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Thor'sLinks: Welcome home, Halos!

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The Halos have closed Tempe and returned to Anaheim (well, the more important folk), where they open the Freeway Series against the Dodgers in Angel Stadium.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome home, guys!

Tempe was nice, but now it's time to get serious. The Angels have come back to Anaheim where they open the Freeway Series, and final practice games, against the Dodgers in Angel Stadium. We're going to have cars in the parking lot again, lines at the turnstyles, batting practice with rush hour on the distant 57 freeway, fresh grass and rusty red clay infield dirt raked to pristine perfection. We'll smell beer and mustard in the concourses once more, and listen to cheesy music on the PA system. The uniforms will be clean and white for the first few minutes. The lineup cards will be exchanged and the lineups announced to thunderous fireworks. The Angels will run out onto the field to take their positions to cheers from the crowd. And things will get quiet and the plate umpire will command the start of the game and the batter will take first pitch. With that, the sound of the ball smacking the catcher's mitt will be heard throughout the stadium. And baseball will be back in Anaheim. It's 2017, and Spring Training is ending.

Or you can just watch it on TV.

Enjoy some Time-For-Fans-To-Once-Again-Play-With-Cellphones-At-Baseball Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Dustin Ackley, 2 for 3 yesterday but still a ways away from being an MLB level productive regular, has agreed to take the Angels' minor league deal..........

Just a friendly reminder that the 2017 Competitive Balance Tax threshold is $195,000,000. Just sayin'..........

Every team has a famous fan. To start the clickfest go here. But to jump directly to the Angels' just click here..........

Odds are 66 to 1, baby! $100 gets you $6700 back. All you need is for the 2017 Angels to win the World Series. Easier might be for the Angels to have the largest win total improvement over 2016. 10 to 1. There's a prop bet to avoid, though. With the rise of Jose Altuve and a healthy Josh Donaldson, getting only 3/2 odds of Mike Trout finishing int eh top 2 for MVP voting ain't a return worth the risk (Even though he is the prohibitive favorite.)..........

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Everywhere In Baseball

How's this for a kick in the nuts, Doyers fans? 60 years worth of games called in Los Angeles, including a few dozen of the most famous Major League Baseball games of all times, and The Smithsonian Institute enshrines Vin Scully not for anything LA, but for his call of the last time the Dodgers and Giants played a game at the Polo Grounds, the Giants' home field in New York City..........

So we already had the story of Kolten Wong getting pissy about not getting playing time despite the fact that he was on a prolonged streak of suckage. In response, the Cards are pissy right back...........

Do you really want to know how to keep baseball from being boring? Stop trying to force it on people who are easily bored!. That photo that the linked article uses of the kid sleeping in the stadium seats is cute, but that shit has been going on for decades and decades. That is not a sign of a coming apocalypse.........

On the same subject, Grant Brisbee compares two games, 30 years apart, with the same approximate number of batters faced and the same number of runs scored and the same approximate number of hits across the same number of innings. His takeaway is that the main problem is time between pitches. Probably. but not all runs are scored in teh same way. Sometimes it's important to take time between pitches to do other things. Maybe try to keep a baserunner close to his bag. Maybe a pickoff play. Maybe a mound conference to clariy signals once a baserunner gets to second base. Shit happens. This comparison is interesting, and it looks pretty close to what we hear as average game times between eras, but I would want more info..........

Hmmm. Yep, the AL East has been the strongest division in inter-divisional play in MLB over the last decade. And they have won 3 of the last 10 World Series. No arguments there. But it's also interesting that the three weakest divisions in that article have won 6 of those other 7 WS. Maybe there is some kind of advantage to being in a weaker division and getting as easier run through 162 games, and also getting a better shot at home field advantage in playoffs?...........

The Giants are out there. Way out there. If you are a regular here you have to know by now that I admire the way they run their organization. This kind of shit is why. Transcranial direct current stimulation sounds a lot like snake oil, but I'm not any sort of transcranial expert so what do I know...........What I do know about, though, is proper hydration. I just never came up with a motivation like the Giants.

With age, comes wisdom. So it is true with umpires as with humans in general. Older umps tend to end arguments with ejections less frequently............

It's been 48 hours since you had to endure a Tim Tebow link around here. So let me fix that. To me, the main thing that we can learn from Tim Tebow and Michael Jordan is that neither of them are Bo Jackson...........

Jeurys Familia suspended 15 games for Domestic Violence. Less than Aroldis Chapman for a reason............

Aubrey Huff is coming out with a book, and it was reported a couple of weeks ago that he was stoned in the 2010 WS victory parade as a Giant. Now we get more. He was stoned the entire World Series............

Yes, this will be an interesting thing to follow. Trevor Story started out like gangbusters as a rookie last year. He lasted 97 games before he got injured. Now he's back. Will he do a full restart? Will he pick up where he left off? If it means anything, he has not been tearing it up during camp...........

I write. I write on the Internet. I follow baseball. I have eyeballs. If only I had my education in advanced statistical analysis I could be a scout, the new Moneyball concept..........

This is one thing that streaming solves. As sports broadcasts get dispersed across multiple channels (think of all the various channels that show the MLB playoff games each season), those who have mastered their streaming configuration and setup are already prepared to funnel those various sources into the one common pathway to their TV...........

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The Duffle Bag

Oh crap. Now we all must keep on suffering through the insufferable A.J. Pierzynski. Watch. It will turn out that he is just the greatest guy imaginable..........23-year old idiot (failing) minor leaguer does 23-year old idiot thing. Fails...........The Rockies seem to be perfectly happy in their home field advantage stadium. Who would have guessed?...........Montreal is slowly making their comeback............Onliine MLB coloring book. Pretty cool!..........May Ichiro realize his dream, and keep playing until he's 50............With new gloves, come new responsibilities for making gloves old...........Jhoulys Chacin is the Opening Day starter for  the Padres. Kinda cool, when you think about it. It would mean that we have 5 guys better than the SDP #1 starter..............Tal's Hill is gone, and the pole is gone with it. Whew!.............

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