LA Angels Monday News Crash: Labor Day

Enjoy the holiday! It feels weird that the Angels aren’t playing in Labor Day, but what we can do is scoreboard-watch. After sweeping the Astros in four games over three days, the Angels sit just five games out of a postseason spot.

David Fletcher is still injured. Luis Rengifo may or may not be injured. Franklin Barreto probably just injured himself. Is it time for Jahmai Jones?

Angel Stadium was originally supposed to be sold for $325 million. The new price is $150 million. Quite the bargain for Mr. Arte Moreno.

Sunday marked the 25-year anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr. and his streak for the most consecutive games played in the history of the league. Quite the impressive story.

Joe West. That’s the story. Joe West.

Some deaths this weekend…Lou Brock passed away…on the heels of Tom Seaver

Mike Trout and Fernando Tatis Jr. are vying for the home run crown, but other players are much in play. Who will come out on top? Quite memorably, Trout hit his 300th homer over the weekend, making him the franchise leader…Does Trout still have a shot at the AL MVP?

From Emma Baccellieri: read about how fake crowd noise is used in stadiums!

I somehow missed this piece from a columnist to ban the shift

The Dodgers fan who had his cardboard cutout decapitated earlier this season has been resurrected...

OT: Novak Djokovic has been defaulted from the US Open for hitting a linesperson with a tennis ball.

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ryanfea
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Watching Astros/A’s and the A’s announcer just said both teams are making the playoffs. Apparently he hasn’t heard about the surging Halos.

FungoAle
Super Member
1 year ago

Lou Brock and Tom Seaver, great baseball times before FA ERA broke loose. Great professionals and were a pro’s pro. Thanks for the memories.

MarineLayer
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Who is Mike Trout competing against for MVP? I think he’s the front runner and it isn’t that close. He also deserves a makeup call for when they stupidly awarded it to Cabrera. And a couple other times I am too GA to look up.

WallyChuckChili
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  MarineLayer

You can’t be too GA. He just wrote an article

John Henry Weitzel
Editor
Super Member
1 year ago

Labor Day! This is only my second one off in like decades. As I usually help set up the Lomita Fair for hours and hours. Took last year off and this year it is cancelled for obvious reasons.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member

Cheap Arte. He should have just paid that extra 200 mil for the stadium just to prove he’s not cheap by proving he is stupid.

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago

he’s going to invest his savings, probably in 401 tickets making sure on the 3Mil fans in the stands then raising the ad rates on everyone, and never build the affordable housing. Good guy.

Last edited 1 year ago by eyespy
Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  eyespy

And he was the one owner in baseball who didn’t pay the measly minor league stipends. How generous of him!

WallyChuckChili
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Rahul Setty

Can’t think about minor leaguers when ironing out a deal

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  eyespy

I’m just looking forward to when he builds a park/greenway as part of this whole project, but it is fraught with snares and nets that people must pay $17.99 in order to get released from. That and the dogs who have been specially trained to hunt down scalpers will both be awesome. Plus the whole area will be remarkably rat and varmint free…. because they’re IN THE BURGERS!

So so cheap.

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago

gitch gitch, when will you ever learn. You need to really read, and understand our comments before you blather on the intertubes my friend.

Arte is savvy, the savvy man in town. For him, it’s all about the returns. he will spend money, if he get money in return. No one is calling him cheap. Guaranteed returns, that’s what Arte’s about.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  eyespy

I’m pretty sure all of my ideas above will net nice returns, no? And since all these replies are to a comment I made joking about how paying less than half what we thought he would for the big A isn’t this all blather?

Though, on a serious note, I wonder if giving Arte the old stadium for so cheap means he got a break to better renovate it, or he got a break to help pay for a new stadium?

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago

The other half is incentive for the affordable housing he is not going to build. That is why I half heartedly jokingly stated about the ticket investment. He will probably do something else that would give a better return for his money, and use organization money for the tickets. win/win, but not on the field, that would cost money if he did there.

He didn’t really get the stadium at half price, he will need to pay back that $175Mil around 2035, plenty of time to earn that all back in spades by just making a sound investment, just not in the organization.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Super Member

It’s just like HP: you lose a little bit of money on the printer hardware, but gouge the shit out of the price of printer ink.

