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HumpLinks: Lowly Halos happy to dump on flopping Rangers

The Angels are rolling along, performing miracles in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Meanwhile, their current victims are the Texas Rangers, coming back to earth after paying way over their heads for far too long. Sweetness.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Lincecum is like watching a dumpster fire get swallowed up by a massive sinkhole that gets filled in by an unexpected underground aquifer and ends up as a lovely lake of sparkling water. I don't want to dwell on the dumpster fire. I am mystified by the surprise sinkhole. I celebrate the aquifer. And now I can think about the lovely lake of sparkling water and forget all about what was once a dumpster fire.

Two simple questions:

1) What are the odds that three young hopefuls will all become front-line professional baseball starting pitchers...after each undergoes their own various number of years of accumulated arm abuse...and all reach the apex of that abuse and damage their UCL within a few months of one another...all while playing for the same professional baseball team?

2) If you are going lose total control of a baseball you are throwing as a sinker and throwing at 92mph intended to drop but, instead, clock a batter direct in the helmet and almost cause serious and lasting injury...what are the odds that the batter you are facing is the same guy who has just had a 2-homer game (his second such in 3 nights) and caused a second consecutive loss to your enemy, and dog-piling onto the frustration of 13 losses over the prior 17 games?

The Angels are winning big even as the Angels are losing even bigger. I have never seen anything like this in all my years of following baseball.

Have some Living-In-Interesting-Times Links:


Everywhere In Baseball

Unbelievable Crappy Luck: Nick Tropeano is headed in the general direction of Tommy John surgery with a torn UCL. Say goodbye to NiTro until 2018. At this moment, which is being typed fast enough to beat Tyler Skaggs' flight back to Anaheim, we have Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, C.J. Wilson, Nick Tropeano and Tyler Skaggs all absent. That would, under normal earthly circumstances, be a rotation any team would drool over. We have them. All on the injured list. Our depth chart should be renamed depth charges............To hell with second opinions, or third ones. To hell with alternative medicine. This sucks all the same. All this swill just give scribes a reason to blame Arte for "wasting" Mike Trout for another 24 months..........

H&H: Kole Calhoun, 2016 MLB Heart and Hustle Nominee representing LAA...........

Split to the Infinity: Matt Shoemaker is rolling. And his splitter is his freight train. 35% of the time on average, 50% of his pitches this past Saturday. Oddly, per Shoey, not as much as we are being led to believe: "I am throwing more splitters, but maybe not as many as people think. When I go back and watch video, a lot of my sliders get marked down as splitters."

JAWS: Do you know about JAWS? Probably. If not, click here. If yes, hear directly from its progenitor, Jay Jaffe, as he pontificates about the HoF chances for today's current stars, including Mr. Trout. Quick take: Trout is half way there.........

Sisyphus: When looking out into the future, the Pirates have what looks to be the easiest remaining schedule. For those of you dreaming of a major team rally, the Halos have the third most difficult..........

Uni Foul: Some people really do care about uniforms. So when the Angels try to deploy throwback unis that are far from accurately throwing back, we can expect the people that really care about uniforms to really, really care...........

House Theft: Are you a fan of stealing home? It's exciting, for sure, so yes. Yes you are. Well, then, YOU go over and read all this data about how successful this play has been over the years. For some reason, I can't get my brain to focus on it and pull up something interesting to intrigue you. Well, except maybe for this: "I’m not sure I can say the same for Prince Fielder. His attempt came on Aug. 16, 2011, playing with Milwaukee. Yuniesky Betancourt apparently missed a squeeze sign, took a big whiffing hack, and hung Prince out to dry. Fielder did what he was told, so the shame isn’t his. It belongs to whoever thought Prince Fielder should be taking any part in a squeeze play, which I guess would be manager Ron Roenicke."..........

Sports Biz: Another crack in the dam. Moody's is now forecasting a collapse in Regional Sports Networks. People who have gobs of money rely on Moody's to convince them where it is safe to park their gobs of money, and where it is not. Investor confidence is an important thing, and lack of such confidence will only prompt investors from drifting away from those institutions which pour money into RSNs...........


The Duffle Bag

Mr. Section 104 Ice Cream Vendor takes one for the team. Right in the ass..............Put your headphones on. Sam Miller on the evolution of the bickering between managers and umpires..........I missed this survey, and a chance to get us to help the author on counting how many Halos wear their uni pants high-cuffed. So they didn't get any report out of Anaheim. Maybe he will take a report posthumously? Get on it!..............Sometimes Mike Napoli bombs do the work of the Light Side of the Force. He doesn't always piss us off..........Coco Crisp: total knucklehead............Milwaukee Brewers: team knucklehead............The Dodgers are shutting down Clayton Kershaw, thus talking themselves into thinking they have had the worst fortune in all of baseball..........Congratulations Cubs fans: using baseball to teach young kids how to pad their resumes...........We are going to have a Sports Mascot Hall of Fame. After seeing the renderings, if this Mascot HoF needs a mascot of its own, I nominate H.R. Pufnstuf...........Forget golf uses. I want to be the guy who is paid by some baseball team to use this turbo-fan flying platform to dry off infields after rain delays!..........Keep this on your radar: another woman working hard to rise up the ranks of pro baseball umpiring..........SB Nation, now with our own radio station...........


Mystery Graph

(Final victory belongs to TOC, who took the opening clue from telinuauthor that the chart was about Pujols and figured out that the bars are $$$ per PA over his career. For those of you who are too timid to play, the clues that put you on the correct path were that the years along the X axis, indicating some LAA player whose career started in 2001 and played at least as long as 2015, whereas the Y axis showed dollars running from the kinds of things you would expect of rookies and out to values hundreds of times higher than rookies. Those arrows point to Pujols. Form there, it's just good clicking to find the association between Plate Appearances - some BBR clicking and some experimenting with a little math. Ok, let's keep turning up the dial, where the info on the X and Y axis require a little more thought....)