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Weekend HaloLinks: Smash It Up Edition

With the 2012 MLB season behind us, and the Winter Meetings just over the horizon, baseball GM's everywhere are suddenly scrambling with roster moves positioning themselves for maximum flexibility to re-gear for 2013. Jerry Dipoto takes the first big swing.

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Step aside, losers, it's MY turn!
Step aside, losers, it's MY turn!
Stephen Dunn


Which do you prefer? A Bill Stoneman General Manager who rarely makes a move, advancing the team forward carefully, making few victories but avoiding many egregious mistakes? Or maybe a Tony Reagins, making bold moves in surprising ways and willing to live with the highs (Torii Hunter) and lows (Vernon Wells)? Or Jerry Dipoto, willing to make moves and take his chances, but highly calculating in his methodology? As you might tell from the way I phrased the choices, my preference is Dipoto. Do shit. Take chances. Make your own luck. But be as smart about it as possible, and minimize careless reactive pressure moments. And don't be afraid to tread on legends. Today's fans care about their history, but they care MORE about winning today than worshiping yesterday. And winning today is the only way to maintain one's participation in the salary continuation program.

So Dipoto is off and running again. Much like Mike Trout taking off for second base. Ervin Santana? Gone. Did that create a hole in our rotation? Yes. Still gone. Did that one move solve all our problems? No. Gone anyway. Gone in such a way that we had a net gain versus the alternative. Gone even though KC might have gotten Santana anyway just by waiting for him to hit the FA market. So...gone by taking a position of weakness, and leveraging it into a position of strength. Gone, but gone with purpose. Jerry Dipoto is dealing. GM's everywhere, how many cards do you want?


As we get dragged through the Weltschmerz of a national disregard for the treasure we have discovered in Mike Trout - which is far from over, I am afraid - I am left to wonder why there is such a dichotomy between The Reality Of Mike Trout and The Myth Of Tim Tebow? Both are young, burst-upon-the-scene, mega-athletes that hold the potential to change the game entirely as we know it to be played. Before either would take the professional field of play they were merely potentials. In Tebow's case, potential of mythical proportions. Both got playing time early on, and neither fared well.

Enter 2012. Trout takes the field again and explodes, which only leads to an ever enlarging gap between all that he is doing versus how those accomplishments are being received. Really, Jim Leyland? "Wonderboy"? Really, John Kruk? Just some hype "over one great catch"? Check the blog comments around the Internet. Trout is becoming some unworthy artifact of "stat nerds". Stat porn. People are rendering final conclusions on a 21 year old after never seeing him at all. "Experts" (managers and coaches) are discounting him after seeing him as few as 6 times in person. It may take three years or more to convince the nation that something special has been going on in Anaheim.

Meanwhile, Tebow still cannot get back on the field and his stock, still mythical versus factual, only grows and grows. And it has become some kind of feedback loop. Doug Gottlieb explains how ESPN instructed him, explicitly, to talk as much about Tebow as possible. ESPN creates interest, interest creates ratings, and ratings drive ESPN into creating more interest. Except that nothing is there to be interested in other than that which remains mythical.

The worst possible outcome would be that Mike Trout's 2012 becomes his version of Darin Erstad 2000, and he never plays as well again. But is that so bad? Hell no! We saw Ty Cobb! We saw Lou Gehrig! We saw Tris Speaker! We saw Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays!! It's only bad for the rest of the country, because they missed it. And, as I wrote earlier, they will eventually start to wonder about all those TV analysts saying "...not since Mike Trout in 2012 has any player blah blah blah blah blah...".


eBay Auction Of The Week: 1971 Player Stamp Yearbook, including Jim Fregosi and Tony Conigliaro stamps, all unused. Note the schedule, which includes FIVE double-headers!


This Date In Baseball:1938 - Jimmie Foxx is named AL MVP, becoming the first player to win that award three times (1932 and 1933 were the two other times)..........1944 - Eiji Sawamura dies in battle during WWII. Sawamura had been a national superstar in Japan after striking out Babe Ruth in an exhibition game. FYI, according to the web site, baseball was banned during WWII "as an undesireable enemy influence"..........1964 - CBS buys 80% of the MFY, becoming the first corporate owner of a major pro sports franchise. And they will suck at it until George Steinbrenner buys them out in 1973.........1972 - Freddy Parent passes away. Parent was the last surviving player from the 1903 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox..........1974 - The Atlanta Braves trade Hank Aaron to the Milwaukee Brewers, sending Aaron back home to finish his career where he started..........1995 - the Tampa Bay Devil Rays unveil their expansion uniforms which, in typical Florida style, lasts only 10 years..........1999 - Ken Griffey Jr. requests of the Seattle Mariners to be traded closer to Orlando, where his mommy lives. He will land in Cincinnati, where his reputation for poor conditioning will meet even more seasons on turf and destroy his knees.............2000 - The Toronto Blue Jays announce that their TV color analyst, Buck Martinez, has been hired out of the broadcast booth to replace Jim Fregosi as skipper. Martinez will return to the Blue Jays booth for the 2010 season.........2004 - Chicago Cubs groundskeepers find a grenade in the outfield. It turns out to be empty, a dud, but nobody ever figures out how it got there. The Cubbie jokes that could be based on this episode are endless.



(A roundup of this week's LA Angels-related rumors and transactions...)


(Quick hits of interesting stuff that sit out on the fringe of our baseball emporium...)

R.I.P. Pasqual Perez, killed in a stabbing in his home in the Dominican Republic..........Out Of The Frying Pan: Franky Rodriguez settles his lawsuit with his former agent..........And Into The Fire: Franky Rodriguez arrested for domestic violence..........Department of It Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Guy: Curt Schilling just got sued by the entire state of Rhode Island (still probably not as large as his ego)...........


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:

An interesting weekend is in store for those curious enough to seek out satisfaction for their beer desideratum. But you may notice that this weekend is dominated by San Diego. Blame the awesome weather for the Beer Weekend Sweep! FRIDAY - we open with Johnny Brown's 4th Annual Barrel Aged Night at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego...........By the time you read this, you will probably have missed a rather odd combination Rare Beer Breakfast at Stone Brewing Company in Escondido..........but tonight Stone Brewing is putting on their Cellar Night at Ciro's Pizzeria & Beerhouse in San Diego..........SATURDAY - opens with BeerNerdz/SDSU 20's and 30's Alumni Beer Tasting Challenge at The Beer Company in San Diego...........Ciro's Pizzeria comes back on the consecutive night with a Port Brewing / Lost Abbey Meet The Brewer event..........and over in Escondido Stone Brewing Co. shows back up with Sour Saturday at their place..........SUNDAY - closes out the weekend with the Firestone Walker 16th Anniversary Release Party (at Stone Brewing)..............the San Diego Beer Week Beer & Food Pairing at Cueva Bar..........a Sierra Nevada Pint Night back at Ciro's..........and we finish up with a deliciously interesting concept of Ultimate Beer & Chocolate beer and food event back at Stone Brewing. So, in summary, just learn to bounce back and forth between Ciro's and Stone Brewing Co. and you will catch the vast majority of all beer events in California this weekend!

Stay safe, everyone!