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TuesdoLinks: Marching through Spring

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First game is tomorrow. Now we get to start jumping to conclusions.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to March. Spring, the Earth season, is just 3 weeks away. Spring, the baseball season, is 24 hours away. The Grand Experiment of Left Field, part II, gets rolled out for us all to monitor. Third base and second base will also be thrilling. And the bullpen will be the usual mystery, as bullpens always are. Just remember that this is all PRACTICE. Go ahead and get excited about players who blow up and do great things. Those can translate well into the regular season. Don't get as excited  about players who blow up and do bad things. Those don't necessarily translate into the full season. Remember, IT'S PRACTICE.

But not Links, friends.Links aren't practice:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Some Angels News!: The media information factory is starting to gear back up in Tempe. I wouldn't be surprised if they get their own section on the Daily Links again. The quality still leaves a lot to be desired, but the quantity is improving. We continue to stand by. Meanwhile...This Ji-Man Choi might turn out to be our fun story of the year. For example, he's a switch hitter but he didn't start hitting from the right side of the plate until last year. Right in the middle of the season. And he has been doing pretty well...........Or maybe Yunel Escobar will turn out to be our fun story? At least, the LAA brain trust is surely hoping so. It sounds like throws from third to first base will be an adventure...........Working backward from Opening Day, Mike Scioscia has calculated that Hector Santiago needs to start in the first Spring Training game coming up against the Giants. The big news there is that Garrett Richards is our Opening Day pitcher. The last time Jered Weaver was not the Opening Day pitcher was April 6th, 2009, when Joe Saunders took the first ball............Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney spent the offseason training together. Which makes sense, since they live only 20 minutes apart in Oklahoma City. The part that doesn't make sense is that Richards and Heaney, two pro ballplayers sitting together in the same clubhouse, didn't know they were neighbors............

Thunder On The Horizon: Yeah, this is an important cycle in the seasons of baseball. It's CBA negotiating time. Sometimes these things go smoothly. Those are the times the players are gonna just roll. Those are the times when there is not a Marvin Miller, nor a Donald Fehr. We don't have a Miller or Fehr running things today, but things are not perfectly quiet, either. We may see MLBPA chief Tony Clark wanting to grow a pair, and go down hard on a few things. Such as plugging into the tidal wave of change in baseball revenues, and dealing with revenue sharing systems, and dealing with free agency and draft processes.  So grab your popcorn, kids. The baseball season might only be one show this year...........

His Own Damned Fault: One thing Tony Clark can't get upset about when it comes to player compensation is what happens when his members turns down a fortune in the hope of getting an even greater fortune later, only to find themselves practically jobless and nearly begging for any contract. Such is the case with Ian Desmond, who said no at the chance to be Major league Baseball's second highest paid shortstop at $107 million with the Nationals, and now find himself with a replacement level contract and being forced to man left field in Arlington. All in 2 short years............

Too Lo Roo Lo Rah Rah: So what IS the deal with Troy Tulowitzki, anyway? So the Rockies traded him to the Blue Jays. Players get traded, players move to other teams on their own, it happens. You would Tulo would be delighted to discover that he had the chance to play for a contender, surrounded by a huge supporting cast, in front of adoring throngs, smack in the middle of the AL East Media madness. The guy is 30 years old, on the downside of his career and tailing. And he gets a last chance to play pro ball on a high. But, apparently, sad Tulo was sad. Butthurt Tulo whines about being lied to. Kinda like the rest of us regular employees. Anyway, he felt butthurt until the other day, when Troy announced he was done being bitter. And "honestly", he's over it...........Or not. Yesterday we got Pissy Troy. Seeing his first Spring in the Blue Jays camp, he dished it out on the Rockies again by proclaiming that the Rockies' camp was more of a country club and not gritty enough to get players in the right frame to be competitive. Players don't work hard............Well, Pissy Troy is not sitting well with Rockies manager Walt Weiss. Weiss defends his team and his facilities. Oh, and by the way, former teammate Nolan Arenado ain't too happy with Tulo, either. This is one bridge, well burned...........

Big Heart: The Molina brothers come from a long line of males who die early from cardiology problems. Big Benjie did not take well to the sedentary life of retirement and was on his way as well. He's working hard at fighting back, so good for him. But let's face it, Benjie was never fast enough to simply outrun anything. he needs to work extra hard at it. Let's hope he sticks with it, and with us..........

Trust Me Not: This is not a kid you leave alone with your cookies. Because he will take them. And you will probably not see them go. You will think he is playing with your dog. Or something. And your cookies will be gone. Just look how he baseballs. Do not trust this guy................

Dog Days: I'm getting old. I can tell. Unless the world is loaded with huge baseball fans who cannot attend a game in person without their service animal, I don't see the value in a dog park at an MLB stadium. If you cannot leave your dog at home for 3 hours unattended you need remedial help in dog training. Because the dogs sure can't tell the players apart, even WITH numbers on the jerseys. Dogs need attention, which is something that we tend to want to pay towards the reason we go to a game in the first place: the game. Meanwhile, wouldn't dogs barking during a game be about the same amount of fun and babies wailing on a plane flight? Once or twice for the novelty, I get. Year round? I don't My dogs stay at home.............

Chew on this: Fans can bring their dogs to parks so that other fans downwind can enjoy the brilliant aroma emanating from indigestion-stricken pets. But thankfully we fans will all be protected from the notion that players in the dugout and on the field have chewing tobacco in their back pocket.............

Coonskins: The Yankees had to contend with a raccoon taking over their spring facility, climbing the backstop net and refusing to go away. Everybody thought it was so cute. I just want to point out that raccoons carry more bacteria and viruses that are officially nasty to human beings than most any other critter. Think having your brain eaten from the inside out while you are still alive. That kind of stuff. Not so cute, people...........

Moar Bazeball!: Well now that Spring Training has been open for a few days, we are already bored again, and dreaming of more baseball. Which is why we are reading about MLB expansion options, such as what would a 32-team plan look like? And which cities are the best expansion candidates?..........

Sports Media Biz: This is yet another reason you hate ESPN. According to testimony, Erin Andrews revealed that ESPN, her employer, refused to allow her back on the air until she gave an interview about being exposed naked via viral shots taken by a peeping tom (who would later be convicted). And ESPN wanted her to be interviewed on their own morning show, Good Morning America. Apparently, Andrews had to demonstrate that sh wasn't complicit in the videos, ala Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian.  So, in simple terms, ESPN forced their employee to re-live her emotional trauma, in public, and (hopefully) while they got to make a profit off of it all...........

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Graph of the Day

Yunel Escobar: I'd take this outcome that Escobar put up in 2015.

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