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HumpLinks: Angels Curdling in Wisconsin

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Halos just can't seem to dominate the cheesy teams.

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The offense looks good enough, even with the missed opportunities and the boneheaded base-running. And the bullpen has been solid in Milwaukee. But it's been all about the starters. On Monday it was Weaver getting shelled for 7 earned runs. Last night it was Tropeano getting tagged for 5 after the Halos had stocked him up with a 4-run lead.

This team feels like the parts that should have been the catastrophe are actually functional, while the parts that should have been strong are still not firing on all cylinders. It feels that way. Otherwise I wouldn't be so frustrated at losing, since I could simply explain it all as us having a sucky team.

We don't. We could be very dangerous come July/August.

If we last long enough.

Have some Hanging-In-There-With-A-Positive-Attitude Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Ageless: Ok, sure. The Brewers had a 93-year old woman throw out the first pitch yesterday. Very sweet. Very impressive. But not as impressive as the time the Brewers had a 102-year old lady throw out a first pitch. Which, however, is still not as impressive as the time the Mariners had an 108-year old woman throw out a first pitch..........

M.A.S.H.: Huston Street ain't coming back soon...........Neither will Tyler Skaggs...........So where we stand today, we have Daniel Nava back any day now, and Craig Gentry soon after that. Huston Street is tracking towards June and that might be - might be - about the time that we start hearing from C.J. Wilson. And Andrew Heaney won't be back until at least July..........

Father First: Shane Robinson has a lot on his plate beyond just trying to stick up at the Big League level and be a contributor. He has a 19-month old daughter, Harper, who has already undergone 40 surgeries to correct an esophageal birth defect. I don't care how much he might struggle in a game, I ain't calling that young man out for anything.........

The Missing Lincecum: How is it possible to rank all the possible landing spots for a Tim Lincecum (assuming he showcases well this Friday, which is a big assumption), and not even make a mention of the suddenly rotation-starved Angels?..........

Moola Merch Madness: This is exactly right. Bryce Harper is truly one of the young gods of American sports. And his rebel "let's make baseball fun again" attitude of rage against the establishment is incredibly marketable. Under Armour shows us exactly how marketable. As great as Mike Trout is, and hopefully shall always be, his weatherman personality will always park him a distant second behind Harper in marketability..........

Shifty Business: Warning! This one is deep. Finish your coffee and wait for your co-workers to be consumed by some important task elsewhere. Because you will need to stay focused. Otherwise you are going to miss out on more thinking about the shift than MLB Front Offices are doing. How else to explain why everybody is doing the shift like crazy when, crazily, it doesn't appear to be working at doing the thing it is supposed to do..............

Mid-West Storm Rising: The Cubs are killer good. Imagine how killer they will be when Jason Heyward finally kicks it in gear. But maybe the problem with Heyward has more to do with something Heyward changing his approach at the plate: "...maybe the Cubs have made some tweaks and recommended that Heyward work higher up. Maybe they think it would be easier for him to get some loft. If this were to be true, it clearly hasn’t worked out yet, but these things take time."...........

Braun-y: Just Say No, Billy. Ryan Braun is going to move. Of that there should be no doubt. Braun is producing again, maybe cleanly for a change. There are a lot of teams that could use some left field offense and none more than the Angels. But our cupboards are far too bare to be making a run at this kind of player, and the recipient for Braun will be staring down the barrel of nearly $100 million for a guy who will be getting paid until he is 37. We already know that story. Of course, our particular story goes on for another $114 million for another 4 years beyond that. But who's counting?.........

Chippy: The Cubs and Pirates are throwing at each other these days. If both franchises continue on their respective arc of success, this rivalry is going to start getting ugly. Cool Joe Maddon is already at his wits end..........

YOU TURN!: So you have an opinion on what constitutes the sharpest version of an LAA player uniform, don't you? Of course you do. I read them here all the time. Alright, smarty-pants-baseball-fashionista, here is your chance to show your skills. Use this online template to make your own version of an MLB uni!. Sadly, it's not free. There is a $45 cost to gain access to the template itself. I don't get any of it, but I will call it your entry fee for hours and hours of fun...........

Sports Biz: Deadspin, while doing a recap of everything we have been sharing here over the past year concerning the various leaks out-gassing from the TV mega-contract balloon, adds something notable from beyond our sport, this one about International Soccer club friendlies: "In its initial Fox meetings, the ICC sought to more than triple its rights fee, sources said. Fox declined, leading the property to go to other networks to try to drum up interest. Other sports networks expressed interest, but not at the prices the event was seeking. ESPN said no. NBC Sports passed on it, too. Eventually, the ICC went back to Fox and said it would re-up at the same rate — with no rights fee increase. Stunningly, Fox again said no and countered with an offer well below market value." They also add some good perspective from Sports Business Daily, wherein the fat cats of today are rushing to the Internet in hopes of keeping their balloon inflated. I don't know about you, but I live out here in the Internet and I ain't going to be doing any such thing..........

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The Duffle Bag

MLB is almost to the point of cancelling the Pirates/Marlins game in Puerto Rico altogether out of Zika fears.............The Bat Trick Guy once taught Nick Castellanos some moves. Well, this past Sunday Castellanos belted a game-tying 3-run homer and brought some of that action to MLB..........Here we go, your summertime reading for 2016: "The Only Rule Is It has To Work". I have linked to it before. Now it's getting more and more press, probably for a reason...........Enjoy it while we can, folks! The Yankees have the worst record in the American League, almost the worst in all of baseball. And Brian Cashman has had it with what he has built..........Hey, this is cool. The A's are cooking with gas. No. That's not what's cool. What's cool is the part in that link where I learn that stadium ground rule particulars are cataloged somewhere...........PEDs is about substance abuse beyond just 'roids...........But one things PEDs is NOT about, is any notion that owners are being taken advantage of by any player juicing.........Tim Adleman has come a long, long, long way to make the Reds roster..........

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