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HumpLinks: Halos Have a Date In Spring!

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Well, technically, the dates now announced for the Halos to open Camp are still in Winter. Spring will still be a month away.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Readers from yesterday should applaud how I erased my original Links article title about "A Fan, To Menace". That would have had me leading with the Cubs link that I just parked as the very end now.

My punnage is weak at the moment. I shall refrain.

Be happy. Just go to Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Oooh. Folks up in Seattle are feeling their oats again. Lots of personnel moves by the shiny young GM makes for lots of potential going into 2017...on paper. It's healthy to have them well enough to be paying attention to us once again. So, for starters, they deconstruct Cameron Maybin as if Maybin is some kind of solution upon which we are pinning all our hopes. And here you thought that the point of Maybin was more about him being any upside over the morass we have running out to left field these past couple of years. You know...going from a NEGATIVE 0.2 to a POSITIVE 1.9. That kind of improvement................

Johnny Giavotella has himself a new gig. Only temporary, of course, but it's ITALY. In the WBC. No later than March 22, Johnny G. is back on the market. I do wish him well and hope he finds a situation..........

We are still sticking to Mike Trout and Hall of Fame speculation. Why? Because it IS Hall of Fame season, and he IS Mike Freakin' Trout. Using Jay Jaffe's JAWS system, Fan Graphs projects that Trout still has a ways to go. Easy to get there, just not quite yet. And, what, we've seen this kid for 5 full seasons and change already? And he still hasn't made himself a Hall of Fame lock? Murray Chass would call him a slacker. Unworthy. Blank ballot material...........

Buried in this OCRegister review of LAA arb season are the nuggets that Albert Pujols has started his post-surgery therapy. Also, that C.J. Cron and Kole Calhoun are already cleared for full baseball activity..........

Hey! The Cone of Silence has been lifted on LAA ST dates!! Pitchers and catcher report on February 15th, and full squad workouts commence on February 18th. All subject to change, of course..........

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Everywhere In Baseball

Tech Talk. Hardball Times gives us an overview of all the newer pitch tracking technologies coming onto the scene. It culminates with a product affordable even at the high school level: Rapsodo. (The obvious pun here would be "Rapsodo In Blue".) But I wonder if there might not need some Grand Unifying System to make all these system equitable? At least against some common frame of reference. As players progress through the ranks wouldn't we want unity in the zone regardless of technology? If the ultimate objective is to eliminate the bias of the "human factor" and the deficiencies of human vision and get the zone right (making the big assumption that we will have the technology itself technically correct and accurate and independent of human bias), we should be mandating that the zone is ALWAYS right, starting at the high school level. (We can leave the human factor down in Little League thankyouverymuch.)..............

One of the things about being a fan of a baseball team, an entity that exists within a sport dominated by failure, is how we focus on the misery. If you asked me straight up how I thought the Halos stacked against all franchisees in terms of misery and frustration, my reflex answer would be: "pretty damned high". If not for 2002, the very top. Most miserable. Most frustrated. How many teams have had multiple deaths of rising stars? AND multiple Top 10 chokes? AND 30% of it's history in the cellar? AND lose their franchise talent? AND had to pay for toilet paper? And exists in one of the oldest, most structurally dilapidated facilities? I could go on. But you know what? We DID have a 2002. And we DO have a Mike Trout. And we HAVE had a pretty damned good run for a decade. If you think WE have it bad, wait til you take a look around Major League Baseball. We end up ranking among the luckiest..........

Interesting thought. The Baseball Hall of Fame hasn't really cared too much when few, or none, get voted in each year. But how are they going to react should this cycle elect FIVE guys? It's been a long, long time since that happened. Might it force some new rule change?..........

Tom Verducci is on it, though. He is still a NO PEDS guy. It's as if he is daring me to go to the Wayback Machine and dig up his articles about baseball at the time. Was he a promoter, making his coin off of writing about all the excitement? Or was he putting his livelihood at risk and leading the challenge over the veracity of how these guys were doing the magical that had so many so giddy?..........

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Trade Winds

The Doyers are back in the market for a 2B. Negotiations with the Twins to lump Brian Dozier onto the mega-talent loaded LAD bandwagon have hit a roadblock. (How dare the Twins ask for a lot in return from one of the mega-rich clubs? Don't they realize the Dodgers have 5 starting position players on the wrong side of 30??)................

This is why a Mark Trumbo is doomed. There is a seismic shift in baseball contracts away from offense and towards defense. And there are very notable data points in the market going on right now. To wit: "It isn’t that the market for platoon guys has crashed, or that teams aren’t paying for depth pieces to round out their roster anymore; they are specifically just not paying for 1B/OF types whose value is mostly tied up in their offensive performance." So, wouldn't the very definition of Trumbo be a "1B/OF [type] whose value is mostly tied up in [his] offensive performance"?..........

And, on the same topic, Jose Bautista is not too distant in profile from Mark Trumbo. He is in the same boat, even if he is on a different deck. Compounding Bautista's challenge is time. The longer he waits, the lower the average contract..........

There we go. Trevor Plouffe is off the board. The Oakland A's have signed him. If he regains his health to pre-2016 form, he still has some years left to be real productive. Not Josh Donaldson third base productive. Maybe closer to Brett Lawrie third base productive. Hell. he is most likely to be a net downgrade at 3B from the Ryon Healy they used there last season. But Healy won't be dropped from the lineup. I don't know his background, but he would be a huge upgrade at 1B for them...........

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The Duffle Bag

David Ortiz pocket tweets = Boston sports world goes berzerk. I say to my Boston brethren that you can only decipher the runes by the light of the same moon under which the tweet was sent...............President-elect Trump met with Commissioner Manfred for some reason. If I had to guess, I would say that there goes Montreal...........I have always thought that the entire idea of rooftop viewing into Wrigley Field to be weird. The Cubs take this shit very seriously...........

OT: Clare Hollingworth, the person who broke the greatest story of the 20th century - World War II - has died. I'd bet that the number of hands among us who knew about Hollingworth at all is about zero. But that is our fault, not hers. Hers was, literally, the scoop of the century at a time when having a scoop was THE big deal. Just one of those things I trip over when I land on the NYT every night..........

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Halo-Oppo-ly

My 2016-2017 Winter Project: Monopoly for the Rest of Us. You, too, get to try your hand as Arte Moreno-bags. We begin with the properties.


Alright...home stretch.  The final properties. Think of this as our...ummm...Hall of Fame District.....

MP-26-Vlad-Guerrero

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