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ASG Hangover Links: AL rules in low-scoring duel

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The American League proved capable of overcoming the loss of Mike Trout to demonstrate ongoing dominance over the National League.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine a Mike Trout leading off last night with a double. he scores on  Jose Ramirez' subsequent single. He then comes back up again in with 2 outs in the 3rd, triples off of Carlos Martinez, and scores again with Jose Ramirez' single. By the 6th inning the AL is up 3-0 and on their way to a 9-inning victory with Trout as MVP yet again. Without Trout, the AL struggled. It took time. It took the AL West to save the night in extras as actual MVP Robinson Cano homered to defeat the NL 2-1, tying the all-time series between the two leagues.

Some random thoughts: Wasn't that first run scored by the AL in the top of the 5th so vintage All-Star Game Bryce Harper?..........How can there be any drama in a game where a Nelson Cruz stops the game and whips out his cellphone for a photo op with plate umpire Joe West?..............Could anything be more Boston than a Craig Kimbrel posturing melodramatically on the mound before every pitch?...........Aaron Judge goes 0 for 3 with a strikeout and 3 men left on base, and the viewing audience could just taste the disappointment in the broadcast booth as Joe Buck and John Smoltz didn't get their chance to force us all into genuflection...........The sluggers of the top two teams in Baseball - the Astros and the Dodgers - did not acquit themselves very well. Astros hitters went 0 for 7 with 4 strikeouts (while Astros reliever Chris Devenski did pitch a clean 8th inning frame). Dodger hitters were 0 for 6 with 1 strikeout and 2 men left on base (and Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the 9th).

Three teams did not have a player get into the game. The Rangers' sole rep, Yu Darvish, just pitched 2 days prior and was not available. The Brewers lone rep, Corey Kluber, was most likely being held in reserve by Joe Maddon as a closer in extras. And the Angels only guy, Mike Trout, well, who knows? His last tuneup was Sunday and he proclaimed himself ready and pain free. Whose idea was it to be so safe? Doctors? Trainers? Management? Coaches? Again, with guys whipping out cell phones was there really any risk?............By the way, ASG selections have been screwy for years and years.............

Anyway, let's move on.

Wow. You know things are going to be tough in rounding up new bits of tid for you all to read when one goes to the closest thing we have as a wire feed and sees that of the top 8 LAA articles on the first page, 2 of them are your own Links posts for the week.

Almost the last of the Lost Weeks Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Andrelton Simmons, the guy you DIDN'T see last night but SHOULD HAVE, had himself a pretty good first half. Here is something to rub in the noses of all your friends who pull for the wrong team............

Mike Trout's career arc might be hitting a rather unfortunate bit of timing. When his current contract comes up and he hits his due for MLB's Greatest Mega Contract Ever, the free flow of TV money might have dried up...............


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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-7-12

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Everywhere In Baseball

You may have noticed in yesterday's Links how it was reported that Commissioner Manfred has three expansion sites on his radar, that none of them are Portland, Oregon. Portland is a city often bandied about for Major League Baseball, but mostly by us fans. Especially fans who live in Portland. Well, these days I don't feel so sorry for Portlanders. They shouldn't have Major League Baseball anyway. They never had Major League Baseball, so they shouldn't have Major League Baseball............

Just because there may be other factors at play to explain the home run rise, that does not mean that baseballs being juiced is not one of those factors..........

Just because current baseballs still fall within the rather broad limits of MLB standards, that doesn't mean that they have not been altered away from one limit and over to another limit. Rather disingenuous there, Commish. Because, we all can clearly see, there IS evidence out there..........

The other side of the FanGraphs Fun Zone: The Worst Called Strike of the First Half. And the victim is none other than Jeff Mathis. "The only thing remotely objectionable in there is the idea that Jeff Mathis has a good idea of the zone just because he’s a defensive specialist. Mathis is a terrible, terrible hitter, and this year he has five walks and 40 strikeouts. Mathis isn’t one of those guys you trust to know the difference between a ball and a strike from the box. He’s not Joey Votto."..........

MLB Home Derby TV ratings are up. Way up. Just in time for Aaron Judge to take advantage of years of tweaks to the format..........

Bryce Harper remembers back to his elementary school days when he was dodge ball captain and the captains got to choose sides at recess. He thinks an All-Star fantasy draft system would be cool. And you know what? With some good computer/video controls in place to make sure that the captains choose a proper roster with some proper representation (instead of just picking nothing but teammates or getting teammates pissed because they were not picked), it might make for seriously fun television. I'd be on board with testing this..............Not everyone is a fan, but that's Ok. People have the right to be wrong..........

Hey Joey Votto, if "...we step back and look at it with a larger sample", what we see is that the games are NOT getting "more efficient". That's why pace-of-play is becoming such a thing. The athletes are getting to be so good that margins of error are becoming razor thin, which creates more pressure per pitch, slowing the game down and dragging the entire affair out. Same result: a winner after 9 innings. But now with 20% more time needed to sort things out...........

We no longer have This Time It Counts, and Buster Olney misses it already. Truth be told, this is something that has been draining the import of the ASG for years and years. It used to be something that the participants cared about, and we fans could tell. Lots of things have watered down the ASG. Interleague play, expanded rosters, manager favors to other managers, probably even player contracts too if I think about it hard enough. Maybe we start by MLB and sponsors ponying up some huge bundle of cash, winner-take-all to charity of choice. Right now the winners get $20K each and the losers get zilch. So take the money away form the players (they probably have AS bonus incentive money, anyway) and add a few bucks more and come up with a $2 million Grand Prize. Is it going to go to the American League Cancer Research or the National league Zombie Defense Network?..........

The Marlins are about to be sold. Some guy named Jorge Mas will pay $1.17 billion, according to Forbes...........This would be news to Sports Illustrated, which reported on the same day that the Derek Jeter/Michael Jordan team was about to close the deal...........This means that our long national nightmare is nearly over. No more Loria The Pillager...........

Things are tightening up between the AL and NL, as the AL is cooling off............

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The Duffle Bag

Bobblehead overdose............Here is one example of my sleeve patch idea in action by MLB............Rob Manfred cops out on the Dodger TV roadblock. Not that I mind at all............Some Mike Trout ASG porn, while everybody back east is still hoping to not think about him............

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Jordan Serena Destiny Watch

The Cal League took yesterday off............But Matt Thaiss made the promotion to Mobile and went 1 for 4 for the BayBears, clocking a double and driving in the game's only run as the BayBears defeated the Birmingham Barons 1-0. Thaiss also struck out twice...........

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