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MondoLinks: Halos Make Biggest Move of Offseason

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This weekend was moving day. And in just a few hours, the forklifts did more work than the entire LAA FO this winter.

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Oakland Athletics v Anaheim Angels Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

This weekend was Moving Day. Just kind of a cool excuse to promote the team to local fans. What is actually a boring thing, loading trucks and watching them drive away, becomes a fan fest.

It’s become too popular for its own good. One does not just show up and expect a good time anymore. Fans need to plan hard to keep it from turning into Star Wars Land.

Back to the Stirrups Grand Promotional Overhaul Plan —

IDEA #3, TUESDAYS: This is the one of the harder concepts, because it is not the kind of thing that is created on the cheap. But I think that it is worth the investment, certainly in order to align with the long-term goals and concerns of MLB. It starts with the admission that the younger generation is not so interested in owning a comic hat or paper thin gaudy advertisement in the shape of a baby blanket. And we need to connect with that generation. So my idea is to create a fan draw on what is otherwise a lesser-attended game night by going all tech.

Three basic ideas here. First, a fan draw that puts players of some not-too-violent video game on the jumbotrons. Why not, during the 7th-inning stretch, have somebody step up and play Nintendo baseball and win a prize if they hit 5 home runs or something? That Mario Kart thing that happened recently in Kansas City? Hell yes! What a great pre-game! Each week there are 8 contestants, and over time the winners advance in a season-long tournament.

Second, between innings use of the jumbotrons for social media games. Skip the fan cams of toddlers hamming it up for the cameras. Save that stuff for Sundays. Show, instead, the best YouTube entries by Halo fans of graphically-augmented MLB highlights. Get these graphic artists some exposure, and let them compete for prizes via fan applause on the applause meter. Stuff like that.

And, third, here is where we go with some better giveaways. There are 13 Tuesday home games in the 2019 schedule. Everything, of course, would be co-branded with Angels and sponsor logos, but that does not stop us from finding cool things that are both reasonable in cost, valuable in attractiveness, and tech useful. How about things such as a portable bluetooth speaker? Or a bluetooth speaker/oil diffuser? Or a fitness smart watch? Or bluetooth headphones? A digital cooking timer? A digital pocket scale? A multi-function pen? A cell-phone holder for your car? A water-proofing tool for your auto glass? Maybe work with the manufacturer and flip this 3D Jeep for a 3D Mike Trout?? Maybe Mattel Mind Flex? A Boba Fett phone charger? Hell, even a Nintendo notebook works.

There. 13 ideas lifted right off the Internet, each $20 or less at unit 1 retail prices. Massive quantity prices, wholesale, and defrayed by sponsorship contributions? Maybe this could work. I would gladly take a run at at least one of these before I would go chasing yet another poncho. But there you have it. Tuesdays are Tech Night.

Go have some fun with The-Halos-Move-Me-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

The very best thing you can read about the Angels that came out of this past weekend would be this historical essay from The Hardball Times............

Shohei Ohtani, in English!............

A reminder in this “best series for each team in 2019” review, that the Angels and Astros will play a weekend series in Mexico...........

It’s cool that Mike Trout remains the best CF in baseball. Like, duh. But, then again, this is the same crew that ranked Aaron Judge ahead of Mookie Betts for RF............

LAA ST non-roster invitees for 2019, which is one of the fun reasons to go to Tempe and watch the back fields, was announced. I predict huge applause for Petey..........

2018 Minor League LAA highlight plays...........


Everywhere In Baseball

Somebody really doesn’t want to see Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens in the Hall of Fame. This is holding a grudge for kicking your dog kicked a long, long time............

Here are the advanced stats for 2019 that you need to learn. “xwOBA”, really?? I swear we really need to take the naming rights away from the statisticians.........

This can’t be right. Everybody is upset about MLB owners refusing to pay large amounts of money for players, even top-ranked players. It is THE point of conflict for everybody, including fans. So let’s turn our attention over to fantasy baseball, where fans put their own money where their mouths are. Holy shmoly! Patrick Corbin and J.T. Realmuto are overvalued for fans, too?...........

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated brings to our attention a disturbing trend: money is moving towards younger, cost-controlled, ballplayers. Astonishing, I realize. At least, in this case, Verducci is being more expansive and also folding into the narrative the trend towards versatility (utility players versus specialists)............We really do need to get beyond these complaints about getting old. It’s tiring. We need to be talking about how to follow the trend and still fairly compensate players for their value to the enterprise of MLB. If we can do it without creating a ‘lost generation’ it would be awesome. There are so many ideas to ponder, it’s a shame nobody is getting them into the public debate.............

