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HumpLinks: Kalebunga!

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Did that REALLY happen? A Cowart slam AND a Cowart triple??

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

On September 19, 1973, future President Jimmy Carter filed a report on his UFO encounter. For 45 years that had been the most outrageous sighting to occur on that day of the year. But then yesterday happened, and we saw Kaleb Cowart hit not only a run-scoring triple(!!), but earlier it was that same Cowart with a game-changing grand-slam home run. That thing even overwhelmed a major 4-run Cam Bedrosian implosion that should have sealed the LAA defeat. Supposedly there is video evidence of all this, but when I look at the tapes they look photoshopped. Somebody will debunk yesterday eventually. Whole web sites will be built for the effort. For now, let’s record the 9-7 W that we snuck away with, celebrate things such as Andrelton Simmons going 3 for 4 and Mike Trout hitting his 35th home run and Shohei Ohtani being an On Base machine. Let’s ignore Bad Kole Calhoun returning to the lineup. And then we can cackle as the A’s get queasy about losing home field to the Yankees.

Oh, and about those A’s. Not enough tarps in Oakland. Kinda hard to believe. The 2018 season of real baseball has little more than a month left. The A’s are in a dogfight for the home field advantage for the post-season play-in game versus the Yankees. In town are none other than Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Andrelton Simmons. Mike Scioscia is probably going to insert Cam Bedrosian into the game and try hard to gift Oakland a win. And, watching the game, it looks like about 10,000 fans actually could be bothered to show up. Pretty sad.

Enjoy these Closing-In-On-3-Million-Seats-Sold-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Ichiro is a big Shohei fan...............

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Mike Trout has been very, very good...............And, this year, his penchant for getting on base has been so off the charts as to embarrass the other MLB’ers who have enjoyed a full season..........

Mike is also a pretty decent defender.....Much better than the guy playing to his right. Which is a good thing, because Justin Upton can’t go to his left.........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

The Angels have had something like 50 different guys suit up this season. So that team photo must just be the all guys on the DL..............

Off to instructs shall be Luis Madero, Patick Sandoval and Jose Reyes..........And the farm system is now on the watch lists of everybody following the MLB prospect pipelines..........

Here it is again. Please, somebody do the work here so that I don’t have to. I have enough on my plate. Jeff Fletcher is calling out the Angels for not overcoming injuries like those injury-overcomer-champion Oakland A’s. Because, yeah, Oakland has lost their starting rotation, too, and look where they are! Because it’s not apples to apples and it’s all too easy to math that up. Just look at the volume of pitching injuries. Starters AND bullpen AND replacement starters and replacement bullpen. AND THEN...look at the lost production value by combing through the prior WAR actuals for each player. AND THEN...look at the total time lost for each of the players. It ain’t close. This is why I linked to this chart in the comments section of last Friday’s WeekEnd HaloLinks............


Everywhere In Baseball

Let’s talk Orioles, because they are historically bad. If we had relegation, we might learn how the O’s would far against AAA teams, instead of mathematical conjecture. But make no mistake, the Orioles are really really bad. They are so bad, their once-heroic-turned-gawdawful 1B Chris Davis, who should be embarrassed by his own putridness (batting .176 with a negative 2.3 bWAR), is embarrassed by his teammates. And their own starting catcher admits that they suck. That would be Caleb Joseph, batting .213 with an OPS+ of only 58 and a bWAR of 0.1..............

Once again I shall point out that this is NOT the wrong time for some playoff chasing team to suffer a major injury. Colorado, I feel no pain for your potential loss of Trevor Story. Nope. Bullshit. Rockies fans have been having a ball all year, and are still feeling OK even today. Lose your studs in June is when it’s the worst time. You never even get the chance to play with the cool kids and it costs you another entire season..........

Well, duh. The Mets anticipate Tim Tebow returning for yet another season of Minor League ball. What else would they expect? Tim Tebow is all about brand, and he has no other national platform for brand building...........

There is more than one way to get from home plate to second base once your bat makes contact with the ball. One is the Willson Contreras way from 2 days ago. The other is the Orlando Arcia way from last Friday..........

Ronald Acuna has been very good. MLB has not yet found a weakness. It will be very interesting to watch him next season once the NL has had a chance to reset. Because that has been the difference between all the new performance darlings that have popped up since 2012, and the one performance darling playing CF for the Angels who did not then fade away...........

Clayton Kershaw is wearing down. And to think that he is only a few years older than Mike Trout..........

Cleveland is in the playoffs. The major reason is the AL Central, but the next largest reason is their slugging. They rank #4 throughout MLB in home runs hit, and #5 in Slugging Percentage (notice the Top 10 teams in those tables, and what they mean for playoff odds). In 2015 the Indians finished 22nd in HR. In 2016 they finished 18th. In 2017 they rose to 15th. And now, 4th. Cleveland is now fully on board with the fly ball revolution. A big part of that have been Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. Those two accounted for 26 HRs in 2016, but have combined for 73 HR’s so far this season. One is left to wonder if the MLB embrace of launch angle is not creating some level of fog over all the possible reasons for such large amounts of improvement?...........

Something is amiss within the Astros’ organization. A lot of long-tenured MiLB educators are being let go. I’m sure those names have gone across the desk of Billy Eppler in the last 48 hours, just to think about..........The Fresno Grizzlies coaching thing (Linares and Robinson) might also have something to do with the Nationals now signing up the Grizzlies as their AAA affiliate. Which is weird, since it will make shuffling guys up and down ont he 40-man a cross-country trip each way......

There are a fixed number of possible remaining WS matchups. Which one would you prefer to see? Unlike ESPN I, for one, would not want to see yet another Yankees-Dodgers go round..........

Well that was handy. Mother Nature stepped in and did Rob Manfred a favor for once. Weather forced MLB to push yet another Yankees-Red Sox game out to Prime Time..........But did you notice that Mookie Betts is on the LAA medical information track?...........

We are almost out of live baseball, folks. The regular season is almost kaput. Sure, we will get some playoff games to sweat over, but those have none of the purity of everyday joy that comes to us from the little things. Things such as those which Grant Brisbee beckons..........Also fun, what if the rules of baseball required a batter to remain at the plate and complete his PA using his broken bat?..........

Oooh! Now that those who have been shouting at the thievery by rich owners robbing the public til for their own welfare have run out of steam, we can stop thinking about the tragic loss of public opportunity. Instead, we can get all glazed-eyed at the bright new shiny thing that the owner is building so that he can take more of our money,,,,,,,,,,


The Duffle Bag

UniWatch fun! Original Bugs Bunny baseball cell found on eBay. Of course, that is “only” 1 of 7500 so maybe it shows up on Goodwill.com some day.....Or how about an official baseball score keeping pencil? Why spend 20 cents on a Staples pencil that doesn’t even come with instructions on where to use it, when you can spend $10 on one that does?.....Idaho doesn’t have an MLB team, so why not spend your idle fandom creating your own baseball league out of thin air?.....Where once the manager of the MFY kept an All-Star off the field in the ASG, because he didn’t like his uniform..........Miguel Rojas, doing rob Manfred’s job for him..........