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Thor'sLinks: Midnight, pumpkins, and glass slippers

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The second hand is approaching the strike of midnight, when the miracle turns back into a pumpkin. The Halos showed a bit of life last second, but time is still running out.

C.J. Cron is showing up. Gotta recognize that.
C.J. Cron is showing up. Gotta recognize that.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Angels put up a fight last night, but the bullpen is turning back into a pumpkin and the glass slipper of clutchiness has been left on the castle steps. The Angels lost again, 6 to 5. It didn't hurt as bad as it could have. If you look at the AL WC standings, the AL Division leaders are all hot as pistols, as are the Oakland A's. But all the other AL teams - mostly those thinking they are WC contenders - are the one losing their shits, each sucking over their last 10 games. So the LAA position is holding but the games, and the chances, are slipping by.

Give credit to Cleveland. They have clinched, but are not laying down. They ran out 5 pitchers themselves, and a pinch-runner, and helped drag out yet another 3 hour and 40 minute contest for the Halos. Let's hope they are still doing that this time next week when they face the Twins. It'd be pretty weak if they did not.

So how ARE our odds going forward? Well, the Twins get the Tigers 7 times. The Tigers just got swept by the Oakland A's. The A's have the 3rd worst record in the AL, with 5 of their victories coming recently as a gift from the Phillies and Tigers. The Angels have 11 games remaining, at least 4 of them very tough. But there is still only 1.5 games apart. Still a few ticks left on the tower clock. It's still exciting, though, yeah?

Grant Brisbee is bored by the playoff races because of course he is. Grant Brisbee is an unabashed Giants homer. And the Giants suck, being eliminated a month ago. I find nothing boring about these days.

Inhale some fresh #TeamOfTensity Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Just as a way to remind you how far the LAA starting rotation has fallen, as good as Parker Bridwell has been this year he is nowhere near the discussion for AL CYA...........

Oh Sherwin-Williams, did you have to go and be such a dick about your own promotion? Or is it that you failed to take out an insurance policy covering your payout and didn't realize it until Tuesday night?..........

Jo Adell wants to be a role model. MLB players want to give him advice on how to be a role model. I'm too GA at the moment, else I would go digging for historical references to the time in the not-too-distant past when the national dialog was that sports celebrities should not be looked upon as role models..........

Martin Maldonado is holding up fairly well, yes?..........

The Angels are selling lots of tickets, still, even if they are not actually moving the dials on the turnstiles at the stadium..........One of these days I would love to crowd-source a project to have people standing near the turnstiles and watching the counters increment, or swooping in around the 3rd inning and grabbing the data all at once before anybody could stop them (a quick cellphone photo would do), and then comparing that total to the publicly-announced tally. Doing that as a spot check over 20 or so random games might give us an insight to the TRUE yearly attendance figure..........

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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

Huzzah! I finally got something new to link to for mike trout news. A run-scoring double from last night. I'll take it!

Someday over the next week mike trout will have his Plate Appearances and become highly visible on all the leader boards. And then the world will see how far he has fallen from the top, and the news of his September slump will become common place. Mike Scioscia will have to answer questions. His answer will be "He is making solid contact. The balls are just not falling in for him right now. It will work itself out in time. But there is no such thing as any September slump. That's just not anything we have seen." And writers everywhere will simply go to BBR and pull up his career splits and, within seconds, see this table, and see that over his career his September/October stretch has been his annual worst.

He is now down 8th on the fWAR leaderboard. For the month of September his slash line is .220/.373/.424 with an OPS of .797. Over his last 14 games that slash line is only .149/.305/.340 with an OPS of .646. And through the first 8 of this 9-game gauntlet, he is .179/.273/.357 with an OPS of .630..........With 5 PA's last night, trout is now at 3.07947 PA's per LAA games to date average. If he does that 2 more times he rejoins the stat boards..........

