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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Charging towards Opening Day

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Check it out. 9 Major pro sports franchises now within 35 miles of each other. 10 if you count USC football. And in that LA milieu, where does Arte's Angels rank? 8th?

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Just thinking out loud. If NFL fans in LA are non-plussed about the arrival of the Chargers franchise now, I assure you that feeling will change in September of this year when they find that the NFL blackout rules will screw them over EVERY week instead of merely every other week this past season. The big winner will be DirectTV and Prime Ticket, which now has about 5% of the entire domestic television market to sell to in order to get to watch a decent slate of winter sports programming again.

Meanwhile, it appears as if somebody typed up the press release from the Padres about all this.Allow me to rectify: "We are deeply disappointed grateful by the news that the Chargers are leaving San Diego. The Chargers are a community treasure competitive sports nuisance, and we have always believed that San Diego is better off with the only one sports team here vying for the sports fan dollar. That said, we know San Diego will continue to grow and become an even more vibrant community with the Padres as the last remaining pro franchise."

While we get this short break to dry out between rainstorms, do some Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

The Dodgers signed Justin Turner. And the deal to get him back at $64 million a year, which ain't so bad for a breakout 3B that could have given Eppler some trade options with Yunel Escobar. Ok, so maybe the bidding might have gotten a little too high for Arte's taste? Oh, wait. No. No it did not. The Angels never even bothered to make an offer.................

It is almost becoming accepted fact that Vlad will get his HoF vote on Monday. Everybody is jumping on the bandwagon. How many of you out there have shifted to the tension of their cap choice?..........

Oooh, Juicy, It must be winter, where there has to be somebody, somewhere, with enough time on their hands to quantify that whol which-base-team-fan-base-has-suffered-the-most thing that was only a narrative a couple of days ago (to which I linked on Wednesday). That person has been located, and the results are in. Nobody west of the Mississippi made it even into the Top 10 (if you count St. Louis as east of the Mississippi, which part of it is). And those teams are so pained it's not even worthy to show the entire list..........

In this study of pitchers, looking for sleepers with great infield fly rates, what jumps out to me is how Matt Shoemaker was our Jon Lester............

Newcomer Danny Espinosa and the Angels agreed to a deal, avoiding arb. Projected at $5.3 million, the deal comes just above that at $5.425 million.   This was Espinosa's third cycle in the arb wheel, meaning that he is eligible for FA next October. Still in the arbitration dugout are Garrett Richards (also his 3rd time), Marty Maldonado (3rd), Kole Calhoun (2nd) and Matt Shoemaker (1st time). ...........

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Everywhere In Baseball

Joe Maddon, as clever as he is, has not found a way to communicate to his doubters why his plan for Aroldis Chapman was not a risky idea to begin with. Not, that is, outside of pointing their noses at his results. The part that intrigues me is where Maddon explains that he had that plan even before Game 7 began. If so, leaving Chapman in so long was not the result of a sudden brain cramp. Maybe a long and slow brain cramp, but not a sudden one. In any event, I am not one of those who complain about that. I have spent too many years being brainwashed into believing that limiting a guy to a single inning just because that is his "role" is stupid. And it's just as stupid not to have your best arm on the mound in the highest leverage situations. So if a guy like Joe Maddon thinks he needed Chapman when he did, and for as long as he did, I call it thinking outside the mainstream box and he is smarter than me, anyway...............

Yasmani Grandal got an MVP vote last season. (A Pittsburgh MSM voter parked Grandal 7th.) But, hey, unexpected MVP vote getting is not that unusual.  What IS unusual is the mental reflection that Grandal's 2016 vote getting is drawing. Somebody made the surprising find that Grandal achieved some notable advanced metrics,..........

Here is a long one, but well worth the time. A few HoF inductees talk about what makes a Hall of Fame career, in their own opinions. The best responses (IMHO) come on the subject of relief pitching. On the subject of advanced metrics, retired players are just as confused as many modern players, and many modern journalists. That part amazes me, because it takes some considerable effort to ignore what has happened to the Front Offices throughout all of Major League Baseball just in the last 5 years. The craziest of all responses comes from Barry Larkin: "Could I have gone out and hit more homers, doubles and triples, or stolen more bases? No doubt about it. But I did what my team needed me to do." I really want to be introduced to the manager who walked up to Larkin and said "Barry, I know you can hit a home run here, but I really want you to bunt that guy over to second base instead. Ok?"..........

If one was going to look at any influence pitchers have on batted ball exit velocity, why would they not look long and hard at any relationship between exit velocity and the velocity of the pitched baseball?..........

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Trade Winds

Mark Trumbo and his agent are reported to be looking a 3-year, $50 million deal. Mark, since you are a local boy, if you are reading this I advise you to check your calendar. It ain't 2012 any longer. Hasn't been for quite some time...............

If you became fearful when the Mariners added Drew Smyly to their rotation, think again..........

Those busy, busy, Marlins, How is that going to work out for them? In a fun read, we can take solace in Grant Brisbee's summary: "Of course, the Mariners probably could have added three wins by replacing Aoki with Jose Bautista, and the prospects they would have kept could have made up for the loss of a first-round pick. But that would have been boring. That’s just one transaction. What kind of offseason is that?...As is, the Mariners are likely a better team, and that’s all that matters for 2017. Just how much better, and at what cost, are questions we can revisit after the season."..........

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The Duffle Bag

Marlins mascot plays with random fan. Random fan claims whiplash. Whiplash lawyer going for his 40%. 'merica................Baseball is the bestest..........Hmmm. Minor league umpires will be getting paid better than minor league players. As the link points out, guess which group is unionized?..........Will football snobs remember this falloffnext summer when they want to make their snarky comments about how baseball is dying?..........Ground Control to Major Tom. Baseball is moving in a direction towards experimenting with radios in catcher's headgear. Not gonna speed up games, people. The principals will simply find other places to use any seconds saved...........

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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-28-Mike-Trout

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