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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Halos whisked right out of Cleveland

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The Angels dropped the final to the Indians early yesterday, getting swept right off to Toronto with a plane load of abject failure.

Not you, Simba. It's not your fault.
Not you, Simba. It's not your fault.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Here's a tip: if the pace of a ballgame is unusually quick, and an otherwise middling pitcher is doing exceedingly well, and especially if TWO otherwise middling pitchers are doing exceedingly well, you can pretty much assure yourself that the the hand of the umpire behind the plate has something to do with it.

And so it was yesterday. By way of example, note how wide the zone was against Mike trout in this one at-bat. This was what caused Mike to almost go full Bryce Harper. Hey. It happens. Even so, it also happens that the Angels still had the power to overcome the extra hurdle and not lose the game yesterday, but there were so many bad days compiled into one game that it's silly to isolate fault with an umpire. Albert Pujols, for instance, going full O for Cleveland in 2017. And I wish to take this moment and advise JeffJoiner to add yesterday to his rather lengthy list of Sosh-failing-to-put-his-players-in-the-best-position-to-win moments. 7th inning and runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs in a 1-1 tie game on the road, and the same team that started the season trying to run the bases like crazy people fail to attempt a safety squeeze? Ever?

The whole stay in Cleveland sucked. I hang my hat on the rising brilliance of Andrelton Simmons.

Angels lose, 2-1. By the way, I'm not sure who it is that is writing the LAT online headlines, but "Angel's bullpen struggles in 2-1 loss to Indians" could not be further from reality. (Maybe they fix it between now and when you finally read this.) The Indians only scored 2 runs all day, and both of those runs came before the only LA bullpen arm, Blake Parker, even entered the game. And of the only 4 batters Parker faced, he struck out the first two and got the last two on infield ground-outs. I wish the entire pitching staff struggled like that.

The Angels are now 1.1 "Albert Pujols" out of a WC spot.

Have some Northern-Exposure-Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

It's easy to argue against anything that a Buster Olney is going to say. But sometimes he trips over a rock of truth. Yeah. Bullpen pieces get assembled and re-assembled every season and it's folly to think that you need to lock up a crew for some length of time. So when your pre-season shuffling creates some proven success that would be desirable to buyers at the trade deadline, and you need to be a seller to replenish your blighted farm, it's wise to consider selling bullpen pieces before they inevitably return to zero value..............

Bridwell tonight..........Petit tomorrow..........does this mean we get to enjoy the positive side of some Cy Rookie festivities for a change?..........

Mike Scioscia is all about turning pages, not throwing in any towels. Why is it, when I think about that, I have visions of a Sears catalog and an outhouse stuck in my mind?.........

Sure. Albert Pujols SHOULD be the next guy to reach 3,000 hits after Adrian Beltre. Right now I will be happy with Pujols' NEXT any hit..........


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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

Nuthin' today..............

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Everywhere In Baseball

Trade deadline Monday. Hall of Famers DO get traded..........And Yu Darvish might be going someplace..........

I remember when Mike trout used to be the best batter in MLB with a 2-strike count. Dude must be putting on weight again..........

Ok. Let's clear this thing up. By now you know that Adrian Beltre was ejected for being snarky with the on deck circle. You may have read a lot of commentary over this episode. If so, you may have read some WRONG commentary. Here is the deal. There are absolute and clear rules in the MLB Rule Book for the exact size and placement location for the on deck circle (formally known as the 'next batter's box'). Yes. There ARE rules for where the circle is to be located. What is NOT in the Rule Book is anything that states where the 'next batter' on deck is to be standing while warming up. It is NOT stated that he needs to stay within the circle. It's not unusual for the on deck batter to stand closer to the plate to get a good look at the pitcher he is about to face. But if that player gets TOO aggressive, it's not whining for the pitcher to complain about there being a distraction (Jim Kaat gets that, even if Garrett Richards does not). And if the umpire orders a non-participant to relocate, whether it be the on deck batter or something else, there is an over-arching principal that umpires have the authority to ocontrol the game, and that would suggest the player needs to comply. But moving the actual circle itself violates the rules of the field and as humorously snarky as the move was, and as pissy as the umpire looks, Beltre was in the wrong. It would be the same manipulation of the rules that control the playing field as throwing a base. You get tossed for stuff like that. It shouldn't be a surprise..............And, hey, if the damned things are dangerous to use, fix that!..........

