clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

MondoLinks: Pujols Homecoming Over. Time To Come Home

New, 61 comments

I’m glad so many people in St. Louis got to be so happy. But we DID lose the series 1-2.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It’s over. It’s now over. We can all get back to MLB 2019. No more false alarms. No more big smiles as we lose a series 1 game to 2. No more ticker-tape parade every 9th batter in the LAA order. Good for Albert Pujols, and good for St. Louis Cards fans. But it’s over. Like New Year’s Day, it’s all over. Time to face the rest of the year. We did see some nice baseball. We can’t deny that. But there is a lot of baseball to be played in Anaheim. Let’s take a day off and reset so that we can get on with it.

And with that, we have a punch bowl of leftover AfterGlow-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

($$) - This was the weekend of Albert Pujols’ return, and probably last hurrah, in St. Louis. Kind of an informal retirement party, what with all the interviews...........As for that part about showing Mike Trout an experience in front of ‘real fans’, well, let’s not get too tight in our underwear over that. We shouldn’t try to deny that Cards fans will be more rabid during baseball season. Instead, let’s focus on the why our glass is half full: the STL fans might be more enthusiastic about their ballclub, but the Angels home fans live in Southern California, with million other things that there are to do. The fact that the Cards only outdraw the Angels by about 10% is a huge credit to LAA fandom.............

Did you know that it was the Cincinnati Reds who were runners-up in the Albert Pujols sweepstakes, and not the Miami Marlins?..............

Albert was 3 singles and a home run over 11 At Bats (.363) with 2 walks, 1 run scored, 0 strikeouts and 1 RBI (himself) and 7 runners left on base..........Mike Trout (who had a pretty good week) was 4 singles and a double across 12 At Bats (.417) with 2 walks, 2 runs scored, 4 strikeouts and zero RBI (also with 7 runners left on base). Why did I list those all out? Because they were not very impactful on the series? Well, maybe a little bit. But think of it as a microcosm of careers as they cross paths, and that path is immersed in in that cathedral of Pujols’ roots of Busch Stadium. How would you stack up a peak Pujols versus a current Trout?............

Shohei Ohtani wants an invite to All-Star week so he can compete in the Home Run Derby. But these are The Wizards of MLB Marketing we are talking about, so don’t hold your breath...........

The Angels are wild. Well, their pitchers sure are. More wild than any other MLB staff..........

A little David Fletcher love in time for the Angels on National TV...........

Mike Scioscia is still out there coaching............

($$) - Here we go again. Surprising, that it comes from Ben Lindberg, but here is another writer reaching out for that brass ring to prove that the Angels are wasting Mike Trout. If only Mike had come upon the scene in 2001, when, like a Stan Musial, he could land on a team already on the verge and he could punch his clock on a couple of World Series right away. Of course, The St. Louis Cardinals would then go on to ‘waste’ the next 17 years of Stan The Man’s career. I wonder what Lindberg has to say about that?...........

Weekly Mike Trout Career WAR Perp Walk. As I type this things are not yet official. But Mike had himself a decent game yesterday and we might assume at least 0.1 bWAR. That being the case, Mike Trout would then have reached The Top 100 All-Time Career leaders in bWAR. The benchmark for that is 69.7 and he is at 69.6, tied at 101 with Carlos Beltran. This was a pretty good week, having passed Al Simmons, Red Ruffing, Robinson Cano, John Smoltz - and leaving Zack Greinke in his dust - then Tony Gwynn, Manny Ramirez, Tim Raines and Rick Reuschel. Getting into the Top 100 would be a tie at 99 with Miguel Cabrera (who did not appear to add to his total yesterday) and Ed Delahahty............


Everywhere In Baseball

Well, ain’t that a shiner? Last Thursday FanGaffs posted a deep dive into the stunning rise of A’s pitcher Frankie Montas, who had suddenly become very effective. “But this season, he started using a splitter in spring training and it’s been a revelation. In its first season of usage, it’s already his hardest pitch to make contact against, and also importantly, it’s befuddled both righties (38% whiff/swing) and lefties (44%).”......Just 24 hours later, on Friday, we learned that Frankie’s success is a more than just his splitter. Ostarine might have something to do with it, as well. Montas tested positive for the stuff, and has been suspended for 80 games, good all the way up to the last week of the regular season...........

