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MondoLinks: Oh that's right. We suck.

A fine weekend in Houston to remind us all that 2016 is a doomed season.

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hey, winning was fun while we had it. Maybe we get to do that again, yeah? But, next time, don't let us all get carried away and forget the spanking we took this weekend. Our bats can be shut down when necessary, and our starting rotation is in shambles. We will have our issue all the rest of the way out, but we still got baseball!

Some people might think of Mike Scioscia as a fossilized strategist locked into primitive, shallow, thinking that holds no hope of calculating a way forward for the franchise with the tools available. Other people might think of Mike Scioscia as the calm, cool head of consistency in the face of raging headwinds. Choose your side as Sosh announces that the team: "will turn the page".

You know, Tim, it just might be that you have found who you now are, at this point in your life. Maybe it's just that you are struggling to accept that which you have become. I cannot blame you for that. It's better to rage against the inevitable and cling that last hurrah, forcing somebody else to rip the baseball from your feeble hands. Yes, better that than drop the ball and walk away wondering. And while it may piss off we fans, there are few places in baseball where you could have learned this hard truth without damage to your hosts.

Maybe we should now move on to Jerome Williams or something. The last time he took the mound he was throwing 90mph..........




The Upcoming Series:

Los Angeles Angels @ Kansas City Royals - Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Not Kansas.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
MONDAY 5:15 PM PDT Hector Santiago (8-4, 4.32 ERA)  vs. Ian Kennedy (6-8, 4.28 ERA) FS-W
TUESDAY 5:15 PM PDT Tyler Skaggs (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. TBA FS-W
WEDNESDAY 5:15 PM PDT Matt Shoemaker (5-10, 3.99 ERA)  vs. Danny Duffy (6-1, 3.14 ERA) FS-W

Yep. We get Tyler Skaggs back on Tuesday. This could have been a triumphant team step up on the season. Instead,  let's just support Tyler's personal return to the living.

From the official Game Notes: "ROYALS ON DECK - ROYALS ON DECK In last meeting at Angel Stadium, Angels claimed first three-game sweep of KC since taking four games, May 23-26, 2013 at Kauffman…Halos went 1-6 vs. KC in 2015…LAA has won 15 of last 20 season series vs.Royals…Mike Trout is batting .352 (37/105) with 25 runs, 9 HRs and 20 RBI in 29 career games vs. Royals."


Everywhere In Baseball

Bandying it About: I confess that I am delighted that Jett Bandy is starting to show real promise. I like how he is growing into handling the attempts at opponents to run on the Angels. And I like the signs of offense. I especially like how Bandy might someday erase the memory of Jeff Mathis and allow us to leapfrog our lineage back to the Molinas. That allows us to let Taylor Ward to work things out for himself as he rises through the farm at his own pace...........

Simba Juice: Oh, yeah, people. We may have snagged more than just a huge diamond in the likes of Andrelton Simmons. We knew he him to be a defensive wizard, but we also knew to expect not too very much offense. Sure, he is hotter than pistols over the last couple of weeks (.458 /  .500 / .583 over the past 7 starts). But those are small numbers. Look more at the last 108 at-bats, over his last 30 games. .352 / .379 / .463. Let's be fair, here. This has to have a least a little to do with LAA coaching, so good for them, too. But wouldn't it be amazing to have a defensive wizard that also can hit over .300? Maybe we have just that!............

Trade Winds: The Angels won a few games there after the All-Star Break, somehow tricking GM Billy Eppler into thinking that the roots of this particular tree are actually sound. "A lot of things have come together at the exact same time,” General Manager Billy Eppler said. “We felt that this club had a lot of positive elements to it. It wasn’t all clicking like it is right now, but the character and the fight within those guys has never faded."...........But just because our execs might be in a fog doesn't mean that such is the case of execs everywhere. The Mets, for instance, are looking hard at Joe Smith. Because that 5.63 ERA over his last 9 outings is so tasty........... Giving Eppler credit for mastering the obvious, losing a cost-controlled pitcher who might have just turned himself into a front-or-the-rotation linchpin is not something to rush into, especially when your own rotation just imploded for at least another season. So no, let the other GMs keep calling ans inquiring about Matt Shoemaker. There is an entire week left to allow their desperation to rise............Over in Arizona, the DBacks have mastered the concept of buy high and sell low, choosing exactly now to put the disastrous Shelby Miller on the block............

