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MondoLinks: Jan-You-Where-Are-We??

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Have we waited long enough for any other shoes to start dropping? There are less than two months until players start reporting and we are still short in the, uh, players department.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You slip your favorite CD into the player and listen with joy as the tracks groove forward towards your most exciting piece. It starts, and your mind begins to race with glee. the first chorus comes round and then, suddenly, a skip. The choris repeats. Again and again and again.

How disappointing. The music cannot play on, the song stalled, the experience ruined. All you can do is eject the disc and hope that it's just in need of a good cleaning. Ah! Sure. There it is. The root cause for the interception of a very promising momnet in time and the consequence of the same refrain repeating over and over and over...is a fingerprint.

And you have learned a lesson: the next time you loan your favorite mix out and trust it in the care of Uncle Arte, make damned sure to inspect the damned thing when you get it back.

Until then, links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

HoF: The MLB Hall of Fame will announce the 2016 class of inducteed on Wednesday. But before then, just take pause for a second. Not every MLB player makes the Hall of Fame ballot. Of the only 15 players on the ballot for the very first time this year, 3 (Jim Edmonds, Troy Glaus and Garret Anderson) were products of the Angels farm system...........Speaking of the voet, if anybody leaves Ken Griffey, Jr. off his or her ballot, it will probably be a secret fan of the Cincinnati RedsJust compare his 13 years with the Mariners versus his 9 years with the Reds.

Lefty Gambit: Just spitballing here, but why not? It's not like anybody is doing anything creative at the moment. Sign Cliff Lee to that "...one year deal..." that "...would likely be laden with incentives to protect..." the Angels, finish off that Comeback of the Year that we missed out on with Ryan Madson, add a second lefty to the rotation, and trade Matt Shoemaker for an upgrade at 2nd base...........

Ham-boondoggle: Color him finally gone. Josh Hamilton sold his Crystal Cove home, pretty much severing final ties to Orange County. He purchased his joint for $12 million and sold it for $12.5mm. A net gain for $500K over 3 years. In other words, he overpaid. OC real estate has been very strong, driven hard by cash from mainland Chinese and any property worth $12.5mm today should have been rated closer to $10mm back in 2013 when he bought it. He origanally asked $16.5mm and watched the price drop down to $14.9mm before taking his $12.5mm and running off............

USA-PL: Here you go. If you really, really want to think outside the box and come up wiht a new way to run Major League Baseball, pretending that the history of baseball means nothing, you can always go the route that parallels the English Premier League...........

Trout Porn: Mike Trout is pretty strong for a player in a sport which gave us the rather corpulent David Wells...........

Short Sheeted: Maybe the reason that nobody is making progress with the remaining Free Agent outfielders is because nobody wants to grant them a contract beyond 3 years? That appears to be the case with the White Sox as they negotiate with Alex Gordon and Yeonis Cepsedes. It would be odd for all the hungry teams to suddenly find a contract length limit, and the same limit, all at the same off-season, wouldn't it?............

Poster Boy: Yeah, what would we expect? When discussing the possible impact that the luxury tax threshold is having on this offseason, what two better faces to use to tag the article than those of Bud Selig and...Arte Moreno. I am not in total agreement with the author, however. Nick Lampe writes "...exceeding the luxury tax one year could make it easier to justify doing so again in future years..." but my opinion is that the escalating tax penalty for consecutive years over the threshold are what frighten owners not clad in Dodger blue. And then "...the luxury tax appears to be serving its purpose of increasing competitive balance by reducing the amount large market teams spend on player salaries..." Well, I say that jury is still out. The remaining Free Agents, those who might push any of the large-market teams over the threshold, have yet to find any home at all. And when they do, we might still find that they are being paid out of TV contract money that has "subsidized up" what has commonly been called a small-market team...............

Biz: Ouch, As if losing access to the New York market is not damaging enough to Fanduel & DraftKings (not to mention the potential to see other States follow suit), New York is now going to court and asking that the two services pay back anybody who lost any money! So, in short, the State of New York is saying (A) stop making money here, (B) people here that lost money to you get to be paid that money back, and (C) people here who won money get to keep it. That would be losing, cubed.............Also, while on Biz, Jon Heyman has split from CBS Sports. CBS might not be happy about it, but you and I can skip to the coffee pot today knowing that the MSM Disintegrate just took another torpedo from the USS Inevitable.............

Data Delivers: Some teams love data. The Cleveland Indians, for example. MLB is adding more and more StatCast data to the storm of information they are showering all 30 teams, and some franchises are staffed to exploit it..............

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