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MondoLinks: Halos traveling by broomstick

The Angels, having just been swept by the Mariners, now journey to Chicago for a short series with the MLB-leading Cubs, and then to Cleveland to play the AL Central-leading Indians. Will they win anything?

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Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

This is not the way one wished to start a 9-game road trip, where the last 6 are against World Series contenders. Not, unless, it would be nice to get safely tucked into a Bottom 10 protected pick in the 2017 entry draft.

Poor Matt Shoemaker, who is having one of those epic snakebitten seasons where he pitches his ass off while his teammates refuse to score runs behind him. And all the Harold Reynolds of the worlds count up the "L"'s in the games he plays and goes off calling Shoey bad names. But then we can all go back and bash Reynolds over the head with Sergio Romo's "Win" last Thursday, which was especially stupid: "Sergio Romo was given credit for the win. He faced zero batters, and he was successfully stolen against. Cesar Hernandez just couldn’t stop himself. Hernandez over-slid, and now Romo is 1-0."

Over the weekend Mike Trout had an amazing set of games, and we won't have Tim Lincecum to kick around - good or bad - anymore. Which is troubling. Maybe we are not such a lock for one of those protected picks after all?

(New depth chart)

Have Some Broomstick Links:


Everywhere In Baseball

Trout Porn: Mike Trout has had himself a damned fine week. Oh, sure, he struck out 4 times yesterday, but blame that on the plate umpire, who expanded Trout's strike zone into something the size of Rhode Island (see here, then here, then here, and then here). And, of course, you saw Trout steal another ultra highlight for himself on his own birthday, grabbing the entire cake away from Leonys Martin. This merely adds to Trout's highlight reel career. But did you realize that over the past 7 games Trout has a slash line of .409 / .519 / .773, with 9 hits (2 homers), 9 RBI's, 5 walks? He has been on a tear, and it shows as he has widened his lead in seasonal fWAR. He is tracking for another +10 WAR season..................

Stat Question: Ok, this isn't a link. It's a though experiment that I am having, out of a desire to learn. Crowd-sourcing this might lead to my answer more quickly. It's my understanding that the zone ratings that go into defensive stats include in-stadium "stringers" who manually mark where on the field a play is made, success or not. This grid of spots is as granular as humanly possible for the spotters to make use of. If a play is made at some certain spot, a tabulation is made for that location. The fewer other fielders that make a play at that spot will result in more credit being given to those players who made the rare play at that location.  The more players that make a play at that location the lower the value of each play made there. In this way, some players are granted favorable measure for making more plays at rare locations, and their zone rating goes up. If I am wrong here, please correct me. If I am correct here then, if you know this, please explain to me whether or not this grid has spots for places beyond a home run fence, or are those ignored, like they do with balls that bounce high off an outfield wall? Is Trout's catch yesterday measured the same as any other center fielder making  a catch at the wall with both feet on the ground? Is Trout's catch yesterday measured the same as Trout's great robbery of Jesus Montero (also against Seattle) almost a year ago? I ask because, obviously, they shouldn't be. And a play like yesterday, because it is so rare, should grant Trout UZR credit for every home run that clears a wall in that spot by a couple of feet...which would be a lot............

Nemesis: Tomorrow could be epic. John Lackey and Jered Weaver were Halo teammates from 2006 through 2009. Lackey was already 27 when the 23-year old Weaver joined the Big Leagues. They won 116 games together back then. Weaver is now 33 and running on fumes. Lackey is 37 and still going strong...........

Pujols: I bring up this article, reviewing Albert Pujols' march towards a Top Ten slot in career home runs, because of a quote given by John Carpino, team President: ''He said Angels owner Arte Moreno never has vetoed a player acquisition because of the financial commitment to Pujols, despite the perception that the contracts of Pujols ($250 million) and Josh Hamilton ($125 million) crippled the Angels. 'Not with Albert’s contract,' Carpino said, choosing his words carefully."  So, officially, we have the best quote yet from an informed source concerning the impact of Pujols' contract on Arte's wallet. We may choose not to believe it, but that's a different conversation. The other thing there is that Moreno and Carpino are still very, very bitter about Josh Hamilton. They need to read HH more, where we have long moved on to mockery..........

