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WeekEnd HaloLinks: MLB getting active as ST nears

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Real baseball is just a couple of weeks away, and with this being a CBA year, it's going to be a furious cycle for news. After a month of near-silence, we finally kick it back up!

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

I know that this page looks intimidating, but it's less than 2000 words, I used to do almost 3000. So news is picking back up, but we still have a long way to go! (heh heh heh)

Here, you have 72 hours to digest it all, Don't be in a hurry. It will still be here tomorrow. And Sunday.

So let's do it. Links:

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Angels Happy Happy News

Because the Angels organization itself has failed to generate any good news or excitement beyond the trade for Andrelton Simmons, it has forced me to come to you all each day (after day after day after day) with nothing to smile about. And it's starting to grate on some (I'm looking at you, DAD OF VLAD and matchp). We can't have that. So let's put smiles on everybody!

Angels make the playoffs!: Most teams only dream of making the playoffs. We DID it!............

Jered Weaver Throws no-hitter!: Watch every out of Jered Weaver's no-hitter that he threw back on May 2, 2012............

Mike Trout hits for the cycle!: Watch every hit of Mike Trout's cycle as he becomes the youngest player in the history of the American League to do so...........

Kendrys Morales hits walk-off grand slam home run!: Relive the exciting moment when Kendry Morales (as he was known back then) hits a walk-off comeback grand slam to defeat the Seattle Mariners, which turns out to be a key turning point in the fortunes of the Anaheim franchise!!..............

Ok. So maybe that last one was slightly out of place.....


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Everywhere In Baseball

Richards: Garrett Richards and the Angels agreed to a new one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. Richards had filed for $7.1 million, and the Angels were offering $5.3MM. That parked the media figure right at $6.2MM. Richards and the Angels ended up agreeing just above that middle point at $6.425MM. This leaves just Kole Calhoun and his arbitration negotiations to conclude, and we can move on to the long list of roster rubes for whom the Halos can simply name their price before we end up with a decent projection of the 2016 payroll. So far, before all those, the team sits at $157,186,190 (adding the announced Richards figure to Cot's). The...ahem...Competitive Balance Tax...is $189 million. This means that Arte is $31,813,810 below the threshold with about 23 more dudes to pay, and those slots cost about $11 million a year ago............By the way, have you noticed that when a player and team agree to a deal before their arbitration hearing, everybody uses the term "avoids"? That's a sign that everybody hates hates hates going through binding arbitration. You would think that the two sides involved, since they only have to answer to themselves, would figure out something less distasteful..........

Woulda Coulda Shoulda: The 2010 draft is looked back upon by the LA Times as a critical point in the trajectory of the LA Angels franchise that is now hitting the team hard because it was such a miss. This was the year that Eddie Bane's draft results were looked upon poorly by then-GM Tony Reagins, and Reagins dismissed him. The LAT article doesn't go very far into this story overall, but does throw some shade on the idea that there was anything that the Angels could have done about it.. They excuse away the result by showing that this was a rather poor draft for any team having high picks. "And that might have been the Angels' biggest problem that year: The top picks were not all that great. Of the top 50 picks six years ago, only 10 have produced 2 WAR in their careers...". Now far be it for me to assume any mantle of prospect expertise, but the logic here does not sit well. Players are first rounders only because teams picked them there. It's only correct that the 2010 first rounders didn't amount to much NOT because the first round talent was weak, but because the teams drafted the wrong guys in the first round. Beyond that particular 2010 draft first round, for example, the following players were still there to be had by anyone: Joc Pederson, Andrelton Simmons, Jacob deGrom, Kris Bryant (although he did not sign), Eddie Rosario, Drew Smyly, Jake Petricka, James Paxton, Jesse Hahn, Kevin Gausman, Jedd Gyorko, Addison Reed and Corey Dickerson. If Eddie Bane had managed a scouting system that would have correctly identified just a few of those guys and put them into our system instead of Chevy Clarke, Ryan Bolden, Taylor Lindsey (hell, even Kaleb Cowart and Cam Bedrosian), the current roster would be far better off today. In that respect Tony Reagins was on to something...........

Synchronize your watches: MLB announced the 2016 ballgame start times. I know. Now we can plan bingo..........

