One more day until it's a the day before Black Friday. By the way, when did the Friday after Thanksgiving become such a spectacle? And when did I become the person I always hoped I wouldn't be when it comes to the holidays -- I hate 'em. I hate it so much, I volunteered to work today and tomorrow (I usually have Tue-Fri off)...and I hate my job! (see what this time of year does to me, I become morose and bitter). BAH!
Here's your damn Halolinks:
- Nice, fluffy interview with Mike Trout. I do like what he says about his playoff experience last year: Mike Trout Q&A: His workouts, goals and what he's thankful for - Yahoo Sports:
MO: We saw changes in your game in 2014 — more power, less running — do you anticipate we'll see you doing something different in 2015?
MT: I'm definitely going to try to steal more bags this year. There are things you don't really pay attention to, that just happen over the course of the year. I wasn't trying to hit more home runs, it just happened.
MO: What do you think the Angels need to take the next step in 2015?
MT: We had the best record in baseball, but we didn't do what we wanted to do in the playoffs, obviously. After that loss to the Royals, you just know that you don't want to feel that feeling again. We'll do whatever we have to do, whatever we have to work on."
- I'm already tired of the cold and looking forward to spring. This makes me even more anxious: Angels Spring Training tickets go on sale Dec. 5 - angels.com, "Angels Spring Training tickets will go on sale Friday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. PT, the club announced. Tickets for the 15-game slate at Tempe Diablo Stadium will be available at Angels.com. They can also be obtained by calling the Ticketmaster national sales line (800-745-3000), SoCal sales line (714-663-9000) and all Arizona-based Ticketmaster outlets."
- I'm not saying John Henry is a good owner. I honestly don't know. And I'm not saying Arte Moreno is a bad owner. I understand baseball is a business, and winning isn't always the goal, but I do admire that Henry wants to win and is willing to make less money to do it: Boston Red Sox owner John Henry hopeful on re-signing Jon Lester, says team willing to exceed luxury tax - ESPN Boston, "The way it's structured, you can blow through [the threshold] one year,'' Henry said. "Again, for next year we have tremendous flexibility, so we could go through for one year. It would not overly affect us [trying to re-sign Lester], but we're hopeful.'' ... But because the Sox have stayed under the threshold for three consecutive years, they would not absorb a huge tax hit : 17.5 percent on the amount they go over the threshold, compared to 50 percent for multiple offenders."
- And then there's this guy: David Glass, Kansas City Royals - The 15 Worst Owners in Sports - Rolling Stone, "10 David Glass, Kansas City Royals - Don't let recent success blind you to an ample history deserving of scorn. After running arguably the worst non-arms-manufacturing company in the world, Walmart, Glass became sole owner of the Royals in 2000 and immediately treated baseball the way Walmart treats people."
- Interesting article about the upcoming draft: Notable Players Available In The Rule 5 Draft - BaseballAmerica.com, "Delino DeShields, of, Astros: Some teams will be turned off by his well-documented problems with not always showing his best effort—he’s been pulled from multiple games over the years for not running out balls. But other teams may be intrigued by some of the best tools in the Rule 5 draft. The minors’ only 10-100 man ever (12 home runs, 101 steals in 2012), DeShields plays an adequate center field, can also play second base, has more pop than most speedsters and has shown excellent on-base skills."
- How Twitter Has Changed Baseball Coverage, for Better or Worse, 140 Characters at a Time - Touching All the Bases - Boston.com, ""There’s not one nugget, no matter how boring it seems when you’re writing it, that won’t draw some kind of audience. A post on the Nationals’ 25th-best prospect? People will still read about it. Which is kind of amazing."
- How Twitter has changed baseball coverage. Which is part of the story, anyway. - HardballTalk, "But I do feel like this kind of story, even when well done like this, always misses part of the equation, and that’s about fan and reader expectations. ... With the advent of the Internet, its explosion and maturation, that has changed. Fans now can and do demand more coverage. More narrow coverage of some things, wider views of other things. Coverage at midnight, maybe, or 6am. Coverage over their lunch hours. Stats. Transaction news. You name it. It’s a demand that didn’t just spring into existence in 1994, it’s a demand that has ALWAYS been there, latent or otherwise, and either wasn’t being served by old media or was not able to be served by old media given the technological limitations. Now those demands are served by online media, be it the digital version of a long-established newspaper or a blog like this one or just the mainlining of information via a specialized, baseball-centric Twitter feed."
- I think I might try to build a player projection system. I really want to dominate FanDuel next season: ESPN’s Dan Szymborski: Modeling Moneyball Data for Long-Term Value - Blue Hill Research, "In this episode of the Enterprise Tech Cast, Blue Hill Chief Research Officer Hyoun Park and ESPN’s Dan Szymborski discuss how Dan got started in building statistical models and built the ZiPS player projection system. Anybody who wants to learn to develop an ongoing projection and forecasting system, and wants practical insights and how-to’s should listen to this podcast."
- Yep, it's getting to be that time of year again...posts about baseball movies: The Lineup Card: Nine of the Worst Baseball Movies Ever Mad e - Baseball Prospectus: "3. For Love of the Game If you’ve ever wanted to believe in IMDB’s rating system, the 6.5 the collective gave this sappy, long-winded, and Disney-wannabe pile of saccharine idealism does well to puncture any faith one could have in their rankings." For the record, I like this movie.