clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

MondoLinks: Trout Still MVP. Astros Still a Pestilence

New, 68 comments

We have a happy glow, and Houston will have a dark winter, well deserved

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

THE HOT CORNER

Well, here we are. Four days later and Mike Trout is still the Most Valuable Player of the American League. So I can stay happy about the state of baseball.

On the other hand, I need to send a Christmas card to the Asstros and thank them for steamrolling right over our franchise and claiming the crown as most scandalous team of the winter season. Getting busted for being so brazen in their sign stealing has taken over 90% of MLB news that is not hot stove related. I was worried that this was going to be the situation that we would be in once baseball news slowed significantly. The Skaggs - Eric Kay - LAA Front Office scandal is enough chum to feed a hungry media.

But the Asstros are brazen. Brazen enough to piss a lot of people off and put those lots of people into a hair-trigger state. Brazen enough, as I have been saying, to act in a totally-in-your-face manner when they would know that opposing players would be fully aware of what’s going on but do it anyway with a “what are you gonna do about it?” attitude. It’s what now makes A.J. Hinch look like a dick. Maybe they realized that they had found yet another angle of leverage. They could f&$k over any and all teams with impunity because they were doing so within that unwritten world where teams aren’t gonna snitch on one another because they all know that they all do it. So push on that code of silence until it gets them as much of an edge as possible.

I have already heard commentary on MLB radio from ex-players casting aspersion on Mike Fiers for ratting out the Asstros. Not because the Asstros are guilty, but because “this goes on with all 30 teams and always has”, and “it’s not as big a deal as it’s being made out to be”, and Fiers is not some innocent victim but actually a guy who enjoyed and benefited from this stuff and his whining is going to harm his own team.

This is the culture that protects this behavior and is happy to protect it and keep it within the community of players. We fans accept that such shit goes on all the time but that the players know how to protect and police themselves and keep things fair and even. The Asstros broke the unwritten contract by taking their bullshit behavior off the field of play. And they had gotten away with it because the they knew that the self-policing thing was impotent. They mocked it, openly. And then Mike Fiers broke the code and told the press what was going on and how they were doing it and the reaction is to toss Fiers into a trash can. Radio ex-jocks are dicks, too. They cannot self-police. This is why Rob Manfred needs to do it for them.


ANGELS

Yeah. We need a weekly Shohei Ohtani cartoon.................

Jo Adell did his part. A 1st inning home run.....A late inning diving catch to save the lead.....But Mexico ended up tying the game in the 9th, and then winning outright in the 10th inning. And now Team USA has to to fight their way into the Olympics via another qualifying tournament, the first one coming up in March in Arizona...............

MLB is targeting MiLB contraction. And The Burlington Bees and Orem Owlz are two teams among the 42 being targeted to be spun off from any MLB affiliation............

Gotta get something figured out on the stadium before December 31. Arte and Anaheim are starting up on it again. If the Angels don’t execute their current opt-out option by then they are locked in until 2029.............


HOT STOVE ACTION AND OTHER RUMORS

Yup. Scott Boras owns this offseason. And all of MLB and all of you and all of me are waiting on him.................

The Pirates finally tabbed their new General Manager: Ben Cherrington.....And this is handy, as the Pirates are the last MLB to peg a new manager...............

Yep. I would love a real 3B. I have wanted one for years and years. And Mike Moustakas would be a fantastic upgrade. He would obviously been far more productive than Zack Cozart has been. But two things. First, would Moustakas have taken the Cozart deal or was he holding out for a huge deal? And second, will there be enough money left over after upgrading the pitching staff to afford a Moustakas? And if the answer to both of those questions is “no”, then it ain’t our fault that Moustakas is still not getting the deal he, his agent, and his sports media fan club desire to see................

I’m not gonna get Noah Syndergaard. I will just chalk that up as me being far more imaginative and productive than Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen...................

Yokohama BayStars Post Yoshitomo Tsutsugo..........


BASEBALL THINGS IN GENERAL

Oh, how sweet! This Asstros sign stealing stench keeps getting smellier. Now we learn that the activity of sign stealing in Houston was so well organized and so fundamental that the Front Office was reaching out to their scouts and ordering them to find the best places to position their sign stealing apparatus. The guy in the Front Office doing the asking is Kevin Goldstein, Special Assistant to Jeffrey Luhnow himself, right up there next to Roger Clemens, and one-time Director of Scouting. Where does this Kevin Goldstein come from? He came from us Internet peoples............

In case any last Asstros fan had any residual doubts, Jomboy finds yet another nugget of evidence. Watch closely and ignore the players and you get to see THE laptop connection and THE table and THE trashcan and THE chair and a 1000 sunflower seed shells on the floor from hours of intense concentration.............Here is a guy, again NOT a player, tearing down the cheat station post-game. That’s a pretty nice sized monitor they were using............And the Internet finds yet another point of fact, that the Astros conveniently relocated their center field camera and centered it up to make sure it got as accurate a view of he catcher’s signalling as possible. Moving broadcast cameras is infrastructure shit. Team players don’t make calls on things that impact stadium infrastructure..............

The shit adds up. MLB can’t hide it. They now have to admit that the Astros were probably using some sign stealing methods in the recent ALCS versus the Yankees.........The hammer will have to come down. And wouldn’t it be interesting if that hammer was so thunderous that it snapped close the Astros window?............

Sign stealing conducted by the players themselves on the field of play ain’t such a bad thing. But that’s not what this is about and using tech is a different kettle of fish, one that does matter: “Winning baseball games via a technological arms race does more than harm pitchers, though— it changes the game irrevocably. Assume, for example, that the Tampa Bay Rays played the Minnesota Twins in a playoff series, where the two teams finished with identical records to 2019. If the Twins had a sign-stealing system more sophisticated than the Rays, they’d have a huge advantage by virtue of being the home team for more games in the playoff series, despite having played in a much weaker division. It’s a simple matter of fair play: if the visiting team can’t do it, the home team shouldn’t be able to do so either.”.............

But let’s get a grip. It’s still just sign stealing. By the Astros. This ain’t as if we discovered that the entirety of MLB was nothing more than pro wrestling. Punish the franchise hard but there’s no need for histrionics................But banning Jeffrey Luhnow for life would be kinda fun............

Rest In Peace, Vera Clemente, MLB ambassador and widow of Pirates legend Roberto Clemente.............


STUFF

Lordy lordy lordy, but EVERY baseball stadium needs to strive to be this beautiful. If Arte and Anaheim don’t build me one of those real quick I am abandoning y’all and moving to Boone, North Carolina...............Robinson Cano is a total soccer groupie at heart.............You know what? I live in SoCal. I’ll call San Fran “Frisco” if I want............