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HumpLinks: When Wins come Quietly

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Angels take the W as the season winds down. And only die-hards notice.

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Aaaaand I’m back. I brought an east coast head cold back with me, so my ramp up to normal daily linkage is gonna take a few days. I can announce now that I did get the chance to visit the Library of Congress and tour their Baseball Americana exhibit. I have lots of pictures and commentary that I shall share. It’s not Cooperstown, but it doesn’t try to be. I will say that the coolest thing about the exhibit is something that they do not showcase online. So look forward to it.

Meanwhile, lookit this! I landed in time to hear the Angels win the Monday game against Texas, and now I get to see the Angels win the second, 4-1. It’s that time of year for the die-hards. You know you are clutching tightly to your love of baseball when you refuse to consider that it would be more entertaining to watch 3 hours of highlight reels than these two teams walking out the string. And there actually were highlights, as in guys playing hard and doing hard things. Things like not giving up double-digit runs, which is a step in the positive direction.

I’d love to stick around and re-do the re-cap, but the Nyquil is kicking in and it is to it that I choose to surrender.

Oh, and here is a tip from a cross-country traveler suffering from severe head cold in a middle seat of a dark airplane. If your plane offers up free movies, pass right over ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’. You will have more enjoyment playing the on-board bingo game.........

-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Shohei knows power..........

Shohei knows that the show must go on..........

Shohei knows that his has been one of MLB’s great stories this season. But this sentence puzzles me: “Maybe [TJ surgery] proves the doubters right, that it is too much to ask a player to do both.” That’s a pretty stupid observation. Does the author really believe that had Ohtani not taken any Plate Appearances, his pitch arm would not have suffered damage from throwing motions?..........

Shohei also knows, apparently much better than MLB, that when tracking his accomplishments on the field it’s not just about his pitching..........

That said, the latest MLB polling puts him up as the RoY favorite. And by a wide margin “...Ohtani got 26 of 36 first-place votes, with Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar getting nine and teammate Gleyber Torres one.”.........

For the month of September, when less-imaginative fans would considered to be a limping and injured Ohtani done for the season, Shohei has actually been hitting .294/.377/.647 with an OPS of 1.024 and 6 home runs. He has not been as hot lately, (2 for 19 over his last 5 games), but the impression has been made as “Angels DH Ohtani looks to keep rolling vs. Rangers”..........

The biggest Ohtani news from yesterday shouldn’t have been news at all. Ohtani will undergo TJ surgery as soon as the season ends. Like, duh. All that other stuff of thinking about it was nonsense..........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Mike Trout’s mom ponders the issue of MLB not marketing Mike Trout. As in, hmmmmm..........

Let’s show how clever one can be. Let’s write a heretofore never considered idea of trading Mike Trout. Well, to be more accurate, it’s the corollary of how practical any such trade could be?..........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

I want the winning lotto numbers. My wife wants 1 ‘56 T-Bird. People in hell want ice water. Jose Bautista wants to roll out his wheelchair in the playoffs next year. And Mike Scioscia wants to keep right on managing..........Sosh remains on the hot seat..........

You know who else wants to manage? Eric Chavez wants to manage. That is just an observation. It don’t actually mean anything.............

The Angels under-performed, but it looks like the national media awareness has shifted the awareness of decimated pitching staffs away from the Angels, “...the pitching staff has struggled throughout the season...”, and over to the A’sAnd then Oakland saw nine other pitchers miss significant time to injuries...”..........It’s why we read on this season roundup on FanGraphs things such as “...The team still lost Garrett Richards and Nick Tropeano, but the pitching generally remained solid if not spectacular...”, where Kenyon Middleton, Alex Meyer, J.C. Ramirez, Blake Wood go unmentioned..............

It feels like only yesterday that I was bragging on how Ty Buttrey had been rock solid in not allowing baserunners to score..........

And thanks to JeffJoiner for bringing Victor Rojas in for a chat. Thanks to Victor for being so chill about granting us the opportunity. Somebody should talk to John Carpino, who oversees AM830, and make this a regular thing for 2019. He’d probably be totally fine with it...........


Everywhere In Baseball

Roberto Osuna took a plea deal on his domestic violence charge. Now he is free to turn the page and move on as if nothing happened. Except when he plays back up in Toronto.........Addison Russell is not going to go the long and slow route that Osuna traveled. Accused of DV himself, he is sitting but does not want to miss the post-season. So he is looking for an accelerated process..........

There are changes already afoot throughout MLB. It behooves some teams to start he work of firing managers as GMs at this time because MLB frowns upon redirecting the news away from the playoffs, tending to force teams to wait things out until November. So the Rangers already fired Jeff Bannister and the candidates to replace him are already being lined up......Bruce Bochy is a legend up in San Francisco. But a head had to roll nonetheless. Adios Giants GM Bobby Evans..........

So a large percentage of us turned out to be a lot sharper than Padres GM A.J. Preller. We knew that Eric Hosmer was not the blue chip talent that so many collusion conspirators wanted him to be............

