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Thor'sLinks: Mariners feast on Halo LOBsters

Tyler Skaggs dug a hole, and Mike Trout and Albert Pujols filled it with fresh LOBsters. The Mariners, being from Seattle, knew exactly what to do. They added the water and hot rocks and dined on the seafood buffet.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Like, wow. Mike Trout stranded 6 base runners. Albert Pujols AND Andrelton Simmons each stranded 4. Jefry Marte stranded 3. That's the heart of your batting order, right there. The team tally was 12. And when Tyler Skaggs burns through 82 pitches, 30 of which were not strikes, and he only makes it through 10 outs, and the LAA base runners are playing by pee wee league strategies of running the bases until you get thrown out, it should be no surprise that we are back on the losing track. Not that I am keeping count, but this particular track might have us all evened up for the #2 pick next June before the clock strikes midnight tonight. (We are now 6-19 over our last 25, dropping from a .453 winning percentage to .417.)

Note to LAA sluggers: hitting baseballs with the bases loaded doesn't really have to be that hard.

By the way, it occurs to me that Yunel Escobar is the anti-matter to Andrelton Simmons' matter. Like, perfect opposites. One is an offensive force and the other is not. One is a defensive liability and the other is not. And one has a ten-cent head while the other is an on-field genius. If nothing else, it's fun to watch.

Have some Back on the Broken Bandwagon Links:


Everywhere In Baseball

Not Joshin': Sometimes a link subject just leaps out and creates itself. Josh Donaldson already has had a few opportunities to show the world that he is a hot head. And he has had one particularly infamous run-in with the Angels. So, yesterday, he strikes out. In his frustration he throws his bat into the dugout. This is a dangerous thing to do, unsafe to everyone but the thrower, and John Gibbons, the guy paid to control the team and live and die with the consequences, went to speak to Donaldson about his actions. Donaldson blew up in Gibbons' face and had to be restrained. What makes this a synergistic event is that, elsewhere and on the same day, the Rays' Nick Franklin found himself too close to Kevin Kiermaier while Kiermaier was in the on-deck circle. Franklin took a bat swing to the head, suffered a contusion, and had to later be pulled. So, yeah, bats are dangerous objects.. Back in New York, Toronto versus the Yankees, that bitch Karma came a-haunting Donaldson. He injured his own finger while getting jammed into an easy inning-ending infield out (the hand being a part of the bat, and all) and ended up taking his own ass out of the game due to pain.........

Sosh: Mark Whicker takes the long way around to chat about the stability of Mike Scioscia's job. It's linkable not for its content (Whicker still showing his tin ears - made infamous a few years ago - by using the recent Louisiana floods as a cheap metaphor in an attempt to be funny), but more for the fact that it exists at all. A local MSM outlet is now posting articles that speak out loud about what was only recently the unfathomable..........

Commissioning: Rob Manfred wrote an article for EastSPiN giving us a warm and fuzzy insight into MLB dealing with the changing times.  In the piece he shows to purists that the game is changing organically whether they like to acknowledge that or not (primarily based on player/coaching tactical approaches). And he admits to being aware of the need for baseball to continue to change and evolve, but with respect always show to the value contained with baseball's legacy. The solid gold line comes at the end: "...and we will make the right choices because our guiding principle will always be the best interests of the fans." Outside of the recent suggesting that maybe teams consider improving attendee safety with extended netting, I am racking my brain to find examples of how MLB has ever done something that best served the interest of the fans..........

World View: (h/t to reddit) Here is a photo essay of baseball being taken into the country of Zambia. the great thing here is to bear witness to the sheer joy of participation. These kids are learning baseball, playing baseball, sharing baseball. And they are doing it because of the sport itself. How many of those kids do you think are engaged here because they have memorialized the career slash line of Lou Gehrig? My guess is that for these kids it's purely for the fun of the game itself which, even removed from the rich history of the sport, is still a great game to play............

Altuve: Questions like this always baffle me: As Jose Altuve reaches 1,000 hits, what are his chances at 3,000? There are two knee-jerk reactions to this, yes and no. Yes, because Altuve is only 26 and if he keeps playing, 10 years from now he should be knocking on that door even with diminishing productivity. And no, because his last couple of seasons will not be sustainable well into his 30's. Look at the hits per season for Altuve. Now look at the hits per season for Mike Trout. Altuve is hovering around 200 hits per season and Trout at about 183.  Those are kind of like Ichiro Suzuki versus a Steve Garvey. Ichiro has played 16 MLB seasons and just barely made it to 3,000. Garvey played 19 seasons and finished 1 hit shy of 2,600. So it depends on the style of hitter, and the range of that hitter's career. But what's missing, I think, is the greater unknown, which we touch on above with Rob Manfred's article. The game is changing profoundly.  Runs are being scored but that is more based on power than before, as pitching becomes even more specialized and more dominant. We don't know if that trend is going to continue any further. We don't know if offenses will find a way to reverse that trend on their own. We don't know if MLB will or will not intervene on behalf of offense. The world of baseball should look a lot different when Altuve is 36 than it does today while he is only 26. But we are still inclined to make career projections using rearward facing assumptions...........


The Duffle Bag

Sam Miller over at Baseball Prospectus is following one Jacob Webb, a minor league pitcher who is on quite a strikeout roll............We have already pointed out how Hector Santiago has been getting shelled over with the Twins. Well, Joe Smith continues his recent personal injury plague even now with the Cubs.. Heart don't fail me now, but did we actually finally sell HIGH on something?.........With Erick Aybar now entering the Detroit clubhouse, all eyes are on Justin Verlander. Yeah, THAT Justin Verlander. Verlander hasn't forgotten, but is willing to let it go. At least until Aybar gets traded again...........That hero's welcome that Philly fans gave to Chase Utley I linked to yesterday? Phillies manager Mackanin was not a fan...........Hey, look! That Cubs player who got demoted to AAA finally showed up for work. But not to the AAA team he had been assigned. Something else has happened because now he reappears at the AA level..........Brian McCann, Unwritten Keeper of The Unwritten Rules of Baseball, is being written out of his day job. With his Mathisian slash line, Lyle Spencer must be following this career closely............Drafting amateurs: the REAL crapshoot..........Here comes another MLB "Alternative Broadcast", meaning more sabre-centric commentary............Attention America: domestic violence is now a zero-strike tolerance issue in MLB.............


Mystery Graph

(Yesterday was Batter Strikeouts in a single season. Down there at #36 ad #37 are Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo. Those might have come easy to you. But further down at #46 is none other than Mo Vaughan in the year 2000, his one and only full season with us. Today we go code blue.)