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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Time to get offensive

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20 days to Opening Day...

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Anaheim Angels v Chicago White Sox Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Somehow I failed to link to this early female baseball hero yesterday, as I intended. So today I will ignore National Barbie Day and lead with the tale of Lizzy Murphy for the weekend to make up for it. Murphy, who lived from 1894 to 1964, is the first woman to play pro ball AND the first person of any kind to play in both the American and National Leagues.

It’s also of note that when she was only 18, she gave us what might be one of the earliest recorded player strikes when she realized that the team owner or whom she was playing was using her novelty to sell tickets while not paying Murphy because she was not a male player.

When you look her up, you will find that Lizzie Murphy is mostly known as the “Queen of Baseball”. To hell with that! Her nickname of the time was Lizzie “Spikes” Murphy. And here is one of the best anecdotes: “She also became the first woman to play in the Negro Leagues, when she played first base for the Cleveland Colored Giants when they came through Rhode Island. Lizzy actually got a hit off of legendary Negro League pitcher and Baseball Hall of Famer, Satchel Paige......Catcher Josh Gibson, one of the greatest power hitters of all time and also eventual Cooperstown-inductee, was asked if Paige really had given Murphy all he had. Gibson responded with an angry ‘Of course, he did!’ because Paige would have never wanted to have the embarrassment of giving up a hit to a woman.

So there you have it. A woman baller who was far more than a novelty. Read her full bio because she was also far more than a ballplayer.

Have a great weekend of Spring-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Andrelton Simmons dove for a ball yesterday, and he did not come back up from it in sound shape. That was as awkward a rollover as I have seen. It’s MRI time.

What do you see Shohei Ohtani as when you think about his daily usage in a couple of years when he has settled into his MLB career? Is he a pitch-first player that you hope to squeeze some juice out of as a hitter? Or is he a hit-first slugger that you hope to see take some spot starts as needed from year to year? So far, we have mostly been thinking he is the former. And Mike Scioscia sure sees him that way in his first season, with 25 - 30 starts. But maybe his destiny really is the latter..........

Garrett Richards looking good so far. Looking very good..........And that is a good thing, because Richards holds one of the Very Important Responsibilities on this team..........

Billy Eppler got out ahead of this Winter’s Free Agency storm clouds, leaving most of the other GM’s in his dust..............

Nothing would make a guy like Peter Gammons happier than to be writing about the underdog Albert Pujols overcoming all the adversity. And, frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing Albert give Gammons cause to be writing all those columns...........

Let’s do some videos. Garrett Richards..........and Mike Trout..........pretty much everybody else..........

Hideki Matsui on Shohei Ohtani signing with the Angels:As far as I know, the people that were there with the Angels at the time when I played, a lot of them are still there. So he’s with a good ball club, he’s surrounded by a great support environment, the Angels have a great fan base. So from my experience, I think he made a really great choice in signing with the Angels.”..........


Everywhere In Baseball

This MLB/MLBPA relationship thing needs to hurry up and get to next January, when we can see how teams are reacting to a valid crop of Free Agents and also see the effects of over-saturation in the tanking department. Group-think among Front Offices won’t go away until somebody gets more cleverer than the already clever, and breaks away from the pack in some un-predicted direction. And that is like waiting for Godot. But between now and then, sabers shall be rattled and the union-fueled MSM will be happy to promote dissension. Unless Barron’s adds a Sports section, we are only going to get one side of this issue.............

The movement towards youth throughout MLB has consequences beyond the impact on 30-something Free Agents. For one thing, it certainly creates a larger crop of players unprepared for the MLB level, who need a higher level of attention and instruction once they arrive. Coaching means a lot more now than it did a decade ago.........

Aaron Judge might not believe in Home Run Derby slumps, but Aaron Judge probably believes in Home Run Derby slumps............

Add Tommy DeJong of the Tampa Bay Rays to the 2018 TJ Surgery get-well card list..........

Spring Training is nearing the half-way point, and we can see that recent trends in MLB might still be underway. Strikeouts, home runs and walks up. Ground outs, sac bunts down. Not the most ideal time to have built the finest infield defense in Baseball..........

Since the Rangers have not won a World Series, does this mean that the Rangers have ‘wasted’ Adrian Beltre?..........

Zack Greinke might be losing it............

When Major League Baseball stared down Florida on behalf of black ballplayers...........

It’s too late for this now that Spring Training is in full bloom, but come next November it will be glorious to spend my garage workshop time following this lead into old-time radio broadcasts of ancient MLB games. It’s not a nostalgia thing with me. I’m only 61 and not even I go back that far as to have most of the radio broadcasts spark an memories (the Nolan Ryan ones being the exception). I listen to a lot of old radio detective broadcasts while I drive and by so doing I have learned a lot about day-to-day life and culture in this country back then. For example, you probably didn’t know that radio stations broadcast PSAs even in the 40’s and 50’s promoting racial and religious diversity, and challenging citizens to stand up for social justice whenever they are witness to something bad. It’s primitive stuff, but it’s incredibly informative when you take the time to listen to it, and think about it........

Trevor Bauer wonders why it is that MLB is encouraging players to be political now, when they have apparently been shutting down his political voice for years. I wonder why it is that MLB is choosing to not follow HH’s lead in the first place...........

Long Form alert: once upon a time the Angels had this pitcher come through the doors. In and out pretty quickly, actually. His name is Byron McLaughlin. Nobody knows where he is today, but in between the dude was running one of the biggest international phony sneaker cons around..........

YouTube is growing their MLB streaming presence.............


Hot Stove

Jon Heyman Scott Boras, having successfully conned convinced the Padres into signing client Eric Hosmer, is now busy working the phones Jon Heyman to dupe talk his suckers the Padres into overpaying signing his other high-profile unsigned client, Jake Arrieta............

Maybe when Boras gets around to finishing off placing Arrieta, he will then have time to turn to Mike Moustakas and get him signed someplace..........

Hmmmm. Mike Moustakas is signing back up with the Royals. $5.5 million plus $2.2 million in bonuses. That’s a max of $7.7 million for 2018 (with a $19 million mutual option for 2019). He is actually only guaranteed the $5.5 million plus a $1 million buyout. The Qualifying Offer this year was $17.4 million. Moustakas could have gotten more than $10 million more for the same one-year term just by saying yes back in November, but Moustakas turned that down. In those immortal words, “Well played, Mauer.”...........

CarGo (the other CarGo, not the CarGo a couple of days ago) has re-signed with the Rockies...........

Jose Bautista is not any good anymore. And he is not employed anymore. And nobody is signing him anymore to work. But he is not retired. No he is not. Definitely not...........


The Duffle Bag

Just some young NYC baseball fans practicing their future bleacher behavior............Korean Baseball appears eager to save 93 seconds per game after seeing how obviously successful it was for Rob Manfred..........MSM dinosaurs using their privilege as a bully pulpit? Check..........Are Jeopardy fails our true social barometer for how well/poorly MLB is marketing the game of baseball?..........The offspring of some former LAA family members did quite well in their ST debuts. But fear not, dear friends, because we got this guy..........