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HumpLinks: ALCS wakes up, NLCS puts us all back to sleep.

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A grand slam crushes Houston, The NLCS is probably still playing.

MLB: ALCS-Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Well which one of you picked Jackie Bradley, Jr. as the ALSC hero? Come on, fess up. Bask in the glory. Because that JBJ grand slam to crush the Astros is that one true thing that sent Houston fans to bed last night with crushed souls wondering if all those years of losing on purpose will deny them back-to-back trophies after all? Nathan Eovaldi’s arm shut up everything in orange except Alex Bregman’s bat (and Jose Altuve’s). And Bradley beat the crap out of Roberto Osuna and parked him deep into the doghouse of Astros fans everywhere as Boston rolled to an 8-2 victory to take a 2-1 series lead.

Back here in the NLCS, the Brewers lost their starter Gio Gonzalez to injury in the 2nd inning, invoking a potential series burden on their bullpen. In a tight game that meant a huge swing in the fortunes of each team, the tension mounted inning over inning as we enjoyed a classic National League pitching duel. No, seriously, we are talking tense. Extra innings tense.

Or, you could also just say that neither team wanted to win the game and they just bored everybody to death. 5 14 hour baseball games will do that.

Dragging out the affair were both teams combining to use 16 pitchers even though none of them labored (except for the Gonzalez injury). Only some of the pitching changes were PH flippage. The Brewers were down to 2 available relievers and the Dodgers none. And, what with all the pinch-hitting, neither team had any bench left at their disposal.

In the end, well past bedtime in Wisconsin USA so they are hearing about this for the first time here, the Dodgers won in 13 innings 2-1 as Cody Bellinger singled home Manny Machado. And that was that. Series tied 2 games apiece. Dodger Stadium had fun, but that was the National League conspiring to kill playoff excitement across the rest of the nation. I guess one had to be there.

But you, you all get your butts going on these Deep-Playoff-Mysteries-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Alert! Alert! Alert! JeffJoiner will be hosting a live chat with Ty Buttrey TOMORROW at 12:30 PM PDT. Look for the main article to be posted where you can jump in and act professional...........

Well, the big news out of Anaheim is only big news if (A) you know nothing about business dealings, or (B) you got nothing else to talk about concerning the Angels. It was announced that the Halos are opting out of their lease with the City of Anaheim. Pfft. So what? They had hit the opt-out due date. That is all. Taking the opt out does not expose the Angels to any threat that the White Sox are going to swoop in and render them homeless. And it does to prevent the Angels from signing any future leases on the same facility. And it does not mean that the Angels are off in search of The Promised Land. No, all it does is expand Arte’s leverage. It’s a business function, and it’s a good business decision to expand one’s options and improve one’s negotiating position. Failing to take the opt out would be the business decision to be locked in for an extended time, losing all remaining negotiating leverage. Because let’s face it, Arte’s position is not very strong as it is. No city is banging on his door trying to throw money at him. SoCal real estate is pricey as hell already and not going to implode any time soon. If you want to lay odds, it should be that the Angels negotiate with the new city government coming after this election and they stay right where they are, possibly with a new stadium plan. Even the City understands this. maybe something bold does happen, but this turn of events is not that bold something happening........


Everywhere In Baseball

Oh, reaaally??? The Astros are under investigation for potential cheating? CHEATING?? Oh, hell yeah. An Astros employee has been reported as videotaping the Cleveland dugout during the ALDS. What, you think this is just a silly one off and some misunderstanding? Nay, people, nay I say! Because, guess what? MLB has busted the Astros for doing same in Game 1 of the ALCS. So you would think that this will be a huge thing, right? In the middle of the ratings sweeps period for MLB, though? Silly fool. And I quote the official MLB stance here: “We are aware of the matter and it will be handled internally.” Howz about from the Red Sox? “It is an MLB matter, so no one from the Red Sox would be commenting.” Or the Indians? “We are not going to comment on this situation.” From the Astros themselves? “................“ Yeah. Major League Baseball has put this B.S. into total lockdown. What Astros ass-hatted-ness was in play is not for us little people to worry about...........

But that’s all OK, because we have positive news. The Astros have figured out a way to play their - er, Roberto Osuna’s - get-out-of-jail-free card by posting signs in the stadium bathrooms explaining that domestic violence is bad. (That’s the same Osuna who got jelled above.) That’ll shut up all the complainers, right?..........

