Time to turn the corner.
Andrelton Simmons is already back with the team, fresh off some AAA hot hitting that carried over to Wednesday in Anaheim. Nick Tropeano is due back next week, bolstering the starting rotation. And Tim The Freak Lincecum is set to start Saturday's game up in Oakland. If he pitches as well against the AAAA A's as he did in Fresno for Salt Lake, he will be a damned sight better than what we have been getting out of Jered Weaver of late.
Which might mean, thunderously in terms of franchise history, that Weaver could be moved to the bullpen by the time I post the next WeekEnd HaloLinks. Could it be?!?
There is still a lot of health to be reclaimed. And still a lot of games to be made up. But, still we are hte ones who have Mike Trout.
Have some Chances-for-things-to-start-looking-up Links:
ANGELS ON DECK
The Upcoming Series:
Los Angeles Angels @ Oakland A's - Oakland Waste Treatment Center, Oakland, CA.
|Day||Game Time||Probable Pitchers||TV|
|FRIDAY||6:35 PM PDT||Matt Shoemaker (3-7, 4.76) vs. Kendall Graverman (2-6, 5.28 ERA)||FS-W|
|SATURDAY||1:05 PM PDT||TIM LINCECUM?!?!?!? (Officially, still to be announced)||FS-W|
|SUNDAY||1:05 PM PDT||Jered Weaver (5-6, 5.71 ERA) vs. Eric Surkamp (0-4, 8.07 ERA)||FS-W|
From the official team Game Notes: "OAKLAND ON DECK: Halos have won five straight games at The Coliseum…In April, LAA completed first three-game road sweep of Oakland since Sept. 3-5, 2012…Angels have won 11 of last 14 overall games, including seven of last eight vs. A’s…LAA claimed 2015 series 11-8 (5-4 on road)…Halos have won 20 of last 27 matchups…Since 2002, Angels (6) or Athletics (5) have won 11 of 14 A.L. West crowns."
Everywhere In Baseball
Sunday is Father's Day: Have some Father's Day fun with Matt Shoemaker and his rise in production. (And see a younger, less hairy, Matt Shoemaker looking quite a bit like a young Bob Boone.) "Lately, since he's been on this run and everything's going so well, I'm afraid to get out of the chair," David said, laughing. "I guess it's crazy, because I've always said I'm not superstitious, but I find myself not moving."
First Gloves: I recall my first baseball mitt. I used it for years. Even when I got a new mitt, around the age of 12, I kept that first mitt in the sports equipment bin in the garage. (We 4 brothers used a clean, vintage, cardboard 55-gallon waste can for all our sports gear. It still wasn't big enough.) And I would still dig that old mitt out for pickup games in the neighborhood, saving the new mitt for organized ball. The last time I saw that old mitt I was about 18 years old. My mom sent the mitt off to the goodwill with lots of other seriously important things when she cleaned out the garage after we had all moved out. That first mitt, though, would still be useful today. I wish I still had it. I'll bet you have a very same story, don't you?...........
Trout Anti-Porn: Does it really suck to be Mike Trout? Every year 29 teams fail to win the World Series and only 1 does. So does not winning a World Series with Trout mean that we are "wasting him"? Does winning one playoff game make a season a success? That Trout made a difference? The author pulls Sam Miller into the act, who is much smarter at this than I will ever have time to be but with whom I am free to disagree anyway. For example, Miller argues that had the Pirates drafted Trout "...they’d arguably have won three divisions and a wild card spot, rather than three lousy wild cards." First of all, if the playoffs are supposed to be a crapshoot, what does it matter? Second, Miller's math presumes the same WARP that Trout has yielded being applied to Pittsburgh (I am guessing, and I would also hope that it's adjusted for different park factors). But that would mean that the Bucs would have immediately slotted Trout into a center field already occupied by a proven Andrew McCutcheon. Wasn't gonna happen. Hell, Sosh wouldn't even take CF away from a Peter Bourjos in favor of Trout. But, back to the initial argument: these kind of posts completely ignore where the Angels would be if they did not have the benefit of Trout at all. Take away Trout's contributions and you have a cellar-dwelling team that had already traded away the benefit of high first-round draft picks. Without Trout, the Angels are a last place team AND all that sucky lack of farm system pipeline. Trout keeps LAA relevant, and that is not wasteful.......
Rough Take: Rougned Odor is probably right. I am sure that "...people who don't know baseball may have a bad impression of [him]". And I am also sure that "...people who know baseball do know that those things are a part of the game." Just as I am sure that just being part of the game doesn't mean it's a good thing. And just as I am sure that people who know baseball may have a bad impression of him, too..........
A Parable: Enjoy your superstars while you have them, folks. David Wright is melting before our very eyes. He has played in only 57% of Mets games since the 2012 season, will miss 100% of the remaining games this season, and when he gets back might still not be healthy enough to do much with what's left of his athletic abilities. By the way, Wright is still owed (pro-rated for 2016) $82,098,765.43..........
