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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Halos Visiting Nutty Uncle Cubbie

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LA Angels reconnect with one the roots of the family tree.

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Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

For the unaware, the Angels and Cubs have deep family ties.

The brand and copyright that remains The Los Angeles Angels was born way back in 1901, 116 years ago. (Technically, the franchise had that name in 1893 but they moved off that name for nearly a decade.) In 1921 William Wrigley purchased the PCL franchise, built them a NEW park that he opened in 1926 as “Wrigley Field” (located here). The National League Cubs back in Chicago were playing in a stadium known as “Cubs Park”, which would not be renamed “Wrigley Field” until the 1927 season. Yep, you read that right and you know what that means. Also, the very first pro baseball game played in Wrigley Field was between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels

Fast forward 30 years. It’s 1957 and 2 years earlier Walter O’Malley had lost his political battle to build a new stadium in Brooklyn, so he carpetbagged his way to LA. By that time the Pacific Coast League was a mere step or two away from becoming the official third League of Major League Baseball. They had the fans, the player talent was just as strong, but they didn’t have ownership with sufficient financial strength. O’Malley brought the National League west and halted that dying plan. He brought player talent and financial strength, but he still needed to win fans over to his side. His solution? Buy out and move the Angels, the local favorite, far away.

O’Malley purchased the franchise from Bill Wrigley, pocketed the copyright and brand (except the cap logo, which he white-washed to Dodger colors and slapped on his own caps to replace the “B”), and then moved the players, coaches and equipment out of LA and off to Spokane, Washington. (After decades of being bounced around, that franchise still exists today as the El Paso Chihuahas, the AAA affiliate of the Padres.)

Gene Autry purchased back from O’Malley what copyright and branding was still intact from the PCL franchise, restored a Los Angeles Angels franchise to SoCal, and promptly moved into the original Wrigley Field for his inaugural season.

Our paths would not cross again until 2004, when the Angels and Cubs first met in a regular season interleague series. They would compete again in 2010, 2013 and 2016. The overall head-to-head record is currently 5 wins and 9 losses, mostly due to being swept all 4 games in 2016.

And here we are again. A family reunion, of sorts. A weekend with crazy uncle Cubbie. Maybe 3 games. I expect a cold and windy game tonight, a less cold and slightly more sunny game on Saturday, and a Sunday rain out. How they would make up that rain out eludes me. Should be fun.

Now you are smarter.

Use that wisdom wisely as you deal with these Windy-City-Weekend-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

It took the LAA social media maven too long to do it (this is how MLB was originally forced to share it), but in response to popular demand here is the glorious Hansel Robles entrance video...........

If we want to get Mike Trout to a 15 fWAR season, he has to play at least 155 games. Let’s start there...........

Andrelton Simmons Porn.............

It sounds like Shohei Ohtani is about to be cleared to face live pitching. One last doctor visit remaining.........

Zack Cozart is rapidly becoming our Chris Davis. And everybody wants to help...........(And Chris Davis has just become notoriously sad.)..........

Jaime Barria does not bat. So Jaime Barria does not get to go to Wrigley Field...........

The FanGraphs crowd sourcing came to the conclusion that Mike Trout left about $80 million on the table..........

If you are a Fantasy player, sadly, this week’s top advice includes fleeing from Matt Harvey and Kole Calhoun...........

Rest In Peace, Scott Sanderson..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Ozzie Albies hosed himself. The Braves 2018 All-Star 2B, who ranks up there with the likes of guys such as Jose Altuve and Javy Baez, just got conned by the Braves and his own agents into signing a 7-years, $35 million contract. The deal includes 2 additional option years where the club pays $7MM each if they keep him, or $4MM if they do not. So, the Braves have been gifted one of the best young 2B’s in baseball for a max of $45MM over 9 seasons, when Albies hits 31-years of age. That could be as much as a $200MM underpay. As others have pointed out, Mike Trout will be making $35MM every year during that time.....Keith Law is publicly gobsmacked.....FanGraphs gives the bloody math, and you can see there we are talking about a guy who projects to multiple 5 fWAR seasons.....It’s such an underpay, that not even other MLB executives can believe it. But Kiley McDaniel has an insightful tidbit: the agencies of both Acuna and Albies might have been fearful of losing their clients before they hit Free Agency, leaving them with nothing but their arbitration payouts (nothing to sneeze at). So they convinced their clients to take the deal in order to ensure that they got paid themselves. If true, isn’t this one reason that the Player’s Union exists in the first place, to make sure that union members are getting good representation from agencies?..............Considering what the braves have been doing on the real estate front, now with Acuna and Albies they are going to win all the secret MLB profit awards...........

Here comes Clayton Kershaw..........

In this SI podcast, slew all the way over to the 50 minute mark and start listening. Some very good insight there, starting with Mike Trout as a celebrity.

Sam Miller walks us through the looking glass of pitcher/position player swaps, which is a fun, modern, occasional occurrence...........

Sonny Gray, having escaped the hell of the Yankees, was off to a stellar 2019 with the Cincinnati Reds. 9+ innings, 2.90 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 170 ERA+. Good stuff. I was getting envious. He went out yesterday was rolling through the Marlins, 4 innings and only 2 hits and 0 walks against 6 K’s and no runs allowed. This was starting to look too good to be true. i was going to pimp him up for today. Then he got injured on a comebacker is uncertain for at least one start. And I remembered that Gray has only pitched more than 200 innings twice in his career. So I have to sit down and wait it all out for a few more weeks...........

Khris Davis is starting to raise my smell-o-meter..........

Robo Ump technology is being pushed back again. The testing in The Atlantic League is postponed and will later be phased in gradually. Still not ready for prime time.........

The Phillies will be getting the 2026 All-Star Game. 2026 - 1776 = 250. That’s the reason. 1776. It has nothing to do with the lovely July weather in Pennsylvania.........

I give Eric Thames my full and uninhibited permission to proceed with getting his game back together. Because now we are done with the Brewers in 2019..........

Luke Heimlich has finally made it out onto a pro baseball field. It’s still really complicated and I expect a paper trail wherever his career takes him..........

Tim Tebow’s life in the Minors is NOT like everybody else’s life in the Minors. We should get that out of the way right now..........

This is so cute. A couple of Congressmen wish to inspect the potential of MLB and anti-competitive behavior. They want to look into MLB possibly buying up the Disney RSNs. This would be the same Congress that protects MLB’s anti-trust exemption. This would be the same Congress that granted MLB the right to hold MiLB employees in indentured servitude. And this is the same MLB that charges around the country acting as if they are their own Department of Justice, and nobody in that Congress cares to do anything about that..........

Something that Congress might want to take a look at is Charter Communications already declaring that they are not going to carry the RSNs and it matters not who buys them. As if MLB blackout rules are not draconian enough, we have one of the largest cable pathways into American homes telling the world that broadcasts for local baseball will not be happening............


The Duffle Bag

MLB teams values are rising, but for the first time the average is less than the average NBA franchise. Good job, Rob Manfred............Good for you, Juan Soto. Don’t let bobblehead makers turn you into anything you are not..........Joe Harvey made his MLB debut. His dad was in the stands. His dad got interviewed. His dad loves his beer..........A sad way for baseball to kill a guy..........Aaron Judge vs. Jose Altuve will never get old..........