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TuesdoLinks: Angels reaching for new depths

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Eleven losses in a row. Home cooking will put an end to all this. Any day now...

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Bottom of the 9th inning, down by 1 one run. When you burn through all 3 of your outs in only 5 pitches, well, that's how the frack you manage to lose 11 straight games!!

There is a longer way to day all that, but it just reinforces the fact that I am an old fart, out of touch. I'll let it go. Again, there is more pain to come.

For the record (hoping to jinx their ass into a win), the longest losing streak in LAA franchise history is 13 (1988 - 1989). The longest losing streak in American league history is 21 (1988 Orioles). And the longest losing streak in modern baseball is 23 (1961 Phillies). The longest recorded, ever, would be 26 games ((1889 Louisville Cardinals). And let's just ignore the time the Angels lost 27 out of 33 games, late in 1995.

So, yeah, more pain to come. But it's been worse and we survived those.

On the plus side, the Angels upgraded their coaching staff yesterday, as Mark Langston did what we all scream to do: climb out of the viewing chair (Langston's being in a broadcast booth) and get out onto the field and coach somebody up. In Langston's case, he must have been just as frustrated watching Tyler Skaggs get smoked by base runners in Cleveland as the rest of us. So he went and took over some coaching duties and worked with Skaggs on his pick-off move..............

These are times when only the hardy make the daily slog. We know who we are. I honor you all. As bad as it is, come November we will be missing baseball. Let's dig it while we got it, as screwed up as it is for now. It will only make 2018 all that much sweeter.

Have some Here's-to-You Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Sosh Sunset: When you start to do stuff like project out the crazy notion that an Arte Moreno will relieve Mike Scioscia of his dugout duties, you are honor-bound to also project a replacement or two. (Assume that Arte would keep Mike in some front office advisory capacity so that he doesn't lose out on the last 2 years of Sosh's contract.) Otherwise it's just a "something magic happens here" distraction. So, for a thought experiment, who would it be? There are, of course, the usual LAA suspects. Scott Servais and Tim Bogar are in town, but in the visitor's dugout. Bud Black and Ron Roenicke are close at hand and Arte loves the easy way, and loyalty - but would Billy Eppler want to play the retread card? And, be very aware, MLB is getting serious pressure from all sides to improve minority representation among the manager ranks. A betting person would look back at the Cleveland organization we just left behind, and think of a Sandy Alomar, Jr. as a decent bet. Others would be Terry Pendleton, Pat Listach, maybe even a Raul Ibanez. Or, for some LAA heritage, how about a Chili Davis?..........

Garrett Richards Procedure: Garrett Richards has been cleared to start throwing again. No, he won't be back in 2016. his stem cell therapy holds hope that he will get to avoid Tommy John Surgery altogether. I have said this already, I will believe it when I see it, and when I see it I think we need to create a bandwagon to name the procedure after Richards himself...........

Freakin' OUT: Tim Lincecum had his first AAA start, still trying to find his mechanics, his control, and climb back into MLB shape. It went about as well as his MLB starts. 4.1 innings pitched, 4 hits, 4 runs allowed, all earned. With those came 4 walks against 4 strikeouts. And, oh yeah, 2 home runs. 81 pitches, 49 for strikes. But Lincecum reamins undaunted.........

Fiasco: Why whine about Ricky Nolasco, when Hector Santiago is crashing and burning since being sent off to Minnesota? Clearly we have not lost anything. If Nolasco ever does anything positive we are ahead, and we still have the mysterious upside of Alex Meyer. Of course, Meyer is only cleared to play catch at the moment, despite Sosh being on the record as raving that "We’ll move forward with what we think has the potential to be a deeper rotation very shortly if Meyer gets to be where he will be competing.".........

Eppler: We really should be exempt from things like this until late 2017. Maybe February 2018. No way an intelligent fan base can be passing judgement on Billy Eppler when Eppler comes into the organization so hamstrung. We laugh at Eppler's constant thrashing, but it's not as though he has many other options at the moment. Compared to what nearly all other GM's are able to do, Eppler has a job more accurately described as "night watchman"...........

