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HumpLinks: The ‘Four’ Season

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Now it’s just the pair of LCS, with just four teams left standing.

MLB: ALDS-Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Whoosh go the Yankees. Hey, Yankee fans, what happened to that “We want Boston!” chant??

Earlier yesterday, when I learned that CC Sabathia would be pitching and the disaster that is Angel Hernandez would be moving to behind the plate after his Monday debacle, it occurred to me that BBR splits would let me see how Sabathia fares with Hernandez calling balls and strikes. And I could do this for Sabathia’s entire career, and for this season. In both cases things looked pretty awesome for Sabathia. Career-wise, he has enjoyed Hernandez helping him to a slash line against of only .200/.233/.322, and this year Angel and CC teamed up for holding opposing batters to .185/.214/.222. Hernandez loves Sabathia, and Sabathia profits.

That was going to be my hook should the Yankees do well. They did not. Sabathia got pulled after 3 innings work, having given up 3 runs on 5 hits. So, game over and I was going to dump all that, but what is it that we read? We read Sabathia going off: first withCC Sabathia on Angel Hernandez: “He’s absolutely terrible. He was terrible behind the plate today. He was terrible at first base. It’s amazing how he’s getting jobs umpiring in these playoff games.”......and then, moreHe shouldn’t be anywhere near these playoff games....He’s bad. I don’t understand why he’s doing these games...It’s sad that he’s doing these games. It’s crazy...He’s always bad. He’s a bad umpire.” So what was CC talking about? Let’s go look. I don’t consider these definitive, but they look to have a better eyeball than Sabathia. Conclusion? Sour grapes. It’s a Yankee thing. And you know it’s bad when you have a Boston player telling you to stop whining. But, really, it’s what everybody feared ahead of time. That if anything goes wrong, somebody will get emotional and blame Hernandez.

And if you were watching, you might have recognized that Ian Kinsler guy. The guy who gave Boston an important run-scoring double. So let’s pull the ‘bad news for us’ card, because it’s all we got. I can go back and do splits here, too. That key hit last night came with 2 outs and a runner on 3rd. This year - meaning mostly on behalf of the Angels, in that same situation Kinsler batted .125/.125/.125. And Kinsler is actually batting .308 in the playoffs so far. Sheesh.

So there. 100 wins and the Yankees go home 5 games into the post-season.

And that means that The Kowloon goes through. It’s as it should be, since NYC is the back hole of Tiki. It’s criminal that The Kahiki lost out to Lei Low in the other ALDS. But with the ALSC, I still have The Kowloon to wipe out Lei Low. On the National League side, there is only one choice. Tiki Ti, having demolished the hopes of a Trader Vic’s knock off, now takes on Foundation. In my world, Tiki Ti rules the land. So I am pulling for a Tiki Ti versus Kowloon World Series, where Kowloon will have to bow to Tiki Ti.

Feast on these Let’s-Get-It-On-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

When accountants get locked into a room with marketers, you get headlines such as “2018 Angels telecasts on FOX Sports West deliver third highest ratings increase across MLB”. Recall that other accountants look at the same numbers and see the Angels as 4th worst in MLB. It’s all in the POV and the spin one puts on it.........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

We got arb projections for us to debate. Billy Eppler has better numbers I am certain, but since he hasn’t picked up his phone and called me in quite a while now we will got with these. Or not. Jeff Fletcher thinks they are light. He must be looking at Jefry Marte..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Arizona Fall League baseball kicked off yesterday. Follow it here, with our guys on the Mesa Solar Sox. (Did anybody else notice that the Saguaros batted 4th and 5th, guys names Biggio & Craig respectively?).....Personally, I am most intrigued by the Oakland outfielder with the name of “Skye Bolt”. Eppler needs to trade for that kid. I want that name on my team...........

Ron Darling is still out there to defend for us all The Book Of Unwritten Rules..........

As Alex Bregman just found out, one does not simply walk into the Yankees Red Sox Prime Time Suck Fest...........But I suspect that all the MSM nabobs who have been clamoring for the Yankees - Red Sox extravaganza are going home disappointed. Times have changed, and this matchup ain’t the rivalry that it used to be..........But hey Alex! Going forward, it looks like you will get to ride the Yankees or Red Sox prime time coattails. Let the Dodgers and Brewers do the matinees..........

This is when stats guys are kings of the no-fun zone. OK, so hitting for a cycle is not some omnipotent offensive juggernaut of productivity. But, dudes and dudettes, it‘s still fun. It’s perfectly fine to celebrate a guy who hits for power AND hits for average AND drives the ball AND can run the bases AND does that all within a single game. With everything else going on, it ain’t to do in a regular season baseball game. And with so much more going on in a playoff game, that’s why Brock Holt’s accomplishment was so rare, and still fun..........

And, hell yeah!, we should all be having fun. Players too. Maybe, players especially..........

There is no doubt that Aaron Boone went all brain fart in his handling of the pitching options in the 4th inning Monday night. The game was simply too fast for him to leverage the best bullpen in MLB this year. But the Red Sox scored 16 frikkin’ runs while only scoring 1 themselves. This means that the Yankees were dead in the 3rd inning already...........And, quite possibly, the biggest thing that Boone might look into doing is figuring out how to keep his staff from tipping pitches..........

In MLB coaching action, the Rays rewarded Kevin Cash’s excellent accomplishment this year with a less-than-10-year extension. See, it is possible..........But down in San Diego, the Padres figured out the real reasons behind the Eric Hosmer debacle. The reason that Hosmer’s bat sucked so badly ain’t Hosmer. It was hitting coach Matt Stairs. And the reason for Hosmer’s embarrassing fielding ain’t Hosmer. It was infield coach Josh Johnson. So the Padres canned both those guys. But Scott Boras’ client will be back to keep on earning that $123 million remaining for his services..........

Chief Wahoo is done. His final official game appearance coming on Columbus Day, 2018..........

Imagine getting fired, for getting choked...........

C C Sabathia wants to keep going. At first, you might wonder how, since the man is 38 years old. Well, Bartolo Colon is 45. He looks at Sabathia and says “Hold me beer, kid”............

Have you noticed that MLB GameDay is kinda weak in real time for these playoffs? As in very late with in-game video highlights and graphic updates? Yeah, me too. But one thing that is off is how they reset their stats for playoff mode, as if no regular season happened at all. This is what MLB does with player stats every year, anyway, but it doesn’t make sense when watching a live game. It does, though, make for fun oddities. Take Game 3 between Houston and Cleveland. Carlos Correa had just come bat, and was about to hit a 3-run home run. But up to that point he had been hitless for the series. So this was his heat map. In some zones, no data at all. In others, stone cold blue futility. This is not the kind of thing you get to see in July. Not even for a Jeff Mathis.


The Duffle Bag

The tweet that won the Internet yesterday. The comments are fun............And when the players finally get to that point where the MLB cannot fine them anymore, the truth comes out. What are they gonna do, have the HoF take down Chipper Jones’ plaque?..........And Pedro Martinez, too?..........And Peter Gammons has the quip to remember the next time Rob Manfred whines about pace of play..........Yankee fans at their finest...........