know my way around an industrial kitchen and how to serve 1000 dinners a night. These recipes are mock ups. These are what you do when you are indulging in how crafty you can be with your Henckels knive set. There is no way these vendors are bothering with all these ingredients for 30,000 patrons per night..........

HBP: Baseball is officially back. The Arizona Diamondbacks are in the middle of another hit-by-pitch war, this time with the Giants. Doesn't it kind of make sense that if the only team having so much trouble with so many teams is the D-Backs, and that those teams don't seem to have any such problems with any other teams, maybe the probelm is with the Diamondbacks?...........

Apocalyptic: Holy balls. A couple of months ago I linked to a tale where an errant pitch magically ended up in the plate umpire's ball bag and I made the statement that you would never see this particular thing happen again for the rest of your natural existence on this planet. None of us would. I was wrong. It is not precisely the same but close enough. Does this make me "dead wrong"?..........


The Duffle Bag

Update on that story about how Cards fans were purportedly shouting racial slurs at Jason Heyward the other night. Totally bogus. Manufactured by the phenomenon of social media............Commissioner Manfred gets in the Final Word: the unwritten rules of baseball are being re-written by the players of today, not "...some guy who's 67 years old saying I did it that way and you ought to do it the same way."..........Manfred also went into expansion, leaving the door open but pushing out any timeline " a longer-term proposition.So don't get your hopes up, Montreal..........Don't you just love it when a New York Yankees team plays bad, bad baseball?. I know I do...............Uh, no. There is a reason why this guy has a job as a security guard and not a rocket scientist. A 250mph fastball would get from the mound to the plate in about 1/6 of a second. That is less time than it is taking this guy to swing his bat. Moving closer to the mound is not simulating what he thinks it is simulating............I don't want Justin Verlander sitting on any jury in my trial. Damn. Caught one time and banned from your profession for the rest of your life? Double damn. On the other hand, yeah, the MLB testing system is about as effective as a pool net. It only catches the silly stuff that floats stupidly on the surface............Normally I have my doubts about lawsuits that based their claim on something they, themselves, choose to define as a "standard". But, yeah, 30 inch railings for an upper deck protection is not something I would trust to serve anyone taller than 5 feet...........Just for the record, even at the ripe old age of 59 I can bat at least as good as David Wright. At least on this day. And I won't cost but a fraction of the $87 million that David Wright is still owed.............There's a hole in the webbing, dear Liza, dear Liza. There's a hole in the webbing, dear Liza, a hole...........

(There. I made it. And still glowing. I feel like switching to some Sotol, however...)