Because we all seem to need to have a controversy to rally around, Kiki Hernandez of the Dodger is in hot water. the LADs played like ass in Game 3 at The Latrine. The fans did not blow up the stadium even though it was the first home game of the NLCS. in fact, they even booed some players. Hernandez called out the fans afterward......There was backlash. backlash that even included Keith Olbermann. I thought that guy was gone?.....The LAD marketing execs have intervened (along with Kiki’s agent, I would presume), and Hernandez is walking back his complaining..........

Manny Machado must be an agents dream client. Here is is in his showcase season, playing in a showcase market, starring in a showcase playoff event, leading up to his big Free Agency payday, and the major news circling around Machado like a flock of buzzards is that he is a malingering play....So what does Machado do to fend off those accusations? Comes right out and says that “...[being]...Johnny Hustle...is not my cup of tea”. He continues by saying, to paraphrase, “Yeah I know it sucks and I see it myself on the tape, but that’s what I am. Sucky that way.”.........But, hey, don’t take my word for it. Take Eric Byrnes’ word for it...........

Which leads into yet another Yankees entitlement article, which takes the position that Machado is New York’s to lose, so what would they do as a Plan B?..........

This is great. I love it when science threatens to catch up with science. In this example, the PEDs detection science is looking to catch up with the PEDs cheating science. I have always wondered what would happen if one Spring MLB made an announcement (just as a red herring) that they have a new blood test which can detect traces or physiological effect of 129 of the most commonly used banned enhancement regimens, even 120 days later, and is 99.9999% accurate? All MLB players will get tested when they report. Something tells me that would cause a surprising number of late reportees............

If Will Leitch over at MLB.com is trying to build the case for teams investing in Free Agency to build up their bullpens, this was not the article to put forth and make that case. if anything, the details of each of the 4 finalists shows that FA need only be a minor contributor to successful bullpen architecture..........

Millennials are to blame for everything. Not only are they killing off the glory that is processed cheese foods, but they have killed off Chili Davis’ career as Cubs hitting coach, too...........

A very sweet dive into the Marlins of 2018, showing how had they kept their position players intact and added some new, affordable, pitchers they would have won the NL East. If reddit can figure out that Derek Jeter is pushing hard for an agenda that does not make an easily attained winning playoff appearance a priority, it’s amazing that our Commissioner is such as idiot as to insist that the rest of us believe it. And let’s not forget, Jeter did not win back a haul of top-level prospect talent in his fire sale........

Uncle Joe must not be sharp enough to act as his own spitfire, any longer. Now his agent his blasting nuggets into the media clouds for him..........

Marc Normandin at the Stat-centric side of The Mothership gives us a puff piece pimping Jhoulys Chacin. As you most certainly know by now, that would be the Chacin that is biting me in the ass this post-season. Notice how Marc pretends that the stint with the Angels never happened. because, Marc, I was hoping Chacin would be what is now when he was under the halo, too. But he wasn’t. He was too busy wasting Mike Trout.........

Baseball has changed mightily over the last decade. It’s a revolution still underway. If you are too young to know that, just go back and read this review of a game from 15 years ago, one of major consequence concerning pitch management. Compare to today. The older members might be surprised to see how much has changed right before our very eyes. Some perspective, though. The year was 2003, which meant that the “Old School” line of reasoning at that time reached back at least into the late 1980’s..........

I sincerely thought that Clayton Kershaw had finally stopped getting unlucky in the playoffs. Not so, as it turns out.....And now his body of post-season work is so upside down that he will never dig his career out of it..........

Christian Yelich takes a dump on your launch angle shmangle. Which simply means that some guys don’t need to exaggerate their swing plane to realize distance from power...........

Alex Bregman has one hell of an eye..........

MLB early round playoffs holding up well against NFL head-to-head, considering greater NFL outlets and service coverage..........

The Sporting News, the ones who gave AL RoY to Miguel Andujar, continue to roll out their 2018 awards. Matt Kemp and David Price were Comeback Players of the Year.....Oakland’s Bob Melvin was their AL Manager of the Year.....Craig Counsell of the Brewers and Brian Snitker of the Braves we co-Managers of the Year in the NL....So, uh, you know what comes next, right?..........

How would you like to see your creativity published? Once again, The Hardball Times Annual is soliciting submissions for their baseball fiction section content..........


The Duffle Bag

Miami’s pachinko machine is getting kicked outdoors, where we won’t have to look at it any longer. They cannot simply cut it up and dump it, because it’s Florida we are talking about, Down there that thing is ‘art’...........Here is something that one of you HAS to apply for: Boston Red Sox analyst. Upside would be working in the same solar system as Bill James. Extra bonus would be turning in your work using finger paints and sabotaging the Red Sox..........Peter Gammons has lost it. The f*#3ker is only 10 years older than me. I sure hope my brain doesn’t shred that quickly.........

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