Welcome back to Friday HaloLinks, the last one before Spring Training!! PEDs loom, but Spring Training is here. So what is a regular joe to do?
I was so primed to get into the PEDs thing again, what with the revelations coming out of The Miami New Times documents. But pitchers and catchers report in just a few days, so I am out of gas. Really. I am at that point where all I can do is start giggling until I laugh uncontrollably. Like those times you have to pull an all-nighter and you are sleep deprived and need a hot shower and everything is still going in the wrong direction anyway. And all you can do is laugh. I mean, really? Ryan Braun??? Again?????
Braun. Dude. You are toast. People ain't buying your latest shit. I tried. You are not smart enough to pull this off and you just have to own that. And it pisses me off that you think that we all have to eat your dog food.
So, instead of a lot of PEDs essaying, I decided to carve up some humorous cover art for y'all (taking time to thank eyespy for the link tip!), take a brief moment to direct all of you to a pretty interesting progress report concerning MLB and The Miami New Times (where I agree completely with Craig Calcaterra and Buster Olney), and then move along.
Because things are heating up in the baseball world, for reals! Let's get to it. This PEDs stuff will still be here when we get bored with ST, which should occur in just a couple of weeks from today, anyway.
- It probably should come as no surprise to find that The LA Times struggles a little but with the concept of a free market economy. The LA Angels are going to sell tickets at market rates instead of fixed prices. Ticket prices for the same seat will vary based on demand from game to game, and over time. This, compared to our northern neighbors, seems pretty radical to the LAT, who also make sure to point out in their closing sentence of an article that is supposed to be about ticket pricing strategies that "The Angels have not reached the playoffs in each of the last three years".
- WiHalo already pointed out that Mike Trout is targeted to be a potential face of baseball in marketing efforts into the future. But, in case you failed to read that article or failed reading comprehension, you might have missed that little nugget that Mike has been brokered an equity stake in BodyArmor Sports Drink Company? The kid is a businessman already!
- Jim Abbott is interviewed by OC Register’s Frank Mickadeit. Abbott likes "California Angels". Mickadeit writes "The constituency for "California Angels," I would guess, is relatively small." I wonder particular scientific research project resulted in data that makes Mickadeit think that?
- Here we go. The LA Angels have become the New York Yankees of the West, buying their way to power. Make yourselves comfortable on the Throne of Envy and Resentment, because the odds are against it all working out perfectly for us and the price for this throne is being consigned to The Tower of Public Mockery.
- In the off chance that you have failed to choose to contribute a portion of your personal wealth to the coffers of EastSPiN, where you can then read ALL of Buster Olney's review of the 2013 LA Angels, MLB Trade Rumors give you the tiniest of peeks behind the curtain. methinks there are some decent thoughts in there, but I will have to leave it to others to come back and share with the rest of us.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.COM goes into ranking defenses in both leagues, and the LA Angels come out as #1. My best part is the Jim Leyland quote: "The best defensive team I've seen is the Angels. We couldn't get a ground ball through the infield, couldn't get a fly ball to fall in the grass and we had one taken away that was over the fence. How are you going to beat that?" You're not, Leyland, you're not. And you know why? Because it's all anchored by Wonderboy.
- For those of you who felt that there was no room for Joe Saunders in our rotation, get used to the idea of seeing Joe in the Seattle Mariner's rotation this year. In the parlance of us old-timers, seeing Joe back in the West Coast, and in the AL West, is what we call "close, but no cigar."
eBay Auction Of The Week: 1991 vintage Matchbox "Angels" panel truck, unopened! And hey, free shipping!
This Date In Baseball History: 1956 - Connie Mack dies at the age of 93..........1972 - Buck Leonard and Josh Gibson are named by the Special Committee on the Negro League to the Baseball Hall Of Fame..........1982 - Davey Lopes is traded to the Oakland A's, breaking up the longest-running infield that included Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Ron Cey..........2009 - Kylie Reynolds strikes out 18 batters while throwing a 9-inning no-hitter to take the title game in the Leadoff Classic...of softball..........2011 - Last year on this date, MLB lost its oldest living player, Tony Malinosky, at the age of 101. Malinosky passed away in Oxnard, having been a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Brooklyn Dodgers. Malinosky had also attended Whittier College, alongside Richard Milhouse Nixon.
