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Thor’sLinks: Arte has no Choice

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Yesterday was Player’s Choice Awards. And the players choose not to choose any Halo.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
It’s Mike Trout Week with Link imagery...
Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Yesterday was The Player’s Choice Awards. No LAA consideration was granted to any Halo. Ok, so it was a tough year, the Angels did not make the playoffs, and our superstar was injured for 14 of the year. Not totally surprising. But in looking at this year’s “winners”, and studying some history, something jumps out to me. With 2 more awards yesterday, Jose Altuve now has 4 total such honors from his peers. That leads all players in the entire history of the award. And that’s twice as many peer awards as Mike Trout over the very same period of time.

Trout won Outstanding AL Rookie in 2012, and Outstanding AL Player in 2014. In Trout’s time, the players have voted as MLB Player of the Year: Miguel Cabrera, Miguel Cabrera, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Donaldson, Jose Altuve and Jose Altuve. And they have voted Outstanding AL player: Miguel Cabrera, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson, Jose Altuve, Jose Altuve. Trout isn’t even getting any love for being a gritty grinder (“Majestic Athletic Always Game Award”), even though he has yet to play a complete game with a clean uniform.

This flies in the face of what is well-documented to be one of the very best, Top 5, career starts of any player in MLB history. We could spend all day calculating all the statistical accomplishments that Trout has achieved in this time span upon which I am focusing. And he has been a statistical leader in multiple categories every one of these seasons. So it’s not as if he is merely an extremely consistent, yet merely very good, ball player. Even this year, when he is far off the lead in all rate stats due to time lost, he still led the AL in OBP, SLG, OPS and OPS+.

But his peers vote elsewhere. His own peers. A lot. These are the very guys who we would expect to dismiss us mere observers with disdain because we have never played the game at anything approaching their level. They would say that we are the ones who don’t know jack diddly squat.

Which brings me to my point: why? Why don’t even the players have at top of mind the supernova that is Mike Trout? Well, I have an idea about that. Arte Moreno is wasting Mike Trout’s time in Anaheim. Not wasting as in “failing to surround Trout with talent and get him into the playoffs”, but wasting as in “failing to be a driving force to market Trout nationally/internationally while Trout is Arte’s marketing asset to exploit”. Think about it. Baseball is predominantly a regional fan experience, and the LAA marketing we are presented with is run as such. The national coverage of Trout comes from the parent marketing service of MLB, and whatever comes free from national mainstream media.

In today’s social media driven information age, this is a major miss. Would it really be that hard for the LAA marketing department to establish dedicated FB/Twitter/Insta resources to track and promote Trout’s daily accomplishments as a season goes along?Or do something interactive and create Internet bingo contests where participants track Trout and fill out cards (cards that are oriented towards OTHER regions than SoCal) to win Trout swag? Or how about sponsor an event where in the offseason, maybe for Christmas week, where Mike goes on the Weather Channel does the weekly weather forecast for some lucky city in the country? Hell, get a contract with General Mills and put Mike on more Wheaties boxes!

Mike Trout is losing the Q score battle even among his own fellow players. That’s a marketing fault. A large one. And in 2017, there are just too many channels that can be leveraged to be making this large of a fault.

Moving along to Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

The world of reddit alerts us to the fact that Angel Stadium is getting an upgrade to the video boards. Somebody who attends those Monster Jams will have to report back the early returns...........

The franchise farm pipeline lost quite a few names to FA yesterday. Now, this is one place where you get to see my “glass-all-the-f#&king-way-full” outlook on life in action. Because the LAA farm system has been overwhelmed with “talent” that has been ranked for years as little more than ass, the net WAR talent potential lost with this exodus is, unlike other teams, probably a severe negative number, so we win!...........


Everywhere In Baseball

That Hall of Fame ballot put forth by the Modern Baseball Era committee that I shredded Tuesday? The one that left off Lou Whitaker and Bobby Grich?? Well, it turns out that the committee actually DID discuss Whitaker. The guy who should have been at the TOP of that list, “fell just short”. Hilariously, among the committee members that spoke at all about how the list was formed (even if it was only a “no comment”) include the infamous MSM Antediluvian Jack O’Connell (ex BBWAA secretary/treasurer), Tracy Ringolsby, and Mark Whicker. Best line of the article: “Elliott, Hirdt, Hummel and Madden didn't respond to request for comment from The News, an oddity from longtime members of the news media.“ Seems about right to me..........

The skill level differences between catchers in terms of framing of pitches is, oddly, getting more difficult to discern. In Sullivan’s study, I’m going with the explanation that it’s in the switch from PITCHf/x to Trackman..........

In the managerial merry-go-round (one that spun furiously while I was on PTO, I see), the Yankees may have found a candidate who knows how to talk to baseball players (because ex-baseball player Joe Girardi doesn’t know how to do that, apparently). Their inspired find? Rob Thomson, their own bench coach..........But let’s hear from players, shall we? Alex Rodriguez does NOT want the Yankee managerial job, but CC Sabathia DOES want ARod to take it. Meanwhile, David Cone and John Flaherty DO want it. I’m confused...........

Baseball lost not just a retired talent in Roy Halladay. We also just lost an impending talent in Red Sox catching prospect Daniel Flores, who succumbed to cancer. Flores was just 17..........

Oops. I didn’t think about this. If Disney buys those parts of FOX that FOX is selling off to focus on news/sports here in the US, Disney will pick up a boatload of international sports content for streaming potential, greatly enhancing their streaming bundle offerings. I won’t call this “cord-cutting” like others are, because this is actually more like an “alt-cord”. It’s so large, and we can expect Disney to charge so much, that it would merely be a non-HGTV/Lifetime Channel programming package...........Also, the Justice Department, which doesn’t seem to be having any problem with the hegemony of a Facebook or Google or Amazon, might force AT&T to spin off DirectTV if it wants to take over Time/Warner. I’m not sure that we (and by “we”, I mean our people powers of government and oversight) all have a proper handle on the meat grinder that is churning in the cable business any more..........


Hot Stove

Shohei Otani is all the buzz. (I did say that he should have his own section on these pages.) Let’s start with MLB and NPB coming to terms on the posting system, opening things up for Otani to formally make a move...........Next up in the MLBPA, which will meet with Otani’s new agency (CAA) for some odd reason. Probably to chastise him for volunteering to leave so much money on the table (Otani is not yet a union member)...........Finally, the bonus money that the various teams might be able to hand over. Yankees win. Actually, Rangers win, but the delta between the Rangers and Yankees is peanuts ($3,535,000 versus $3250,000), whereas the differences between Arlington, Texas and New York City are billions...........The Angels? Hahaha! Thanks for asking! $150,000..............

J.D. Martinez has Scott Boras as his agent. So you should not be surprised to read that the opening bids for a 30-year old guy who has only played one full season in his 7-year career, and is a worse fielder now than all but 6 other players, is going to have to be $200 million...........

Jay Bruce is looking for 5-years, $80-$90 million. I have no idea why, but it might happen anyway because Major League baseball is insane..........

Beware the off-season rumor mill. Even MLB teams are amazed by it. No, the Cubs are not trading Jason Heyward to the Giants............


The Duffle Bag

Oh goodie. 280 character tweets now, and the Yankees are unleashed...........Oh, look! #cesspool!!............Want a job? MLB Trade Rumors is looking for an Android App developer, which would be kinda cool now that I think about it...........Ned Yost, possibly getting ready to slay a deer this winter, was taken down by a pre-emptive strike from mother nature...........Ick. I probably linked to this guy once or twice..............