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HumpLinks: Wing It Home While We Still Got Feathers

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The Angels left their game in Tempe. I blame it on a lack of tacos. They need to get back to Anaheim.

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

Well THAT was an exciting road trip. Glad it’s over. It’s bad enough to lose, but to lose to Oakland and Seattle really stings us Halo fans. Why don’t these guys get that? Go ahead and lose 5 games to the Padres. Or the Brewers. The Brewers are nice folk. But NOT to the A’s, and NOT to the Mariners. NOT to a Mariners team that Jerry Dipoto imploded on purpose as he tries to lose. Players come and players go but we gotta live we these A’s and M’s fans forever.

As I wrote yesterday, we went into Tuesday’s games tied in the 2019 standings with the defending WS Champions. So in the long view, even now we are still in good company. The other teams with only 1 run are the Red Sox, Nationals, Cubs, Braves, Pirates, Reds and White Sox. Three of those were playoff teams last year. The favored Astros have only 2 wins. We need to follow their lead, and chillax.

Roll on with A-Day-Of-Restful-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Back in August of 2017 we traded away a starting pitching prospect, Grayson Long, to the Tigers for Justin Upton. For the most part, the loss of Long was met with ‘meh’ here on HH (not so from FireMike, who bemoaned the loss of “a AA stud with upside”). Well, the results are in. As injured as Upton is now, Long’s injury history was far worse and he has retired, never having made it out of MiLB ball.................

Brad Ausmus on Chris Stratton’s first outing. In summary: “Except for when he pitched like crap, he didn’t pitch like crap.”..........

You have two of MLB’s speediest baserunners (Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos) on your team. You have a couple of other guys (Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani) who stole double-digit bases last year. And, of all people, we have Albert Pujols tagged as the Angels ‘best baserunner’..........

Mike Trout is a very good guy..............

Why is our home opener NOT sold out yet?..........

Angel Stadium is NOT into ‘stunt’ food. But why no Impossible Burger?..........

Something that I never would have predicted. The Burlington Bees were supposed to open on the road road against the Quad Cities River Bandits. But the game has been moved to Burlington, Iowa because the Mississippi river flooded so much that the River Bandits(!) can’t get food and beverage supplies into the stadium, while a local railroad had already made enough anti-flood improvements that they can keep right on operating during the flood, blocking the installation of a pedestrian bridge over the floods for the potential fans...........


Everywhere In Baseball

Add Ronald Acuna to the Youth Shall Be Served movement.....Just keep in mind that what Acuna got served is actually a series of tapas dishes, not a full-on gourmet feast. Better than a Happy Meal, but..........

Acuna is a fabulous ballplayer, almost certain to entertain thoughts of a HoF-caliber career. Wouldn’t it be great to steal away whoever it was that scouted and signed him? Sure it would! Well, guess what. That guy can’t get a job..........

Also on the same Movement, the Blue Jays have extended Randal Grichuk..........And the Rockies have extended Germán Márquez..........

Department of What Took So Long has new membership cards to issue. The Blue Jays traded away Kevin Pillar to the Giants, calling quits on 2019 after only 3 losses.....Pillar was quite emotional about it.....The Blue Jays then turned around and traded away a prospect to San Diego for the Padres outfielder Socrates Brito. If I were Brito, moving from the city of San Diego and a team on the fast rise, to the city of Toronto and a team just starting to crunch through a rebuild, I would be far more than just emotional.....The Padres were not done. They also sent pitcher Diomar Lopez to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitcher Matt Wisler.....Not to be left out, the Orioles and Royals made another trade. Baltimore catcher Andrew Susac went to Kansas City for cash......But the grand total here are 5 MLB teams active in the roster reconstruction business (plus one dealing cash) while still in their first week of the season..........

We got ourselves a dust up! Ron Darling has written a new book and is doing the interview rounds. In the book, he accuses Lenny Dykstra of shouting out racial slurs at Earl ‘Oil Can’ Boyd before Dykstra took his at bat.....Dykstra has come back swinging, claiming that he has been libeled and is considering a defamation suit.....Darling is standing by his accusation.....Nobody has verified Darling’s take, and anybody who was playing in the game and has said anything have denied it, but that is not causing Darling to step away from his claim..........Lenny Dykstra, by the way, has a long history of asshattery.....One that continues to this day. He is not going to get any benefit of doubt from the public.........

