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MondoLinks: Close The Book of Scioscialism

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Mike Scioscia did, indeed, turn the final page.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

Close The Book of Scioscialism. Mike Scioscia did, indeed, turn the final page.

We won’t have Mike Scioscia to kick around anymore. And we won’t have Mike Scioscia complainers to kick around anymore. Most incredible, we won’t have Sosh complaint complainers to kick around, either. Go ahead. I dare you. Find me an HH post when Terry Collins was still managing out of Anaheim. None of you people know to use this site to comment on any other LAA skipper. I have no idea what the membership will do for fun going forward. We will all learn together.

The tea leaves have been pointing to the past weekend for a month now. It’s been such a long and slow process that, in that month, that tea dried completely out. The leaves had all stuck to the bottom of the cup in one giant arrow that was pointing Sosh towards sunsets in fishing boats. (Unless he wants to manage in Arlington or something.) This weekend was obvious to us all, even as The Rule of Sosh is to keep such things that you are not entitled to know to himself.

But now that Mike Scioscia has made his announcement without farewell tours, without daily media rehashing, without overshadowing his players on the field, and he can finally state the obvious and mosey off to some sweet Front Office opining. Mike Scioscia has left the building.

So you just watch. Our pitchers will stop suffering UCL tears. Taylor Ward will turn into Mike Schmidt. Justin Upton will master going back on fly balls. Billy Eppler will be perfect in his bullpen manufacturing. Roberto Baldoquin will be the #1 prospect in MiLB. Albert Pujols will be named Comeback Player of the Year. Arte will get a new stadium. The Rally Monkey effect will actually start working again. The hot dogs will taste better. Global warming shall reverse. Maybe even more incredible, we will get an August that has 31 days again.

Baseball has changed a lot over the past 20 years. Sosh did change with them, but the majority of that was only quite recently and not all the way. He is his own man. And he went out his own way. He has been fantastic for the organization. For that, thank you Mike Scioscia. And yet, this is a fantastic opportunity for this same organization. Perhaps even more so, thanks for that too Mike!

Crush it today with these Vaya-Con-Dios-Mike-Scioscia-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

We finished the year with a series win over the A’s, as Shohei Ohtani, Jery Marte and Taylor Ward combined to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 come-from-behind-walk-off-2-run-home-run victory. In the bottom of the 9th, in Anaheim, in Mike Scioscia’s final game (where he had earlier handed things over to Alfredo Griffin so that he could simply chill on the bench and soak it all in), Shohei Ohtani led off with a single. Jefry Marte then stepped up and doubled home Ohtani. This brought up Taylor Ward. 3 pitches later Ward parked a Chris Hatcher fastball over the Jersey Mike’s sign in left-center field and everybody rejoiced.

Andrelton Simmons is another guy who is really really good. And, lucky us, Andrelton Simmons is finding ways to get better.............

From Garret Anderson...........

By the way, I am out in the garage working on a project, watching the game. Tyler Skaggs had just done that stupid Tyler Skaggs thing of surrendering runs after getting two outs. He gave up a 2-run 1st inning home run to Khris Davis. Deep sigh. But then the replay came up, and I noticed something Ironic. The replay was sponsored by Toyota. Toyota’s motto is “We Make It Easy” and that motto was posted boldly in the replay. On the play, Jose Briceno has set up low and inside on a 1-1 pitch to Davis. Victor and Gubi were making a lot of chatter about how Davis was coaching himself into relaxing and wait for the outside pitch. So Briceno had Davis precisely where he wanted him. But that’s not Making It Easy, and We Make It Easy, so Skaggs tossed a nice, soft, 90mph fastball way off target, right where Davis was wanting it. Yep. We Make It Easy. Oakland 2-0, getting them off to a good 1st inning start on their way to a 5-2 victory.

A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Shohei had 30 teams from which to choose. 29 of the were pissed off at being losers. Yankees and Mariners fans were the worst. Now that he has had a year to experience MLB and get a feel for MLB as a whole, Ohtani has come to the conclusion that, yes, he absolutely made the right choice..........

Another MSM vote, and advertising, for Ohtani as RoY. These articles are disappointing to me when they fail to include readership comments. They deny me the joy of MFY fan tears...........

Some love for the Angels and for Angels fans for how Ohtani has been supported, and the experience that Japanese fans get from their visits to Angels Stadium, all from a baseball fan from Japan..............

And, as we exit the season, Ohtani announces to the Oakland A’ss that he is going to be a pain in their ass for a long, long time..........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Mike Trout keeps getting better. And he really wants to be in the playoffs. Us, too, Mike. Us too............

At the rate he was playing in 2018, had Mike played the full season he would have had ~44 home runs, ~27 steals, ~166 hits, ~138 walks, and ~11.5 bWAR. Only that bWAR would have lead baseball, but each one of the others would be so high among the elite that, hell yes, Mike is getting better. And he is still underrated............

Billy Eppler noticed that massive number of solo home runs. Not nearly good enough OBP. He feels good enough about what he sees from prospects breaking out that he can focus on pitching as his priority in the offseason. And his mantra: “a tomato you grow in your own garden tastes better than a tomato you buy at the store.” This, it would seem, applies more towards bullpen future than starters, because Eppler saw what happened with relievers in the FA market last winter..........

Also retiring, the dude who has been directing pretty much every FAX Sports West LAA broadcast you have ever seen, Doug Freeman...........


