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TuesdoLinks: Halos take a breather

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The Angels rested, but now play 13 games in 12 days before flying off to Oakland for Opening Day.

Well, that's the last rest of Spring Training. The Angels now play 13 games over the next 12 days (split game tomorrow) to complete camp. This will include the three game Freeway Series Thursday/Friday/Saturday next week back in SoCal. Then they have a Sunday off to fly up to Oakland for Opening Day. (Official MLB Opening Day will occur while the Halos are traveling, with 3 games on that Sunday.) With that in mind, watch the roster moves fly!

Meanwhile, we don't have any such luxury for any days off. We got Links:


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A Lotta Bit of Angels News

The Halos took the day off yesterday, but not Tyler Skaggs. Looked pretty good against a Brewers minor league squad............

Add this to your projections. The Angels are expected to strikeout less than most other team in MLB this year, but compared to last year they are expected to be worse at making contact. That oddly means, as the author notes, "[The Angels] should be both good at contact and worse at contact."...........

MLB.com writer assigned to the LA Angels, Maria Guardado, hosted an AMA on reddit yesterday. I must have missed the announcement, else I would have given you all a heads up............

Maybe Mike Trout has more important things on his mind than merely being the Greatest Of All Time. Understandable. But he should avoid such things as wedding party baseball cards..........

But that's Ok, because MLB is working to remind America that Mike Trout, married or not, remains the most fantastic ballplayer worth following. Not because of controversy or oddity, but because of baseball deeds............

The expectation was that the Albert Pujols contract was going to be a major boat anchor in years 6 through 10, which is where we are now entering. ESPN sees things in a more interesting light. They see the first 5 years as being the disaster, and the back 5 years as possibly being of value. In simple terms, they see Pujols falling fast off his Cardinal plateau (which is true) and they lay blame on things like injury (true) and walk rate (true), but they project that he might not keep collapsing beyond where he now is, which would be better than what was once forecast. Of course, we see more to the story than Bristol, Connecticut. We see FanGraphs estimating his value over the first 5 years at $71.5 million, versus his actual salary of $100 million. That's not so horrendous. But most importantly, all this ignores the marketing value of Pujols, most immediate being the TV mega-contract that Arte signed which completely paid for the Pujols contract before the second year was over anyway..........

Dustin Ackley is still young enough that if he can overcome shoulder surgery he could be decent utility depth. But his contract with the Angels allows him to opt out rather than take a minor league assignment. Since, by his own admission, Ackley might only barely be able to get back to the field before camp breaks, I don't understand what he would be thinking by opting out. Who else is going to suddenly up and give a slot on their 25-man roster to a guy who has done little since 2015? This is where the player needs to get real with themselves, and return a favor to the club helping him with the chance to recover...........

John Lamb saw his doctor, and has been cleared to start throwing again after his herniated disc surgery...........

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Everywhere In Baseball

WBC Updates here............But before you go, attendance this time is off the charts. This one tournament (976,828 before the semi-final round) has the chance to outdraw the entire 2016 season of the Tampa Bay Rays (1,286,163).........And Dodger Stadium brought out the hot dogs last night..........The Angels have the G.O.A.T. The Rangers merely have a goat.............

Ok, you guys liked the Adam Jones catch more than I did. Not that I didn't like it, but you like it more. So while I spend my time digging my own fave or two, here is Grant Brisbee going long on the Jonesing............

Brady Anderson has the best job in the whole world. It's baseball. He gets to be whatever level of coach he wants to be, whenever he wants to be a coach. He gets to be a not-coach whenever he wants to be. He gets to be an ex-player whenever he wants to be. He gets to take credit for everything that goes right and deflect blame for everything that goes wrong. He doesn't have to consult with anyone or answer to anyone except the one guy at the very top, who has empowered Anderson to be whatever cannon he wants, however loosely. And, again, it's all baseball..........

TeBoned. Tim Tebow was reassigned back down into the Mets' farm system. And I mean down, as in way down. Tebow will report to the low Class-A Columbus FireFlies. As in "Class-A lower level" and not "A Ball without much class". Apparently, this makes Tebow the oldest such player at that level in their system in a decade. Maybe we are done with this now, unless Tebow can work his way all the way back up..........

Curious timing. Last night I was driving home and in need of a change up on my choice of audio. I dialed up the NFL Network and found myself listening to a segment focused on fans calling in and talking about their favorite memorabilia.  One of the hosts, Gil Brandt of Dallas Cowboys executive management fame, was talking about back in the 60's the Cowboys struck a deal with their players to answer ALL of the fan letters that kept flooding in. As part of that program, the Cowboys would include a flyer for discounted merch. This program was the very beginning of NFL Properties. That was a cool story, and it speaks to the power of fan interaction. Then I got home and started my nightly slog through the Internet for your Links of Merit, and found this. Some guy wrote to every franchise inquiring why he should become a fan and root for that team. Only 7 bothered to even respond. Among the 23 that shit-canned the fan outreach would be the Angels. Maybe their staff is now just too depleted to deal with all the overhead of mailing a postcard..............

In the ever-crumbling cable sports biz, it is no longer the case that everybody loses when a carrier chooses not to agree to purchase content at the content provider's idea of value. Not like the old days. Now, it's just the carrier and provider that lose. We viewers now have the power to opt into an alternate carrier service and grab more and  more of the content via streaming...........Elsewhere in TV biz, DirectTV admits that is has been screwing up their rights fees. Look for your refund checks in the mail! (Not really. Any refunds, even if you qualify, would be as a credit.)...........

Here we go, the first find of the year: Crazy Ballpark Foods lined up for 2017. Hot dogs are starting to get truly abused.........

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The Duffle Bag

Just an update: Arte Moreno is  now paying Hambone to not play for the Rangers' minor league system, as he was cut from camp in a "procedural move" while he waits to rehab his knee after his latest surgery............"Cub" is now longer just a noun. Now it is also an adjective...........If nothing else, you gotta hand it to Joe Maddon for his ability to keep thinking outside the box..........Phillies coach Pete Mackanin is trying to literally nickel and dime his team towards respectability..............Bryce Harper didn't get the Layup-On-ST-Outfield-Fly-Balls memo because it's just practice............Remeber this guy? Yeah, C.J. Wilson Race Car Driver. Funny little article about how hard he is working to shed his baseball butt...........

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Halo-Oppo-ly

Week 7 of our Chance/Community Chest cards!

32-CHEST-BRIBE

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