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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Falling to Paces

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25 Days until Pitchers and Catchers report!

Anaheim Angels Scott Spiezio (C) is congratulated Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

MLB wants to institute it’s new Pace Of Play rules by fiat......Of course, the Player’s Union is objecting, but there is little they can do about it if Rob Manfred is really determined to do something about not having enough time for advertising commercials in a 3-hour broadcast. It is probable that we could learn that MLB will go forward unilaterally after owners meetings end on February 1.

Notice, though, that the rules changes were originally set to start on May 1, but because the union vetoed them, Manfred moved up the date to Opening Day. That’s Manfred needing to be The Boss. Sports Commissioners can be like that.

Here are the important points:

  • 20 second clock between pitches.....(I double dog dare an umpire to call this in a Game 7!).....
  • Clock resets if pitcher takes his foot off the rubber.....(How many times does a pitcher get to do this??).....
  • Batters have the first 5 seconds to get back into the box.....(You know, the box that they were not supposed to leave in the first place.).....
  • Any time a player goes to the mound, or if the pitcher leaves the mound to talk to any player, it counts as one mound visit.....(Watch for the sneaky little tricks that infielders figure out in order to get around this.)......
  • 30 second clock between batters......(Does this mean that the on-deck batter has 10 seconds to get into the box? Who gets penalized, how, if the blame is the batter?)

But here, folks, we encourage you to roll at your own pace.

Have some Take-All-The-Time-You-Need-Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Guess who shall be the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball this year? Nope, it’s NOT Albert Pujols.........

But what Albert Pujols IS, is a good deed doer. And it’s St. Louis where such good deed doing is given it’s proper spotlight...........

Pujols is, then a very good guy. And he was once a very great baseball player. He is not a very great player anymore. Maybe he is still pretty good. He needs to be, because his recent years are taking some of the shine off of his overall career..........


Everywhere In Baseball

The movement towards legalized sports betting continues with Minnesota in the forefront, but no longer with the clause that gifts NBA and MLB owners a part of the action..........

If the MSM wants to make a big deal out of defense for players now retired, when their names come up on a Hall of Fame ballot - see ESPN and this Omar Vizquel tribute - then why are they so reluctant to make the same big deal out of defense for a player conducting overwhelmingly brilliant defense while still active?..........

With this I agree. If you want to be pro-active and create a more equitable marketplace for baseball talent, the money needs to move faster in the direction of youth. On the tanking issue, I think that is one place that should correct itself. It may be necessary for MLB to impose a penalty on extreme behavior, but if enough teams tank then nobody gets an assurance of good draft slots and good trade returns...........

More evidence that the MLB baseball is juiced...AND...evidence that the power translation from Minor League Ball to Major League Ball needs to add this into the factorizations..........

Yasmany Thomas feels a need for speed. All of which got him a cot in jail in the biggest of hurries...........

One place where Jerry Dipoto does remain ahead of Billy Eppler, would be in the execution of equal opportunity Baseball career hiring. I hope she has a long career and, because she is the enemy, I hope she isn’t very good at it...........


Hot Stove

Buster Olney is learning or something. He is starting to tweet out things that make more sense than what he was writing a few weeks ago. He makes a point that one major market inhibitor are the numbers of teams choosing not to be competitive. Tanking, as it were..........

Does Eric Hosmer even have 1 offer yet? One has to wonder..........

Jeff Sullivan uses the Gerrit Cole trade to introduce some perspective. Just because the 4 guy sent back to Pittsburgh were not extremely valuable to Houston, does not mean they will not be valuable to the Pirates. This is also one reason why we sometimes see a player over whom we lust moving to some other team for value less than our favored team had to offer. It’s one reason why Free Agents with one particular talent all might come into a market at the same time, block each other, and find insufficiently few takers in need of that skill at that particular Winter in order to drive any bidding frenzies..........

In the Free Agent marketplace, the waiting game is a real thing. It pays off. And both sides know it. One side just knew it first. Now both sides know it, and here we are.........

At this point, few teams could see their 2018 outlook change for the better more than the Angels should they add one of the Free Agent pitchers..........


The Duffle Bag

Somewhere in here was a thread about swing planes with upper cuts. And then a real expert, Chipper Jones, chimed in. But the thread got cut off downstream and we lost the conversation. Somebody must have gotten punked..........Sneak peak at the new video board in RF in action..........And again..........Vlad porn. A couple of clips starting at the 1:34 mark are particularly fun..........Pirate fan burn of the week..........CC Sabathia talks as if there was ever a time when the MFY were lovable..........The Yankees are very very good at challenges. Something for LAA to focus on. That can also be read as umpires tend to instinctively rule against the Yankees more often than they do against the rest of MLB, but still.........