Arte may have gotten the Big A at a discount, but renovating that ancient bitch to current day standards and regulations will cost a fortune.

The business brilliance of Arte Moreno is folklore and urban legend.

DowningDude
Super Member
1 year ago

Amazing what 25 years does to erase something that enraged me. Thanks for the reminder guys.

FungoAle
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  DowningDude

I had to stop and do a retake, has it really been 25-years? Holy shit. Seems much more recent to me.

halofansince1978
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Only five out of the second Wild Card…WOW!!!

Last 10 were 7-3 we need a Bryce…9 out of 10.

I will admit very unlikely…but it could be done!!

Starts with our “Ace” Heaney manana in Texas.

Warfarin
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Admittedly rather unlikely, but if we are to truly mount a last ditch rally, we need to hope Fletcher is healthy and ready to go in a few days.

If he returns healthy and Upton can remain productive, with Adell gradually improving, then maybe we’ll have a puncher’s chance to sneak in somehow.

That said, the key is likely going to be our bullpen. No matter who we have pitch at the end (Robles, Buttrey, Pena), the result has been the same, with 12 blown saves (!!) in 42 games. Absolutely need guys in the pen to step up and pitch decently.

Last edited 1 year ago by Warfarin
DMAGZ13
Trusted Member
1 year ago

HOU plays 5 against OAK over the next 4 days. Suppose they go 1-4 and we sweep Texas, than we’d be 2 GB and everyone is going to be dragged back in. But after that their schedule gets easier and while ours isn’t crazy, we still have a trip to Colorado and the final 3 at Doyers.

That being said, remember last season we thought we were going to make a move yet Baltimore came in and buried the season after that marathon game.

I see us with a chance of winning 25 games and the narrative being “look we were about to be .500 if not for an unlucky start and small sample size. This team is just a #3 pitcher away from contention”…and Eppler snakes his way into a 1 year extension.

And I doubt we sweep Texas. Don’t forget they already swept us once. Heaney the choker shows up tomorrow.

Last edited 1 year ago by DMAGZ13
DowningDude
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  DMAGZ13

2002heaven reax upon reading that last sentence … 😱😱😱😱😱

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  DMAGZ13

He’ll get that extention new contract, at a new COVID reduced rate “Profits were down in 2020 William, it is what it is.”

max
Trusted Member
max
1 year ago
Reply to  DMAGZ13

A chance to win 25 games mean we go 8-10. I think we flip that to 10-8 and win 27. Probably 2-3 games off pace for a playoff.

2002heaven
Trusted Member
1 year ago

They should be allowed to throw in extra infielders and outfielders like prevent defense in football. 😃  😆 

Commander_Nate
Member
Trusted Member
1 year ago

I actually agree with Ban the Shift Guy for the most part. His general rules about infielders having no more than one foot on the OF grass for each pitch and requiring two IFs somewhere on each side of second base are reasonable to me. That keeps a meaningful distinction between IFs and OFs but still allows for some data-based creativity on the defensive side. You could also go the way of replay challenges and give each team a set number of times to break with the above rules per game. If you think about it, that would actually add some drama and intrigue. Say the limit is three totally free form shifts per game. Would you use them early in the game on the #8 hitter, or want to save them for late-game situations against the likes of Cody Bellinger? To me, that’s a far more interesting and balanced system than what the game has evolved into now, which is basically a mashup of beer league softball positioning and watching an AI spit out data-mined graphs.

Some of the blame for the drop in offense related to shifts definitely falls on hitters themselves and especially management. It’s been obvious for half a decade now that anyone who is not literally a statue should bunt down the opposite line as soon as they see a shift to their pull side. Even Pujols could probably up his batting average 15 or 20 points per season if he did this. Someone with speed like Ohtani (probably the worst affected by shifts on the Angels IMO) would reach base every single time he did this. Hell, if he’s uncomfortable with bunting, just a check swing down 3B line probably gets him a double until they stop shifting on him. But Maddon, Scioscia, and every other manager in the league over the last decade refuses to order this solution. Another is simply ordering a hit and run if you have anyone on base and the defense shifts. It won’t work sometimes, but enough times it will result in a hit by pulling a shifted defender out of position.

