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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Halos Rock Mariner’s Boat

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The Seattle juggernaut was drilled with fresh holes in Anaheim

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

That was James Paxton’s first appearance against the Angels this year. M’s fans must have been feeling pretty good, since Paxton has been their best pitcher. He lasted all of 2 outs, and then having to exit the game after injuring himself in the back while turning to watch Albert Pujols homer to right centerfield and put him down 0-3. The first warning sign that Paxton was going to get shelled was David Fletcher’s first career home run, coming on Paxton’s second pitch of the game. The smoke from Fletcher’s shock had not even cleared before Pujol’s awe forced the Seattle training staff to dash out and save Paxton from any further embarrassment.

Mike Trout? He had a fairly good game. But serving up a fly ball out against position player turned emergency pitcher Andrew Romine is kind of shameful.

Fletcher was 2 for 5. Justin Upton was 2 for 4. Pujols was 3 for 4 with 2 home runs. Ian Kinsler was 3 for 5. (Trout was 1 for 3, but with a walk, a HBP, and 3 runs scored.) Tyler Skaggs was 1 run on 5 hits over 6 innings with 5 K’s. All in the Angels lashed the Mariners to the mast, and rolled them 11 - 2. That is outscoring them 20-8 over the 3-game set and kicking them out of town right before the All-Star Break.

Enjoy the weekend, and these Last-Time-Before-The-Break-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

One theory suggests that if Ohtani surrendered to TJ surgery now, he would be back for half of the 2019 season as a batter and have all of the 2020 season as a two-way player. Which is a superior result to alternatives should TJ be inevitable............

So it was the famous Seattle Mariners are in town and let’s remind them that they don’t have Shohei Ohtani by rubbing their noses in it with the Ohtani Bobblehead night.....The lines formed early, and were legion.....Gubi gave us all an early glimpse (although I would have expected the even cooler version to be Ohtani pitching to himself).....All of which meant that Ohtani did not play for the hordes that came to celebrate him. Even in a rout. Mike Scioscia is not a marketing guru. (Fair warning: Vlad Guerrero is not going to be in the lineup on August 10th, his bobblehead night, either. Kind of like last year, on August 25th, when Sosh failed to slot in Nolan Ryan. Yeah, it’s a Scioscia thing.).........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Mike got his official ASG uniform............

Mike Trout is having a great season, and only Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated is noticing it..........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

There is a chance that Garrett Richards, the Ace of the 2018 LA Angels Dirty Dozen, will never wear the halo again. Off to TJ surgery now, and maybe not back to health until 2020, which is a year past the time his current LAA contract expires, the son of Riverside, CA. is just as likely to return to the pros in Dodger blue............If so, pretty much his last moment as a Halo is a ‘turn the page’ moment. “Just get the surgery and move forward.”..........

More movement throughout the farm system. Luis Rengifo and Jared Walsh have been promoted to AAA Salt Lake City Bees. Showcasing against higher-level competition int he lead-up to the Trade Deadline, perhaps? (Because we DO have a long list of potential pitchers on the MLB trading block from which to choose right now.)..........And this makes far more sense. Instead of sending Jaime Barria back to SLC during his down-time (which will include the AS Break), just send him a few miles over to San Bernardino...........

And that Taylor Ward kid? H’s having.....a good time..........

C.J. Wilson chimes in, in support of home run “pimp jobs”..........See? Baseball should be fun! I guess it just takes the perspective of retirement to drive home the point.


Everywhere In Baseball

The MSM is loosening ( <— can we pause for a moment and appreciate the proper spelling of the word ‘loose’, as in ‘not tight’, and as opposed to ‘lose’, as in ‘not win’?!?) it’s grip on the concept of Wins (not in Philadelphia, though). Because it has rarely been as obvious as it is now with Jacob DeGrom’s 2018 All-Star appearance. He should start. He’s had the best season to-date in the NL. He has only 5 “Wins”...........

