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TuesdoLinks: Birds of a Feather

The cross-pollination between the Halos and Cards has dried up. But they still have Grichuk and we still have Pujols and neither team is reaping great rewards because of it.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Anaheim, St. Louis Cardinals. No, you don't get to start shopping for future ex-Halo outfielders to restore some luster to your franchise.

While you are in town, avail yourself of some Fellow-Underachiever Links:



The Upcoming Series:

St. Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim, CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
TUESDAY 7:05 PM PDT Mike Leake (0-3, 6.03 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (2-1, 3.58 ERA) FS-W
WEDNESDAY 7:05 PM PDT Jamie Garcia (2-2, 3.05 ERA) vs. TBA (3-1, 5.40 ERA) FS-W
THURSDAY 7:05 PM PDT Carlos Martinez (4-2, 2.61 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver (3-1, 4.72 ERA) FS-W

From the official team Game Notes:  "CARDS ON DECK: Angels and Cards last met in 2013 at Angel Stadium with LAA taking two of three…All-time series knotted at 6-6…In 11 seasons with St. Louis, Albert Pujols batted .328 (2073/6312) with 1,291 runs, 455 2Bs, 445 HRs and 1,329 RBI (1.037 OPS)…If Pujols homers against the Cardinals, he will be one of seven active players to homer against all 30 current MLB teams."


Everywhere In Baseball

M.A.S.H. Update: Adrelton Simmons makes his first hop onto the long-term DL bus tour, joining the 15-Day list as he goes to surgery for his damaged thumb. It's surgery, so this will be much longer than 15 days. For the curious, here is a not-so-squeamish artist's rendering of the UCL tear on the thumb............Anyway, this brings us up to C.J. Wilson, Craig Gentry, Andrew Heaney, Huston Street, Garrett Richards and now Andrelton Simmons. I always wonder what the other guys on the team feel at a time like this, when they now realize that they have 80% of the season left to play and they no longer have the manpower they thought they were going into battle with? They realize far better than us that this is not going to end in the World Series...........

Kole Mining: Mike Scioscia has tired of trying to protect an Albert Pujols who has yet to crack a .200 batting average on the season. (Seriously. Pujols has been over .200 one single day since the very first official pitch of 2016, and that was when he had only 37 at-bats.) So Sosh is moving Kole Calhoun up to the #2 spot and leaving him there. Might be a good idea as Mike Trout continues to warm up. Also, at some point in the future things will work themselves out and Calhoun, at the #2 slot, will be providing some form of protection again for an Albert Pujols, who might then be all the way down at the #9 slot...........

LAA Pride: Feel good about yourselves, my compatriots. With players and hopes dropping like flies, we are still attending actual games. The Angels are still drawing fans, at least at home. So far reported paid attendance is 571,240, which works out to 38,083 per game and just over 3 million fans for the season. The largest crowd was, of course, Opening Night against the Cubs with 44,020 and the smallest was against the Royals on April 25th with still 31,061 paid. Compare that with the Cleveland Indians. Second in their division, and with a better overall record than the Angels, are averaging 14,589 paid at home with a low of 8,766. In fact, they already have three home games below the 10,000 attendance mark. At this rate they will clear 1 million fans in paid attendance, but not with a lot of room to spare..........

Tater Trots: So Bartolo Colon finally hit a home run. James Shields is screwed. But according to Tater Trot Tracker, it took all of the most-excellent athleticism of Colon 30.58 seconds to round the bases. "...good enough for the 11th slowest trot of the Tater Trot Tracker era (and second slowest this year)".  (Yeah. Seriously, David Ortiz remains quite impressed with himself and his walk off into the sunset. Even Bartolo Colon is faster!)...Anyway, Fox Sports dives into the vault and finds some other historic sporting events that took about the same time as Colon's trot, if not less..........

