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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Valbuena & Calhoun a Designated Hit

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Halos open Blue Jays series with 8-4 win as Trout relegated to DH

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Smoking hot David Fletcher rode he pine last night. I am sure that did not go unnoticed for long. He sat in favor of Luis Valbuena. Maddening, right? Except that Valbuena had the best day of any position player in MLB yesterday with 0.3 fWAR.

Kole Calhoun and Martin Maldonado were tied for 2nd-best at 0.2, and that helped power the Angels to an 8-5 series opening victory over the Blue Jays.

Valuable-ena gave us a 2-homer game. This was one of them.....Calhoun gave us one homer, but it was his second in 2 nights and a 2-run bomb at that.....Mike Trout kept a spot warm on the bench next to Fletcher for long spells as he DH’ed with a sprain finger that has been bothering him since Oakland.....And Tyler Skaggs missed the whole offensive explosion, the kind of things that starting pitchers tend to love, by getting scratched late with a hamstring issue.

These are The-Links-You-Have-Been-Waiting-For:


A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Yet one more writer with little imagination and a deep longing to have Mike play for his personal favorite team............

Trout’s Barry Bonds treatment last night. That’s something that has become a dominant part of his game and MLB followers are just on the verge of noticing. Well, that merely adds to his league leading accomplishments......it also puts him on base so that he can do stuff like this..........IBB’s help put Trout into a position to snag more stolen bases, but at the same time it slows down his projections for home runs. It’s a fine balance, and one that can be measured.............

Heady company, young Master Trout...........And the company keeps showing up any way you try and slice his accomplishments...........

MLB is trying to pick up the pace on Trout recognition. Here...here...and here (avert your eyes from the anti-WAR Luddite comments). Might I point out, dear MLB, that pimping Trout to the dwindling internal audience you already have captured is less productive than using Trout to connect to those who are otherwise ignoring the great story of our sport?..........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Andrelton Simmons has emerged from his ankle injury with an additional tool............Note to Trout: sliding gloves don’t work. Ask Brandon Marsh...........Griffin Canning is killing it. He is killing it at Salt Lake and he was drafted only 1 year ago..........


Everywhere In Baseball

What? Where did the Padres come from? They want to take a look at possibly trading for Manny Machado? Do they have the assets? Would Machado want to stay on with the Orioles of the West after his rental period expires? Could the Pads afford to pay his expected mega contract? I have no answers to any of these. But what I DO know is that if the Angels can’t have a Machado, having him in San Diego is far better than in New York or Boston or Seattle or Arlington or Chavez Ravine............

The Mariners are considering dipping into all those prospects that they no longer have so that they might boost their rotation with Tigers’ starter Matthew Boyd..........

Bottom line is that if MLB could get the umpires to stop stretching the bottom of the strike zone again, we would have more balls in play and a faster-paced ballgame. Seems like a less radical approach than, say, putting a runner on base in extra innings.........

Hunter Strickland is the kind of guy who will need to take up needlepoint when he retires. He will need some way to channel all that negative energy he builds up...........And then we have The Great Law Of All Sports. They who retaliate last, get punished most..................

While MLB is drooling at the thought of conniving Ichiro into participating in the Home Run Derby, Gleyber Torres has already turned them down..........But first they have to find that sneaky Ichiro..........

Yesterday being the summer solstice, MLB put together a 24-hours of baseball event up in Alaska. They piggy-backed onto an annual Midnight Sun Game held in Fairbanks. This year, the college travel team Orange County Surf made the trip to take on the Alaska Goldpanners in the main event...........

Now in the CWS, both Texas teams have been eliminated out of the bottom bracket, and North Carolina and Washington out of the top bracket. So we are down to #1 overall seed Florida (with 1 loss) matched up against #5 seed Arkansas (0 losses), and #3 Oregon State (1 loss) matched up against unseeded but red hot Mississippi State (0 losses)...........CWS play of the day..............


The Duffle Bag

The best selfie shot for any LAA fan............Why is the water in Pittsburgh brown?.............Some cute moments from UniWatch: how about NBC sports getting the Oakland A’s logo wrong? Or how about ESPN getting home plate wrong? Or how about Shohei Ohtani’s old buddies adding a touch of inspiration to their uni jerseys? Hoping to follow in Shohei’s footsteps?............Pay attention fogeys. Modern information pays true baseball dividends. Just ask Mookie Betts..........Marcel Ozuna, though, not what would be called a good route..........Struck down by a hot dog cannon. No, I could not have made that up had I tried..........