Sorry baseball fans everywhere else. But if Mike Trout had not signed his lifetime deal with Arte and ended up in Philly, I would not have booed him. Ever. And I would only have cheered his striking out if it happened for the benefit of the Halos in the Word Series...........

Long ago, in an era now far, far away, my older brothers built up an 100% complete set of Topps 1961 MLB baseball cards. Not the best of years to collect, but it did have the Carl Yastrzemski rookie card. (Had they waited and picked 1962 they would have had the Jim Fregosi rookie card!) Well, that had been an epic labor of love. At the time I thought baseball cards were important. Then the family moved to Orange County and that collection got lost in the move. Their frustration was palpable. My takeaway from that frustration was that baseball cards were stupid. What the hell else was I to think? I was only 6 years old! I realize now that baseball card collecting is not stupid, but outside of clipping them to bicycle spokes they never had any value to me, personally. I am probably the poorer for that. The universe has legions of great human interest tales surrounding nothing more than baseball cards. This is one of those................

Yes, indeed. The umpires did botch the call - and the review of the call - at the plate in the Oakland/Boston game the other night. Not a good look for the instant replay system so early in a season..........

“Inexplicable” means unable to explain or account for. So when a story claims that A’s starting pitchers have been inexplicably great through one rotation cycle, I call a balk. 4 of those games were against the Halos. the Halos showed in Seattle that poor offensive output right now is no fluke. That means I can totally account for the A’s great starting pitching results...........

Orioles pitcher David Hess was 8 outs away from a no-hitter. He had a 6-run lead. He had allowed only 1 batter to reach 1st base. He had thrown only 82 pitches. His velocity was still reaching the 95mph range. It was only his 20th start ever, and it was only his 2nd appearance of the season, and only his 1st start of 2019. He is only 25 years old. The only way that all this adds up (youth + freshness + performance + the chance of a lifetime to make history) is to go out there and pull him. And that is what Orioles manager Brandon Hyde did. Sure, Hess made a relief appearance just three days prior and tossed 42 pitches then so there was probably a pre-plan in place. But teams just don’t care anymore about setting aside their data-driven machines even in the face of historic opportunity. Of course, had the Orioles spent a nickel or two on some offseason pitching maybe Hess wouldn’t have had to pitch in relief the other day and he would have his moment in history now. Luckily, the Orioles held off the Blue Jays 6-5 to keep the win. Barely.............

Former long-time Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox is not doing well...........

Something I have always found interesting is that SLG credits a batter more for doing things such reaching second base than just reaching first base, without taking into consideration any of the contextual risk involved. Stopping at first base and then stealing second base is the same result, as quickly as 1 pitch later, but stealing a base is loaded with all kinds of analytical insight and the general consensus is that the risks can tend to outweigh the rewards. Thus, we have the potential for two equal outcomes with two equal amounts of risk, but one of the methods for that outcome imposes far more inspection than the other. All this to suggest that we need to steal more bases..........

Science is just so cool. Especially when applied to baseball. I love love love the infrared Albert Pujols toe moment!!.........

This may be pretty obscure in 2019, but it might lead to bigger things down the road, so let’s create a marker in history. DAZN is selling off some of their sports betting stats assets (pretty good timing on that considering the rise in legalized sports betting in the US). They plan to use proceeds to expand their ability to purchase more sports streaming rights.....Now pivot over to this other DAZN story published yesterday, which includes a note that DAZN is going to launch a nightly baseball show. Hmmm? Isn’t this the very hole created by ESPN recently? It would be nice to see a new content pathway beef up to engage baseball more heavily..........For the curious, streaming sports packages are not cheap. Keep in mind that those prices are on top of the basic internet access fees and all the communications taxes.


The Duffle Bag

For a brief moment in time, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser realized that baseball is supposed to be fun.................The bloom fell off the rose of Opening Day in Cincinnati pretty quickly. Just look at their opening home stand attendance numbers!.........Ballpark Food Post of the Day: Santa Claus Burger..........Of course a pyramid of beer cans would involve Cubs fans..........(h/t Brent Maguire)...Now THIS is the way to bring super heroes into your promo schedule!..........