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HumpLinks: Shoe fit, but bats submit

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Matt Shoemaker was pretty good, which is a hopeful sign. But it takes two to tango and the Shoemaker's dance partner, a supporting offense, remains slow footed.

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

That torrent Spring seems so far away by now, does it not?

Just for the sake of sanity, before this season Mike Scioscia the MLB manager has had 196 wins against 204 losses before the month of May. That's a 49% winning rate to open his seasons. So losing a lot in the opening weeks of a baseball season is just something that a Mike Scioscia team does. And still, we have 7 playoff appearances out of 16 tries to show for it.

It's early. Sucking early is what we do.

So welcome to yet another Waiting-Until-May Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Heaney Update: Andrew Heaney is not getting any better at the moment. He still feels a twinge when he throws at velocity, and that isn't going away. Twenty bucks says that there is another MRI in his near future.............

Santiago Review: Mike Scioscia was interviewed after Monday's game and quoted as confessing "that was the best stuff I've seen Hector have." He is probably right. In a related story, Chip Hale of the Arizona Diamondbacks was recently quoted as saying that the media was to blame for over-hyping the Zack Greinke Opening Day. Gee, I am trying to nail down a common thread here. What is it that could have been stifling Hector Santiago in Mike Scioscia's past, which would now be stifling Zack Greinke in Chip Hale's present? I wonder..........

Stay Classy, you Best Fans in Baseball: Jason Heyward made his first visit back to St. Louis and, although the ESPN broadcast mics didn't pick up on it, people present were reporting that multiple Cards fans were hurling racial slurs at the outfielder. (There were other reports, too.) Those Best Baseball Fans need to refresh their browser cookies or something, because Heyward is having a pretty miserable 2016 so far..........

Youth Needs to be Served: Baseball is just a game. I remember being a young boy and how much fun it was just to play. To put on a pretend uniform and play by the real rules with real umpires was exciting, but not necessarily more fun than playing sandlot ball or wiffle ball with the kids in the neighborhood. Travel ball didn't even exist in my day, and I am pretty certain that from my POV back then (admittedly different than that of kids today) I wouldn't have considered travel ball to be any fun. I was already seeing enough aspects of organized baseball being more about the parents getting organized for their own rewards and the kids being the tools of that organizational effort. Hell, I first saw that when I was only 9! So it's no surprise that some adults are asking questions today about travel ball. Asking these questions isn't going to change anything. It just means that travel ball will now and forever have people asking such questions. At the end of the day, travel ball just grants more of the Type-A parents to get more wrapped around the emotional axle and extend the distance between kids and having fun..........

Bummed Out: Rafael Palmeiro is pretty sad that he failed that PEDs test and that he is not going to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame because of it. "Based on my credentials, what I did on the field equals first-ballot Hall of Famer, end of story." And the author of the link seems to agree: "He was a truly great player who had Hall of Fame aspirations, and up until his failed test, he was considered a first ballot lock for Cooperstown." Well, I have a fun factoid of interest to add here. It took Palmeiro and all that juice 20 years to realize 71.6 career bWAR. Bobby Grich spent 17 years in the majors, and earned 70.9 bWAR, predated the juice era, and never sniffed even a first-ballot carry-over into any second ballot...........

Women in Our Sport. In Our Time: Major League Baseball awaits the first female position player, and all eyes turn to Mo'ne Davis. No pressure, there, Miss 14-year old trying to be a teenager............Meanwhile, in other career opportunities, women are getting stifled in the ranks of umpiring candidates, as well. This, along with Front Office executive jobs, are where I had expected women to integrate fist and foremost, opening more doors for the next generations. What's curious is that women have stopped applying to umpiring schools. Are we sure we have the root cause and effect there?..........

Walk of Shame: Don't be this guy. Don't be the guy sitting in the front row who gets so excited that you interfere with a live ball and get your girlfriend tossed from those primo seats in full view of millions of other baseball fans. If you have to be that guy, at least be one of the two other guys who almost got to be that guy but, instead, were saved from being that guy because that guy beat you to the mistake you almost made............

Panda Express: Um, yeah. Pablo Sandoval's shoulder is too sore for a doctor to check out. So give him a cortisone shot. Sounds like the safest path through the media storm wilderness of trying to find some medical excuse to sandbag his obese ass right out of the dugout..........

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The Duffle Bag

I think we need to check the fans in the stands for Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor, because I have seen this before and it doesn't end well..........If you strip away all the muck and bile that runs through Curt Schilling's brain, would there really be anything left over to qualify him as a broadcast analyst worthy of a job in the first place?..........Which makes me wonder, if the necessary goal of the next CBA is to make baseball players more popular, how is the next CBA to fix baseball players who are absolute unpopular asshats as human beings?  This is the problem when you grant amateur power brokers any power. They fail to leave open any door in their processes for common sense. In this example, young Jason Groome is being penalized for wanting to return from Florida to New Jersey to finish his high school career in his own home town...........Mike Trout has finally lost his biggest MSM pimp, Jeff Passan, and Mike Trout has only himself to blame..........Wait. Are we back to the "Adam LaRoche left baseball for his son" story again? I thought that we had moved on to Adam LaRoche left baseball to shut down Asian brothels as the true cover story for Adam LaRoche simply sucks too hard at baseball not embarrass himself one last season?............Our world is filling up with Exit Velocity stories. Don't be a jerk just because it is new and just might dominate all your more familiar and favorite data points. It's very much worth paying attention to, even is the volume of information can be overwhelming...........

In conclusion:

Hail Baseball. Welcome back. Read this touching story of one person's loss and his perspective on our sport.

"Baseball mostly steals from us, steals our money (tons of our money), steals our time, steals the passion and intellectual energy we ought to put toward more important things. Every now and then, though, if you come to understand the game and the people who play it, come to know the inner workings of everything and the histories of all the figures filling up the uniforms, you do get a moment, a chance to feel something stretching beyond analytical interest or fanatical excitement. When those moments come, and I say this with some authority, I think, it’s worth it."

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