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WeekEnd HaloLinks: 42 Days Left til Pitchers Report!

Pitchers report February 19th, catchers report February 24th. Baseball is less than 6 weeks away!!!

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With this being HoF voting week, lots and lots of reviews and recaps are out there to be mined. What I have yet to see is something about which teams are now left without a cap in the Hall. Since this topic calls us out, I'll do it.

With the latest naming of HoF inductees, the count of teams with absolutely zero names in the Hall wearing their caps is down to 6 (see NOTE below).

Rays (founded 1998)

Rockies (founded 1991)

Marlins (founded 1991)

Nationals (formerly the Expos, who already have two inductees)

Mariners (founded 1977)

and

LA Angels (founded 1961)

The Providence Grays have one member in the Hall. The New York Gothams have 3. The Boston Beaneaters have 6. This is our 55th season and we have none. We are becoming the Chicago Cubs of Hall of Fame success...

(NOTE: I am assuming that the Hall will select a DBacks cap for Johnson, and then him choose bebetween Dbacks or nothing at all. It remains possible - not probable - that Randy Johnson may end up choosing a blank cap because his greatest success was split between Seattle and Arizona. If that occurs, the number of teams left without a cap would be 7, not 6.)

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  • Halos Heaven Traffic: Let's spend a moment looking at our own LAA fan community! The overlords at SBN posted end of year tallies for all their sites as of 12/21/2014. NOTE: these are stats TO DATE, not just from 1/1/2014 through 12/21/2014! Looking at HalosHeaven.com,  the leader in FanPosts for 2014 was Monk e, with 10. Nobody else was even close. The leader in FanShots was Rev, with 219. The leading FanShot artist not on the masthead was a tie at 9 between 5thStarter, JustJDawg and mustard_man. The leading commentator was....drum roll, please...Designerguy, at 30,449 comments. red floyd came in 2nd with 25,782. In doing some further digging and a lot of Excel work, it turns out that Designerguy was the 13th most prolific commenter in all of SBN! All sites, all sports, all over the globe. Well, done, Designerguy!! But, seriously. Dude. You were within easy striking distance of a Top 10 finish. Get on that, would you?

Rank Member Site Sport Comments
1 Barves. Every Day Should Be Saturday NCAA: College Football 58,296
2 seeds961 Every Day Should Be Saturday NCAA: College Football 47,360
3 MetsFan4Decades Amazin' Avenue MLB: NY Mets 47,039
4 SpartanHT Off Tackle Empire NCAA: Big Ten Conference 46,038
5 bevonyc Every Day Should Be Saturday NCAA: College Football 45,262
6 DiaDeLosSlapsy McCovey Chronicles MLB: San Francisco Giants 44,739
7 BTO Lone Star Ball MLB: Texas Rangers 44,218
8 The SartorialisT Every Day Should Be Saturday NCAA: College Football 38,281
9 The Deputy Mayor of Rush Street Bleed Cubbie Blue MLB: Chicago Cubs 35,539
10 James McKinney The Phinsider MLB: Philadelphia Phillies 31,876
11 Londonjoe Every Day Should Be Saturday NCAA: College Football 30,804
12 Guynemer Every Day Should Be Saturday NCAA: College Football 30,697
13 Designerguy Halos Heaven MLB: LA Angels 30,449

  • Who's On Third? Finally. I, personally, have been pondering this issue ever since Dallas McPherson cracked his back. Jerry Dipoto is focused not on a Scherzer/Shields play ("One thing is certain: Barring a drastic change in philosophy, the Angels will not be in the market for Shields or Scherzer, top-tier free agents whose markets remain rather mysterious."), but on a cost-controlled third-base prospect. "The Angels will need someone to take over at the hot corner once David Freese hits the free-agent market after the 2015 season, don't necessarily have that player in their organization and have made acquiring someone via trade one of their primary goals this winter, a source said."..........To make room, Marc Krauss was DFA'd...........Be advised, however, that Dipoto is far from done wheeling and dealing.



