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MondoLinks: It’s Fall, and the Angels Do.

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Less spoilers than they are enablers, the Angels are handing out playoff slots across the country.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Well that’s cool. The Angels go on a road trip and land in New York, where they get to launch the Yankees into the playoffs. Champagne for the home team all around. Halos get to watch.

Then they go to Houston where they get to launch the Astros into those same playoffs. Again, champagne for the home team all around. Halos get to watch.

And now they come home and greet the A’s. Today the A’s are 2 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians and both the Indians and A’s have only 6 games remaining. Had the A’s won yesterday and the Indians lost, instead of the the other way around as it happened, the Angels could have been on the field for three consecutive series where three consecutive rivals claimed three consecutive playoff berths at their expense.

It’s the final week. Do these Get-Yourself-To-One-Last-Game-While-You-Can-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Season Status Update: 86 losses, with 6 games left to go. Can we get to 90?? Billy Eppler cannot possibly draft any higher than 6th next June and no worse than 14th...........

Let’s call it for what it is: the LAA pitching staff wasted David Fletcher’s 2019 season..........Yeah, I know. The LAA pitching staff is wasting everything, including our time..............

I still don’t get this. What’s the point of trying to get Tommy LaStella back onto the field with less than a week remaining? Allow some fans to give LaStella a round of applause on Fan Appreciation Day? He doesn’t need to be in uniform for that...........

Mike Trout feels good post-surgery. In case you are not following, the past three seasons Trout has played 114 games, 140 games, and now only 134 games. This ain’t good. These are his finest athletic years and he can’t stay on the field. Maybe he plays so hard he breaks his own body parts. I think the worst part is how his career splits show how much he runs out of gas August through September. People lament how not getting Trout into the playoffs is a waste of epic proportions and an ongoing MLB tragedy. But since we don’t play the playoffs in June that might be best for Trout’s career reputation............Lest you think I am being reactionary here, I am far from the only person who is noticing..........

Trout not only can give out weather reports, he can give out medical advice. NFL quarterback Drew Brees consulted with Mike concerning thumb surgery, that which struck down Trout in 2017...........

Mark Langston collapsed at the start of the Friday game in Houston. Of course, the frickin’ LAA medical report was that Langston had a “medical emergency”. Like, no duh. It’s an “emergency” if you need to call in some “emergency response team”, and it’s “medical” if that team ends up taking the party to a medical facility such as a hospital. They might as well have said that “those reports of you seeing Mark Langston wheeled away on a gurney are true”. Langston is doing well, but we learn how serious things were only when the first responders were honored for saving Langston’s life. He had stopped breathing completely...........

This might be Kole Calhoun’s final lap. Give the man his due. This calamity has been far from his fault.........

With 2 more innings recorded yesterday, Trevor Cahill surpassed 100 innings pitched. Here’s your $250,000 Trevor. Skipper Brad could go nuts and run him out there for another 9.2 innings and gift Cahill yet another $250K. But the real reason this is news is that it allows the 2019 Angels to avoid becoming the first team in modern MLB history to fail having any pitcher give 100 innings..............

NBS had a fun moment Friday night. After the Astros won 6-4, they went rolling with the big announcement that the Astros had just locked up the AL West. That would be incorrect. Here is the page where they took down the content, but look at the URL: “https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2019/09/20/astros-claim-third-straight-al-west-title/”. I clipped a screen cap from their mobile site, which was still up on their main page Sunday. The REAL URL, which they used to publish AGAIN (yesterday) is: “https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2019/09/22/astros-clinch-al-west-for-third-consecutive-year/”............


Everywhere In Baseball

Home Run Derby Update:.....Pete Alonso leads with 50, Eugenio Suarez still has 48, Cody Bellinger is up to 46 (with this grand slam) and Jorge Solar remains at 45......And this final sentence will be the place where I memorialize Mike Trout ending his year at 45 and Christian Yelich at 44.............Funny, though, when it comes to the National League batting title Christian Yelich has overtaken the leader board even though he has not played since September 10th. (Ketel Marte is also done for the season and finished at .329 but when you break it down to more significant digits Yelich’s .32924 leads over Marte’s .32864.).............

With the Dodgers winning, we are up to three 100-win teams and it is still mathematically possible to realize three more (Minnesota, Oakland and Atlanta). We also reached four 100-loss teams (and cannot fetch any more of those this late in the regular season)............

As we go through this last week, there are many remaining tie-breaker scenarios. They dwindle daily, but here is your road map...........

The Padres fired their manager Andy Green. That is probably because Green failed to convert Eric ‘Big Money’ Hosmer into a reasonable major league baseball player...........One rumor-monger thinks that the job is there for Moises Alou if Alou wants it..............But, um, the Pads are also rumored to be interested in hiring Mike Scioscia. Now wouldn’t THAT be interesting? The Padres have a young and talented team on the rise, compete with the LA Dodgers, and are just down the road from an Anaheim team from which Sosh ‘retired’. even though believed to be a fave of Arte Moreno..........Somebody wants it to be the same Brice Bochy who is trying to retire right now.............We know it won’t be Don Mattingly.............

I have written it a dozen times and I will keep writing it because it is true. Why Marcus Semien was not on the AL All-Star roster is a crime against baseball. Go ahead and start your Alex Bregman, but Semien should have been on the field by the 5th inning.............

Do not forget that Craig Kimbrel was a poster child for how shitty MLB franchises were acting and even possibly colluding against players this past offseason. It was the “how else to explain how this guy is still unemployed?” thing. Lordy lordy there could not have possibly been such a thing as Kimbrel being understood to be a bullpen arm and, therefore, highly volatile and no way that level of risk warranted Kimbrel’s level of compensation demand. No way was that possible. Nope. Or...well....maybe it turns out to be precisely that......Because Kimbrel is a home run yielding machine right now (h/t reddit)............Kimbrel had a particularly inglorious weekend, once that probably just sank the hopes of the Cubs............

Ben Zobrist is possibly on the verge of retirement. But the bigger news could be that Joe Maddon may have run his course as well...........

Joe West shows that he’s still got it.............Can you imagine how short West’s fuse would be on this?...........

Recall that I have been warning you about Sinclair broadcasting being the winner for all the FOX Regional Sports Networks. Sinclair is not know to behave like any corporate good guy. Well, now that they have even more clout with all that sports content, off they go and start battling with the carriers. Sinclair is in dispute with ATT/DirectTV over local stations (not the RSNs - YET - because those are still under contract for another year)............


The Duffle Bag

The Cubs reached the 3 million attendance mark. That made them the 4th to do it, with the Angels possible this week. The Dodgers nearly hit 4 million............This is pretty confusing when you break it down. The ceremonial first pitch in a recent Yankees game was thrown out by a non-ceremonial active MLB pitcher so that the fans can honor the retirement of a not-yet-retired MLB pitcher...........The title speaks for itself: “What’s the best WEIRD baseball video game ever?”............Because predicting baseball is hard to the point of making people look stupid. That’s why I don’t even bother I look stupid enough already...........We need StatCast for knocking down beer cans from the outfield............