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TuesdoLinks: Halos awake from a Cubbie Clubbin'

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Garrett Richards threw. Jake Arrieta pitched. And the Angels are still in the starting blocks. But Andrew Heaney approaches...

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Damn. Only 161 regular season games left to enjoy. If only I would get to see one more Halo victory...one more Trout home run...one more 7-run outing by CJ Wilson before it all ends.

Last night was a friendly reminder. Spring TRAINING is over. And there is no going back. Jake Arrieta is an awesome pitcher and that kind of shit is gonna happen. Having to burn through 4 bullpen arms is more concerning to me than getting shut down by a Cy Young pitcher, or Richards giving up 3 runs over 6 six innings. But it's early and it was great to have a night of baseball.

Have some Stay Chill and Enjoy The Long View Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

Trout Porn: This guy gets it. Mike Trout is our generational player and when he is on the field you cannot afford to look away lest you miss yet another historical moment of genius. Yeah, I wouldn't mind being like Trout when I grow up, too..........

Food Porn: Warning! This is more like a long form but once you start you will not be able to look away. Grant Brisbee the time traveler takes us on a mythological Complete History of Ballpark Foods, of which we are only in the early years ourselves...........

What Ifs: What could the LAA roster look like if the team philosophy over the past decade had been to not make any trades, not sign any free agents, and not re-sign any LAA player who matriculated into Free Agency? Well, ignoring the fact that we can never know who we might have added with those lost draft picks, the franchise still looks kind of nice. A $57 million payroll, a solid nucleus of a pitching staff, a fantastic outfield, and $100 million with which to try and plug holes...............

TJ: Jeff Passan, sports journalist for Yahoo! Sports, has a new book out - "The Arm" - that focuses on the issue of Tommy John Surgery. An excellent review is here. Down at the bottom of that review is something troubling: "Baseball would be best served with a prudent collective investment, with clubs pooling resources and data and pouring millions into lengthy, ongoing research. For clubs, however, the highest expected utility in a competitive environment is to keep data housed and any insights and advancements proprietary....Notably, James Buffi, perhaps the most promising researcher Passan highlights, gets poached by the Los Angeles Dodgers, before the book is finished." Yeah. You read that right. Allowing players for other teams to break down and damage their careers is currently considered a "competitive advantage".And this is where the richest are the ones most capable of getting richer...........

History: The return of baseball makes the sport fresh again, every year. But that does not negate all that came before. Indeed, it is a fresh reason to celebrate baseball history. Hat Tip to Hardball Talk, who brought forth a post by MLB Official Historian John Thorn, recalling the Baseball Convention of 1857. Basically, this is when & where the chaos of rules were made a good deal more uniform and cohesive, forever parting ways with the parent sport of Cricket. I covered some of this stuff a couple of off-seasons ago in my series on the history of baseball rules, but it's still a great time to reconnect with our roots...........

Memes: That river of time flows through our sport as strongly as with anything else. You have probably noticed it yourself. If not, consider the differences between what we discuss today versus what we were discussing just 3 or 4 years ago. The river is bending, and Hardball Times shows us what is right around that bend for 2016. My main takeaway from the article is the probability that Main Stream Media will ratchet back and away from sabremetrical approaches to analysis and back towards the "up close and personal" POV. I see that as progress, because I equate that to any time one shifts gears in a manual transmission car. There is always a slight loss of momentum as the gears of progress are disengaged prior to setting them back into a higher gear where we will accelerate once again. Sports journalism needs to do that. The current approach to integrating new information into the event messaging has led to far too much friction and far too little understanding and acceptance. So let them back away a little bit and regroup. Our future dialog will be far better because of it.............

Chew on this: If there is one thing we should have learned by now as Americans, it's that when you throw tobacco and lawyers into the same room nothing comes back out for decades. So it looks like it is going to be with MLB, smokeless tobacco, and the growing number of local ordinances proscribing the use of such in baseball stadiums. The idea of local police walking onto fields and issuing tickets is absurd. MLB lawyers believe that they have legal standing within the CBA to keep peace with local jurisdictions by being their proxy in enforcing the laws. But the Player's Union thinks that the same CBA gives the players an escape from MLB punishment, and precedent is on their side. Learning that they cannot enforce some rule they really want to enforce always - Always - ALWAYS pisses off authority. There will be lots of spittin' and droolin' going on with this issue all year..........

Sports Biz: Cord-cutting isn't going to carry the day unless streaming technologies catch up with current live broadcast tech. And that means that the carriers and broadcasters need to start investing in all the little things. It's not so much about bandwidth, but about redundancy. Here is where the professional experience of my day job kicks in for all our benefit. All those little things cost money. And there are so many points where the money needs to be spent, that it all adds up. Quickly. In the world of communications technology, it always costs far more for infrastructure redundancy than it does for bandwidth. But the bigger problem is the sheer quantity of small things that need to be made redundant. In a highly competitive marketplace (which absolutely IS the information technology industry), all those pieces and parts become outdated very quickly and not at all in synchronicity. When the industry makes the commitment to invest in the necessary redundancy to make streaming as viable as current TV broadcast tech, they are committing to a never-ending demand to re-invest constantly. Until they find a way to find somebody to pay them to do that, the carriers will continue to drag their feet. (h/t Awful Announcing).........

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The Duffle Bag

The gods of baseball got their chance to spank the Yankees for their off-season. supremely elitist, ticketing policies. Their Grand Opening Day plans got rained out...........The Cleveland Indians took a baby step towards eradicating their obnoxious Chief Wahoo logo from their franchise, demoting it to "alternate logo". The baseball gods felt that was insufficient, so they also blew up the Cleveland Opening Day. Cleveland fans were, uh, unhappy. But, you know, they should have gotten a clue when it started snowing.........I am going to be sad when Vin Scully rides off into the sunset, but i am also going to be glad. While most everybody thought his childhood prank story the other night was charming, while I was listening to it I couldn't help but focus on how weak that whole tale was. It hurt to hear it...........Big PEDS blowup going on in sports, overseas. Some guy claimed to be a doctor, and among his many shenanigans comes the confession of prescribing illegal drugs to at least 150 athletes...........The 1986 Mets knew how to party. Beer & Speed. During games. All the way to the World Series.

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