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MondoLinks: Halos Sweep Our Hearts Back Home

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Brooming the ChiSox, the Angels showed some late-season moxie

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Chicago White Sox Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Ahhhh! One last dip into the AL Central. Three days in Chicago and the Halos swept our hearts right back to Anaheim. The Angels end the season 22-12 against the group calk-walking the Indians into the post-season. That’s the inverse of the 11-21 record against the AL East, where 1-11 against the Red Sox and Yankees didn’t help. Now we are back to the AL West, where the Angels are 28-29 so far. Yeah, that’s right, but for the MFY and MFRS, this team trying to contend with a bucket of bolts pitching staff would actually be in pretty fine shape. But, alas, you gotta play them all.

And this weekend we played them. We got a regualr game, a blow out, and a pitching duel and the Angels won them all. Andrew Heaney did something pretty rare in LAA franchise history. And the Halos won 1-0...........

Last Tuesday we got the Rangers and Mike Minor, coming out on the wrong end of the stick. It was the only loss of the last week. Well, it’s the Rangers all over again, and tonight it’s Mike Minor again, too............

7 teams are now dead in the AL and The Grim Reaper is approaching across the misty meadow. So what? Exercise your right to the last great act of defiance and face live baseball with glee and glory. We get to dump on the Rangers again!

So dig these Life-Support-Batteries-Almost-Empty-And-An-Elimination-Number-Of-Only-4-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

That inside linebacker body slam of White Sox reliever Thyago Vieira on Shohei Saturday night caused a contusion, with Ohtani day-to-day. He played yesterday but if he is not in the lineup at some random point, this might be the cause............

I recall predicting this at the start of the season on another board, and getting the shit down-voted out of it. Well, here we are at the tail end of the season and now the common fans are finally getting it. Being a two-way player like Ohtani causes real problems for getting in enough reps as either a hitter or a pitcher to show up on people’s radars, because those radars are tuned only for one-way players.............

But here, let’s help out. Forget rate stats, and just look at quality. Ohtani rules the rookie class...........

OCR’s Jeff Fletcher is sold............Sports Illustrated is sold...........

Shohei is determined to play out the season as he figures out his TJ surgery future............

Meanwhile, he now owns the Japanese rookie home run record..........

The TL;DR version of this Ohtani tale is the belief that when we get to 2020, we get to deal with everybody having all those same doubts about two-way players all over again...........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic seems to believe that he has the inside dope on the Angels planning to offer Mike Trout an extension this offseason. So here is where Phillies fans start to count their chickens. It will be an intriguing dialog, for sure. One that will be followed as close as possible in every MLB city. I can predict this, for sure, if the Angels DO make him an extension offer, hearts are going to break at his response. Either ours, or the hearts of every other entitled fan base in America.............

Mike had himself a pretty good weekend. His Saturday was mind-blowing. He ended up getting on base 10 consecutive Plate Appearances, before striking out in the 4th inning yesterday. Prior to that, the last time he failed to reach base in a PA was the first inning on Friday, when he also struck out............

So Trout had himself a fairly good week. Good enough for Player Of The Week? Shohei Ohtani had a pretty good week, too. And Ohtani had as many home runs and RBI as Alex Bregman, which MLB loves when naming these things............

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Justin Upton may not be helping us out too much with runners in scoring position, but there are times when his glove sure surprises............


Everywhere In Baseball

Ah, I get it now. Silly me. The reason that The Mothership is going so bonkers on Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa (the top 4 articles, and 5 of the top 9) is because this past Saturday was the 20th anniversary of Big Juicy Mac hitting his 62nd andro-powered home run at he peak of the PEDS-driven media frenzy............

Some teams and the MLBPA are wondering about the Josh Donaldson trade and how they came about. Some odd activation/de-activation stuff went on at the most fortuitous moment. And all that happens after other teams interested in Donaldson got a health warning form the MLB Front Office...........

Mother Nature is messing up east coast baseball again. The Pirates/Marlins were rained out, as if anybody cares. But the bigger one is the Nats/Cubs rainout. Somehow MLB chose to pursue trying to squeeze in some games amidst the rain drops, but not as aggressively as the Cubs felt could be done. Turns out that the Cubs were right and MLB, well, MLB failed. And that fail really, really cost the Cubs...........(And Hurricane Florence is coming. Might mess up the Braves home series with the Nats next weekend.)..........

Giants and Brewers got pretty chippy. For his part, Bumgarner is all “nah, it just slipped”............

Michael Kopech, the ChiSox rookie phenom just called up, is getting a taste of LAA health luck. 14 innings into his cup of coffee, Kopech is off to TJ surgery. See ya in 2020, kid, and best of luck to ya’. Say hello to Alex Meyer for us while you are there, OK?..........

Another rookie pitcher, Jorge Lopez, came within 3 outs of a perfect game.............

The Twins are reaching out to Byron Bruxton, wanting to make sure he is happy that they have pigeonholed his ass in AAA so that they can own that ass for an additional season. As in “Hey, Byron, you’re totally cool with us taking $10 million out of your pocket when all is said and done with your career, right?”..........

The making of baseball bats. For a guy like me, who loves baseball AND owns a garage full of woodworking tools, these stories are addictive. It’s really long, though. It needs to be a December article, and with videos. Start with picking the raw billet............

In another fun one, ESPN looks at those game scenarios where nothing is to be gained by being the next batter in the order, and standing in the on-deck circle. You have to read it to get the point. But after you do, you will get my point. Dude, you are a mother-effing Major League Baseball player! You have dreamed of this career your whole life. You are here!!! It won’t last forever. Get out in that on-deck circle and swing a bat and just look around and enjoy the moment..........

Have you ever wondered how it was that everybody started singing The National Anthem before every ballgame? As it happens, that started among baseball first, before all the other sports. Thank Woodrow Wilson...........

Without getting into the full backstory, one of my bucket lists is to stay at all the most famous haunted hotels in America. The missus and I had an experience up at the Paso Robles Inn. But nothing at all to report from The Brown Palace in Denver. When I rattle off my list during casual conversation in social settings, the one that gets the biggest eyebrow raises would be The Pfister, because it’s in Milwaukee. Milwaukee? Really? Oh, heck yeah!..........

It’s that time of year. Labor Day is behind us. So now it’s MVP and WAR debate season again!..........


The Duffle Bag

Dustin Pedroia has played only 3 games this season. May 26/27/29. The Red Sox have only have 18 games left. So it shouldn’t be rocket science to expect that Pedroia ain’t making it back this year............Randal Grichuk takes a tough one right to the noggin.............Boston and Houston are going to meet in October. And then it’s really gonna count. MLB umpires and the Instant Replay crew need to shake off the rust. Because a screw up like this will reverberate forever............Can’t rob Ohtani of his home run, so does this count as Ohtani robbing Adam Engel of his glove?............Good dad. This guy is catching the foul ball to protect the baby, not to neglect the baby...........