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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Angels start run for the finish

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Only 4 more off days left. The stretch run begins, and the Angels have a seat in the lead. Who'd o' thought??

The Don Baylor Memorial Patch: LAA pre-empting any HH protests of shame, ala Fregosi.
The Don Baylor Memorial Patch: LAA pre-empting any HH protests of shame, ala Fregosi.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Well, folks, here we go. For the most part, all those vacation breaks are behind us. From here on out to the final day of the regular season on October 1st - 45 calendar days - the Angels only have 4 of those days off. And the vast majority of the games ahead are within the AL West Division. The only exceptions are these upcoming 3 against the Orioles, followed next month with 3 against the Indians and 4 against the White Sox.

Since the Astros ran away with the AL West title long ago, and only a Wild Card is an option, playing games in-Division is only meaningful inasmuch as the Division ranks in power against the rest of the League. The Angels are not going to be getting enough shots at other WC contenders outside the Division to make ground, so they are limited to making ground against fellow Division WC rivals, or trying to feast on AL West mediocrity.

But here it is, peeps, the stretch run. Starting out in Poe-dunk, Maryland.

Have a case of The Purloined Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

You wanted to see this, somewhere. Somebody putting the Angels ahead of the Mariners in a weekly Power Rankings...........

Andrelton Simmons getting some well-deserved love. Probably because he is overtaking everybody else's preseason favorites in all of their favored metrics and they can't pretend he will go away any longer.............

Another retrospective on the career of Jered Weaver.............

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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

Mike Trout is leading the Angels onto the stage of national attention. Being 13-5 over recent weeks and climbing into the playoff race, while Trout has resumed his assault on our understanding of what Baseball greatness is all about, will do things like that............

Here is an angle that feels fresh. Mike Trout is a rising MVP candidate. Not in spite of missing so many games, but BECAUSE of missing so many games. If the Angels reach the playoffs, with Trout as their leading producer, the narrative becomes one of Trout carrying the team into the playoffs while overcoming so many games off due to injury, something no other candidate can claim..........

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Everywhere In Baseball

Giancarlo Stanton is a slugger on fire. He has an outside shot of reaching into the 60's for home runs this season. So, naturally, the 61 versus 73 topic comes up. And Stanton stepped right in the middle of it. He raises the idea that 61 is the better target...........Naturally, others disagree. Grant Brisbee - uber GIants fan and, therefore, an unashamed Bonds defender, goes off............Some are conflicted, and cannot talk themselves into sounding convincing either way even as they want to think they believe that Bonds owns the record...........

Beyond The Box Score really wanted to pimp Chris Sale as being brilliant because of his confidence pitching in front of a brilliant defense. But the Angels (among others) got in the way. The Angels also have one of the great defenses in baseball, and their embattled pitching staff is not skilled enough to take advantage in the way the author was hoping............

Adrian Beltre's on-deck circle ejection was, um, unusual. But Baseball is history, and is loaded with other weird ejections that are fun to relive. It makes for good weekend reading............

Oh yeah. If Player's Union Chief Tony Clark wants to appear as though he has any authority, he needs to be sitting with Commissioner Manfred now as Manfred figures out how to impose new pace-of-play ideas. because once the season is over, Manfred has already stated that he will use his license to impose whatever changes he sees fit with or without Clark.............

Man, they have high standards up in Chavez Ravine. Yu Darvish, over his first three games there, has an ERA of 2.50 and an ERA+ of 169. And yet here is a piece telling Darvish that it's Ok to be merely mortal so far. We could use some of that level of mortality..........

One of the Great Mysteries to me in my life: great hitters who get fooled at the idea of a meatball right down the pipe. Chris Davis is particularly good at that this season.............

Introducing Baseball to women as a potential career industry. A very noble idea. Kudos to Jeff Sullivan for igniting such an event through the Mariners. I hope the seminars included the reality of franchises exploiting the already overwhelming pool of existing applicants to create underpaid labor forces...............

Remember when Andrew McCutcheon was for sale by the Pirates, and nobody was buying? We all thought he was done. He was not done.............

This reddit used finds number relationships to be fascinating. I find them to be indicative of how mediocre the AL is this season......And, yeah, it's highly mediocre...........

Lots more players and managers are vocalizing their frustration with bad ball/strike calls. You will notice that they never bitch about this when the calls go in their favor. And, again, as I linked the week before last, robot umpiring is not yet ready to shut this issue down.............

Skunk In The Outfield. The 152 second high play that broke Baseball................

The New York Media is tired of Aaron Judge's post All-Star slump. So they want to go back to celebrating even the rarest of home runs. No, NYT, those HR's don't "keep in coming". He only has 3 all month. He struck out that many times last night alone, going hitless. Surrender to regression, scribes..........

Remember all those articles and opinions last year whining about Baseball TV ratings and comparing them to Football, using that to declare that Baseball was dying? Um, Football is the one that turns out to be dying, folks..............

I remember when Turner Broadcasting went big into cable and started showing Atlanta Braves games everywhere and it helped changed sports viewing forever. Well, that's why I find this interesting. That same company is doing that same ballsy thing again by leaping into over-the-top direct sports streaming. They are starting with soccer, but just you wait...........

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The Duffle Bag

Baseball's slowest pitch. I guess we can do this now that Weave is retired...........Ha! Looks like Jeter is stuck with that home run monstrosity. It's a publicly-funded work of art.............If you have ever kept score with pencil and paper, you know what a damnable curse this game would have been............Current owner of Red Sox 'haunted' by the reality of one of his predecessors. A fine excuse to create "Big Papi Way".............Just gonna say it, Mr. STL Manager Mike Matheny, but nobody pays money to attend a baseball game to see the managers, either..............The Reds and Cubs had a hell of a wild game yesterday. And the Reds social media maven nailed it............That's right New Yorkers. Nobody gives a shit about your subway series..............St. Clemente, The Baller?............

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Jordan Serena Destiny Watch

Serena is still on his scheduled 3-day off-day rotation of DNP...........

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