Mike Lupica, who just a few weeks ago gave us : "It is different with Judge. We are moving up fast on half-a-season of this with him, a half-season when he has been the most exciting and most valuable player in baseball, even in this time when the game seems to have as much young talent as it has ever had."...now gives us: "Altuve Best, Period"..........

The best part is that Lupica tracked down Joe Morgan and Morgan gets busy saying Joe Morgan things, even ignoring that Mike has missed about half the current season. "I think he's the best all-around player in the game," Morgan said. "I know people say it's Mike Trout. But I think [Altuve] is. He hits for higher average. He steals more bases. He drives in runs and he scores runs. I don't know what more he can do on a baseball field.".....Altuve DOES steal more bases (220 versus trout's 155), but trout has almost the same BA (.308 vs. a .317 boosted by this past July). And playing on a team with far, far less chances Mike has a much higher RBI total (539 vs. 381) and far more Runs Scored (642 vs. 521). Much of that comes from trout hitting 187 career home runs against Atluve's measly 75. Hitting home runs IS something more a player can do on a baseball field. Oh, and you know what ELSE a player can do on a baseball field? Play defense, that's what. trout's career dWAR (BBR) is 2.7. Altuve's is...oops...0.4..........

Fun times in Toronto. The Blue Jays lost their entire battery AND their manager to ejections for arguing balls and strikes, all within minutes. All that and they STILL had a better offensive day than the Halos. (Quick: when was the last LAA grand slam?)..........

A great moment to reflect on the fact that game is MUCH different than it was 30 years ago. And to think I can recall it being even more different 20 years before that. So what's it going to be like in 2047? I plan to stick around long enough to tell you..........

Another great excerpt from Jay Jaffe's "Cooperstown Casebook". This one is all about the snubbing of Cubs's 3B Ron Santo, all the way until a year after his death. (My copy won't arrive for a month, so I am digging these.)...........

MLB teams should not expect the IT mega giants of Silicon Valley to bring all their vast hoards of billions in available cash and hand it to them for streaming rights fees. Those guys got all that money by being smart enough to know that handing it over to billionaires camped out on a public trust is a stupid bet..........

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The Duffle Bag

Inside the park grand slams are awesome. Ending with a juke slide even stuns the catcher..........Have another inside-the-park homer. Because they are always fun for everybody but the fielder who botched the play in the first place.........Jim Duquette the guy who, as a filed Mets GM, once traded away Scott Kazmir and Jose Bautista for garbage on the same day, once tried to interview as the Angels GM...............based on yesterday's comparative offensive production, it appears as if the Nats' Rally Pigeon could kick our Rally Monkey's ass..........Is there no end to Dustin Pedroia The Douche?..........Cubs fans know how to party. Now we will learn whether or not they know how to parent..........Minor League baseball burglar gives us the "duh!" moment of the day............

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Jordan Serena Destiny Watch

In the IE, Serena got a gig at 3B! (That's has been his natural position until the 66ers). Serena (.243) went 2 for 4 with a double. Jahmai Jones (.314) was 1 for 5, flying out to end the game and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes blew out the 66ers 9-1.............

With Salt Lake, Tyler Skaggs tried to have another rehab start last night. Taking on the Memphis Redbirds, he only made it 42 pitches in before rain delayed the game and ended his night. He had thrown 21 strikes, allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks. There was only 1 out in the 2nd inning when the wetness came.............

In Mobile, nothing too special. Matt Thaiss (.267) and Michael Hermosillo (.254) both went 0 for 3. Our other up-and-coming position players DNP,  The BayBears defeated the Generals 4-2............

In AZL, Jordon Adell (.327) went 0 for 2 before being pinch-hit for by Francisco Del Valle. Nonie Williams (.217) went 1 for 5. The Angels defeated the Cubs 5-2..........

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