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Thor’sLinks: Halos Beer Down, Craft A Sweep of Brewers

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Angels now hop a plane, head yeast to Chicago.

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Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

Boom! goes the broom. Whilst some on the masthead expected 3 L’s to Milwaukee, and others hoped for a single W, the home cooking worked wonders and the Angels won again, 4 to 2, sweeping the Brewers. Now with a 6-game winning streak, they zoom off for 3 against he Cubs and 3 against the Rangers. Then they are home for an 8-game home stand against the Mariners and Yankees. Everything is rosy in a winning streak, but I doubt that the Halos win every one of these upcoming 14 games. It’s still early in the season, so let’s just have fun with it.

It was a pretty good day for the AL West, which went 5-0. The Mariners, Astros and Angels have all won 6 straight, the A’s have won 2 in a row, and the Rangers won.

Ok, let’s get to it. Chow down on these Rolling-Over-Winter-Storm-Wesley-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Beware The Wesley. This winter storm will be bringing seriously cold weather to Chicago this weekend. As I type this the high temperature, for the entire weekend, is set to only be 51. Sunday is set for high 30’s and 100% chance of rain............Colorado is already getting snowed out..............

Beware Mike Trout. He clearly wants to play in Wrigley Field. I would, too. But although he is not too worried about his owie, the body plays extra tight in that kind of weather..........ANd, yes, I am not the only one who notices the niggling injuries that Mike imposes on his own body..............

Parker Bridwell’s career is looking more and more like LAA’s own little paddle ball. Orioles to Halos. Halos to Yankees. Yankees to Halos. Halos to A’s. And now back again, A’s to Halos. And every transaction I just typed has all happened within the past 2 calendar years (starting April 17th, 2017)..........

Andrew Heaney is making baby step progress. Still not expected until May-ish. That’s the same time frame as Shohei Ohtani...........

Surveying the job security of managers around MLB, you might think that Skipper Brad has 1st year immunity. Indeed, that is how he is ranked. But then read the footnote. “...if the Angels once again miss the playoffs, could spell doom, especially if he appears to have learned little from his unsuccessful Tigers tenure.”......Because, at the end of the day, Brad Ausmus is a middle manager..............


Everywhere In Baseball

It’s April, and Forbes released their annual MLB financial survey.....If you are a huge pro-union person, you are off and running with lots of opportunity for hand-wringing....I need to do a better job of being on record as pro player, and also of articulating my internal conniption fit whenever I read phrases such as “not enough room left in the budget”. I just get too clouded in my frustrations over Tony Clark. That said, these numbers don’t upset me as much as they seem to be doing with others. I am not a business finance major, but if Arte is only seeing a revenue of $330 million (the MLB average) and his team payroll is north of $160 million, that would put his payroll at about 50% of revenue, which is what the union wants. If his operating income is that $40 million MLB average, that means he would be paying about $120 million for everything else (Diablo complex, MiLB salaries, Front Office salaries, stadium operating expenses, AM830, etc.). At worse, one could look into whatever it is that Arte pays himself out of what’s left of that $120M, and make a case for why that should be going into the 40-man roster. But that’s far different than saying that because the Angels have a paper value that Forbes estimate at $1.9B, a paper valuation that keeps going up every year, Arte should have an every year player payroll of $250M.............

I always wonder. Is a team such as the Mariners just lucky that they hit a string of teams that are all struggling at the same time, making Seattle look much better than they are? Or is the a major reason why the string of teams that the Mariners are playing look to be struggling because Seattle really is as good as they look?....We are about to find out. Once the Mariners exit Kansas City, they take on (in order) Houston, Cleveland, the Angels, San Diego, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland again, and the Yankees. And that is before they face against the defending champs again, but this time in Boston after the Red Sox have finally had 16 games worth of home cooking...........

Not unexpectedly, MLB relievers don’t like the threat of Rob Manfred’s 3-batter minimum rule proposal. For one thing, it threatens their jobs. Not just in terms of roster slots, but in terms of bonus kickers for those relievers who even get the roster slots. For the record, so far Skipper Brad has already been implementing the rule. On only 2 occasions - April 1 and April 7 - has any reliever faced less than the 3-batter minimum. Both times it was Ty Buttrey, and both times it was to close out the inning anyway...........

So we are talking about bullpen arms. Craig Kimbrel is out of work, but teams are beginning to understand whether or not their roll of the dice to build a bullpen is working out. (Just look at the number of probable contenders with 2019 bullpens that have the higher ERAs.).....This means that it is looking better and better for Kimbrel to get the money he is asking.....Therefore, let’s discuss whether or not that asking price is justified............

Toronto needs to stash Baby Vlad for 15 days before calling him up to The Show in order to game his service time into controlling him an extra year. Seems silly to me, considering the new-found control tool of contract extensions and the inevitable new - and unknown - CBA. But it is what it is. Anyway, we are pretty much at that 15 day mark, and Vladdie Jr. is being returned from injury rehab to AAA. And as he is, Blue Jay management is trying to look all fan and player friendly by now promising to accelerate him up to the 25-man roster. How very progressive of them...........

People are starting to look hard at Chris Sale.....His velo has fallen off, so something is awry.....And Jeff Passan is now making the same arguments I was making last year. Chris Sale might merely be the canary in the mine concerning the corner that Boston has backed itself into. Luxury Tax already, youth on board now that will need to be paid to retain, no farm system worth warm spit..............

It always pleases me to see MLB dragged into the common courts of law, where at least we have the slightest chance of them not getting to behave like the 800 pound gorilla they are. Such it was with the judicial opinion concerning the MLB’s attempt to avoid arbitration so that MLB could left to decide for themselves whether or not MLB was colluding with itself. This step really has very little to do with the final final dispute and outcome, but it’s fun to see MLB doesn’t own the entire legal system..........

Part 1: the misadventures of Bo Schembechler, thinking that he was smarter than baseball..........

(Snicker! Snicker! Snicker!) Lenny Dykstra is filing suit against Ron Darling for libeling his (Snicker! Snicker!) sterling reputation............

Ah! We now have video of Chris Archer using pine tar. Again, not that anybody is gonna do anything about it...........

Some details from Angel Hernandez’ discrimination suit against MLB have been released. The best part, IMHO, would be the parts where Fernandez complains about being passed over for crew chief in spite of his obvious qualifications. I cannot bring to mind any umpire less accomplished..............

I swear. Mike Trout is out of the lineup and out of the news for one day, and immediately ESPN has forgotten all about what he has going on. “Real or not? Jose Altuve could be MVP again”.............


The Duffle Bag

My gut tells me this plate umpire is a cat person..............Baseball uniforms? Let’s go crazy!!.............Half the Braves couldn’t get it up..................Hmmm. That Tigers’ Players Only Broadcast idea? Game 1 of 17 was Tuesday. It...wasn’t...universally...accepted. That last guy has the bonafides.........MLB Food Fest tickets now on sale............Derek Jeter getting booed. He must be so confused...............