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28 days to Opening Day...

Baltimore Orioles v California Angels Photo by Ken Levine/Getty Images

We can finally settle in and follow games again. The whole crew is back in action. Yesterday’s lineup looked a lot like what we will see most of the time in the regular-season.

Follow the games. Don’t freak out about the games. These are just practice, and it’s still way too early to formulate any opinions. Even, for example, how that starting 9 went through their opening turns in Tempe and suffered only 1 strikeout. Too early to think that is how 2018 will go. Just as it is with worrying about pitching or run scoring, etc.

Have some Relaxing-Spring-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

In a startling discovery, MLB has leveraged the advanced analytical power of StatCast and looked into the potential impact that lowering the RF home run line in Anaheim may have on baseball games. Their insightful finding? More home runs. Shocking, I know, but who can argue against the powerful testimony of such Saber-oriented tools?? The bottom line is 8.5% moar dingerz. Having 8.5% more left-handed hitting sluggers in the lineup might help, too..........

Once Upon A Time Ian Kinsler hated us, and we hated him. Now we all live Happily Ever After..........

Shohei Ohtani might end up relegating the Brewers and Angels “A” squads to the back fields on Friday..........Even more crazy, don’t spend any time clicking through all this. Just know that somebody at TheSportingNews has the insane task of maintaining what will end up being a daily tracker of the Shohei Ohtani Timeline..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Clint Frazier suffered a concussion over the weekend. Concussions are no small issue...........

Before my time is up, the baseball world as we know it might not include that sill yold-timey windup thing that pitchers used to do. It will go the way of stirrups. Literally..........

Long before all the MLB teams stuffed themselves into Florida or Arizona there was a fantastic and far-ranging variety of ST camp sites..........

Strings and tin cans. Pitchers and catchers can use strings and tin cans and greatly improve pace of play. It doesn’t require all that much tech, but tech would certainly fix it. (I wonder, what would be the youngest age for a person among any random sample of 5000 people who actually did run a very long string tight between two tin cans and use them to chat over distance, just to play?).........

The Phillies are going to really screw with defensive metrics this year!..........

Even Cleveland know that Mike Napoli is a party animal..........Maybe that’s why Terry Francona is keeping Napoli around..........

LOL. The betting world puts the Dodgers over/under line for wins in 2018 at 96.5. And it puts the same for the Marlins at 64.5. A 32 win differential has to be some kind of record..........

It will be hundreds, if not thousands of years before we finally untangle the financial rights mess that businesses have made out of content fees. Take, for example, the “Broadcast Network Fee” you are charged on your cable bill. You should know that you can still get network broadcast free over the air with a digital antenna. If you have tried to use one of those, you already so know that they can suck. It’s easier just to click into them using your carrier-provided online guide. So here is why that is stupid, and why we have so long to go: the networks are insisting that the carriers pay the networks so that the networks can be assured that their content gets to you, their target audience, in order for the network to be able to charge their advertisers to pitch you hours of Toyotathon commercials and make a lot of money for the networks. In any other business arrangement, the networks would be paying the carriers for the service, not the other way around...........

Geez. Joe Gilmartin died. It means nothing to you but I am the one doing all the work around here so i get to indulge in my own memories. I was reading Gilmartin back in the 70’s when I move to Phoenix out of high school. he was already an institution then and nationally celebrated. That hurts.........


Hot Stove

FanGraphs resident lawyer-analyst Sheryl Ring looks into the MLBPA grievance issue. It’s pretty lengthy, as you expect from any legal perspective. It’s kind of a shame that she failed to read TuesdoLinks first. her analysis could have benefited from learning through that BaseballAmerica link about all the ways that the CBA handcuffs teams as to how they can spend their shared revenue gains...........

The Rays have a method to what the MSM calls their madness. “...the Rays now appear to be paying closer attention to fastball performance on the other side of the ball — that is, with regard to their hitters. If you are among that class of hitter who has difficulty with the fastball, the Rays seem increasingly less likely to employ you.“ Somebody should sue them for being so smart..........

I guess this means we are not getting Jake Arrieta..........And Arrieta’s market may be clawing back from the precipice of Mount Boras..........

The Royals have signed Lucas Duda to take over for Eric Hosmer at 1B. Now we have a new over/under game for 2018. Which player ends up with the highest OPS?..........

Tony Clark is traveling the ST circuit to talk to players. I wonder if, when he gets to Tempe, he will be able to convince Albert Pujols that the owners are screwing over the players and deserve to be punished?..........While Clark was with the DC players, the Washington Post chimed in. I don’t know about any labor war. Wait until after the next offseason. And/or wait until the players have consumed all of the CBA they asked for............

Funny that I coincidentally chose to focus on Neil Walker yesterday. He was then interviewed and had comments about not getting signed by the Yankees, who last week parlayed a 3-team deal instead and acquired Brandon Drury. Walker makes a lot of points, mostly about his intangibles. We, as fans, are going to react to this and it’s picking at the open would of this off-season FA market. But read that article closely. Nowhere does it reveal what Walker is asking for. Without that, it’s not possible to make any determination about good guys and bad guys............


The Duffle Bag

UniWatch announces that they are going to a subscription model. As a news aggregator who redirects thousands of visitors daily over to a site such as UniWatch, I feel I should get a free pass. I should ask for that. Otherwise, considering all the places I read every day and all the fees I could end up paying, this will end up being a money-losing gig. But losing UniWatch is important to me. How else could I easily track down medical smock jersey night? Or keep track of all the camo nights? Or Star Wars nights?...........The Dodgers are fighting off some kind of sickness bug, sending home everybody of value. So it would suck to be a name not sent home...........The Dodgers may camp at Camelback, but the Nats are the ones camping on the backs of camels..........Posted merely to remind everyone as to what really motivates the baseball MSM............Matt Szcur is a very talented artist. I would be even more impressed if he hid within his painting some kind of middle finger for sending him away from the Cubs and off to Padre Purgatory..........Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson once had a legit MiLB career going. He left that for a legit NFL career. Since Tim Tebow has had neither, it’s not appropriate to suggest that Wilson playing a ST game is any kind of stunt similar to Tebow..........We need to rename the Miami Pachinko machine “Jeter’s Folly”..........