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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Surf The Turf of the Astro-Home

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The Angels are in Houston for 3. And we are the soft part of their schedule.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers - Game One Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images

It’s three games of glorious live baseball in the holiday mecca that is Houston, Texas. First up tonight we are set to be entertained by Zack Greinke. The last time we saw Greinke it was June 18th of 2018. Greinke went 6.1 innings and held the Angels to 3 runs on 7 hits - 2 of which were home runs - while striking out 5. So he is gettable. Maybe not as gettable as a still-green Jose Suarez, but that just informs the final score. And Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole both just pitched, so we are dodging them. There is reason to keep an open mind this weekend! And with Oakland still churning through win after win (16 and 6 over their last 22), a few more losses by the Astros and we might get to see some Texas-sized sphincter tightening in the AL West.

And keep that open mind with these Let’s-Spoil-The-Houston-Party-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

This is one time even I have to give the Angels a pass. That “mild” elbow inflammation that sent Griffin Canning to the IL? It’s mild enough to keep him out for the balance of the season. This time, though, I am going to not file it under LAA Short Sheet Injury Reports. Instead, it goes under 2019, The Surrender of..........

With Canning back in the can, Suarez was un-demoted. Expect his un-demotion to be un-veiled tonight...............

And how bent is the mockery that has been the 2019 LAA starting rotation? How about historically bent?...............

Regardless of what happens with a stadium, Arte is not bringing back the name “Anaheim”. At least they are talking............

Jo Adell, BaseballAmerica’s LAA Minor League Player of the Year..........

At some point even we LAA fans have to start thinking about the concept of wasting Mike Trout. We have fun watching him, and are blessed that he is an eternal part of our franchise legacy and lore. Baseball history is right in front of us. We are all well aware of the holes in our roster that are the cause of our recent run of failure years but we now have had enough of them that excuses are starting to wear thin. By this time we should have more than one guy in our farm system that other teams covet enough to send back value. And by this time we should have more than zero arms in our rotation that we trust to stay healthy, eat innings, and shut down opposing lineups...........

SI wants us to believe that we can know hope for 2020. And nothing in their prognostication points to where we might need to solve all our pitching woes............

From reddit; Shohei Ohtani is a joy even when he is NOT out on the field of play..........


Everywhere In Baseball

The Braves are sure interesting. This week they picked up not one, but TWO castoffs. First they took Billy Hamilton immediately after Hamilton was shed by the Royals. This might be kind of fun when the Braves face the Royals late in September. But then yesterday they snatched Francisco Cervelli just as immediately after Cervelli was launched by the Pirates. The Braves are done with Pittsburgh this year so no similar fate awaits Francisco. That’s assuming that Cervelli gets much playing time at all. He has been injured and out since May 25th and has only recently been doing even rehab games..............

Justin Whinelander is at it again. He had clubhouse security deny access to a credentialed reported from the local Detroit press, preventing that reporter from getting post-game interview time until Verlander was finished. Now, maybe there is some history there with Verlander’s Detroit past. And maybe Justin is getting pissy now that the Astros have lost his last 3 outings including what should have been this sure-fire lock against his old Tiger franchise. Regardless, this is a direct violation of CBA rules, something he is bound by as an MLB employer (ain’t it funny that the baseball writer’s union has clauses in the official rules of MLB and MLBPA that grant them privileges??). Verlander ended up getting overruled but it was too late for the writer. And, exposed, both the Astros and Verlander (here and here) are trying to spin things back in their favor. But the Detroit Free Press is not having any of it, calling bullshit on the spin..........For the record, Houston has a history of this..........By the way, Verlander claims he was justified due to past “unethical behavior”. Uh...when did Verlander become expert on the definition of “ethics” in journalism?............

Baseball players lose track of what day of the week it is. Which seems less than believable to me, since every single one of them carries a cellphone that is chronic about telling them that on the lock screen.........

Bryce Harper would do well to spend a fraction of 1% of his salary some decent hecklers front row seats to his every game. He seems to respond best when he realizes that people are watching his fail and calling him out for it..........

($$) - I am still amazed that the Oakland A’s are out in front of the rest of baseball with some brand-new witchcraft. Until Michael Lewis goes there and writes about it and explains what it is, I will never know how they are doing what it is that they are doing. Which is beating up on all takers...........

St. Louis loses a game that they were losing, because the umpires called the game short after a lengthy delay caused by St. Louis’ loser weather. Which merely served to motivate the loser Cards to go whining about how they got cheated by MLB..........

Yes, Alex Rodriguez, you certainly had completely f—ed up your entire life when you thought you were above the agreed upon rules of baseball. Maybe the rules are good, maybe they are bad, but you were the one who chose to go way out of your way to make an end run around and over your peers in order to sustain your natural talent. I’m glad to see that you have righted the ship of life, but back then you deserved every hunk of poo slung in your direction...........

($$) - One most interesting cat. Elizabeth Benn is a formidable hardball pitcher. Not at the MiLB level, but at an adult league amateur level. Still, as such, she is a player and spends a great deal of time in the player culture. On the other hand, she works as a “coordinator in the labor relations department at the MLB commissioner’s office”. By definition, that puts her square in the realm of ownership negotiations that work back against the player culture...........

Check out this box score yesterday. It’s the Red Sox hosting the Royals in Fenway, which is in Boston, Massachusetts. Billy Hamilton is recorded as going 2 for 4, scoring a run, striking out once and leaving one man on base. Billy Hamilton was physically in Atlanta, wearing a Braves uniform. I was really really hoping that he would have been sent in as a pinch runner in the 9th inning for Adeiny Hechavarría’s leadoff double in the bottom of the 9th inning of a tie game (Hechavarría would score anyway). That would have put Hamilton in the box score for two different teams in tow different cities on the same day..........

You ask the next generation of baseball fans what needs to be done to improve MLB and you realize that everything is gonna be just fine: “Get rid of the Yankees. Eject all the Yankees players. And then get all the scrubs on their team, so then they’ll never win a game.”..........

Speaking of the Little League World Series, Louisiana and Curacao both survived their elimination game and now face Hawaii and Japan, respectively, for the US and International titles tomorrow. The US Final will be a rematch of the opening game where Hawaii defeated Louisiana 5-2. That’s one of those Little League oddities where it matters less that you defeat another team and matters more when you defeat another team. A Louisiana win makes them the champ, ignoring the Louisiana loss earlier on. Anyway, when we return on Monday, we will be talking about the Grand Champion............

Never forget that broadcast ratings numbers are incredibly political...........


The Duffle Bag

When you are a Baltimore Orioles fan, and you are at a home game, and you are the only one of the 1500 in attendance to get stuck on the last occupied section furthest from home plate on the uppermost deck, getting that foul ball truly is a life-changing experience...............Little League Baseball is happy to remind you that baseball is more wonderful than anything but hot dogs and apple pie. And that is a 3-way tie..........This Mets ballboy is me. Almost every night now..........Adeiny Hechavarria welcomes himself to the Braves..........Tim Melville is a baseball superhero. By night he is now a Colorado Rockies starting pitcher. By day is in disguise as a BBQ joint bus boy..........Yu Darvish taking down NBC broadcaster on stats here and then here..........