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Thor'sLinks: 1 day to go!

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“These days baseball is different. You come to spring training, you get your legs ready, you arms loose, your agents ready, your lawyer lined up.” - Dave Winfiled

Don Feria/Getty Images

Pitchers and catchers take their physicals today. Tomorrow will be the first Spring Training workouts!! And it looks like everybody is waking up. Less than 24 hours after I complained (see yesterday's Links) about Just a Bit Outside using the same cover story for almost 4 months, they jumped to it and created something fresh. I should have whined back in November. The whole Internet would have been better off.

Before we get to it, allow me to recap, one last time, the PECOTA projections for the AL West. When aking into consideration the margin of error, here are the ranges of outcomes being proposed. The green bar is the most common results of all actual 162-game seasons in history:

pecota

As you can see, there is quite a bit or...er...latitude there to be correct.

Have some not-so-daring-prognostcation-Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Baby Steps...to Hell: Here we go. Yet another small stepping stone laid out by MLB ownership on the pathway that leads to rapacious hegemony. The Yankees have changed their ticketing policy for 2016. Effective immediately, no more print-at-home tickets will be accepted. They will only accept hard stock tickets (those created by the Yankees), and eTickets displayed on a mobile device (something only created by Ticketmaster). Notice how the most cost-competitive ticket supplier is absent from that plan? No StubHub. Unless StubHub can figure out how to upgrade to eTicket distribution they are practically boxed out of Yankee resale market. And I would assume that in order for StubHub to integrate eTicket distribution, they would have to license that access from the Yankees. I am also assuming that TicketMaster has a potential exclusivity agreement with the Yankees that would block StubHub. The result is that unless a buyer can get his hands on the hard stock original tickets via StubHub in time to make a game, StubHub is out of the market. And consumer prices go up. What is their public-facing excuse for this? It's to be more convenient...and to combat fraud. And they do this by gutting convenience and using, of all things, email. SMH..............By the way, this is a real issue for we Halo fans to keep tabs on, since Arte follows the Yankee ticketing system pretty close.

Backwards Thinking: Which leads to this. There are people within Major League Baseball who are growing more and more worried that MLB needs to better engage young people in order to turn them into future fans. That is kind of an odd position for MLB to be taking when, at the same time, they are still heavily engaged in restricting televised access to their product by any/all means not prohibited by law; and they are (as noted just above) restricting access to their ballparks to only those who are able to pay at least face value, plus fees, for every seat AND controlling the secondary and tertiary markets (and in a market where the AVERAGE ticket face value price was already $51.55); and they are still a decade behind the times when it comes to servicing young fans via sufficient high-speed wireless access when tey finally get inside those stadiums; and they still insist on using an information pipeline as their primary connection to their fans that was last meaningful back in 1990. Bejeebus. Are these people clueless, or what?...........

Smashing Success: Spring is off to a shattering start. At least for Kyle Schwarber...........

Black Holes: It's one thing to have a huge talent hole in left field even when you are paying $75 million to fill it. It's another thing altogether to have a huge talent hole in left field, even though some other owner is the idiot paying millions to fill it for you. But that's the place where the Rangers find themselves. Josh Hamilton is so craptastic, they can't even take full advantage of Arte's mistake..........

Routine Greatness: One thing we can look forward to with joy in 2016, will be routine ground balls to shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Because Simmons is the best shortstop in all of baseball at converting the routine plays into outs............

Short-Sheeted: Somebody is missing the Kansas City proven trend towards solid defense as a driver for franchise success. bBecause when looking at the best shortstops in baseball four years from now, Andrelton Simmons (who will still only be 30 then) barely gets an honorable mention...........

Doofus or Danger?: MLB continues to work on pitcher helmets. They are getting better, but I suspect until they don't make pitcher look like dorks, pitchers will take their chances..............

Collins being Terry: This is great. Terry Collins make no bones about the fact that he is an old guy who is susceptible to being schooled by younger, more curious, strategists who can apply that mysterious force of the universe known colloquially as "information"............

Supply, Demand, and Trajectory: Going into this year's Free Agent offseason, there was a solid theory that with so many excellent players available at the same time, the "glut" would drive down contract prices. It didn't happen, and Henry Druschel over at Beyond The Boxscore is wondering why not? My theory is this: Free Agent contracts trend up, always, because the top-tier talent has such a significant upward pull on the averages due to their rarity and their impact. And any overall cost 'savings" due to an over-supply is merely a softening of the rising curve. Note, for example, how players won their arbitration hearings and received raises higher than teams wished, in 3 out of 4 cases..........

#cesspool: We are not alone...........And it went public............in more than one major observation platform..........

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