They're forecasting snow and sub-zero temps in my area this evening, but I don't care...Spring is almost here. And Halolinks:
- Was I the only one who thought this was a Tony Reagins bargaining maneuver? Apparently I was wrong, and it's the way Arte Moreno wants to do business when negotiating with free agents; make an offer, but include a time limit to accept. Might want to re-think that strategy:
Angels had 4-year offer to Matt Garza on the table early in winter, for about what he got from MILW,but pulled it after it wasn't accepted.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 4, 2014
- Another person who might want to re-think their negotiating strategy; poor Ervin (not literally), no longer a hundred million dollar pitcher:
The asking price for pitcher Ervin Santana is said to have dropped significantly, perhaps to a three-year deal. Was over $100m in November.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 4, 2014
Mike Trout bobblehead to be given away April 1st (no joke):
- Here's an interesting article from an unlikely source...at least when baseball related: Why Masahiro Tanaka’s Yankees Contract Is Good for Baseball - Freakonomics. "As one can see (if you click the link), the NBA is the least competitive sports league. Given that only eight teams have won an NBA title in the past 30 years, this is probably not a surprising result. What may be surprising is that baseball once looked like the NBA today. From 1901 to 1946, the average Noll-Scully ratio in the American League was 2.54. In the National League, the ratio was 2.57. These numbers tell us that baseball – relative to what we see today – was once competitively imbalanced. This started to change in 1947 — that season Jackie Robinson began to play Major League Baseball. The racial integration of baseball expanded the talent pool beyond the white Americans baseball employed through much of its history. Soon, baseball began to employ talent regardless of race or nationality." The author isn't really commenting on the dollar amount, but rather how it broadens the talent pool.
- Yeah, I know..the Bleacher Report. But it's not one of those click-fest things they post so often. Finding the Best Consumer-Value Baseball Experience - Bleacher Report. The biggest take-away I got from this post was the information on the chart showing wins and losses. Over the last three seasons, the Angels have won the most games without a playoff appearance. In other words, my favorite team has been the best bad team in baseball over the past few years. Ugh.
- I've used a portion of my tax refund on this for the last ten years, or so: MLB.TV subscriptions now available for 2014 season - angels.com. "They are among the millions of Major League Baseball fans from all walks who subscribe to MLB.TV to watch live out-of-market games from everywhere, and signups are underway for this year's MLB.TV Premium ($129.99) and basic MLB.TV ($109.99) packages, as the Internet's longest-running and No. 1 sports streaming product returns for a 12th season, priced the same as last year."
- I remember these cards, and remember thinking WTF (in a 13 year-old's vernacular):Card Corner Plus: Cito and the ’74 Nationals - The Hardball Times. "In 1973, as the Padres played horrendously on their way to 105 losses, they drew fans at a paltry rate. By season’s end, roughly 611,000 fans went to Padres games, the worst figure in the National League. Facing some severe cash flow problems, Padres principal owner Arnholt Smith put the team up for sale during the 1973 season. On May 5, he reached a tentative agreement with Joseph Danzansky, the owner of Giant Food, Inc. Danzansky agreed to pay Smith $12 million, with a down payment of a mere $100,000. A number of news organizations, including the Associated Press, reported the sale as a done deal." Twelve million dollars. That'll almost pay for season seats now.
- Speaking of baseball cards: Ken Griffey Jr. shares the stories behind his 1989 Upper Deck rookie card - Sporting News. ""I got a few ... over 100," Griffey Jr. told Sporting News. "I have the bigger version of that. A couple of those, too. I don't have a hundred, but I have a couple." Although more than two decades have passed, Griffey still remembers a great deal about that particular card. Not surprisingly, he calls it his favorite card of his career." I was big into cards back then, and never got one of these.
- Any ideas what they should name the ballpark in Arlington? Texas Rangers to announce naming-rights deal for ballpark - ESPN Dallas. "The Texas Rangers have reached a naming-rights deal for Rangers Ballpark in Arlington."
The Kansas City Royals' New Billboard Is Pretty Clever. "The Kansas City Royals are decent at this advertising thing." You would think having an owner who owes pretty much everything he has to billboards would put a little more creativity and thought into his team's roadside promotions:
- Sorry, but Crash Davis is a starter, not a bench player. And then, every fifth day he can catch Billy Chapel:
- Yikes: Visitors Are Going To Make So Many New Friends In Sochi. "This photo, in the men's room at the Olympic Biathlon Center in Sochi, was snapped by the BBC's Steve Rosenberg. You might just want to hold it."