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WeekEnd HaloLinks: One Last A’s Kickin’

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Let the season end. Let the bells toll. Can we at least show some dignity as we are walked to the door?

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

This is it, folks. The final edition of WeekEnd HaloLinks for the 2018 regular season. We have Oakland in town. We have Mike Scioscia Bobblehead Night. We have Fan Appreciation Day. We have 3 last performances of Victor & Gubi. We have 3 last opportunities for the entire year to see Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Andrelton Simmons do cool shit.

When we gather again come Monday we will be in that period of weeks where Joe Buck is telling us nightly how every little thing that every player does is the very best that anybody has ever done it. It will be dark times, but we will get through it together. But then even that will end and things will get better.

Because.....Winter is coming.

But smile! I have loaded you up with One-Last-Party-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Haha! Yankee fans are crowing because Miguel Andujar drilled a 3-run HR yesterday, ‘showcasing’ his RoY credentials. Even Jeff Fletcher is mixed up. Uh, but Tropicana Field is only 315 feet down the left field line. Andujar hit the ball about 330 feet, not too far over that short wall into the corner. Angels Stadium is 330 down the LF line. So that would have been a flyball out, or maybe a double off the wall. When Shohei Ohtani hits home runs, there’s nothing cheap about ‘em..........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

Trout is such an obvious and boring choice as the LAA MVP, that MLB couldn’t even be bothered to add the weblink under his name. (Yes, I saw it. They DO link his name a couple of times higher up. Save your phone calls.).........

Keith Law takes you behind the ESPN paywall, but before you have to go there you can already see that he selects Mike Trout as MVP..........

Get yourself a fresh pen, Arte. Our fan love for Mike Trout is going to cost quite a pretty penny..........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

With so many guys on staff with recent expertise in TJ surgery and recovery, Ohtani has a lot of avenues for advice from which to choose. Kenyon Middleton, for example..........

Jerry Dipoto continues to poach out of Anaheim. He newest theft is Frankie Thon, who was a cross-checker in our International Scouting department. And, yes, he’s Dickie Thon’s nephew.........


Everywhere In Baseball

It’s official. Offense tanked this year...........

We have to live with Trade Mike Trout shit. The Mets have to live with Trade Jacob deGrom shit............

Um, yeah, OK. It seems that MLB has come to the conclusion that maybe it would be a good thing to keep accused domestic-violence perp Addison Russell off the prime-time television sets across America and really punish him the entirety of four whole more days. Brutal, MLB, just brutal.........

I don’t know how much more baseball CC Sabathia has left in him, but if this is his last year he is going out in style. The Yankees and Rays have a thing going on this year. In yesterday’s game, Yankee Austin Romine narrowly missed taking an Andrew Kittredge inside pitch up and in off his head. That was leading off the 6th inning with the Yankees already up 7-0. The MFY would go on to score 4 runs that inning and Sabathia would come to the mound with an 11-0 lead. Sabathia might have inadvertently initiated the bean-ball trade-off since he had clipped Jake Bauers in the 5th. More importantly, CC had only 6 outs to record in order to qualify for a 2018 incentive bonus of $500,000. Not good enough. None of it. Sabathia directed his very first pitch of the 6th inning right into the thigh of Jesus Sucre. Auto ejection. Loss of $500K. Still not good enough. On his way to the showers Sabathia had to go all the way, gesturing towards the Rays dugout and calling them out...........

Did Phillies manager Gabe Kapler graduate with a degree in Business HR or something? As the season winds down he has reverted to a common job assessment process where a manager gets anonymously reviewed by their direct reports..............Sadly, while Kapler will probably be back next year, the guys he had fill out those surveys are pretty much smoked............

