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Wednesday Halolinks: Mike Trout more than just a great player

Angels fans are fortunate to have potentially one of the greatest players ever on their team, but to have him be a "good guy" too makes it all the better.

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Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

My new place has hardwood floors (not bragging, they look like crap for now), but since there's a sagging joist causing the place to tilt slightly to the left (when looking north to south), my chair keeps rolling away form my desk.  Do you how hard it is to keep typing out your thoughts as your arms get longer and lon


Here's today's Halolinks:

You've probably already heard the dumb quote from this Lyle post about how one National League GM would pick Adam Jones over Trout, but the biggest take-away should be this quote: Trout tops list of most coveted players -, "The kid is almost too good to be true," a National League manager said of the 2014 AL MVP, who is batting .545 with a 1.766 OPS this spring after hitting two home runs on Tuesday. "Trout comes across as a genuinely good guy who cares about his teammates. If he stays on course, he'll go down as one of the greatest ever to play, in the [Mickey] Mantle and [Willie] Mays class."  I've mentioned my feeling about Alex Rodriguez (I still like him), but imagine how great it's going to be to have a "good guy" to root for.

Okay, I admit it, I haven't been following the Angels and their stadium stuff as closely as I probably should.  Can someone please explain to me if this is going to impact the team's possible move? Is Obama proposal the end of taxpayer-subsidized sports stadiums?, "An obscure item in the president's new budget would put an end to the long-standing practice of states and cities using tax-exempt bonds to finance professional sports arenas, a practice that costs the U.S. Treasury $146 million, according to a 2012 Bloomberg analysis."  I hope so: In Stadium Building Spree, U.S. Taxpayers Lose $4 Billion - Bloomberg Business, "Tax exemptions on interest paid by muni bonds that were issued for sports structures cost the U.S. Treasury $146 million a year, based on data compiled by Bloomberg on 2,700 securities. Over the life of the $17 billion of exempt debt issued to build stadiums since 1986, the last of which matures in 2047, taxpayer subsidies to bondholders will total $4 billion, the data show."

Remember when the Angels did this to Mike Trout?  I do, and I'm glad they did.  Although the two sides eventually agreed to a multi-year extension, keeping Trout in the minors for the short time in 2011 potently gave the club an extra year of control.  This will probably be one of the first things the owners and the union will discuss during the next contact negotiations.   Not Kris Bryant specifically, but how a player's MLB service-time clock is determined.  As of right now, I don't think there's anything wrong with the way the Cubs are handling this.  If they get an additional year of control by keeping Bryant in the minors for 10 games, and they are doing it within the structure of the union agreement, who can fault them?  Scott Boras on Kris Bryant not making Cubs’ roster: "Do they really want to win here?" - HardballTalk, "If the Cubs hold off on promoting Bryant until April 17, they can delay his potential free agency an extra year — from 2020 to 2021. A whole year of control for an easy 10-game delay. It’s a no-brainer."  From the Cubs side, Theo Epstein: Kris Bryant's fate has Scott Boras, Cubs fans atwitter -, "This has nothing to do with money or future earnings, Cubs president Theo Epstein says - it's a genuine baseball decision. "Ownership doesn't have anything to do with it,'' Epstein told USA TODAY Sports. "We're making an organizational decision. And I'll be the one, as president of baseball operations, making the decision."  And of course, Scott Boras has his client's interest in focus: Boras vs. Cubs? Agent pushes team to keep Kris Bryant in bigs; Theo pushes back - FOX Sports, "Cubs ownership has a choice," Boras told FOX Sports on Tuesday. "Are they going to present to their market that they are trying to win? Tom Ricketts said they were all about winning. "When someone says it’s the system, no, it’s a choice — the choice of winning." Cubs president Theo Epstein countered, "Kris Bryant's development path has absolutely nothing to do with ownership, period. As with all our baseball decisions, I will determine where Kris begins the 2015 season after consulting with members of our baseball operations staff. Comments from agents, media members and anybody outside our organization will be ignored."

What are we supposed to make our paper airplanes out of now?  Baseball Is Shelving Punch Cards as All-Star Voting Goes Online - Bloomberg Business, "The March 9 memo from Bob Bowman, baseball’s president for business and media, said online voting accounted for more than 80 percent of ballots cast last season and that more than 16 million paper ballots went unused."

A couple from the Angels' mothership:

The first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem: Iannetta focused on improving pitch framing, "It's something I really take pride in," Iannetta said. "I'm really trying to work on it. Some of the numbers last year were not where I want them to be, and that was surprising." Iannetta ranked 87th out of 105 Major League catchers in gaining additional strikes in 2014. That particular stat used Baseball Prospectus' "Regressed Probabilistic Model" of framing to calculate the combined probability that each pitch will be called a strike. The difference between those "projected strikes" -- rarely a whole number -- and actual strikes was then used to determine where catchers ranked with regards to framing pitches."

Chase Utley.  Problem solved.  Offense key for Featherston to make Angels, "Taylor is a kid that feels very comfortable on second, third or short. He's very athletic. He has a good arm," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "On the defensive side, he's shown that he is ready for the challenge of the Major Leagues. On the offensive side, it's going to take a little bit of comfort level in the batter's box. He's getting better."

Big hit to the Rangers rotation.  I feel bad for Darvish.  The Rangers?  Not so much.  Yu Darvish of Texas Rangers has Tommy John elbow surgery - ESPN Dallas, "Yu Darvish had his season-ending elbow surgery Tuesday, when the torn ligament from the Texas Rangers ace's right arm was replaced with a tendon from his forearm. ... The pitcher likely will be sidelined until early 2016. His right arm will be in a sling for about seven to 10 days and then he will have a brace on his elbow."

Howie Kendrick?  Let me see...Howie Kendrick.  Nope, doesn't ring a bell: New Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick quickly finds comfort zone - LA Times, "Kendrick also showed some power Tuesday, driving on 0-2 pitch an estimated 440 feet to dead center in the fifth inning for his first home run in a Dodgers uniform. "I actually kind of think I missed it a little bit but it ended up going out of the yard. I guess the wind was blowing today," Kendrick said, a humble explanation Rollins, listening from the adjoining locker, couldn't let go. "In other words," Rollins teased, "I've never hit one that well before."

This was mentioned in yesterday's Halolinks comment section, but in case you missed it: Former Angels GM Tony Reagins named to MLB youth outreach post, "The former Angels general manager has been named to a newly-created position as Major League Baseball’s senior vice president for youth programs. Reagins will be responsible for overseeing MLB’s outreach to youth organizations and efforts to increase participation at all amateur levels."  Even though he gave the Angels Vernon Wells, it shouldn't be held against him forever.  I'm glad the Del Taco Ninja is doing well.


It looks like Mike Napoli's manliness is rubbing off on Ratface: Dustin Pedroia Gives His Bat To Red Sox Fan, Makes Her Cry (Video) -, "Dustin Pedroia knows how to bring out the water works, that's for sure. Before Friday night's spring training game against the New York Yankees at JetBlue Park, the Boston Red Sox second baseman decided to bring a smile to a fan in the crowd by giving her his bat."  After Pedroia returned to the dugout, Napoli said, "That's the wrong bat, dude."

Maybe he should have read this post first: How to Confidently Buy Lingerie Your Girlfriend Will Want To Wear, "So you want to buy your girlfriend some lingerie, but you don't want to be the creepy guy checking out thongs at Victoria's Secret. Buying lingerie might seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Plus, the payoff of seeing your lady in that little number you bought will be well worth it. Here's how to do it right."