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HumpLinks: 9 days to go!

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Single digits away from The Best of Times!

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

With Spring Training fast approaching, baseball news is percolating in the kitchen. We got ourselves a boatload of Links, so let's get to it:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Trout Porn: Yesterday, in my daily MLB morning email, the trivia link took me to the following questionWho are the three players in MLB history to compile more than 6,000 career total bases? Answer: Hank Aaron (6,856), Stan Musial (6,134), Willie Mays (6,066). Well, Mike Trout just turned 24 years of age. He has all of 4 full seasons under his belt. And Trout is already at 1,368 total bases. If Trout stays healthy and continues to play well, and doesn't get abandoned by his teammates, he will own the all-time record right about the time he turns 40.............

Borders: International Signing Season is coming up, and the scouting is torrential. But fret not, Arte is not losing any money on silly international scouts. Not this year, baby...........

Old New News: We already did this, but the Angels officially released their promo schedule for this season and the web crawlers all gagged on the same Halo tidbit concerning a run on the world record for selfie-taking (seriously, the Internet split a seam yesterday). Anyway, because of that, So here it is again. Selfie taking. How very OC of us all.............

Simpsonized: Every Major League Baseball team represented as a screen capture from the Simpsons. Oakland's is perfect..........

Happy Birthday: Vlad Guerrero turned 41 yesterday. Have some fun reflecting back on the glory of The Impaler............

Arms Limitations: We are entering an era where starters are going to have season regulators assigned to them, for the sake of their own long-term health. That is probably a good thing when you consider how many pitchers are throwing so hard, so frequently, nowadays. (I am not saying they throw harder. I am saying that more of them are throwing very hard. We will all see this in the national averages once Jered Weaver retires and stops skewing the data.) This, paired with the evolution underway with the use of bullpens in the middle innings, will add up to a much different looking game than the one you grew up with. And, you read it here first, when we finally get to that day, all the controversy about the Designated Hitter will be history. And talking about the DH is practically a national pastime all by itself.............

Beer Bash: Yeah. I didn't know this either. MLB players are not allowed to endorse beer? Really? Why the hell not? I can see why this particular blogger needs to avoid such endorsements, because that list would be too long to fit in any HH article. Then again, no brewer wants to bribe me into exclusivity.But when you look at how MLB and owners are cashing in with their associations with brewers in every damned ballpark in America, any prohibition against players getting in on the gig are, well, un-American............

Mojo: Ballplayers are superstitious. Very. Some, such as Alex Gordon, are beyond very...to the point where they may be missing the gene that controls cause and effect. I could tell him, but that would be futile because, well, science............

Pre-ordained: Well, the 2016 World Series is already locked up. the Angels just have to figure out how to get into it. Because the Broncos won the Super Bowl, the 2016 WS will be won by the American League participant. How do we know this? Because somebody was snowed in recently, but apparently still had Internet...........

Sports Biz: How does a company gamble away $100 million in 6 months? By betting big on DraftKings, just before their whole business model was blown all to hell by government law enforcement agencies (and, to be clear, when I type "government law enforcement agencies", you can read that as "government career bureaucrats who found a way to stop citizens from exchanging money that they cannot tax".) Anyway, Fox just marked down their $160 million investment in DraftKings to a mere $65 million, calling that a $95 million loss. Ouch..........And things don't end there. Just last year ESPN was the full-throttle megaphone for DraftKings and FanDuel advertising blitzes 24/7. And now ESPN is pulling out of that deal altogether, essentially silencing sports fantasy gambling shills from reaching their sports fantasy playing public...........(Full disclosure: FanDuel is an official sponsor of SBN.)...........

Baseball Biz: Cord Cutting is growing. How long before it owns the momentum? Probably a very, very long time away still. Read the whole thing, or just skip to the summary paragraph at the end to get the conclusion while missing out on all the great meat of that article. Only you know how much time you have before your boss walks over to your cubicle............

Yu Don't Know Bro: Speaking of bets. I'll bet that Yu Darvish knows far more about what his brother has been up to than he did just a couple of months ago............

Election Year: It's Primary Season across the landscape of our national politics, and yesterday the tour stop was New Hampshire. So it's only fitting to point out that there once was a minor league team named the New Hampshire Primaries............

Finally, OT: Of all the nutty chapters in the Silly Book of Silly Laws Still on the Books in America, Arizona's prohibition against potluck gatherings outside the workplace has to rank right up there with the most stupid of all time.

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