Adam Eaton really put his foot in it this time. In commenting about the plight of Minor League players, Eaton comes across as pretty damned happy that everybody is economically abused because it toughens them up. This, obviously, is nonsense. Ichiro Suzuki and hundreds more (eventually Shohei Ohtani, too) did not go through the MiLB meat grinder and had superior careers than Adam Eaton...........

There I had just linked to an article about the shocking report that Cameron Maybin was doing so well with the Yankees that they had tagged him “Hammerin” Cameron. Next, BeyondTheBoxscore took an analytical look into Maybin’s turn away from his prior career path as an MLB hobo, hopping from franchise boxcar to franchise boxcar, but always with such a great outlook on everything. Damn It didn’t last . Hammerin” Cameron injured his calf trotting home on a Gary Sanchez home run...............

Dennis Eckersley was doing broadcast analysis and went full Old Guyz and started shaking his fist at Marcus Stroman for Stroman’s mound behavior. Stroman tapped into the vast memory of social media and ripped Eck right back for being the hypocrite that he is.............

Marcus Stroman should request Trevor Bauer to comes to his defense.............

Cody Allen has signed on with the Twins...........

Mookie Betts might be a little premature for this future-HOF list. Great player, but not this year. He’s still very young, and we don’t know which direction he is headed............

Life is getting pretty tense in the Mets clubhouse. After Mickey Callaway chose to take exception to one of the beat reporters saying a common goodbye and all hell broke loose, with Jason Vargas even threatening violence. This forced the Mets to later apologize in public and take Callaway and Vargas to the woodshed............

Derek Dietrich of the Reds is convinced that his side of home plate belongs to him. Getting HBP for 6 times in one series is a new MLB record...........

But you know what side of the plate does not belong to the batter? The top side, that’s what. (h/t/ reddit) Pittsburgh Pirate Kevin Newman drew a walk to literally walk-off a game against Matt Winsler of the Padres. Winsler froze Newman with a soft slider up in the zone. This is an MLB game with an MLB umpire, so go over to MLB.com and look at how they present that 7th pitch in their Gameday review. “Oh, way high! Obvious ball! Game over!!” Now look at how PITCHF/x shows that same pitch, using the same data (the same event, not the same tracking system). “Strike three!

Interesting spin here on MLB’s challenge to connect via social media. Having MLBAM may be the anchor in their own butt...........

Commissioner Manfred was asked for the thousandth time about the MLB baseballs. Give him a smidgen of credit. He no longer denies that the balls are juiced, he no longer claims that his scientist prove that the balls are not juiced, and he no longer prevaricates with some paragraph about how things remain well within specifications. Nope. He admits that baseball have changed and the results are obvious. The story these days is that the baseball are now more perfect than they have ever been............Of course, when a retired Mariano Rivera in an Old Timers game gets a home run, how can he deny it any longer?..........

Never give up, St. Bernard Titans. Never surrender...........

Another fan struck by a foul ball, taken off to a hospital. This time at Dodger Stadium...........

Could we be almost done with this Tim Tebow carnivale?............

Over to the College World Series. We have Vanderbilt taking on Michigan starting today. Game 1 at 4PM PDT. Vanderbilt almost didn’t make it. They were being strangled by Louisville’s starting pitcher Luke Smith through 8 innings, trailing 2-1. Luke Smith got cocky. Vanderbilt came back up and faced Smith in the 9th and immediately doused the flame. Smith was pulled, and Vanderbilt did not stop, winning 3-2 to advance to the final.............

Our erst-while uber-boss up at the Mothership has landed at the NYT, legit and all that. That must have pissed off the Deadspin crew. I do not expect a call any minute.............


The Duffle Bag

We have the Rally Monkey. Wrigley Field has the Pizza Seagull............If Mike Trout decided to walk over to McDonalds before batting practice and did it in full uniform, how far do you think he would make it safely across the parking lot? Javy Baez made it all the way to Starbucks............Fernando Tatis, Jr. showed so much hustle and speed - tagging up and scoring on an infield pop-fly - that not just the infield was taken by surprise, but the broadcast cameras, too............Dammit. Don’t you just hate it when you hit a home run? Todd Frazier sure feels that way............There is simply no defeating this headline: He Pulled a Bat out of his pants and hit a Homer...........