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HumpLinks: Holy Hall! Fame is Fleeting.

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Most of the news stepped aside so that we can all discuss HoF voting.

Angels v Rangers

Boom! The Curse is over, and now we can all go forward rationally. Mariano Rivera was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday with 100% of the votes submitted. Whew! I suppose it was inevitable, since the old guard is retiring, dying off, getting religion, etc. But it feels good, nonetheless. Now we can stop talking about THAT. And, even more fun, it came on behalf of a relief pitcher. Relief pitchers are still subject to more than a little doubt as to even being a legit player category.

Three other players were elected along with ex-Yankee Rivera. Ex-Yankee Mike Mussina, Ex-Toronto Blue Jay Yankee Killer Roy Halladay, and ex-Mariner who never really struggled with Yankee pitching or Yankee Stadium (and my favorite selection) Edgar Martinez. Congratulations to all of them, and a posthumous congratulation to Halladay and his family.

Barry Bonds was at 59.1% and Roger Clemens at 59.5%, which are slightly up from 2018. The clock ticks but they are overshadowing the remaining candidates by a ever widening margin. The full percentage list is here.....Vernon Wells, to save you the click, got zero votes.

But, really, Placido Polanco?

Onward we go with Now-Trout-Can-Be-Unanimous-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Parker Bridwell, MLB’s 2018-2019 most traveled ping pong, has been claimed off the Billy Eppler waiver wire by the Oakland A’s. This might be his final resting spot, where we get to see him against us a dozen times this year...........

Tyler Skaggs is tired of having frequent flyer points riding the injury bus, and is working with a new training partner and regimen. The good news is that he is being active in this effort, well into a year now. The bad news is that this is NOT a pro-active effort, since the injury plague is all too familiar to him already. And the worst news is that the LAA training and medical staffs have not had such motion and range coaching in place all along as a baseline..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Just to remind you how pro athletes are normal folk at their core, just like you and me, Yadier Molina needs a silly joke from Kris Bryant to motivate him this year...until he finds a better motivator. Not only will he not let go of the Bryant off-the-cuff joke about St. Louis being boring, but now he is promising to take it onto the field of play against the Cubs. Like, what, call for his pitcher to throw inside to Bryant in a game??...........

I struggle to even give linkage to this, because I can’t be seen as giving any credence to the notion that Aaron Judge is the best RF in MLB at the same time that MLB has a Mookie Betts, the same Betts that is given serious cred for being as good, if not better, than Mike Trout. But that is what MLB Network did earlier this week, claiming that Judge was MLB’s #1 RF. Brian Kenny could not bring reason to the conversation. But MLB Network, as a media empire, did its job. It has stirred the pot, creating lots of opportunity for content between the media base and fan base of both New York and Boston...........

In a sport loaded with millions of rules to control the game, at a time when the fan and media culture insist on the importance of accuracy and detail to the extent that every event is clean and correctly measured, why does Wrigley Field still have it’s outfield walls covered with vegetation?..........

Are MLB teams still shedding scouts? Or, rather, are they upgrading/modernizing their scouting personnel?...........

I am not very convinced that the Padres really really showed their financial position here. Some good info, but lots of spin and lots of blanks that are not going to be filled in..........And, in the spirit of baseball financial theory, what would it take for a Jeff Bezos to buy up all of MLB?..........


Hot Stove

Meh, here we are still in the rumor stages of the Manny Machado and Bryce Harper off-season sagas. Raise your hands, how many are with me that the Arte Moreno approach of giving an agent/player a deadline to decide whether or not to take a deal on the table is the way to go? Teams are run like businesses, yeah, and one of the benefits of organizing that way is that business processes enabling planning and forecasting. By this point, I would be telling the world that I need to finalize my plans for 2019, move off from waiting for landing the whale, and aggressively pursue the school of tuna that would be all the other FA’s still on the market. And, going forward, players and agents are put on notice that I am open to paying out large contracts, but I won’t be dragged by the nose all the way out to Februarys...........

The Cardinals are going to make a run at signing Paul Goldschmidt long-term. This would be bad, because it takes another guy off the annual winter FA map and gives everybody a reason to whine............

The Rangers may have found their replacement for retiring Adrian Beltre. They signed infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to a 1-year, $3.5 million deal. His career splits don’t show him to be a major problem for the Halos..........FanGraphs gifts us this lovely smackdown of the Rangers in the title of their review..........

The Rangers also signed Zach McAllister. 1-year, $1 million. Not bad for a bullpen guy getting dumped and/or pigeon-holed by three separate teams last season.........

And Nick Markakis is staying in Atlanta, signing a deal with the Braves for $4 million. You are probably going to be surprised to read this, but the term is for 1 year..........

The Dodgers are still trying to uncork JT Realmuto out of Florida, now that they need a front-line catcher..........Which speaks to the weirdness. Why are the Dodgers so silent, especially after going backwards with the on-field talent that got them to the WS the past 2 seasons? You would think that they would have felt really close going into the off-season, maybe one guy away from putting them over the top...........


The Duffle Bag

The best use of bobbleheads I have tripped across in a while. Vin Scully into the stratosphere............Gleyber Torres nearly makes the Stupid Spring Non-Baseall Injury List of 2019..........Milwaukee losing some flavor, as their baseball stadium won’t be named after beer any longer. Starting in 2021 Miller Park will become American Family Insurance (something)..........Only slightly OT, but a medical marijuana advocacy commercial will NOT be making it into the Super Bowl commercial showcase..........Why does Mike Francesca have a job in the world of sports????