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Thor’sLinks: Trout Goes to WAR

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Mike made mad music again. July must be almost over?

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The crappy White Sox finally made it to the ballpark.

Let’s be honest here. Albert Pujols stole a base. That is something that hasn’t happened since September 29, 2017. He has only 8 SB’s over the past 3 seasons, and most of those games were when he was less immobile than he is now. But the What Sox made that happen.

But when something like that happens, all kinds of great things can happen with the rest of the talent that is on this team. Uppermost was Mike Trout. 3 for 4 with a home run and another home run and another magical marketing moment. He also had 4 runs batted in and 3 runs scored. And when you add it all up, he blew up the WAR leaderboard with a 0.4 fWAR in a single game.

In other news, Albert Pujols homered. Shohei Ohtani blasted another StatCast homer, Pujols also going 3 for 4. And 5 of the starters had a multi-hit game.

Meanwhile, Tyler Skaggs went 6 innings and struck out 9, giving up only 2 runs (only 1 of which was earned - looking at you, Andrelton Simmons) on 4 hits......Can Bedrosian looked good. Jim Johnson looked good.....Blake Parker looked at Matt Davidson’s home run fly over his head. But, hey, he had a 9-run lead with which to work and jest needed to let the ChiSox put the ball in play while they were doing a pretty good job of getting themselves out. So what. Halos win 11-3 and warp PECOTA once again.

So smile your way through these Have-Some-Laughs-While-They-Last-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Ohtani visits CHOC (along with Andrew Heaney and David Fletcher). And Japan doesn’t have Chutes and Ladders? What kind of uncivilized island is that?.............

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Let’s keep chatting about Manfred vs. Trout. Sheryl Ring over at FanGraphs, who does the legal angel of baseball, dives into the CBA for reference. The TL;DR recap is that Manfred is the idiot, failing to do the job he is hired to oversee. (The part about retired Ken Griffey, Jr. being the guy that MLB approved for last year’s MLB: The Show really drives home the point.) But the fresh part of me is reading the actual CBA on the subject. Again, the TL;DR recap of the CBA reads as “the player agrees that MLB will market players within reason, and players better not market themselves if MLB feels that such activity is unreasonable.” Pretty damning language you got, right there..............

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Jeff Fletcher doing the MSM thing off of htennis’ head. Hey, Fletch, that dog don’t hunt ‘round here. Sticking with Vernon Wells for about 100 games too long (“He sticks with the same thing for too long”) is one issue, and completely unrelated to Sosh using a unique lineup 75% of the time (“He changes the lineup too much”). (He has used a unique lineup 76.3% of the time over the last 6 12 years, roughly 1000 games. But I have looked around before, and Sosh is not the worst here. Not even among playoff teams.)...........

Vlad Guerrero. Sunday’s coming...........


Everywhere In Baseball

#Mtoo? The Mariners are now blemished with some not insignificant harassment history among their exec levels...........

Michael Crichton strikes again. The fine folks using their giant brain powers to build a sports betting system failed to consider the time impact of super extra innings in a different time zone. (For the uninitiated, you have to read Crichton’s books to get the take.).............Which is why I worry about robo umps. Especially when the proponents hide behind catchy concepts such as ‘deep learning’. For example, what if the robo learns so deeply that it decides to respect pitch framing?............

The Rays are showing the way for how the Halos might consider using Ohtani. They shuffled Sergio Romo over to a field position in order to gain a better bullpen matchup, and still had Romo in the lineup to move him back to the mound once the matchup came back in his favor..........

The National League may have dodged the Houston thumping that comes from allowing them to lead the tanking trend, but their day is coming. The Padres have taken the Astros model and amped up their farm, creating a future threat of burying the Giants/Dodgers/Cubs/Nats club...............Along the way, the Padres are running a promo that is designed to not punish their fans for showing up while they are losing..........

More anti-shift heresy, but this one is wondering how it would even work?...........

As statistics embed themselves further into the game of baseball, perhaps the best way to process the new dynamic is to read between the lines in this article about the Reds, and data, and Jim Riggleman. Riggleman is pretty old school, and he is not trying to teach himself the new tricks of applied mathematics. But he seems to recognize that, fundamentally, the data collectors are quantifying what has been left to gut instinct for decades. Two ideas are buried there. The not-so-deep one is how having a radically better understanding of what is going on within the game will lead to a radically new way to play it. The deeper idea, though, is that one of the things the data collectors are doing is finding the best tactical ideas that once were the exclusive province if the rare strategist, or the lucky, and making those available to everybody..........

We have some real expensive FA crops coming up in the next few seasons. It will be important to keep this long view reality entangled with the short-term Front Office personal decisions............

This is why Mike doesn’t want to play back east. Because those sports communities have well-entrenched asshats with the power of the mic and keyboard. Guys like Mike Francesa.........

Trades are going on. The Red Sox now have Nathan Eovaldi (and the Rays are now down to their last pitcher)....The DBacks now have Matt Andriese.....

Cord cutting may be slower than anticipated, but it’s still a movement...........


The Duffle Bag

Joey Votto, future school bus driver in a neighborhood near you.............When hitting a grand slam is not the very best thing you did that day............Not one of Max Kepler’s better MLB career moments. Grandkids will be showing this at family parties forever.............And this ball girl puts Kepler to shame. She is so chill. Must have been taking notes while watching Adrian Beltre from her chair...........Never forget, yours truly invented the baseball decision-making flowchart............Zach Britton and Buck Showalter get reminded that Baseball is a business............