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Thor’sLinks: Mike Trout’s a Big Hit!

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21 days to Opening Day...

I got the wish I wished for just yesterday. I got the Mike Trout hitting baseballs and making Baseball fun.

Now it’s your turn.

Your wish is granted. Here are your Trout-Is-On-The-Board-Spring-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

We got a whiff of Kershaw versus Ohtani yesterday. Kershaw won that battle, as he will do most of the time. A batter only has to win 3 out of every 10 tries against a guy like Kershaw to claim that he owns the LAD ace. Kershaw threw some shade Ohtani’s way: “I [couldn’t] care less now. He didn’t pick us. Good luck to him.” Something to remember in the future. The other thing to remember is that veterans like Kershaw get the calls and not rookies like Ohtani. Ohtani sounds like he just realized that lesson on Kershaw’s curveball: “I don’t know if I’ll be able to hit it the next time he throws to me, but I was kind of expecting it with two strikes. I thought it was kind of low, so I decided to take it. Next time, I’ll try to at least foul it off.” It was low, Shohei, but them’s how these things get called.............Ohtani did enjoy the moment, though...........

For his part, Kershaw was a tad lighter about it all pre-game. That “waste my time” was more about taking another crack at how hard the Dodgers recruited Ohtani, only to get dumped...........

Go to the 24:30 mark here and listen to Johah Keri and Susan Slusser discuss why it is that Baseball is so bad at marketing their talent. The Too Long, Didn’t Listen verdict is Baseball’s inherent conservatism. Not just the MLB as a business, nor just the Franchises, but the journalists and the players, too. Well, at least the players who are Protectors Of The Unwritten Rules. Later at the 30:30 mark, though, there is a confession that Mike Trout does not have a very marketable personality. He is not audacious enough.........

The Angels will have two ST games against the Mariners coming up. March 17th and March 19th. Those are two chances to make this happen. But I would rather it happen during the regular season, since having it necessary that an Ichiro pitches can only mean that the Halos have roasted the rest of the available relief arms in an embarrassing blowout.........

What Zack Cozart is doing. switching positions, is hard. But it’s hardly unique this year............

MLB asks a fair question of Jabari Blash...........Here you go, a color photo of Mickey Mantle versus the LA Angels in Wrigley Field, 1961...........


Everywhere In Baseball

When supporting opportunities for women in Baseball, we need to consider two things. One, are women being granted fair opportunities? This is easy. No. And FanGraphs peals open another couple of layers of the onion. But in building up a fine argument that women could compete well as players at least at the lower levels of MiLB, we ned to remain aware that what is being argued for is the fair chance for women to be indentured servants just like their male counterparts. Because MiLB earnings suck, and a higher percentage of female ballplayers would never rise out of that poverty before their careers expired............

Hmmm. Batting one of the best young hitters in Baseball at leadoff? What a novel concept...........

Baseball is evolving, and it’s evolving steadily in the direction towards bullpen pitching...........

The Angels, and possibly the Rangers, are looking to move to a 6-man rotation this season. The Rays, though, they are thinking about going the other way. A 4-man rotation. This is more of that bullpen trend to which we just linked. And it pulls ‘bullpenning’ into the regular season...........

Do not make the mistake of connecting the extreme affordability of Minor League Baseball to the low pay of the players being enjoyed. MiLB players are paid by the parent club, not the MiLB owner..........

Young guy picking on The Athletic? For being a startup feasting on venture capital in much the same manner as, oh I don’t know, 3/4’s of Silicon Valley? Or, while still ramping up, focusing on hiring proven writers with established name recognition in order to get the site off the ground?


Hot Stove

Baseball’s middle class continues to shrink. We have been following this series over at FanGraphs for a couple of years now, so there is little new about a trend that remains on track. But notice the confessions contained within: “With Yu Darvish and Eric Hosmer having finally signed for relatively handsome sums....some of the claims of collusion and talk of the direst of offseasons for the MLBPA have quieted....the six free agents predicted to sign deals greater than $50 million have exceeded the FanGraphs’ crowd estimates by 6.2% this offseason. On the one hand, the crowd typically underestimates those deals; on the other, this is roughly the amount by which the crowd underestimates them. One could conclude, then, that the result has actually been typical....it has been a typical offseason — for the top free agents. But the top free agents are always going to do well.” Maybe that pace off play thing that worries Rob Manfred so much, trying to satisfy shortening attention spans, applies to the MSM as well when it comes to Free Agent activity. The top dogs are going to sign or what they are worth, just not fast enough to keep the analysts happy. And how much off that is Scott Boras’ doing?...........

Another ex-Halo finds a landing spot. Ricky Nolasco signs a Minor League deal with the Royals...........


The Duffle Bag

A person could do an awful lot off community good with $3.5 million. I don’t care that it’s Mickey Mantle............I love the thought of autograph hounds making the mistake with Bryce Harper’s brother..........The Royals are fighting porn. Who knew that MLB franchise’s picked up the video entertainment expense at the visiting hotels? Think of the money they will save..............There is something about Albert Pujols and his contract that is sticking in the craw of Dan Szymborski these days. He keeps bringing it up...........MiLB having all the fun: meme night.............I will bet $500 that the smell of weed will be noticed at Angels Stadium this season............How many emails does Sam have with the word “Judge”?..........