Wednesday Halolinks: Hall of Fame vote fiasco, Artctic Vortex fallout

Timmah! - Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

The Hall of Fame will reveal the 2014 inductees this afternoon, let's hope the upper portion of the United States has thawed out enough to get the news.

Warning: I'm a little crabby.  Ice hanging from your testicles will do that to a fella.  And why do I have frozen gonads you ask...here's a screenshot I took the other day:

Screenshot_2014-01-06-07-36-22_medium

It's not bad enough that some son of a bitch at the Weather Channel thinks it's funny that I should live in an igloo, but the temperature outside was seventy-six degrees below the temperature that water freezes.  WTF?!  Also notice that the forecasted high for the day was a balmy -12.  Party on!  (That 30% chance of snow didn't materialize, so thank God for little favors.)

  • It's bad enough we've got to put up with this Arctic Vortex bullshit, but can't the heads of a damn corporation get their shit together on the important stuff??  Velveeta Shortage Threatens Our National Cheez Supply.  "Attention, readers: this is not a test. This is not a drill. Please, without panicking, stop what you are doing and make your way to the nearest supermarket. Now. America may—and we stress may—be running out of Velveeta."  If I've got to be home-bound at least I should be able to have a decent grilled cheese sandwich!
  • This is pretty cool, Mike Trout is better than 22 other teams' entire outfield.  Mike Trout: Top-Ten Outfield - FanGraphs Baseball.  "Mike Trout is projected for 9 WAR. Seven outfields are projected for more than that, meaning 22 outfields are projected for less than that. It’s not literally true that Mike Trout would be a top-ten outfield on his own — that would actually be a catastrophe — but a top-ten projected outfield could realistically feature Trout flanked by a pair of replacement-level corners."
  • The Hall of Fame will be announcing this year's inductees today, but before we get to the official results, here are some reactions to one particular ballot:  Greg Maddux Will Not Be A Unanimous Hall Of Famer.  "Our winning moralizer is Ken Gurnick, a very competent Dodgers beat reporter for MLB.com. Today Gurnick, along with MLB.com's other writers, revealed their ballots, and out of the 100-something total made public, Gurnick is the very first to leave Maddux off. He has just one name on his ballot: Jack Morris."  Gurnick is somewhat confused as to when the PED era occured, resulting in a rather strange ballot:  Presenting your worst Hall of Fame ballot - Baseball Nation.  "For one thing, any "period of PED use" began in the 1960s, at the latest. We know players were using amphetamines as performance-enhancers in the 1960s, and we know amphetamine use was rampant in the 1970s and beyond. There are a lot of things we don't know. We don't know exactly how many players were on speed, and we don't know how useful greenies were. But we know they were illegal in the '70s, and we know that players used them for the exact same reason they used steroids later on: to play baseball better."
  • Is signing Masahiro Tanaka the "make-or-break" transaction for the Halos? Could the Los Angeles Angels pull off a stunner to land Masahiro Tanaka? - angels.com.  "The Angels, in need of one more starting pitcher to round out their rotation, would love to work out something with him, but the odds are currently stacked against them. There's a lot of competition from other teams, a lot of unknowns about the 25-year-old right-hander, and a lot of money already tied to a payroll that's quickly approaching the luxury-tax threshold. The question is: Do the Angels have another offseason stunner left in them?"
  • I hope Tanaka visits Chicago this week and hates colder weather, and visits sunny California and loves it: Report: Masahiro Tanaka to meet with Cubs, White Sox this week - CBSSports.com.  "That the Cubs and White Sox, two teams in the midst of rebuilding, are in on Tanaka tells you all you need to know about his value. Yes, he's the best pitcher on the market in the here and now, but, at age 25, Tanaka also has a great deal of appeal for teams who aren't yet ready to contend. Throw in the aforementioned cheap posting fee (cheap relative to the $50-million-plus posting fees of Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka, that is), and it's going to be a crowded fray of suitors. For all those reasons, Tanaka is going to command a contract that's well into nine figures."
  • Remember last season when Mike Trout showed up to camp with a few extra pounds?  Now we know why: Bryce Harper is trying to fatten up - ESPN.  ""The younger player, a lot of those guys are still so much younger and underdeveloped that they put on a lot of weight during the offseason, in a good way," Beiting said. "There are definitely guys that lose weight [during the season], particularly in September, you start to kind of back off the workouts a little bit and just eight months of playing baseball starts to catch up."
  • I like this headline, mainly because if you read it out of context, it sounds so irrelevant: Indians "not all that interested" in Bobby Abreu - HardballTalk.  "Abreu has been putting up big numbers this offseason in the Venezuelan Winter League, but he did not play affiliated ball in 2013 and he had a rough .693 OPS in 2012 with the Angels and Dodgers. The 39-year-old — he turns 40 in March — will continue to struggle in his search for a minor league deal." 
  • Wanna work for Baseball Reference? Jobs @ Sports Reference.  "Sports Reference LLC is focused on answering user questions relating to sports statistics and history. The SR User Affairs Coordinator is the point person for Sports Reference’s conversations with our users. The ideal candidate for this position will have a deep knowledge of sports and our sites, a strong attention to and concern for details, exceptional written communication skills, a knowledge of social media, and a good working knowledge of spreadsheets or very basic scripting."
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