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HumpLinks: Garrett Richards Turns 100

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Richards unleashed the Demon yesterday, clocking in at 100mph. Such a thing needs to exist, and be well-promoted, just to strike fear in the hearts of hitters everywhere.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Garrett Richards took the mound yesterday. Briefly, as it turns out. He couldn't even complete his target workout of three full innings. But along the way he did something very important: he busted the radar gun for triple digits. This is the kind of thing that does not need to happen again. It happened once in 2016, and that is all that is necessary to force every scouting report on Richards to document that possibility all season long. And it will hover in the back of a batter's mind because, well, just in case..........

Have some 100mph Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Thankful for Failure: Mike Morin was not exactly spectacular for the Angels last season. With an outcome over 162 games that left the Halos a hair's width away from the playoffs, one of the million things that could have gone better and put them into October was Morin. Well, Mike is one person who is not especially upset about that anymore. He's quite thankful, actually, "...because I learned a lot about myself."  His solution for 2016 includes app-based meditation and yoga. I'll take anything at this point..........

Choi-ces: I'm still having fun with this Spring Training stuff. It's washing away the misery of Winter. We have Carlos Perez and J-Man Choi hitting 2-run bombs. We have Craig Gentry going 3 for 3 and now batting .462 with an OBP of .500. Come on! How can we not call this a good week?..........

Family Matters: With the Aroldis Chapman penalty for domestic violence now in full public view, it's time to turn attention to Yasiel Puig and Jose Reyes. The Chapman punishment was serious. It will be interesting to see if the Puig and Reyes penalties match.............

The Road to Hell: This is the kind of thing that sounds great on paper. Especially if that paper is a grant gift from people who don't know much about Southern California rush hour. The Orange County Transit Authority is looking to launch a possible express bus service from the Huntington Beach area to Angels Stadium for weeknight games. One bus, each way. And that would be cool and all, if only that bus had its own dedicated freeway lane in order to bypass rush hour on any of the potential 405/605/91/22/57 freeway options. Failing that, maybe a police escort past the approximately 365 traffic lights in surface roads...........

True Confessions: The MLB is admitting that they have been shitting in their own bed. Because they fail to enforce their own rules, bad things happen. Like Chase Utley breaking Ruben Tejada's leg. It's what drives me crazy. We don't need MORE rules to control the outlier plays. We just need to enforce the rules we already have. And it's why I go nuts when I hear some old-timer rant on about hard-nosed baseball. No, it's not. It's not a legal play and it was made illegal for a reason. The fact that umps cannot be bothered to call the rules as written doesn't make a man out of any player who gets away his illegal play..........

Spring Buzz: I already reported on Mother Nature's assault on Spring Training by sending in a flock of seagulls (and NONE OF YOU saw what I did with "I Ran"). Yesterday she launched her second wave, sending in a swarm of bees to take over the Royals-Rockies game..........

Uni Review: Yeah, one guy ranks all the MLB uniforms and the Angels come in at the middle of the pack. I agree. I am over the all-red look. It's tired. And it looks too much like a lot of other teams anyway............

Lose to Win: FanGraphs runs a long essay full of data that tries to align ticket prices and stadium funding to franchise success, and finds little there. Mostly, it finds that prices go up for a lot of reasons, none of which have to do with results. "Owners take advantage of the 'public trust' aspect of owning a baseball team by putting the cost of new stadiums and team success on taxpayers and ticket holders, yet assume little responsibility (in the form of lower ticket prices) when teams fail to win. We don’t expect them to do otherwise, but that’s due merely to the precedent which has been set. Perhaps it’s time to establish a new one."...........

Lipstick: Angels Stadium turns 50 this year, and it's getting spruced up in advance of Opening Day. From the photos, it appears that they are finally fixing the cracks on those giant baseball bats, which would be a good thing..............

Home and Away: Here is a rare tale about the PCL days, and how the Vernon Tigers came to be. They were originally the Venice Tigers, but attendance sucked and Vernon allowed alcohol sales. So the Tigers picked up and moved. And they took their whole damned stadium with them!.............

Sports Biz: Daily fantasy betting is not dead. The State of Virginia just voted to legalize the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings...........

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