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TuesdoLinks: When ALL the STARS got GAME

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The Darby is over. The Game is tonight.

MLB: All Star Game-Legends & Celebrity Softball game Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Well, Bryce Herby won the Home Run Darper last night. And all those Washington DC fans who won the lottery to buy a seat to the back-up event got to go nuts rooting their home-town hero to his last-second, come-from-behind victory. A good time was had by all (except for everybody else)...........(MLB: “Quick, gimme your money!”)

Also, 9-year old Charles Smolka won the Inaugural MLB Virtual Home Run Derby. Said Chucky: “It wasn’t that hard.” Yeah, Harper was just showboating.

Tonight we get the 2018 All-Star game. Will you be watching? If so, from anyplace special? Anyplace social? Is it an event for you? Do you care?

My guess is that you care only inasmuch as you want to see a few specific things:

  1. How well Mike Trout does (wishing for him to homer each of his 3 at-bats)?
  2. Will Mike Trout get 3 at-bats?
  3. Will Mike Trout score a bunch of runs?
  4. Will Mike Trout steal a base?
  5. Will Mike Trout rob a home run on defense?
  6. Will Mike Trout have a shot at another MVP?
  7. Will (insert name of any number of here) embarrass themselves in a buttload of fail?

Then, as soon as you get your answers to these, you will tune out. Maybe even turn off the game entirely. If so, that’s OK because I will be back here tomorrow with your wrap-up, telling you anything that you missed. Yeah, as if anything else matters............

And today we have our All-Star-Game-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Shohei with no fashion sense?.........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Reality check time. I’m going to mix WAR measurements here, because tools. But Mike Trout is no longer tracking for one of the greatest seasons in history. In fact, he is no longer tracking for the greatest season for any player named “Trout” (Dizzy Trout still owns an 11.3 bWAR in 1944.). Unless he snaps out of it soon, he won’t end up with the best season for anybody named “Mike Trout”. And there is a better than 50/50 chance he won’t even end up with the best 2018 season of anybody wearing an American league uniform.

He can still do all of the above. He has shown that he can go on a tear and play at unworldly levels. It’s all possible.. But let’s put it this way:

After April, if Trout were to perform at his April rate through the rest of the year he finishes ~10.6 fWAR.

After May, if Trout were to perform at his May rate through the rest of the year he finishes ~13 fWAR. This is when minds were blown all over the baseball landscape.

After June, if Trout were to perform at his June rate through the rest of the year he finishes ~11.4 fWAR.

As of now, if Trout were to perform at his CURRENT rate through the rest of the year he finishes ~8 fWAR. (Trout is actually wasting Kole Calhoun’s July.)

Trout should do better than 8 fWAR. But he’s not going to finish at 13 fWAR. In order to do that he would have to AVERAGE .1 fWAR per game for the rest of 2018. And that 14 WAR season we were once giddy about? See you next year.........

Trout will be batting 3rd tomorrow, smack in the middle of a lot of talent that might make pitchers think twice about IBB’s. (Can you imagine a no-pitch IBB in an All-Star game???)..........

Mike At The Mic..............

In other Mike news, on the one hand we have what I have been writing on these pages for years: “It’s all part of the whole, and the whole Mike Trout is the guy achieving unprecedented baseball accomplishments. That it’s not enough to fire up the hype machine is an indictment only of the hype machine.”..........On the other hand, we learn that it’s Mike himself who shuts down the hype machine: From Torii Hunter - “If Mike really wanted to, if he got a marketing team and everything, he would be the face of baseball...He doesn’t. He wants to be with his wife and keep it simple...It’s his choice. It’s not anybody else’s choice.” And then the MLB blames Mike for their failure. This is MLB marketing maven Chris Park - “Their relationships with fans really start with themselves.” So let’s go elsewhere and get one more tidbit from that article: this from David “I live on the East Coast” Ortiz - “He is [the face of Baseball], without a doubt...Maybe there is only one thing that would probably be against how big he is, and that is playing in L.A., three hours different from this side of the planet.”.....Which adds up to what? Mike is a normal guy who is not into pimping himself out, and he is adored by his fans in Anaheim, and he has a great relationship with us, but MLB lives on the East Coast like David Ortiz and has about as much awareness of Trout’s relationship with fans as East Coast fans have about Mike’s daily greatness...........

And then these conspiracy theories shall not die..........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Billy Eppler is not looking as though he is NOT going to bite on all the calls he is receiving to take Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs off his hands. I dunno. It seems like this is the moment when the market is at peak for at least one of these guys........


Everywhere In Baseball

Tony Clark is upset that Front Offices are having so much power and influence over the game today. Makes sense. Ultimately power and control are a zero sum game. when power and influence move towards one faction, it moves away from some other. And if you have not been paying attention, the faction that it has been moving away from has been Tony Clark and The Player’s Union. Tony didn’t take the job to watch how powerless he could become...........

Alex Rodriguez is calling out Bryce Harper for his “hustle problem”. Normally I wouldn’t link to this, but A-Rod has garnered quite a bit of cred for the accuracy of his media reporting. So there you go. You decide...........

It’s just so sad that the New York fans don’t get any love. How dare MLB not park any of their pitchers into role of All-Star starter? Life is just not fair............

Back before there was so much media coverage and celebration, way back in the ancient times of 1989, in Anaheim even, there used to be a skills competition as part of the All-Star break. We should get back into that business. Immediately.........Hell, even the MLB players are starting to come out and confess that the HR Derby is boring..........

Oh mess. The Padres will return to poop brown uniforms starting in 2020.........

Bill Nye The Science Guy loves baseball. And, in the process, he reveals to us how unscientific he becomes when he turns into a fan..........

Manny Machado’s Baltimore career may already be over. All that is left now is to speculate on whether the current return will match anything that Baltimore might have gotten last winter..........Maybe to Philadelphia by the time you read this?...............

Jacob deGrom is tired of the Mets wasting his efforts. Sounds like he wants to play with Mike Trout. But then, maybe I am just projecting..........

Mark McGwire, STL Cards managerial candidate. He is proven to be capable of salving over lots of the problems there.............


The Duffle Bag

Twitter is purging fake accounts. Celebrities are losing followers in droves. Mike Trout does not appear to be losing anybody, holding a solid 2.5 million.........Joe Maddon gives us the REAL human element of baseball, and this is the kind of human element for which we fans thirst...........A 1st inning hit in tomorrow’s ASG will advance Trout among rare company..........There are a LOT of Houston uniforms there in Washington..........J.D. Martinez is OK with the Red Sox re-structuring his contract. Not sure how that is supposed to help the Red Sox. Also not sure how the Player’s Union feels about anything that helps the owners. But we already know that Boston is real big on empty postering............