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MondoLinks: Half Way Home

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24 days to Opening Day...

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New York Yankees v California Angels Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

From the February 13th when pitchers and catchers reported, to March 29 when the season opens in Oakland, it’s a little over 6 weeks. We have 3 off those weeks in our rear view mirror already. So it’s good to see some polish in players. If only that Mike Trout guy could get a base hit. At least 1.

Until that happens, feast on some Mid-Term-Spring-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Shohei Ohtani continues to raise eyebrows. As people get a chance to actually see him in person, the concept off being a two-way MLB player is starting to get real. If you read enough off these, and there are many, the message to date is that Ohtani’s ceiling is ‘good enough’. I say it’s way too early for these people to starting pretending that they have any conclusions..........But over the weekend Ohtani was a badass.............

Let’s talk Albert Pujols. For Ohtani to work, Pujols must work also. You will read in that link Albert is playing dumb. “I don’t know what’s going on.” Um, sure. he knows just as much as everybody else on the coaching staff and in the Front Office knows. Maybe that’s not as much as usual at this of the year, but he is not being kept in any dark closet away from information...........Dan Szymborski feels now the way we did last year. But I have a guess that Pujols really will be better in 2018 than he was in 2017..........

Because Andrelton Simmons is a damned fine defensive master, who has the ability to produce on offense. Probably better than he has, and that’s his goal..........

Jahmai Jones comes from a family of great athletes, and baseball is his path to unique glory..........

Some Halo Porn..........Mike Trout is pretty damned good...........He’s also a pretty great guy.............Shohei Ohtani is going to be pretty damned fun.........But he is already being picked apart...........And he gives Mike Scioscia “a four-man bench”..........Justin Upton is also damned good, and just arrived at table 2018...........Andrew Bailey’s gig with the LAA coaching staff? Video coordinator........... Jamie Barria is a strong depth piece or our starting rotation............But don’t forget about Matt Thaiss............Billy Eppler signed Taylor Cole?.............


Everywhere In Baseball

Justin Verlander has been reading our Internet pages (or just our HaloLinks), and has had enough. He is calling bullshit on Roger Goodell Rob Manfred and the dissembling coming out of New York............

Cole Hamels is old school. 5-man rotation is old-school. 6-man rotations are all this silly new-school analytics crap. Just ask Hamels. He’ll tell you. Out loud...........

Another guy who doesn’t believe in that new-school analytics stuff? That would be J.D. Martinez. The same J.D. Martinez and his almost the worst in all of Baseball UZR..........

Maybe Martinez can turn out to be better than Giancarlo Stanton..........

The Red Sox are threatening to join The Legacy of Anaheim as one of their aces, Drew Pomeranz, is at risk of some serious injury timeout............

Stolen bases are in decline because chicks really do dig the long ball. And because pitchers take a shitload more time these days focusing on the craft of holding runners and hastening their move to the plate (and more will be flipping to pitching out of the stretch). And because we have a really good crop of catchers with cannons..........

FanGraphs crushed it over the weekend. It’s a lot of reading but worth your attention. A special contributor from Korea reviews how they tried to solve pace of play in Korean leagues......MLB is trying to fix it by managing mound visits. But that might not be so manageable after all.......The most interesting one, though, I save for last. Certainly MLBPA lawyers have to have looked at this, but the legal argument being made here against the abuse of service time in order to corner a top prospect for an extra year’s service is compelling. I wonder if any court finding against MLB on this practice, would it immediately create free agents out of any active player who could prove such misuse, even i they have a subsequent extension contract? A player like Kris Bryant? Mike Trout?...........

It’s Spring. That time when we all relive our favorite baseball movies. The lists all end up pretty close to the same except for the occasional iconoclast wannabes who insist that they will become some special voice for crapping on one of your obvious faves. Like crapping on Field of Dreams. It was so trendy to crap on FoD the past few years it’s no longer fashionable. But at least this guy gets my only favorite part: Burt Lancaster..........

Excellent. Bo Jackson has duties. “Anything I want to do.”...........

Welcome to XL-Baseball, where fan interference is encouraged..........

This is why MiLB is having all the fun..........


Hot Stove

Mike Moustakas may have a hole card in the south side of Chicago.............

Nolan Arenado must have seen a lot of this offseason just like the rest of us. And he does not appear to be afraid of Free Agency...........


The Duffle Bag

Real Major League Baseball player versus, well, Tim Tebow.............Russell Wilson didn’t do much better............Jeff Samardzija reminds how unimportant Spring Training really is............UniWatch has a series of fun old-time baseball photos to enjoy. If you are new to old-time shit, take the time to learn your roots. I do this a lot..........Need a job? Software developer? Like your pizza uber thick and gooey? The Cubs are hiring.........