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HumpLinks: Angels are Cubs' lackeys

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Remember when the season opened up with our LAA playoff hopefuls measuring up against the expected 2016 MLB juggernaut? Those were the daze...

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Five in a row. And it ain't over yet. Maybe not be a long shot. But it's still live baseball, which IS more fun than what happens in Novembers and Decembers and Januarys and Februarys. And protected picks are good things.

I don't know about you, but at this point I am not watching with any team hopes. But I am watching every pitch, every at-bat, and every play with the hope that somebody does something great. So, over here, still having fun.

Have some Looking For Individual Glory Links:


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Everywhere In Baseball

Wheeler Dealers: Lots of organizational news yesterday. As Jett Bandy makes himself more comfortable behind the plate as head receiver, Carlos Perez finds himself on the plane to Salt Lake to make room for Geovany Soto..........Cam Bedrosian hits the 15-day DL with some finger tendinitis, and GM Billy Eppler made a claim on Brett Oberholtzer as the Phillies were running him over the waiver wire. A trade must have been worked out, because Oberholzter is expected to join the team while on the road............Eppler also bought back the contract of A.J.Achter. We haven't seen Achter since June 25th. He had been used as a late-inning eater in blowouts, mostly pre-determined losses..........Also, Tim Lincecum continues to rage against the dying of the bite (in his curveball). Surprisingly, he accepted the assignment to Salt Lake City and looks to get back to what should have been happening back in March.........

Tebown Stakes: The big news yesterday is Tim Tebow and his agent announcing a plan to try Major League Baseball. I have a million things to day about this, all negative. But if you look at all the ink spilled on this subject in a 10 hour window, most summed up here, for the short term it's a marketeer's dream. Ticket sales, media credentials, merchandise mania, all upside in the minor leagues. And until he would hit the 40-man, he is not costing any roster spot decisions and not impacting payroll planning. Just remember, this is not an athlete who accepts anything less than the choicest assignments.............

ARod Dangerfield: Some guys get no respect. And no cowboy boots. And no velvet paintings, surfboards, giant fresh salmon, etc. Some guys make their retirement announcement and just get benched. "Rodriguez is not playing Tuesday or Wednesday -- he may pinch-hit those days -- but will be in the lineup Thursday for New York's series finale against the Red Sox in Fenway Park."..............By the way, notice that the Red Sox, currently milking the David Ortiz Retirement Tour for all it's worth all across America, ain't so much as even roll out a cupcake and candle for Rodriguez this week..............

Life Lessons: This week is a decent time to review ARod's contract career versus his player career. Some of you are old enough to recall that ARod's contract with Texas was a stunner of such proportions that the ripples are still felt to this day. But, perhaps surprisingly, that Texas contract was not such a bad deal after all. It was the follow-on Yankees contract that was shit. And so we learn that giving big money to old people leads to bad outcomes. Not as if we Angels fans needed that lesson...........(I admit that I am slightly dubious about the article results. I am not sure that the value per WAR assigned by either FanGrraphs or BBR would be as high as they have been had not Arod's Texas contract not set a new benchmark in the first place. It's all relative, of course, and ARod would then have had a similar return with lower pay. But the emphasis on dialogs such as this pushes the emotional buttons on the differences between MLB player pay and that of us common folk.)...........

Sports (Media) Biz: There it is, ESPN, the Borg of sports media, has infested the BAM arm of MLB and shall be clinging to the opportunity to suppress the liberation of content for your viewing opportunities. Cut all the cords you wish, foolish hyper-connected souls, ESPN will continue to tap deep into your bitcoins. You know what they say about resistance...........

Sports (Stadium) Biz: This is rare, and should not be considered any sort of trend. Maricopa County (Arizona) Supervisor Andy Kunasek, who is no longer worrying about any need to get re-elected, has gone on the offensive against the Diamondbacks. The D'Backs are looking for public money to "upgrade" Chase Field. Chase is only 18 years old. Maybe they need to clean the pool or something. Anyway, Kunasek is being quotes as telling the franchise to "take your stupid baseball team and get the out...and go back to f---king West Virginia." Refreshing, sure. But don't think that just because this is so refreshing, and there is public complaints in Atlanta and Arlington, it means anything to Anaheim or Arte...........DAMMIT! This is well beyond being just an accident. I demand a national inquiry...........

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The Duffle Bag

Price Fielder gets the bad news from his doctors and is down for the count, forever. Rangers fans should be throwing him one hell of a retirement party, since he just saved them about $104 million they can now use for something usedful................Silly Yasiel Puig. Minor league assignments are supposed to be a punishment, not a party............On the other hand, when the Cubs demoted Tommy La Stella to AAA, they probably should have sent him Puig's Instagram posts. It might have encouraged La Stella to actually report, instead of going AWOL...........Legal sports betting got another kick in the nuts in New Jersey............Clayton Kershaw is a football fan...............As Bill "Spaceman" Lee recalls it, Bill Clinton ain't the only president to have smoked marijuana. But Clinton may be the only one who didn't inhale............Big Papi Bobblehead, as designed by Delta Dental. To the dump they all go.............Our old friend Erick Aybar can still make the sick play on the field. He can also still make the boneheaded play on the basepaths...........Last week it was Bruce Bochy, this week it's Terry Francona who experiences old guy pains and sits out a game, and next week I'm gonna stay in bed...............Mike Trout is having a career beyond fantastic, but he is missing individual monumental games such as getting 7 hits. It's still early, but I am still waiting for even a 3-homer outburst. (Hell. A 2-homer game this season would be nice.).............And we think we're tough on OUR manager..........

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Mystery Graph

(Yesterday. hoercles and htennis teamed up to decipher the chart. The info represents the career split season batting arcs of Albert Pujols [left] and Mike Trout [right]. The key  challenge was unraveling X axis values for "1" and "6", which the stats people merge from TWO data points each. Good job overcoming that trick.Anyway, the key then is to observe how these two major factors in the LAA offense fare across a season, and note where we are today. Not forecasting so good for Trout. Today a new mystery. Not so hard, yet so informative.)

Mystery-Chart-31


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