Babes in Arms: One of the things we struggle with throughout MLB is the rising tide of arm injuries. We Angels fans, specifically, have been decimated by this recently. So we look at the obvious culprit: over-working of pitchers in their years prior to joining MLB. For starters, focusing on high school, know that beginning in 2017 there will be new national guidelines that State Athletic programs will be following, which exist to shut down the abuse of very young arms. No more 157-pitch games. But what about college arms? Is that even an issue? After all, many MLB programs prefer to draft pitchers form the college ranks than from high school, and the impact at the MLB level is generally much higher. Well, it does turn out that drafting college arms is, from a health perspective, very risky as well. And it depends a bit on what program the pitcher comes out of. Arm abuse at the college level is a real thing. Pitcher tend to throw a lot, and more so as they get closer to graduation. They get less rest between outings. They get worked even more during playoffs. And many coaches tend to concentrate more on a select few pitchers rather than spreading out the workloads. What we don't yet know, emphasizing "yet", is if this heavy workload among college arms (who have already gone through the high school burdens) leads to more breakdowns...........

Spaceman: Bill Lee is still going strong, and still highly quotable. In this piece, he brings back to the contemporary dialog a real thing, something that I recall reading about and tracking when I was much, much younger.  "Lee: I hurt the owners economically. I took money out of their pockets, that’s why I’m not in baseball......Sarris: When did you do that?.....Lee: I did that in 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, as being the player rep for the American League. That’s why I’m not in baseball. If you listen to Marvin Miller, you’ll hear that every player rep was traded, released or destroyed because they wanted to break up the relationship between the players and their teammates. They did not like the union. They hated us." Yes, folks. Never forget. It's real easy to rail against the money that ballplayers make for playing a game. But never forget that (relatively) the money was always there, it just used to be that it was all funneled into the pockets of the owners, none of whom were the reason people followed and poured their money into the game in the first place. And many in baseball still take every chance they can get to maintain that venom..........

Sports Biz: Another baby step. Twitter is looking to connect with Apple TV to stream live NFL games. It will be interesting to follow how they package and deliver content..........

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The Duffle Bag

I can't believe that what happened with the Cubs and their in-stadium DJ was any sort of accident. Probably why the Cubs fired the guy. On the other hand, it's not like it's too difficult to trip over misogynistic music...........Oh, sure. Usain Bolt probably could beat a Byron Buxton down the first base line, but only if he drew a walk. I doubt Bolt could hit Major League pitching at all. Buxton is a couple strides behind Bolt in running speed, but a lifetime ahead in every other baseball skill..........Trout, legitimately, is seeing his 2016 MVP cred slip slidin' away..........For about $13 million per year, and for only 3 years, the guy you see pasted all across this leaderboard could have been playing second base in Anaheim. Just sayin'..............Poor Red Sox. All tired and jammed into such travel and they can't even get a simple favor from the Tigers to push a game start out a few hours. Of course, having an MLB game and an NFL pre-season game right across the street from one another at the same time might have had something to do with it. But if the BoSux need an excuse for a pity-party, let's not let facts get in the way of conspiracy theories. Maybe smashing the BoSux owner's window was an omen.........Yeah, well, IMHO we never should have gotten into the business of retirement tours to begin with. Then we wouldn't have to realize that it's time to retire them..........Are the Red Sox really playoff contenders? Nope. Not as long as the Blue Jays still have 7 games left with the Angels that the Red Sox don't have..........

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Mystery Graph

(Nobody be guessin' anymore. Yesterday was a look at the current Top Ten in terms of Strikeouts versus Base on Balls - the orange columns, and contrasting those with the current ERA of each pitcher - the blue columns. Sitting there at #9 is our own Matt Shoemaker. The chart is grossly skewed by Clayton Kershaw, else you could see that Shoey fits right in there with the MLB leaders. This, despite the fact that his is the worst ERA among them all. His 2016 start did not help, nor does his recent 7/27 and 8/13 starts. Next, let's simplify and keep it going for a few days.)

Mystery-Chart-34

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