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Everywhere In Baseball

A little girl suffered serious injury yesterday in the Twins-Yankees game. It must have been brutal, just based on the reaction of all the players. And, the players takeaway from this episode is that, yes, extended netting is needed......Due to HIPPA constraints, there is little more that we bystanders get to know about her well-being......This comment is not about blaming anybody, but as a father who went through 2 toddler stages I cannot imagine I would ever have been comfortable parking them at field level line-drive land...........

HOME RUN MANIA: Yondor Alonso tripled his previous season high HR number this year, Francisco Lindor, Travis Shaw, Eddie Rosario, Michael Conforto, Scooter Gennett and Elvis Andrus have all doubled theirs. But Rob Manfred sees noting unusual here..........Better yet, check out this graph, charting the ration of home runs to singles over time. Non-HR hits are, like, sooo yesteryear...........Here is yet another look into the 2017 home run oddities..........Of all the nearly 6,000 home runs hit this year, though, the one hit to shallow center field is the best. Are we sure that is not a single + 3-base error??.........That last link comes from a much larger FanGraphs piece on how to deal with the brave new world of our home run situation going forward..........Dan Patrick is thunderstruck. He is suspicious, too...........

In this look at whether winners of Divisions considered "soft" are at a disadvantage come playoff time, two things strike me. One, where is the table for what happened to all the teams in the playoffs after winning the "tough" Divisions? Since so few teams actually end up winning the WS, i would bet that there would be a lot of fail in such a table, too. Second, the article needs to make a stronger point of how a team like the Nats get into the playoffs at all, by way of lesser competition..........

The Minnesota Twins Are Not Supposed To Be Nere. So maybe they should just go away, already..........Hey, FiveThirtyEight, we ain't supposed to be here, either..........

Yeah, the REAL answer to the question posed in this article is that there are still old-guard resistance, but they are merely trying to use modern nouns and verbs to prove their losing cause.........

Collusion among owners is a real thing. All owners coming to a similar business decision is not collusion. The trick is to discern the difference..........

In looking at the optimal physicality for playing the shortstop position, I wonder how much of this is selection bias? With such an emphasis on lateral movement ability, couldn't a case be made that many NBA players have similar or greater lateral ability even though their body dimensions are in another orbit?..........

Bunting for a hit at 3-0, because it's such a unicorn...........

Giancarlo Stanton ain't bunting, regardless of the count. He now sits at 56 dingers, and counting..........

Raul Mondesi, what the hell?...........

In broadcast news.....the NFL continues to die.........The Feds see no problem is allowing the Media Giant of today that is the primary cost driving viewers over to streaming alternatives, to preemptively buy out the alternative media conduit of the future that promises to provide those streaming alternatives against the exorbitant costs of the Media Giant..........Just last week I went off on a rant in a comment about modern bloggers. And here, yesterday, is AwfulAnnouncing suggesting one of the very points I was making: "With this new wave of funding providing more stability and credibility, however, more creators may feel compelled to try their hand at making their own way based on reader contributions instead of seeking advertisers or a corporate entity to house their work."..........

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The Duffle Bag

What? An LA-based ice cream that is a nation-wide best-seller and goes by the name of "Halo Top"? Could there be a more natural product marketing affinity for Arte's brand???............Zack Greinke is a socially awkward turd? The sky is blue, news at 11..........Eww. if the Phillies were in the hunt for something important and exciting, I might be swayed to understand the superstition. But they ain't. So, just eww............Chase Headley most likely slept very carefully last night..........Brian Sabean, before you make your bet about "clutch", allow me to introduce you to Albert Pujols, vintage 2017. (Overall in 2017, Pujols gets a hit 24.2% of his AB's. With men on base, that number is 25.3%. That's not much of a "nose".)...........This is a contest that really sucks. Only 1 pitch? What if the pitch is no good? And, then, if the contestant actually DOES hit a home run, they are forced to go to the Coliseum 81 frikkin' times!..........We need a Johnny Cueto category for tater-trot-blockage..........Home Run Bat Flip, with courtesy..........

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