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Thor’sLinks: WS Comes West, East up 2-0

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Boston holds home field advantage as we move to a Hollywood weekend

World Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The weather still refuses to cooperate. Rain cleared in time yesterday in order for MLB to force upon we LAA fans yet another game of the 2018 World Series of Misery. If anything, know that the MLB/FOX/ESPN expectation of ratings glory is failing them.

So on with the Series they went, with Kowloon being the one to string together enough small at-bats to overcome Tiki Ti 4-2 and hold court on their home field. The most frustrated household has to be that of Ryan Madson, who has made 2 relief appearances in 2 games, both in the 5th inning. He has inherited a total of 5 baserunners. All 5 have scored. And Tiki Ti has lost the 2 games back east by a cumulative 6 runs. Ouch.

Kind of an odd game. Only 1 extra-base hit (a double by Mookie Betts). Only 11 hits overall, and only 5 walks. We had a fairly clean game. No positional fielding errors, but we did get the ubiquitous wild pitch. That’s either dull or exciting, depending on your cup of tea. Not a lot of notability, but just plain old baseball.

And that baseball moves West for 3 games (if necessary) over the coming weekend. Maybe lots of people will care.

Have a snorefest of World-Series-Break-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Oh sure, since so many of you have already moved on to the week after next, here is a summary of the LAA offseason outlook. About halfway through is the Albert Pujols discussion. I wonder if Ausmus got a word or two about what he will be doing to keep Pujols in the promotional limelight? I suppose Ausmus not saying anything back as an objection would be an indication of how good he is at communication...........

Umm, have you ever heard of that Eric Chavez dude who did NOT get tabbed to be the next LAA manager? He might end up being a Big League AL West manager in 2019 after all. In Arlington..........

How many times was Mike Scioscia ever ejected in an official MLB game? Now you can look that up for yourself. (Actual answer below).........


Everywhere In Baseball

This I find to be very interesting. Alex Cora is more than happy to point out. that the Red Sox are winning because of situational hitting. It feels that way, for sure. But...they have the 2nd highest slugging percentage in these playoffs....they have the 3rd-highest home run total (behind the Astros and Dodgers, although this is also a function of games played)....Their K rate is significantly less, but they have far fewer walks than do the Dodgers.....So, I dunno...........

I keep tripping across a lot of smack directed at John Smoltz. And this is not only more and more each week, but more and more each day, and in pretty much every media format. Because I don’t use the TV broadcast audio while I am puttering in my garage during game times, I have no idea what the complaints are all about. But after reading them, maybe I am happier in my ignorance..........Maybe we should all be listening to ESPN radio..........

What the hell is wrong with Clayton Kershaw in the playoffs? Is it the concentration of better hitters? Unfamiliar umpires? Better and more focused scouting?.....This stat is dated now (it’s gotten worse), but Kershaw did all that bad juju far, far away from Fenway. So don’t be giving me this shit about bullpens..........No. Kershaw simply sucked, and he did this all on his own..........

Dave Roberts did not over-manage his bullpen in Game 1, people. That was Dave Roberts using Team Andrew Friedman’s game management expectation charting out of the LAD Front Office. It’s what we do now, and a big reason for why playoff games last 4 hours............

And in other news, perhaps as much as bullpenning became a dominant artifact of the changing nature of baseball during the 2016 playoffs, maybe wild pitches and passed balls are the barometer during these 2018 playoffs.............

This is how the world works, people. Great things happening during the regular season provide means to keep fans interested in the sport. But normal things happening late in the playoffs make eternal stars out of the common player. It’s why a Dave Roberts is cherished in Boston to this day, and why a Bucky Dent is a New York celebrity forever, and why nobody remembers that Ernie Banks hit 512 home runs. And it’s why we run the risk of seeing the name of Andrew Benintendi become more recognized than Mike Trout............

Mookie Betts bowls. Mookie Betts is no food snob. I think I like myself some Mookie Betts...........His teammate Brock Holt, on the other hand..........

Ok, so hell yeah. MLB cannot chirp about needing to connect to tomorrow’s fans while, at the same time, showcase their main event at hours not evenly remotely friendly to that nest generation. I get it. We all get it. But no marketing agency is going to purchase commercial time slots at the required revenue rates for weekday afternoon games anymore. I admit that was really cool back when I was 9, 10, 11 and 12-years of age to have the world stop while WS games were being played. 90% of every person in my sphere of awareness was connected to those contests live and it was a pretty sweet communal thing. But then, we didn’t have cellphones and PlayStation to dominate our attention span. So maybe it ain‘t about the when, but about the how..........

The Phillies should go all in on Bryce Harper, taking themselves out of the Mike Trout discussion and leaving Manny Machado for the Yankees.

Let us assume that you are aware of modern statistical baseball information. You know some advanced stats, but not how they are derived or what their relative worth might be. You know that baseball is rushing headlong in that direction and there are probably good reasons for it. But, all that said, you don’t actually get it. Ok. This link is for you. Not because it is some kind of dictionary or encyclopedia or anything. you can find those everywhere and do your own reading. But you are to this point because you are already committed to not doing that, anyway. So read the link and let it soak in. In a nutshell, the single most influential event in the outcome of Game 1 was not Eduardo Nunez hitting a 3-run home run, but Manny Machado hitting a run-scoring sac fly. There is excellent meat on that bone for you to carry forward in life. Data reveals the truth about opportunities gained, AND opportunities lost..........

This is very good news. We currently have a new exhibit in the California Museum up in Sacramento, surveying the history of baseball in this State. An emphasis appears to be on minority participation and contributions, which is unique. Better, when the exhibit closes, as it is not permanent, the collection moved to Washington DC where it will be part of a larger exhibit dedicated to baseball at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum. if you recall, I recently came back from a trip to DC where I enjoyed another baseball exhibit at the Library of Congress. All this history coming out for public viewing is awesome!..........

Yadier Molina won the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award. And you are thinking tow things right now: “who was the LAA nominee this year, again?”...and...”what Angels have ever won that award?’ The answers to those questions are Andrew Heaney and never..........

I will try to keep an eye out on this Juan Carlos Nunez vs. Aces lawsuit for you. It could turn over some ugly rocks and expose a damaging underbelly of MLB player activity. Unless MLB and/or Aces gets this thing into a secret settlement to sweep it all back under a rug.........


The Duffle Bag

If you are wanting to avoid this WS, yet live in LA, make sure your domicile does not catch fire for the next week or so............Over in that other department of LA first responders, high alert guarding the player homes during the Series..........Did you notice anybody missing from that 2004 reunion last night? Hint: no bloody socks..........Just a big bunch of World Series $$ factoids for your amusement..........May we always have reason to have Mike Napoli associated with every World Series going forward...........Nice catch, reddit.....Here is a very young Joe West at work, alerting us to his future role as Mr. “I’m gonna do whatever the hell I want with the rule book”........If you have ever watched Shohei Ohtani take BP, you know he could easily reach The Lone Red Seat of Fenway..........

Answer: Mike Scioscia was ejected 47 times as manager of the Angels. His busiest year was 2005, when he was booted 5 times..........