Ichiro: Ichiro Suzuki reached the 3,000 hit milestone yesterday, doing so in grand style with a triple. Keep in mind that this is 3000 MLB hits. Ichiro actually reached 3,000 professional career hits on July 29th, 2008 when he opened the game in the top of the first with a leadoff base hit off of Luis Mendoza of the Rangers. (It took me a few minutes to figure that one out.)..........

ARod: Alex Rodriguez has announced that he won't be taking the Big Papi Show How Much You Love Me Traveling Circus route to retirement. He held a presser yesterday and told the world that after Friday, opening game of a weekend home stand, he is done. This gives him a few days in Boston, then a game in New York, and he hangs up his cleats. He forfeits the balance of his contract and will become an advisor working in the MFY Front Office. I am not stunned that he is retiring, even quickly. It has long been believed that the Yankees were days away from DFA'ing him, anyway. This lets ARod save some face on the inevitable. Oh, wait, no it doesn't. The Yankees are releasing him after Friday, and this is just ARod telling everyone he won't be trying to get another player gig. He has absolutely sucked this year (although even at that level of suckage, he would be a marked improvement on our Left Field situation). However, I AM STUNNED that his next gig is to work within the NYY Front Office. As and advisor? Really? After all the Biogenesis shit that same Front Office put him through? Doesn't anyone remember how that same Front Office wanted to cancel his contract altogether? That was just a couple of years ago. And now everything is lovey-dovey. Sure. That's why the team had to force attendance..........I should close this by noting that many of you only see ARod from this side of his career. You should have seen him in Seattle and Texas. Think Trout..........

Eye Spy: WTF? An A's trainer goes off the reservation and installs a hidden camera to monitor players workout routines. Being sneaky is uncool. But I don't know if employees in a work place are entitled to the expectation of privacy. Should be fun to track..........


The Duffle Bag

Padres padding the medical status of the players involved in trades? Could be trouble there............Baseballs are juiced this year. How do we know? Because we have seen it before, and know the signs..........Brian Cashman goes head on into the NY press when they want to pick on ARod, flipping them the bird ring..........Mark Teixeira is also retiring. He gave the Yankees a few good seasons. Hey, Mark, on your way tell your wife we say thanks for Mike Trout!...........Hahahahahaha...Lyle Being Lyle. Mathis is so shitty he has played only 30 games this season, Through his first 21 he was batting a buck sixty-nine. But 8 games, for a Lyle Spencer, justify everything..........Would the Angels really be trying to get in on a Jose Bautista?..............On a lesser note, Adrian Gonzalez reached the 300 home run milestone the same day that Ichiro got to 3,000 hits............Giancarlo Stanton with a 504 foot home run...........Ladies beware: Paul Clemens has officially been branded a "Player".............Padres fans were treated to a triple play yesterday. Executed against them by the Phillies.............Jean Segura tried to do the right thing, ended up doing it all wrong..............

Final Thought: If the Yankees had held on to Ichiro, how conflicted would they be to be pushing out all their vets (Beltran, Teixeira, ARod, even Brian McCann) at the very time when Ichiro was in the verge of 3,000 hits?


Mystery Graph

(Still stumped on Friday's chart, eh? Only one nibble? Let's start adding clues. You already knew that the diagonal line is meaningful and that the red dot is LAA. The blue dot is the Chicago Cubs. So you also know that it is about teams and not individuals, and that we are showing a relationship between two different team stats which commonly fall between 2.0 and 5.5. The color zones show my personal opinion of the caliber of play should a team fall into the general zone. For example, it would be my opinion that a team that fell at 5.5 on the Y axis and 2.0 on the X axis would be pretty shitty by this measure. Few teams are outstanding and in the all-green zone. Most teams tend to cluster in the tan zone, which is pretty good. Upper right ain't so great, and upper right and above the line is even less great. Now. really. Come on now, hard core solvers, this just became a cakewalk..........)