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MondoLinks: Some Ohtani Chill

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Baseball sulks as Mother Nature shuts down Shohei Ohtani.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

What a crack up. There I was sitting in downtown Palm Springs, surrounded by Coachella hipsters in comicly short cut off jeans and loose pull-over t-shirts (apparently, the late 70’s female casual fashion sense is the new dress code) as I enjoyed a less-than-solid brunch when I whipped out my phone to check in to the game. What? Postponed? Damn rain. Or was it damn snow? Neither?? Damned cold??? Postponed because of cold? When has that ever happened? Pass me my margarita. I chose to enjoy the high cost of living in California.

Mike Scioscia was on the record as saying that he expected Shohei Ohtani to be able to handle the cold. Then it got Cold. Everybody still though Ohtani would be OK with Cold. But then it got COLD. And Mike Scioscia went on record to say nope: “...at some point, it crosses a line, and I think today definitely crossed a line.”

The weather is so crazy that the Red Sox called a rainout yesterday. The crazy part is that the game called off was not scheduled for yesterday. It was scheduled for today. 10 teams failed to play yesterday due to weather, including every team in the AL Central. Even a postponed game got postponed, with the Yankees/Tigers having one already rescheduled game and one regularly scheduled game both cancelled. Maybe they make it up with a triple-header??

Chill out on these Please-Still-Use-These-Unis-On-Tuesday-Popsicle-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

This now puts Shohei Ohtani’s start tomorrow, in Anaheim against the Red Sox, facing up David Price. And the Red Sox know to respect Ohtani already. What we will all have fun watching going forward is whether or not this will reset Scioscia into locking Ohtani down for all Tuesday games, instead of all Sunday games. There are 23 Tuesday games left in the season, which has the net effect o costing Shohei 2 potential starts on the year. He as 13 innings pitched so far, and needs 162 total innings to be considered “qualified” at end of season. He would have to average just 6 12 innings per start to hit that............More importantly, this will prove to have a meaningful impact on ticket sales. Normally, Tuesdays are lesser attended. Not any more!............It will also rearrange some anticipated matchups..............Jon Heyman is blaming the scouts for all his wrong ink, too............

How to explain the difference between Ohtani in Temp and Ohtani in Anaheim? “I think just got better.” The kid’s got good media game..............Back home, Ohtani’s success is creating an awful lot of Halo red on media outlets all over Japan right now...........Welcome to the bandwagon, Mr. EastSPiN with your daily Ohtani Tracker............I predict that this is going to get misinterpreted real fast, this thing about the Angels asking fans to quiet down during Ohtani at-bats. Fans of opposing teams are going to go out of their way to be obnoxious when Ohtani steps to the plate. Especially teams of the northeast............The Angels have also had to put up special rules and hire an expert to handle the media crush............

I just have to show this from over the weekend. Mike Trout hammering a ball 440 feet...INTO the wind...THROUGH a falling snow...........Also, more evidence of Mike Trout, alpha velociraptor.............Also from this weekend. We just HAVE to watch this Rene Rivera laser again. Unbelievable...........

A couple of things I would wish to point out for ESPN. The Angels have a decades-old significant rivalry already in place with Oakland. And the Angels and Astros have two very different approaches to franchise maintenance, both well documented. If the Astros follow the Rangers into window-closing in just a few seasons, while the Angels remain on their approach of sustained competitiveness, the Astros might not be much of a rival to anyone by 2021.............

The Angels are crawling up the Power Tower, now at #6..........And they sit at a 58% chance to make the playoffs. If they simply play .500 ball from here on out they will win 89-90 games..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Alright. Let’s start letting the cat out of the bag. One of my ideas for regular season promos is to make full use of those glorious new video boards. Instead of red/yellow/blue/green whatevers in a video race for everybody to cheer on, why not a season-long Mario Kart competition? People enter via their phones using their seat ticket location. 4 are selected at random. Winner gets big bag of swag. And the contest is played in the big screen. Cleveland style..........

