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HumpLinks: Winter Meetings Day 3

Let's rehash Tuesday and all the MLB traffic, those done and those merely talked to death. Plus, as usual, everything else accidentally happening around baseball.

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The logjam may be breaking, as one of the big name position players, Ben Zobrist, has settled into Chicago to be a part of the enduring lore of lovable losers. So keep hitting F5 to keep your MLB Trade Rumors pages refreshing, and keeping reading today's dose of National Pastry Day Links:


Angels Baseball

Booyah!: Take THAT, baseball big time fakirs, poseurs and attention whores. Enough with your Ben Zobrist annoyances. Billy Eppler stole the day! Like a saber slashing quickly through the crisp Tennessee air he claimed the brilliant outfielder speedster Quintin Berry. Berry - whose fame is dominated by his only being caught once trying to steal a base - will single-handedly restore the value of our farm system. That it, of course, unless his Spring Training invitation goes so well he makes the MLB 25-man roster............


Elsewhere In Baseball

Dust up: Dusty Baker stepped into a couple of pits of goo, both of his own making, yesterday. During an interview, when the topic of Aroldis Chapman came up, his response was "A heck of a guy...sometimes abusers don't always have pants on." Now, it's fair to assume that until the full set of facts come out concerning the Chapman domestic violence events we cannot pre-judge Aroldis as the abuser, no matter how overwhelming the odds may be. But Baker makes the implication here that he already knows enough to judge, and it's a pretty safe bet that he has not interviewed all parties, either. Stupid comment, then, and dangerous to do so in public at this point...............But Baker was not yet done. He then went on to suggest that white folk can't jump. He wants to see more blacks and latinos in baseball because they tend to run faster. "I'm not being racist. That's just the way it is." Dude. Really?............I always wonder what goes through the minds of the interviewer in moments like these. Do they keep feeding the beast and providing an easy path to greater damage? Or do they get embarrassed for all concerned and find a way to allow everyone to exit the situation gracefully before any more damage can be done?...........

Justice Juiced: This is great. Just great!  I love this kind of stuff. It makes the news so much more fun. You see, there is this dad, whose daughter was struck in the head by a foul ball during a baseball game. So he is suing the Atlanta Braves. Normally, this is the kind of thing where one lawyer thinks they have some new angle and the case runs its course for a few days until it all gets shot down by the first rational judge who falls back on that whole Assumption of Risk thing, which is agreed to as written on the back of every ticket. it happens, though. People still sue. However, just like the case in Boston where a fan was injured after the Red Sox removed some fan protection ("so at one point you knew it was dangerous, but then..." argument), this case in Atlanta has suddenly got a hell of a lot more interesting. This particular foul ball was hit by Melky Cabrera - convicted PEDs abuser Melky Cabrera. So the lawyer doing the suing here has filed a request demanding that MLB turn over all of their records concerning players who have used performance-enhancing drugs. Yeah! Really! Personal medical records. And as if the MLB doesn't have something like 3000 lawyers of their own and near police power! This is awesome sauce. Go Mr. lawyer for the Dad..........

Wha?: Before the Red Sox picked up Craig Kimbrel from the Padres, they were nearing a deal to acquire Aroldis Chapman. They learned of the domestic violence issue and pulled out. So how is it that the Dodgers just found out the other day, nearly a month later?

Sports Biz: How fascinating. Verizon created a custom packaging offering for their FiOS subscribers. And when it came time for those customers to choose their first two package options, the ones that were free, they tended to not choose a package that included sports. And they tended to refuse to choose a third package, which would cost extra, just to get to any sports option. In other words, when given a choice cable customers tend to not want to pay for sports content. This, of course, just cannot be so ESPN is suing to restore their version of reality. But that kind of trends bodes ill for the long-term health of mega regional sports network deals, doesn't it? After all, those things assume that the default response by consumers is to pay for sports regardless of how they feel about everything else..........Take, for example, Jim Rome. People don't seem to want to watch his sports content anymore, so they are not going to get to...........


Hot Stove Season