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Thursday Halolinks: Andrew Bailey, Ryan Madson, David Wright, and Cranky Sportswriters

"I coulda had 4 years/$44M?  What the hell was I thinking??"
"I coulda had 4 years/$44M? What the hell was I thinking??"

Earlier this week I mentioned how slow of a baseball news week the days between Christmas and New Years are, and I've seen the fallout of these slow days in the way I do these Halolink posts. I have my email program setup to receive RSS feeds from roughly 36 different sites and typically receive between 300 and 400 items a day (by the way, if you have a favorite site I might have missed, please post a link in the comment section or send me an email). Today I had 218 feeds...and roughly 206 were the "Andrew Bailey to the Red Sox" variety. Here are the other 12:

  • This rumor is still hanging around and I think the reason is the Angels are the only team who might be able to afford signing Madson: Madson to Anaheim possible? - Hot Stove Blog. "It’s now pretty clear that the 31-year-old right-hander won’t get anything close to what the Phillies reportedly offered him before turning their attention to Jonathan Papelbon (a four-year, $44 million contract)." Maybe Reagins would have paid $11M a year for a closer, but so far DiPoto seems to have steered clear of big contracts for relievers icebergs.
  • For those of you who still think Peter Bourjos for David Wright makes sense: Trading Prospects For David Wright? - Baseball Nation. Apparently there was a fake rumor involving several Phillies prospects heading to the Mets for Wright. Here's some of what Rob Neyer had to write, "But yeah, trading Brown and Worley and Aumont would be the height of folly. Because, as taco pal well delineates, Wright just isn't the player he used to be."


  • Tracy Ringolsby is a little late to the "big contracts never payoff" party, but here's his take: The Los Angeles Angels are warned: Mega deals rarely pay off - FOX Sports on MSN. "History doesn’t bode well for the Angels, who have a lengthy list of free-agent nightmares all their own." He goes on to mention the obvious Mo Vaughn deal, the big time signing of Rudi, Grich and Baylor, and letting Nolan Ryan walk in favor of two 8-7 pitchers. (Wait, didn't Baylor win a MVP with the Angels? Yes, there it is. Baylor was AL MVP in 1979...and helped lead the Angels to their first playoff series. Oh, and Bobby Grich? One of the all-time greatest second basemen in history.) I suppose I could go the lame-ass route and mention something about a guy who wears cowboy hats named Tracy and Brokeback Mountain, but that'd just be too obvious.
  • Angel GM's make the top two spots: Overthinking It: GMs Say the Darndest Things - Baseball Prospectus.
    2. Angels 2010-2011 off-season spending
    What he said: I think I already made a huge splash with (Hisanori) Takahashi. He adds a lot of value to your club.—Former Angels GM Tony Reagins, defending his club's winter inactivity.
  • Sorta interesting post: Walk Like a Sabermetrician: Hitting by Position, 2011. Looks like the Angels could've used some help at the catcher position last season (no shit) and should look forward to some improvement in 2012, "Chris Iannetta and some guy whose name I can’t remember should do wonders for LAA."
  • Did you hear, Prince Fielder is still unsigned: Scott Boras explains the delay in finding right deal for Prince Fielder - FOX Sports. "It takes a bit longer because these are ownership decisions," Boras said. "I’ve got to sit down with owners. There are a lot of them interested in Prince. That’s time-consuming. Respectfully, you have to sit down and meet with these people. You’ve got to go through the process." Sure. You know the real reason it's taking so long? Home Town Buffet doesn't take reservations. Get it? Fielder's fat. All-you-can-eat buffet. Dinner meeting. Nevermind. Here's Neyer's take on the situation: Scott Boras: Prince Fielder's Fate In Ownership's Hands Now - Baseball Nation. "Fielder is the only superstar who's still available on the open market right now. All the rest have signed. All the rest signed weeks ago. So why is Fielder still available? Because he's just that incredible." I'll stick to the buffet story.
  • Here are a couple Dave Cameron FanGraph posts: Which Active Players Are Going To Cooperstown? - FanGraphs Baseball. "Guerrero’s clearly the borderline case here, but since I’m a peak-value guy, I put a little less importance on the fact that he aged pretty quickly. For an eight year stretch, Guerrero was an absolute monster, and one of the elite players in the sport." And this one: Trammell, Yount, and the Value of Career Length. "This year will be Alan Trammell‘s 11th year on the ballot, and given how little momentum he’s garnered since debuting in 2002 (going from 15.7% to just 24.3% last year), he likely has no real chance of getting elected by the BBWAA." This is a shame. Trammell, his double-play partner Lou Whitaker, and Bobby Grich are three players who I think deserve a plaque in the Hall.
  • The post points out the weak season Carl Crawford had for Boston: The dubious distinction for goat of 2011 - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN, but I still think the Crawford signing was a good one (and would've liked to see him in Anaheim). Is anyone else getting tired of this, "Jeff Mathis, Angels: An easy target because of his putrid season at the plate because a .484 OPS is just not something anybody should carry as a lineup regular and expect to win."?
  • This is a funny article: 15 Years Ago, I Wrote A Fan Letter To ESPN. Here's Who Wrote Back. - "I don't remember now what was in my letter, which I'd addressed to the very nonspecific "SportsCenter anchors." I'm sure it was your standard fan mail—"I'm a big fan, I watch every morning, I want to be on ESPN one day." I don't think I asked for a reply, and I definitely didn't ask for signed headshots." The best one is Kenny Mayne's, "Pay your cable bill".
  • Murray Chass now has someone to play Gin Rummy with: A Departing Q & A with George Vecsey - The Morning Delivery. "Q. How optimistic are you for the future of the U.S. Newspaper Industry? A: Not. Newspapers are the engines that drive the Web. Without editors planning assignments and copy editors fixing mistakes, reporters quickly deteriorate into Underwear Guys writing blogs from their den. The sad thing is that everybody knows it -- even politicians and business people know they need some source of actual information, even if they get whacked once in a while. But the economics and timidity of the newspaper business are working against that future. And the bloggers brag about knowing how things work from the sanctity of their dens." I will have you know I'm wearing pants! Pajama pants!