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MondoLinks: 11 days until pitchers report!

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After all the moving and shaking of this offseason, this could be The Year of California Baseball.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend-recap_medium

Man. few things are as tough as having a Sunday night assignment on a weekend when nothing happens. After spending two days digging up my back yard, I had no idea I was going to truly labor trying to dig up baseball news. I was moments away from whipping out my Yong Frankenstein hidden quotes trick when...finally...links!

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In the Heavens of Anaheim: ............This should be a fun game. And it needs to be played before ST is in full swing and things start to shape themselves.  If you had to pick RIGHT NOW, what would be your prediction for our starting 5 as of the All-Star Break? We have lots of options............New for 2015, LA Angels make travel planning to Tempe this spring easy............In the race to proclaim Mike Trout the new "Face of Baseball", the gods of bracketology are currently working him through The Face of SoCal, bracing for the next round as The Face of California...........Way, way down at the bottom of this blog entry is the following factoidFrom the Bill Chuck files — "Since the end of the 2010 season, Josh Hamilton’s lifetime batting average at the end of each season has gone from .311 to .308 to .304 to .295 to his current .292." This is all true. Should be too surprising, since Hambone is beyond his natural athletic peak. For instance, we can add to our dismay by noting that, in the same time, Albert Pujols has seen his career BA go .331 to .328 to .325 to .321 to .317. Hamilton has dropped 19 points, while Pujols has dropped 14 points.

Around Baseball: You know, if the Padres finish off their off-season by landing James Shields, the combination of defending WS champ Giants, Beane's overhauled FrankenTeam in Oakland, the bolstered Dodgers and Angels, and massively upgraded Padres, could all make the primary narrative in MLB this season rather California-centric............The rich can only get richer, if and when the MLB All-Star Game is auctioned off to the highest bidder each year. Although, I confess, I personally care very little about where the game is played. I wonder how many fans really do?...........I tend not to be very quick with my wits, needing a considerable amount of time to formulate something that needs to be said. This is not because I am dull or dense, but because I have found that it increases my odds of avoiding moments like this............Our new fearless leader, Commissioner Manfred, has expressed an interest in attempting to corral the cats who vote on Hall of Fame candidates, being audacious enough to suggest that players should not be accused of violating one rule or another without evidence............BeaneBall, up in Oakland, has given me fits. More than once I chose to begin doing the math to figure out how the roster being built stacks up against the potent roster of 2014, but I just couldn't keep up with all the changes. No small wonder, when one looks at it like this.................Oops. Just 2 days after writing that even the likes of KRod remain unemployed this late, Frankie might now be coming off the market. For the sake of a year full of punnage, I am thrilled. Because even though the Dodgers passed on him, this still means that there is a chance that Frankie does go to a Hollywood............What? Bryce Harper tees off for 340 yards?? Wouldn't that be about 50 yards on the other side of those buildings in the distance?.............Barry Bonds buys a bicycle for $20,000...Wait. Somebody makes a bicycle that costs $20,000??? At those kinds of prices, one would hope that the cycle kinda doesn't need to be pedaled.

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Off Topic, but worthy of our respect as fellow sports fans. Rest In Peace, Dean Smith.

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