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MondoLinks: Stinking up the AL West Stinkpile

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The Halos fail to take care of business, and it costs them.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Don’t blame this kid. He looked pretty good.
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

As a fan, I don’t ask for much. Going into the season I had no expectations that this roster would win the World Series. I wasn’t going to be putting any pressure on this team to do that. I didn’t expect them to win the Division, and I didn’t expect them to make the playoffs. On the high end, it was the hope that they would not get eliminated until September, just to keep things interesting for the season in a year that was part of the overall reboot.

That said, as a fan I do have my standards. And my standards are (1) don’t lose to Oakland, and (2) don’t lose to Seattle, and (3) don’t lose to Texas. Pretty much in that order. Losing to Texas is bad, but not as bad as losing to Seattle. Losing to Seattle is very bad, but heaven forbid you lose to Oakland. Do Not Lose To Oakland.

6 home games with only 2 wins. 4 losses. To Oakland AND Seattle. 2 losses to a Seattle team that was coming into Anaheim having been 11 and 30-fucking-8 after their ridiculous hot start. 11 and 38. Over a 162 season that would be a 36 win season. And those chumps outscored the Angels 18 runs to 17. In Anaheim.

The Angels are now 4-6 against Oakland so far, and 5-8 versus Seattle. That is simply unacceptable. And inexcusable. Flip those around and the Angels are 36 and 30 and sitting in the second Wild Card slot. Sweep those two teams so far and the Angels are tied with Houston for the AL West lead. In other words, just do your damned job and meet my minimum standards, and the rest of all your dreams will take care of themselves.

Onward we go with Road-Trip-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Jose Suarez did good. So that’s one...........

Tommy LaStella did good, too. In fact, LaStella did something kind of remarkable. So that’s two..........

Shohei Ohtani in the Home Run Derby? As long as he takes his LAA batting practice pitcher so that the world can watch him abuse outfield upper decks, I got no problem with it..........That muscle flex Saturday night after his home run? The baseball world noticed..........

That was Brad Ausmus’ first ejection as LA Angels manager. Kinda odd. If PITCHF/x is to be trusted, the calls while Suarez was on the mound were pretty fair (except for not giving him the very very bottom of the zone). Wade LeClerc was gifted a couple of high strikes to Mike Trout that inning (the MLB Pitch Track tool disagrees slightly with an outside pitch to Mike, which is why this stuff is alchemy still), but LeClerc would later have a couple of takeways, too......Trout himself knows that he is better at judging the strike zone than mere mortal umpires......If anything, Skipper Brad should have been upset about the Friday night fiasco of plate umpire Jerry Meals. Meals was setting up late and way off the catcher’s shoulder, and his calls were horrible...........

$$ - Mike Trout, Major League Scout..........

In case you missed this Friday, yet another historical review of how Mike Trout fell to the Halos in 2009. It’s never too many times to read about this. You are going to want to be able to recall all the details when you tell your grandchildren some day..........(Meanwhile, SportsIllustrated is still holding out hope for Their Chosen One, Bryce Harper.).........

Trevor Cahill to the IL. Soreness. Who is gonna prove otherwise? But it does make for some convenient roster churn.........And Matt Harvey ain’t coming back any time soon...........Andrelton Simmons won’t be back until after the All-Star break..........Which is the same with Justin Upton. None too son, either, what with Brain Goodwin turning back into a pumpkin.........

Weekly Mike Trout Career WAR Perp Walk. It’s been a while since I have had the chance to do one of these. Memorial Day, my PTO, and here we are. In that time Mike has started to heat back up. As of this writing he has chased down Cody Bellinger and is now tied atop the MLB fWAR leaderboard (4.5 fWAR). That has paid off on the bWAR Career leaderboard. He has passed up the entire careers of - GET THIS!: THE Ernie Banks, Kevin Brown, Fred Clarke, THE Ryne Sandberg, Graig Nettles, THE Kenny Lofton, THE Carl Hubbell, THE Jim Palmer, THE Edgar Martinez, (back out in front of Zack Greinke again), THE Carlton Fisk, Ivan Rodriguez and THE Eddie Murray. None of those guys played in less than 16 seasons. Trout is only in his 9th. He has not even played the equivalent of 7 full seasons of baseball games..............


