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MondoLinks: 2 Weeks to go!

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24 of the 26 weeks since our season ended last year in Kansas are done. But who wants to go back to Kansas when Oz awaits?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Weekend-recap_medium

While you were away...

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In the Heavens of Anaheim: Garrett Richards faces opposing batter today, pitching against the Giants' AAA squad...........

By the way, in that same link Andrew Heaney is tracking to possibly make the MLB rotation on Opening Day, and be battling Hector Santiago for the 5th spot a couple of weeks later when Richards joins the team. Heaney will start Tuesday, and he needs to step it up if he doesn't want to sped the year in AAA experiencing more seasoning..........

C. J. Wilson is lagging. Either that, or he is already is mid-season form. It all depends on which Wilson you expect to see in 2015, the 2013 Wilson or the 2014 Wilson? It's worth pondering that Wilson actually prepped often over winter just so that he would be ahead of things during ST. If this is ahead, where is his normal?...........

Huston Street is coming along very well.the biggest thing about Street is that this is the first time that the LAA coaching staff has seen the veteran Street in a camp, so they are learning about his routines and progress at the same time we are. And they are impressed. As Scioscia points out: "Huston's stuff has picked every time he's been out. Today he really had good stuff." So, yeah. Street has got stuff...........

Can you hear me now? Can you here me now? Man, this is stunning, to me at least. Today's dugouts and bullpens are so full of cellphones and iPads that players don't communicate as much as they used to. Really? Weaver know it: "Oh yeah, it’s way different. All the technology, iPads and games and social media, people checking all their stuff. There is definitely not as much communication, as far as person to person, as when I came up." And Santiago notices it: "Santiago said sometimes he may want to go talk baseball with a teammate, but he doesn’t because he doesn’t want to interrupt whatever he is doing on his phone." Scioscia doesn't seem to notice it: "I think the baseball discussion, in our clubhouse, is alive and well," Scioscia said. "I think our guys support each other and talk a lot of baseball." But you know the thing that I notice? This means that players can get WiFi/cell coverage in stadiums!! WTF???.............

Dipoto finally has some spare change burning a hole in his pocket. It must feel like he just got his birthday card from grandma and found a $5 bill inside. Where to spend it? The obvious topic is to spend it on second base, and the Halos are committed to waiting until deeper into the regular season to determine how needy they are. Realize that we aren't just talking about how the current competition shakes out: who will get the most starts and how productive will 2B be during 2015? We also have to be honest about the season as a whole. Will the team still be relevant and in a chase as the trading windows close? Will sellers of good talent be in a position to deal, and will they partner in something reasonably affordable? Will the Halos be cornered into spending a chunk of their birthday money on a rental? There is a lot of baseball between now and then and, with luck, that new-found payroll flexibility will be looming out there all along...........

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Around Baseball: Terry Collins, Mets' manager, firmly believes that his team is a playoff contender this year. Firmly. Because, after all, the very best pitcher on his staff, the guy winning Opening Day duties, is none other than Bartolo Colon. Forty one year old Bartolo Colon. 2014 4.09 ERA, 85 ERA+, 442 career games, 2786 career innings pitched, Bartolo Colon. You might say "Matt Harvey", who appears to be his old kick-ass self. But Collins says that Harvey had not earned the honor, because he got hurt late last season. Uh, huh............

Dear Dodger fans: Albert Pujols says "you are welcome" for anything good that comes out of Yasile Puig from now on. "Josh Hamilton hit a lazy fly ball to center field at Dodger Stadium. Puig made his usual nonchalant catch with nary a glance at Pujols, who was on first base. Pujols, 34 and bothered by foot injuries, tagged up, put his head down and sprinted for second base...After looking up, startled, then rushed in a throw that reached Hanley Ramirez too late, Puig turned around and wore an embarrassed smile. He partially covered his face with his hand. Pujols later mocked Puig’s one-handed, sideways catching style and had a laugh about it with his teammates, Hamilton and Mike Trout...When the next inning resumed, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully said on the Dodgers’ broadcast, 'For Puig, a painful lesson, an embarrassing lesson, and it was Pujols who took him to school.' ....Puig did, however, study the lesson plan. From that moment through the playoffs, Puig turned his body at the proper angle before catching the ball. He kept an eye on opposing runners, even those on bases from which one wouldn’t expect them to run."...........

Yankees outfield prospect Jose Pirela made quite an impression yesterday. On the Met's outfield wall, giving himself a concussion. I wonder if the Yankees might now be interested in a Mark TrumboDBacks' GM Dave Stewart is claiming not to be interested in dealing him, because seems to think of Trumbo as outfield "depth". That's the kind of guy one wants to play poker against, every day..............

I am finding this to be sooo cute. the Royals experienced a once-in-a-lifetime conflagration of hot streaks, incredible fortune, and an over-abundance of pixie dust as they rode the hottest of all possible streaks through the playoffs and into a Game 7 of the World Series. But instead of thinking of that outcome as one of luck running out, they see it as a missed opportunity, as though they got unlucky, facing the Giants in an even-numbered year and coming up short of their destiny. So now, adorably, they fully expect to "finish their business" in 2015. It's as though the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, A's, and Mariners are little more than Rosencrantz & Guildenstern to the Royals' inevitable march in from Norway..............

Just a public service announcement that baseball players are not necessarily heroes to be admired. A junior ballplayer for Bloomburg University, their starting second baseman and second-leading hitter no less, just got himself checked out of any expected pro career arc as he took it upon himself to utterly fail at life in general, not to mention any social media training, and go out of his way to cast obscene aspersions towards a 12-year old young girl - and national baseball hero. His school dismissed him outright. Simply disturbing. Good job there, mom and dad..............

Here we go, folks. It's that time of year again, when we get a look at the amazing concoctions that the culinary artistes across the MLB landscape slather together and foist off on a captive public. Essentially, the race to the lowest common denominator that will deliver the highest number of net-new diabetes cases possible. And here, for your enjoyment, is the first edition of the Best/Worst Ballpark foods I can locate.............

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