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Thor'sLinks: Halos Broom Dorothy Back to Kansas

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Great pitching. Solid defense. The Halos snatched away the witch's very broom and swept the Dorothys back to Kansas.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was the opposite of those kinds of games when we just can't catch a break. The Angels played great defense and delivered great pitching, pretty much stifling the Royals. Mike Trout homered to lift the Angels back out of a 2-run deficit, but then we got solo homers from Yunel Escobar and Andrelton Simmons....

Let me repeat that:

We got home runs from BOTH Yunel Escobar AND Andrelton Simmons. In the same game. Both were valuable.

And that happened the day after we got the hope-crushing runs off a homer from Johnny Giavotella.

That was the most fun series of the season to date. We should call Major League Baseball and inform everyone that the Halos will be taking Thursday off so that we fans can spend some extra hours relishing this outcome.

Have some Kansas-City-Beatdown Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Options: Kole Calhoun is learning to oppose opposition pitching by opting to hit more often to the opposite field. And the results are positive, so far...........

Wine-Oh!: MLB is teaming up with signature wineries and creating a growing pairing of franchise to wine products. (We should do this with craft beers.) For some odd reason, MLB is having trouble finding enough vintners in America to get to all 30 teams fast enough, because they are only up to 21 pairings this year. Expect to see Charles Shaw with a Halo next year. By the way, following that link trail leads you to a pretty cool LA Angels wine opener. Mother's Day and Father's Day are both right around the corner..........

Sinking Ships: Nintendo America is sailing off into the sunset as majority owner of the Seattle Mariners. I wonder what that has to say about the expected revenues for their new gaming platform? Not really. It has lots to do with the original principals passing away. This is coupled with Howard Lincoln stepping down as CEO. Stuff like this is a big deal. As witnessed with the Dodgers, it can change the entire landscape of the game.............

Upon Review: That story I linked to last week about the guy the Yankees have who watches the games and phone the dugout to trigger Instant Replay reviews? Where I asked how this could possibly be considered novel? Well, it turns out that, once again, I was wrong. The Atlanta Braves have proved that, indeed, having such a qualified person and fine-tuned process is novel, indeed. Maybe I should apply for that job. I couldn't be any worse at that than I am at commentary............

Shenanigans: H/T to Hardball Talk: These same Braves spare no expense when it comes to soaking taxpayers to subsidize their corporation. "The math is almost always the same when cities build ballparks: Teams keep most of the money spent by fans, and the share that cities get—rents, ticket surcharges, parking fees, cuts of concession sales—is rarely enough to keep up with debt costs, let alone generate a surplus." The article points out that the Braves have scammed "...nearly half a billion in public funds for four new homes"...........

Farcical: Pablo Sandoval's "sore shoulder", the one nobody could find anything actually wrong with because it was too sore to look at, is being reported by Pablo as slowly "improving". A follow-up opinion, set for Monday, looks to see whether he needs surgery. If it turns out that surgery is not necessary, doubters need to turn their attention away from Jake Arrieta and start thinking about how the Red Sox might be leveraging the DL process to deal with their Sandoval issues..........

Noodling Around: This is what I fear whenever I read about the amazing speed of Garrett Richards fastball, and the spin rate of his curveball. That all that power is going to blow out his future. It's the kind of thing that is crushing the Yankees. " "It’s just the nature of the business,” General Manager Brian Cashman said in a telephone interview. “Pitchers are going to get hurt. Throwing a baseball is not a natural motion, so whether it’s major league talent, a high-end prospect or a no-name guy, it’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of when." "..........

Loopy: You, too, can dodge those restrictions on international signing bonus pools. You just have to decide to not be up front and honest about it all like Arte Moreno and Jerry Dipoto were. The trick is to package your contract as multiple deals, before and after the cut-off date. Everybody knows that this should be prohibited, but MLB has signed off on every single one.........

Astro-Nomical odds: You can't win a season in April, but you can sure lose it. The Astros are not that much worse than the Angels in the standings, but their indicators show them trending in the wrong direction. "The Astros are in trouble because of their record, and they’re in trouble because of some of their indicators. The offense should turn out fine, but you wonder about Gomez. And there are so many questions about the rotation, questions which might not be easily resolved."..........

Give It Up: These are great catches, but StatCast is going to end up telling us that it's really about a player putting a phenomenal cap on a rather ordinary task. If the fielder does not take his first step very quickly, nor run very fast, nor take the most efficient route, but still manages to get close enough to go flying through the air and snag a glorious catch while laid completely out, it's still pretty and it's still an out. But we are going to end up having purists do more than their fair share of sneering, showing how 95% of other fielders have made that play and remained on their feet where they could make the next play if necessary. We have already seen that in our own history before any such proof, with Jim Edmonds................


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The Duffle Bag

I will do Tacos. I will do Waffles. I will even do glow-in-the-dark bugs. I will not do Fruity Pebbles..........Because we suck at promos in general, we suck at bobbleheads. This pretty much explains why I can pick up any LAA bobblehead I would want at local antique malls and thrift stores..........Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith are jackasses of the first order, and the primary reason for decline in sports television in America. Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta is a dominating presence on a dominating team, and a primary reason for the resurgence of baseball in Chicago. Victory is yours, Jake..........The Astros were forced to go with a position player on the mound on Tuesday. The first such in baseball this season. And that dude, a backup catcher, threw harder than did Jered Weaver on the same night...........So the only time we need to discuss rule changes is when they would benefit teams in New York???..........Twitter is looking to expand their sports streaming footprint. Cord-cutters should get a Twitter account, just to reserve a decent handle while there is still time..........If you want to stop defenses from shifting, stop whining and learn to do more of this............Stinky McStinkface. This could get smelly if fans in San Rafael know how to troll..........I can actually recall when Cracker Jack actually did some with tiny little toys. Paper stickers and "tattoos" we thought to be a joke..........Tyler Collins dodged any punishment from the Commissioner's office for his finger-flying the other night. But he did not dodge punishment from his own team..........Noah Syndergaard. Just another weird dude panhandling in costume on the public streets of tourist meccas..........With Raul Ibanez now on board, does this mean that ESPN Baseball Tonight will have more favorable commentary concerning Anaheim? Or was he brainwashed with his more recent stint up in Chavez Ravine?..........It's OK to lose your popcorn when chasing a foul ball. But you better get the ball. It's never OK to lose your beer, however..........The Trevor Story distraction appears to have concluded............

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