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MondoLinks: Tempes-to-us!

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Fresh back from Spring Training, and a fine time was had by all.

Mike & Albert: Dos Gringos
Mike & Albert: Dos Gringos

So here I sit, fresh back from Tempe - Spring Training 2017, baby! - with a bucket load of photos and a never-ending catalog of ideas. The Missus and I flew over on Friday and were picked up by my eldest son and his incredibly delightful singer/songwriter girlfriend. (For newbies, that eldest son would be RubixsQube here on HH, he being the one who introduced me to this site more than 10 years ago now). We watched the Friday game, then drove down to Tucson. Rubix for for NASA out of UofA it was a great chance to hang out. We returned to Tempe for the Sunday game and then they dropped us back off at the airport and we landed back at John Wayne around 6:30PM.

In between I captured a couple hundred photographs for me to use around here for various reasons. Keep this time frame in mind when you see a shot of some young novice working on things over in the outer fields wearing some random jersey number. It shall happen. Also in between, both Rubix and I captured a lot of observations. There is no way to get into all of them here with some much else to link up, so let's just take the Top 10 things off my head:

1) Innings 1 through 4 of an ST game are much like any minor league game, or local college game. But when you reach the later innings and the stars have gone off to the showers and half the fans have hit the road, everything starts to quiet down and the expanse of the stadium opens up and the atmosphere becomes one of pure baseball. Just that lazy summer-like thing. It's gorgeous.

2) This from Rubix: ST fans are a different breed. Unlike regular season hordes who are attending games focused on outcomes, every other ST attendee is a scout. And the seats and walkways are abuzz with chatter over things like pitching mechanics and hitting progressions and base running strategies. And most of the chatter is usually pushed by a couple shades of bluster, strained through a thickening veil of alcohol, into being humorously wrong. It's also where you can hear fans shout out "Can of corn!", knowing that they have been holding on to that phrase since he was an assistant Little League coach.

3) Despite observation #2, or perhaps because of it, there is a hell of a lot less cellphone usage going on during the game.

4) Diablo Stadium has an odd symmetry with Angels Stadium. When looking out beyond the scoreboard and fences, it's freeway traffic in both places.

5) This from the Missus: Arte Moreno spends an unimaginable amount of money keeping all that grass on all those fields in such absolutely perfect condition despite having to survive in the fierce Southwestern desert weather. Sure, you can point out that Arte is also paying $180 million for his guys to run around on that stuff and wants to protect the health of those players, but there is no denying her basic point.

You know what else would be fun right about now? Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Jess Chavez looked really good yesterday as the Angels clobbered the Mariners 9-2......Nice timing on Fox Sports picking Chavez for a quick video profile............C.J. Cron homered up into the upper standees of the left field grass fans. That's a dangerous place to hit baseballs, because the back side of that hill is loaded with toddlers who are already bored and now spending their afternoon doing races by rolling down the backside of that hill............

Mike Trout may have gone 1 for 6 over the weekend at the Diablo complex, but in between he nailed his development as a golfer. He took down his first hole-in-one. And Justin Verlander has jumped all over the news.............

The Angels got shelled by the Dodgers on Saturday, but don't blame Garrett Richards. He looked stellar...........

Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun aren't worrying about defenses shifting on them. Well, if you read the link, you find that Calhoun has a point. If the defenses keep playing a shitty shift, and Calhoun continues to do significantly better against the shift than against straight-up defenses, he should start paying opponents to shift on him...........

David Fletcher may truly be tearing it up this spring, but he is still flying under the radar nationally.............

83-year old Bill Lachemann, still going on a a catcher coach.............

After the homeless encamped along the eastern side of the Santa Ana river were dislocated by some County project, they moved over to the western side next to the parking lot of the stadium. And some of those people are starting to cause some serious mischief, prompting the Angels to ask the Anaheim Police Department to step up security.............

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Everywhere In Baseball

As usual, catch up on all things WBC over here at the SBN mothership page............I link to that because I don't want to perpetuate the myth that I don't care about WBC, unlike MLB teams who have a few billion dollars at stake trying to get ready for the real thing. And it's not like this is some kind of NEW thing.........

But let me call out a couple of WBC things from this weekend. There is this fun tidbit where the KC Royals backup catcher (Drew Butera!) takes out the KC Royals starting catcher (Salvador Perez) on a bang-bang collision at home. Nice way to win a job, there, Drew. No, it's Ok. Tests show real damage to Perez. No more WBC, but he still has the starting job in Kansas City.........

Oh, and this: Yadier Molina is totally pissed off at WBC security when a huge fight broke out in the stands, in the area of the player families. This prompted the players to abandon the dugout and run up into the stands to protect their loved ones. So, sure, total chaos. Well done, there, MLB-WBC-Guadalajara-security guys............

Tebow Time is over in Florida for this spring. For one fan, this news could not have come at a worse time...........

Jung-ho Kang has really messed up. his DUI conviction in Korea had earned him a spot on the MLB restricted list because now he has some kind of Visa issue getting into the country...........(By the way, check out the WBC video highlight on that link. I don't know how it looks on YOUR computer, but it looks brilliant on mine. It looks like closed circuit television!)..........

Bunting as a sacrifice = bad, but bunting for a base hit = good? Uh, yeah.............

Projections rarely agree. But they can disagree in interesting ways. Look at how so in the past............

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The Duffle Bag

Rey Navarro dodged a bullet, lands in a trash can. No, literally, a trash can...........Just a reminder of how fast fortunes can turn, even in Spring. Rockies converted Great Hope Ian Desmond was HBP and has a fractured hand, will miss Opening Day..........And here you thought that Jerry Dipoto had finally run out of horsetrading gas. Speaking of which the reference to the Pequod here as it pertains to Dipoto is insightful.........One more year of Dead Money Tracking, and we will become irrelevant................Umpire arrested in Alabama for public intoxication, while umpiring.............Hair is becoming a thing in baseball. Taylor Motter, and Clint Frazier.............

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Halo-Oppo-ly

Week 6 of our Chance/Community Chest cards!

26-COMM-SHITTY-STADIUM

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