Oh this would have been fun. This is a great baseball story, that could have been even greater. Back in the 2016 AL WC game, the one where Orioles manager Buck Showalter infamously refused to use his absolute best weapon in bullpen ace Zach Britton, he being the only person in the entire Orioles organization to hold whatever opinion he was holding at the time, and then watch all of Baltimore implode from his bonehead, well, we had a hidden drama. Playing centerfield for Baltimore in that game was, of course, Adam Jones. Jones was screaming towards the bullpen between pitches at Zach Britton, urging Britton to ignore waiting for Showalter and put his own ass into the game! That would have been epic...........By the way, the Blue Jays went on to get smoked by Cleveland 4 games to 1 in the ALCS, and Cleveland would lose an extra-inning Game 7 to the Cubs. But Baltimore? Only a rainout last night has prevented the Orioles from having lost their 200th regular season game since that October night in 2016..........

I should write for SportsIllustrated. Or least get paid by them. Those were my MLB Award picks that I submitted on my IBWAA ballot..........Bovado, though, I think I can make some money there..........And I was pretty close to CBS, choosing Justin Verlander over Blake Snell. (But look at how far back Andujar is there from Ohtani. 3rd place!)

This is brilliantly fun, but mostly if you look at it as the tracker for 2019 June Draft slot jockeying. Forget the battle to the left, that’s the playoff teams and is more stable. Watch what happens around the .500 mark as teams rise and fall in draft slots...........

When you have an unbelievably mind-blowing season for the age, but play in the Mike Trout era, you need to have your own Thank-You-For-Participation Award..........

Khris Davis is absolutely a model of consistency............

Davis may be steady, but some weird things did happen this year throughout MLB. Here is ESPN’s list. Somebody remind me when we get to December to write an article where I name mine and you name yours..........

Bryce Harper dropping another hint about his future career choices?...........Which might the best option now for the Nats...........Either way, the story arc of his career has been a major bummer for a those east coast scribes who drooled at the thought of having a new Mickey Mantle playing in their time zone. Now those scribes are stuck at introspection..........

Publicly funded sports stadiums, “an unsustainable scam”. And that’s a quote from one of the elected officials involved.........

Um, I’m gonna side with the position that this is one of those examples that falls clearly on that broad, gray line. The Dodgers security team objected to a fan’s custom t-shirt. I agree with the woman’s statement about what she saw on other shirts. Those should have been shut down first but that failure can be explained by sheer ignorance on the part of the screeners. I, personally, would not object to the artwork on the woman’s t-shirt in any circumstance. But once you add in the text you are giving the artwork a very specific meaning that some people might find offensive. And I wouldn’t find it cool to be forced to explain that shirt to my kids as a consequence of walking back from the hot dog stand......But, all that said, now that I have some runway under me I now have a perfectly fine and snarky comeback in case I ever DO cross that particular t-shirt...........

Here is a fine example of why the careers of Minor League Baseball Players need a much better system of support. Without fair compensation, and without any leverage, Andrew Ely got totally hosed.............

(By the way, I am still standing by for Part Three of the FanGraphs Tanking Legality series. If it pops up today or over the weekend, I will update the links page here.)


Baseball Americana

Next up from my recent visit to the Baseball Americana exhibit at The Library of Congress is this tiny little book. According to the exhibit, it’s a reprint, not the original. They don’t say when this reprint was published, but it looks old as dirt. The important thing is that the original was published in 1744 in England, written by a John Newbery. The far more important thing is that “it marks the first American reference to baseball in print” (according to the display card). Abner Doubleday would not be born until 1819.


The Duffle Bag

Social Media is the worst, people. And it never, ever, forgives or forgets..........Also, Social Media is worthless as some matter of official record..........Jason Werth, pulled over for DUI, whips out his MLB Pro Baseball Player ID card, as in “don’t mess with me, man, I’m famous.” Hee Hee. I want to see one of those ID cards. Does it come with a secret decoder ring, too?..........Cubs fans have short memories. It appears as if they already forgot the lesson of The Bartman..........Remember, in baseball, it ain’t where it starts that counts. It’s where it ends up..........Bullpenning is a real thing, and the future, and just rolled back the game 35 years..........Thou Shalt Not Dump Gatorade Upon The Head Of Madison Bumgarner..........