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HumpLinks: Halos Sluggers Le Blanked again

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Wade LeBlanc shuts down LAA for the second time in his last 5 starts.

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Miami Marlins v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

You might not remember this, but Wade LeBlanc was once a pitcher for the Angels. Yep. 2014. He appeared in 10 games - 3 starts and 7 relief appearances - and bounced over to the Yankees and back that season. 130 ERA+, 0.4 bWAR. He was asked to walk away as a Free Agent after that season and landed with the Seibu Lions, but he didn’t walk away forgetting which team it was that let him do that walking away.

He has only faced LAA twice in his career. Both times in his last 5 starts. Yes, he is a starter now. And the Mariners must really like him that way.

He is eating the Halos for dinner. Mike Trout is in yet another deep mercurial slump, Shohei Ohtani was not a savior. Chris Young is old. We quietly lose 4-1. And Seattle is practically in 1st place.

The Mariners have turned the tables on the Angels in a big way. Part of that is the Angels being cratered by yet another once-in-every-500,000-years life-defeating DL asteroid. The other part is the Mariners themselves enjoying a once-in-every-500,000-years run of luck. I can’t hate on a team for being overly lucky, which is why I am better than a Mariners fan. But I have no problem calling it out, and knowing that when it finally averages out, life will once again be a bitch in Seattle.

Meanwhile, all we can do is wave farewell from 12 games behind them, back here in the dust.

While I ponder why it is that we cannot employ baseball players who stay healthy, you grab a beer and a dog and indulge in Independence-Day-Links:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Ohtani made it back to the lineup last night, and in Seattle no less. But by now, with the Mariners riding so high and the Angels so irrelevant, his second career game in Safeco had far less impact on the open wounds of Ohtani’s winter rejection. But, just to remind.............

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News Related Stuff

Because one game an MVP case makes, right Jim Bowden?..............

Here is how a team does NOT waste a Mike Trout. Take Trout out of the LAA equation just look at how miserable we would be. The Angels rank comfortably high in terms of overall team positive WAR. Of course they do. They have Trout. But look at the other charts. Look at how much negative WAR is damaging the Halos. And look at how much playing time all that negative WAR is getting in Anaheim. Take Trout off the team, and that first chart implodes. As does whatever modicum of success we have enjoyed despite the injury catastrophe...........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Mike Trout continues to waste Andrelton Simmons............

Here is your LAA International signings recap. I have no idea who these kids are. I just love being able to type that first sentence.........

Who would have guessed that historically conservative Orange County would beat the City of New York in terms of progressiveness? But, yes, LAA will host an LGBT event next year, leaving behind the MFY as the sole holdout..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Grant Brisbee reminds us all how much baseball can be. And he does it by having way too much fun.............

Let’s focus on Manny Machado-related stuff, because heaven knows we have a lot of it as the trade deadline approaches...........The Orioles, it seems, have finally figured out that if they don’t deal him in the next 3 weeks or so, they will get little more than a puff of smoke in return.........They didn’t get what their GM wanted in winter, so they are hoping that the other GM’s suffer from the same kinds of desperate folly that they would suffer from if the tables were reversed.........Another talent-deep franchise at the top of the target list are the Dodgers. And, still, this is one team that really doesn’t need him..........One thing that shall ever confuse me is how adding the same guy to each team can result in so much variation in the number of wins that guy might produce over the same time span. Take the Machado maneuver, for example. The Angels get only 3.4 wins compared to the Giants getting 4.9 wins. (And, no, this exercise assumes zero existing MLB players go back to Baltimore, so Machado is all additive.)..........

Matt Harvey’s resurgence has put him back on the trade rumor radar map..........

MLB is finally learning to merchandise. Now all they need to learn is...good taste..........

We not have any Golden State Warriors issues in Baseball, but not for lack of effort.....The Dodgers want to overload.....The Nationals want to overload.....

You probably thought that The Green Monster of Fenway had to be built because there was a street in the way of a normal left field, didn’t you? I know I did. Nope, it was born pretty much as a device to keep outsiders from watching free baseball. Think of it as the physical manifestation of MLB’s first blackout region...........

The Dodgers regional sports network remains choked up. But it looks like the LA area will get to suffer through 5 games on free TV. Viewers will get the Astros, Giants, Cards, Dbacks and Mets. And, apparently, only the LA media seems to care anymore.........

If you wish to take the time to show how embarrassing it has been for MLB owners to fleece taxpayer coffers, ALWAYS ADJUST FOR INFLATION. That $30 million spent on Angels Stadium back in 1966 would be worth north of $230 million today.........

H/T to reddit. How various pitches move as the baseball heads to home plate. What about the knuckleball??.........

Know hope! We may eventually be able to rid ourselves of dumpster fire radio. And the San Diego market might lead the way. A perfect 0.0 share for asshat morning sports shock..........

Streaming services charge money. And streaming services are learning already that once they get to charge you money, there is little to inhibit them from charging you more money..........


The Duffle Bag

Striking out on a pitch that goes through your own legs? Um, not ideal.............Tim Tebow proves that he is 2018 Mets worthy, after all. Call him up now!..........I lost this one yesterday when one of my browser windows locked up. I can’t let the week go by without it. A guy getting hit by a ceremonial first pitch, no less............It’s the week of the 4th of July. Flags, fireworks and food-eating contests. Speaking of food eating, MLB has lots of it..........Be careful what you volunteer for. Stage fright is a real thing..........Shane Victorino didn’t do much as a Halo. He didn’t do anything at all afterwards. That must gall him. He is returning to his 8-year root branch of Philadelphia for a day, so that he no longer is stigmatized by having (effectively) retired a Halo..........If you don’t catch a foul ball barehanded, everybody will blame you for not bringing a glove. But if you don’t catch a ball with the glove you bought, the barehanded guy walks off with your trophy and you are blamed..........