Must-click link: What if the season began in July?

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Grant Brisbee friggin’ nails it, with a sampling of the sorts of baseball stories you’d be reading right now if the season began after the All-Star Break instead of back in April. Stuff like:

Bryce Harper: Just Not Ready

… Harper is hitting .176/.276/.265 in 105 at-bats to start the season. How long are the Nationals going to let this go on? Who benefits? Certainly not Harper, whose head must be spinning. Certainly not the Nationals, who have to deal with the equivalent of another pitcher in their lineup. It’s probably about time to end the experiment and start anew.

Not that this will stop us from posting all of those “Are the [City, Mascots] for real?” posts a month into next season. Still, it’s instructive.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.