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TuesdoLinks: One Last Road Rash

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The Angels open their final road trip of 2018, up in Oakland.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

Welp, here we goes. One last plane trip. To Oakland, to Arlington, back to Anaheim. Then we can hang out in SoCal for a few days before putting a period on all this. I’m still pulling for a sweep in every one of these series.

Meanwhile...

David Fletcher done..........

Tyler Skaggs tonight...........

And off we go with some Wild-Blue-Yonder-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

A little fun factoid for Shohei...............

Another little fun factoid for Shohei..........

Make Shohei a closer?.....Oh, hell no, says Mike Scioscia..........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

I had expected that MLB would have named Didi Gregorious as AL Player Of The Week. He and Adelberto Mondesi had 0.7 fWAR on the week compared to Mike Trout’s 0.5, but Gregorious had 4 home runs and 10 RBI to Mondesi’s 2 & 7, and we all know that MLB loves the long ball. But Justin Verlander threw 14 and struck out 21 batters in two games (Detroit & the slumping Arizona), and for that Verlander got his 8th career PotW award. So I went looking. Mike has 3 career PotW awards. The last one was July 12th of 2015. Since that time Trout has earned about 31.3 WAR. There have been 19,097 MLB players in history. That 31.3 WAR, if that were an entire career for any other player, would rank tied at #785 with guys like Brandon Phillips and Bill Russell. But it hasn’t been an entire career for Trout. It’s only been about 19 months. Maybe 76 weeks. So over 76 cycles, he has played better than 96% of everybody else’s entire career, and not one single time has his production been considered the best in the League. Pretty damning, huh?..............

Don’t be too bummed if Mike does not sign a lifetime contract with Arte this winter. It likely will not have anything to do with Philadelphia. In this Mike Trout Monday column (where Trout’s recap for the past week includes “...7-for-19 with an 1.184 OPS...” and getting sat the last day of the MLB week), towards the end there is a reminder that the current CBA expires after the 2021 season and the new deal could relieve a lot of payroll pressures, making it more conducive to new player contracts. So it might be wise for Mike and his agent to wait..........

But what about a “lifetime contract”, huh? Here comes that California law thingy again. It raises its head every few years in our sport. Fun side research journey through the Internet: it’s all really about Olivia de Havilland, and how she changed the world...........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Hmmm. I am not altogether sure I would call Shohei Ohtani the “LAA Breakout Player of the Year”. Sure, Ohtani is clearly fantastic and the most fantastic new addition to any team in MLB in 2018. But that was kind of expected all along, was it not? That was why the Ohtani sweepstakes was such a big deal all along. Ohtani did not so much “break out” as he lived up to all the hype (which is, in itself, an amazing achievement). No, if I had a vote, i would say that the player who actually “broke out” was the guy who exploded out of nowhere in Tempe, was shipped back to SLC anyway, then joined the MLB club mid-June and, surprisingly, just kept right on blazing. That would be David Fletcher..........

Matt Snyder of CBS Sports kicks himself in the butt over his failed pre-season picks. Of those, he had the halos in the Wild Card and Mike Scioscia as Manager of the Year. Don’t beat yourself up too much, Dan, your only failing was believing that LAA pitchers would stay healthy..........

Nice pull by reddit. In the video of Albert Belle arguing that he was not HBP, that is Shigetoshi Hasegawa on the mound in Anaheim back in 1999, and Matt Walbeck catching. Belle is arguing with plate ump Ed Hickox. Hickox is still umpiring, and was part of the crew on the field for Jared Weaver’s no-hitter...........

Jeff Fletcher discovers that the middle-of-the-pack Angels dominate in middle-of-the-pack stats. Genius..........

The annual Angels Youth baseball Camp is this week. Register here..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Lets start by keeping track of the race to the bottom, shall we? Baltimore and Kansas City are safe, but there is a lot of opportunity for shuffling between the spots now held by Miami and Texas. Of those, it’s the Marlins that had the bad night. San Diego, Detroit, Cincinnati and Texas all took a baby step in their direction.