Everywhere In Baseball

With the Cubs and Brewers finishing up with identical records, and with the Dodgers and Rockies also finishing up with identical records, we still don’t have a Division champ in either the NL Central or NL West. That, and MLB doesn’t know how to figure out post-season seeding. So we get free playoff baseball! For 2 teams yet to be determined, today will be the play-in game for the play-in game to the playoffs. The losers of today’s games (Brewers@Cubs at 9:05AM and Rockies@Dodgers at 1:09PM, both PDT) will land in the WC game. Those 4 teams have combined to go 31 and 9 over the last couple of weeks, and they also are a cumulative 12-0 recently. But one of them is about to lose 2 straight and join the couch next to the rest of us. Expect a double shot of chatter about pitcher selection and usage strategies and rotation disadvantages as everybody in the NL but the Braves are burning their way through one-and-done baseball..........For their part, the Dodgers are kinda upset that the Nationals chose to shut down Max Scherzer and not pitch him Sunday against the Rockies. Scherzer has 220.1 innings under his belt this season, and the Nats chose to rest him to keep his workload down. 220 to 228 has been Scherzer’s seasons from 2014 to now, so I can see both sides here...........

Odd. Are we talking about the same Federal government here? How many of them do we have? One, you say? But we already know that this one Federal government went out of their way on behalf of a few dozen billionaires to make it the law of the land that baseball prospects are exempt from any wage protections. So which Federal government is it that is looking into how those few dozen billionaires might have parts of their organizations exploiting baseball prospects coming to America from other lands?.............

Christian Yelich should be the NL MVP. The Brewers scored big in their trade with the Marlins to nab Yelich. It’s one of those moments when people can look back and confess that, yes, they were overvaluing prospects when assigning a grade to that deal when it happened..........

Elsewhere in managerial circles, J.T. Realmuto served as player-manager for what might be his final game as a Marlin. The Marlins lost 0-1.....Russell Martin stood in for the recently-released John Gibbons and served as player-manager for the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays lost 4-9.....And the Royals are extending Ned Yost for one more year. The Royals lost 1-2, making for 104 total losses in 2018.........

Give it up for the indomitable spirit of baseball, as a community rallies to restore a beloved Little League field ravaged by recent storms............Looking for a new home? Want the satisfaction of following in the footsteps to the same bathroom as Zack Greinke?...........

Yet one more example of why one needs to temper their enthusiasm for sports celebrity hero worship. Owners of Mat Latos jerseys just lost their $200 investment. Because it turns out that Mat Latos is a real dick..........

We can never have too many artists creating new works of America’s ballparks..........

I don’t know where Kris Davis’ power came from. But his year-over-year batting average could not be any more consistent...........

C.J. Cron might be a poster boy for tough luck careers. His Tampa Bay Rays won 90 games this year. In his rookie season the Angels won 98 games and got swept right out of the playoffs by the Royals. This is only the second time in his career the team he is on has won as many as 90 games. And this year those 90 games still finished 7 full games out of the Wild Card...........

Because we are all getting old. Goodbye Joe Mauer.....Goodbye Adrian Beltre.....Goodbye David Wright...........Goodbye to Adam Jones in Baltimore?............Goodbye to Bryce Harper in Washington?............

Occam’s Razor is a really cool tool of common sense, until it works against your belief system. Sabremetricians always have, and always will, want to mathematically excuse away PEDs as having much to do with the home run barrage of the PEDs era. too many other potential factors at play for them to reduce the equations to one of the many things form which there is not empirical documentation..........

Ummm, here is an interesting development that I did not anticipate. One of our junior sports leagues, the NBA, is looking at partitioning up their content and selling streaming access to just the 4th quarter of games. We already know that NFL viewers can find that buying The Red Zone service makes more sens that the NFL Season Ticket package, but that is more a consequence of game action. This is a fixed partition (and does it include overtime?). Not sure how this micro-segmentation would work in MLB, but that’s only because this is a surprise to me and I haven’t had enough time to think about it. But I do know that this is the kind of thing that can extend the viable life of an existent delivery method..........

Oh this is too rich. The major sports leagues already lost a their silly attempts to stick their blood-sucking proboscises into the public revenue coffers to be generated from public sports betting. (Is it not the most insane thing that these jackwagons insist on charging the public to build their business infrastructure for them, and then charge that public to use that infrastructure, AND now want to charge that public whenever the two public people wish to create a wager between each other about what goes on within that infrastructure that they cannot afford to attend??) So now we are having federal hearings. That let’s them try all over again. The newest tack from the NFL is that the States should be forced to buy stat data from the NFL to be used to create odds (because, you know, we have learned that failing to do that before has caused so many issues of integrity in Las Vegas. Right? Right??). But think about that. The NFL wants the Federal government to force the States to give NFL money - at no doubt whatever rates the NFL chooses to set - for information you, the consumer, already get for free all over the Internet............


The Duffle Bag

I tripped over this as an accidental find while on the link hunt. A compilation of crazy-assed game endings...........Angel Stadium has its Rally Monkey. Wrigley Field has its Rally Rat...........Ben Zobrist rockin’ the...hell to the YES!...STIRRUPS!!!..........Umpires can be tough guys, too..........Hate to say it, but this Boston fan may have a better arm than Mike Trout. And, since it was Fenway and Stanton is a Yankee, the fan was not ejected and not banned for life. He’ll probably get a coupon book for free hot dogs or something...........