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MondoLinks: Eppler Meets his match(es)

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Simba time!

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

This is the week that GM’s gather to talk business. GM business right now is, of course, roster rebuilding. But don’t get too excited. Usually, this is the week that all they do is agree to talk further. But that doesn’t mean that things are dull.

The baseball season may be over, but baseball is not dead. A hell of a lot of stuff is happening every day. It’s an amazing phenomenon, one that is already noticeable to a guy like me who browses it all nightly to round up things of interest for your morning coffee. I am not having problems finding things. I am having problems editing. I keep walking past excellent stuff simply because it won’t fit, or is not in the kind of theme for everything else. I do that, hoping to have them to find later when things settle down. But it may be that things won’t!

The Ringer already has to summarize the off-season to-date, and it’s only a couple of weeks old. And MLB Network is finding that now that the season is over, they are having their best post-season viewing ratings week ever! Think about that.

Count the hours to Star Wars: The Last Jedi as you read these Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

More hardware for the Angels. Wilson Defensive Players of the Year were announced over the weekend. Andrelton Simmons and Martin Maldonado both came home with awards, again. Showing how important centerfield is to a team, as amazing as Simmons was over the year the overall Defensive Player of the Year Award went to Byron Buxton......These are even more sabremetrically weighted, being heavy on Defensive Runs Saved. So you might find it interesting to learn that Buxton had the 3rd highest DRS in all of MLB in 2017, with 24. Second highest DRS was Mookie Betts, who lost out to Yasiel Puig (DRS of 18) in RF with 31. And the highest DRS in all of MLB was...Andrelton Simmons with 32. ............

Trout Porn. Not so much new, as me playing around with the WAR grid on FanGraphs. Just tracking fWAR over the past 5 seasons, showing Mike Trout at the top, AND Mike Trout’s high WAR seasons at such a very young age............

Justin Upton also won some tribute. He was named 2017 Detroit Tiger of the Year. Because, why not?..........

Billy Eppler will be trying to solve second base this week at the GM meetings in Orlando, Florida. You know my take on this: too late, and too little. It should be interesting to see what he can pull off...........He does not appear to be searching for guys like Jake Arrieta...........

Cool old aerial photo of the original home of the original Los Angeles Angels............Also on the photo pool, this redditer shares an update on the ongoing transformation in Anaheim to LED stadium lighting............


Everywhere In Baseball

Ranging far to his right from his position in Right Field, Twins prospect LaMonte Wade laid full out in his effort to snag a fly ball. He commitment was admirable. His result, less so, He crashed head-on into the body of centerfielder Oscar Mercado, suffering a concussion. He had to be stretchered off the field and hospitalized. The reports are that he will be just fine, but with what we know about CTE from pro football, in a few decades we might want to revisit Mr. Wade for a checkup or two.............

Here is Jon Heyman quintupling down on his glee over his fellow dinosaurs nominating their favorite unicorns for memorializing, instead of the actual war horses who changed the course of history. In a twitter campaign, first he was happy, going out of his way to thumb his nose at Sabremetrics in an effort to get people to read his article. Then, noticing that the “saber crowd” was scoffing at the faves of his antiquated peerage, he creates some straw men to get people to read his article. Well, he must have felt that he was losing the argument, so he repeated his first take in a new tweet in order to try and get people to read his arrticle. Hmm...he must have realized that holding to his flat-earth theory was not working out, so he pimps himself as a superior authority and defender of superior unicorns as he tries to get people to read his article. Then, as the weekend finally petered out, so did his attacks. Now he is just trying to people to read his article...........By the way, here is one example of saber ‘scoffing’ at the Modern Era HoF Ballot that Heyman whines over)..........

We might not know where Eric Young, Jr. will wind up this offseason. But Eric Young SENIOR just joined the coaching merry-go-round by landing a gig on the Braves’ coaching staff...........Speaking of the merry-go-round (and, oh hell yeah, this year it really is a merry-go-round!), the Yankees are interviewing Eric Wedge for their manager job. That’s kind of like interviewing Mickey Hatcher. Maybe they are just trying to fill the check box for senior citizen candidates..............

The first Annual Vladdy Award, given to that player capable of doing the most damage with pitches that mere mortals would rightfully ignore, goes to Victor Martinez.............


Hot Stove

Had Mike Trout not signed his extension, this would have been the off-season he would have become a Free Agent. Let the imaginary bidding wars begin!...........

So, yeah, the GM meetings are this week. It’s the first big week of the off-season, the other (bigger) event being the Winter Meetings in early December............We probably want to pay attention to the Giancarlo Stanton sage, since this is pretty hot already.............

The Royals want to steal Mike Moustakas away from your hopes and dreams..............

Hmmm. This reads as though Shohei Ohtani is nto putting his foot down and insisting on being a two-way player. More like curious whether MLB teams will support that option............By the way, Sports Illustrated, the posting system you are complaining about is pretty much dead and gone, so there is nothing left to change. And Baseball is no more full-tilt Free Agency for incoming players regardless of origin. Hell even the existing QO system is drag on Free Agency for those players their own Union has defined as “free”. Ohtani could have made millions more had he chosen to wait a couple of years. He was the one who chose not to wait.............

Also, it looks as though Liz Roscher up at the SBN Saber mothership read my summary about Shohei Ohtani...........And Grant Brisbee looks at the projected arc of his career, predicting he being a novelty two-way for a couple of year, and then settling into one side of his game for money reasons. But, then, Brisbee is having his usual fun.........

The Russians are coming!..........


The Duffle Bag

Sorry, Mr. Small Businessman, but the Astros have simply just been too busy winning the World Series and having a parade to be paying their bills..............Jacob DeGrom has joined the clean-cut pitcher movement, the one started by Jake Arrieta............Say what we will about MLB Instant Replay, at least it ain’t THIS BAD.............The reason you might keep seeing Tim Mead retweeting Joe Acaba is because Acaba is an astronaut, who also happens to be a big Angels fan...........Hey, Josh Becket, you are almost 40 years old. Going from high school to pro ball, you forfeited your chance to play asshat frat boy..............It turns out that Roy Halladay was seen flying “aggressively” weeks before his fatal crash by multiple concerned observers. It might have been his thing...........

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