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Thor'sLinks: 5 Days to go!

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Let's call Spring Training over and done with. Shutter the doors now in Tempe. Let's do some promo games and then get on with baseball!

Harry How/Getty Images

I can't stand it. We gotta get past this Dodgers/Cubs stuff and get to MONDAY. OPENING DAY!!!

I'm so jacked up I have totally forgotten to figure out any fresh format for this season to shake things up with the daily links. Oh well...

Have some Links-That-Look-Like-Yesterday-Links:

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MIKE TROUT WATCH

Things to watch out for with Mike Trout in 2016

Sticking to oWAR, Mike Trout already owns the Single Season Career records in Franchise history for first, second, third and fourth place (seasons 2013, 2015, 2014 and 2012, respectively).

Currently in fifth place is Tim Salmon's 1995 season where KingFish earned a 7.2 bWAR.

This year look for Trout to top that 7.2 bWAR easily, granting Mike the Top 5 single seasons in franchise history, all through his first 5 full seasons as a Major League player.

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Everywhere In Baseball

Catching up on roster moves: The Angels sent Alburquerque to Utah......And they added LHP Chris Jones out of the Orioles system in exchange for two minor leaguers.....Then they signed Kendrick! No, not Howie. Kyle. Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick is a RHP who struggled this Spring while trying to catch on with the Braves. Not like any of this is going to fix the mess our starting rotation is in.....Meanwhile, Chris O'Grady, who was snatched out of our farm system by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft, turns out to be the dud farm prognosticators suspect him to be, and they are trying to ship him back. The Halos agreed to take him, and have sent him to SLC. That cost us $25,000. I wonder if Eppler needed permission?..........Finally, our dreams are dashed. Mike Trout will not be playing alongside Mike Fish in the same outfield once patrolled by Tim Salmon. The Angels cut bait with Fish yesterday..........

Changing Up: Garrett Richards is well-known as the hardest throwing starting pitcher in baseball. And this Spring he has been found to throw even harder. to the dismay of batters everywhere, Richards has been working hard on a devastating change. And people are taking serious notice of his success. If things keep up the way they are trending, the difference in mph between a Richards fastball and a Richards change-up will equal the overall velocity of a Jered Weaver fastball..........

Ultra Change Up: Speaking of Weaver, he took one final start against low-A minor leaguers and even though he got shelled he ended up finding something in his delivery that started to work for him again. It all has to do with the proper arm slot. Weaver had lost it, but now has found it. And he is telling all that this is the solution. What I find noteworthy is how a proper delivery somehow enables Weaver to throw change-ups. Change-ups?? Weaver??? Isn't that the whole Weaver story, that his fastball velocity has dropped so much that there is now too small of a delta between that and his change-up, rendering his change-up somewhat unsurprising and too ineffective? We will see, I suppose..........

Hard Wood: Brandon Wood is latching on with a real Major League Baseball club after all this time! The San Diego Padres have brought him on board. But not as a player. Wood will be the manager of the Padres Class-A affiliate in Pasco, Washington: the Tri-City Dust Devils. Who know? Brandon may end up having a very long career in pro ball after all.........

Flipping Out: Interesting. Regular readers know that I love me my Bautista bat flip, my joyous celebration around the base path, my thunder pumping in the outfield after a magnificent defensive play. But, as brilliant as this take on the spiritual divide growing within our sport, I don't see that as some solid line that means I cannot also enjoy my "...radio crackling in the back of the garage with Marlboro Red baritones in the summertime dusk." to me, sports perfection would have been Jose Bautista bat flipping as called by Vin Scully over my crackling radio while I puttered and plotted with my woodworking in my garage, garage door wide open to the quiet neighborhood and the stars in the distant beyond.

Ghosts in the Machine: MLB experienced a very significant jump in scoring last year, fueled by a very significant jump in home runs, especially during the second half of the season. And science cannot figure out why that was..........

Apples for the Teacher: MLB has teamed with Apple to provide iPads to MLB dugouts during games. It will be used only for pre-loaded content, such as stats and scouting videos. No web surfing during games. So which person sitting in the LAA dugout do you think will be charged with supervising the iPad?..........

MiLB: New looks throughout Minor League Baseball this year, keeping things fresh..........

Altuve is All too Short: The Astros pulled one over on the altitude-challenged Jose Altuve..........Meanwhile, sticking with Houston, the Astros and Phillies found themselves at the Dog Days of Spring..........

Razor's Edge: Times change. Old School ain't what it used to be. Because now we have Don Mattingly telling Jarrod Cosart that he cannot have any facial hair. That would be this guy telling this guy to shave...........

Baseball Biz: What do you do when you drive by a retail store and see a sign outside that announces a big sale, and every time you drive by the discounts keep going up? Do you pull in and start spending your money or do you keep waiting for the discount rise to finally halt? Me, I wait. But I wonder what cable carriers are going to do? TWC recently announced that they were "discounting" the price for their Dodger package (for one year only, however). Well, nobody dashed into the store. So TWC is announcing yet another discount...........

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