Oh, Jeff Passan, you are better than this. The Red Sox and Yankees do have a couple of series lined up to close out the regular season. But with the Red Sox already have the AL East title pretty much locked away so the only thing at stake is whether the Yankees get the post-season play-in game at home or in Oakland. If I were Alex Cora, I would be googling Gregg Popovich right now. Save it for the playoffs. You might need it. Wanting more Yankees vs. Red Sox is like saying that Taco Bell is America’s finest Mexican restaurant.............

Maury Brown is channeling his inner Murray Chass. In this Forbes article, he tells us that this season stinks because (A) we endured a hell of a lot of tankers, and (B) too many of the great names in the game will not be in the playoffs. Why does it always fall to yours truly to point out that a natural consequence for MLB expansion is that more MLB players will make the post-season, AND more players will not? When I was a kid only 50 guys got to play past the regular season, but 425 did not. Today, 250 guys get into some form of post-season play, but 625 still do not..........

Finally. Somebody teeing up ideas to improve the MLB product, without messing with the product itself. It’s refreshing to read somebody with a larger voice starting with the obvious: dump blackouts and lower prices (although this last one doesn’t apply so much with Arte and Anaheim)...........

Ok, let’s start teeing up the 2018-2019 Free Agent class expectations!. These are starting to pop up already, but this is one link that isn’t behind a pay wall.........Remember, this was the off season that GM were waiting for, which explains Eric ‘negWAR’ Hosmer last winter (jokes on you, Padres!)...........

SportsIllustrated is a classic example of a company that once owned the media channel to a market (sports), but completely failed to exploit the rise of the Internet. They should still have a huge library of valuable photos, but it appears that is all they still have..........

Let’s stick with SI for another moment. Here is original content bemoaning the decline of 30/30 threats. The explanation given is a sharp decline in stolen bases. Mike Trout is not actually listed anywhere in the article, but his name IS used as a tag to draw web crawler search engine attention down at the bottom. Trout is implied, though, with the sentence “It was his [José Ramírez] 30th steal of the season, making him the first man in six years to enter baseball’s 30-30 Club.” Six years ago was 2012. That was the last time Mike Trout did 30/30. So, yeah, we are back on Trout. Trout barely missed it in 2013, and then again in 2016. But Trout was 33 & 22 in 2017 when injury reduced him to only 114 games. And he is at 34 & 23 this year, having missed 20 games and with 13 still to play. So the REAL reason we have not had more 30/30 seasons is simply Trout staying healthy..........

The Nolan Ryan family just severed the final ties to the Rangers. Do you think that the Rangers will erase that 1990 no-hitter from their memories now?..........

It’s an odd way to get to a baseball story, but go here. CTRL+F. Search for “Morris”, and learn how big a jerk recent inductee Jack Morris really is. (tip to NBC Sports)..........

The Marlins traded away Christian Yelich last January. Derek Jeter insist that this was because he is committed to winning. Well, he did get back the #76-ranked MLB prospect (plus some more spare parts). But that Yelich guy? Doing some pretty good winning of his own..........

This is progress. Temporarily. BBC has improved streaming technology such that there is no longer a delay for the broadcast versus televised broadcasts. This is huge, especially for live sports. I hate to be the pessimist here, though, but making the packets smaller before they flow through the pipes only makes the organization of those packets more efficient. it doesn’t make the pipes larger (aggregate volume), nor does it make the length of those pipes between the event source and your domicile any shorter (latency, where Einstein still rules the day). Once everybody buys in to the new tech and streaming usage grows as consequence, well...........


The Duffle Bag

Josh Donaldson channeling the marketing genius of Mike Trout...............Bill Maher is upset with the concept of sports teams accepting payments from other enterprises so that they can advertise. Bill Maher fails to understand how it is that he gets paid..........Nostradamus...........Making baseball great, without changing baseball..........