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This Date In Baseball History: 1903 - Baltimore's defunct American League is sold to a pair of investors for $18,000, and shipped out of town. it will land in Manhattan and be named the Highlanders. 10 years later it will be renamed, to the Yankees...........1952 - Ted Williams, who had spent WWII in Hawaii playing baseball, is recalled to active duty by the Marines. This time, in Korea, Williams will become a bomber pilot and fly 39 missions, and survive a crash landing after being shot down by the enemy..........1960 - In the first Home Run Derby ever aired, Mickey Mantle comes form behind and defeats Willie Mays at Wrigley Field in LA. Mays, when way ahead, had accepted a deal to double his side bet with Mantle, leaving mantel to walk away with all the money............1976 - The San Francisco Giants announce their sale to LaBatt's Brewery, with a pending move to Toronto. Blocked by SF Mayor George Moscone, the Giants remained on the west coast and LaBatt's got an AL expansion team instead...........1990 - MLB owners announce that spring training camps will be locking out pro players as of February 15 unless a new agreement is in place. It won't be............2005 - The Mets announce the signing of Carlos Beltran, making Beltran the tenth $100 player in history. After spending 5 1/2 seasons in Kansas City, Beltran had spent the last 1/2 season of 2004 helping Houston to a 2-0 lead in the top of the 3rd of Game 7 of the NLCS against the Cardinals. The Astros would fall short, and then refuse to add a no-trade clause to the huge offer they would make to retain Beltran, who would end up being rather well-traveled, anyway.

Pacific Coast League History Nuggets

There is a pretty healthy debate concerning which team was the greatest in the history of the PCL. There are some fine choices to be considered: the '37 Sacramento Salons, the '22 or '25 San Francisco Seals, or the '48 Oakland Oaks, or the Hollywood Stars form '49 through '55, and more. The Angels franchise had their share of great years, starting in 1903, and '43 was an incredible year, too. But most of the debate concerns the differences between the '34 Angels and the '56 Angels. Most money sides with '34. in fact, the 1934 Los Angeles Angels rank as the #1 Minor League team in the history of Minor League Baseball, as tracked by MiLB.com.

"The distinguishing feature of the 1934 Pacific Coast League pennant race was that there was none - race, that is. The league played its customary 188-game schedule of 26 week-long series, from April 3 to September 30, with Mondays, except Labor Day, off for travel. The Angels played their first four series at Wrigley field, although in one they were the "visiting" club against Hollywood. When they went on their first road trip, to San Francisco to play the Missions, they had a 23-5 record and were six games in front. Starting in mid-May, Los Angeles won 20 of 22 games, increasing its lead and early in June, the PCL directors voted to return to the split season with the first half ending June 24. By that time, the Angels were 18-½ games ahead of the second place Missions with a record of 66-18, .786. Hollywood took an early lead in the second half as Los Angeles slumped to just over .500. The Angels finally regained the lead July 30, battled briefly with Seattle, then took off again. Starting August 14, they won six of seven games from San Francisco at Seals Stadium. Los Angeles clinched the second half flag two weeks before the season ended and finished with a 71-32 record, 12 games ahead of Hollywood. For the full season, Los Angeles won 137 and lost 50, setting PCL records for the most wins and best percentage (.733) in a season. The Angels won 23 of the 26 series and 29 consecutive series from late 1933 until they lost one at Seattle, July 3-8.

At the time the season was split, the directors decided that if the Angels won both halves, they would play a post-season series against a PCL All-Star Team selected by a vote of the fans. That squad included five of the top eight batters in the league and the three pitchers leading in wins (not counting Los Angeles players). The Seals’ Joe DiMaggio could not play because of a knee injury. All the games were played at Wrigley Field. The Angels won the opener 6-4, then the All-Stars took the next two games 5-2 and 9-7. Los Angeles won three in a row to take the series, 4 games to 2."

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  • Barry Bonds: My personal, honest, opinion is that Barry Bonds belongs in the HoF based entirely on his accomplishments between 1986 and 1999. To me, this is indisputable. But I am equally of the opinion that the vast majority of Bonds Whiners today are only in it for the self-serving purpose of having the nation celebrate "one of their guys", ie: Giants fans, while reaching insufferable levels of intellectual dishonesty when it comes to the degree to which the self-serving Bonds, in his later years, made a complete mockery of the methods our sport has used to measure greatness. So, eff you, Krukow. You have wrapped your self-worth up in the blanket of the biggest jerk-a-thon imposed on the fabric of American baseball, and have hid behind the disingenuous tropes of chimera proof.  I do hope Bonds gets in, and I pray that he would be assigned a Pittsburgh cap.