A Real Cut Up: The more I read about Chris Sale, the more he comes across as a real asshat. In this latest episode, Sale decided that the throwback uniforms selected for his outing were not dignified enough for his liking. Seeing that he was unable to whine enough to change the minds of the franchise, and that he was destined to ear the uniform in question despite his sense of fashion, he chose to cut a bunch of the uniforms to ribbons. For this he was sent home, and has now been suspended 5 games by his own team for "insubordination". As manager Robin Ventura explains, this wasn't the first incident with Sale.........

For The Win: Here's where Harold Reynolds, Great Defender of The Win, would rather everyone just move along and stop staring. Over his past 12 outings Matt Shoemaker has pitched 83 total innings, allowing only 22 earned runs ( 2.39 ERA) and 75 hits with 10 walks (1.02 WHIP). This is all in the American League, where pitchers face a DH and ERA's tend to run an entire run per game higher than in the NL. And for all that dominance. Shoemaker has witnessed merely 3 "Wins" tossed into his cap. Meanwhile, yesterday relief pitcher David Robertson of the White Sox took the mound twice in a doubleheader. In both games the White Sox won on a walk-off. Robertson faced 7 batters, gave up 3 earned runs on 3 home runs and a base hit, which included blowing a save. That's an 11.57 ERA and a 1.714 WHIP. And for that, Robertson collected TWO "Wins"..........

HoF: Let me get the obvious out of the way, with Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza getting inducted yeterday. The fun there was when Griffey closed his speech, putting on his cap - backwards. Old-time baseball scribes never cared for that...........And Piazza's cap must be pissing of a lot of Dodger fans . And, make no mistake, this weekend was a pretty bad ceremony for Chavez Ravine attendees. The fans knew quite well what they had in Piazza, even if management did not.  (By the way, I don't suppose there are were Most Memorable Moments as a Dodger???), so it was a good day............Oh, and future HoF'er Mike Trout and Albert Pujols wore celebratory shoes in Junior's honor while they watched Jose Altuve run circles around them all weekend in things that mattered............There, now to the good stuff. The Hall of Fame has noticed something rather odd. This, of course, is something that has been the main subject of debate (even beyond the PEDS debates) for several decades now. To wit, voters are less inclined to install very many players of recent vintages. The result is rather startling: "There are twice as many players in the Hall of Fame who debuted before 1950 as compared to afterward, and yet there are nearly double the eligible candidates after 1950 than prior,” Hall chair Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement. “Those who served the game long ago and have been evaluated many times on past ballots will now be reviewed less frequently." And so, the HoF is revamping the Veteran's Committees again.............

Victory for Indentured Servitude: The Minor League Players have suffered a serious set back in their efforts toward trying to win some living wages for the work they put into the development process that generate Major League talent. A judge has come to the counter-intuitive conclusion that there is likely to be too much variety in the experiences of players to find enough common complaint. Besides, where is the documented proof? And, so, the players cannot file as a class action. They have to take on Major League Baseball one at a time. Individually. Yeah, good luck with that...........


The Duffle Bag

Minor League Baseball teams throw parties for their promo nights, while Major League Baseball teams jump sharks.........."I hate you, Dad. I love you, Dad."...........Hey, reporters, you want to get into the sports clubhouse and chase your stories? Expect a little piss with that vinegar...........Johnny Cueto, who chose not to stick around and continue playing for the Kansas City Royals, is a little miffed that the Kansas City Royals chose not to stick around and play ball with him, leaving him behind when they visited the White House...........Add a new chapter to how one writer's list of fantasy changes end up causing such a ruckus with real baseball people (see Friday's Links). Scott Boras wraps his knuckles against the forehead of Commissioner Manfred AND the silent Union head Tony Clark, finding the idea of gutting MLB rosters of relief pitchers to be a bad thing for player employment. Like duh...........What am I missing? Don't they have wind in Massachusetts?...........Since I mentioned Jose Altuve above, Rob Dribble comes in with the accusations............


Mystery Graph

(Here is the answer I gave to the Thursday/Friday challenge: "This is the fWAR for the third base position of all 30 MLB teams, as of Wednesday afternoon. Red is LAA. The point of putting this chart out there now is that with the trade deadline bearing down on us Yunel Escobar is the hottest name being bandied about for sucking off of the LAA roster. Now Escobar is only a fraction of that overall fWAR, but his 1.0 fWAR ranks near the bottom of all MLB 3B’s. His value is OBP only, and that comes with a 25 cent head. When you look at it that way, shouldn’t be expecting much in way of return even from one of our rare chips of value. Kudos to Radwen77!  But you people are getting kind of cocky these days. I am not making these hard enough...........Yet.)