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HumpLinks: And That’s A Wrap.

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1 Day remains until Opening Day!

Spring Training is now over. We didn’t even have enough energy left over to play a full 9 last night. The Dodgers chickened out in fear of another LAA comeback and flooded the field. ST 2018 was officially closed forever. It’s their park, and if that’s how they feel about it...

So...now...Baseball is coming.

Have just a little more patience with these Last-Of-The-Spring-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Honestly, I wish we were at the point where we could entertain these thought exercises about comparing a two-way Shohei Ohtani to the two-way Babe Ruth. Maybe someday..............Matt Shoemaker might be the guy to pitch Saturday instead of Ohtani............But the 2017 Little League champs got a moment with their hero............

Ian Kinsler has a groin injury. Old Guy Disease. He might not be around for Opening Day............

I’m old enough to get confused easily. Maybe one of you can help me. The LAA bullpen last season ended up 5th in fWAR throughout all of MLB. That feels right, since that was the critically great thing about the team in 2017. That, and the way that Mike Scioscia played that successful instrument. Has the bullpen changed that much to justify it being ranked 20th at FanGraphs?...............

Is Mike Trout “the best player in Baseball”? Nope. That would be Bryce Harper. Is Mike Trout the best player in the AL? Nope, that will be Gary Sanchez. Hey, don’t take my word for it. Listen to David Samson of CBS Sports. Because he is an expert............ESPN, though, makes Trout the prohibitive favorite (14 votes to only 2 for Gary Sanchez)...........

R.I.P Arte the affordable beer hero...........


Everywhere In Baseball

I am never gonna stop doing this and I have a feeling that I am going to suffer through doing this a lot. A Lot. Vladdie Jr. donned #27, walked out onto the field in Montreal, and did this. Instead, Jerry Dipoto gave us this.............

A.J. Puk of Oakland is off to TJ Land. I feel bad for Puk the person. But the A’s, and their ans, can go Puk themselves.............

Despite what Rob Manfred keeps wanting us to believe, there is too much evidence that the baseball is juiced. The development team of MLB The Show ‘18 agree. “We’re trying to model what happens in real life.”...........And that attitude of those developers has Andrew McCutchen flaming pissed...........

I keep telling you and telling you and telling you. The tech for pitch tracking is still not where it needs to be. It is nowhere near as accurate as those in-game cartoons have tricked you into believing. The good news is that it’s easy to measure the errors, and measuring the errors is a fundamental step towards figuring out how to remove them altogether.............

The nutritional supplement industry is a career landmine. This is a fantastic read that should have been posted back when it was too cold to go outside and play. Maybe you should drive to Montana for the weekend so that you will have an excuse to get locked indoors and read it very slowly. And on Sunday, you can then read this one. For my part, this gig forces me to read headlines and quick scan content in order to assemble the dailies. But I now know to come back and find these later and do that slow read. From what I scanned, I will learn a lot............

I am on a roll. A few days ago when I read that Aaron Judge was pimping pinstripes to Mannay Machado, I wondered why MLB did not consider that to be tampering? Nobody else noticed that. Nobody except MLB. And then this week I commented about how I found it to be kinda creepy that the Yankees would be using their current players to pimp beer sales. Nobody else seemed to find that icky like I did. Nobody except, again, MLB...........

Oh. That expectation chatted up earlier this week that the new Federal Spending legislation would Independent League Baseball out off business was, uh, less than accurate. There was a ‘safe harbor’ clause that could come into play............

I would take time to mention that Bleacher Report is jumping into the OTT streaming service game, but they don’t seem to be planning on any baseball. So I won’t..........

Ok, here is one more Ballpark Food Porn Link............


Hot Stove

There is a move afoot among some players to call into question the leadership of Tony Clark as head off the MLBPA. But some players are reading HH: “A lot of this is coming from agents,’ the player said. ‘A lot of agents promised clients a lot of money, stole clients from other agencies and promised a lot of money that they weren’t able to deliver. They need a reason other than they made a mistake judging the market.’ ”...........

Jason Werth gets a few bucks to hang out in the Seattle minor league system until the infamous Mariners injury bug rakes their MLB roster over the coals...........At least Werth won’t have to live like this while he is down there...........

Add the Red Sox and their catcher Christian Vasquez to the trend of extension signing going over the top of arb years..........


The Duffle Bag

I am a ketchup-is-perfectly-fine-on-a-hot-dog guy and, at my age, I’ve earned the right. But, yeah, not on a Chicago dog.............I am also an open-minded enough guy to side with even a David Ortiz when he is right. And David Ortiz is right. Tomorrow needs to be a National Holiday..........LET. IT. GO. Please! (It was probably just because it was still practice games, like our fireworks shows.)............ST tells us that we have not seen the end of the HR/K-rate spikes............”I ain’t gettin’ this one, boys!”..........Pitchers tip their pitches “a lot”. Honesty like this is why I love Terry Francona...........