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HumpLinks: Countdown to Sho-down

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44 days until pitchers and catchers report. 44 days until Sho-Hey Deys!

Kansas City Royals v California Angels
44 Days until Pitchers & Catchers report!
Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images

Pitcher & Catchers report on February 13th. Might that get to be our first Shohei Ohtani sighting? I’m certain that we will get word long before whether or not Ohtani is fully healed and ready to report, and that he would report with all pitchers/catchers. I say that because I anticipate a very large press contingency, with media from both home and abroad. So let’s start counting down the days, trying very hard not to ignore that our constellation already includes the brightest supernova in the firmament.

Rolling along with Troutani-Offseason-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Just a quick reminder of the Mike Trout we missed out on in 2017.........

Shohei Ohtani: EastSPiN’s #1 most intriguing name to watch in 2018..........

Question of the Week: Will Ohtani strike out more at the plate himself than he will have strikeouts against opposing batters as a pitcher?..........

If you are near the San Diego area on March 10, I encourage you to meander over to Petco Park and join the public memorial for Dick Enberg. To save you the lookup, that’s a Saturday, and the Padres will be playing a Spring Training game in Goodyear, AZ. against the Indians.........


Everywhere In Baseball

We all know about the Hall of Fame anti-PEDs plea issued via Joe Morgan..........Well, Willie McCovey is having none of it. McCovey, who played with Bonds’ dad Bobby and is Barry’s godfather, knows damned well that Morgan is the mouthpiece being used to go after Bonds. And McCovey is reminding us all that the Hall is full of players who were on PEDs of some form or another, including the Greenies Generation of which Morgan would be a member (without being directly named as such by McCovey)...........

This McCovey comeback did prompt me to take a look at something. Only an idiot could deny that Barry Bonds is not Hall of Fame material EVEN WITHOUT HIS PEDS YEARS. For example, from 1986 through 1999 Bonds (just prior to what is well-believed to be his PEDs initiation) garnered 103.4 bWAR. He had 2010 hits over 2000 games with 445 home runs and 460 stolen bases. He also had 65 triples, 423 doubles, and 1430 walks. His career slash line to that point was .288/.409/.559 with an OPS of .968. And he had led the National League in IBB’s 7 of his 13 full seasons. The guy was feared. Now compare those numbers to Joe Morgan’s ENTIRE CAREER. Pre-PEDs Bonds leads with bWAR, BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, HR, RBI, and is almost equal in 2B and 3B. As much as I might not like Bonds, Morgan - and his apologists - can STFU............

But if you want to know how the most bitter old dudes with rose-colored glasses feel about the selective memories they hold dear for the game they think is defined by baseball cards and box scores alone, take a look at this. (And keep in mind that, as a 61-year old white guy, I grew up in that writer’s world. I know his POV. But I also know how to acquire new and fresh information and change my mind because of it. So I feel well-qualified to call bullshit on the likes of Thom Dumb-Ass Loverro.).........

The Hall of Fame balloting is shaping up to be a big class, and Bonds and Roger Clemens and even Curt Schilling are looking to end up within shouting distance of induction, which bodes well for them next year...........But there is one guy out there still pulling for Andruw Jones who, I would be the first to admit, deserves better than to be yet another one-and-done..........

If a key to improving one’s BAPIP is to “create one’s own luck”, as though the player has some control over outcome, doesn’t that imply that luck has less to do with things? Whatever, BAPIP is worth a lot of consideration regardless............

Hey, wait a second. If we used Ichiro Suzuki’s number in Japan to build a case for all-time records (after ignoring his numbers in Japan in order to call him Rookie Of The Year), why is there even any question regarding the use of Hideki Matsui’s numbers in Japan to define his career?..........

Apparently, Derek Jeter got his inspiration for his Miami Marlins business plan while locked up in the Small World ride at Disney World. Maybe his boat broke down or something. Now that the Miami media has gotten their hands on his business plan, it seems that Jeter sold his franchise plan on the fairy tale that after gutting the MLB talent in order to drastically lower expenses, the fans would come streaming back and filling the ballpark and raising revenues along the way. Thus, profit! Why hasn’t any other owner thought of that? Because they never played the game, and therefore don’t know baseball, of course. Duh...........

Here is something for you young ones to worry about. With the memories of your ongoing fail experiences over the software of SBN still fresh in your agile minds, you need to worry about such lame software development practices as sports content migrates to streaming services. See this past weekend for an example. The world has a very, very long way to go before software development gets as rich and robust as those practices of The Industrial Age..........


Hot Stove

Leading off the SBN Mothership’s more official, but far less formidable, Links effort is the thought that things are different this year NOT because all of the modern analytically-driven MLB Front Offices are using the same math to come up with the same strategic answers, but that they might be whispering among themselves to collude against overpaying [aging] veterans with [limited] value in a [weak-ass] Free Agent market [that we all saw coming three years ago]..........

But the Cardinals seem up to doing that truly Missouri thing, stealing Eric Hosmer away from the Kansas City Royals. (The Royals are still rumored to be in the mix for Hosmer, hoping that his price drops.) But that would mean that the Cards end up paying something like $20MM AAV over 5 or so years for a 1B that has been outplayed over the most recent 5 years by the 1B they refused to pay, who has cost Arte an AAV of $22.8MM in that span. Sure, Hosmer over the next 5 years will out-produce a Pujols who will be 38 through 41 years of age, but Pujols of ages 33 through 37 out-produced a Hosmer of ages 23 through 27...........

Hosmer also has a 7-year offer from San Diego? And J.D. Martinez has a 5-year offer from Boston?? And neither are leaping across a desk to sign those offers??? Oh, yeah, that would be because these are Scott Boras clients, and Boras is doing his Boras things, negotiating in the media and hoping some owner panics..........

The Waiver Wire is still an active thing. And there is a reason to pay attention to it, and to transactions that occur there. Not much of a reason, but at least more than none at all...........


The Duffle Bag

Need a salaried job with full benefits? Spend a lot of time writing a bunch of stuff on the Internet for a blog on a daily basis already? Interested in Baseball way more than your significant other feels is healthy? FanGraphs is hiring. (Oh, wait...)..........Shoey as The Terminator..........