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MondoLinks: Halos End First Half as Half & Half

At 49 - 48, the shell of LAA is hanging in there. But hanging ain’t enough. Too many teams looking back at us.

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MLB: All Star Game-Home Run Derby
“Hey Angels fans! Your seats are way back there.”
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We passed the mathematical 50% point some time ago, but tradition trumps precision. The first “half” is now over and we are at the All-Star Break. It’s the traditional mid-point of the season. With the top end of the roster in tatters, with so many games left unplayed by so much of the talent pool, being at .500 is a damned miracle. No long winning streaks. No metaphysical miracle of 1-run breaks. No historic perfect games or no-hitters. Did we have a grand slam, even? I don’t recall one.

The problem with being .500 at the halfway point, is that it requires a team to play closer to 64% winning ball in order to finish in the 90-win range, requisite for a playoff spot in normal times. These are not normal times. These are times when the rich and powerful are stuffing their pockets with victories over squads of teams trying to lose. These are times when other teams are stitching together long winnings streaks. These are times when other teams are basking in the metaphysical glow of miracle 1-run breaks. When other teams are loading up with no-hitters and near no-hitters, and when other teams are loading up with grand slams and walk-ff homers. Hell, some teams are doing all of the above. And these are times when we might start seeing 100-win wild card teams with regularity.

The best thing that happened as the Angels closed out their first half was Jefry Marte having that career moment of hitting a 3-run home run off of Clayton Kershaw. For his part, he will now get to tell that story to generations of his descendants. For our part, we are stuck with the reality that Jefry Marte is a season highlight.

We are left with bits and pieces of Ohtani’s rookie season. We are left with Mike Trout going a full month and only reaping 1.2 fWAR. We are left with rumors that the vultures are circling Anaheim looking to pick at the bones of our starting rotation.

The Angels lost yesterday, 3-2. That was two losses out of three and all three games were tight. Kole Calhoun was 4 for 12 with 3 home runs, including the game-winner on Saturday night. He’s also playing some fine defense.

Have some Home-Run-Derby-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Shohei doesn’t see this MLB start as a total loss. It’s true, inasmuch as we saw flashes of the brilliant future he has firmly in his grasp. So we know his game works at the MLB level. And those flashes are almost all of the fun we have had this year. That’s awesome, for sure. But a full season will be great. And success as a batter against LHP would be great........

An un-heralded aspect of Ohtani’s game, prior to his arrival, was his base-running speed. Well, it’s not un-heralded anymore.

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

I’ll put this here because there is really not much interesting going on in the world of Trout these days. Use your imagination.........

This is kinda interesting. Some Angels trolling Trout with his giveaway shirt.............

Clayton Kershaw really didn’t like giving up a free pass to Mike...........(h/t reddit)

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Albert Pujols is getting old. His left knee inflamed, so he got an injection and a trip to the 10-day DL over the ASG break.........

Billy Eppler looking to reclaim Junichi Tazawa. It can’t be much worse that Bedrosian........

Bedrosian is on the list of possible sales items this month. So there, there really IS some value to the media and other teams ignoring what is going on in Anaheim.......

If the Yankees don’t take Tyson Ross away from the Padres, there is a better than zero chance that they raid the Halos for an Andrew Heaney or a Tyler Skaggs............

Garrett Richards might always be one of our ‘what coulda been’ stories. But reading this, as much of a bummer as it will feel that he may have pitched his last for us, there is a respectable pipeline of starting rotation pieces right behind him. Still a bummer, though. It’s just our luck that we can’t even have a Richards as a trade-bait rental for some team desperate for a starter. A healthy Richards could have paid dividends............

Unable to wait until Thursday, the Halos optioned Jose Fernandez and brought back up Eduardo Paredes..........


Everywhere In Baseball

The Futures Game was yesterday. As usual, MLB completely hoses the scheduling of the event.........So we missed Jo Adell doubling, and then scoring the go-ahead run in the USA victory over the World, 10-6...........Reds prospect Hunter Green was doing his best Aroldis Chapman impression..........But really fast pitches can result in really fast home run smashes..............

Mike Matheny was finally canned in St. Louis. He takes the fall for all of the mess of goings on with the Cards these days, as I have been bringing to your attention. It must suck for Matheny to be fired by the guy who was, with his DUI almost two weeks ago, one of the troublemakers...........So Joe Girardi, the guy who got canned for winning in New York because it was felt that he didn’t relate to today’s players, is a leading candidate to try and relate to the mass of today’s players in STL who have already lost respect for whomever is managing them..............

In other manager news, Paul Molitor was getting rave reviews of bringing in his closer in only the 5th inning, to shut down a high leverage situation when it was right in his face. That turned the game. The Twins won. Later the truth came out. Molitor put Fernando Rodney into the game in the 5th, because Rodney had an appointment with immigration officials later that afternoon............

The Big Hurt sees himself as The Most Hurt by all the juicing sluggers of his era, obscuring what he did in his career..........

MLB is learning new tricks with their bullpen. What we have seen in the past playoffs is transitioning to the regular season, and here is proof............

Yes, folks, Jean Segura is a gift to MLB from the LAA farm system.............

Minor Leaguers subsidize their chance to pursue an MLB career by...delivering pizzas? Don’t forget that MLB received over $10 billion in revenues last year............And don’t forget how fast MLB is to create money-raising schemes out of these kids...........Follow the reality of the MiLB grind here, like other minor leaguers do............

You know who is NOT grinding? Bryce Harper. Harper is not grinding. And one has to wonder what’s going through his head with this being his showcase year.............

Chase Utley is retiring at the end of this year, and all the HoF talk has begun.............There is nobody left with the Phillies franchise who would even remember Utley’s presence there. Just the fans............

We have a week off. So let’s pretend that MLB totally sucks and is about to go bankrupt, and spend all our time trying to fix it. We can start by talking to a bunch of ignorant whiners who are too lazy to be fans beyond what they knew in 1997...........

The Orioles have flipped, now choosing to have split deals for Manny Machado and Zach Britton. Machado is doing well and Britton is doing not as well. Maybe Britton was not getting any return from the teams looking to add a bat?............The Yankees, for example. They don’t need bullpen help. Paying for Britton ain’t worth the cost of renting Machado...........But there are still enough teams talking to Baltimore that a Machado deal should happen. I would love to be listening to the offers, though............Late last night the Machado rumors were getting heated............


The Duffle Bag

Eddie Rosario: not good at bat flipping. Dangerous (to himself) as a matter of fact.........Mark Canha of the A’s also bat flips, and he don’t give a shit what you think about it............Marcus Stroman meets media producer using the power of editing to create eyeball drama. This is the kind of thing that ballplayers don’t forget. Ever.............WTF? Balls and strikes called is not the most subjective of all subjective things?.............David Ortiz thinks that the shift makes baseball less fun. I think that guys who can only do one thing - hit baseballs to the right side of the field in a park with a short porch - and expect to be rewarded like heroes make the game of baseball less fun............Blake Swihart, meet Mr. Situational Awareness...........Chicks can play the game, too, people. One-handed as the ball came right at her, and not losing her food tray. Cool............Mark Whicker, still a dickhead stuck in 1972............