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All Star Links: Bombs over the Pachinko Machine

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Miami Pachinko Baseball was in full bloom last night. Aaron Judge destroyed the HR Derby by cruising to victory. It was an effortless display of carpet-bombing one opponent after another.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Well, last night was the Home Run Derby. For those who love it and watched, I hope you were thrilled. Aaron Judge won it by making everybody else look like mere children. His Finals opponent, Miguel Sano of the Twins, ran out of gas. The best take of the night (if you were having more fun followin twitter snark rather than the actual Derby), came from Dan Szymborski:

Even though I personally don't care too much for the Derby (and I am not alone) I remain of the opinion that the annual Derby winner should get to wear a special shoulder patch on his daily uni until de-throned. Good advertising for the event, a good reason to win it, and possibly a good reason to drive both participation AND interest. It eludes me as to why MLB has always failed to showcase their stars and achievers with special uniform notes, but are now quite open to product advertisement. To me, that is failing to sell your own product so that you can grab a few bucks helping somebody else sell their shit. (And, topically, UniWatch tips us to one team with patch-heavy sleeves. So even though that is not MY thought for implementation, it IS possible.)............

Anyway, the AL crushed the NL in the Derby. Now on to the last few of the Lost Weeks Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

This is what happens when it takes too long to edit your work. You come up with a great idea when the Angels are rolling through some MLB powers, but by the time you get the article researched, edited and published and start telling folks that the Halos have managed to do quite well without Mike Trout, the team stumbles through 3 consecutive series and stumbles into the Break, with trout coming back anyway............

With Trout back on Friday (now with proper sliding instincts), our fun begins anew. But that little giggly angel that has been riding on your shoulder for years now, whispering into your ear all the end-of-the-year records and accolades that will fall Trout's way regardless of how much of a wreck the rest of the team makes of the season? Well, that giggly angel is gonna be awfully quiet the next few months. He will still be great, but all those record streaks are over............

The correct answer to this FanGraphs poll targeting we LAA fans is "Time 2". "Time 2" is the period without Mike Trout..........

Ah, crap. There goes my chance to see Danny Espinosa obliterate the lowest qualified BA in LAA franchise history. GM Billy Eppler is still shopping to replace him. Nick Franklin is not enough, so Eppler is in the running for Marlins Second Pedsman Dee Gordon. Gordon currently carries a slash line of .295/.342/.358 with an OPS of .701 and a bWAR of 1.7. The last time we had a regular 2B finish at .295 or higher was Howie Kendrick in 2013. Gotdon is under contract until through 2020.........

Kyle Glaser finds that opposing pitchers still see Albert Pujols as some kind of threat. Well, all things are relative, are they not? Pujols is most certainly a threat, compared to pitching to a couple of the guys who are hitting behind him in the batting order. But that's a rather low bar, you get there..........


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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

This section placed on hold indefinitely, in memory of Mike Trout's 2017 season. In the meantime, we provide The Jessica DeLine Trout Recovery Watch tracker. When will Mike be back?

Trout-Watch-7-11

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Everywhere In Baseball

Rob Manfred gave his pep talk yesterday. At the front was expansion. Montreal, Charlotte and Mexico City. Seems rather presumptuous when MLB needs to be focusing on expansion into Oakland, and Manfred agrees. (You can read that: "MLB won't fleece the fine folk of Charlotte until they have fleeced the fine folk of Oakland. Everything in proper order.")...........Also on Manfred's mind is NO to the Olympics, and NO to juicing (as predicted).........

Awesome. Jeffrey Loria has his legal sharks going after the personal property of their customers to recoup season ticket revenues lost when those ticket holders cancelled their plans in response to Loria cancelling the perks. My presumption here is that all the perks promised were not in writing and the actual contract signed by the ticket holders expressly blocks unwritten verbal statements. But (A) this is shitty anyway and (B) it obviously means that there is no waiting list of replacement suckers ready to take up the revenue slack there in Miami. By the way, notice in the linked article some passage about Loria now waiting until next year to sell so that he can avoid forking over 5% to local taxpayers? What's that all about? I haven't read that bit in any of the articles tracking potential bids..........

