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Thor’sLinks: Welcome Back, Baseball!

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It’s Opening Day!

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Detroit Tigers

Ahhh. Baseball is back. Real, live, fresh grass and fire-treated wood and oily leather baseball has returned to our lives. October was so long ago, and so far away. Us old geezers don’t have too many more of these things, so humor me while I pause to indulge my senses. Come. Join me on the outfield lawn.

Here are some things to know about today............Here are some things to look for today...........And here is how to keep up with today..........

And, just to remind off the value we enjoy as LAA fans, according to TickPick the Angels have the 4th-lowest Opening Day ticket price in ML frikkin’ B..........(Forgive the for listing the teams backwards and putting the home team first. I already barked at their PR person.):

Grab your popcorn with some Opening-Day-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Oh hell yeah. I’m pretty stoked to be seeing a full season of a healthy Garrett Richards, too!...........

It’s official. Shohei Ohtani debuts on the mound on Sunday. And this time it’s gonna count…………So we are debuting a “kind of 6-man rotation”. I still hold out for signs of a ‘5-man flex’, which is something that can look like a 6-man on occasion, but also shows roots of a traditional 5-man................

Ohtani has already developed sufficient skills in the domestic world to cause game developers fits………….

Until the Halos prove otherwise, this FiveThirtyEight prediction is as fair as things can be................

Mike Trout is upping his twitter airplane icon game this season. Keeping up with IOS updates I see. I credit Jessica…………

Chris Carter didn’t make the Opening Day roster. Neither did Carlos Perez. Neither did Felix Pena. And MLBTR agrees with my sentiment from weeks ago. Perez will most likely be snatched up by another team and not make it through waivers. He’s a goner...............

Ok. There are just some things that I don’t get. I don’t get why people propose on stadium video boards. I don’t get why people get married on a baseball diamond. And I don’t get why a baseball team needs to be a part of one’s marriage vows…………..


Everywhere In Baseball

Have we had enough of the crappy jokes about Dodger Stadium? Nope. It will never be enough. Not as long as Dodger fans remain full of shit..............They claim things are all better now, but who will ever go there again and not have that in the back of their minds as a possible repeat performance?...............And if you are of a mind to go back up there and smell it again, the Dodgers will gladly discount your experience..............

It happens all the time. Somebody sees mother nature dump on their opening weekend. It’s why we invented double-headers. This year it’s the Reds. Well, it’s always the Reds. Or Cleveland. But usually the Reds. So now, about that MLB plan to have all 30 teams playing on Opening Day for the first time in seven thousand and eleventy twelve years? Busted…………..

When stat nerds get to finally don the uniform...........

In this study of the ever changing strike zone, something that has a lot to do with the rise in offense much as the juiced baseball does, towards the end there is an interesting mini-study on the impact of the shift to how balls and strikes are called. It is already known that umpires – consciously or unconsciously – tend to favor the side that is at a disadvantage in the contest between pitcher and catcher. This hidden empathy tends to slightly extend to batters when they are faced with the shift. Whether they know it or not, over large sums of numbers the umpires are feeling sorry for batters facing customized defenses, and trying to help even back out the odds for them…………..

Grant Brisbee just cannot shut off his mental faucet. In this three-day long essay railing against the abusive owners exploiting the salary advantages to be found in younger players, we learn that the owners are to blame for Union negotiating deal that pampered their members with seniority at the expense of members who were still in their career diapers. What we also learn, thanks to Grant, is that it is criminal to be underpaying the highly productive youth according to the rules of the union’s CBA, and the pathway to redemption would be to go back to the days when Grant can mock teams for paying $250 million to the senior players for what the player used to be able to do, but will never be able to do again………….

There goes those damned rich and greedy owners again. Colluding with pitcher Greg Holland to get Holland to reject a huge offer early on from the Rockies so that Holland could end up not signing anywhere and the baseball media could cry about how harsh things are for the players union…………….

Trevor Bauer is now putting focus on the arbitration system. He is an opinionated dude, to which he is entitled. And he has one hell of a “420” and “69” sense off humor. But when we start seeing players barking off the top off their heads over both ends of the current compensation system you know it’s time that the players may choose to tear the whole thing down…………….

Nathan Eovaldi’s return from TJ crashed headlong into the exit booth of the hospital parking lot. Before he could even get back out onto the regular season field for Tampa Bay, he is probably off for surgery and another extended recovery…………..

Salvador Perez suffers the most insanely stupid freak injury of the spring. He tears his knee while falling down with his luggage. He is going to now miss up to 6 weeks of the season…………..


Hot Stove

This section is officially retired for now. the 2017-2018 Hot Stove is now extinct, kinda like the careers of a lot of players who failed to find a new uniform since last Fall. Any transactions that happen from here on out are normal baseball dealings............


The Duffle Bag

That’s why you play the games, Shin-Soo. Reality be damned all to hell............The Nats have found a new piggy bank in order to save up for Bryce Harper............The nets are up, and half the lawyers in America are happy..............