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Ron Manfred burns Atlanta to the ground

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Commissioner Manfred burned Atlanta to the ground, stripping their farm system and banishing their execs. It’s a devastating blow to the franchise but at least Manfred waited until the Braves got their shiny new stadium funded out of the pockets of the local public. And now we know: committing federal crimes and hacking into computer databases and stealing information from your partners might be bad, but don’t you dare get caught paying too much money to the players!

I’m sure that Braves fans feel like crap now. Their farm system now ranks only 4 or 5 slots above ours.

Let’s get on with some Mind-bending-Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Mike Scioscia has his new bench coach in Josh Paul. That’s the same ex-catcher who once played under him. Surprising, I know. The line for cracking jokes about the safest way to close out an inning is forming over to your left........

Billy Eppler has his new assistant, recently-fired Detroit Tigers manager Brad Asmus. Reunited with Justin Upton, I suppose...........

I like it when we have guys in our system who are good people. Jo Adell is good people...........

Most interesting thing on this list is how Mike Trout already has the most games played as a centerfielder in LA Angels franchise history. Second-most interesting thing on this list is Winston Llenas being the most tenured Pinch-hitter. I’ve been following this team since 1966 and I can honestly say that I had no idea there was such a thing as a Winston Llenas.........

It’s that seasons again. Hypothetical Trade Mike Trout plans. This one, though, is a “if you want Mike Trout you have to take Albert Pujols AND his remaining contract” plan. In other words, Derek Jeter is our new GM..........


Everywhere In Baseball

The Braves got hit with the MLB Prospect Death Penalty. They lose 12 prospects, including their ace selections. They cannot sign an international prospect for more than $10,000 in 2019-2020, the first time they get to dip back into the international market. For the 2020-2021 market, their bonus pool was cut in half. They will lose their 3rd round draft pick in 2018. Former GM John Coppolella has been banned from MLB for life, joining Pete Rose. Assistant GM Gordon Blakeley is suspended for one year. And other, more minor employees, in the organization will still have to worry about suspensions and sanctions as MLB finishes the head count........So the Braves just saw their farm system go into the tank. And a large handful of major young talent just landed back into the market which should create an intriguing story line to follow as teams see a potential windfall in new signings. You might want to research well beyond me because I don’t know what all the ‘restrictions’ are. But I do know that a Kevin Maitan signing would still be controlled under the international bonus rules, where the Angels are down to their last $150K.....Anyway, this is huge, but is only just the conclusion of the first chapter...........

By the way, major kudos to Ben Badler over at BaseballAmerica. He has been tracking and predicting the international bonus pool shenanigans for quite some time. He’s probably the least surprised dude on the Internet today...........

Now that MLB is flush with new talent, MLB and NPB have to terms with the MLBPA on the next posting system. This clears the way for Shohei Ohtani to join MLB in 2018. It looks like the biggest reveal so far is the NPB franchise compensation for losing a player. Note that the plan still has to be ratified..........

Joe Morgan takes a pre-emptive shot across the bow of HoF voters, now that ballots have been sent out. Joe is crying for voters to reject PEDs users (I should have used “essentially” in front of that phrase. It would have read better). Why Joe is not releasing to the public the definitive list of all players in history who used substances in order to enhance their natural performance remains a mystery. But, anyway, here we are. An old guy shaking his fist at the clouds...writers are fighting back (here and here and, most logically, here, are examples), but you just cannot fight stupid......And then there are the Rob Dribbles of the world, pulling the jockstrap card in defense of Morgan......

Just remember, Morgan was one of the television announcers making good money by pimping the heroics of juiced home run antics to the general public. Somebody find me the recording of Morgan blasting Sosa and Bonds during 2001..........

One recipient of the letter takes pains to point out that Morgan sits on the board of the Baseball Hall of Fame. As such, this letter comes out from the Hall itself. Whether sanctioned or not, a Board member of the Hall speaks for the Hall. So the Hall is telling voters how to vote..........

Ok. We are going to have a pitch clock. Now we can argue over how many seconds it shall be...........

Just when you thought that there was light at the end of the cord-cutting tunnel, along comes the FCC. This institution, whose one reason for existence is to insure that domestic communications remain equitable for everybody, has decided to dismantle any such even-handedness on the Internet and allow the Amazons and Googles and Facebooks to buy their way to world domination. And you, dear end point, will see your streams impeded for the very reason that you don’t pay enough money for them...........


The Duffle Bag

Safeco Field going back to natural grass and Mike Trout’s knees thankyouverymuch........The preliminary report from the NTSB is in, and Ray Halladay shouldn’t have been fooling around..........(h/t UniWatch), LA Angels bath soap, from the 70’s. In original box!!..........Alex Rodriguez had a girlfriend. The girlfriend had a mom. The mom thought that Alex Rodriguez thought too much about this baseball game thingy............

RIP David Cassidy...