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MondoLinks: Did I miss anything?

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15 Days until Pitchers and Catchers report!

Anaheim Angels vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Aaaand...we’re back.

The quick explanation is that my corporate-issued cellphone died and it’s the only one I carry (that’s enough). It takes my company a couple of weeks to replace it. Half-way through the SBN/VOX security software blew up on me, and their system for fixing things when you lose your cellphone requires a cellphone. Their communications skills ain’t so crack, either. Imagine sending a desperate rider off to call the Calvalry for rescue, and find out that the Calvay cannot be bothered until a more convenient time, and then turn around and ride back to their comfortable fort when, out of frustration, you try and urge them into hurrying up.

Thanks to Lord Josh, who got in touch with one of the SBN Baseball managers and got me to a point where I could figure things out for myself once I got my phone back. And thanks to Josh and Carlos for filling in while I was losing my battle with the VOX unionites.

So I missed you guys, but not by much. I was able to READ, just not able to add to the fun and hoopla.

Have some Cancelling-My-Sabbatical-Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Garrett Richards on a 6-man rotation. “I just want to win.”..........

The Angels released their promo schedule. Except for putting out a Shohei Ohtani bobblehead when Jerry Dipoto and the Seattle Mariners are in town, this menu is far too weak to even be snarked...........

Ohtani is now listed on the Arizona League roster...........And MLB’s Top #1 Prospect (for all of about 3 months)..........

Say good-bye to the incredibly notable Curt Casili..........And say welcome back to the even more noteworthy John Lamb..........

Our Vlad-Of-Fame got some major props from Justin Verlander.............


Everywhere In Baseball

As the off-season winds down, and the transaction activity left lots of coal in the MSM news stocking. We have discussed all the reasons. Among them, the growing tank community is a big component. Jerry Dipoto nails it. Which is why I think that this problem may solve itself. If everybody is losing just like you, you lose your advantage of ensuring the best draft slots or acquiring the best returns in trade deals. You are just a loser. With little to show for it. But it’s still a problem. Scott Boras makes it the biggest talking point of the weekend. And then Dodgers reliever Kenley Jensen raises the threat of player union action.............

So the union did act, and focused on the Marlins and Pirates. And MLB couldn’t even be bothered to wipe their nose with the complaint...........The Mets, though, they need to look at the Mets............

So Boras and others choose to use the Marlins and Pirates as poster children for tanking this Winter. The Marlins? Yeah, probably. The Pirates? Nah. The Pirates just suck at how they are going about trying to compete..........

But there is something to blow me away. Maybe you, too. The MLBPA is properly worried that teams such as the Pirates and Marlins are not going to be using their revenue shares as an additive sum to what otherwise would be their payroll target. That’s not the part that blows me away. It’s the part where I am reminded that Derek Jeter is going to reap tens of millions of dollars more this year just for being in the way............

As you know, our farm system rankings are on a major upward trajectory from subterranean depths. But what does that mean? We commonly don’t measure success in terms of a franchise farm system, but in MLB Wins and trophies. Well, farm system quality and depth has a direct impact on future MLB success. ESPN gives us the data, but I took that data for you and gave you the TL;DR chart:

Despite the election of Chipper Jones, HoF voters continue to be grossly overlooking the great players who defended third base...........

Most of you haven’t been around long enough to recall the times when I was berating those who call for Robot umpires with being ignorant of the technology and it’s capabilities. Many years have now passed, and the tech has made strides forward. I love progress. But even when we take a new look today we still hit on one of my important notes. “PITCHf/x originally used poorly paid “stringers” to sit in a dark room under the stands and manually turn a dial to set the top and bottom of the zone on the video image of the batter. Saunders reports that Statcast uses the previous calls of major league umpires to build a database of the top and bottom of the strike zone for each hitter....Isn’t that ironic? Until MLB comes up with a machine-comprehensible definition of the top and bottom of the strike zone, machines will need the assistance of humans to define the strike zone for the machines.“...........

Manny Machado is moving back to shortstop for 2018. Good for the Orioles, I suppose, as it allows them to park Tim Beckham at 3B. Not so sure why it works for Machado, what with so many great shortstops in the American League as he heads toward Free Agency. His personal productivity may rise via better defensive numbers, but now he is lumped together with Simmons and Lindor and Andrus and Gregorius and, etc., in the hearts and minds of the MSM.............Machado didn’t think to help the Orioles promote ticket sales, though.............

All 30 MLB teams will end up with extended netting this year...........

Lesson up, owners. The trail once blazed by Arte through the Forest of Greed that proved how lowering prices actually increases sales (and, therefore, revenue) has been upgraded with fresh pavers by Atlanta Falcons owner Authur Blank. And he is reaping the same fruits.............

There have become so many lawyers with so many legal entanglements in this whole sports betting thing that my head hurts just trying to read through it all. And my guess is that once the lawyers get done mucking it all up, it’ll be worse than blackout broadcast rules. There’s no way they are going to make it rational. I’d bet on it............


Hot Stove

Let’s get a jump on the Hot Stove for next year! As if the Giants do not already have an overstuffed outfield of Big Splash Names, the news that should surprise nobody is that the Giants are joining the other 29 MLB clubs in wondering if Bryce Harper might be a decent upgrade........At a minimum, Harper is going to be sufficiently off center for San Francisco............

Clayton Kershaw, a potential Free Agent next Winter, has been watching this year’s market with a keen eye. He’s worried, of course, that teams might not want to fight over the best pitcher of his generation. His basis for that is nobody wanting to be burdened by overpaying Eric Hosmer. Yeesh. In that article Kershaw is quoted as recognizing that Lorenzo Cain got paid (expected $70MM over 4, and got $80MM). If a Cain can get paid, Kershaw has nothing to worry about..........

I know it’s old news now, but it’s just something I gotta do when I see dueling headlines. “The Brewers got much better” but the “Brewers gave up too much”...........


The Duffle Bag

The financial crisis that is Venezuela claimed another victim. Ex-MLB’er Marcos Carvajal died of complications from pneumonia, in a country struggling to maintain proper medical supplies...........KRod is still clinging to career life.............The A’s are still on their quest. Frodo had it easier............Money might not buy happiness, or good taste in musicals, but it does buy a pretty bitchin house..........People are the worst. Especially young people. With trucks. In Iowa.............