Here is where I don my pro-labor hat. Astros owner Jim Crane comes out and ballsy says what everybody has been accusing he and his fellows owners of all along. That owners don’t want to sign any 10-year contracts AND that they are focused on “value”, which is euphemistic for ‘getting the most production for the lowest cost’.....And then Dodgers owner Stan Kasten tells the LAT that reporters are inventing concerns from fans over shrinking payrolls. I ain’t stupid.....Neither are reporters.....Neither are reporters who follow other reporters......Young, proven phenoms such as Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout (maybe even Kris Bryant someday) are the very guys you reserve a 10-year contract FOR. And “value”? There are lots and lots of opinions about “value”. And each opinion comes with a thousand definitions. The MLBPA needs to start narrowing down that term..........

Which is a troubling thought. Because when you go to one web site and read more clear and insightful and informative focus on the problem that players are facing coming from a blogger, than you do coming from the Union head, you know the players are boned............

Back to the Dodgers. They are about to become the poster example for people using a baseball franchise to become super wealthy. They have a team that wins games, and puts itself in a position to take a title. They have dropped their payroll to the LAA neighborhood (not counting commitments to non-members such as Scott Kazmir) and yet still sit atop a very large fan demand. And they have one of them thar mega TV deals that pay them even though the payee can’t seem to get the broadcasts out to the masses. Revenues are huge, payroll is dropping, profit! This works only as long as they keep making the playoffs............

Even if I hate the Dodgers, it’s very good news to hear that Kenley Jansen has come through heart surgery just fine and is ready to get back on the mound............

Of course. In this review of what scouts once reported on the guys who just ended up being elected to the HoF, the least supportive prediction for Mike Mussina came from one of our scouts............

Rest In Peace Peter Magowan, one-time owner of the Giants and the guy who save baseball for San Francisco..........


Hot Stove

The Padres have gotten curiously active at the upper end of the player market, all of a sudden. Rumors have them engaged in talks and willing to compete with the rival Dodgers to trade with the Marlins and grab J.T. Realmuto.....In fact, one rumor has them not just wanting to add Realmuto, but to keep him around for a while. They want to sign him to an extension before making any trade, but he is already under contract for 2019 and 2020.......But even more odd, we have reports that they made a serious, multi-year, offer to Manny Machado. These things are happening at the same time. And they already boned it on Eric Hosmer.......

Not all current Padres are happy about this Machado development, it would seem. I did not expect other players to start injecting themselves into the biggest management versus labor story of our time, and doing so in a way that would support management negotiating positions and news cycles. If I were MLBPA chief Tony Clark, I would be on the phone with everyone on the Padres roster and screaming at them..........

The Indians held on to Oliver Perez...........

The Mets reached an agreement with Justin Wilson, and it was for a TWO-year deal! Like, wow, twice the running average this offseason...........

Marco Estrada signed with Oakland, and here we are back in this one-year world of deals again............

The Royals took Whit Merrifield off some future Free Agent market, giving him an extension while he still had arb years in their pocket. He’s 30, though. It took him a long time to get to The Show. So, for him, it’s the same as a Bryce Harper contract..........

The Astros will have to figure out how to slipstream in their well-stocked farm quickly as their established stars keep realizing payroll gains. They can’t pay all that talent forever..........

There are lots of free agents still available. I’m not going to play that bullshit card of counting ALL FA’s currently unsigned and use that number to bludgeon everybody. I leave that to NBC Sports, because it unreasonable to assume that everybody who stopped being under contract for a team last season is still Major League worthy. I mean, really, Bartolo Colon has been hanging in there. Are we really supposed to beat up MLB Front Offices for not hiring a replacement level pitcher who is already 45 years old?? So let’s stick with the top of the class. Who should grab THOSE guys? As many have suggested, we should get Josh Harrison............

The Pirates? The Pirates need to sign everybody..........


The Duffle Bag

If you build it, nobody needs to go anywhere. Talk about investing in one’s self!...........The Padres will be brown again. And not just for throwbacks.............Tropicana Field is going cashless. I presume they will accept debit cards, so I don’t get the argument about discriminating against the poor. I DO expect that they will use the transaction data to know a hell of a lot about your activity within the ballpark...........FanGraphs is serious about hiring writers. It pays, people. More than one of you are qualified..........Kind of a dick move here, White Sox FO boys...........Here comes Nike...........