  • Future HoF'ers Playing Today: Always a fun thought experiment this time of year, but who are we watching today who would make it past the BBWAA voting "process" and gain admittance to the HoF? The guys you will tell your grandkids someday that "you saw play in person"? One list of well-established players includes our own Albert Pujols in the wrong uniform for this conversation, and an Adrian Beltre that we could have had. The same author posits a follow-up list today on those youngsters who are great, but still shy of the longevity factor.


  • Ummmm...what?: This is a sad story that might still be hiding some details. Yankees pitching prospect Ty Hensley had the crap beaten out of him and ended up in the hospital. Hensley is the Yankees' 1st round pick in the 2012 draft, and the 30th pick overall. This is Top MLB Prospect material we are talking about here, folks. He has since been discharged and his attacker has been arrested and charged. Apparently, this whole thing was an argument between strangers concerning how much money kids get in signing bonuses from various sports. Hensley was asked what he received, wouldn't tell, and was assaulted for remaining silent. I wonder about that. There should be more to this tale, since this particular bit of info requested is actually already public knowledge. This is not stuff kept secret. So why would all this happen over something that is 15 seconds away from being known with any PDA on planet earth?


  • Winter Meeting Fail: Do you know how it is that you have failed during a highly active trading season to do the hard work necessary to get yourself out of the massive hole you dug yourself into? Here is how. Your fan base, those most vested in encouraging, following, and supporting your need to be energetic and creative, decide instead to to fund a giant billboard to tell you to go eff yourself.

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Ha ha ha!  Fracking is trying to take down the Rangers!..........MLB has released the FULL Spring Training schedule, make your plans accordingly...........Curt Schilling (I love this guy for the links he creates!!!) is pulling the victim card. Too bad he is such as idiot that he is 100% wrong on his example of John Smoltz. But, hey, don't let stupid ever get in your way, Curt!!............So we just had National Bobblehead Day, which is my new 4th favorite holiday and it needs to be important to everybody, but did you know that we already have a National Bobblehead Museum Kickstarter Project underway?!?..............Just a PSA concerning the practice of safe sex, for all you baseball fans: just a little something to put new meaning into the phrase "the splended splinter"...............Yesterday Jim passed along the news that Smoltz is now the first Tommy John pitcher into the Hall of Fame. Turns out that Paul Molitor is the first TJ PLAYER into the Hall...........David Eckstein now signed on to teach our national U18 squad all about grit..........Dipoto still not done restocking the farm system..........This is fun. One publication targeting families with kids that travel has proclaimed Progressive Field to possibly be "the most family friendly ballpark in the country". I don't know how they overlooked the reality that Progressive Field is still in Cleveland..............I was actually watching this episode as it aired, and was gobsmacked during the discussion. I knew that this collection of baseball cards was going to be big, but holy balls! These should be on display, on loan to the Baseball HoF..........Of all the possible reasons why Ryan Howard is not going to be wearing Halo gear any time soon, already having a -0.3 bWar C.J. Cron has to be near the bottom...........OT: If you are a male, of the age 20-29, fishing, in July, on a Saturday, you are doomed.

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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...

Friday: Pint Night at The Packinghouse, out in Riverside.

Saturday: I doubt that this has anything to do with beer, but at the Kern County Fairgrounds (and there is always hope for beer at any fairgrounds!), you can partake in the free admit to a Robot Competition. Don't forget to update your insurance.

Sunday: nuthin'

BEER BONUS QUIZ: Still waiting on the answer to that last quiz question, back on 12/19, aren't you? The question was "1 or 2 beers a day are likely to be: (A) tall, (B) skinny, (C) pimply, or (D) smart?" The answer is (D) smart. In a 2004 study at University College in London, it was found that drinking beer was associated with higher cognitive abilities. People who drank one or two beers a day also tended to be better educated, and made more money. Go Homer!

The week's quiz question: What is a "publican"? (A) A beer cannery, (B) The owner or manager of a pub, (C) A public toilet in a bar or pub, or (D) A special beer tax collected in some European countries?

Stay safe, everyone!