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Thor'sLinks: New Year's Eve

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And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp, And surely I'll be mine! And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, For auld lang syne

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Ho Ho Ho is past. And we are just concluding the Ho Hum Week. It's time for whatever baseball can give us as New Year's Eve Links amidst the crush of college/pro football extravaganzas this weekend.

But before we get on with it, will everyone please promise to be responsible tonight? I want you all back safe and sound when the world resumes on Monday.

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Everywhere In Baseball

Money Talks: There is still a lot of hand-wringing going on in New York over the trade for Aroldis Chapman since Chapman still has some messy domestic violence residue sticking to his public persona. Again, it's not possible for us to judge anything here since all the parties involved have given ever-changing statements as to who did what or when or why. But that doesn't stop people from, you know, actually judging. But the bestest tidbit currently out there concerns Yankees' GM Brian Cashman, who acknowledges that, yeah, there are some serious things to think about pertaining to Chapman (such as, maybe, the huge upside should MLB suspend Chapman long enough to grant the Yankees another year of contract control!) but in the end, hey, the price dropped and who can resist a holiday sale?!..........

Bullshit Walks: Let's take a moment to piss everyone off. To prep you, know in advance that Craig Calcaterra, primary MLB blogger at NBC Sports, is a huge PEDs apologist. HUGE, and going way back. There is no instance of any player NOT in the minor leagues trying to get a leg up on his competition via any kind of pharmacological science where Calcaterra cannot find a way to deflect blame and responsibility onto the shoulders of others. He is the perfect advocate for victimhood. I warn you so that you know in advance that it's not personal. Calcaterra doesn't hate you, Angels fan. With that warning, go see how Calcaterra spins the entire Josh Hamilton episode as his #12 Top Story of 2015. And while you are reading that you can take comfort in knowing that (A) Hambone's injuries were NOT fully healed as Craig wants to spin, resulting in (B) a shitload of lost service time that would have forced LAA to platoon the shit out of left field anyway, which (C) would not have made the difference in standings that Calcaterra wishes for. Further, (D) Hambone did far more to retard the Rangers' chances for a playoff spot - both while on the field and while not being able to be on the field - than anything he did on behalf of the Rangers chances in the one game that Calcaterra wants to admire. And, finally (E), I would bet that Katie Hamilton has a much more severe opinion of Hambone than Calcaterra is pretending him to be. If only Hambone's attorney's had not silenced her..........

Small Change Rides The Bus: One must suspect that prices are dropping for Free Agent outfielders. With Yeonis Cespedes, we already have heard that rates are going down enough for the Tigers and White Sox to start sniffing around. With Alex Gordon, the early off-season buzz was that the Royals had no intention of paying market rates and that would prevent Gordon from re-signing with KC. The Royals have been holding fast to their budget and their offer, and time is working in their favor. Because now we are hearing from Gordon himself that - you know what? - things might work out with the Royals after all..........

Bottlenecks: One way to look at the traffic jam in position player Free Agents this winter: the Chris Davis offer from Baltimore, since pulled off the table..........

Cespedes for the Restofus: Good question. Why no Cespedes signing? Is it because nobody wants him? Or that nobody wants him for whatever price his agent is asking?............Of course, there is always the question of which Cespedes might be the one that the winning team ends up signing..........

Just Be-Kaz: Everybody is raking in the success of the guy we helped rehab. Scott Kazmir, who popped back up in Cleveland two seasons after his spin in Anaheim and did Ok, then went to Oakland and did Ok, then got traded to Houston and did Ok, is now back in Southern California. He signed with the Dodgers for $48 million over the next 3 years. For those who haven't been keeping count, this makes for a potential of 5 left-handed starting pitchers on their staff.........

HK47: The DBacks are looking for some more offense to go with their offseason pitching revamp, and are talking Howie Kendrick..........

Settling Our Differences: Yeah, I agree with this (except for tennis, which should be much higher). Baseball has the very best tie-breaking system of all major sports..........

Winter Musings: Here in this dead time for news, spend some quality eyeball exercising in that easy chair near the fireplace and enjoy why baseball is so great, Part 1 and then Part 2...........And then pour yourself some hot mulled cider and close your eyes and listen to the Ten Best Vin Scully stories of 2015..........

OT: 22 glorious minutes with Phil Tippett. If you have to ask who Phil Tippett is, you need to adjst the regulator on your oxygen tank..........Also - long form - the backstory of the person behind a lot of sports mascots - and muppets...........

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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 Thursday...for beer...

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: It's New Year's Day and weekend, and nothing beyond the usual and customary should be expected over these next three days..........

Stay safe, everyone! And this weekend I REALLY MEAN IT!!!

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