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Thor’sLinks: And Now The Final Four

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One last series of baseball. Winter is coming.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v New York Yankees
I keep showing you Kole Calhoun because of obvious reasons.
Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Well that’s cool. It’s a tight game, where we saw more offense in the never-ending Garrett Anderson highlight reels than we did out of both live teams, combined.

But it’s now the 9th inning and here comes Hansel Robles. All that music and all that crazy video are playing and he strolls to the mound with all that confidence and all that attitude attitude to face down the Oakland A’s and put another pin into the heart of their playoff voodoo doll. He had a 2-1 lead, nobody on, nobody out, first batter coming to the plate.

4 calendar minutes and 6 pitches later it’s 3-2 Oakland and all that’s left is to play out the string. The string plays out. The Angels lose. Draft bandits drive home less bummed. And we finish the season series against that miserable green and gold set of sewage swimmers with only 6 wins out of 19 chances.

But our pain is near an end, friends, because we are now down to just 4 games against a Houston Astros team that is red hot, 9-1 over their last 10 and already 11-4 against the Halos on the season when the Halos were fielding fewer AAA players. The Astros are battling hard to secure home field playoff advantage with a razor fine 2-game edge over both the Yankees and the Dodgers. We look forward to the pummeling. And any chance to vault the Yankees or the Dodgers over Houston is a monumental dilemma.

In the meantime, we are tracking through The-Last-4-Days-Of-Baseball-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Season Status Update: 87 losses now and only 4 games remaining. Based on that, and results around MLB, the Angels max number of losses is 91 and they can rise no higher than a tie for 6th. They could drop as low as a tie for 13th.............Toronto, man, they are sitting at the #5 spot now but are showing some pride and are 7-3 over their last 10 games. If they keep this up they could potentially drop into a tie for 8th...........

Mike is right. While he was out on the field and totally healthy he was having a damned great season. It could have been his best. He thinks it was, anyway. I still prefer his 2012 year, myself............

($$) - Joe Posnanski makes a valid point about Mike Trout and missing out on MVP awards. “Trout hasn’t really been the victim of that kind of injustice. He hasn’t lost an MVP award to someone who had only a cosmetically good season. Every player who has beaten him out for MVP — and this would include Bregman, if it goes his way — has had an MVP-worthy season.” Posnanski immediately reminds that this does not mean that Mike did not have at least as good, if not better year. Just that the time Mike lost it was not to some Steve Garvey or Maury Wills kind of mistake..........

And that kind of MVP thinking will only empower the Bob Nightengale’s of the world. Nightengale’s logic is putridly flawed, as most of this kind of reasoning usually is. My thought experiment to rebut this goes a long the lines of: “Imagine you have two necklaces loaded with sparkle. One necklace is all real diamonds, weighing more than a pound, and is valued at $10 billion. The other necklace is almost all cheap glass, but the centerpiece is The Hope Diamond. It is valued at only $7 billion. What is the most valuable diamond on either necklace?”..........

Once Upon a Time the LOS ANGELES Angels played in America’s FIRST Wrigley Field. And it was glorious..........

There are some well-understood medical constants when it comes to our Angels. The newest medical constant is that Shohei Ohtani’s rehab is going very well. It doesn’t matter what went wrong, what the procedure was, what the prognosis is, or where we are in the rehab process, with Ohtani it’s always going along great.............(Oh, and scroll down past the Ohtani story. More confirmation that Tommy LaStella might suit up this weekend.)..........Ohtani is also stating that he will be 100% ready to go as a two-way player again next Spring..........

Let’s not be just homers. Let’s make sure and call it out when the Angels are the beneficiaries of one of the worst ball/strike calls in MLB..........

The City of Anaheim is still sticking to their guns on keeping the appraisal of the stadium land a secret and away from the prying eyes of its citizenry. Mostly because that would also inform Arte Moreno. And information changes everything. (P.S. In a past life I wrote a really cool Visual Basic app that allowed the user to play out The Monte Hall Problem, and even let the app run thousands of simulations. And it tracked results. It was just brain busting that it turned out to be absolutely true.).........

Jo Adell is hoping to end 2019 on a high note.....He’s working on it (not that there are any fans around to notice)..........

Congrats to Burlington Bees GM Kim Parker, Midwest League’s Nominee for the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year. Maybe some day we can skip setting aside a special category for female executives............


