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WeekEnd HaloLinks: It’s Raining Men!

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Hanukkah Halos - Ian Kinsler and Barry Latman

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Yesterday some of you folks went off on the wrong tone from my Shohei Ohtani link. Maybe you didn’t read the article. Let’s try that again. Ohtani led a simple life while here in OC his first season. He was leading pretty much the same simple, bachelor life that he was back in Japan. He is not an extravagant guy. Did his own laundry, cooked his own meals, “No big thing.” About the only difference was that he played a lot more video games than he does back home, but that comes with a purpose: “I didn’t (play games) much in Japan, but a lot of people do (in the United States), and since we talk while we’re playing, it’s become a way to study communication. Just plain talking, it’s fun.” He was also happy to get out and explore, seeing the Grand Canyon and Sedona while at ST, and some pro basketball and pro hockey while in Anaheim: “I’d like to go to an American football game once, since I’ve never seen one. I tried to go to a (Los Angeles) Rams game, but everyone was under the weather.” So what we have here is a pretty solid and open-minded young man, trying to enjoy his time here in the US and grow into his profession. The story has nothing to do with any whining about low pay, which was the thrust of all the joking yesterday in response to the link. My comment about his pay level had more to do with that second link, about how ridiculously expensive it is getting to be to live in OC. But that is for all of us regular folk and has nothing to do with Ohtani.

Moving on, today is my birthday. The day that everybody cries. I’m taking the day off.

You people, instead, suffer all these Seems-It-Never-Rains-In-Southern-California-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Luis Valbuena, who spent the last two seasons of his career as an Angel, and was invited to exit while he was a carrying a slash line of .199/.253/.335, will never get the chance to resurrect his career. Last night Valbuena was killed in an auto accident, along with former Pittsburgh Pirate Jose Castillo, while driving together in Venezuela. He was there playing winter ball. His playing enthusiasm will be missed. Rest In Peace............

Scott Miller was pimping Jay Paris book signing in San Diego, for Paris’ new book on Shohei Ohtani.............

Since we were last together, Billy Eppler upped the game. The master chess strategist countered all the moves being made by the Mets, Nationals, Mariners, Cardinals, Red Sox and Diamondbacks by going hard with first the Giants, and then the Phillies.....With the Giants, he grabbed a guy they discarded a couple of years ago, Jarret Parker. It’s a minor league deal, unless Japan or Korea come calling, and then he can jet west............With the Phillies, in a straight one-for-one swap of relievers. Jose Alvarez went to Philadelphia and Luis Garcia comes to Anaheim. One can’t have too many right-handed bullpen guys, I guess?............


Everywhere In Baseball

This is what I was saying yesterday in the comments. Billy Eppler might end up getting access to a larger, less expensive, and more highly motivated Free Agent pool if he just waits out the current frenzy that is filling up all the premier landing spots. But agents and scribes will forget about the current activity by the time we get to January, and their ongoing slow news days will turn them back into grouchy collusion pumpkins............

Yep. As more and more smart people look into the science of the baseball and confirm it has changed enough, Rob Manfred’s attempts to dismiss a changed baseball as a factor in the game looks less and less smart..........

Manfred is building support to intervene on The Shift. Which, yes, is the lazy and unnecessary thing. Nothing I can do about that. All I can do is call out, continually, that it is possible for a modern day baseball hitter to defy The Shift. reddit gives us the example of Paul Goldschmidt.....And (also from reddit) it is also possible for modern players who do not enjoy such amazing spray charts, to do the obvious thing and punish a defense for making such assumptions..........

Jerry Dipoto, fine tuning that “Mariners’ Empire That Never Was”..........

The DBacks “may be” tanking? Really? What kind of steamroller do some people require in order to get the message?..........

I hope some year I can stop whining over not having a power bat at third base, Especially as such 3B power hitters are starting to grow on trees..........

Um, actually, I see new-school sabermetric armed gamblers as the biggest threat to the wallets of old-school sports gamblers everywhere. But watch how the old-school gamblers will be the last to notice, and then the first to whine about it...........

Lance Armstrong is whining that he is not loved as much a ARod is loved. ARod, of course, pretty much not being all that loved. I wonder, though, since Armstrong’s records and titles were stripped, what has he ever done as an athlete?.........

The world is one tiny step away from Tim Tebow on a Major League field. A totally Mets thing to be doing in the suddenly beasty NL East..............

Tim Brown of Yahoo! is noticing that teams are making their moves via trades instead of Free Agent commitments. Yeah, I’m on board with that. And I am on the alerts for how the MSM is going to spin that as an anti-labor thing. So I wonder, will Brown or anyone else remember his explanation of: “The heavy wallets of winter 2017-18 helped turn this market thin, so the opt-out candidates were warier of free agency and less suspicious of contract extensions, but mostly this market speaks to baseball’s impermanence, sports’ impermanence, how today’s big thing can be tomorrow’s hanger-on. There’s money and plenty of it, though perhaps there also is less reason to spend it, as a two-man, right-left platoon at $10 million is viewed as favorably as a one-man superstar at three times that. A new generation of general managers seem to have convinced a bygone generation of owners paying today’s prices for yesterday’s production is an unsustainable business model.”.............


Hot Stove

We are officially in the hot stove realm whereby the Angels are tossed into the rumor salad concerning any possible move, as a ‘sleeper’. Today it’s Madison Bumgarner.............

Nathan Eovaldi is staying in Boston. That BoSux payroll is gonna get interesting..........

And Carlos Carrasco is staying in Cleveland for a while..........But Cleveland is then interested in moving BOTH Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer. What the hell does Cleveland have in their pipeline that they are willing to cut hteir #1 and #2 starters from their rotation (no offense Carrasco, but...)??

Yeah, Phillies, spend. Please spend. Big. Now...........

Remember how, just a couple of days ago, the Brewers GM David Stearns admitted that trading at the deadline for Jonathan Schoop was a big mistake because he was such a bust last year? And remember how Schoop was non-tendered, being kicked to the curb for nothing? Well, Schoop has now signed a new deal with the Twins. That is not the news. The news is that, for some odd reason, Schoop was consideredone of the top available free agents” and now the “second baseman market may start to see some movement...”. And insider sports journalists thing WE are the nutty ones..........

The Diamondbacks. What a Front Office brain trust mess..........


The Duffle Bag

Pretty soon Bartolo Colon is gonna be giving up hits and homers to grandkids.............Jeffrey Loria is a big dick. That is all..........Pro athletes? Uh, yeah, they work out a little differently than we mere mortals..........The Andrelton Simmons of cricket. This guy already has more dWAR than Jefry Marte...........