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HumpLinks: An Arbitrary Week for News

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37 Days until Pitchers and Catchers report!

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics

It is now arbitration season. Teams and players have until this upcoming Friday to submit their numbers..........The Angels have (had) 10 players tracking towards arbitration: Alvarez, Bedrosian, Cron, Heaney, Maldonado, Parker, Ramirez, Richards, Shoemaker and Skaggs. Yesterday the Halos and Heaney avoided the arb mess by agreeing to an $800K incentive-laden deal..........

Have some Arbitrary-Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Jeff Fletcher of the OCR is getting into the starting rotation dialog that JeffJoiner launched here yesterday. Fletcher projects the main rotation to be Ohtani, Richards, Heaney, Shoemaker and Skaggs, with Ramirez/Bridwell/Tropeano filling any 6th spot. beyond those, his depth potential for 2018 (based on the birds in hand) are Jaime Barria, then Troy Scribner. And reaching deeper, anything out of the mix from Jesus Castillo, Osmer Morales, Jake Jewell and/or Alex Klonowski is a possibility..........

MLB.com does a summary for every starting rotation (as they look as of this date, of course). The expanded coverage for the Angels that Maria Guardado contributes hits mostly on the “unproven” angle. So I have to ask, sincerely: at what point is a pitcher no longer considered “unproven”?...........

Shohei Ohtani inked a bonus-baby type autograph deal as a rookie for his Topps cards...........

When the Angels won the Ohtani sweepstakes, a part of that victory is the posting fee that Arte will have to send back to Hokkaido. That would be $20 million. You might not know that this posting fee works the other direction, too. When the Hanwa Eagles signed ex-Halo Jared Hoying, the Eagles sent back to Arte their posting fee. $1. That’s right. A single buck..........


Everywhere In Baseball

I did not realize that the “scouts versus stats” tension was still a thing. I guess I was wrong. you should read it. Is a pretty balanced assessment of the current state of affairs........

With little else to talk about in baseball these days, Sam Miller went out and imagined a 50-inning baseball game. And the Internet lost it’s mind......What happens if the fans get hungry and the stadium ran out of food? Hey, it’s happened..........

I guess Justin Morneau the baseball player is done. I must have missed his retirement announcement. But say hello to Justin Morneau the baseball executive..........

Matt Garza is one of those guys who seems to always be flitting around the periphery of the world of LAA, causing just enough problems to franchise hopes. Whenever his name pops up, I flinch. Garza is among the vast list of Free Agents not being signed. maybe, in his case, it’s because he is undergoing labrum surgery. Damn, but that is shitty timing.........

MLB looking to grow the game of baseball in China. Baseball makes for the best international diplomacy..........And if that happens, the famous Reggie Jackson quote that opens this lovely essay about June 19, 1997 will become extinct..........

Is there a “right way” to tank that has been figured out? Certainly, there is some dialog ongoing as to how, when, where and why to do it. But if that way is to dump everybody possible for as many prospects conceivable, have the Marlins gone far enough?..........

Have some fun with Baseball history! A photo was recently uncovered that shows Fred Merkle leading off first base, moments before his infamous bonehead. In the article is a link to a deeper historical analysis of the photo which is also fascinating. In that photo is Frank Chance, who you would know from “Tinker to Evers to Chance” (all of them Hall of Famers). And in that article you will read that the person at bat, who got the hit that started the Merkle Boner, was Al Bridwell. It seems too remote that Al Bridwell of that day, and Parker Bridwell of our day, are not sharing a common ancestor, somewhere. Somebody needs to ask Parker..........

I am old enough to recall many auto races in which the leader ran out of gas on the final lap, eventually losing the race. So when a Roger Goodell points out that he is not worried about viewer ratings for an event-driven, nationally-oriented content service because it’s still “37 of the Top 50 shows”, I know I am listening to the corporate executive version of those race car drivers. I keep pointing out this stuff for 3 reasons. First, to scoff at all the fools who intentionally remained ignorant concerning the differences between viewership habits of MLB and NFL, proclaiming that “Baseball is dying” based on viewership numbers. Second, it speaks to Baseball’s rising revenue streams and growing global footprint (while NFL is still trying to park roots in England and Mexico). And, third, it has an impact on the future growth of the streaming sports content industry. For example, the more that stuff like this happens, the more similar stuff will happen for Baseball..........

I’m not quite sure where Jon Bois is going with his Future Baseball thing. It feels like only half of it is written. But here it is anyway. Because it’s the off-season, and this is the time to read stuff like this..........


Hot Stove

Add to the basket of theories as to why this off-season slower than past years, the theory that the super-teams are locked down tight enough already to preclude them from scrambling to commit to wacky contracts in order to snag Free Agents before anybody else can, thus avoiding the cascading fallout effect that comes thereafter.........

Beware wishing for Free Agent Jake Arrieta. He is on the list of players most likely to regress. Of course, we used to read that same prediction for Mike Trout in his earliest years..........


The Duffle Bag

last year Noah Syndergaard was so much in The Best Shape Of His Life that he blew out his arm. So what does it mean when he claims to NOW be in even better shape?.........H/T to reddit for picking up this 90’s Japanese game designer’s need to invent names for American baseball players. Bobson Dugnutt was undoubtebly a catcher.........The Oakland A’s might not have a new ballpark in which the players may participate safely and fans enjoy the competition comfortably, at least the Front Office now has cool new digs!..........

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