Re-runs already: Opening Day is April 3rd, and MLB kicks off all things fresh with the Game 6 that was never played when the Royals so rudely ended the Series before Joe Buck could finish all his stories. So here you go, opening day plans.................

Deep Sigh: This is either a tragedy, or tragicomedy, but Fraudney's career just keeps rising back up from the grave.  Fernando Rodney signs with the Padres. is this because you can't keep a bad dude down, or is it because the Padres are just run by a lot of dudes who are very bad at what they do?.............

Home Town Discount: The Phillies have figured out that Ryan Howard now sucks at the plate versus lefties, so they decided to shave off a wee bit of responsibility from his shoulders. Now Howard gets paid all $25 million to play only 4/5 of the time............

Writing the Wrongs: Remember back in 2002, when Michael Lewis (the economics writer) was following Billy Beane around and documenting the genius of his iconoclastic team management? You know, the kind of genius that was actually the brainchild of Sandy Alderson, and leveraged human scouts far more than the Lewis' book Moneyball would let on? That was the book that was crediting Oakland for enjoying killer success because of Beane's sneaky brilliance instead of the monster pitching trio of Zito, Mulder and Hudson. All this while the Angels were the ones who were actually winning the World Series............Well, baseball writers are honoring those three guys..............

Docu-Ball: Good news. We have more baseball documentaries on the way., and this will include one focusing on the Montreal Expos. The Expos are a great story, but I wonder if we are not on a road to mythologize the whole thing. Maybe if 1994 had not happened I would feel different............

Human Interesting: MLB's official website came up with a cool story concerning a guy who managed MLB and NFL. But I found other cool articles on the guy, some of which lead to cool websites. Such as this one...........

Playoffs? Playoffs!?: Down in Mexico, the Mexican pacific League are deep into the playoffs, and the semi-final game was all the way out to the bottom of the 16th inning when THE Yuniel Betancourt singled the winning run over to 3rd base. Then, with one out and two runners on base, and two strikes to the plate, we get a walk-off suicide bunt playoff win............

Dept. of Novel Concepts: Baseball at the NCAA level, where college kids in attendance will now get access to alcohol. College kids. And alcohol. I see no way this could possibly go wrong............

More College: Maybe if college kids spent less on alcohol, they could team up and buy their own PS4. Cool story, though............

Baubles: By now you know that I am a sucker for oddball and vintage bobbleheads. So it should come as no surprise that I find this to be a particular piece of bobblehead brilliance...............

Slow it down: And somehow Jered Weaver's fastball failed to make this list...........

Stuff I just couldn't get to: Aroldis Chapman won't face actual charges (doesn't mean MLB won't have a say). Makes sense because all the witnesses keep changing the stories..........MLB is holding a one-time only sale, moving back the trade deadline to August 1st because the normal date falls on a Sunday..........MLB and the MLBPA may be chatting up the DH in the NL during this CBA negotiations. Maybe they agree, maybe they don't. Maybe this is all the trial balloon stuff to gause public/media reactions before anybody tries to get serious..........Instant Replay is expanding again..........True revenue sharing is back as an idea. Just add this to the list of things that make Arte angry, which makes us mindful of the ever-present htreat of collusion...........Are you a Vikings nut? Apparently, Josh Donaldson is............

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This Date In Baseball History: 1913 - Affer relocating from Baltimore to New York City back in 1903, the Highlanders need to relocate from a temporary field to a more professional venue, and on this date make arrangements with th eexisting New York Giants to share the Polo Grounds. You know the Highlanders today as the Yankees.............1982 - Free Agent Reggie Jackson ditches the Yankees and signs a 4-year deal with the California Angels...............1988 - An arbitrator declares MLB guilty of collusion and awards Free Agnet status to 7 players, including Kirk Gibson. This is how the Dodgers end up landing Gibson, who will win the NL MVP award the very next season. That's also the season of the Dodgers' last World Series title, when Gibson limped off the trainers table to homer off of Dennis Eckersley to win Game 1...........2010 - The Angels dump Gary Matthews, Jr. to the Mets, along with most of his remaining salary, in exhancge for Brian Giles............

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