Oooh. Bashing on Eric Hosmer might be becoming a thing! Yesterday’s links noted that it’s now obvious enough that he is ungood. But today we link to FanGraphs, which puts the bad news into more solid mathematical footings...........

Unable to loosen his grasp on noble ideals, Don Marc Alonso Quixano Normandin de la Mancha lays out his quest for a Minor League Player’s Union. I wish him well. (This link provided on behalf of the more literate among you all.)..........

Yet another chapter in the story of yet another “The Next Mike Trout”. Joey Gallo going back down to AAA?...........Maybe they should send down the entire team...........

Have some more of that ongoing soap opera in the Cardinals’ clubhouse. Lines are being drawn and factions are being declared...........

Manny Machado knows how to have a contract year.....Bryce Harper does not...........

Kyle Schwarber shows that it is damned well possible to punish a team for the shift, without help of any changes to the rule book...........

MLB is going to crown a VR Home Run Derby champ this year. Participants will be those who compete during the All-Star Fan Fest. I wonder how many dudes will try so hard to relive their Little League/High School glory that they will make themselves sea-sick?..........In the REAL HR Derby, Alex Bregman has an inside strategy to gain the edge in timed rounds. You do that, Alex..........Mookie Betts wants the whole thing shut down, and replaced by an NPB-styled skills competition..........While over in Cleveland, Jose Ramirez and company suspect that there are only so many home run swings in a batter’s arsenal every 9 months...........

Drip...drip...drip...MLB, in a hard rush to save all that money spent printing paper tickets, is hurtling towards that day when they universally use fingerprint ID, and then facial recognition, in order to make sure that the person who purchased the right to some stadium seat directly from the franchise is THE ONLY person who is in that seat. I suppose this means that they will need us all to turn on our computer/phone cameras for them, and allow them to access the phone Touch ID and upload our credentials? After all, this will absolutely help America defeat the terrorists, right?..........

Meanwhile, MLB still treats player voting for All-Star player participants as if it were still 1966...........

Mucking around with extra-innings rules in the MiLB system saves bullpen arms? Maybe it’s worth it, after all..............

I think we should get over the rose-colored adulation of old-timey scoreboards. I cannot tell you how many rotary-dial desk phones are littering antique stores across the country, begging to be purchased. They are not. For good reasons...........One of those reasons is that the old tech sucked. Which is how they got stuck as the moniker for communications failure, “the telephone game”...............

In a particularly shocking display of competency, the Department of Justice has decided that the ongoing concentration of power over our communications resources might not be such a great idea after all. They don’t like the idea of the SBC-buys-AT&T-buys-Time Warner conglomerate. So they are appealing their scorched-earth loss at the hands of Judge Richard Leon. This is the same Judge Leon who allowed Comcast to buy NBC/Universal...........Oh, and Gawker Media gets schadened on their own freude, getting bought up by an arch-nemesis...........Just because I hate the Dodgers doesn’t mean I cannot be amazed at one of the greatest moments in Baseball history. (Yeah, it helps that I hate the Oakland A’s even more.)...........


The Duffle Bag

Tim Tebow did not embarrass himself in his All-Star appearance.....So he draws new talk about getting the call-up......Tim’s mom casts a vote......We forget so quickly how he was torn apart in ST..............When a batter gets to see the pitcher’s first 13 ideas of what to throw to try and get him out, that pitcher is immediately out of any further good ideas. Which is why hacking away at most everything with your turn is not the smartest option..........Jose Bautista hates your beer..........Enrique Hernandez and his fiancee are having a great time in their run-up to their wedding day. But I want to know how Kiki’s fiancee got hold of my high school girlfriend’s pants?..........Oh shit. Mike Trout is going to instantly lose 800,000 of his 2.5 million followers on Twitter, and slump again..........I’m going to be in the DC area this September. I need to make a pilgrimage to Ben’s Chili Bowl............What’s a ‘Millennial Night’? Pick your fave cliche. I’m sitting this one out..........