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HumpLinks: Halos get their hands on a victory

The Angels spoiled the Twins' perfect run against them in 2016, finally getting their grasp on a win over the massively sorry franchise.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Well, there goes my plan for a mystery chart, one that would have shown the Twins winning percentage against every 2016 opponent. Until last night, they sucked against every team but the Halos and Mariners, where they were batting 1.000. Somehow the Angels managed to squeak past the Twins, a franchise that is working very hard on the business of losing their way towards the to pick in next year's draft.

Have some Bump-Them-to-Pick-Number-Two Links:


Everywhere In Baseball

Inking: One of the things that we do not follow on draft day - the kind of thing that makes you squirm when your team is up with their most important pick and take damn-near all day to figure it out - is how signable a kid is that you are going to burn a pick on. There are two BIG questions beyond talent, need and forecasts: will they sign with your team...and...for how much? You only so much slot money, after all. You should read up on the potential mind games projected between the Red Sox and Jason Groome, for example. Well, Billy Eppler is making progress with the picks he landed. With the Angels signing Matt Thaiss yesterday, that means the Halos have now inked their 1st, 3rd, 8th and 9th draftees already............

Trout Fishing: For his career, Mike Trout loves June the bestest. As of yesterday afternoon (before the game last night) his career split for June is .345 / .427 / .590 with an OPS of 1.018. Things ain' going so well half way through this particular June, with a current slash line of .262 / .380 / .381 and OPS of .761. And his fWAR value has stalled (Xander Bogaerts is creaming him now, 4.0 to 3.7, having doubled up on Trout's production over the last week alone). There are still 14 games left in June. Time to kick it into high gear...........By the way, Trout is opening up his lead in the AL All-Star vote for outfielders...........

Bobbin' and Weavin': Jered Weaver see the future, and there is still some money in it. Theoretically, all our injured pitchers will get healthy and return, and many of them are more powerful and credible arms than Jered anymore. Weaver's magic spell is down to just a few innings per outing, maybe once through a rotation, so a walk over to the bullpen might be in his future. Maybe near future...........

M.A.S.H.: As Yu Darvish has shown, coming back from TJ is a very deliberate and careful process, So Tyler Skaggs having a hitch in his recovery should be no surprise. Expect many more..........We have already heard that Andrew Heaney is healing without TJ. The question remains, how is Garrett Richards?..........Andrelton Simmons should be back tonight!..........

Paps Smear: I'm just going to throw this out there, but realistically the last 2 weeks have shut down any thoughts about playoff unicorns in 2016 so it might be a good time to think about selling while there are hot deals to be made. Jonathan Papelbon hits the DL, messing with NL East leader and playoff contender Washington Nationals bullpen. He won't be there long, so this would be a good time to call Nats GM Mike Rizzo. We do have some late-inning bullpen talent that we aren't using anymore. If any of them don't have a no-trade clause to block a move to Washington, this might be a good window to dip into their highly ranked farm system for a prospect or two. Think about it. Waiting until the non-waiver trade deadline (August 1st this year) gets nearer and nearer only brings more sellers into the market and lowers returns. And by that time Papelbon would be back off the DL and through his recovery starts anyway. Washington has a 5 game lead over the Mets now and 7 games up on the Wild Card openings, but those could both get trimmed over the next 3 - 4 weeks without a strong bullpen........

Of Human Interest: Just a reminder that baseball is a game of humans, loved by humans, inspired by humans. One such reminder is a long form piece of the KCR minor league player Clayton Mortenson family and the cancer battle of their infant son. The other one is closer to home, LAA bullpen coach Scott Radinsky overcoming open-heart surgery.

Greatness: The author is right. Far too many sports fans get accustomed to greatness and move on, ignoring the opportunity to enjoy rare brilliance. Hedonic treadmill, indeed. I would go further, layering upon this meme the notion that all too quickly American sports fans move beyond that and into resentment, "pulling for the little guy". American sports fans love the underdog, celebrate the underdog when they finally win, and then turn on that dog when they have the audacity to sustain success. Anyway, such is the plight of Mike Trout. In fact, it might be said that Trout has contaminated the well for the likes of Kris Bryant. Bryant is great, but unless he matches up to Trout he is just another good, young talent and baseball fans turn to the next potential Trout. The point of the article, though, is Barry Bonds. Bonds was able to refresh his standing in the minds of baseball fans by amping up his production to new levels as his career tracked through to retirement. The author does acknowledge the power that PEDs played on that, which was real. What is lacking is any reveal in the FanGraphs chart of Bonds' career. So I will fix that for you:


Sports Biz: Apple TV is getting some skinny bundle and Fox sports streaming adds, inching us all closer to our cord-cutting future. Sling TV brings the skinny bundle (where ESPN has wedged itself in) and Fox Sports Go will join in a couple of months..........


The Duffle Bag

Mario Kart racing. More fun than dead presidents, or sausages, or stealing third base. Hell, even more fun than racing veggies..........Dogs that skateboard, on the other hand, always the coolest..........Ambidextrous Pat Venditte, originally brought up by the A's but now with Toronto, gets a cool "bobblearms" treatment..........The Padres President, Mike Dee, is now the hope-to-be-fired campaign target of the Padres blogosphere, and this includes Gaslamp Ball, our SBN sister site for the Pads...........That infamous broken clock, the one Lyle Spencer shall forever adore, hit that magic single second in the day when he was right...........For the record, Albert Pujols passed Lou Gehrig last night..........That's right, take out the top guy and make the rest of the team beat you. Standard team sport strategy. But taking out Bryce Harper by pitching around him doesn't seem to be slowing down the Nationals one bit. It's time to try something else.........Ichiro on Ichiro?..........Beer Bottle Loser, Philly Phan...........Texas A&M rattle chant. Damned brilliant!..........OT: Some dogs have all the luck...........


Mystery Graph

(Yesterday was LAA Fielding Percentage versus Fielding Percentage MLB-wide. I did warn that it would need a level of precision in the answer, because my charts to date had been mostly versus just the American League. FLD% is extremely close and requires careful observation to pick that out, which is why I did it! Good on fishfarm for taking the hint. Moving on, this is a busy one and it wouldn't surprise me if I need to hand out hints. First hint is that the red line is LAA...)