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TuesdoLinks: Angels Breaking Bad

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Hey. The WS Champion Red Sox are 1-4, too!

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Seattle Mariners Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

Last year MLB averaged about 2.297 home runs per game. Going into yesterday’s games the average for the first 54 games of the 2019 season was an astonishing 2.481. The Mariners, due in a small part to having more games and more AB’s, led all MLB with 15 HR’s. (They also were leading MLB in K’s and BB’s, making them the Week One Three True Outcome Kings of Baseball.)

We had stories about the Dodgers setting home run records, and Christian Yelich setting home run records, and Paul Goldschmidt hitting home run records. Bryce Harper’s first hit as a Philly went 465 feet.....Kole Calhoun(!) hit one 440 feet. (Pause. Anybody else notice the uber-improved resolution quality on MLB game video highlights???)...Nomar Mazara has already hit one 482 feet, tying him for 14th longest ever in the StatCast era. (For the curious, Giancarlo Stanton’s 504 foot blast on August 6th of the 2016 season against Chad Bettis remains the title holder.)

Strikeouts are on the rise, too.

This could be a very very long summer.

-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Yesterday was supposed to be about King Felix versus his Kryptonite: Mike Trout. That lasted about 5 minutes before Hernandez pegged Trout with a runaway fastball up and in, clunking Trout on the back of his left hand and every LA fan on planet Earth groaned at the prospect of losing Trout for 5 months from a broken hand. (I would show you, but for some reason MLB.com has removed the search tool from their video pages. Just another example of Manfred’s minions going out of their way to prevent us fans from marketing his sport and bringing eyeballs to his advertisers FOR FREE.)

Mike survived and after 30 minutes or so we exhaled. By then shiny new starter Chris Stratton had ruined everything anyway with a 4-run 1st inning. The remaining 2 hours and 50 minutes was spent being dragged to the inevitable. Angels lose, 6-3...........Funniest moment of the night (well, other than the top 4 in the LAA batting order going 0 for 15)? Seattle reliever Zac Rosscup intentionally walking Trout inn the 7th inning, with a 3-run lead, 2 outs, nobody on base.

Just read Ty Buttrey’s history of his pitching attempts to sustain some kind of breaking ball and wrap your head around how hard it is to be an effective MLB pitcher..........

Andrew Heaney is going to get a cortisone injection and then try to throw next week. But note the part where his CT scan reveals “chronic changes” to his elbow. Not the part where he has those “chronic changes”, but the part where that “chronic” part is considered “normal” for an MLB pitcher. Chronic is defined as “persisting for a long time or constantly recurring”. We can add this up as “pitching at the MLB level creates an injurious state of one’s pitching elbow that never goes away”. Bejeebus...........

You DO realize that, based on the production against the A’s over the weekend, this Bees lineup would have clocked the 25-man, right?..........

The IE 66’ers are having their FanFest today. 909’ers should take advantage..........

This is why I don’t care to be a stat tracker. Those people find the weirdest things to be interested in..........

Hey, what’s this? After this weekend we had the exact same 1-3 record as the Astros, and the Astros are power ranked at 6th while the Halos are only 24th??? That tells me that just as the observers feel that the Astros are going to get better, they don’t think anything of the sort about LAA..........

PSA: a reminder for those making plans to be at Angel Stadium Thursday. You will HAVE to be using your official phone app to get through the gate. My prediction is that this is going to flummox one hell of a lot of people, causing even longer lines than one would expect from the first home game of the season plus security theatrics. Plan accordingly.................


Everywhere In Baseball

Jeff Passan opens the door to meaningful research, most of which still needs to be done. But at least the door opens. MLB owners and Front Offices have stepped up and silenced a lot of critics by committing over a billion dollar in new money to MLBPA members. But a lot of that is in the term of early contract extensions. Sure, it looks like money of moving to youth, as we should expect as franchises wizen up, but in reality they are getting massive discounts on those players downstream. The unknown is how to quantify massive. Since the FA market itself is so in flux (Dallas Keuchel is still not signed???) it is not correct to assume that 2020 and 2021 and 2022 Free Agency markets will yield contracts similar to those a decade ago (adjusted for usual and customary rising curves)...........

