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HumpLinks: Angels Cramp A’s Style, Put a Crimp in Their Playoff Plans

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David Fletcher and the LAA farm system burn a World Series contender.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the game last night the Oakland A’s enjoyed a mathematical possibility of reaching 100 wins. Shit happens in the playoffs and any 100-win team is a World Series contender. That team rolled into Anaheim with a massive 12 win versus 5 loss advantage over Skipper Brad’s best.

But last night Skipper Brad did not have his best. He had an ancient Albert Pujols, an above average Kole Calhoun, a surprising Brian Goodwin. He had a whole lot of MiLB fill-ins. But he did have David Fletcher.

That was enough. Fletcher went 3 for 4 with 1 run scored and 1 RBI, and the rest of the prospects stepped up while Brian Goodwin pitched in with a seeing-eye double, and Skip had just enough to defeat the A’s 3-2.

This is less than ideal for Oakland. Only 2 of the 3 Wild Card contenders are going to make it. The A’s, Rays and Indians are all now within a single game of each other. The upside is that we make the Oakland fans sweat a little. The downside is that we drop a draft slot. Totally worth it, in my mind.

We are still tracking through The-Last-5-Days-Of-Baseball-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Season Status Update: Still at 86 losses but with only 5 games remaining and with draft competitors losing all around us, the Angels now can rise no higher than 6th. They could drop as low as 14th............

The Angels moved Griffin Canning off the doesn’t mean shit 10-Day IL and over to the doesn’t mean shit 60-day IL so that they could claim another guy who neither pitches nor catches at the MLB level. But he comes from the Rays so he is probably better than 99% of our farm system anyway. Welcome to the madhouse, Kean Wong..........

Andrelton Simmons needs time off.................

Looking around MLB and seeing guys competing on playoff contenders who used to be employed to pitch for Arte, and then looking at the train wreck that was run out to the mound in Anaheim this season, just makes me sad..........

Looks like Mark Langston is gonna be all right. maybe we should put the Houston Police Department on the LAA medical staff?.........

Max Stassi is done for the season, needing hip surgery. We should monitor his stats over these last few games. There is a possibility that his productivity goes up...........

The Angels might be THE key force that determines home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Losing rewards the Astro Tankers and might improve our draft chances. Winning rewards the MF Yankees and/or MF Dodgers and those are painful all by themselves...........Me, I might be pulling for the Braves just for the sake of anarchy..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Home Run Derby Update:.....None of our leaders homered yesterday. The leaderboard remains Pete Alonso leading with 50, Eugenio Suarez with 48, Cody Bellinger at 46, and Jorge Soler trailing 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.............

Well now, did we not all just learn a fine lesson about those MLB holograms and how they ‘officialize’ everything?? Way back on May 9th one Ely Hydes snagged the Albert Pujols 2,000th RBI home run ball. Hydes was immediately pounced upon by officials from the Tigers, the Angels and MLB. The paramount thing at that moment was to get the ball certified by the MLB historian present and tagged with the hologram, and recorded in the MLB annals of legitimacy. Hydes said hell no. He was warned that if he left the stadium without the sticker, the ball could no longer be certified. That seems true enough. Maybe Hydes is a ball hawk and has hordes of MLB balls in his man cave. Who’s to say which one is THE ball if they all are blank? Hydes was chastised for being selfish AND for being careless with something that could have been so valuable. Welp, we can throw all of that out the window. The Baseball Hall of Fame needs no such hologram. And Hydes gave up the ball for something far more important than money. Yesterday Ely donated the ball to Tim Mead and company (who happily accepted) in the memory of his 21-month old son who had died last year............

Honestly, at this point I won’t care one way or another if Mike Trout is named AL MVP or if, instead, the award is given to Alex Bregman....It has nothing to do with being a part of a playoff team or being a part of jerkoff team....Mathematically, it’s possible to garner an 8.6 fWAR in a single week. but if you don’t play the other 20 weeks who would consider your season even a success? Trout’s 2.4 fWAR second half feels enough like he has wasted one of his most prime ever athletic years, and it has been this way since July, that I no longer have an emotional investment in the outcome..........Even Brian Kenny is on the fence...........(The latest survey shows that it ain’t even close enough to warrant a twitter post.)..........

The season might be over for us, but there are still milestones that are being approached which might be of interest. Well, for the most part they have to do with strikeouts and home runs but if you have stuck around this long, those are probably of interest to you.............

When I was a kid, up until my mid-teens, my experience with diving for baseballs was that it wasn’t too painful or traumatic at all. Dramatic as all hell and glorious if you made a play, but I’d bounce right up and not be fazed. Of course, unlike Big Leaguers, I was a lot lighter, less mass, far less velocity, and being less tall I was closer to the ground with not as far to go. I was never any comparison to an Albert Pujols..........

The Giants Front Office mavens sit around and worry about the poor home/away home run splits for the the team this year, and start pondering the notion of changing the park dimensions? The rest of us would rather see the fences moved BACK every place else............

Mitch Garver, catcher for the Twins, has become an effective force in getting pitches called for strikes. His major improvement is in his catching position, but he has also re-worked his glove technique. His entire story is damning proof that plate umpires are Pavlovian fools to be easily trifled with and tricked into making calls that they don’t really see..........

Let’s start an MLB manager job watch.....and pay particularly close attention to Joe Maddon.....Because the Cubs are not about to stand pat, and a manager such as Maddon is an easy fall guy. Nobody sure as hell is gonna blame the stat wizards.........And maybe other MLB teams will start picking away at the Houston brain trust..........

With the Phillies getting eliminated yesterday, one could mock the Bryce Harper contract...OR...one could marvel that they competed all the way to the final week. But, really, the Phillies are not so much different than the Angels. In fact, if the Phillies played all season in an AL West with Houston and Oakland and a Seattle time that was playing way over their skies early, they might have a slightly worse record than they do and that would line up with where we are. We don’t blame Mike Trout for our poverty as there was no way Trout could have elevated the rest of the team into contention. The same is true for Bryce Harper. Put the Angels in the NL East this season and we might have lasted about as long as the Phillies, but Trout is twice the player as Harper and we would still be sitting on our couches in October..........


The Duffle Bag

Spike Lee wants to troll the rest of baseball fans with all that history shit? Really, 1923 matters?? If the Yanx don’t win the WS this year I’mma comin’ out with a Yankee cap troll design of my own..............(h/t reddit) Just play this awesome rolling chart of the Top 10 home run hitting MLB teams as we race through the 2019 season. Now go back and refresh and watch it again, and try to follow the Brewers. It’s like the cap and ball video challenge. Every time they seem to settle in near the top it turns out to be a trick....Not to be outdone by their team graphic prowess, the same reddit person gives us the individual home run leaderboard chase..........Job Posting: Now working for the SF Giants might be a pretty cool option. Except for that having to live in the area of San Francisco thing..........

(h/t reddit) MLB has launched a technology blog of their own.