It’s fair to call B.S. on the record of the Angels and Red Sox, since they have both been feasting on bottom dwellers. That cannot be said about the Mets, who are 12-2 and have done this against the Cards, the Nats and the Brewers, with a little Marlins and Phillies sprinkled in between.............

I am completely lost in this. Why would Derek Jeter feel uncomfortable traveling with the Marlins back to Yankee Stadium? The only thing I can think of that he has done to the city of New York since retiring as their hero and golden boy is to gift Giancarlo Stanton back to them that they may enjoy for 11 years of glory...........In Miami, though? I totally get why Jeter would not want to show his face in Miami. The latest are not one, but TWO examples of idiotic public relations. After pissing off their #1 fan, a man of considerable means, that now ex-#1 an went to the Virgin Islands and exposed the sham ‘headquarters’ of the Marlins. Then, interviewed over the weekend, Jeter went on record saying that the scrub team he built by dismantling what he bought, needs to “...find ways to win more games”..........

The next Japanese phenom to drool over? Kotaro Kiyomira is in the queue...........

Sorry, confused and frustrated observers of Baseball. But the baserunning gaffe pulled by the DBacks is well-known, well-understood, and has a perfectly valid reason for existing. The baserunner in the back of any line of baserunners is the one who has the visibility of all the other runners ahead of him and it’s HIS responsibility to not pass anybody. And we cannot have baserunners allowed to scramble around out of order due to the huge problems such actions would cause for defenses trying to make plays on those runners. The rules are fundamental and ingrained since childhood. Don’t blame the rulebook for Deven Marrero’s screwup............

Poor Yu Darvish. He is confused, but shouldn’t be. Watch in this clip how, when he does his hitch in his leg kick during his delivery, he turns his head back to 2B. That’s a balk. He is so flustered that his next pitch goes wild. It’s here in this clip. Same hitch, but no look back. And that is all the difference. You can’t be doing shit during your delivery to mess with runners on base. I think Darvish just got lost in the moment by the baserunner..........

Dan Patrick sees the negativity of sports media. He is on the right track. Too much information. Too much social media. Too much Internet...........

Has the TJ plague returned? Right after JC Ramirez announced, the latest victims are Travis d’Arnaud of the Mets and then Dinelson Lamet of the Padres...........

Mike Axisa of CBS Sports sees the rise of strikeouts and walks as the real problem with Baseball. He wants to see the mound lowered. That will raise offense, will will add to overall game time, which will lead to Rob Manfred doing something stupid. We don’t want to encourage Rob Manfred to do stupid things. So to avoid walks and K’s, guys should all start bunting. A lot. Bunt or Rob Manfred will do something stupid, people!...........

Here you go, doubters. A live and real and current example of adults actively conspiring to run a female out of organized youth baseball, and planning to use physical assault by beanballs to pull it off...........

What’s more fun? 44-year old Bartolo Colon, in his 21st season and playing for his 11th different team, taking a perfect game into the 8th inning against the Astros? Or anybody taking a perfect game into the 8th inning against the Astros, and the Astros losing? It’s a toss up for me.............

Sports betting is coming. And when it arrives, the subsequent changes it will make to our sports scene and our behavior shall be significant. Think ads, tax shopping, more ads, line shopping, and even more ads. Everywhere..........


The Duffle Bag

The low light of the weekend was a bases-clearing sac fly by the Marlins. And Pirates catcher Elias Diaz had to have been the loneliest guy in Baseball that night.............Optical illusions my ass..........Baseball is harsh. Unless one is a gritty veteran playing for Mike Scioscia, nobody is entitled to anything simply based on past performance. Willie Calhoun has yet to get the memo............Cleveland with the Unclear On The Concept award of the day..........Throwing back home run balls is dumb. Let the next generation of fans show the baseball world the way out of doing dumb things............

OT: This ain’t baseball, but it holds true for lots of sports personalities blessed with large sums of success. It can make people the worst.


Rest In Peace, R. Lee Ermey.