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TuesdoLinks: October Ball Begins

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The Yankees and Twins kick off the 2017 MLB Second Season with a one-and-done "play in" game, winner getting to participate in the REAL MLB playoffs.

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Here we go! The Second Season starts tonight. A few teams will compete to carry us out to November and Turkey Season, hopefully granting us some fun and thrilling times while we await the work of Billy Eppler to continue his work of rebuilding our franchise.

So while we wait, there's no need to be idle. We don't have any real skin in the game, other than rooting against one or more of the nefarious squads (I've got my 3). There is fun to be had. Time is up. Who's your winner tonight?

Day One of Playoff-Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Mike Scioscia ain't going anywhere, folks. He has another year on his current contract, and that's all anybody needs to worry about for the time being..........But while on the subject, let's pay attention to the managerial merry-go-round and observe the rehashing of so many of the same old names...........Because it's happening..........

GM Billy Eppler knows just as well as you and I the most important thing in front of us right this minute concerning 2018 is Justin Upton...........

This season, despite a more modest overall climb as a result of time lost due to injury, Mike Trout still leap-frogged a bunch of seriously credible existing Hall of Famers in terms of career WAR. 30 total, as a matter of fact. I mean, SERIOUSLY?? Ralph Kiner, Kirby Pucket and Enos Slaughter???.............All of which makes me chuckle at the high Heat Stats ongoing fan-boy adoration of Adrian Beltre. Beltre has been fantastic, don't get me wrong. First-ballot Hall of Famer himself, most likely. You may, or may not, have an opinion on how he did it, but it's still done. Beltre's 3.7 WAR this year really impressed HHS. So much so that HHS was impressed with itself for being impressed. And then HHS projects a wish that Beltre will remain healthy and productive enough at age 39 to deliver 4 WAR and keep right on passin'. Considering his track record up to this past season, that's quite likely. That would put him at almost 100 bWAR across 21 seasons. just under twice as much WAR as Trout, but across 3 times the number of years. Meaning that Trout will park Beltre in his rear view mirror when he's only 32-33 years old..........

The season is over and one of the biggest things for fans of LAA to get excited about is to vote for current Astro Cameron Maybin as our Anaheim Roberto Clemente Award winner. Look, I'm not doggin' on Maybin here, nor on him being in Houston as a function of business. He's a great guy, has done great things around here, and business is business. But, really LAA, you don't have anything else to trumpet so soon after the final out of the season?..........

What? Albert Pujols telling us he was NOT healthy to start the season, and THAT is why he sucked all year? The Albert Pujols who was "ahead of schedule" in his last offseason recovery process?..........

Let's see. What else? Surprisingly, the Angels are counting on a healthier pitching staff in 2018. I know, I know. We never would have imagined such a thing ourselves...........Also somewhat imaginative, Billy Eppler wants to work on an offense with an improved OBP for next year. Maybe he looked at the League stats, and noticed something about the Top 5 AL OBP teams and the 5 teams in the AL playoffs...........

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October Baseball

The playoffs start tonight, and the Twins are this year's Cinderella. It will be cool if that is still the story tomorrow morning, because it will mean that the MFY have been booted before they could even blink.........

But this I don't get. Why would anybody consider the Rockies to be the least rootable team in the playoffs? Really? The Red Sox and Yankees are more fun to root for that a team like the Rockies? Maybe the point of the article is that it's not worth it to root for a team that won't likely win...........

Therefore, since it's winning we are supposed to care about, your pitching story to follow is Chris Sale..........

Here are your initial umpiring crews. You will notice no CB Bucknor. But don't be afraid to take any of those name and google them while including the words "blown call"..........

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Everywhere In Baseball

Things look like the shits in Atlanta all of a sudden. Their GM, John Coppolella, suddenly resigned in advance of some serious issues coming his way via active MLB investigations. Also resigning is Gordon Blakely, Special Assitant to the GM and the guy in charge of International scouting. All we know so far is that it will include problems with International Signings, starting with their top prospect Kevin Maitan and maybe something about an under-aged kid, Robert Puason. And that there could be additional fallout within the Atlanta Front Office and throughout the organization. I'm not going to be the one who projects the probable wrongdoings for you. If you know anything about International signing scandals of the past you can make your own assumptions. This has got to be pretty shocking to the Braves organization, and crappy timing..........KC Royals' Dayton Moore is already rumored to be the front-runner replacement..........

