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MondoLinks: Ranging into Texas

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The Angels take their improving 2019 season to Arlington

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Chicago Cubs
Because I don’t do Noe nearly enough
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

As predicted back in the middle of last week, there was s’no baseball in Wrigley yesterday. They have yet to announce a make-up date because, as was also written last week, that’s gonna be hard. As H.T. Ennis and I are predicting (from Friday’s Links), it will either be August 26th or September 23rd. We knew all the way back on Friday. Let’s see how long it takes MLB to catch up to us. But, hey, at least the snow gave us all the chance to watch some golf history.

Just one personal observation from over the weekend. That whole Kyle Schwarber thing. Have you ever noticed that a baseball player gets even more wild and aggressive once they know that there is somebody to hold them back and prevent any actual confrontation? And the more guys in place to hold a mad dude back, the more the dude gets to act mad? In Schwarber’s case, he was doing a misdirection away from the embarrassment of being fooled so bad and getting called on it to be tabbed the goat. So he had his motivations. But as soon as Javy Baez jumped in his path Schwarber had all kinds of fun............

And off we go with some Strangle-The-stRangers-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Some things never change. That niggling little groin ouchie that removed Mike Trout from the game back on the 9th, just as a precaution, because -sit-out-the-10th-but-be-back-for-the-12th. Then it morphed into stay-home-on-the-12th-for-another test-but-in-Chicago-for-the-13th. We knew it was a lie. We are at that Mike-flying-to-Texas-but-no-promise-he-can-play-on-the-15th. This is how LAA gets a player to “day-to-day”...........Even still, with Trevor Cahill facing off against Shelby Miller tonight, I like our chances............

Players get hot and players get cold and in between players just are who they are. Mike Trout is different, because who Mike is has always been much better than even most other players’ hot streaks. But Trout does have his hot streaks.....Bryce Harper is also different, because Bryce’s hot streaks are far better than those of almost any other player today.....Both Trout and Harper are playing as contemporaries, and we can play a game. What about when Trout is on a hot streak AND Harper is on a hot streak at the same time? What do their combined peaks look like?...........

Read the thought process behind Andrelton Simmons’s game-changing play against the Brewers last week. A lot is going on there in those couple of seconds............

The future looks bright............

Am I seeing this right? The Halos are the only MLB team that will have a Father’s Day cap this year which is not all blue?............

Weekly Mike Trout Career WAR Perp Walk. Starting from the start of this season (since BBR didn’t release this season’s Player Value data until last Wednesday) Mike passed up the following MLB players in career bWAR: Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Willie McCovey, Reggie Smith, Andre Dawson, Zack Greinke, Chase Utley, Craig Biggio, Ed Walsh, Amos Rusie, Willie Randolph, Luis Tiant...Sitting out the balance of the week with a groin injury moved the new names out a week.


Everywhere In Baseball

Today is Jackie Robinson Day in MLB. Everybody wears #42 in honor of his memory. While we are here, it’s interesting to note that there were #42s before Robinson hit MLB, and others wore the number before MLB retired it. The full list is here, and there are some damned good players there in the company of Jackie Robinson............

The Reds and Cards just completed a 2-game series in Monterrey, Mexico.....With a St. Louis win yesterday, the teams split the series.....While there, MLB did some youth outreach. Always a good thing............

Ron Darling got some bad news, and in a hurry. He is checking out of the limelight for the time being and undergoing surgery to have some sort of large mass removed from his chest............

I noted last week that Skipper Brad was already operating under the 3-batter minimum rule for his bullpen (I have not looked at the games since, so things might have changed). Cliff Corcoran over at The Athletic looks at how MLB overall is rolling everywhere and how the proposed rule might impact that. If you don’t have a subscription, here is the important point: “Yes, it might eliminate one [pitching change] every 13 games or so, reducing the average time of game by less than 10 seconds, but most of those mid-inning changes will merely be delayed until after the pitcher in question gives up a game-changing hit or walks in a crucial run.”...........

We (well, certainly I) have spent gobs of words pointing out that the player salary market has changed, and in ways that are not as insane or player-antagonistic as other scribes and the PLayers’ Union would want us to believe. Some of it IS troubling, but some of it is perfectly rational. It’s not all evil. The ongoing saga of Craig Kimbrell and Dallas Keuchel remaining unsigned sits in one of the hot spots for this change. A decade ago the world of baseball would have looked back at Keuchel’s peak and begged him to sign, hoping that 2018 was an anomaly and he would get it all back for 3 or 4 seasons. And a decade ago Kimbrell as The Closer would have had teams lined up with suitcases of cash. It ain’t a decade ago. Teams are fleeing from emotional buying. Both of these guys want to insist that they can defy the current economics and roll back the clock. I applaud them for their confidence. For his part, Keuchel might be cracking.....Kimbrell still thinks he is a $15 million per year dude, but at least he is pulling back to only 3 years. So, yeah, Kimbrell is lowering his price..........

Any comparative way you slice it, Ozzie Albies signed a pretty raw deal. Riffing on the paragraph above, Albies’ deal is bad even by prior player contract standards............

Do want to see just how far ahead of the union are the MLB Front Offices when it comes to these contract extensions? Just look at how tall the right-most column is in this article from FiveThirtyEight............

Putting up “Power Rankings” early in any season is just asking to look stupid. Am I supposed to respect this kind of shit just because it’s courageous or something?.............Except maybe for the Rockies. They might have something to worry about. #22 out of 30 might be kinda high..............

Ok, Chris Davis took himself off the hitless radar over the weekend. Zack Cozart did the same. Now all we got to have fun with is following the...er...uh...race between these two as the season goes along..............

Sean Newcomb is not doing well to start out 2019. He is being sent down to work on some stuff.........He and that 1.865 WHIP, and that 4.38 ERA in the National League..............

This is a long article, but the topic is complex. It is about MLB putting their fingers deep into the arbitration pie when teams and players enter into the hearing process. I was unaware that this was going on until recently, and my first reaction had my jaw on the floor. Just so much about that seems bad to me. Well, at a sheer technical level not so much. But certainly enough fishiness, and growing more so every year, that the MLBPA needs to grow a pair and disrupt this practice going forward............

Be inspired. Mildly autistic Duncan Taylor became so frustrated with the world denying him his baseball dreams, he created a dream baseball league of his own. Alternative Baseball is a great reminder of how the game can connect us all...........


The Duffle Bag

Someday all drones made available for sale in America will be required by the FAA to carry a fail-safe override that will force them to land. And episodes like this will be used as exhibits for justification...........You keep rolling, there, Maybelle Blair! Baseball is in your blood...........The home run plague has spread to AAA...........We always point to how shitty parents can be in youth sports. Coaches can be shitty, too. My brothers and I got our stories.............Leave it to Minnesota to know how to properly deal with snow on a baseball field. Logs burning in the fireplace for the grounds crew!.........The reason that a Manny Machado play like this is so unbelievable to today’s viewers, is because most of us yesterday’s viewers who saw Brooks Robinson do this every day are dead...........The Giants and Rockies and Seagulls had themselves a wild Friday night.....And it all ends with an Instant Replay delay at home plate......

OT: Well, Isreal, at least you got there. That’s pretty damn great by itself. But the next time make sure you send a cleanup ‘bot...........