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ThorsLinks: Trading Spaces time

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Time to get real, people. Over the next two weeks we are likely to see one or more favorite Halos leave Anaheim and create new holes in the organization, as Eppler tries to nab a few useful parts and tape over older holes.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The All-Star game is now parked out back. Coming up next are the Hall of Fame Induction Day (July 24th) and....for us....the non-waiver trade deadline, which is set for August 1st this year. that's just over 2 weeks from now, and we have some tasty assets on our shelves. The first names I found on the rumor docket are Yunel Escobar and Joe Smith. I like both these guys, but I find it funny that these are the names that lead off and Escobar just did this while Smith just did this. And then I got Matt Shoemaker from a Ken Rosenthal article, but even Rosenthal admits that this idea, cooked up by a rash of scouts, would be foolish. Shoe is a cost-controlled and effective - even promising - pitcher for a team that has already gone from riches to rags as it pertains to their starting rotation.

So strap in and have some Waiting for the Shoe to Drop Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Trout Porn: Hey, it's the slowest of slow news days (Well, #1 of 2) in the midst of the regular season So let's go swimming in the deep end of the Trout pool. For starters, imagine if Mike Trout were player/GM. Would Mike Trout consider trading Mike Trout? Oh hell no......We agree there, for sure. One reason is something we here at HH have been following closely since Year 1: Mike is only getting even better. When you consider that Trout has the baseline of already being one of the greatest ballplayers at his age, that fact is simply unfathomable. The best factoid in this link would be: "Staying more upright has helped Trout close one of the few holes that emerged in his game a couple years ago. In 2014, Trout hit .076 against pitches in the upper third of the strike zone or higher. That’s also where many of his strikeouts were. This year, he’s hit .324 on those pitches." Holy crap.I wonder if MLB pitchers actually have a game plan against Trout anymore, beyond simply throw it hard and all over the place and hope for the best.....Meanwhile, we try to track Trout using any & all tools at our disposal. Mike cares very little about those things. I find the juxtaposition between Trout's approach to player performance monitoring and his approach to weather monitoring to be fascinating. With respect to WAR, Trout doesn't "...really think about that stuff, I go out there and play. I just prepare for the game, and whatever happens, happens." But the kid is so weather crazy, and for something he has zero control over he really, really wants to know!..........Finally, Trout is merely 24 years old, and he is being ranked as the 6th greatest center fielder in the history of the game..........There just must be something in the water in Massachusetts that turns baseball players into douchebags..........

Bad Daze: I agree that it has been a while since the Halos were in last place at the break (1999, as chased down by Alden Gonzalez). But I disagree that "this is unfamiliar territory". This marks 4 of the past 7 seasons where the Halos were double-digits out of 1st place in the AL West. They finished 18 games back just as recently as 2013. And we have been noodling around here long enough to know that there were those 19 games back and 41 games back finishes in this still-young century. Baseball is mercurial. It happens...........

Bad Luck: Or none at all. The LAA run of bad luck has been omnipotent this year. and it goes way back into the offseason. Not just for the deals that Eppler couldn't make because of Arte (Sorry, Arte, I ain't buying your official retroactive line), but because of hte deals that Eppler could have made which fell through. For example, that time he almost got Michael Saunders - power hitting outfielder and 2016 All-Star Michael Saunders -  out of Toronto for chump change. And it fell through because some farm prospect headed from Toronto to Cincinnati in that package failed a physical. Yeah, it's been that kind of year all along..........

Genius: It occurs to Mark Whicker, still over at ocregister, that signing Mark Trumbo in the offseason is something Billy Eppler should look into. Trumbo will be FA after the World Series this year and Whicker assumes that the Orioles won't extend one of those punishing QO's, or that the CBA will change the QA system in Trumbo's favor, or that Trumbo is worthy of the C.J. WIlson money coming off the books, or that Trumbo's surge is sustainable and permanent, or that Trumbo will be one of the best options for Eppler in LF in the offseason. I had always assumed that Whicker was unemployed............