Scare Dee Cats: I just want to put this out there. Tanner Roarke went off on Joe Maddon and the Cubs for walking Bryce Harper so much in their just concluded weekend series, accusing the Cubs of playing "scared baseball". I call bullshit. It was brilliant baseball. Baseball is a game, and games have tactics. That last game the Cubs won by a single run in the 13th inning. Every run counted. Look at the box score, though, and pay particular attention to Ryan Zimmerman, the guy hitting directly behind Harper. 14 men left on base. FOURTEEN. One for fucking seven. Walking Harper was like playing the shift. It wasn't scared baseball, it was smart baseball. It was a great game strategy that worked incredibly well. Roarke wants to be that guy who defines the method of the fight as the one singular approach where he holds his advantage. And he has no "Plan B" when his opponent refuses to take the bait..........

Dusty Being Dusty: Then, of course, there is Dusty Baker, the Nationals' decision-making manager for Harper and Zimmerman. Afterwards, folks inquired about the obvious, perhaps switching Zimmerman at the 4-slot with Daniel Murphy at the 5-slot? Murphy is hitting out of his mind right now, at .395 / .439 / .640 / 1.079. Baker's response: "Zimmerman is one of the premier clutch men in the game..." Um. Yeah. About that. No. Zimmerman's career BA is .282. Looking at his Clutch Career Stats, Zimm is .276 with 2 outs and RISP. He is .269 in tie games. He is .263 when the game is late and close. All those were the situations yesterday and Zimmerman is nothing special or extra-ordinary there. Same with his Career Leveraged Situations. In Medium leveraged situations he is slightly above his normal average, at .289. In High Leverage situations he is a little below his average. Nothing jumps out there as screaming that Zimmerman is a premier clutch man at anything. But Dusty is old school, and facts are not allowed to get in the way of opinions. Nothing, anyway, beyond those 10 walk-off career home runs...........

Zika Update: (h/t Hardball Talk)  From an infectious diseases medical expert: "How different is San Juan from Miami anyway? Virtually all public health officials are predicting Zika transmission in Southern Florida any day now. It might even be happening now — who knows about late May?"

Sports Biz: Am I reading this new ad copy right?!? Apparently, ESPN is going after cord-cutters in an attempt to staunch their downward revenue trend by convincing subscribers that watching live sports is more interesting than whatever they are doing in their own silly lives. They are launching a new ad campaign (funny enough, to be broadcast on their own channels, meaning they are pitching to their choir). And in this campaign, what we are seeing is snidely demeaning. How else to explain "Sharing your life can wait, because it's just like everybody else's."?..........On the other hand, NFL itself is rushing headlong into the teeth of ESPN's campaign, with their message that "if you really are going to be spending all your time over there in social media land, check out our new streaming service there!"..........


The Duffle Bag

And you thought things stunk in Anaheim over the weekend, at least we didn't have dead fish falling from the sky and landing in our outfield............Dead fish make for an easy food source for nature's scavengers, and are not the only way for animals to disrupt baseball (and, no, I am not talking about merely being a distraction like seagulls at AT&T Park, which appear to be more about the gulls knowing how to read a scoreboard and when the game is about to end, so they can munch on all the leftover hot dogs). And Baby Opossum was in the market for lunch. Wrong field, though. Opossum Baby needed to go to Japan..........I didn't realize that the Yankees were thought to be any kind of contender, but my guess now is that the only reason the Angels are not getting the MFY treatment is that we have an injury excuse..........By the way, Aroldis Chapman was re-instated yesterday but Yanks fans don't expect him to fix anything in New York. So Chapman immediately goes out and secures a win the very same day.........This is quite the fancy shot by a bored Cal pitcher, but in these things I always wonder how many takes were tried, failed and deleted before we get the one success..........Miami Marlins players doing Miami Marlins things. Again..........Bryce Harper wears his hairdo way too tight. And looking at the PITCHf/x graphics, he is overreacting. Umpires remember this kind of thing............Magic helmets. That is all.