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Thor’sLinks: Back To Winter Works

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We wrap up HoF, launch promo stuff, and refocus on the hot stove.

Orioles v Angels Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Individual game tickets for 2019 are about to go on sale. And to help fans decide the 2019 promo schedule was announced, too. As promos go, it’s Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and nobody else.

Most of you know by now that every year I bitch about the promo schedule for being stale, cheap, and unimaginative. I keep thinking grade school PTA committee work, where each mom really wants to protect her favorite annual idea for the upcoming Harvest Fair. I warned you last year that I had a rebuild, and some of my idea work even showed up in the real Halo world even without me publishing anything. Well, in honor of the official promo release, I will use this platform to dribble out my ideas in our run-up to ST.

First, know that my plan is A LOT BUSIER than what the Angels do. A LOT. But it has a regularity to the cadence, so it’s not as though we fans are feeling as though things are coming at us from all over the place and we are struggling to figure it all out. Second, we lose Argyle blankets and corduroy caps and ponchos and itty-bitty nylon coolers and soon-to-be-disposed-of visors and gawd-awful tote bags. No bucket hats and cheap-o blankets that end up in dog beds. So here we go.

IDEA #1: First Friday! Just to show where I align with some of the LAA Marketeer thinking, I go back to something they actually did do last year, when I first worked this up. I, too, would give out Funko Pop! characters of the Angels (not on the map this season?). BUT...(1) mine would be handed out only on every first Friday home game of each month. (2), each giveaway would be FIVE different players, randomly mixed and handed out in sealed packages. last season that would have covered all players on the 25-man, and kids would get the ability to trade, buy, sell and build a complete set. Best of all, (3), each of the five subject players that month would autograph 20 of their own characters prior to distribution, so 100 recipients each First Friday would end up with the special prize of getting an autographed version.

There. We create scarcity at the same time we create a giveaway, and a reason for the recipient kids to interact. So we create a reason to not dispose of, nor destroy, the giveaway but to hold onto them and even covet them. We create a collectible and a reason to pursue growing the collection, Further, non-autographed, editions of each set could be sold in the team store as a future revenue stream for those interested in building a collection with navigating eBay.

Ok, that’s just the first of many of the ideas coming your way. There are 12 or 13 more of them coming, all told. Daily, with a couple of breaks, and a couple of recaps, and this should stretch out to P&C report day.

Now let’s move on. We have here our Back-To-The-Market-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

What a fantastic find. A Japanese fan rounds up tips on baseball from a strong group of today’s players and puts them on his YouTube Channel. This includes Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons............

Jo Adell, MLB’s #2 prospect? Jo knows better............

Hmmm. Cody Allen has a pay-me-to-trade-me clause............

Our projected starting rotation: Skaggs/Heaney/Harvey/Cahill/Barria.


Everywhere In Baseball

TheRinger has us take pause, reflect, and realize that not has the game itself changed, but that those who reflect and judge the game are catching up with those changes. In other words, my fellow old, white farts are starting to come around to my way of thinking..........

FiveThirtyEight is nailing their new Hall Of Fame projection model. They knew all 4 guys getting elected, with their largest miss among those guys being a mere 5.8%, underestimating the support for Roy Halladay. Their largest miss overall was underestimating Larry Walker support by 7.6%, but the majority of their predictions were less than 3% away from actuals.........

Meanwhile, our traditional tracker Ryan Thibodaux dives into the results and reveals that those voters who choose to keep their votes secret are 25% more likely to NOT vote for Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens. Cowards, most likely. For the record, I would vote for both Bonds and Clemens, being of the opinion that both were easy first-ballot Hall of Famers long before they started messing with PEDs to boost their late-career athleticism. Even if you wish to fixate on personalities, we already have a Hall of Not Really Nice Guys..........ARod, Captain PEDs himself, is openly in favor of Bonds and Clemens because it obviously helps his own cause, which will be coming up very soon...............

And then there is this guy. At least he was open-minded enough to allow himself being talked out of becoming that one jackass who would have perpetuated BBWAA jackassetery..........

But next year that logjam voters have been hiding behind to avoid Bonds/Clemens votes will have dried up. Oh, sure, a lot of new names will show up, including Chone Figgins. But it should be massive hail of one-and-dones. That count of one-and-dones should be a prop bet in Vegas. I’d put the over/under at 18 1/2. But the winning list will be newcomer Derek Jeter, and then....Bonds and Clemens and Schilling..........

I like this. Deadspin goes well into a research effort to catalog all of Roy Halladay’s career caps.....and hours later Halladay’s family ruins all that work by announcing that Halladay’s plaque will be without a cap emblem..........But, man, how emotionally conflicting must it have been for the Halladay family to be present for introductions?..........

We have seen the birth of the super-utility player, explaining why our old-school way of thinking that team x or team y has an overcrowded infield is a marker that dates us. somehow, some way, somewhere someone will creates a story about how such flexibility is a plot to drive down costly specialization, and take away dedicated roster spots, and screw the players out of money............

Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner are releasing an app for players connecting and marketing direct to fans. I assume that there would be some filter or control to prevent the calamity of direct relationships that already comes from Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat.............

Yeah, we could have ‘announced’ this Ichiro move last July............


Hot Stove

Those Yankee rumors about trading for Nolan Arenado? The Rockies say no effing way............

The Giants added a LHP starter, Drew Pomeranz, for a 1-year $1.5 million deal. He was injured last year, so who knows? But over the prior 5 seasons that was a 9.5 bWAR guy, who can be stretched out to be a starter, who throws left-handed, and will be making less this year than Cam Bedrosian............

The Padres, who gave the public a peak into their finances the other day, are rumored to be sniffing around Manny Machado. Which, yeah, we are back to HarpChado. But it’s weird that at this late date the players are still so far removed from deciding anything that it’s possible to show up fresh and start thinking about getting interested in talking?.........

Interesting. Yasmani Grandal chose to take a 1-year deal from the Brewers and get back into the market next winter, rather than take a multi-year deal from a team such as the Angels. Or, I suppose, from taking a 1-year deal from the Angels, as well...........


The Duffle Bag

Keith Law had the very same reaction to Mariano Rivera’s unanimous election as yours truly............Once upon a time a baseball park was nothing else. Clearly that was leaving hoards of money on the table. Now there is no end to revenue-generating wagons circling the baseball event itself, even if they are bolt-ons. It’s our modern event experience...........Michael Young celebrates Mo Rivera with a great anecdote...........Mariano Rivera might not know Metallica after all, but Metallica knows Mariano Rivera..........