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TuesdoLinks: Pujols Pummels Potentates

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Albert Pujols mashed back-to-back home runs as Garrett Richards carved his way through the Kansas City lineup. And Mike Trout hit his 3rd home run in 5 games.

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Albert Pujols cares not for the opinion of this daily laborer. Yesterday I suggested that although Albert made a lot of contact on Sunday, one home run and one single do not a slump-buster make. Not after going 1 for 31.

"Begone, you puny dweller of maternal crypts" proclaimed Albert. "Away with your photons of ignorance. I smite thee and thy keyboard with the power of my back-to-back home runs!"

And so it was. Pujols clobbered the Royals and shut me up. I bow to the greatness that is the 13th Greatest Home Run Hitter of All Time. Just 5 more to go to overtake Rafael Palmeiro and 9 more to best the great Harmon Killebrew. I'll allow for Pujols to inform me what it takes to bust a slump from now on.

By the way, did it occur to anyone else that the short pop-up back to Garrett Richards that Carlos Perez ended up catching was actually the result of the dugout calling off Richards, not Perez? That reaction of Richards was priceless, but what he did was to actually shoot a quick look at the dugout in feigned disappointment as if to say to somebody there "couldn't let me have just one?" Richards and Perez had a few laughs about it all, but I think what happened was more evidence that all the things that everybody within earshot does on the field is what the non-players in the dugout are busy telling them what to do.

Mike Trout's weather report could simply have been: "Raining home runs".

But, hey, let's all have ourselves some Shut-The-Royals-Fans-Up-For-A-Day Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Skaggs: This could be better. Tyler Skaggs is scratched from his latest start with fatigue. He now joins Andrew Heaney on the list of critically important pitching contributors for 2016 that are going nowhere fast with. The difference with Skaggs, however, is that he is on the other side of TJ surgery and we all know what is possible if post-TJ innings are not monitored and managed properly..........

Run Away: So that hit-and-run in the third where Kole Calhoun was nailed by Jarrod Dyson? Remember that play. You might recall some chatter in Spring about how aggressive the Angels were on the bases, and how that was going to carry over and be the thing all season long. You might have also noticed that since the season actually did start, the run-scoring thing has been rather crappy. They are, as a matter of fact, the worst in all of baseball at this. So I am reading all about how the Chicago Cubs happen to be the very best at base running this season and I trip across something kind of interesting. Those Cubs are pretty good at base running, sure, but guess which team is the absolute worst? You guessed right, the Angels. (That BsR metric is explained here. You want it to be a positive number. A very high positive number.) Poor chances. Poor speed. Poor decision-making on both the players and coaches. Maybe even poor philosophy all around based on team athleticism..........

Playoffs?: FiveThirtyEight gives us new team projections for 2016, and LAA is down to a 1 in 5 chance of making the playoffs, a 1 in 7 chance of winning the AL West, and a 1 in 50 chance of winning the World Series. So there is a chance..........Notice, though, how much favor we did the Mariners over the weekend. They jumped 7 slots in their playoff odds..........(By the way, if you click into the Angels and see those odds for each game and wonder what all that means, click here for an explanation.)

Weekly Darling: Now that he has met the rest of MLB, Trevor Story has cooled off and is now so yesterday. Meet the new Darling, Tyler White of the Astros....

TV Revenue: FanGraphs dives deep into franchise-by-franchise TV revenues. Curiously, they discover that teams in large television markets tend to garner more television revenue than teams in tiny television market. I'm shocked...........What is really great is to learn that the Dodgers are swimming in such revenue. $204 million this year alone. And yet, nobody actually gets to watch those broadcasts for which Fox TWC (my bad) is paying all that money. Dodger fans may care, but the Dodgers don't............Finally, read slowly the part about how broadcast ownership revenue is shielded from revenue sharing. And then notice that Arte Moreno owns 25% of his own revenue stream. As we know from payroll talk, Arte doesn't like to share..........

The Human Factor: Some of you old-time HH'ers know Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus. Sam used to comment on these pages during one of his lesser stints in life. Well, Sam and company got themselves involved in a stat pure approach to running a minor league team. And he has a book coming out that deals with the whole adventure. (There are some real-time posts of that ongoing adventure over on BP worth tracking down, as well.) In the end, it hasn't worked out as well as Miller & Co. would have liked, but they admit that this is their own fault. It's a lesson in human politics, in the academic sense of the word..........

Shifty Business: There is some pretty good gold to mine in this article about infield shifts rates and the Red Sox. The one that should jump out to you is the parts about hos pitchers and their approach to batters should be integrated into the shift at play. This is something you notice that the Angels don't seem to do very well. the part that interests me is where we find out that STATS has an opinion as to what constitutes an infield shift, and that opinion can differ from what the team thinks they are doing. The Red Sox think they shift all the time, but because their shortstop does not cross past second base all the time, STATS thinks they are not shifting at all. That one sticks with me because I remain hyper-sensitive to the hidden biases in the stat gathering process...........

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The Duffle Bag

Our very own Raskul encourages us all to dapper up our wardrobe with some snazzy hosiery..........The upside to having some influence over your media channels is that you can control the message. The bad news is that when the subject of the news has influence over the media channels, the message is controlled...........Yeah. Here you go, Blue Jays. Have your $8 baseball back...........It's not as if Josh Donaldson touched it or anything..........Hey, Albert. What can you do to help? For starters, try hitting the baseball...........Tyler Collins of the Tigers is going to get a phone call from the Commissioner's office this morning. Of course, that whole play was a cluster.........Nathan Eovaldi nearly Jake Arrieta'd the Rangers last night. Anything to helps us out here in the AL West..........David Murphy, part of Jerry Dipoto's left field gang-of-many to replace Josh Hamilton last season, cannot stand the idea of spending every one of the last days of his career with a team that has only 3 wins against any team not called the Angels. He wants out...........Brandon Phillips had himself one particularly tough at-bat last night. A foul off his own foot. A foul off his own shin. A 98mph fastball that nailed him in the finger. A trip to the X-ray machine..........

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