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All-Star-O-Links: Pete Alonso wins The ‘Derby

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Alonso defeats a gassed Baby Vlad, who had already torched history.

T-Mobile Home Run Derby Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Last night Vlad Guerrero, Jr. and Joc Pederson put on a show for the ages, tapping into the drama of tie-breakers as they both swung themselves into exhaustion.

Baby Vlad had already set the single-round record of 29 homers, besting Josh Hamilton’s 2008 record of 28. The previous record in the current format was Giancarlo Stanton’s 24 in 2016.

Then Vladdie, Jr. repeated that record with another 29 in round two. But his second round opponent, Joc Pederson, insisted on matching that. Now we had three 29-homer rounds in the books. In the first tie-breaker, both players tagged another 8 dingers. In the second tie-breaker they both locked up again with an additional home run. Bring on the third tie-breaker. Finally, Pederson was done. Only 1 home run by the Dodger, topped by 2 from the Blue Jay.

At this point Guerrero had hit a total of 69 baseballs over the wall, also a new two-round record. Fortunately, Cleveland has installed safety netting around the entire field to protect the fans from risk of injury. Oh, no, that’s not right. Baseballs were ricocheting off everything, much to the delight of everyone out there.

Into the final round, Vladdie, Jr. was facing off of Pete Alonso of the Mets. Alonso had hit only 34 home runs all evening. Guerrero led off and, again, smashed 22 more dingers. He now had hit 91 on the night. But, fresh as a daisy, Alonso comfortably topped that benchmark and upon his 23rd had captured the crown, needing only 56 dingers.

The winners of the night were Pete Alonso, of course, and Vlad Guerrero, Jr, and everybody out in the bleacher seats at Progressive Field, and an ESPN video graphics department which unleashed more cutesy graphics than we are forced to endure on all those Forge of Empire commercials.

And for those of you wondering at home (because you know that I keep track of these things), now 25-year old Roberto Baldoquin has hit a grand total of 8 home runs in his 5-year Minor League career.

Back we go with even more All-Star-Break-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Mike Trout.....is finally getting some MLB marketing love...........(It’s part of a new MLB marketing campaign.)

Mike Trout.....is making more noise by showing MLB how easy it is for Nike to market Mike Trout..........

Mike Trout.....will probably be spending a lot of time showing Tommy La Stella all the fun..........

Mike Trout.....sits at the ASG break with the AL lead in home runs. He has yet to end a season as the HR king......Of course, Mike also leads in RBI, walks, OBP, SLG, OPS, Total Bases, Extra Base Hits, and IBBs, but whose quibbling?...........

Mike Trout.....the major reason that Major League Baseball should quit taking this summer timeout from enjoying Mike Trout in real games. “At this point, the only way MLB could possibly give Mike Trout his fair due would be to annually halt the season, fly Trout to some undeserving city, and have every living Hall of Famer he has surpassed in WAR line up around the foul line and watch while Trout casually works out in the outfield then takes some batting practice in front of a sold-out stadium of enthusiastic fans chanting his name.”..........

Oh, hell. Let’s just do a roundup of Mike Trout Porn among the idle hands of reddit....Mike should end 2019 among the Top 50 best position players in history.....You could spot Trout with an 0-2 count with every Plate Appearance, and he would STILL be at least average.....Mike is THE All-Star among all All-Stars, ever..........

Jonathan Lucroy has officially been diagnosed with a concussion and fractured nose, as we all expected..........And Yadier Molina IS PISSED..........And Justin Verlander is whining about Molina being pissed..........

Jo Adell is gonna be great at baseball. But if he ever offers you a lift home after a game when you have a flat tire in the stadium parking lot, make sure he sticks to all the major roads. In that story about future All-Stars, we learn that Adell hates 4-way stops..........

($$) - And Adell was one of the AL standouts in the Sunday night Futures Game. I can’t wait!..........

The Angels are still doing something amazing with their strikeout rates. but the Astros are doing that same something, but at a level even more amazing..........


Everywhere In Baseball

People we lost from the world of baseball over this past 12 months............

The starters for tonight have been named. Mike Trout faced Hyun-Jin Ryu back on June 10th. In 3 PA’s, he went line out to deep LF, K swinging, K swinging. (Mike would tie the game up 3-3 with a 2-run home run in the 7th, once Ryu was substituted out.)..........

What we WILL see tonight is MLB placing a runner on second base to start off every extra-inning frame. It’s their way of force-feeding you fans your cod liver oil. You are going to eat it, and keep eating it until you like it.........

Some pretty famous names in MLB that we will not be seeing in this year’s event, with Bryce Harper leading the way. The real oddity to me is that last factoid, where the now unemployed Matt Kemp actually was the starting left fielder for the National League..........

Just award the outcome of the ASG based on WAR, stick to a 3-day Home Run Derby event, and save all those other guys a bit of special income taxes. Sabremetricians win, fans win, television advertisers win, and most of the players save a few nickels on special taxes...........

Sam Miller having too much fun, looking back from a century in the future as to how it was (will be?) that MLB evolved into nothing but a season long Home Run Derby............

Justin Verlander is also whining (see above) about his giving up more home runs so far this season than any other MLB pitcher. Sure, the baseballs are juiced, but they are juiced for every MLB pitcher. But we Angels fans already know that Justin Verlander whines a lot...........

($$) - Q&A with Bud Selig. The guy who looks less worse and worse every day that Rob Manfred is allows to make decisions about Major League Baseball. At the end there is that whole thing of “well, once we milked all the money to be made out of PEDs we shut that shit down before we had to start paying the players big salaries for all that juiced production, so look at how honorable we are!”.........(David Segui has some interesting thoughts on MLB and PEDs use. Selig would have been proud to have Segui’s voice on his side back in 2000.)..........

On the other side, we have this study on Tony Clark, MLB Players’ Union chief who has been given the mulligan by his players to get the next CBA right. In the article you will read it discussed that the players felt themselves to be too complacent about their situation going into the last round of bargaining. IMHO, they were still too complacent when they gave Clark his new contract. I am not a union guy, but I do see a clear need for a balance of power between players and owners in MLB and I have been arguing loudly long before the last CBA negotiations even started that Clark was over-matched. If I could see it, there is no excuse for players not seeing it. Not then, and not now...........

Once the All-Star Game is over we can all dive head-first into the deep end of the trade deadline pool. We could use a hand or two to get us into the WC chase, but as you can see it’s going to be a seller’s market..........

We can also dive deep into the morass that will be the mets’ GM Brodie Van Wagenen looking to rid himself of Mickey Callaway and find one less scapegoat to blame for the mess he made of the franchise last winter..........


The Duffle Bag

Shane Green, with perspective...........Cody Decker, going off into the sunset like a real-life Crash Davis, except for Susan Sarandon, Decker rides off with a FSU Cowgirl on his arm..........