Meanwhile, good seats are still available for the ASG. At face value! Jeez what a mes Loria has made out of baseball in Miami............

It's a good thing there's no gambling in Baseball. Imagine the kinds of headlines if there were. We would have things like "The 2017 Home Run Derby Gambling Guide" and "PLACE YOUR BETS: DODGERS OVERTAKE ASTROS AS WORLD SERIES FAVORITE". Fortunately, instead, we have MSM writers railing against Pete Rose.........

Uh, we put up with this with Trout there for a while. Are people REALLY making whispers about Aaron Judge and PEDs? Or is this just something for MSM-types to chatter about, raising a straw man to fetch attention? The kid is a frikkin' mountain. By all reports he always has been. STFU already..........

On the other hand, this is where disingenuousness has gotten us. back in the late 90's, Baseball and the media were all giddy over the power numbers being put up. Anybody who was NOT a fan of one of the teams with some player posting huge HR numbers totally out of whack with the norms intuitively knew that something artificial was up. We just didn't know the precise details of the concoctions in use. Well, things are whacky once again. Intuitively, we know something is out of balance and we are busy pointing fingers at juiced baseballs, launch angles, 3-true-outcome hitting approaches, and super-young superstars. We can see the similar signs of cracks in the Dykes of Denial (as with the recent independent notices about altered baseballs), but we are leaving it to the same MSM to do the hard work of bulldozing down the artifices and revealing the truth, as happened the last time. In this raised-eyebrow piece from Rick Morrissey about the new bronze tribute to Barry Bonds up in San Francisco, Morrissey reminds us to keep calling bullshit on current times. Read on down to the part where he reveals that we are seeing more home runs per hits now than in the Steroids Era, and what players think about it. Some of that is old news, and Morrissey wants to make it all about, but the main point is that we should be questioning things hard, regardless of the root cause...........

The most fun reads on the entire Internet of baseballs are when Jeff Sullivan over at FanGraphs breaks down pitches and plays. Here, for your enjoyment, is The Worst Called Ball of the First Half. My favorite moment, out of a lot of favorite moments, is how plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt flinches in the slo-motion clip certain that he has just taken the pitch to the family jewels..........

Anybody still want the 3B that we should have had instead of treasuring Brandon Wood so many years ago?...........

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The Duffle Bag

Now HERE is an ump who truly believes in catcher framing............I may not like the Red Sox, but 10 extra credit points go to Mookie Betts for being his own pilot. Until Trout actually starts chasing tornadoes, this is the off-the-field winning hobby between the two.........Once Upon A Time, Joba Chamberlain was The Next Big Thing for the Yankees..........Ooh. 100 Duffle Bag points for this guy, an old-school brick-and-mortar businessman who was creative enough to exploit the hell out of viral marketing opportunities at the Derby..............I would surmise that the best way to bring out the worst in Phillies fans would be to declare that they fail to live down to their reputation...........

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Jordan Serena Destiny Watch

Mike Trout is done with his IE 66ers tour. So where are the charity auctions for his game-used jerseys??? I do admit that I dig the oil-stained numbering on back of their unis.............Jordan Serena was in the dugout all night. But he only gets to play once every 3 or 4 days anyway, and he last played on the 8th.

Meanwhile, growing up just a few minutes from BOTH Angels Stadium and Titan/now Goodwin Field (Cal State Fullerton), I never really had a need to go off and pursue SoCal Minor League ball. I must admit that following the IE 66ers has been revealing. The difference between where the hiters are at and where the pitchers are at sure does make things fun. Take last night's 7-6 comeback barn-burner victory for instance. Sometimes I am following BOTH the 66ers and Angels at the same time, and the 66ers can often be more fun to follow...........

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