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MondoLinks: Pujols carrying Halos out of contention

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Albert Pujols is putting this team and this sorry offense onto his back and carrying it right out of being a playoff contender.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

There is an unspoken sense of responsibility to be a name on the masthead and considered one of the thought leaders in a place like this. You have to try and find a way to not piss off the constituency, which is all over the place.  Albert Pujols, in spite of having his fans around here, is make that more and more difficult for me with every passing week. I really don't care that employees of the LAA front office or broadcast team will consider me yet another internet jackanape spouting off and showing his 'ignorance'. I really don't care that their analytics team can find some way to spin the math into yet another epicycle and show that Pujols is actually an important cog in the overall success this season. I don't care about the occasional nut this blind squirrel trips over that gets the PR department all excited. And I sure as shot don't care about all the greatness that comes with the Pujols legacy due to what the hell he did for the Cardinals. The man took the money. He takes the roster spot. His reputation takes the meat of the order. And his weak-assed contributions out of enjoying that opportunity are taking this team right back out of the playoff race that they miraculous once were in the heart of. Struggles are what you call bad shit in June. Fail is what you call bad shit in August/September.

The 2017 Albert Pujols is a failure. He is the offensive equivalent of Martin Maldonado, except that Maldonado is a brilliant contributor on the field AND doesn't do his batting fails in the 3 or 4 hole. Pujols is the living embodiment of the modern analytic understanding that striking out with an at-bat is NOT the worst thing a batter can do.

The Angels lost yesterday, 7-5. For those not following at home Pujols came to bat with 1 out in the 7th inning with the Halos up 5-4 and GIDP. He then came back up in the 9th inning with the bases loaded and now the team down 7-5, 2 outs. Fly ball out on the first pitch. Angels lose 7-5. angels lose the series 2 games to 1. And they lose ground in the playoff race as everybody above them won. They are now 1.5 games out and, 4-6 over their last 10 games, falling fast, fat and hard. They are now tied with a baseball team that actually does shit like this.

Have some Poo-Holes-GID-Effing Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

God bless you, Vladimir Guerrero. You remind me of those days when the cleanup hitter was a threat good to the last drop. May I live to visit your spot in the LAA HoF often, and long.........

Hey, let's get excited. The team with one of the very worst offense in all of Major League Baseball is seeing progress with their the health of their pitching staff. After the set back to Andrew Bailey, Garrett Richards makes a AAA rehab start this week........Nick Tropeano will soon begin a throwing program in Arizona, on track for Spring Training..........And Huston Street is on track to make it back to the roster the last 2 weeks of the season. For what purpose, I have no idea...........So next Spring we will be overflowing with quality arms ready to try and prove (once again) that they are not made of spun sugar. Let's hope that Billy Eppler makes enough progress to not be running out a lineup with half a roster unable to hit their own weight..........

Guys, on the upside, wake up and realize that we are being treated to a playoff race in which we have been participating. We didn't expect it. And we aren't going to have it in December. Enjoy it while it lasts!.......

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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

It says something that when we go a few days without Mike Trout doing something amazing we notice that Baseball is little more than an empty sporting event. Trout, who had not gone 2 games in a row without a hit all season up until August 24th, and once had a 17-game hitting streak, has now gone his last 5 games without a hit. He has 8 walks in that span, though. So his Slugging Percentage has dropped 25 points, his Batting Average has fallen 15, while his On Base Percentage has fallen only 3. All that said, Trout is STILL creeping up the fWAR leaderboard..........

Mike now sits at 385 PA's, which is an average of 2.94 per LAA game played. He should catch up to being 'qualified' no later than the first week of September.

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Everywhere In Baseball

Giancarlo Stanton is going to be pushing the "I dare you to accept me for playing clean" button any day now. Ever since the PEDs era we have lived in the morass where any player doing anything exceptional is subject to speculation. We will carry this problem for a very long time. This year, the probable victim of this suspicion would be Giancarlo Stanton, who just became the fastest player to 50 home runs since Barry "The Juice" Bonds in 2001. The Marlins have 33 games left to play. Stanton is not going to hit 25 more HR's, but he could hit another dozen.......

Dinger reliance. I wonder if such a thing has anything to do with fewer players working simply to put balls in play to open spaces in the field in clutch situations, like we used to see a couple of decades ago? Is that something that is no longer coached, taught, learned, developed?..........

More data on the home run surge. In short, here might be proof that the baseball changed and caused a jump from 2015 to 2016, and maybe trajectory is what is driving the jump now..........

Poor Mike Lupica, poster-child for the whiny east coast myopic sports writers who wish that all that were important in the world belonged to them and their easy daytime hours. Aaron Judge did NOT "take the spotlight away from Mike Trout..." He gave the Mike Lupica's of the world an excuse for already choosing not to have much of any spotlight on Mike Trout. And now, with Judge no longer holding up his end of the bargain, the embarrassed Mike Lupica's of the world are busy casting about for excuses..........Even more amazing, somebody has the audacity to write that there might be a better rookie than Aaron Judge?..........

Well I guess I just have to go after everybody today. Ashley MacLennan puts up a theory over at FanGraphs that Baseball is dying because Millennials can't afford games.  Which, of course, is utter bullshit. Unless you are trying to get into Yankee Stadium or Wrigley Field, it does not require exceptional craftiness to get into a stadium and see live baseball in person for $10 or less. That's not too far out of line with one order of the $7.75 for trendy avo toast at Avocado of Irvine. And if you ARE trying to get into Yankee Stadium or Wrigley Field, that your own damned fault..........

MLB was quite embarrassed by the Tigers/Yankees brawls. They laid down some heavy hammers on suspensions and fines...........Unless you are looking for conspiracies everywhere. Then you can think that MLB let the Yankees off easy, because they are the Yankees.........

Sportswriters are finally getting a clue. The entire notion of the 1970's sports writing is at an end, perhaps never to return. This will keep up, I predict, until the entire sports information content delivery system sees a need to evolve. With no people paid by other companies to do your marketing to your fans for you on their dime, sports franchises and sports leagues will be forced to fill that gap. More skilled and experienced people will take over roles such as I have now, and the teams and leagues will have to grant them access in order to connect with you. That won't have to be a bad thing. But it won't happen until my watch is over. The silly thing is that these sports writers should be figuring out now how to inject themselves into the newer model and branch out independently, rather than wait on some other business to be their employer..........

The Little League World Series has concluded, and Japan is once again your overlord of childhood baseball. That cover photo is impressive. I don't know how all the other LLWS teams compare. Maybe the same. But seeing every kid standing up along the back row is at least as tall as 4 out of 6 adults with them is pretty scary shit.........

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The Duffle Bag

Captain Obvious is just like the rest of us...........You see, folks, pitcher throwing baseballs at players truly is stupid, dangerous, stuff. Baseballs can hurt people, real bad.........Joe Girardi is having the toughest time with umpires these days. Yesterday, I can't say as I blame him..........One reason to keep sports and politics separate, might be because sports ain't very good at it?..........Oh Phillies. Baseball as an adventure in the afternoon..........

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Jordan Serena Destiny Watch

Serena did not play Friday......On Saturday, he saw some action, going 1 for 4 with a run scored and 3 RBI on a 3-run homer in the 4th inning......That success earned his a seat on the bench again Sunday.......

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