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Thor'sLinks: We Fly Flags!

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Team USA wins the WBC and all is right in the world of baseball. But tell me, who gets the trophy? Who gets to fly the flag?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

It's official. Everybody is thrilled about this edition of the WBC. Except Mexico. Those guys are still pissed off. And television viewers, Those people seemed to have been overlooked by MLB. They are the lucky ones, though, not having to see our side playing in their visitor grays with the bacon strip logo............

But, yes, Team USA steamrolled Team Puerto Rico in the final game to claim the first WBC championship for the home country of our national pastime. This, after 4 attempts. This, after more than 20 years of kinda trying. The final score was 8-0 but it wasn't that close. Marcus Stroman had a no-hitter going through 6 innings before yielding a leadoff double in the bottom of the 7th to Angel Pagan. At that point it was 7-0 in favor of USA, and P.R. had nothing. I can envision hundreds of thousands of people tuning out right then and happily going back to their beer.

So now that Team USA has won, are we going to take this seriously now? It's kind of what we American sports fans do...........

Have some Champagne Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

My bet is that Alex Meyer just punched his ticket to AAA. That outing blew chunks at a time when he could not afford to let that happen. 5 hits and 3 walks, 4 earned runs, in only 2.1 innings of work? Not when a Jesse Chavez is crushing it..........And Mike Scioscia is holding out for last minute turn of events where Matt Shoemaker takes the prize of  Opening Day pitcher...........

Yet another observation that the Angels are being rather progressive with their approach to exercise training. Even if it doesn't work out, I'm happy to read that they are trying. At the very least, it shows a willingness to keep learning, and improve off of that...........

Last August Luis Valbuena had surgery to repair a torn hamstring. He has been notably absent this spring as he has worked himself back into game shape, regaining the necessary flexibility with that hammy and regaining . Yesterday, in slit-squad action, Valbuena made one of the 1B starts opposite C.J. Cron. It didn't last long. After only 3 innings Valbuena checked himself out of the game with tightness............

It's one of the less pleasurable duties that come with my obligation to fill you up with daily goings on, that I have to click over to, and then click through, click bait articles such as Cheat Sheet. But I can shortcut it for you. In an bit about the 10 MLB Stadiums that you should avoid AT ALL COSTS, guess which one comes in at #8?..........

If only baseball were more like tennis, instead of some stupid team sport where a bunch of decent guys can overwhelm one spectacular guy. On the other hand, they did find a way to draw clicks by using "Mike Trout" in the headline. We all know how well that works............

"Remember when everyone on the Internet loved Andrelton Simmons? Back then, Simmons was a light-hitting batsman who did wizardly things on the infield dirt. Simmons remains more or less the exact same player. He still has that unbelievable arm, and range that's as much a factor of his anticipation as of his agility. But today Simmons gets lost in the mix, with so many other good shortstops around [with Simmons now playing way out on the West Coast when all the rest of us have gone to bed.]Yeah. Fixed it...........

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Everywhere In Baseball

Baseball broadcast booths are not very diverse. The Angels' booth certainly is, but that is rare. Curiously for me, the demographics of the broadcasters tend to mirror the demographics of the broadcastees. I am unsure, however, that I would classify these two circumstances as "problems", as does the author. An opportunity to improve, certainly, but baseball is healthy even if large sums of minority sports fans don't care about our sport. My initial reaction would be that we should put emphasis on minority participants versus reporters. And, certainly, there is an underlying flaw in logic when the author asserts that if baseball fails to grow audience participation among minority bases, fan attention overall will decrease. That is only true is that decrease would be among Caucasian fans, something not proven in the article..........

Tim Tebow has landed at the bottom. Nowhere to go but up, now. As if it is supposed to mean anything, this makes Skip Bayless happy. And since, by definition, now being at the very bottom precludes the Tebow circus from impeding the development opportunity of somebody else more talented or committed, I am happy to follow along, beginning with the fun troll job one of the other teams in his new league has put forth: when Tebow comes to town, if he strikes out three times in a game all attendees get a free burger..........

Sports Illustrated in counting down towards the most valuable trade chip in baseball. I know what you are thinking, that the obvious number 1 will end up being Mike Trout, with a Bryce Harper and Josh Donaldson and Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve right there in the Final 10 with him. SI is giving you numbers 50 through 31, but I contend that they have already erred. SI first did an exceptions list. Trout should have been on that list, as an untradable..........

I know we still have a long way to go with defensive stats when Mark Trumbo ranks highly as a flashy outfielder...........

The saddest thing I have to do is report that the mosaic that is our world of sports has lost another tile. Yesterday we lost two. Dallas Green, player/manager/exec, died at the age of 82. And also Jerry Krause, who most of you think of only as one-time General Manager of the Jordan-era Chicago Bulls. Krause was 77. But in baseball terms, Krause was a mid-west scout for the Seattle Mariners who was convinced that he had discovered ...wait for it...the next Mickey Mantle..............

Also dying, having suffered the final throes of any meaningful moments of his career as a Halo, was David DeJesus' career. He has officially retired...........

The best way to keep an ESPN from dying is to invent some viewership number for the eyeballs that are forced to walk past TV's situated in odd places tuned to the channel. Why the hell don't they just start counting all the people walking past every ESPNZone?............

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The Duffle Bag

The San Diego Padres and their fans are finding out something we have know for a few years now. Jered Weaver's arm is dead. (A Weave with dead arm is probably half of a Michael Kopech.)...........Life is not complete if I go too long without something fun to report about the Fresno Tacos..........My oldest son would be soooo pleased. Zelda theme music for a walk-up............Barf. One of these days I'm gonna do an historical review of all the Boston Red Sox bullshit they wrap themselves within as some excuse for ex exceptionalism. I thought "Cowboy up!" was crass. Outfielder celebration dancing is just the worst. But lest we forget, Ian Kinsler will be right there to remind you that this is playing baseball The Right Way, 'cuz it's the American Way.............Puerto Rico can now safely return to brunette............Nolan Ryan fan sits next to Nolan Ryan. Hot dog is more important............

OT, but kinda not. Why do we have interviews with team coaches at all? The last thing they want to do is tell the whole world the things they are trying to do to beat the other guys. Any high school kid could write up all the cliches. And everybody just gets frustrated, pissing off somebody...........

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