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TuesdoLinks: BoSox, DBacks exit 2017

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Yankees/Indians go to a game 5. Cubs closing in.

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MLB: ALDS-Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

I have to acknowledge, without snark or inconsideration, that the hills and neighborhoods just a few miles east of Angels Stadium were burning all day. People lost their homes and fire fighters labored exhaustively all day. They are still at it even now as the Dodger game wraps up. My home is a good way downwind and when I got home I still found pieces of ash 2 and 3 inches long littering the gutters and curbs and corners where the breezes had safely deposited them. It is a massive firestorm that can launch ash of that size that high to get that far down wind. Those affected need our thoughts, prayers and help. There is one evacuee in my home tonight, and it is only a rumor that her home survived the passing of the burn. Lots and lots of these people are our fellow Halo fans. Some might be among our HH peerage.

And after a seriously heavy rain season that promoted lots of growth many months ago, this is only our first semi-serious Santa Ana wind condition. Fearfully, this might only be the beginning.

Sorry for the sober breakfast. But there are probably men and women who have been battling to save homes and lives for 14, 16, maybe 18 hours straight. I need to honor that effort on behalf of our fellow fans.

Hey, Day Eight of Playoff-Links!


A Little Bit of Angels News

Billy Eppler is still slicing up the rest of MLB by a thousand tiny cuts. Even as the Cubs are battling the Nationals, he pulls off a deal with them that brings RHP Felix Pena to Anaheim. To open a slot on the 40-man, Jason Gurka was DFA’d.............

For some reason, Mike Trout is up for the Hank Aaron award this year. Even though he missed 25% of the season, the Angels have to have somebody representing. Their offense was sooo bad, 75% of Trout was still better than anybody else’s 100%. Except Pujols, of course. RBI’s man...........

The Eagles did a Mike Trout touchdown celebration. I do not see the Rams bothering to try and counter this.........

If any of you people have a reddit account, you can help this person out. They gave away an autographed California Angels pennant. It was autographed but they could not ID the signatures. A close up of the sigs is here. That first one I tracked down. It’s a guy who never played for the Angels. It’s Pat Mahomes, and somebody needs to state that there for the winner. Don’t believe me? Look here and compare. And it’s my bet that the other sigs are not Halos, either........


October Baseball

How sweet to see the Red Sox frustrate away their entire season, especially with the bat of Dustin Pedroia being the final nail in their own coffin. This is the same whiny Pedroia who blew up so bad at a called strike 3 earlier in the game, that he got his own manager ejected whilst trying to deflect the umpire away from Pedroia. (Stats show that the trigger pitch is called a strike about 14 of the time. Framing still matters.) The umpire was actually showing Pedroia quite a bit of restraint, IMHO. In the regular season, he might have tossed him immediately and then everybody would be bitching about how touchy the umpires are, and how it’s all about them. This ump, Mark Wegner, deserves kudos.........

By the way, compare the GameDay graphics to PITCHf/x before you go off on Wegner. PITCHf/x shows him having a much, much better game so it’s all on what technology you choose to believe...........

So Farrell didn’t even get to last 2 full innings in what might possibly be his final game as Boston skipper. Possibly. Barely possibly. Maybe. Farrell has heard the rumors, and thinks he is the perfect fit, none better...........Pedroia has his back, but wouldn’t it be delicious if the reason Farrell couldn’t manage his final, crucial, game is because Dustin Pedroia insisted on acting like an entitled jackanape in the most important day of their season?..........If Farrell does get the boot, don’t expect the job to be handed over to Gary DeSarcina. Desar took over for Farrell in the 2nd, and the bullpen management thereafter is already in question. (Isn’t it cute how I pretend that when a manager is ejected he goes to the clubhouse, showers and goes home?)...........

Oh man, things broke hard for the Nats yesterday. Max Scherzer had a no-hitter through 6 complete before Ben Zobrist doubled with 1 out in the 7th. At 98 pitches and coming fresh off a recent injury, Dusty Baker pulled Scherzer (game ball, anyone?). The score at the time was 1-0 Nats even though the Cubs had committed 4 errors. But less than 4 defensive outs later, it was 2-1 Cubs. And that was how it ended. Cubs now lead the series 2 games to 1..........