All that said, I think something still needs to be done on the rules side to re-balance the game. Making the Universal DH permanent is probably one that will help a little, but more than that is required. Hitters already have a variety of rules placed on them from standing in a clearly defined box to having to mentally adjust to an imaginary zone in the air that changes with each umpire. On the flip side, thanks to modern data science, fielders don’t really have to think anymore; they just go where the computer tells them. Personally I think it’s started to cross a line into the same territory as PEDs and trashcan banging (side note: I’d be interested in a study of whether or not shifts are starting to warp dWAR and other advanced metrics for otherwise average defenders).

I don’t blame teams for using shifts. It’s a natural outcome of data science evolving alongside the game in the last decade or so, but it’s gotten past the point of equilibrium. The league needs to rebalance for both the quality of play and fan interest. I don’t expect to gain or retain many casual fans if the league BA hovers under .250 and 110 MPH line drives to shallow right are routinely caught by an IF who was standing there idly scratching himself when the pitch was thrown.

Greatjake
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Commander_Nate

Well said but paragraph #2 is the way I feel about the shift. Batters can become “shift-proof” by being well rounded. When weak contact to the minority side of the INF gets you a hit every time take what’s given

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  Commander_Nate

I like your shift rule idea, sounds like the games would be more interesting.

But I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, “just bunt down the off shift line” isn’t the “obvious answer” people around here seem to think it is. I was just a pretty good pitcher and I and most of the other pitchers I was teammates with on all star teams, etc all knew how to deal with the bunt fairly well. Bunting, when a pitcher knows it’s coming, is hard. Bunting where you want the ball to go is even harder. Fouling the ball off three times or winding up 0-2 is easier than you think. If you square around all I have to do is throw at your numbers, or aim for the top of the bat tape on your bat and, unless you are an all time great bunter, you are f***ed. Even if you survive that, I can throw high strike zone pitches, waste one outside, throw an off speed pitch, etc. All while you aim at a foul line. Even at age 16 most good pitchers learn to pitch to prevent a good bunt, at the very least we learn to “throw at” a guy who squares around suddenly. I’d imagine MLB pitchers are even better at all this, as are their infielders.

This is why, even with all of the collected genius on the internet telling them to bunt all the time, MLB coaches and players don’t do it. It doesn’t even work in high school.

I DO think that if more hitters hit like Ichiro or Molitor or Maur and used the opposite side more we’d see some guys maybe approach a .400 BA. But they have to really hit to that opposite side well. A guy with meh power who can learn to do this well will crack his MLB roster. More players should try it.

Last edited 1 year ago by gitchogritchoffmypettis
eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago

and a few pitches later I walk to first base via four balls or a HBP, and that pitcher may be facing a suspension.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  eyespy

No, you don’t hit the batter. Usually the stuff you “aim” at is either in the strike zone when he squares up, or close to it, but if you put the pitch there he is likely to foul it off trying to bunt, or miss. Going at the batter (or throwing a high or outside strike) insures the batter has a very hard time setting up and laying down a good bunt. Plus, if I hit a batter with a pitch when he has “swung” by squaring up to bunt it is a strike.

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago

No, this is my fantasy, I “make” you hit me. You complain, your catcher holds me back, I yell “your lucky he’s protecting you, yuh baybee” umpire does not take kindly to you’re potty mouth, you get ran out, suspended for eight games, you appeal the suspension and it gets reduced to five games, after you get traded to the Angels, jam you’re toe, get diagnosed with a bad medial collateral ligament, and boom, the medical staff has you on the table and under a knife for emergency ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction because of a little stiffness in you’re neck.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  eyespy

They nick an artery and I die. The Angels report that I will be on the 10 day DL….. for six weeks. Then they announce that they shot some platelets into me and I am trying a throwing program. Two weeks after the trade deadline they finally announce that I am dead…. but they will be replacing my UCL anyway.

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago

PC my friend, it’s the IL and don’t you forget. The bill is in the mail.

