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HumpLinks: Mike Trout is not alone

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Anybody still thinking that Mike Trout has to carry the entire team again all by himself has not been paying attention to Billy Eppler.

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No. Mike Trout cannot do it all himself. Fortunately for all concerned, nobody around here expects him to. That's why we have a Billy Eppler. And anybody who thinks that Trout has to carry an entire franchise this season has not been paying attention to Eppler. Those people should start reading us on a regular basis. When you start with a Trout, it doesn't require a murderer's row of other players to make a playoff contender. And this team, with a few breaks, should be in the hunt for a playoff slot deep into the season. (Take the over.)

These guys are not the Cubs, but they are good enough to compete and if they survive any injury bug, they could cause serious damage. Better yet, Eppler has things on a pace to make this team a steamroller in as short as one year, worse case two. So we should really stop seeing people write those poor Mike Trout articles and wake the shit up.

And, yeah, I put the words "Mike Trout" in the article title, which is the first time I have done this in months, just to see how many extra readers we get here in our coffee shop today. No, that is not Mike Trout in today's pic.

Link away, my friends. Link away:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Coolio. The squad showed some more gumption yesterday. A 7-5 win over the Cubs that included a major rally, the first home run of the year (from C.J. Cron), and a clutch hit from Jefry Marte...........

Cron better keep improving. Because Matt Thaiss is coming. Cron has a window and we will all win with good competition and improvement by all parties............

I seem to be picking up this idea that baseball needs to spend less time messing around with the rules of the game and more time promoting the game itself. If the fear is connecting with young fans, and fans of the future, why the hell can we not recognize the meaning of this? And of this? So shit yeah, MLB has the very assets that they need to nail younger baseball fans. Why the hell are they failing so bad to market those assets? It's easy to identify with the reality that baseball fandom is regional and stop right there. That is why Arte is not responsible for marketing Trout to Florida, and Ted Lerner is not responsible for marketing Bryce Harper in Seattle. But the MLB headquarters has no such excuse. That IS a job of theirs, to market the game beyond the regional level...........And, just in time, Baseball Prospectus opens the dialog on baseball marketing, by a marketing specialist, no less............

Mike Scioscia saw the same playoffs we did last season. He saw the same unorthodox use of bullpen talent. He saw the same run of success. Mike Scioscia has taken that all in, and he has assimilated it. And Mike Scioscia has come to his conclusion. You might see 2002 all over again. I know I do. Because "roles". Truly. I am not inventing this. He really said it It was really said: "It can only stand to get a little bit more flexible, unless you want to totally change roles." [Emphasis mine]...........

He's ours now. So here is a Ben Revere factoid..........SBN's data blog BTB does the same, and sees the Halos coming in 2nd place. What? Yeah. Astros first, A's last and everybody else tied for 2nd...............

Let's look at the AL West today, shall we? Fox Sports takes the deep dive.

Kenyon MIddleton, 100mph fastball? I wanna see this in person right damned now...........

And this is the guy I am pulling for. Manny Banuelos. Maybe it's because he is a lefty. Maybe it's because success on his part would be a win for us and a miss for the Yankees.............

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Everywhere In Baseball

Fabulous. Observers are figuring out that Matt Wieters to the Nationals deal. The best insight is how strongly Scott Boras - Weiters' agent - has his hooks into Nats owner Ted Lerner. The Washington Front Office actually tried to out hustle the hustler that is Boras, by beating him to their owner and securing a catcher right away. Didn't work. Now, "...nine players represented by Boras could wind up on the Opening Day roster."...........FanGraphs also looks into the comedic relationship between Lerner and Boras, noting especially hard how Weiters was a resource totally unnecessary for the Nationals..........So now these same Nats sign Joe Blanton. Makes sense that they would be excited at the deal...........

But all of the above is Ok, because Dusty Baker is still the manger in Washington, and Dusty Baker seems determined to ruin the National's batting order...........

David Wright is a tremendous baseball talent that is highly compensated and cannot seem to stay healthy and on the field of play. Sound familiar? Yeah. Except that with Wright there is far, far less controversy. Who's fault is that?..........

Liz Rocher up at the SBN Mothership points out an unintended consequence of MLB's desire to issue tacky balls, as was linked to yesterday: "If MLB started using a tackier baseballs, they would no longer need to be rubbed with Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud, the substance that every single MLB baseball is slathered with prior to games. And without MLB as their main customer, that would signal almost certain doom for the company."..........

Not really sure how a Houston Astros team doing well this year would be a surprise to anyone. Well, at least to anyone who is not asleep before 7PM PDT..........

The Cardinals are infamous for their bad baserunning. And everybody knows it, especially their own fans. Surprise! They still suck..........

Any story about how Minor League teams take on a new brand identity as a promo, that starts off with the Fresno Tacos, is gonna get a link by this dude. (Newbies need to know that a Fresno Taco jersey is the only team uni I have ever owned outside of our own favored franchise)...........

Exactly. We CAN have fun with baloney ST stats. Others are doing it, too. Stop spoiling my fun, people!...........

Now we're talkin'. Improve Pace of Play by speeding up your own instant replay problem...........

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The Duffle Bag

The Red Sox have a napping room? Are their blankets on the floor? Is this where they eat their chicken?.........Not enough fun in Anaheim bobbleheads. I see stuff that other teams are doing and know that I need to be put in charge. I'd see the Royals' Rusty Kuntz, and raise them one Salty Nuts Guy bobblehead...........Speaking of bobbleheads, mark your calendars. August 19th the Reno Aces are handing out Trevor Bauer Drone Bobbleheads...............Rockies prospect James Ferris was probably pretty good at his 6th grade geography show-and-tell...........

OT: Just because it is really weird. People in Texas are taking the time and effort to steal order number tags from Whataburger. They have turned such theft into some kind of game.

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Halo-Oppo-ly

Week 4 of our Chance/Community Chest cards!

18-COMM-RADIO-SELLOUT

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