Then we had Cleveland versus New York. The Yankees rolled the Indians 7-3. Now the series is tied, 2 games to 2. That late-season juggernaut of Cleveland is at risk of being puntuated with a rather significant exclamation point. The kind of blow-a-two-to-none-series-lead-in-a-best-of-five-series exclamation point that reminds one of a blow-a-three-to-one-series-lead-in-the-World-Series just last October. Trevor Bauer was clearly not the guy he was last Thursday, but this is why Terry Francona was not starting Corey Kluber to open the series. He wanted Kluber for this game, at home, if needed. Well, he was managing for a 5-game series and he got it. Now let’s see what he does with it..........That said, I disagree with this observation. Bauer could still push +94mph in his last frame. The problem, reviewing the pitch-by-pitch history (not something to which I can link), was that the battery was not choosing to use that kind of heat. And the Yankees ate him up...........FYI, Aaron Judge is now 1 for 15 with 12 strikeouts, 4 walks, 2 RBI and 10 LOBsters..........

Finally, thank you for participating, Arizona. At least you tried to make things interesting. Well, not you Paul Goldschmidt. 1 for 11? Really?? But the rest of you, you even beat up on Clayton Kershaw. But there is a reason the Dodgers finished well ahead of you in your Division, and last night’s 3-1 win, completing the sweep, gives you an early start on trying to figure out how to catch up in 2018..........

The future of MLB pitcher roles is coming fast and furious. If you think about it, this developing practice of “bullpenning” may catch Mike Scioscia completely off guard if he ever gets back to the playoffs............

Just yesterday I posted a link to a FanGraphs article which revealed how the playoffs have a real effect on the players, physically. Things like average pitch speed amped up. Today I link to Randy Johnson, saying that it’s all mental. How to we align these two things? Easy, the mental impact of the situation results in the outpouring of the adrenaline, which results in real physical differences..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Derek Jeter poached from the MFY Front Office the guy credited with turning around the Yankees farm system. That should burn a bridge or two in New York.........

I feel sorry for this guy, but the courts have not been on his side over the years. After taking a foul ball to the face, he is now blind in one eye, and suing the Cubs. Unless the courts have adopted a new mindset, this is yet another case of assumed risk. [Insert snarky comment about the replacement of his personal cellphone as part of the damages here.].........

Managerial Merry-Go-Round update: Brad Ausmus could rise again in New York, with the Mets...........Mike Redmond, ex of the Marlins, could take Ausmus’ old spot with the Tigers...........Or, Redmond might end up with the Phillies..........But the Phillies could also be looking to bring back Ruben Amaro, Jr., the guy who used to be their GM..........Or the Tigers could bring Ron Gardenhire back to the dugout..........Gardenhire is NOT coming back to the Twins dugout. Paul Molitor just got a 3-year extension. (that would be THIS Paul Molitor.)..........And if Joe Girardi fails to survive ReviewGate, the Mets want him..........


The Duffle Bag

How a juiced baseball is made............Josh Reddick, a guy I wanted in Anaheim after the Dodgers turned him loose, had a pretty great season for Houston (3.5 fWAR with .314/.363/.484 and OPS of .847). Yesterday he was rewarded..........I’m pretty sure that I am over this...........Need a job? The St. Louis Cards are looking for an IT person. You probably would be working with some of the very people involved in the Astros hack.........


2017 IBWAA Awards Voting

As one who is privileged to lose astronomical amounts of time in the loving labor of providing your morning entertainment, I (as are others here on the masthead) am a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. Not as formal as that fancy name, and nowhere near as recognized as that other baseball writers thingy. But, nonetheless, it gives me the chance to pretend to be serious. So, as serious as I have time to be, here are my 2017 awards ballot results and reasoning...........

My vote for National League Rookie of the Year is Cody Bellinger.

Another easy one. Bellinger practically lapped the NL Rookie field with a 4.0 fWAR (second was Paul DeJong with 3.0). So the WAR crowd is pleased. Check.

This is mostly done in his slugging ability, hitting 39 home runs. Runner up was Josh Bell at only 26. So the long ball crowd is pleased. Check.

He also topped the field in RBI with 97 (Bell again was second with 90). And the same was true in Runs Scored (87 over Bell again, who scored 75 times). So the Lyle Spencer crowd that ignores the massive LAD offense that put runners on base everywhere and anywhere and knocked in runners anywhere and everywhere and made that happen for Bellinger is pleased. Check.

His defense is nothing special, but he spent most of his time hidden from any real responsibility by being parked at 1B of LF. He wasn’t going to amp up any extra value with his glove.

Runners up to Bellinger were, in order, German Marquez and Paul DeJong. Yeah, Marquez. A pitcher. That kid could grow into a beast.....