But, and I am not making this up, this thing going on in Atlanta? It's all your fault. Jonah Keri says...........

Bat flips are becoming quite the special thing. They deserve their own study in basic physics..........

It is not a requirement to be intelligent, well-educated, logical or insightful in order to be a very successful baseball player. For some - perhaps for many - their road to success has been to NOT think about what they are doing and just their their natural skills lead the way. This could explain why there have been, and perhaps shall always be, baseball players who adore the kinds of counting stats that make them look grand in defiance of the kinds of mathematical principals that drive the real world around them. Take, for example, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and RBI's............

Let's do some business news that might impact the sport of baseball someday, if not sooner. First, Altice and Disney have reached a carrier agreement. I don't know the details of the final agreement, but Disney was working to stick it to Altice to pay more to carry ESPN. If Altice folded, the consumers lose as the price increase will get passed along whether they want it or not. The interesting carrot that will make sports fans in New York City overlook any such increase is the lack of local blackouts that were part of the announcement. As if ESPN would have not found a way to put the Yankees playoffs in front of the massive New York market anyway. But, anyway, for people like you and me this is more about the power of Disney to control content at a price point of their choosing. Cord-cutters will find out eventually that Disney's ownership of BAMtech will enable them to move those pricing practices over to new media services. Don't believe me? Well, I am not alone in this prediction..........

One thing we already know is that the new content delivery services still have a lot of evolution in their future before they settle down into a working business model for all parties. See this update concerning Facebook, where their current delivery model is not yet generating the kinds of revenue that publishers need to sustain content delivery..........The point here is that the only model that is proven to work today is the one where Disney wins, the carriers win, and the general consumer loses. And cord-cutters only win as long as they are in the extreme minority, hiding underneath the basic package consumer rates sustaining the cable companies now..........

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The Duffle Bag

ex-MLB pitcher Mike Timlin was among those concert-goers present at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when the shooting began. He and all his party were uninjured............For the first time in history, no MLB game was played where both pitchers pitched a Complete Game..........The son of Bert Blyleven is a hero of the Las Vegas shootings..........

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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 American League Rookie of the Year is Aaron Judge. Come on, now. Be real, here. Why do I even have to justify this pick? Sure the kid slumped in the second half like cheap jello at an August picnic. But he is still an enormous talent (in more ways than one) and easily eclipsed all other contenders. He is not a 5-tool player, but his primary tool can be prodigious. He flashes at least as much power as Mike Trout (1 home run every 10.4 AB's versus 1 per every 12 AB's for Trout), has a superior arm, and is a better defender.

So we have established that the kid is a quality player. But this award is not to compare him against Trout. It is to compare him against all other AL rookies. His strikeout rate is foreboding, about once every 2 1/2 times he gets an AB. A lot of that is his size, with a strike zone the volume of Jose Altuve and a swing that arcs through half the orbit of Mercury. Pitchers figured that out by the All-Star break and it is still taking Judge time to adjust. Most notably, Judge has his Achilles heel up around the chest level, struggling with meatballs up in the zone. Time will tell if he has the skill to adjust further and we Angels fans - who have enjoyed watching Trout adjust, readjust and adjust again so we know about such patience - need to relax and see how Judge's career develops.

But two things are already obvious. One, whether or not it develops any further, the rookie portion of his career smoked all contenders in 2017. And, two, Judge is in the playoffs. Even if only for one game (tonight), Judge gets goobered in glory.

Runners up were Andrew Beninendi and then Ben Gamel. If the Twins defeat the Yankees tonight the rookie hype will flip to Benintendi til we all barf. And Gamel, I fear, is going to be a major pain in our ass playing out of Seattle for years to come.

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