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MondoLinks: Halos hanging tight

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Sure, you wish they were keeping pace, but they don't need to win them all at once. Just keep winning 2 out of every 3. Which is what they did this weekend.

Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Oh, sure, we wanted the sweep when it was within reach. 2 games already won and Garrett Richards on the mound and chasing the Twins to create a sense of urgency, then we should have been favored. No, it didn't happen in the 4-2 loss. But winning at a 66% rate over these last 5 series would still put them at 86 to 87 wins, which should be an outstanding shot at a WC slot and something to be delighted with for the 2017 season even if the Twins get even hotter. So, yeah, we took 2 of 3 and might feel bad. But here is the perspective: Texas took only 1 of 3 and they know that they got hosed.

Chalk this one down to Pujols and his 4 LOBsters. Pujols was 1 for 11 with 9 LOBsters over the entire series. But nobody is going to talk about that. Not anybody within the LAA organization, anyway. So what you saw over the weekend was the Angels winning the first two games in spite of Pujols, and losing the third game because of him. Oh, sure, when the Halos only get 4 hits you could point fingers in other directions, too, but it's Pujols sitting there in the prime meatball spot in the batting order. Nobody else. If the LAA organization wants to obscure that ongoing drag behind a season's worth of ups and downs and wait for the outlying golden moments to justify the existence of the greater fail, there is not much we fans can do about it but cringe. But if it is true, as I believe it to be, that every series now can be considered of playoff level import, and we don't have a season's worth of time to wait for the occasional "up", our cringing will soon be immortalized in ways that the organization will not be able to make us forget.

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A Little Bit of Angels News

Garrett Richards feels good enough to start acting like a normal pitcher again, and pushing to 100 pitches per outing..........And Richards DID look pretty strong against the Rangers, with just one major bonehead pitch............

The Justin Upton deal is not complete. The Player To Be Named Later has been Named. Elvin Rodriguez. So that is Rodriguez and Grayson Long for the rental of Justin Upton and the chance to be first bidder at retaining him..........

Keynan Middleton is day-to-day with elbow nerve irritation. In LAA-LAA speak, "day-to-day" can sometimes amount to "career ending" so, yeah, be pessimistic...........

Your "pay no attention to what is not happening over here" moment this weekend, would be the notification on Friday morning of Albert Pujols surpassing Jim Thome for 7th on the all-time career home run list............

Joey Gallo made a mockery of Angels Stadium yesterday. That 490 foot shot, the 3rd longest in MLB this year, was so long it flies right off the StatCast graphic..........

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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

trout's homer yesterday should give him a bump, but when I typed this he was down to 7th throughout all MLB for positional players in fWAR...........I have mike at 457 PA's to date, averaging 3.06711 PA's per LAA game to date. Scioscia moved trout up to leadoff yesterday, which gave him an extra PA. This is just trout moving up to covered a sore Brandon Phillips, and is not any the new normal. So unless the Angels flash a lot of offense against the Indians, he 'qualifies' later this week at the earliest..........

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Everywhere In Baseball

MLB waited until all of you were away doing other shit on your weekends, and just following your own baseball team during the few 3-hour windows it was playing, to announce their 'punishment' for the Red Sox sign-stealing scandal. In short, the outcome is that Boston has to hand over some chump-change cash, but if any of YOUR teams are thinking of doing this kind of thing then your teams will get seriously f*cked over. So don't do it, because MLB will be tough. Except, it would be my guess, if that next instance would also be the Red Sox...........And, sorry to day, it wasn't an Apple watch after all. It was a Fitbit...........But not everybody is willing to fall into line with the MLB propaganda..........

We had some seriously good fun with John Lackey over the weekend, with his wife even jumping in with some twitter shame game. The ACTUAL news was Lackey getting ejected in the middle of a play in action, and Wilson Contreras getting ejected AND fined, all for something that started with a blown strike 3 call that flipped into a go-ahead run-scoring base hit. But my riff on this episode is for you to use your own eyeballs and compare the video of the Lackey pitch in question to the pitch-tracking graphic that Lackey's wife tweeted. The graphic shows pitch #5 at the batters mid-thigh. The video shows Contreras plucking the ball out of the air just before it hits the dirt. How can that be? It can be because (as I have written a thousand times) the pitch-tracking technology end out in front of the plate, not where it hits the catcher's mitt. Most importantly, NOT any place over the plate itself. Therefore: not in the actual strike zone. This is true for PITCHF/x, too. In this case, it can still be argued that the pitch was a strike at some point, but only as an implication. The umpire got fooled, AND the robot wasn't looking...........

The paid attendance for 2 MLB games and 2 NFL games was a grand total of 211,907. That weekend tally would be 339,661 if I added the 2 D1 college football games! Of those  events, the smallest figure came from the NFL Chargers, with 25,381. Yeah, both MLB games drew better. Of course, the Chargers might have the reason for their shitty results right there in their name. Turns out that they Charge 100 bucks just to park..........

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The Duffle Bag

Tim Tebow probably still thinks he is playing baseball because he is a baseball player...........Justin Verlander is really, it turns out, a totally Hollywood kinda guy..........mike trout might have hit a home run yesterday, and drove in a couple of runs, but as a Philadelphia fan he really took it in the shorts..........Erick Aybar, keeping Baseball fun!.........

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