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HumpLinks: Ohtani Days

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Ohtani’s RoY honor has been the ultimate 2018 mud-in-the-face to Yankee homers.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Hey folks, how y’all been? My time away was fantastic, and one of the most important moments of my life. Truly a blessing. Thanks for asking. Let’s get me back to baseball.

Just to add my two cents to the Ohtani versus Andujar whining coming out of the victimized MFY fan base, for those who complained that Ohtani cannot even hit lefties: yes, it is true that at the start of the season Shohei struggled against LHP. But as the season progressed, that LHP disadvantaged evaporated as he adjusted to MLB. In fact, by the time the season ended, compare Ohtani and Andujar STRICTLY AGAINST LHP (I leave out Ohtani’s June because he only had 5 PA’s against LHP then):

As you can see, Ohtani did a fine job of dealing with LHP by the time the season ended. And he surpassed Andujar by a wide margin.

Also, there is A LOT of MFY fan whining about Ohtani “only” pitching 10 starts. Well, baseball is solidly a pitcher versus batter sport, making pitching the ultimate defensive capability. In his 10 starts, Ohtani threw 853 total pitches. That means that he was the primary defensive party responsible for 853 defensive events. By contrast, position players might stand at their position all game and not be involved at all. Games Played doesn’t mean much. Andujar was involved in 286 defensive events, about 34% as much as Ohtani. The rest of the time he just stood there. In those 286 events, he made 93 put outs on his own and was assisting in another 178. he boneheaded, all by himself, 15 of those events.

By the way, over the weekend I crashed head first into a couple from Boston. First off, well before they even considered cackling about their WS title, they were butt-hurt that Mike Trout was an MVP Finalist and not JD Martinez. That one was easy. Mookie Betts will win the MVP, not Martinez, and everyone else are merely vote getters. Martinez simply didn’t make the top 3 vote-getters, but he will get votes. Sure, Martinez played in 10 more games than Trout, but he has only 1 skill to contribute to the cause in that 7% extra time. Trout, of course, has all 5 skills. That’s why Trout’s 10.2 bWAR eclipses Martinez’ 6.4 bWAR. Well, that and the fact that Trout was pretty much Martinez’ equal in power and batting average numbers, but clocked Martinez in walks, giving him huge offensive superiority in On Base Percentage and OPS.

Oh, and did you know that ESPN hates Hates HATES the Boston Red Sox? Um, yeah, neither did I. I’m still smiling at that one.

Have some Back-In-The-Saddle-HaloLinks:


I am going to keep this up here until the event, as a reminder. JeffJoiner directs us all to the annual opportunity for we fans to join the Halos in giving back to our community. The Groundskeepers are hosting their 12th Annual Canned Food Drive Friday, November 16th thru Sunday, November 18th at Angel Stadium.


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Shohei Ohtani says that he is ahead of schedule on his post-TJ recovery process. What does that mean? It does NOT mean he will pitch in 2019. It would mean that he is ready to resume live mound work in December of 2019 versus January of 2020, or something such as that. But what it DOES mean is that he is not having Alex Meyer setbacks, which is grand............

Pittsburgh Pirates hurler Steven Brault gets it. At least, he certainly gets what the casual fan - especially MFY fans - fail to get. Having a two-way player like Ohtani is a huge blessing, but it does come with some sacrifices that have to be modeled in order to minimize not being able to use him fully on either side of the pitching/hitting potentials. And I predict that this balance will require 3 to 5 years before the not-so-casual non-LAA fans figure it out. For us, with the potential to have a full starting rotation in 2020, we have to wait until we learn from Ausmus if the Halos are going to try and repeat the 6-man rotation way out then. And we will be back with my models, loaded with new names I suspect.........

Mike Trout is expected to miss out on the MVP Award for 2018. This is yet another close-but-no-cigar for him in his career, but that is not unprecedented. In my mind, what is unfortunate is how the baseball world was justifying Trout’s snub in 2012 with the excuse that, well, Trout would have plenty of these in his career so one more isn’t that big of a crisis. But now it feels that Trout is being under-appreciated due to fatigue, which would be Trout is not getting MVP support because people think he gets too much adoration already. That’s fans and voters having it both ways..........

Angels farm system up to 12th?..........

Trout porn..........And more Trout porn.........

Ken Rosenthal is throwing out flyers on LAA trade concepts, and those include Kole Calhoun, Blake Parker and Matt Shoemaker as potential departures.........


Everywhere In Baseball

Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s and Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves are the 2018 AL and NL Manager of the Year, respectively......Grant Brisbee ain’t happy, mostly because BBWAA writers are totally unqualified to make such an assessment (as if they are qualified to asses any of the other awards they determine).....In any case, ESPN wonders why MLB managers are so short?..........

Well, by now you know that the Seattle Mariners are in a mess. At a minimum, it’s a PR mess. It all starts with the Mariners Front Office brass seeing fit to part ways with one of the professionals within their training team. That person, Lorena Martin, insisted on getting paid the balance of her contract. The Mariners said no. Martin is fighting back, and lawyers are getting involved. By all appearances it got ugly, quick. And now it’s getting uglier. Martin has made severe racial accusations in public against Mariners’ FO brass - including GM Jerry Dipoto and Manager Scott Servais.....The Mariners posted their own public denial.....and the MLB investigators are diving in.....So here, have some legal framework for this debacle.....I expect MLB to get in the middle here and neutralize all the bad publicity so that we can be redirected back to off-season happy talk..........

We now know, this week, that 6 players refused their QO. (Hyun-Jin Ryu DID accept his offer.....And that was the right call for him.) Last year, (in my opinion) because the QO was so high versus the reality of the market, players refusing their QO merely worked to make the market appear dysfunctional since everybody pro-labor insisted that we all needed to agree with the agents of those players that those guys were obviously worth more. It was not always the case...........

The owners are meeting this week. That means meddling. And that means plenty of opportunity for bad outcomes..........

The real sea-change in Free Agency is that the traditional big boys are typically older than 30 years of age. And the market has taken a hard analytical look at them, and is saying thankyoubutnothankyou..........

Something for LAA/Mike Trout fans to think about. The Nationals had a chance to sell off Bryce Harper for a greater return than they will get via the QO process. They could have flipped him to the Astros before the playoffs, but the Nats ownership stepped him and vetoed it (for PR purposes?)..........Dummies. Harper was never going to take any offer from his host team and forego Free Agency..........Oh, and for us signing Harper? Yeah, not really..........

James Paxton is the whole thing about hot stove right now...........Yeas, there are lots of options for Paxton there, especially since the Mariners are motivated sellers..........

Bill James, who stepped in it big time last week, days later is still trying to climb back out of the hole he dug..........

On the media front, MLB is back in battles with Regional Sports Networks for in-market streaming deals..........That whole FOX Sports RSN sale, but nobody seems to want to buy them..........And the Yankees are amiable to fair-market pricing in order to buy back their YES network..........


The Duffle Bag

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler is among those who lost their homes in the most recent Malibu fires.........Cincinnati Reds have a job posting for a software app developer..........And the Twins are looking for a research analyst. (Notice how so many teams are hiring IT people like crazy right now??)...........Oops. Nolan Arenado’s Platinum Glove is etched wrong?..........