Manfred Speaks: By the way, in case it flew past by you yesterday (I didn't take the extra time to point it out and make it obvious), when Rob Manfred tells everyone that expansion is on hold until Oakland and Tampa Bay can get their existing stadium situations fixed, he is not being empathetic towards the fans of Oakland and Tampa Bay. Shit no. What Manfred and MLB owners are doing is keeping open and available the most promising and inviting and willing cities for expansion, that they may use them to be dangled as relocation threats for the A's and Rays in order to coerce public money out of local taxpayers in order to pay for the business operating playgrounds of their billionaire owners. It should be obvious by now that if MLB were to put teams in Portland or Las Vegas or Montreal or San Antonio, etc., they would lose a lot of their traditional leverage with local public officials in Oakland and Tampa. This is important and relevant to us, because we still have our own stadium situation yet to be dealt with.........

Indentured Servitude: While on the subject of dissecting Manfred's and Clark's "town hall" before the ASG, FanGraphs dives in between the lines of commentary concerning minor league player pay. It's all too easy to poke holes in those two executive on this topic. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be diligent in poking every one of those holes, and doing it often............

Management: It's a privilege to make the All-Star roster as a player. It's also a privilege to make the All-Star game as a manager. And in baseball land, the manager is the decider. Tuesday, Ned Yost was focused on winning while Terry Collins was focused on player happiness and getting them all some camera time. Yost did win. But, boy, did Collins ever lose. Not only did he lose a possible WS Game 7 to the American League, but he didn't get all the players into the game anyway. Ironically, it was three of his own Mets players and they ain't happy about it. Of course, if I recall Terry Collins from his days beneath the Halo, he doesn't give a shit............

History Moment: One of the many baseball-related things I recall growing up was that very close to Angels Stadium, over in my hometown of Orange, sits Hart Park. Within Hart Park is a baseball field. And when I was a kid that field was home to the Orange Lionettes. This was a non-professional women's fastpitch softball franchise that dominated the national scene much like the Yankees did throughout MLB in the first half of the last century. Seriously, in their 40 seasons they won 9 National Championships and 1 second-place finish. Long before the Angels came south, the Lionettes owned Orange County baseball hearts and minds. Well, I raise this memory today because author Erica Westly has written a new book about the history of women's fastpitch softball in America. It's a shade of baseball that is always worthy of our awareness..........

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The Duffle Bag

Remember my mention of Tigers AAA prospect Anthony Gose getting in his managers grill down at AAA and then going AWOL? Well, Gose will get to show up after all. In AA...........Today should be good. Seek out news for a press conference concerning the Jenrry Mejia lawsuit against the corruption of MLB. And, by good, I don't mean any actual damage coming to MLB. More like Mejia and his attorney trying to race their tricycle downhill.........In case you were worried about MLB owners not having enough money to spend on minor league/major league talent, you can stop. Of the Forbes Top 50 most valuable sports franchises on planet earth, MLB has 7 of them. And the Angels aren't far behind..........Anybody remember Howie Kendrick? Welp, he be playin' left field these days. Interestin' development, right there, is it not?..........Odds are that we are going to have MVP arguments again this year. and we can start with guys being favored mostly because they are not tall.............Baseball signaling is a really cool thing, totally under-reported IMHO. Don't ever let technology rob us of this...........True personal insight: I hate sushi. And this doesn't promise to change my mind............Yeah, I recall when the All-Star Game was a pretty big deal. Now it's just a media fun frenzy to make a lot of money for sponsors. Oh well. Time marches on. Next stop on the ASG fun train: Miami, and endless hours of that gawdawful thingy they have for home runs that should make the Derby rather nauseating........If you are going to have All-Stars, the best of the best, you are also going to have the other side of that coin: the worst of the worst. It should not be surprising that this list would include some Halo..........

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Mystery Graph

(Yesterday was a long time solving, but htennis finally nailed it. In honor of losing the red hot  and rising C.J. Cron for the season, I listed his batting stats for the year. Red was Batting Average, green was On base Percentage, blue was Slugging Percentage, and purple was On Base Plus Slugging Percentage. Notice how his SP was still rising? As it happens, Cron was the SLG leader throughout the ENTIRE ORGANIZATION going back the last 4 weeks. [ I'll bet you didn't even know you could make BBR do that table, did you?! ] Have fun today. You will probably need hints. Well, beyond the obvious, which is where I color the Angel column in red.)

Mystery-Chart-18


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