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WeekEnd HaloLinks: 20 days to Camp!

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We're now within 3 weeks of pitchers and catchers reporting. Two more WeekEnd Links of the Winter after this, so let's start to stretch out our keyboards.

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Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Here we go, people, Spring camps open in a matter of weeks now, not months. Baseball Winter is almost over and the news volume is building back up again. Time to wake up and start working your click muscles because keeping up will not be for amateurs. Get busy, because we got Links. I'll see you on the other side, in the comments:

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Everywhere In Baseball

ST Porn: Get excited at learning that Fox Sports West is going to broadcast 31 ST games for the viewing pleasure of those who can (or know how to) view FSW from their particular locale...........

Trout Porn: Face of Baseball, folks. Topps held a fan vote as to which ballplayer would get the privilege of being tabbed as Topps Card #1 for the year, and the fans voted for Mike Trout............Oh, more Trout Porn. Ranking the 3-4-5 hitting combos in all MLB, where we see the Halos come in at #9 because, well, "Trout and anyone would make the top 10..."...........

Future Porn: Baseball acquired a new crop of players to reach 40 career WAR this past season. The list is highly credible. What makes this post interesting to us is to realize that Mike Trout will join this club pretty damned early in this upcoming 2016 season, at the still-to-ripe young age of 24 years old. In other words, 4 years younger than the youngest guy on the linked list, 28-year old Andrew McCutchen. It's theoretically possible that by the time Trout completes his 28-year old season he could have lapped this field completely. Unbelievable..........

The Departed: Those of you who were grasping at straws, with any idea of trading some Hector Santiago to Colorado for Charlie Blackmon and taking advantage of the crowded Rockies outfield post-Parra acquisition, well you can all stand down. The Rockies sent away the least of their version of Daniel Nava, Corey Dickerson, in exchange for Tampa Bay's version of Cesar Ramos, Jake McGee. A couple of prospects were swapped as well, but we don't really have any of those. In any event, Blackmon is now a settled part of an unclogged Colorado outfield..........

ARoid: If there is one thing we can all now count on, it would be PED suspicions forever. ARod makes a very easy target, what with his history being what it is and all, so New York media remain highly suspicious of his accomplishments last season. That's one of the sins of pharma, that it opens forever the door to suspicions. Even Mike Trout gets some whispers. I am not a person who is in favor of unbridled medical performance enhancements, because I think that it runs a risk of unknown health consequences as the chemical engineers are out there racing to compete with one another and essentially experiment on live athletes, using labs of all quality levels all over the globe. But stripping away all prohibitions concerning PEDS seems to be the only way to erase suspicion from everybody's minds. And back to ARod, poor guy, he even gets called out for being a typical dude............

Merch: In case you have been asleep for the last decade, allow me to alert you to the ever-growing trend of constantly changing uniforms as a way to generate fresh MLB merchandise sales. It's almost February, and MLB is probably already late in making changes this year. But, ready or not, here comes the next wave. All new Spring Training jerseys and caps. Yes, they take Pay Pal. No, not all styles are available in all sizes. And no, the LAA version is nothing special. You'd think it would occur to somebody that we could dive into the heritage we do have (which is, I daresay, a shitload deeper than you know) and do something off-the-wall for damned Spring Training games. You'd think..........

Money: Another measure of how MLB is about money, especially the owner's money, comes in the form of the office of the Commissioner. As Craig Calcettera reminds us, Rob Manfred represents the interests of the owners while the players and fans only benefit at those tiny slices in the Venn diagram where we accidentally overlap those of the owners.  As Manfred calls it: "If the player’s been good, the club’s going to want to keep him. So you end up either losing him or paying him even more than you originally paid him. Neither of those are good outcomes." Ha. We can all be certain that outcome would be perfectly fine for any player.............

QO's: Speaking of what makes sense for owners and players, the Qualifying Offer program is a bust. For years, we had zero players accepting the QO and now, while we are just starting to see some players think that accepting their QO as a good deal, we are seeing more players not find a new job because of their QO anchor. We should create a pool on how the QO will be changed after the next CBA negotiations. Here are 5 decent starting ideas. I would add a 6th notion, having the potential to scale the compensation based on where the player that the franchise lost had just finished up against his statistical peers..........

Moving Day: If LA Councilman Gil Cedillo gets his way, the Dodgers will be moving. No longer at the top of Elysian Park Avenue, the stadium will end up at the top of Vin Scully Avenue. Not because the stadium itself is going anywhere, but because the City might end up changing the name of the road in honor of Scully and his legacy. I do realize that you younger fans might suddenly find it difficult to stay awake making the slog up from Sunset to Stadium Way, but that's a chance Cedillo is willing to take..................

Word Games: After seeing this fun distraction, I wondered how many giggles I could raise by doing likewise with the LAA starting roster. So I started with Michael Nelson Trout. Suddenly I had come face to face with the Illuminati. I saw nourishment + lace +lot. As is nourishment PLUS lace PLUS lot. Sport drink + shoes + field. Eerie, dudes and dudettes. Eerie............

Global Ball: Somebody spent the time to dive into all the "why NOT" of playing games in places like London, England that I skipped over the other day. Which is fine with me, since I get to be all GA and simply link to them and call it done.............

OT 1: Best weird news of the day. Stoned Coyotes are now going bonkers on the roads of Marin County. It's Marin, though, so it kinda makes sense...........

OT 2: Before allowing Winter Storm Jonas to melt away in our memories, check out this collection of awesome photos. #1 is my winner, and I want to hear the story behind #7, but #22 did make me do a double-take.............And not everything hates snow. Party Panda totally digs it............

OT 3: How is it possible that a people who managed to come up with Vegemite have never heard of thousand island dressing?.............

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This Date In Baseball History: 1936 - The first Hall of Fame ballot results are announced, with the initial class of inductees being babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson..............1957 - Now that we have bi-coastal baseball, MLB consider's the creation of a player pool. This pool would be used to replace a team lost due to a plane crash...................1958 - Three time NL MVP Dodger catcher Roy Campanella crashes his car into a telephone pole on his way home from a liquor store, and breaks his neck.  Paralyzed, Campanella will be wheel-chair bound until his death in 1993..............1960 - You have heard the name of Comisky. You have heard of Bill Veeck. What you might not have heard about is the Comiskly family feud, where on this date in 1960 Charles Comisky lost a suit he took out on his own sister-in-law, Dorothy Rigney, where he tried to claim her 53% ownership of the White Sox before she could sell her majority ownership to Bill Veeck. You should read about it............1981 - Because 21 years later to the very day, Bill Veeck will seel the White Sox to Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn..............1989 - Keith Hernandez, first baseman of the Mets, shall reign forever as the All-Time Game-Winning RBI leader with 129. This is because the stat is officially retired on this day, while Hernandez held the career lead..............1995 - Deion Sanders plays in the Super Bowl, making his the first player to appear in both a Super and the World Series (as a member of the Braves when Toronto won the 1992 WS, 4 game to 2)...........

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