clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Thor’sLinks: The Immortal Vlad

New, 137 comments

With 19 days before pitchers and catchers report, let us pay tribute to the man at the center of the only Halo dynasty.

MLB: AUG 26 Astros at Angels Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In an offseason that has been kind to the Halosphere, the announcement of Vladimir Guerrero’s induction into the Hall of Fame might be the moment that produces the most warm fuzzies among the Halo faithful. Vlad was at the center of the most successful period in franchise history, carrying an otherwise punchless team and doing it his way. His go-ahead single to complete the sweep against the Red Sox in 2009 was the perfect parting gift to Angels’ fans.

Should he choose to don the cap of the Expos, his original franchise, when he joins baseball immortality in Cooperstown, it will be no slight to the time he spent in Anaheim. Vlad was a monster of a player but a saint of a man. He is an Angel for life.

Have some HaloLinks:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Vlad’s election is not only big news for fans of the Angels and Expos, but also for the entire Dominican Republic, as he is the first position player and third player overall from the island to get the call. “The entire country is celebrating,” said countrymen and fellow Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez...

Vlad’s former Angels teammates were equally excited to hear the announcement. Darin Erstad remembers what he heard as much as what he saw:

“What I remember most is him taking BP and the ball sounded different,” Erstad said. “It was like he was hitting a golf ball. It was impressive.”

There really was a bit of Angels’ news yesterday, amid the excitement of the Hall of Fame announcements. In an interview with MLB Network Radio yesterday, Mike Scioscia uncharacteristically tipped his hand when asked about the prospect of using a six-man rotation:

“That’s what we’re looking at,” Scioscia told hosts Mike Ferrin and Matt Diaz. “I think that’s probably the route we will go, but we’re going to wait until we get to Spring Training, and then we can make some decisions there. I think it makes a lot of sense right now, and it’s something we’re looking at very closely.”

While it is something that has been discussed as a possibility since the signing of Ohtani was announced, this may be the closest thing we have to a confirmation of their plans.

Speaking of Ohtani, he made the MLB Pipeline top prospect lists twice, earning the top slot for pitchers and the fourth spot for outfielders. Not exactly a thoughtful list, as he is very unlikely to see time in the outfield for the Angels...


More Hall of Fame

Chipper Jones was the leading vote getter, earning 97.2% of the vote in his first year of eligibility. While he was a star in Atlanta, casual observers may not realize how great he truly was...

When the Cleveland Indians were a powerhouse in the 90’s, stars like Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton and Manny Ramirez understandably got a lot of the attention. Now more than 20 years removed from their previous heyday, Jim Thome stands alone as the first (and likely only) Hall of Famer from those impressive Tribe teams...

It would not be Hall of Fame season without a healthy dose of hot takes. Trevor Hoffman was this year’s whipping boy for analytics-types, earning induction in spite of relatively pedestrian (by Hall standards) rate stats.

My stance on this has never changed: the Hall is a baseball museum first and if a player garnered enough juice during his playing days to earn the votes for enshrinement, good for him. We do enough stripping down of a player’s accomplishments when they are active and earning big contracts. The Hall of Fame should be a platform to celebrate notable careers, even if statically a player does not pass the standards of the smarty-pants committee...

Said committee cannot seem to agree whether the biggest snub this year was Edgar Martinez or Mike Mussina. Martinez, inarguably the best DH in major league history, has his booster club among the Mariners’ faithful. Mussina, meanwhile, is looking more and more like his generation’s Bert Blyleven, and not just because of his big curveball. Fortunately for Mussina, he will not likely have to wait quite as long as his fellow right-hander, as he got up to 63.5% of the vote, making it a foregone conclusion he will eventually earn enough votes to get his own plaque in Cooperstown...


All Over Baseball

The ice-cold free agent market has agents bickering behind the scenes, desperately in search of answers to explain the tepid market. Some agents have even resorted to using their secret weapon, as Scott Boras uses his favorite mouthpiece to try and sabotage a rival agency...

The players union, for their part, are not ready to accuse owners of collusion. Probably wise, as the owners still hold most of the power and it would be nearly impossible to prove. It seems highly unlikely, anyway, as the penalties for such hijinks would be quite severe. It also seems unlikely, as these teams are in competition with one another, so what interest would they have in “helping” each other out in such a way? More likely, it seems they are playing a game of chicken, seeing who folds first and gives out a ridiculous contract to an imperfect player...

Lorenzo Cain is said to have several four-year offers in hand and has begun to inform teams that they have fallen out of contention...

Yu Darvish appears close to making his decision, as well. The Phillies are the latest team to check in on Darvish, who is expected to make his decision this week...

In more news on what’s not happening this offseason, the Rays are expected to keep ace Chris Archer put, for now...

Over in subscription land, Ken Rosenthal can’t help but observe that if Scott Boras is spending so much time talking to the media, he is likely not in negotiations with major league teams interested in his many unemployed players...