Caveat Emptor: FanGraphs rips into a recent trend of teams trying to buy low into an aging star on the declineshowing that, in case after case, the decline is so steep what seemed low at the time of the deal soon turns into an epic overpay..........
Grounding: Did you ever sit there and wonder why it is that batters hit ground balls? No, me neither. But if the perfect swing plane is one with a slight incline, batters should be putting the ball over and through the infield, not down to it. Well, lets look into what is actually going on here..........
Unreal: The Yankees' prospect Jake Cave is getting a lot of press right now for clobbering a home run all the way to the roof of a nearby apartment building. When you see the pictures and the video it IS mighty impressive. So I went digging. I figured that this was in Toledo, against the Mud Hens, which would put the game at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio. That ballpark is listed as 320 down the right field line. Off to GoogleMaps we go! It turns out that this roof is for the apartments above the sports bar Fricker's, where the apartments facing the field are practically the right field wall itself. So, yeah, it was a great shot, pulled down the line hard. But, no, it didn't go traveling out of the ballpark and across some street and still land on some rooftop of some skyscraper, as images and videos make it appear.
Strat-O-Matic: I saved up and purchased one of the very first Strat-O-Matic generations when I was a kid. But I grew up in Southern California where the weather is always great and none of the other kids wanted to sit inside all day rolling dice and trying to figure out all that complex chart shit. Why do that when you can just go outside and actually, you know, play and actual game of real baseball?? Anyway, it took less than 3 days to realize that the purchase was a waste of my money. For others, though, that investment still shines today. My guess is that these are mostly people who grow up in places like Wisconsin...........
TexA$$ Revolution: (h/t reddit) A grass roots movement appears to be springing up in Arlington, calling bullshit on the cozy plans to suck public money out of the bank and gift the ownership group of the Rangers yet another pretty prize billion dollar playground. These flyers are being posted and handed out in spades. These kinds of things usually need a lot more momentum than handbills to have any chance of success, but it's good to read that people ther eare not going to go down without at least taking a swing. The good part is this: "WE HAVE BUILT A FINE STADIUM FOR THE RANGERS AND THEIR OWNERS! They knew about Texas summers, so if they do not appreciate the stadium we gave them, then they can build their own." And the hilarious part is this: "...we are not only subsidizing millionaires and billionaires, we are also paying for entertainment of out-of-town Ranger fans who insult us by staying in Dallas or Fort Worth and spending their money there wen they attend games". For those unfamiliar, Globe Life Stadium sits right off the 310 highway linking Arlington and Dallas. It sits about 10 miles for the heart of both cities. The idea that hordes of local fans would rent out hotel rooms 10 miles away in order to attend a game is pretty funny shit. Especially if it's true!...........(FYI, the deal calls for the public to put up $500 million, or 50%, of the cost of the stadium and the public would vote on this around November 8th. Typical of lying, idiot, politicians involved in selling bullshit on behalf of the business elite, the Arlington Mayor is telling folks that "One of our greatest economic engines is the Texas Rangers. This is the opportunity for us to continue the momentum and not step back years.")............
CWS: Here we go, kids! UC Santa Barbara will play Oklahoma State Saturday at noon PDT and Arizona will play the 5PM PDT game against Miami, both on ESPN2. Winners and losers of these games will face off Monday afternoon. If you aren't interested in teams from the West, you can look it all up for yourself here..........
The Duffle Bag
How strong is YOUR birth date in MLB WAR factors? Mine is a pretty strong 359.3 total, 7.6 average with a high of 75.0..........Andrew McCutcheon is getting the Trade Trout treatment. Kind of a tough sell at the moment, though, what with Cutch struggling as he is..........Derek Jeter is almost married, and his idea of blowing off steam before the nuptials involves golf and fruit plates. Wild and crazy..........The Padres are looking to dump what little talent they have that actually works, starting with a Wil Myers who looks like he is investing his Padres payroll checks into a medical marijuana franchise..........Eric Hosmer, your leading 1b AL All Star vote getter, is actually the worst fielding 1B in all of baseball..........Holy moly! Watch this softball smash at Tropicana Field. Pay attention to the American Flag in the upper deck beyond the left field seating..........
(Oooh. Yesterday was a hard one, wasn't it? Only a couple of sniffs, and I even offered to serve up clues. Well, mates, that chart was the Top 10 Seasonal ERA accomplishments in LA franchise history. In the #1 spot is Bob Lee, vintage 1964, with an ERA of 1.51. Jered Weaver pulled in the #7 spot with 2.41 in 2011. the part that throws everybody off is the idea that an AL pitcher might have that low of an ERA, especially a Halo. Oh well, try again...)