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WeekEnd HaloLinks: GO DAY!

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Spring Training camp is officially open, with pitchers and catcher first workout today. Hail, Baseball!!!

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to BASEBALL, people! Pitchers and catchers take their first workouts TO-DAY!!! No need to pontificate over anything to get you folks riled up, so go grab your scoresheets, and study some Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Yank-sux: Well, well, just when you thought that the Yankees were finally shedding their reputation as total assholes, they go and remind you that, yeah, they are total assholes. And, in so doing, they peel back the curtain hiding the world of the 1%'ers from us little people. Recall yesterday the news was that the Yankees were changing their ticketing policy as a means of cutting out Stub Hub and retaining artificial price floors for their tickets. Apparently, the hue and cry of the common folk reached the ears of the corporate elite running things in the MFY Front Office. Taking their public relations cue from the Angel's ex VP of Marketing and Ticket Sales, Yankees' Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost (why is that not Lonn Trost III?) stepped to the mic and said: "The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money. It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and [another] fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount. And quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.". In simple terms, now that we have all the money and all the power, we no longer believe in your silly free market theories, and we shall price our tickets exorbitantly high so that we don't have to mingle with you, and your duty is to like it. Bejeebus, this problem of wealth concentration will only generate more cases of this tone deaf absurdity as time marches on into the chaos (and trust me, there are worse examples). But it's absolutely shameful that the MLB silently sits by and allows their top executives to get out in public and take elitist shits all over their own social and cultural heritage. Leona Helmsley would be very pleased...........

Gotta Love the Clueless: Mike Scioscia remains mystified that Mike Trout bats third and still doesn't get enough chances to drive in runs. "I don't even know how he got to 90 RBI," Scioscia said. "His chances just were not there." Apparently, that disconnect between Dipoto and Sosh last year wasn't over any advanced metric or anything. It couldn't have been. Since Sosh has still not figured out that putting guys with low OBP in front of Trout is a bad idea, Sosh hasn't even progressed to remedial math and Dipoto must have been reduced to finger puppets. The 2015 Angels did not have much to choose from for high OBP among the regulars not named Trout, but Johnny Giavotella was 3rd best overall at .318 OBP, behind Trout and David Freese (.323 OBP). And Giavotella was slotted directly in front of Trout exactly 5 times all season. Erick Aybar, on the other hand...............

Flat Albert: Yeah, yeah, tell us something we haven't known around these parts for weeks now. PAlbert Pujols will probably start the season on the DL, and advance to the DH after a couple of weeks..........

Count me out: I may be in the minority, but the stiff and wooden character of Crash Davis is bad enough in the spoken form. Having a stiff and wooden characterization of a singing Crash Davis is just not something I, for one, would be excited about............

Keith Law-ering Up: Keith Law takes his first shot of the year at our franchise.

It's easy sport when news is still slow. I don't put as much stock in his opinion of our farm system as most people, since I don't know what his track record is on past farm systems over all of MLB over the past decade. But when he takes his shot at Sosh, I would ask him to at least make some sense. In 1978 the Dodgers won the NL pennant, Steve Yeager was their catcher, and Mike Scioscia was still down in AA ball still trying not to lose his cup on the bus rides...........

Success breeds Genius: It wasn't that long ago that both Dayton Moore and Ned Yost were the laughingstocks of the AL Central, with KC fans asking for Moore's head and making their own cracks about Yost's lack of in-game decision-making skills. But something started to slowly click in 2012 and the Royals have been climbing ever since. And, whatever that magic is (*cough*...a decade of shitty finishes leading to a decade of great draft slotting...*cough*) they are dragging Moore and Yost along for the ride and now both are geniuses. All sins forgiven. Let's give them both contract extensions..........

Woulda, Coulda: there are lots of ways to break down the most recent Winter Hot Stove Season, all of which place the Halos as underachievers. But one such take, looking at The 5 Best Moves, hurts more than most. Why? Because most of them are extremely relevant to our franchise. #1, Top Tier left fielder Free Agent without a QO first round draft pick burden gets signed late, and low, because we won't sign him. #2, starting pitcher who once was our Ace makes a huge impact in the power alignment of the NL Central by moving from the Cards to the Cubs. #4, Dodgers re-sign the second baseman who once was ours, who we traded away for a great return only to find we couldn't fill the hole he left behind, and who we still have no adequate replacement for even when he came back on the market as expected. That's 3 out of their Top 5. Imagine..........

Ballsy: Few things are as rewarding as when we get a chance to observe a Boston sports reporter, whose closest thing to professional athleticism is his ability to talk through a mouthful of free cheeseburgers form the stadium press box, decides to tell a REAL professional athlete what it takes to be a true pro. And that is what we get to have here when asshat Michael Felger chooses to call out Hanley Ramirez for failing to bring his glove with him when he packed for camp...........

909'er Alert: The Inland Empire 66'ers are hosting an "SB Strong Night" on April 15th with custom uni's and a cap giveaway...........

Novel Concepts: Hey Jeff Sullivan, it's just possible that if FanGraphs wrote more articles about the Rockies, Twins and Diamondbacks, over time FanGraphs might draw more fans of the Rockies, Twins and Diamondbacks to FanGraphs consistently find content of interest to them. Just a thought.............

Attention Graphic Artists: The official Pantone colors for the LA Angels is here. "Salmon Red", which is Pantone 200, and "Trout Dark Red", which is Pantone 202. Non-artists bother not clicking over. Nothing else to read there. (h/t Uni Watch)..........

Standards, and Practices: This is not to declare Aroldis Chapman guilty or innocent of anything. I am on record as saying that because all the principals in the Chapman domestic abuse caper were busy changing their stories to police investigators, it's not possible to render any conclusion. The follow-on is that American standards of justice require that we leave open the door of innocent until proven guilty. That's the way the law works in the real world. But Major League Baseball justice is another matter. According to their own rules, Rob Manfred is free to impose work sanctions without any parallel civil judgment in place. And he will probably do just that, soon. And Chapman don't care about your rules, Manfred...........

Neanderthals: Perhaps the best part of finding old-timers who have planted their stake on the ignorant side of history as they meander their way off into the sunset is that they are well on their way towards meandering off into the sunset. Sportswriter John Feinstein is just a few months older than I am, but his brain has already fossilized into irrelevance. The difference between his level of curiosity and mine is staggering. Perhaps he is a nice guy, a good neighbor, and charitable in his community. It's not personal. But this is a guy who is still smack-talking Mike Trout from behind Miguel Cabrera's triple crown as he solidly declares that sabremetrics are crap. His blind spot for what are things that an individual baseball player can do and control and what are the things he cannot, is so stupefying that he cannot even consider commenting on them. We could drive entire caravans of knowledge and insight through that blind spot and that caravan would pass well beyond the curve of the horizon while Feinstein was still fixated on how flat the word remains. The good news is that sometime in the next decade his voice will evaporate from the baseball scene. The bad news is that, for all the same reasons, so will mine............

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Graph of the Day

Angels Stadium Park Effect: Anaheim is a particularly effective pitcher's paradise. Especially that marine layer force field for those left handed batters..........


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