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Thor’sLinks: Ground Crew Breaks Out Brooms Before Twins Can

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Nature rained on the field and the water refused to go anywhere.

Minnesota Twins v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
A guy with a broom. That solves everything.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Am I the only one who notices this?

Every year, with just a couple of weeks before the start of play in Angel Stadium (the final pre-season series with the Dodgers), the entire field area is completely covered in mountains of dirt, soaked to mud by winter rains, and pummeled by monster trucks, racing machines, motorcycles, etc. And then in just days the entire mess is cleared away, and the baseball field is laid down fresh, leveled, watered, mowed and made ready for baseball.

They can do all that. And yet, 20 minutes of rain that would be considered merely moderate to people in most every other part of the country, which falls on that now-pristine field at a time that gives the stadium crew 3 hours to deal with it, ends up leaving that same playing surface unusable. 2 hours before the early planned start time, and 3 hours before a normal start time, there is standing water on the outfield and no wet-vac in sight.

Standing water. Because when they rebuilt the playing field they failed to get the drainage right.

Game canceled for the night. Moved to today.

The problem, by my way of thinking and what I have stated in the past, is that hard rain is so infrequent around these parts during baseball season that there is almost no experience among the caretakers for building the field properly, and confirming that to be so, and then reacting with all the proper tools properly on the extremely rare moments when this happens. Everybody gets full credit for being such brilliant landscape managers because 99.99% of the time they work in ideal conditions.

Well, I got news for everyone. I have been trying to rebuild my backyard since November. I have been dealing with regular rain delays this whole time (normally crushing my plans on weekends when it seems to be raining most often). Our SoCal rainfall is already twice what it would be at this same time in the season and more is coming. Our temperatures this year are up to 10 degrees below average and not expected to return to normal until June. It might behoove the Angels to mandate forced internships for their ground crew members at places where MLB has an open-air stadium and it rains regularly at parts of the regular season.

Let’s get back to some Soaking-Wet-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Nobody is naming names, but Angels players were definitely unhappy with the move of the game to Thursday. They just lost their only day off for the next 3 weeks. 20 games in 20 days. Not playing yesterday does not constitute an off day............

Andrelton Simmons and his grade 3 ankle sprain...10-day IL times 9? Out for “8 to 12 weeks”??............

With Kevan Smith on concussion protocol (he’s a catcher, so don’t they first have to x-ray his skull and prove any contents?), the Angels have brought up Dustin Garneau to be Jonathan Lucroy’s backup.....Garneau is the very definition of a local boy.....and he will be wearing Maicer Izturis’ uni number..........

Trout: as accurate a t-shirt logo as anyone is ever gonna see..............

Justin Bour is our 2019 Jabari Blash SLC monster..........

Rubbing salt in our wounds, Minnesota sports writers have noticed that the Twins were very active in the off-season, and pulled all the right levers to beef up their roster, ending up the team with the best winning percentage in all of MLB, with the 20th highest payroll. And two of their names are none other than C.J. Cron and Blake Parker............


Everywhere In Baseball

As if Rob Manfred didn’t have enough to worry about with the whole Kyler Murray to NFL problem, seeing another North American sports enterprise purchase away one potential marquee player at a time he has admitted not knowing how to market Mike Trout. Now prospect Carter Stewart has paved a path away from a low-ball MLB franchise (Atlanta) and the MLB draft control by leveraging a sports enterprise on another country altogether (Japan). Just read about how much better Carter’s career options are, assuming that they pan out (which would be the same case in either country). Stewart makes lots more money now AND has a career path to lots more money, faster, than the normal MLB arb road..........More analysis here, with an emphasis on Scott Boras’ contributions...........

Lesson learned for the Nationals. When you are in the entertainment business and baseball is your product, the players are the content. When you have a gem, it’s better to keep that gem than keep your third yacht fully staffed...........

Congratulations, Instant Replay Fans, MLB has officially joined the NFL on that pernicious road to hell where we try to define/redefine what constitutes a catch now that reality can be measured in increments of 1/60th of a second...............

Think of the world of baseball this way: Across his first 9 seasons, 29-year old Eric Hosmer had generated 15.9 bWAR. Meanwhile, across HIS first 9 seasons, the then 30-year old Carlos Gonzalez had generated 24.6 bWAR. Since those age breaks, Hosmer is now sitting on a contract that will pay him $144 million through the age of 35, and has generated a feeble 1.4 bWAR. Gonzales has made only about $25 million since then, generated a slightly more feeble 0.1 bWAR, and is now completely out of work, the Cleveland Indians choosing to dump him and go with younger options. You keep doing you, Padres............

Well, whaddaya know! Bryant Gumbel is just as myopic in his old age as Murray Chass and Mitch Albom. Something must be in the waters of the sports journalism retirement home. Gumbel rails against modern information systems and how they are ruining baseball. And here I was just this week pointing out how if these codgers had embraced WAR 7 years ago, they would have had a better weather-vane indicating the brilliance of Mike Trout, and they could have been enjoying his brilliance all the way back then, not just in the last couple of years when his other numbers make it so obvious...........(For those who are newer to this, here is the Mitch Albom reference and here is a great Albom take down, and here is but one of the Murray Chass references.)..........

If I were Marcus Stroman, I would invoke the name of Rob Manfred and Manfred’s desire to speed up the game with pitch clocks and what not. My quick pitch would just be me doing my part..........

Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, is considering moving up start times for west coast games in order to improve east coast TV ratings. Now, let’s be real here. MLB is more regional than national and the weekly national regular season games DO start a couple of hours earlier than usual. But I raise this item to ask a question. How much of this is now driven by viewers at sports bars? Just a few decades ago sports bars and sports restaurants were not that common. Now we have sports TV’s in practically EVERY drinking establishment and there are multiple national chains of sports-themed eateries. Ratings system incorporate those eyeballs into their metrics. How much does the daily cycle for eating windows and social drinking windows impact on viewer ratings for west coast start times?..........

This is more Mets, but not at all The Three Stooges Mets that I have been covering this week. The Mets tried to partner with Yahoo! to build a private online community site and app for Mets fans, subscription-based. It’s still not running, but only because MLB took too long to figure out what was happening and intervened, forcing Yahoo! to play with all the other kids, too (the Angels being one of them) and handing out that moeny to everybody, including MLB.............

Well, I’ll be darned. Not EVERYTHING goes the Astros way these days. The White Sox handed them a triple play AND a grand slam in the same game..........

This won all my Internet yesterday. A deep dive into the history behind the 4-barrel Gatling gun t-shirt cannon..........The out links from that article are just as amazing, with the Cincinnati Reds “redzilla t-shirt cannon cart” being the bestest...........


The Duffle Bag

Bryce Harper gifting Cubs fans with a souvenir...NOT!...............(h/t reddit) Angel Hernandez may be a lot of things, but Doug Eddings he is not. Hernandez knows how to make a call IMMEDIATELY..........Now we know why Robinson Cano doesn’t like to hustle..........Revenge Of The Bunt! Rich Hill is not a fan.........Eugenio Suarez: very bad at situational awareness..........

OT, but only if one fails to see the simile with our recent bullpen performances. (h/t Deadspin)