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MondoLinks: Arte's indebted to us all

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We must be taxing Arte's patience...

Jeff Haynes/Getty Images

Is it just me, or did Arte Moreno contradict himself over the weekend (when he ducked the hard press and ran back behind the safe wall of LAA news blackouts and MLB.com reporting)

Arte in one paragraph, in response to the well-understood front office strategy of holding the payroll below the luxury tax threshold: "It has never been about that. It has never been with the threshold."

Get that? Arte's reluctance hasn't been about the threshold, which is a thing that immediately creates a tax.

Arte in the very next paragraph: "But the reality is, are they a guarantee? And what we end up with is we end up with debt, we end up paying tax, and then it restricts what our flexibility is going forward."

The way I read those comments is: "It's never been about paying a tax. It's been about going into debt, and having to pay a tax."

I was so ready to nail the bullshit tax issue as, well, bullshit. I just needed more time to get final numbers and expose the bullshit. Now Arte has redirected the dialog over to some chimera of "debt", which is a bullshit argument when a franchise never opens up their true books for scrutiny so they can pretend to be losing all kinds of money. So we are now paying attention to the bullshit we cannot easily document, instead of the bullshit that was going to be all too easy to document.

Nice dodge, there, Arte. The rest of us are now stuck with Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Jered Weaver: Well, last year didn't go quite as well as Weaver had hoped. I guess he was thinking he was still on the upside of his career arc. After bulking up to add a lot of muscle a year ago, now he wants to focus on flexibility. I'd focus on velocity, myself. But that's why I'm not the pro ballplayer..........

Tyler Skaggs: Coming off TJ surgery, Skaggs is under that ever-popular innings limit this year. The target is 165-175 innings. The upside is that this means Skaggs is expected to be in the starting rotation, such that we would have to worry about counting all those innings. Even more of an upside would be that this also presumes the Angels go deep in the playoffs. 175 innings is a lot in Sosh's role-based world. Last year Garrett Richards threw 207.1 innings, and hector Santiago threw 180.2. Nobody else threw as many as 160 innings. It hasn't been since 2012 that we ad a rotation full of guys who threw 175. So 175 innings is actually quite a lot to expect out of Skaggs............

Bone In: Pat Neshak lost a little bit of weight this offseason. Click if you are not squeamish..........

Paunchy Sandoval: Pablo Sandoval had a serious weight problem last season, and his performance didn't show any signs of overcoming it. So he went into the offseason, spent a few months away from baseball, and came back fatter than ever. Why? Well, of course, because the Red Sox didn't ask him to lose any weight. Makes total sense. You just have to know that the Boston media will be so happy with this.............

Batty: Let's watch the Louisville Slugger factory make baseball bats..........

Double Bobble!: Check it out, a double bobblehead doll...er...dolls? Minor League baseball has all the fun............

Manfred's Turn: After Tony Clark volleyed over some union trial balloons last week, Commissioner Rob Manfred took to the mic and started the owner's thinking out loud on things pertaining to the coming CBA negotiations. Expansion (more jobs for players)? Not so much. Losing draft picks through the QO process (restraint of trade)? Yeah, that's a keeper..........

Double Play: Short story about how once there was a catcher who caught for both sides, in a doubleheader!..........

Double Take: C.C. Sabathia has decided that the best way to make sure he survives as a recovering alcoholic is to go out partying with his teammates this season. I see no way this plan can fail.............

It's Good to be Young: Taking a deep look at how pitchers hold up between the first half and second half of a baseball season, we find that kids actually get stronger................

Old School: Somehow I think the title of this article doesn't match the content. The title asks if MLB Allowed The Pendulum To Swing In Favor Of Hard-Nosed Baseball? Then the article dives into the issue and presents the notion that maybe it's pulling back from hard-nosed ball too far..............

Sports Biz: An interesting twist is a comin'. before we all cut cords, it looks like the cords are going to be cut for us. Congress is moving in the direction of opening up the receiver box situation. The first step is to allow for competition among boxes. If this keeps going, you won't be limited to a receiver from your service provider. If you wonder what this means to you, consider what happened in the voice phone industry as a result of the Carterfone Decision. Then, expand your imagination. In today's world, a receiver box could be a virtual appliance, deployed as cloud-based. Your service listings and your subscriptions and your recordings could follow you anywhere, and be available to you anywhere. Then, the coolest thing of all, if your receiver is virtualized and cloud-based, how would MLB know where your home base is?.........

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Graph of the Day

Mike Trout Batting Results: About 40% of the time, somethign interesting happens:

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