Everywhere In Baseball

David Ortiz was shot and wounded yesterday during a burglary attempt in the Dominican Republic............

That was pretty cool on Saturday to watch the Angels go back-to-back-to-back home runs. Three home runs in a row is pretty rare......$$ - the third one, Ohtani’s, was the highlight of a long-awaited matchup of Japanese stars.....The MLB record is 4 in a row. So that should have been the MLB HR highlight of the weekend, right? Wrong. The very next afternoon the Nationals went back-to-back-to-back-to-back. First in that series? Howie Kendrick...........

Eloy Jimenez with a 471 foot home run in Kauffman Stadium, almost hitting the centerfield scoreboard!..........(Tied for 9th overall in distance this season.)..........

Max Muncy opened Sunday against Madison Bumgarner by taking him to the San Francisco Bay. MadBum did not take kindly to the results of his own boneheaded pitch, barking at Muncy for Muncy’s failure to apologize for hitting it so far.....Muncy’s classic response: “If you don’t want me to watch the ball, you can get it out of the ocean.”..........

The Yankees, having lost out to the Atlanta Braves in the Dallas Keuchel facial hair contest, are pivoting to the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman.............

The Keuchel post-draft signing (and Craig Kimbrel) have me a little confused. Honestly. A lot of hand-wringing is pointing to how the compensation system hammered these free agents and their chances for a fair competitive bidding war to bless them with gazillions of dollars. And waiting until after the draft is an inarguable confirmation of the point. But look closely at that linked article. There are a lot of teams in need of a starting pitcher, teams with real playoff potential (Boston, Milwaukee), which would not have much of any compensation penalties and yet still did not pursue either of these guys............

Pitching performance of the year would be Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker throwing a complete game no-hitter, striking out 19 Duke hitters along the way in a do-or-die Super Regional game. Rocker is a freshman. 20 bucks says somebody now has him high on their 2020 June Draft radar already............

Fans jumping out of the stands just to meet players? If this is the future generation that Rob Manfred wants to connect to, maybe we do need netting all the way around the playing field..........

$$ - The Angels are only kinda unlucky when it comes to how the balls are bouncing this season. Most teams are luckier, but there are teams far more unlucky..........

Over in Basketball Land, ex-NBA star Jalen Rose has some interesting thoughts about The Information Age of Sports. He ain’t against analytics as a tool, but he really feels that we are losing a proper perspective on context............

Mike Moustakas won a random lucky fan a Toyota Rav4. With a dent in it already..........

TheHardballTimes gets a new editor. I hope she has an impact. I don’t seem to link to much of their stuff anymore..........

In other media news, Dish Network and DirecTV are once again talking about merging..........The Yankees, having reclaimed YES Network, are looking to expand into YES Radio..........The Athletic has lots more money, from lots more people with money who think that The Athletic is going to be a winning investment that will make lots of money...........

Rest In Peace, Frank Lucchesi..........


The Duffle Bag

And they don’t stop coming and they don’t stop coming and they don’t stop coming and they don’t stop coming and............Seriously bad job by Angel fan defending his territory..........As bad as the umpiring was over the weekend in Anaheim, it can’t hold a candle to what Mike Winters did on behalf of the Rockies Saturday night..........And Mike Winters might not have been the worst plate umpire of the week. Because we still have Angel Hernandez..........Brett Gardner takes out his stupidity on his batting helmet. Mr. Batting Helmet ain’t going to be accepting any of the blame..........Pele would be very pleased with this demonstration of team skill..........