- How many of you have been around long enough to have participated in HH game threads? Most of you, right? Yeah. So you know all about the angst and chatter surrounding those at-bats where the LAA batter swings at the first pitch he sees in some crunch situation and fails. Three people blow a gasket, one person pulls up a sabre stat in rebuttal, one person recounts another at-bat in the same game where that approach worked out, and 50 people duck the controversy altogether. Well, for you 50, here is some reading to sex up your game thread participation in the future!
- Hey, you know what? It's been at least a week since I posted anything around here concerning the Hall Of Fame voting. So here is my attempt at catching up on this glaring omission. But before you freak out, it's a graphic that visualizes the voting itself, from 1968 to today. See? That one was easy! Well, except for the fact that you have to stare at it a while to understand it. Which, in graphical terms, usually means FAIL.
- We need to add to the panoply of baseball personalities that we have lost recently, the name of Lavonne Paire-Davis, the professional ballplayer who inspired the character in "A League Of Their Own" that was portrayed by Geena Davis.
- Bryce Harper needs to look out. The National League just got their very own Triple Crown Winner to distract BBWAA voters. Signed by the San Diego Padres, Adam Buschini is the reigning Triple Crown champ, of the Australian Baseball League.
- Finally, a trend I can totally get into. There are only two kinds of bobble heads that I care for: the vintage over-sized doll head versions popular through the 1960's, and anything that bobbles in some off-the-wall manner, such as the new Coco Crisp creation for 2013.
- Are you the kind of person, like me, that wonders who that eponymous "replacement player" happens to be? Well, wonder no more! Fangraphs presents, for the sake of us rubes, a collection of recent examples.
- Finally, Reality TV takes a turn into a subject that might possibly hold my ongoing interest through an entire season: CBS Sports is going to take ex pro athletes from other sports and have them compete to become baseball's next knuckleballer. Tim Wakefield is the teacher, and the winner will be invited to the Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training camp to pitch in an actual ST game!
- Up above I gave a link to an LAA-related eBay auction, vintage, for your weekly viewing pleasure. (Considering buying that one meself, actually...) Well, while doing my browsing, I discovered that one of the 2009 MFY are selling off their WS title ring. Actual name being kept private, but at size 10.5, it probably isn't one of the little guys.
Note to Self: when planning on streaking, get a second opinion on my escape route!
Signs Of The Apocalypse: Mark Teixeira considers himself overpaid..........Your chance to become famous, and design the Chicago Cub's 100th Anniversary logo!..........Kevin Youklis agrees that his batting stance has been ridiculous, decides to make it only half as ridiculous..........Todd Helton missed the Nick Adenhart memo..........Somewhere out there Joel Pineiro still has hope. PMA, dude, PMA…
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer...AND BOY, ARE WE BUSY! :
Friday: Pizza Port Carlsbad in (where else?) Carlsbad launches their weekend long 4th Annual Brewbies Festival Charity Beer Event..........Meanwhile, in Seal Beach, Beachwood BBQ continues their Pliny Charity Raffle to Fight Cancer throughout this weekend..........Up in NoCal, San Francisco nabs a pair: Rogue Ales Public House is featuring Rogue XS Bottle Night, and The San Francisco Beer Week kick off with their Opening Celebration at the Concourse Exhibition Center, East Hall...........Here in LA, at the Four Points Sheraton at LAX, we have a Beer & Food event in honor of February Beer Appreciation Night (event info on Facebook)..........And back down in San Diego, the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier is the place for The San Diego Winter Brew Fest.
Saturday: Hello Hayward! The Bistro shall be host to the 13th Annual Bistro Double IPA Festival..........Or, hop the 880 down to San Jose for the Firestone Walker 26th Anniversary Night at the Original Gravity Public House...........Wait! No! Go back up and over to San Francisco and partake in the Sam Adams Rare Beer Night at the Rogue Ales Public House..........Or zip over to Berkeley for the Beer Release Party event of the SF Beer Week, (Official Event Site on Facebook) which will be held at the Pyramid Ale House.............And then stick around for the Pajama Jam............Closer to the stadium, in Thousand Oaks, drop by Draughts Restaurant & Bar for the Green Flash Tap Takeover.
Sunday: What the heck, let's just hang out up north on this day and wind things down. Back at the Original Gravity Public House in San Jose carries on with the Bay Area Brewers gathering, featuring Almanac and Calicraft..........And the San Francisco Beer Week continues with the Beer Infused Cupcake Competition at the Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek..........and their sister outlet Pyramid Alehouse in Berkeley will be educating all comers with Beer Judging 101 Beer & Food event.