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Thor'sLinks: When everyone is an O'Halo fan

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If the Irish had invented baseball, would the knob now be on the other end of a bat?

Doug Benc/Getty Images

'Tis the Day, me fine fellow friends, If we are a goin' to be paintin' our beers green, we should paint all our comments the very same emerald in celebration.

And while we do, let's raise a glass (or three) in honor of the luckiest thing to happen to every ballclub. Ours was the day that Mark Teixeira's wife decided that New York would be a far better place to live than Southern California.

Have ye self some Shamrock Links:

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Everywhere in Baseball

Screwy: In all of Major League Baseball, there remains one last pitcher who throws a screwball. This is the pitch that made Fernando Valenzuela famous, and nearly unhittable, as a rookie. I can still recall Vin Scully calling opposing hitters out with a shout of "Screwball! Got 'im." when they would flail feebly at that Fernando-mania powering pitch. It used to be far more common, and now there is only one. And that one wears a Halo. It's Hector Santiago...........

In the Nick of Time: This Tropeano kid might be just what Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson's doctors ordered. He had a great game, punctuated by a sign of in-game maturity..........

Simmerin': This is odd. Andrelton Simmons becomes an Angel and suddenly has problems kickstarting that cannon arm of his during his very first Spring. And this is even before he has to step out onto the sacred burial ground in Anaheim and defy the curse. So they have him resting............

Father's Day: Adam LaRoche retired from baseball the other day. At the time, I didn't think it worthy of making into any big deal. And that even though it was stated that he did so "for personal reasons". That's a curious opportunity that can lead to all kinds of speculation. Sometimes that can be fun and other times it can just lead to trouble. So I stayed away. I shouldn't have, because it turns out that the "personal" reason he walked away from one last $13million payday was because the White Sox would not let his son hang around the clubhouse any time LaRoche felt like it. Now, you might feel that this makes him Dad of the Year. So be it. But at the end of the day, any business has the right to define and enforce what constitutes a professional work environment. Good on the White Sox for explaining to LaRoche their corporate workplace rules and expectations. And good on LaRoche for taking his son and going home............

Out by a Mile: This is tragic. a prospect in the Cardinals farm system, Tyler Dunnington, came forward and has spoken out about how he quit baseball last year after being exposed to violent and hateful comments among his teammates.  "I experienced both coaches and players make remarks on killing gay people during my time in baseball, and each comment felt like a knife to my heart. I was miserable in a sport that used to give me life, and ultimately I decided I needed to hang up my cleats for my own sanity."

Missed Opportunity: Sean Forman, founder of Baseball Reference, hosted an AMA on Reddit yesterday afternoon and we missed it. But there are some great tidbits in the thread. Go and read through it yourself. right off the bat we get this nugget: Q - "What is the absolute craziest statistic you can find using BBREF?"  SF - "Kevin Youkilis had 292 3-0 counts in his career and did not swing a single time."..........

Flipping Out: Mike Trout sides with the no bat flip crowd.  That makes total sense, considering his demeanor, and also considering what we have witnessed the past few years as he has played in front of us. Of course, one has to twist up into mental pretzels to justify that position while still allowing for exuberant celebrations elsewhere for other things. It pretty much works out to something like "some showboating is OK because it has always been done but other showboating is not OK because it hasn't been done all along." Ok. I would prefer to allow exuberance, period. But I don't write those rules.........

Bonding: This is what galls me. Barry Bonds was definitely one of the inner circle Hall of Fame talents in the history of Major League Baseball. Even without PEDs, he would have finished well within the Top 20 home run slugging players in history. Maybe a top 10. Ok, so then he used PEDs. He warped records. And he was a jackass of a human being when in uniform. But dammit this guy deserves to be in the Hall regardless of those things. He has not been a problem for society at large. No criminal behavior. Not even any actual transgressions against MLB. And to prove the talent he was, even at his current age of 51 he can out-homer contemporary players on the Marlins.  And that includes Giancarlo Stanton!  That's fun stuff, right there..........

Ball Sack: Ball Sack: You will never see this happen on accident again in your entire life. A pitched baseball ends up in the plate umpires bag of spare baseballs...........

Nanny Ball: Like new laws governing stadiums in California (and, to be fair, lots of other places), the City of Chicago has banned smokeless tobacco at sports venues. And the Cubs are unhappy. After all, John Lackey points out, "people in the stands can have a beer...". Hey, at least Chicago was clever enough to not pick on only baseball..........

Sports Biz: We are still on the subject of cord-cutting (which, again, to be clear is not actually cutting the cord but just canceling the video packages that come with the cord). On the way towards complete cord-cutting we might see skinny bundling. What I find interesting is the reaction of CBS President Les Moonves, quoted in the article saying "CBS is essential to any skinny bundle." Yeah, I can see where this is going. Which content channel is going to step forward and announce that they are NOT essential? Every channel is going to want to be "essential" to any bundle, especially any bundle that represents the last channels standing. And when you have every channel insisting on being a part of a skinny bundle, that bundle is no longer so skinny. It reminds me of the time that the voice phone network realized that they were running out of toll-free 800 numbers, so they introduced the 888 area code as a new range for toll-free businesses. Well, the very thing that happened was that huge quantities of 800 customers immediately ran out and added 888 service to their phone systems, not wanting to lose out on their special dialing address. And the phone network went practically nowhere...........

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