Everywhere In Baseball

Home Run Derby Update:.....None of our leaders homered yesterday. The leader board 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.............

Zack Greinnke had a perfect game through 5 innings, and a no-hitter through 8.1. He settled for a 2-hit shut out Win. That would be impressive, but it was against the Mariners. That should happen 2 or 3 more times before the season is out............

($$) Ok, here we go. Ken Rosenthal is telling us that he heard from people who heard from other people that if the Cubs cut loose Joe Maddon, the Angels would look to bring Maddon back to Anaheim and displace Skipper Brad. Is this because Maddon and Billy Eppler are some sort of cosmic oneness?.........For his part, Maddon is uttering those fateful words of doom about the odds of him staying as Cubs manager: “I’m very optimistic right now.”.............If Maddon does come to Anaheim expect less Fortnite, more beer..........And Jon Lester will tell everyone that The Legend has left the building.............

And, well, if we have Chicago Cubs house-cleaning rumors going around, and everybody is due for a homecoming of sorts, why not one about Theo Epstein going back to Boston?..........Epstein denies that one.............

It kinda makes sense that a guy such as Gabe Kapler, who often proved to be short on clues as a manager, would be short on clues about his impact as a manager..........

And Kapler and his Phillies - where Bryce Harper DOES now play - were eliminated from the playoffs, and the moment came when they lost a game to the Nationals - where Bryce Harper used to play. So a couple of guys were asked about that Nats-Harper-Phillies thing. Bryce Harper took the high road.....while Nats GM Mike Rizzo took the low road..........And the Phillies fans, well, they own that road buried deep underground way below the low road............

We should have been the ones that made a trade with the Giants for reliever Sam Dyson, not the Twins. Dyson seems like our kind of guy..........

You are drooling. I know. So let’s do some Gerrit Cole as Cole comes to town to pitch against the Angels on Sunday, the final game of the year.....Cole is doing things that no other Astros pitcher has done in franchise history. If you are too young or not paying attention, Houston has had a long and illustrious list of great pitching....Let it be known that the last time Cole was tagged with a loss was back on May 22nd against the White Sox. The last time the Astros as a team lost a game that Cole started was on July 12 against the Rangers. His next start was on July 17 against, yes, the Angels. Cole has 216 K’s since the first pitch of that start alone. Two Hundred And Sixteen. He has 316 on the season. That’s Randy Johnson shit, right there.....And Cole has the chance to better even Johnson, even Nolan Ryan, even Walter Johnson and even Cy Young himself. If he doesn’t falter on Sunday he could end up with the highest K/9 of all time..........You cannot afford him..........

Granderson will ALWAYS be available. It’s inevitable...........But Fare Thee Well, King Felix. Mike Trout is certainly going to miss those Opening Day...home run...gifts..........

I know we all moan about this but we should start looking at this strikeout glass as half full. Strikeouts are bad but they are not the worst thing a hitter can so with his At Bat. At least we have not suffered through 41,467 ground into triple plays!..........

Just a gentle reminder as we near our own off-season and begin imagining all the treats that will fall into our 2020 rosterbation lap. Winning the off-season don’t mean shit..........

The Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio appears to be a pretty solid guy. He flew Christian Yelich out to Cincinnati so that Yelich could be a part of the team playoff champagne celebration............

I was waiting for the last MLB game to finish Tuesday night so that I could be sure of my team W/L data and the damned Cardinals/DBacks game would never frickin’ end. Not for lack of drama and things of interest going on. And, I mean, we’re talking 19 innings. People can travel from New York to London in less time!......But, guess what? That was not the last baseball of the night. The 16-inning 8-5 Rockies win over the Giants up at Oracle Park actually lasted further into the evening..........


The Duffle Bag

Once again we have moved into yet another weather season on Planet Earth. And once again the Padres celebrate with another uniform change..............Interesting. It’s not often that a pro sports athlete actually gets stuck in jail while criminal matters sort themselves out..........Now we know why Cubs bench coach Mark Loretta got his 1-game suspension. He asked to speak to a supervisor..........Just for the curious: Garrett Richards is rusty down there in San Diego..........Good times for good Baseball Doggie............Speaking of dogs, regional hot dogs reviews are in. Hot dogs baked in crescent rolls did not make the list..........Hey fans, good baseball means that you gotta call the other guy off..............