Greatjake
Member
1 year ago

IIRC Moose was one of the only guys who made it a point to beat the shift and found success. It doesn’t have to be a bunt, basically any contact to the weak side and your on base. Guys in the majors should have enough bat control to at least dissuade the mega shift usage.

I think it’s comparable to the “granny shot free throw” argument. Most guys are too proud to attempt it

JackFrost
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Greatjake

I think it’s a lot like the Granny Shot thing. It’s about ego.

To take it a step further I believe that a lot of guys ( I would say most guys on most occasions) intentionally fail when asked to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Or at the very least they give minimal effort to get it done. They know that if they get to two strikes the bunt will be taken off and they’ll get to swing away. So they foul off a couple pitches with half-hearted attempts instead of trying in earnest to get the bunt down.

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  JackFrost

Never to be asked to perform one of the most basic, traditional, tasks, of the game, again.

And to overcompensate for the lack of skills, and/or enthusiasm for the game, we should paint big x’s on the field, making the players start on them before the pitch is halfway to homeplate. Base runners need to be in contact with a base, also, until the pitch is half way to home plate. Also, we will no longer be keeping score. After a batter faces three pitches, and does not get a hit, will be placed on first base.

Lets make the game easier for everyone, that’s why they get paid to play.

Commander_Nate
Member
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  eyespy

we should paint big x’s on the field, making the players start on them before the pitch is halfway to homeplate

The thing is, that’s sort of what shifting and the data behind it has done for defenders. Stand right about here and you’ll almost certainly get this hitter out, even if he hits a line drive that would traditionally be a sure single.

Commander_Nate
Member
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Happy Labor Day, guys and gals!

https://imgflip.com/i/4e4g0d

Last edited 1 year ago by Commander_Nate
WallyChuckChili
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Commander_Nate

Because we got Packy Naughton

KelN90
Member
1 year ago

Yeah, umm don’t ban the shift. This guy literally wants teams to ignore data that helps them win so that the league batting average is .255 instead of .245

AnAngelsFan
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  KelN90

No, he literally wants to ban the shift so that the game is more interesting. Nothing but homeruns and strikeouts is boring and the shift encourages players to always swing for the fences. Requiring two infielders (actual infielders) on each side of second base would be a perfectly fine rule. It would also make sense for stat tracking – if you have 2 guys in right field, they should both be treated as RFs for that play, not one as a RF and the other as a 3B/SS/2B.

KelN90
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  AnAngelsFan

I think the game is plenty interesting with the shift. The fact that they can predict where a player is gonna hit the ball so accurately is insane. Plus, if pace of play is important to the MLB, they shouldn’t ban the shift. More hits = longer game time

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  KelN90

I am actually excited to see who eventually starts hitting to beat the shift. I bet there are a bunch of kids on travel ball teams playing 500 a lot. Besides that, the shift’s over all sway on the game is overrated. I’m not sure batters will stop focusing on launch angle if there is no shift. How do I know? Because batters who don’t face the shift still go for launch angle. Batters are avoiding ground balls as much as they can either way. What’s really killing the fun is the high strike out rates we see now. The shift is sort of a whipping dog for changes that batters have all made because chicks and check books love the home run. Still, I think that as this becomes the norm there will be young contact hitters that realize they can carve out a place for themselves by becoming Wade Boggs sans the chicken, beer and being a dick. They may even make more money over their career since contact hitters age better.

Don’t believe? Want to poo poo my view? Here. Have a link that talks about how the shift isn’t what’s killing BA.

eyespy
Super Member
1 year ago

No one is going to make money beating the shift with grounders. Kids coming up are not trying to hit grounders the other way, they are not even trying to hit grounders, only infielders dig the ground ball, they are very un-hot in the hit category.

Nice link, but statisticians are some of the best cooks ever.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Super Member
Reply to  eyespy

I’m not saying anything about grounders. All the “just bunt it or hit it weakly the other way” talk is bullshit. It won’t work all that well. I’m talking about guys who can actually HIT the ball the other way, not weep it off their bat. Those guys, guys like Ichiro and Molitor… they will make bank.