Ex SBN writer Marc Normandin (now over at SBN-hating Deadspin, WTF?) goes further into laying out the basic planks for economic restructuring of player compensation. Arbitration + Service Time Manipulation + Higher Minimum Salary + Improved Minor League Pay. The problem there is that each of those would be earth-shattering concession by owners. Getting even one such concession would require some massive counter-concession from the players. An extra bus seat during Spring Training is not going to be sufficient. Getting rid of arbitration is the juiciest fruit that ownership has long coveted. If the MLBPA could be smart enough to build some form of totally new salary framework, one which also solves those other three planks, ownership might concede if they could drop arb..........

So if Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel sign some deal that gets them back into FA in November, would that be a 12 year deal?..........

Here is my takeaway from this: On September 30th Bryce Harper thought he would stay with the Nationals. Some time after December 4th, Bryce Harper knew he was not going to be sticking with the Nationals. What happened in between, during those 65 days? The Nationals signed Patrick Corbin. What did NOT happen in between? Scott Boras working hard to get Harper signed early..........

The Yankees are suffering an injury plague.....Add Giancarlo Stanton to the list.....Add Miguel Andujar to the list.....But don’t wait up for any tears from this dude...........

Each year, the Brewers figure out ways to get even more petty about Cubs fans. As we have known for years and years with Yankees and Red Sox and Mariners and A’s transplants, the best way to shut them up is to simply beat them on the field...........

MLB Food Fest comes to LA. (I like the wording in the Deadspin article to which I linked yesterday, calling all this stuff “stunt food”. Not unlike MiLB ‘stunt team names’.)......A lot of this stuff came out while I was on vacation and I didn’t notice if anybody else caught the stories. maybe you people don’t find it as amusing as I do...........

Last year only 5 MLB catchers with at least 100 AB’s hit as many as 20 home runs. That’s a lot better than 1008 or 1998, but that is part of a trend away from the peak of 2016. Part of that is catchers are not playing as many games each season. And with fewer games per catch, per year, the era of slugging catchers may be gone forever..........

The Royals are really fast. But they still suck. Maybe that just means they will lose quicker, and bring down the average MLB game time?..........

Great throw by A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano, which is hard to write about an Oakland player but, since the victim is a Red Sox player, it works. Too bad the umpiring crew AND the replay crew got the call wrong. So glad we have a system in place to get every call right!...........

If Padres SS prospect Javier Guerra can touch 100mph, I wonder how fast Andrelton Simmons could throw from the mound?..........But Guerra is going to give totally new meaning to the concept of being shamed by striking out against a position player..........

Because refusing to invest in modern security cameras of the quality that any household can install simply by clicking on Amazon, the Dodgers have been able to help the LAPD narrow down their search for the assailant in their latest parking lot violence to some guy driving a white SUV, which might be a Toyota, and might be a 4Runner. So the vehicle might be one of 30,000 such vehicles that exist within 5 miles of Dodger Stadium. Seriously. On your drive home tonight just take note of the percentage of white SUVs that share the road with you. Mine is a white Grand Cherokee, but I have an alibi.........

Rest In Peace, Greg Booker..........


The Duffle Bag

Kids are the best. Better even than puppies.........Sometimes it doesn’t matter about hiding your signs.................Since when did Padres fans become tough guys?..........Bryce can now officially afford a Harplet..........Bryce can also now afford full-page ads, but can he afford the kind of masterful marketing genius that would write such copy as to geld the boo birds?..........The best infographic I have seen this season so far, by far. The age curve in that right-most column is brilliantly informative. But...the Angels have 39 draftees playing somewhere on somebody’s 40-man this year? Really?.........(h/t reddit) Umpire fail of the decade..........Who needs to go to stadiums anymore? Unlike what you get via tech, the only thing a stadium has to offer about a game is, well, the game............Pretty boss move right there, lady baseball fan...........