This I will agree with. 30 years from now most of you youngsters will be looking back on this decade and the next as the greatest age of MLB history. The young talent in the game, and arriving soon enough, is phenomenal..........

I would think that as strikeouts become more commonplace, and more acceptable to hitters, it would make sense that more pitchers rack up more strikeouts. However, since we are also seeing a trend away from pitchers going deep into games, the strikeouts are getting spread across a greater number of pitchers. This means that individual 300 K pitchers are still a rarity. Max Scherzer being an exception.........

Breaking news: Joe West is bad at this umpiring thing, and a hyper-sensitive showboat..........

As Mike Scioscia would gleefully tell you, pitching roles DO matter..........

Oooh. Ken Giles used to pitch for Houston. Now he pitches for the Blue Jays. He was the lead part in the trade that sent Roberto Osuna to Houston. He feels a lot better pitching for the Toronto organization. That feeling better landed back on the desk of Astros manager A.J. Hinch, and Hinch ain’t buying it. I vote for Giles on this one. Hinch is supervising one of the juggernauts of assembled (and healthy) talent pools in MLB today. Their success does not a genius make out of an A.J. Hinch.............

It’s all in the spin. Last week it was glowing news that MiLB attendance reached nearly 40.5 million fans. This week it’s Minor League Baseball has worst attendance in 14 years..........

You can read this story and get all upset about yet another baseball player getting arrested for DUI, thinking about Nick Adenhart while you grit your teeth. I read it and stopped dead in my tracks when I learned that Arizona, being such a trail blazer. has already amended their law to expand the DUI scope to include “...a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance...”. That’s pretty expansive and so johnny-on-the-spot for AZ lawmakers. I lived in AZ for a while, and I know a thing or two about this. But I also know that the word ‘vapor’ is defined as “a substance diffused or suspended in the air, especially one normally liquid or solid.” Do you know what would be a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance? Tobacco. As usual, good job there, AZ lawmakers.......

Pitch framing is a big deal, although the gaps between teams is shrinking. The question I have, though, is why haven’t the umpires used all this time to upgrade their skills and eliminate what clearly is an attempt to manipulate the judgement of the umpire?............

We had a sucky season. But let’s all stand and applaud one another on the Mariners failing to make the postseason for the 17th straight year. No other professional team in this country has been that bad. And no other team has just had its future mortgaged in order to finish 7th in the League..........

So, 2 years into the MLB IBB rule change, what did YOU do with that 38.8 seconds per game that you got back?.........

Part One of Sheryl Ring’s FanGraphs review of the legality of tanking tees up the subject very well. I can’t wait to witness the payoff. I hope it meets my expectations. Those would be that there is nothing that forces a franchise to do certain things as a sign that they are making every effort to win as many games as possible, since no such list of objective things exists. That’s the shield I believe Derek Jeter is hiding behind right now..........

Ah, Philadelphia, our greatest worry. There were several bits of tid about the Phillies yesterday. One was an upbeat outlook on their young core. Bad news for us......There were mid-season moves that might have ruined clubhouse chemistry among all the your talent. Good news for us.....They have the worst defense in recorded history. Good for us.....And we also hear that top free agents might avoid Philadelphia because of Gabe Kapler. Very good for us..........

St. Louis Cards fans. The Best In Baseball. At mailing in their allegiances, apparently.........

Welcome aboard, Felix Hernandez. Now, can I enlist you in our collective life mission to ex-patriate Boston?...........

Poor Cameron Maybin, poster child for the perpetually traded............

If there is a trend in baseball of which I am less of a fan than rising strikeouts, it would be falling stolen bases. I know, I know. There are a lost of studies that show SB’s are pretty harmful in a lot of situations because of the risk they create versus reward. But they are exciting. I like ‘em anywho.........

Long road trips while listening to sports is a thing being threatened with extinction..........In other media news, this one shows how modern newspaper editors must not be well-educated in the concept of irony. Really? A newspaper editor blasting an employee for moving to The Athletic because sticking with the newspaper business model holds such a superior promise as a business model than the Internet?..........Finally in media news, now I know why it is that I stopped getting my monthly checks for doing these links..........


The Duffle Bag

Wait, what? Wrigley Field bleacher fans are the epitome of our civilized potential?..........Does the morning air smell a tad sweeter today? That would be because Hawk Harrelson is done..........Food handlers spitting on food behind the scenes is not new. As a former food service worker, I worry about shit like this all the time..........How does a baseball jersey go from non-existence to Mike Trout’s back (well, Kiki Hernandez in this instance), or to yours?........... Joey Votto remains an OBP machine. If it weren’t for Mike Trout’ OBP run of late Votto would be ruling ALL of MLB the past few seasons. Hold on a sec. Votto is a 1B. We could use a new 1B. Especially a 1B who gets on base a lot. Can you imagine those two back-to-back??...........reddit Halo fan swings back at MLB social media knucklehead..........