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HumpLinks: Best foot forward

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Stop me if you have heard this before: Albert Pujols feels like he is recovering well enough to be ready for Opening Day.

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Well, we can open with camp news. Not the pitchers, nor the catchers, but the flying feet of Albert Pujols. Once again, we hear from Albert that his recovery process is going well, better than expected actually, and he hopes to be ready by Opening Day. This is the same Pujols who didn't make it above .200 to stay until almost the 25% mark into the season last year.

Ok, that said, think about this. After C.J. Cron's season last year, and the signing of Luis Valbuena, this news doesn't so like such a big deal right now, does it?

Have some Thank You Billy Eppler Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Camp is open. Here is a to-the-point calendar of important dates from LAT.............

The other day we were having a conversation about baseball card collecting, now and going out into the future. So when this reddit post came up and folks started chatting about the same topic, using one of our same data points of Mike Trout rookie cards, I decided to go back out and fetch something that I found to be rather humorous. Again, you can ask whatever you want............

Yeah, what IS the new normal for the Angels? Certainly NOT what we have suffered through the past 3 seasons..........


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Everywhere In Baseball

Something for us to keep in our prayers. Ron Gardenhire has announced that he has contracted prostrate cancer............

This is how fast a season can go south. One of the aces for the Cards, Alex Reyes, is already going in for MRI and his season may be threatened by Tommy John surgery. And, like, it's only Day 1.................

Also for the opening of ST, come the stories of oddball injuries. Today's finest is Brian Flynn, Royals pitcher. Fell through a barn roof. Out 8 weeks...........

I feel the subtle hand of Arte Moreno in all this. He was a hardliner on the luxury tax, even predicting that it would go down at one point. Well, teh new CBA has such tough penalty rules in places that the threshold is acting more like a hard cap. Just ask Madison Bumgarner...........

Yeppers. This is a theme I harped on when I came into the realization of how sabremetrics had penetrated baseball. All that data can be informative, and fin, but let's not kid ourselves into believing that they are comprehensive. Just by having a lot of numbers can make us giddy, like breathing ether. It's been a very long time since I stood my ground on this thought, so it's nice to see some confirmation that there are meaningful data points beyond the curtain that can be extremely impactful. We should discount that information simply because we cannot quantify it............

Well, when you finally get a chance to listen to what he has to say, Scott Boras ain't all that. You want MIke Trout? Sorry, man, but Mike Trout did not go to college so you have to pay double during his minor league years. Oh and, hey, guess what this does? It drives behavior away from signing high school kids and towards college kids, which tends to shorten minor league careers, which tends to redirect more payroll into the hands of Scott Boras' MLB clients.....And did you know that Matt Wieters is practically Carlton Fisk? Sure, because of how many times Wieters has won a GG and been named an All-Star......I will give him this point (mostly because I write this same thing all the time): Boras knows better than MSM and blogging prognosticators that there are some serious jurisdictional sovereignty challenges against the desired powers of MLB...........

Essay time. Pace of Play. Intriguing take that considers several important points. One is that increasing pace of play, by speeding up the game, can have a negative impact on the product itself as athletes fail to adjust. Another point is that the problem is more with society speeding up than the game actually slowing down. And to this point is the more commonly suggested explanation, but far more eloquently given: "It’s not so much that baseball is slowing down than that we are all speeding up. There are those who enjoy baseball for this very anachronistic feeling—I am among them—but we as a demographic are getting older." And the final point that jumps out (to me) is that Manfred's challenge will be to manage the change in pace of play, because it is going to happen...........


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Trade Winds

Lots of arb decisions for pitchers were announced. Some player wins, and some team wins............

Jered Weaver made it rather semi-official that he won't be coming back to the Halos, sending a text message good-bye to his 2016 teammates............

You are getting old. The Indians have signed Grady Sizemore. Not to play, but as a front office advisor. Sizemore came into baseball in 2004, right about when a lot of you joined the LAA fan club. So, yes, you are watching a lot of players end their careers, who are the same players you saw start their careers. Old farts................

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The Duffle Bag

Marlins players have now been freed to join the lumbersexual revolution. Beards coming to Miami..........Is it just me, or has the role of DH really declined over the past 5 seasons? David Ortiz or no David Ortiz.............I, for one, won't be too "disappointed" should the Mariners fail in 2017...........(h/t UniWatch), upcoming will be a round-table discussion of sandlot baseball...............The Dodgers still can't get their TV coverage straightened out. Four years now, and counting. That's a huge running communications advantage for Arte that, if I were he, I would be driving an entire marketing convoy through with alarming regularity............


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Halo-Oppo-ly

Week 2 of our Chance/Community Chest cards!

08-COMM-BIG-SPLASH

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