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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Let’s Play The Cards We’re Dealt

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After losing the finale in Toronto, all eyes turn to the Angels and Cardinals as Prince Albert returns.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

There are few things worse for a baseball fan than their team on the road in a tie game as of the 8th inning. The home team can just sit back and wait things out, as any tiny bit of fortune will immediately end the affair in their favor. The burden of pressure falls entirely upon the visiting team.

Worse, if the teams fail to resolve things soon enough, bullpens get burned to the ground and the teams can suffer for a game or two into the future.

Luckily, Ty Buttrey took care of both issues in a big hurry last night. Entering the bottom of the 10th in place of Hansel Robles, with the game 5-5, Buttrey didn’t waste any time. On his third pitch to Randal Grichuk he gave up a single and put the winning run on base. With the very next batter, on his second pitch to Billy McKinney he feasted up a lovely 84mph meatball to the heart of the plate. 405 feet later everybody got to go home (note the “routes” that the defense took on that fly ball!).

Blue Jays win a walk-off, 7-5. 5 wins and 3 losses on the current road trip with 3 games to go - all in St. Louis. 7-3 over the last 10 games. 38-38 overall.

Take a deep breath. We got a ton of Mike-Trout-Who?-Weekend-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

All-Star first-round voting ends today. 1PM PDT. A week from today the lineups will be announced. In between will be other oddball voting things but I am too occupied to track that down in advance. I will link to it as it comes...........

This weekend is all about Albert Pujols returning to play in St. Louis for the first time since he joined the Angels.............

Cards fans can finally set aside all that residual bitterness now that they see what has become of him, and what that would have cost them, and just give Pujols all that love they want to shower upon their memories of him...........

And Pujols is just fine with that............

The Sunday game is the Sunday Night Baseball event..............

Robo-Simba slipped a washer or something. He’s incredibly accelerated recovery cycle from his grade one million ankle sprain has hit a snag and he was caught limping. So probably no St. Louis..........

That Mike Trout leading the AL in nearly every category thing went “newsy viral” yesterday. I was tripping over it all over the Internet doing my harvesting.............Even MLB ended up getting in the act..........If only he were leading in Batting Average, though. That would be a sign that Trout is a pretty good ballplayer instead of all these newfangled modern triple crowns...........He can catch baseballs, too............

Walk Mike Trout with the bases loaded? Ala Barry Bonds?? With Shohei Ohtani/Justin Upton/Albert Pujols/Kole Calhoun/Tommy La Stella/Luis ‘Bomberman’ Rengifo hitting in some sequence right afterwards?.....On the one hand it makes sense. No batter in the history of baseball has enjoyed an OPS as high as Trout has with the bases loaded. So it’s a thought...but...nah............And besides, putting Mike Trout on base only enables him to cause you headaches in all sorts of ways..........

So what that I just won the NBA Championship?! Shhhh! Mike Trout is stepping into the batter’s box..........

Tim Mead may now be the Prez of the Baseball Hall Of Fame, but his heart still follows and pulls for the Halos (this is his RT)..........($$) And this is the article that Mead was pointing to. Ken Rosenthal spends multiple paragraphs forecasting positive vibes for the Angels franchise............


Everywhere In Baseball

Another thing that went “newsy viral” would be the term “Ex-Rays”. This was the obvious response to the silly announcement that MLB has given permission for the Tampa Bay Rays to investigate playing half their home games in Montreal some time in the near future. (Why wouldn’t the Players’ Union also have to give permission?) This is kinda like an “of Los Angeles” gambit. The Rays are tied to St. Petersburg contractually and St. Petersburg ain’t letting them go even one second before that contract expires. So, technically, playing some number of their allotted 81 home games elsewhere is not actually moving, as long as the balance of those games is played in Tampa. But that contract with St. Petersburg doesn’t allow for such shenanigans and the St. Pete Mayor ain’t falling for it. What’s the difference with the proposed plan than saying that they play their home games in Montreal, but are exploring the idea of playing half those home games in Tampa? As long as the name, branding, logos and uniforms don’t change, what’s the difference? It’s a dumb idea that ain’t going to go anywhere, but we could have had The Tampa Bay Rays of Montreal. Not even the same country..........

The Mets, who are not in the bottom 3rd throughout MLB in team pitching ERA, team pitching WHIP, team pitching BA-against, have found the culprit behind their sorry status. It certainly is not the fault of player-agent-cum-general-manager-for-the-first-time Brodie Van Wagenen. Nope. It’s the pitching coach, and the bench coach...........

Joe Maddon might be on to something. Maybe the baseballs are not merely juiced? Maybe it’s not just the tighter winding and the lower, tighter, seam stitching. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a reverse engineering of alien technology.............

As evidence that Maddon might be on to something, in New York we are witnessing the astounding arrival of something called “Hammerin’ Cameron Maybin”............

The Nationals will be extending their nets during the All-Star break. Maybe replacing all those extraterrestrial baseballs is getting costly............

This weekend MLB celebrates Pujols baseball in St. Louis. Next weekend MLB celebrates BoSux/Yanksux baseball in London. So, in advance, hear from a British fan of American baseball.............

Something you didn’t know that you needed to be worrying about: base-running mittens..........

Still on apparel, the Max Muncy t-shirt has really taken off.....and really tweaking the noses of the Giants. (Look it up. Bumgarner got shelled by the Dodgers last night, so that didn’t end well for Bochy’s implied threats.)..........

Oh, no! Sports parents are actually getting worse??.............

Michael Eisner, a guy who is probably a lot smarter about this subject than you or I, informs us that the future of sports viewing via traditional broadcast media conduits looks very bleak..........

In the College World Series last night Louisville walked it off in the bottom of the 9th in their elimination game versus Mississippi State. Crushing way to end college careers for MSU seniors. It’s now down to the Final Four. Vanderbilt versus Louisville...and...Michigan versus Texas Tech. Both matchups kick off today. If either Texas Tech or Louisville win today, the rubber match(es) will be tomorrow. In any event, the initial game of the final best-of-three final series will commence Monday at 4PM PDT............


The Duffle Bag

This is how you write your own ending to your Minor League Baseball career.............Thank you, UniWatch:...A huge Roberto Clemente mural going up on the side of the Roberto Clemente Museum.....Texas artist offering up new concept art of the upcoming Arlington Stadium, and the artist has the Rangers fans still celebrating Oakland A’s infielder Jurickson Profar. I guess it makes sense. Her boyfriend is still celebrating Nolan Ryan. And thank heavens for the netting. That kid is more interested in his video of little miss Profar than whichever Ranger it was that just struck out on the field..........Checking in while in Toronto, Matt Shoemaker is doing great............(h/t Reddit) Hell to the yes! This is an incredible observation. The full population of every person to ever play in the MLB over all of history would still not fill up half of Angels Stadium. (Acknowledging that there is a significant number of black players denied entry for decades.) On the other hand, of those rare ~20,000 people who did play in MLB, it’s even more astounding that Mike Trout is going to end up one of the top 5.............