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TuesdoLinks: It’s Spring Break Time!

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9 Days remain until Opening Day!

Cleveland Indians v California Angels Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

And here we go! Our first Halo pitching arm problem of Spring. Andrew Heaney has an elbow owie. Now, under normal circumstances where typical human beings converse in English, the phrase ‘elbow inflammation’ would mean that the arm is sore, and needs rest, and in a couple of weeks everything is fine. But the Angels have a rather sordid history of medical communications skills. With the Angels, ‘elbow inflammation’ takes 24 hours to morph into ‘more MRI’s’, which then takes another 48 hours to become ‘flying back home to see Dr. so-and-so’. And then 24 hours to become ‘surgery’, costing months of play time. It’s no surprise that we are open to fearing the worst.

So while we sit through yet another LAA pitching injury melodrama, Fix your gaze on these More-Truthy-Spring-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

More Shohei Ohtani worries among the national press. It comes with all that international hoopla, and Shohei has earned this level of inspection so far in Tempe..........Maybe he just needs to relax..........

Mike Trout doesn’t make this particular “most fun” fantasy MLB team because the limit is $240. And Mike Trout is costing $50 all by his little lonesome. So anybody drafting trout is only going to have $190 with which to work for the rest of their entire lineup. I guess that means that everybody buying on trout is going to be “wasting Trout” for 2018?..........

FanGraphs launches their positional power rankings for 2018. They start with catchers, and since they skew heavily towards offense (much to Mike Scioscia’s dismay), the Angels rank is, well, pretty rank..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Here is another reality that needs to be addressed. It’s ridiculous that minor league players are required to spend so many hours at their job and away from their personal lives, while being so poorly compensated. Since the vast majority, by the very nature of the winnowing process, will never reach the big payoff and will end up being set back in life economically, if not also educationally, we have a problem. The MiLB training process cannot properly function without them, so the industry requires all those guys-who-are-going-nowhere. They provide a valuable service. But MLB refuses to share any industry wealth with them, and the MLBPA chooses to ignore them. Some of the players tried to do something about it last year, to no avail. But that effort was enough to alert MLB owners - who are the ones paying the wages - that they need to shut down any attempted repeats. Through lobbying, they have been working to bury deep within new Federal spending legislation actual laws which would exempt minor league players from wage protection. Think about that. 30 people, or something less than 30 people plus a few corporate ownership groups, have been working to persuade the entire US government (you know, the ones with all the police and judges and guns and stuff) to write into law the ability of those owners to hold tens of thousands of people in indentured servitude for perpetuity. That is an abomination, for which MLB owners and lawmakers should be ashamed..........

While our politicians are busy mucking with the laws with their over-matched little brains, they also crashed headlong into professional sports. Trying to snag more tax dollars from people such as farmers who tend to trade in high-end bartering, new rules are afoot that pose a potential impact on player trades. Teams may be liable for paying taxes on the value of players that they trade. It’s just that nobody can figure out how to figure this out, so nobody knows what it really means. Just wait or it. Somebody will come up with the idea that taxes can be measured as some factor of WAR..........

How about a couple of long ones that I left off of yesterday’s link due to inventory? FanGraphs gives us a great start on a 2-part series that documents the paths that baseball players took through life after baseball. The point of view behind the profiles is that of wealth management. What happens to the money?..........The second article, also from FG, involves all the problems with the rule book and the CBA that will get triggered by Rob Mansfred’s restrictions on mound visits..........

We have a lot of great young talent hitting MLB right now. It’s turning into a new Golden Age. Byron Buxton would have been THE megastar just 7 years ago............

Juuuust a bit outside. Bob Uecker is still kicking it around. Newbies won’t know that for a while there I was dating his niece, a couple of lifetimes ago..........

Imagine a career where a hotel becomes one of the most integrated parts of your life. Like, for example, professional baseball scout...........

Dustin Fowler working hard to NOT be ‘Moonlight’ Graham..........

A sweet walk through the inside mind of a bitter Rangers fan. It’s a very long journey, but every sweet step is paved with Ranger corpses. And, Bitter Rangers Fan, the reason the Angels have Mike Trout and you don’t is because you have Matt Purke. Oh, wait. No you don’t. Purke refused to sign. Purke is hanging on to whatever it was he was having for an MLB career via a minor league contract with the Mets........

Baby steps, but I like it. For years I have complained against he visual K zone graphics used on TV. They leave a false impression of each pitch with the viewer, and the collective responses are off base. ESPN is promising to use 3D pitch-tracking, THROUGH the ENTIRE zone, more often this season on their broadcasts. I will keep squawking until this information is available as needed for every pitch, every broadcast, every game..........


Hot Stove

It’s contract year in 2018 for some notable ballplayers, and we should expect great things from them as they amp their market value. Clayton Kershaw, for example, is already off and running..........And we should expect Bryce Harper to enter Beast Mode in a matter of days now..........Response to Buster Olney: depends on how tall you are..........Which makes the Manny Machado switch from 3B to SS all that more strange. MLB is stacked with awesome SS talent, but far less so at 3B. There are more teams that need any kind of upgrade at 3B than there are that need to upgrade SS. The Halos, for example, would not agree to pay all that money to Machado so that they could dump Andrelton Simmons and hold Zack Cozart at 3B..........

Read this Buster Olney study of the impact of this off-season on young players and future Free Agents. And notice how ill-prepared player agents are to deal with the Front Offices of the modern baseball industry: “Those m-----f---ers just can’t wait to get into talks next fall, because they know there will be some players scared to wait and will jump at bad deals early...


The Duffle Bag

Holiday uniforms! Get yer holiday uniforms here!..........If you google “most racist city in America” Boston comes up the most often hit, by far. David Ortiz begs to differ. Chalk it up to Dominican privilege..........Rahul checking out Matt Thaiss on the back fields.........The Brewers put on a recreation of an epic scene in Sandlot. But the Bees are giving out the bobbleheads..........Whiel the Bees will be handing out cool bobbleheads this year, the Mariners will be hosting a celebration of NOT giving out something..........Ten Bold Predictions, and #10 is that the Royals are now better off at 1B than the Padres..........Looks like the A’s need to consider building windmills, like in Holland..........