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HaloLinks: Let's slide into the weekend

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New MLB rules address the takeout slide, put coaches on watch, and make sure all our neighborhoods are closely inspected.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shiny New Rules: They arrived! The new rules! Hoo hah! We have new slide regulations, which will include a closer look at the "neighborhood play". Of course, if you change a rule, somebody is bound to get all pissy..........And even more fun, we now have a stopwatch for mound visits. 30 seconds. Pretty much how long it would take Joe West to mosey all the way out there afrom behind home plate..........Soak it all up with some Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Garrett Richards: For quite some time I wished we had Michael Wacha. He's the guy the Cardinals drafted in 2012 with the pick they got from us as their prize for losing out on the chance to overpay Albert Pujols. We did end up with Andrew Heaney, #9 in that same draft, so we did Ok. (In fact, one might suggest we traded away Howie Kendrick and the #15 slot in return for Albert Pujols and the #9 pick. Except for that thing about all the money, not too damned bad, huh?) Anyway, back to Wacha. The guy is a stud. And he is rising. Yes, he had a should injury in 2014, but he recovered and is a stud. We hope the same for Skaggs. If only we had a young rising stud like Wacha. Oh wait, we do! In fact, we have one better. We have Garrett Richards.................

Denied: Some hay was made yesterday when the news broke that Austin Jackson turned down the chance to sign with the Angels. Well, Austin Jackson AND Scott Boras.  Ok. Newsworthy, I suppose. It's not every day that Boras goes looking for some unicorn money. Oh wait. No, It IS every day. Anyway, why is anybody in a huff that failing to sign Jackson means that we have still failed to upgrade left field? "The Angels remain unupgraded in the outfield." Look it up. We already have Daniel Nava. Then look again. Find me the meaningful difference between Nava and Jackson (well, except for Jackson's inability to get on base as well as Nava). If we already have middling, and middling would be the upgrade, then we already have the upgrade, right?...........

Dan Haren: Hey, let's see if we can trick 5thStarter into coming back and posting again, instead of just lurking. Let's talk Dan Haren, ok? Many moons ago we traded away Joe Saunders, Tyler Skaggs and Rafael Rodriguez in return for Dan Haren. Dan Haren stayed with us a while and pitched pretty damned well. The Diamondbacks got some mileage out of their end of the trade, then used some of those assets to trade again and increase their fold. Overall, their haul has been pretty good. Meanwhile, we got a lot of Dan Haren. So, to date, which team got the better of that original deal, the one involving Dan Haren? It's semi-tough math, but the answer is still LAA. All because Dan Haren did the Dan Haren thing. So there you have it. Dan Haren...Dan Haren...Dan Haren............

Kibitzing: With the acquisition of Yunel Escobar, and his slotting into third base, that leaves Kyle Kubitza and Kaleb Cowart are in search of some new position where from they can contribute. Just a wild idea here, but maybe they could consider the position of hitter of baseballs..............

If you can't beat 'em, steal 'em: Yesterday we mentioned how the owner of the BoSux made an implication that his franchise may have gone too far in favor of statistical analysis, thus obliterating their 2015 campaign. In other words, it's bad to be smart. That must be great for Excel morale. Well, today we can report that should John Henry wish to shoo away his brain trust, there is a line forming at the door to take his smart guys off his hands. And then, yeah, Boston would officially be stupid. By design............

Rite of Spring: It's not a camp unless somebody gets a windshield smashed as a result of batting practice heroics. Chalk one up for Nelson Cruz..........

Slip-Sliding away: The Angels are not even among the missing. Of the prominent teams that missed the playoffs last year and are best poised to return, the Halos are not included. We finished just 3 games back last year. We won the division just the year before. We still haven't traded way Mike Trout. Does this kind of outlook make us the spunky little underdog?............

Ol' Man River: Now why didn't the Rivercats come up with this idea first? The Frisco Roughriders are building a river beyond their outfield fences.  Now if only they did something exciting with it, like put up big rocks and have fountains and waterfalls. And fireworks shooting out of its ass. Then they'd really have something..........By the way, let's keep a sweet eye out on the great fun they have in minor league baseball..........

Parachutes: So let's say you are a Free Agent ballplayer, on the market at a time when things turned against you and you didn't get to drink deeply. But you can see that the next FA class or two are going to be relatively weak crops. You finally have a semi-decent offer from a playoff contender. It's not what you originally were hoping for, but it's still pretty good money. What do you do? Well, if you are Dexter Fowler you go back to your original team, sign for even less money, and laugh all the way to the bank. Why? Because for less money you, instead, got the opt out. You have the escape clause, the golden parachute. You are going to land on the square in the board game that will let you choose - only if you want to - to slide right back into the Free Agent limelight and chase that Big Check in the sky all over again. And the only thing better than chasing that Big Check once, and failing, is getting to chase that Big Check twice. And that, my friends, is what makes the opt out such a powerful new thing. More powerful than even a little more money.........

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Graph of the Day

Albert Pujols: Albert still getting the green light:

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