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Wednesday Halolinks: Final predictions for the AL West

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Who is going to win the West in 2015? The Angles? Mariners?

"Do these pants make my butt look big?"
"Do these pants make my butt look big?"
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone else worried about Huston Street?

  • As we head down the final week of Spring Training, we can start rounding out the last of the pre-season predictions.  So far this off season, the predictions for the AL West have had either the Angels or the Mariners atop the division.  Today's predictions follow that pattern; USAToday has the Halos winning the west: AL regular season preview: Fearless predictions, "- Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles Angels: The newly acquired 23-year-old lefty was hit hard this spring, but he should get plenty of starts in Anaheim, where he'll benefit from a good lineup and a division full of great pitchers' parks."
  • While FanGraphs' Dave Cameron ( a notorious Mariners' homer) picks Seattle to have the best record...while also tossing in a nice jab at the Angels: Division Preview: AL West - FanGraphs Baseball, "It’s a testament to how good Trout is that a roster prominently featuring Johnny Giavotella — on purpose — is projected near the top of a decent division. But you probably don’t need too many more paragraphs extolling Trout’s virtues. He’s the best player in baseball and it’s not close, and being that good means that Mike Trout has the ability to cover a multitude of Arte Moreno’s sins."
  • I suppose I should go easier on Cameron as Las Vegas odds-makers give the Mariners better chances at winning the World Series too: Bettors putting heavy cash on Chicago Cubs in Las Vegas - ESPN, "The second most popular team in Vegas? The Seattle Mariners, who, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, are now 8-1 at the MGM. " The Angels are at 12-1.
  • And finally, who better than the actual players could be better at predicting the winners?  MLB pros weigh in on Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Alex Rodriguez and more, "Who will win the World Series? Nationals 30 percent, Mariners 17 percent, Angels 10 percent".  Oh wait.  Never mind.  Anyway, within this post is this dandy quote from an AL outfielder:

    "We get two days off a month. People with regular jobs get more days off than that!"

    Seriously?  The average major league salary is the all-time highest this season at a little over $4 million, and someone is complaining about their work schedule??  It's not like they're going hungry: I suppose someone is will complain about the substandard meal-money they receive considering it's the lowest amount in the top professional sports leagues (NBA - $127, NFL - $113, and NHL - $103).  Yet, that's still $8140.50 for the 6 month season...which is more than I spend on groceries in 2 years at $75/week.  Poor fellas.
  • At least the White Sox are helping out the unfortunate, down-and-out fans by offering affordable tickets: Chicago White Sox offer cheap tickets during early part of season, "The White Sox are offering another package, which includes every game in April and May, for $49. That's $2.33 a game. Both plans don't include Opening Day or May 23, Paul Konerko's retirement ceremony."  Although the Sox marketing people have a small ulterior motive for offer the cheap seats, "Another reason for the low price? The White Sox want to be able to communicate with anyone who buys the package. Everything is done through Major League Baseball's "Ballpark" app. "We want to know who you are and we want to engage you at the ballpark," Boyer said. "We want to tell you the food specials, ask you what type of music you want to hear in between innings and offer you an upgrade or $10 off if you've been to many games in a row."  I still think this is a pretty cool offer.
  • This bad boy will run you $13, or roughly 13% of a player's per diem, but if you haven't had a burger using two grilled cheese sandwiches as buns, you haven't lived.  Kane County Cougars introduce aptly-named Heart Attack Burger - Yahoo Sports, "Eating healthy has become a major agenda for restaurants and food companies over the past couple years. Thank goodness, minor-league baseball hasn't gotten the memo yet. The Kane County Cougars have introduced one food item for the 2015 season that is not shy about its number of calories. Based on its description, the Heart Attack Burger sounds like it could deliver what it promises. "
  • (Sung to the tune of the Beach Boys "Wouldn't It Be Nice") -- Wouldn't it be nice if C.J. threw strikes, and then he would have to lose so much.  Scioscia expects 'big year' from Wilson after rough '14 - angels.com, "I think he's throwing the ball as well as I've seen him throw it, which brings you back to either the start of last year or a couple years ago," Scioscia said. "I think that a lot of the second-half issues -- from the health to consistency to release point -- have been resolved. I look for a big year from C.J."
  • It sounds as if Scioscia has been giving the Royals advice on how to get your quotes published: Blanton to provide bullpen depth at Triple-A Omaha - MLB.com, "Blanton has a 2.79 ERA in three Cactus League games. The Royals view the veteran starter as needed depth at Omaha. "We feel comfortable with the way he's pitched. He has a veteran presence and we feel he can give us a veteran game if we need it."  Can someone please explain to me what a "veteran game" is? 
  • Remember yesterday's bit about Mike Napoli hitting that broken bat home run?  Yeah, some scientist just pissed all over it: An Analysis of a Broken Bat Home Run - The Physics of Baseball, "While the event was certainly unusual, was it a remarkable show of strength by Napoli? Conventional wisdom says that he had to work harder than normal to get such a well-hit ball, given that the bat broke. As Red Sox color announcer Jerry Remy said, "That will give you an idea of how strong Napoli is." So, is conventional wisdom correct? Was Napoli impeded by the broken bat, thereby requiring an extra effort to "muscle the ball" while it was in contact with the bat? The answer to both questions is a resounding NO. Here's why."
  • Got Dish?  Well now you got baseball too: Dish Adds MLB Extra Innings Package - Twice.com, "The multiyear agreement with Major League Baseball (MLB) and MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) also includes authenticated access to the MLB.TV streaming sports service. Dish and MLB Network also reached a multiyear renewal agreement for continued carriage of MLB Network and MLB Network Strike Zone, including digital rights for those channels on DishAnywhere.com and via the Dish Anywhere app."
  • And for you old-time video gamers: You Can Play Pac-Man On Google Maps Right Now, "April Fool’s Day is imminent, which means that we’re about to see A) lots of unfunny people making awful attempts to prank everyone; and B) some people—often including big tech companies like Google and Blizzard—creating some brilliant things. Here’s one example of the latter."