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Weekend HaloLinks: Final Winter Weekend

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6 Days remain until Opening Day!

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Courtesy of Angels Baseball

Ok, folks! It’s time to start pulling the plugs on the off-season. This is the last weekend before Real Baseball. No more flagging Fridays, stolid Saturdays, or silent Sundays.

We do, however, still have a run of Final-Countdown-Spring-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

More Positional Rankings. Left Field = not too shabby. But lets recall that in 2015 that LF was Matt Joyce. So this development is a landmark outcome..........Right Field = not too shabby, either. But Calhoun is going up against guys like Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper and Mookie Betts. I smell the aroma of a major breakout year for Kole, but those are still formidable comps.........

Albert Pujols is making an early run at Father of the Year...........

Pujols and Miguel Cabrera are twin stellar objects, separated at birth of the HoF galaxy............

Shohie Ohtani may have come over too early to extract a huge initial contract with an MLB team (blessing Arte Moreno), but that doesn’t mean that the move to MLB will keep him in the poor house.............

LA Times patting themselves on the back for writing an article about there being one of the 5 greatest ballplayers in history playing right under their noses............

Roster moves in action...Down to the farm go the following: Parker Bridwell, Kaleb Cowart, Nick Tropeano, Juan Graterol, and Nolan Fontana...........Guys who are not (yet) making the MLB team but are being kept in Tempe are David Fletcher, Eric Young, Jr., Ian Krol, John Lamb, Osmer Morales and Rymer Liriano..........


Everywhere In Baseball

I have always wished that we had an amendment to our Constitution which required some kind of ‘truth in advertising’ when it came to labeling legislation. That way, when the Federal government intervenes on behalf of a few dozen people to allow them to screw thousands of workers out of their right to pursue a living wage at their craft, they would not be allowed to lie about it with the bullshit title of “Save America’s Pastime Act”..........Passing this legislation can be equated to the Federal government telling minor league players to unionize in order to obtain desired compensation improvements. That outcome probably won’t happen in my lifetime, but the message is being sent whether MLB owners intended that or not..........

The bond between a sports franchise can be strong, and only the combined incompetence of ownership and public officials can break it. Take, for example, Milwaukee and the Braves.............

Here we have a beautiful, fascinating, and long essay on the history of the current craze on swing planes with lift. It is loaded with names of guys who are not actually accomplished enough to be examples, but the story is compelling nonetheless. The running thread about Joey Gallo hitting a home run off of Garrett Richards, though, that can be left out. It was the only HR he surrendered in 2017. And it was only the 40th MLB batter he had faced since coming back after losing 5 months to injury........

This needs to be a regular thing. Spring Training is constructed for just the sort of opportunity to mic up a Logan Morrison and have the broadcast crew chat with him during an ST game. It’s totally awesome..........

After losing Jharel Cotton and then A.J. Puk to injuries, the news of Paul Blackburn being injured is starting to make the Oakland pitching injury status reach Halo level of infamy..........And we can add yet another name to the 2018 TJ list. Rafael Montero of the Mets..............

So the Rangers press corps is ready to surrender the season and become sellers even before Opening Day?..........

ESPN is deliriously happy to be able to shove the Yankees down our throats once again.............

The Rays are responding to mound visit restrictions by adopting NFL-styled info wrist bands for their catchers. If this works, watch how fast all MLB teams follow suit...............

Once upon a time Matt Harvey was the LAA poster child for ‘the one that got away because we were cheapos’. Then he crashed. Hard. Now he is ‘the guy we failed to get some great years out of before he became another proof case for the burial ground curse’. Because the guy really is cursed...........

If you are surprised at this outcome, I need to consult with you on a bridge I have for sale. Recall that Rangers pitcher martin Perez dined on the very bull that had scared him in this off-season, causing him to fall and break his elbow. PETA has chosen Perez as a marketing target..........


Hot Stove

Jayson Werth, still awaiting the memo. Collecting that $63 million after he was done has kinda warped his perspective. Maybe Jeff Passan has an opinion........

Erick Aybar didn’t make it..............Neither did Mike Napoli..........

Since the actual player/team contract conversations are fairly secretive, couldn’t the alternate title of this article be “Is Greg Holland Going To Accept Anyone’s Offer?”...........


The Duffle Bag

I doubt many of you are thinking about this the way I am, but allowing people to pay a couple hundred bucks a year in order to circumvent security theater is elitist jackassery of the highest level..........Good news. The umpires are ready for Opening Day!..........Huh. Something I didn’t think I needed to think about. Doesn’t EVERY stadium open gates early for fans to attend BP?..............I award this reddit member the Unclear On The Concept Award of the day, for missing the point of baseball. They might as well be measuring only the moments that a player moves a chess piece..........

R.I.P. Bozo the Clown..............