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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Trout season officially opens

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Mike Trout woke up, rolled out of bed, picked up a bat and ball, walked out onto a baseball field, and dominated. All is well in the world.

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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

I just can't wait until Mike Trout grows up, hits his stride, and starts playing his peak baseball. It going to be otherworldly. Olympian, in the Greek sense. Sure, he is not going to have every day like he had yesterday, but think about it for a second. Yesterday was the first time in 5 months that he saw live pitching by world-class professional pitchers who were trying to get him out on purpose in order to keep their own jobs. Ho hum, 3 for 3.

One game in and we already have Trout Porn. Day 1, and we already have brilliance flashing all over a baseball field. Welcome to 2016, Michael Nelson Trout. 3 for 3 with a 1 scored and a run driven in. And this really sweet catch. Well, it would be a really sweet catch, if only Trout was any good at defense. I keep looking it up on FanGraphs and they keep telling me that isn't so.

But as it turns out, it's just 2 pitches into his first competitive appearance of the year and he gets grass stains on his pants. And just 3 pitches into his first plate appearance and he is on base. Brilliant.............Yeah. Some day this kid is going to be incredible. May my health hang on to see it all, for it shall be glorious.

Link away, my friends. Link away:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Johnny G: We might see a significantly improved level of defense out at second base this season, and it might be due to the hard work of long-time LAA nemesis Ron Washington. One-time coach of the Oakland A's, then Manager of the Texas Rangers, now back as coach of the A's, Washington spent all offseason working almost every other day with Johnny Giavotella on defense. Washington proclaims Johnny to be markedly improved with his glove skills. And wouldn't that be great? We top the A's in the standings by precisely how much our defense has improved at second base?............

Visualization: You are about to lose 20 minutes of productivity this morning, simply by reading this paragraph and clicking over. Compare the interactive charting of pitcher effectiveness between Clayton Kershaw in 2015, versus Jered Weaver in 2015. Paintomatic is an absolute gas. Too bad we cannot drive the tool back into history..........

Garrett Richards: Speaking of visualizations, let's use the tool! Richards is dead set on getting back to his 2014 effectiveness. What was the difference between his very good 2015 and his great 2014? His story is that his 2-seam fastball was not moving as much in 2015 as it was in 2014. If you compare the overall movement of all his pitches in 2014 with that of 2015, it's clear that none of them have as much movement. His 2-seamer especially so. Also, note how his faith in fastballs dropped in 2015 as he went to his cutter far more often, exactly as described in the interview...........

Cam Pain: Final LA pitcher review. I promise. Cam Bedrosian is profiled over at FanGraphs. He gets points for his ability to throw a baseball in the general direction of home plate. Less complimentary are his levels of consistency and his sense of tactical thinking. And those showed last year. That's a really crappy chart. He might as well have been throwing batting practice. But people still do have faith in him. Fortunately for Cam, those people are the  ones with a vote, not us here at HH...........

Tiger Dad: C.J. Wilson has a daughter to follow in the glamorous footprints of her parents. His baby girl, undoubtedly destined to grow up as Princess Aurora, is going to learn from a pair of masters on the art of cool. Beginning - immediately - with the proper shades...........

Deep Pockets: Something that had not occurred to me before would be the notion that if I am to consider Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff a cheap ass for taking revenue sharing money and pocketing it instead of applying it towards player payroll for the benefit of the team their fans are rooting for, I should feel the same way about a Yankees owner who is swimming in ungodly revenue streams because of things like geographical advantages and franchise legacies that he was born into, and choosing to pocket those instead of applying them towards his own player payroll. Sure, he does have large contracts. But they were not wasteful. The Yankees have benefitted from those and their revenue systems dwarf most other franchises. I used to bitch about the Yankees spending habits back when they had the unfair advantage of a mega TV rights package, but that advantage has evaporated. Circumstances have changed, so now I am bitching about their lack of player investment. I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose. What with price gouging, and anti-market efforts, and elitist practices of segregating the privileged wealthy apart from the masses of middle and lower class citizens, it only makes sense to add self-enrichment to the equation and the Yankees become a fine reflection of the financial machinations of nearby Wall Street...........

Hairy Times: Mets' starter Jacob deGrom isn't going to be getting a haircut anytime soon. As it happens, it's a natural distraction for at least some batters..........

Power Outages: Yeah, I hate parity too. I love it more when there are a few powerhouses dominating the landscape and churning inexorably towards each other and some final cataclysm of greatness. So this could be a good year for fans like myself...........

History Class, Spring Break: Enjoy some very rare and historic photos from Spring Training camps of yore............Speaking of Old Timey Baseball, how about the layout of The Baker Bowl, one-time home of the Phillies, squeezed into what space existed between streets already in the way, and not be moved just for some stupid baseball team owner...........

Yo Knows: Cars, pigs, BBQ and horseback rides. Now we learn that Yoenis Cespedes has some serious game...as a golfer............

Gone to the dogs: The Brewers are having a field day with this whole story about their team mascot, a dog that may or may not be the original dog. As if that even matters. Well, I guess it does if you are PETA and Yeonis Cespedes has his BBQ going and some dog suddenly goes missing..........

Spring Training Ticketing Public Service Announcement: For all you looking to attend some Spring Training games this weekend (or, hell, at any time this month) it would be helpful to have a central clearinghouse for grabbing your tickets. Especially when you have choices, and those choices come with varying financial penalties. For example, choosing to see the Cubs game today it will cost you $69 a seat at Sloan Park in Mesa. But you can see those same Cubs later in the month (probably with far more of the regular players on both sides, too) for only $50 a seat on the 28th, at Diablo Stadium in Tempe. Your cheapest deal all Spring would be the 21st, at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix against the Brewers. Just $30 each. But then you have to watch the Brewers. Track down all your ticket options here at VividSeats............

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