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MondoLinks: 5 days left until pitchers report!

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If you had to make your predictions before you know anything from Spring Training, how far would you go?

Now just days away!
Now just days away!
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend-recap_medium

While you were away...I spent this past Valentine's weekend with the Missus in Las Vegas. It was a stupendously eventful weekend for the entire Stirrups household. The careers of the Stirrups offspring continue to careen well beyond the stratosphere. Literally. I will share what is appropriate, when appropriate.

But this activity turned out to be most helpful thing because it feels like baseball is finally out of breath, as we all await the coming of Spring Training camps opening up just days from now. In the quiet, we still find links:

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In the Heavens of Anaheim: One person's opinion of the revamped LAA farm system. Should you choose to play, the game is to figure out which of the 35 prospects fit into which scoring slot...........In the world of gambling   fools, the House expects that the Betting Public expects the Angels to win only 87 1/2 games (yet that would still be the best expectation in the AL)..........Yoan Moncada hopefuls, get your daily injection of hype right here! While the Halos have not held any private workouts with Moncada, they have been all over him from a distance.............Our president, John Carpino, takes the opportunity of President's Day to message we fans.  It's short enough on its own that it doesn't need summarizing here. but it's intriguing that he includes a public comment about his stadium situation. That kind of stuff is never unintentional.

Around Baseball: When the only thing proven is that he is not qualified to pitch even in a Sunday Beer League, why does a Joe Blanton still keep getting requests to prove himself??...............You know that idea as to how a batter might want to consider fighting back against the shift? Yeah, Chris Davis has had that idea, too............Detroit Tiger Question of the Day: If ace Justin Verlander has put on 20 pounds of muscle this offseason, will that allow him to correct his inability to locate his changeup?............Sometimes, when one wishes that two antagonists both should lose - precisely because both are asshats, one gets their wish. the Yankees are going to reneg on their contract with ARod concerning bonus payouts, and are inviting ARod to sue them. For the rest of us, we should just grab our popcorn, pull up a chair, and consider which of the possible outcomes for 2015 ARod actually comes to pass.......................I don't pretend to compare with any young buck such as Bryce Harper, but I can testify that pulling and pushing weighted sleds across indoor carpet is a helluva lot harder than across polished hardwood.............Hmmm. New Commish, new chance to chat about ol' Pete Rose?...........Someone had themselves quite the happy Valentine's Day, didn't they Mr. David Wells?

To conclude our Monday follies, never stop beating on that corpse, Lyle, never stop. it truly solidifies your legacy.

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From my seat, there are three Big Questions between now and the All-Star Break, some of which might start to congeal in Spring. But each of these Big Three have two shades to be considered. These are, in my personal opinion concerning order of importance, are presented here along with my pulling my own wild-ass supposition out of thin air. Because it's fun to take your chip and just toss it out there on the number 27 while the wheel is still turning. There is still time until the stupidity of that action comes home to roost. Thus...

1: Garrett Richards:

1a: How fast will Garrett Richards be back in the regular LAA rotation? I am guessing that Richards wedges himself back into the rotation by Opening Day, but more as a placeholder then and with limited innings per outing. But before May is out he will be full time.

1b: How far back will Garrett Richards come? My concern is that we will only see about 75%-80% of the Richards we saw last season, at least until we get to August. Confidence in a limb catastrophically injured is a big deal. It may take that long to forget about it completely and just get back to pitching.

2: Second base:

2a: How fast will Mike Scioscia find his every day replacement for the departed Howie Kendrick? I think we should get used to it and accept that Sosh just won't. It will be second base by committee for at least one full season, maybe two if Dipoto doesn't bring in somebody proven. That's just how The Soth rolls.

2b: How much of Howie's productivity will his replacement achieve? I am calling it now. Our community (I won't go so far as to call it a platoon) will achieve 35% of the total fWAR that Howie will produce with the LADs in 2015. He will be missed.

3: Josh Hamilton:

3a: How far back will Josh Hamilton recover? I think it will take a little while, but we will see a glimpse of a highly productive Hamilton, and it will happen for three weeks in June. He may even make a push for Player of the Week once or twice. And then he will get a bee sting or drop his carry-on onto his toe while boarding a flight to Oakland, and it will all fall apart. And Hambone will finally settle in to being the shell of his formal self. And home fans will still shout out gospel quotes from the stands and he will still keep waving his cap in acknowledgement and think its all Ok.

3b: How long will Jerry Dipoto hang on to whatever it is that Josh Hamilton becomes? Until July 30th.