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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Moreno gives himself an Opt-Out

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Arte Moreno appears to be choosing the opt-out clause he just added for himself in the social contract with the fans who enrich the franchise he owns.

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It's good to be King. Who else gets to race his ATV all through your corn field, show up after dinner to pay for the losses, and then suggest that after careful consideration it would probably be best for his own accounts that he wait a few more of your harvests, and the taxes he will be collecting from you, before taking things up for reconsideration concerning payback?

You? You can suck it up, pal. Which should make for a nice set of National Roast Suckling Pig Day Links:

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Angels Baseball

Achtung!: Ok, this is just getting insane. Is baseball moving too quickly for Eppler or something? First it was the drafting of Deolis Guerra and Ji-Man (Bok) Choi in the recent Rule 5 Draft. As you should know by now, Rule 5 Draftees can force the hand of the franchise if they make the 25-man roster, erasing a significant percentage of roster flexibility over the course of an entire season in order to hang on to that draftee. Think Taylor Featherston. Eppler didn't need to take that risk if he really wanted those two players. BOTH of them were total free agents who were signed only slightly before the Rule 5 draft. In Guerra's case, only 3 days before. Eppler could have simply signed them as free agents and not had a single roster restriction to worry about. So that was dumb. Twice...........Now we have A.J. Achter, picked up off the waiver wire from the Phillies. Maybe Achter works out, maybe he doesn't. It's perfectly normal to go stuffing the motel rooms in Tempe with a Costco shopping cart full of arms so that you can take the best dozen or so to the Anaheim bullpen. That's not the story here. Achter was in the Twins system up until November when he was waived and landed in the laps of the Phillies. That means that he first passed by all the other AL teams - INCLUDING Eppler - before jumping over to the NL. No harm done here, since Eppler got him anyway, but in order to claim him from the Phillies Achter had to pass by all the NL teams, then 2/3's of all the AL teams again before the Angels came around on the wheel. What the hell, Billy? Why didn't you just claim him from the Twins in the first place? What did you doing back in November?..........

We Stupid Fans: All season long we were doing the financial math and realizing that the current CBA ends after the 2016 season, and should result in some form of change to the current luxury tax system. And whatever happens, the change should mean that there would be less of any punitive restrictions on whatever Arte Moreno needed to do to get his ass out of the sling he jammed it into. Wrong. the REAL threat, as Master Moreno is quick to forecast for us, is that there is a decent chance that, contrary to all history and all labor pressures known to mankind, the luxury tax threshold might actually go DOWN, and INCREASE the harsh and unfair punishments meted out to the honest, trustworthy and hard working owners such as himself...........

And it's all our fault: Jeff Fletcher wants us to empathize with Arte and the salary mess that is the LAA payroll, and what kinds of challenges are upcoming over the next few years. We should stop complaining. Or, at least, be smarter about our complaints. Allow me to point out for us rubes that paying $26 million a year for a 26th roster player who actually plays on some other owner's roster is a massive level of stupidity that warrants the fine. And he is the one who owns Albert Pujols. It's not like that one snuck up on him or anything............By the way, you might be miserable at this turn of events but Rob Neyer is extremely happy................

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Elsewhere In Baseball

Relief is on the way: Mike Bates, who writes over at the SBN Rumor Mill, suddenly realizes that he is getting old. Bullpens are changing baseball and he laments the good ol' days of complete games. I ask that none of you tell him about the DH before the holidays are over...............

Xmas: There is still plenty of time to exploit MLB Shop for that perfect Christmas gift guaranteed to defy Aunt Marla's Ugly Sweater Challenge.............

HoF: Just for sport, sometimes guy get on the Hall of Fame ballot for reasons beyond reason. Let's enjoy FanGraphs as they take us on a meandering journey that leads to the ignoble John Stephenson............Speaking of HoF, here is how voters think: using votes that otherwise might go to one deserved so that it might be used to sustain another's hopes..................

M.A.S.H. Up: This is different. It's only mid-December. The playoffs just ended a couple of months ago. Spring Training is forever away. But already Joe Girardi is fretting over the medical review of his pitching staff. To which I say, "Dude, do something about it! You coulda had A,J, Achter!"..........

Misery Loves Company: Yeah I know. I hate these click-fest links, too. But it does lead to surprise for the curious. Where would you have parked yourself on the MLB Misery Index back on Monday, and how far towards most miserable would you now skew it on Friday? Oh hell, let me spoil it for you. You are nowhere near as miserable as Kansas City Royals fans, but you ARE more miserable than Oakland A's fans............

Prospecting: Another reason Arte is in such a pickle with our franchise is that his staff has been pretty suck at drafting deep for far too long now. And prospects have a huge value, impactful on the major league team even while down at AA.............


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Hot Stove Season

Trying to keep up:

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This Date In Baseball History: 1973 - The Yankees, clearly pissed off that the Oakland A's are winning all those World Series and they are not even attached to the correct ocean, sign away skipper Dick Williams. Williams was more than happy to go, being totally pissed off by his boss, Charlie O. Finley. Finley filed suit in Federal Court because Williams was still under contract. AL President Joe Cronin stepped in and voided the contract, the Yankees turned to Bill Virdon, and Dick Williams just refused to go back to Oakland. About midway through the 1974 season, Angels owner Gene Autry received permission from Finley to hire Williams to run the craptastic Halos. Williams would go 38 and 48 to finish out the 74 season, open the 75 season by going 39 - 57, and get fired. By the way, things would continue to suck until Autry brought back a young Jim Fregosi as manager about 1/3 of the way through the 78 season...........1990 - The National League announces 6 cities as finalists for the 2 impending expansion teams. The candidates were Buffalo, Denver, Miami, Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, and Washington, DC. Yeah, Denver and Miami would win, with their inaugural seasons coming in 1993..........2003 - Adam Kennedy agrees to a 3-year, $8.85 million contract to stay with the Angels..........2004 - Normally I wouldn't go into all the trades that happen on the days during this period of the year, but here Oakland traded away Mark Mulder to the Cardinals in exchange for minor league catching prospect Daric Barton, reliever Kiko Caleroand starting pitcher Dan Haren..........2005 - The bat Pete Rose used to hit home run #159 is purchased at auction by GoldenPalace.com, which plans to saw the bat in half to see if was corked, as had long been rumored. GoldenPalace did not follow through, and later sold the bat at a huge loss. But that doesn't mean that Rose did not use corked bats, because he most certainly did. While we are on it, Mickey Mantle may have used corked bats, too........

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