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MondoLinks: Extra Super Fun Times

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With football now in our rear view window, we can focus on pitchers & catcher reporting in just over a week!

Harry How/Getty Images

Two standout things that are safe for me to make note of from last night. One was that use of a computer-controlled armada of lighted drones as a backdrop for  Lady Gaga. I have seen articles where Disney has been experimenting with that stuff as an alternative evening light show (probably a good thing for neighbors of the park). That was truly cool, and the possibilities are mind-blowing. It also explains why there was a large blackout of drones surrounding the stadium.

The second thing was Lady Gaga leaping off the roof of that stadium. I don't care that she was wired up. It still takes some serious moxie to leap out into space 300 feet off the ground. Imagine practicing that.

Have some hangover Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Billy Eppler signed Dustin Ackley to a 1-year minor league deal with a Spring Training invite. There is a lot of that going around at this point in the off-season. We all expect Ackley to end up in Salt Lake City with the Bees, which is nice depth. And, yes, Eppler has been adding depth to the organization almost monthly since he took over. But here is a thought: shouldn't adding guys like Ackley to our farm system make our farm system rate higher?............

Speaking of Spring Training...everybody is counting down!............

Getting up to speed there, quickly, new MLB beat writer Maria Guardado. Yes, Eppler has plugged holes at 2b and LF this offseason. Now, let's be honest with ourselves. Those holes have been plugged with wads of duct tape, not welded plates of 4 WAR monster steel. Those holes may be plugged, but we here in Anaheim are still expecting something more permanent any year now...........


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Everywhere In Baseball

It's a sad sign when you find yourself losing your grip on your legacy. It happens to them all. Andrew McCutchen is being moved out of center field in favor of Starling Marte............

Trying to read up and understand this dive into the impact of raising the outfield wall in Colorado on home runs hit there, and my main takeway comes from the first chart. How is it that Anaheim Stadium, home of the marine layer, shows up on that chart at all, much less twice?...........

Rob Manfred is worrying about pace of play again.This will happen every year until he does something, I suppose. We will have all the same point and counterpoint discussions regardless. But the pitch clock thing? Not one of the leading ideas..............

Just a reminder that the PEDs era was pretty good for pitchers, too...........

Pirates infielder Jung ho Kang, who was busted this off-season with his third DUI and compounded that with fleeing the scene of his accident, appears to be agreeing to enter an alcohol treatment program as recommended by MLB..............

Yes! Progress! We finally start seeing the data dudes and dudettes bring up the notion of positioning as it pertains to defensive metrics. This is huge, and I have been looking towards this as soon as I read for the first time that MLB was pointing cameras at the field to track defense............

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Trade Winds

Well, Joe Smith is certainly having an interesting 12 months in his life. He started last season on the LAA roster, pitching with a front row seat to witness AL MVP Mike Trout. After a brief hammy outing, he was traded to the Cubs where he pitched well in his 16 regular season appearances while playing alongside NL MVP Kris Bryant, and watching his mates run off into the playoffs and into their historic World Series title. Now he signs with the Blue Jays, where he will be playing with 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson, and one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball behind him...........

Wilmer Flores won his arb case against the Mets, and will make $2.2 million. Nice money for what was a fairly mediocre 2016. The Mets lost, having offered $1.8 million, which is also a nice payday for mediocre. To save you the clickage, Flores was .269/.319/.469 in 103 games with an OPS+ of 108 and a bWAR of 0.3. Looking at our 2016 results, that would be about as mediocre as, say, Albert Pujols (except for Pujols doubling up on Flores' HR's). That would be "he won't let you down" Albert Pujols...........

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The Duffle Bag

In-market streaming coming to all but 3 MLB teams. Angels will get it, Dodgers will not?............Mike Trout, weatherman............Tim Tebow is still hanging in there...........Baseball with a Super Bowl? One game to rule them all? Stupid idea. Especially since the Angels lose in 2002...............Dear High Heat Stats: the Royals and Marlins aren't the only teams to have lost their best young pitcher to tragedy. Not even the first............With the new ST merch released for short-term MLB extra profit, I really do like the Cubs caps............The Angels caps, though? Not even good enough for an honorable mention...............The Cubs are killing it in Cactus League ticket sales............

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Halo-Oppo-ly

What? You thought I was going to forget about Chance/Community Chest cards??

01-COMM-LUX-TAX

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