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HumpLinks: A wind break from the Nino

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Hey east coasters, how's the frosty? Santa Ana winds blew into SoCal and granted us a reprieve from El Nino (rains due back this weekend). They also cleared out the winter cobwebs, exposing some news.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Quick. Somebody call Mike Trout. We got oddball weather here in Southern California that needs investigating and reporting. Santa Ana winds came in yesterday and - behold! - paradise is back, however briefly. Mid 70's weather with clear blue skies. Damn. We suffer. Like, sunglasses, shorts and sandals suffer. Almost as much as eyespy suffers over there in Hawaii. But we suck it up and take it for our brothers and sisters in other climates. So, here, have some Envy Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

So var ro-way: What's another way to say "[Efren] Navarro traded to O's for cash considerations"? Can't we all just say "sold"? Eppler had DFA's Navarro, and then placed him on waivers, where the Orioles claimed him, forcing the trade............

Calculated Fisk(ing)s: I suppose that Alden Gonzalez got the word from Tim Mead to clean up the coverage if he wants free sandwiches. Either that, or it has taken Gonzalez 2 months to figure out how to make this whole situation in left field smell so rosy. Whichever, his Roger Lodge-like tip-toe through the decimated tulips of Arte's ownership garden is a ballroom caper worthy of the highest admiration. Gee, there is just so much there that was beyond control. Poor misbegotten, misunderstood and under-appreciated Arte Moreno. How unlucky is he? As you read it, you should remind yourself that the vast majority of those ill-advised contracts were the direct result of Arte's meddling, driven by marketing desires. And as you read it, recall that the decision to dump all those guys and push all the residual payroll problems onto the shoulders of his GM was Arte's, and Arte's alone. And so many of those bucks stop at Arte's desk. LIke gutting the front office staff and so much institutional and baseball knowledge he inherited from Disney. You will read lots of passages like this "clubs that perpetually spend big in pursuit of championships have a hard time maintaining the strong farm systems that are essential for sustained winning" that should truly have been written like this "clubs that perpetually spend stupid in pursuit of championships, and consistently draft stupid past Round 1 as a result of underfunded scouting, and choose to abandon any spend on international talent scouting altogether, have a hard time maintaining the strong farm systems that are essential for sustained winning". I could do this all day, but of you have been around here long enough you have learned to do it yourself. Have fun...........

Calhum-ity: Kole Calhoun and the Angels have agreed to a term for the 2016 season, canceling the arbitration process for the last remaining Halo. $3.4 million is the number agreed upon. Recall that Calhoun qualified for arbitration this offseason by one single day. You figure he made about $540K last year, and has been getting raises of ~3%, and then ~6%. So guessing a 2016 raise of ~6% would have put him at $586K. That one day was worth $2.9 million to the dude...........

Why?: Commissioner Manfred is all agog to park regular season games in London as early as the 2017 season. Of course, he wants to promote baseball there and he will be pushing to make sure that he uses high profile teams. So what teams constitute "high profile" in the U.K.? And which owners are volunteering to lose home games for the furthering of international exhibitionism? And are the franchise fans getting any money knocked off their season ticket packages with the loss of those home games? I dunno. I can see the day in the not too distant future when the MLB scheduling fools have the Angels playing a weekend series in Puerto Rico, followed by a mid-week series in China, and concluding with a two-game mini-series in London just in time to fly into Boston for a critical head-to-head series in order to decide the final Wild Card spot. So, whatever...............

Drug Mania: So Al-Jazeera, before it shut its English-language operations altogether (maybe to flee from libel suits???) published an article based on a rather dubious source which claimed to involve many pro athletes in illicit drug usage. The biggest name on the athlete list was NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, he of the impending Super  Bowl XXXXX. Now, Rob Manfred proved last year that he is a pit-bull when it comes to chasing PEDs stories, even if it means behaving like an official arm of the Justice Department. So it shouldn't be a surprise to learn that MLB wants the US Anti-Doping Agency to investigate the Al-Jazeera claims. Ryan Howard is about to get the A-Rod treatment. Oddly, on the cusp of the Super Bowl, the NFL is choosing to not want to know how true the Al-Jazeera information might turn out to be. Imagine that.............

Bad. As in Really Bad: How about a list of the suckiest position players of 2015? 20 names on the list and 3 of them wore Halos: Brennan Boesch, Matt Joyce and Marc Krauss...........

Good. As in Fairly Good: How about a list of the Top 15 first basemen for 2016? 15 names on teh list and our own Albert Pujols comes in at slot number 12. In other words, still hanging in there. Barely............

St. Louis Blues: Yeah. eventually Rob Manfred will have to come down on the Cardinals frachise for that Houston Astros hack. How tough Manfred will have to be will be driven by the federal investigation...and by sterling example of bad media management set by the NFL in such situations...........(By the way, the NFL has still not learned about bad press from being petty.)

Baseball Biz: Boo Hoo. Ed Cohen, principal owner of the Washington Nationals - you know, the Washington Nationals that were once the Montreal Expos, which Bud Selig helped steal away from Montreal and move into the market already occupied by the Baltimore Orioles - is complaining that not getting to take control of the Washington TV market hurts the Nats. Bummer, dude. Move to Portland or something...........Oh, and that documentary on the Expos? Well, it won't be broadcast in, of all places, Montreal. Go figure................

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