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HumpLinks: Rule 5 Rules The Day

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It’s deadline day to protect prospects on the fringe.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

THE HOT CORNER

Good morning easterners! If you missed yesterday’s Links release blame the mothership for their software errors. Next week, however, it will be ALL my fault. It’s a short week, a holiday week, and I have a very busy personal schedule.

It was a pretty odd day in MLB yesterday. Almost nothing hot stove related was a happening so I excised that section this morning.

Today, though, is Rule 5 Draft Protection Deadline Day. Teams have to declare their 40-man rosters by 8PM tonight in order to protect those guys who are eligible to be lifted off the franchise by rather arcane rules. This year this might be slightly more intriguing because MLB is on the verge of adding a 26th active roster spot. That means that a team could add a Rule 5 Draft guy and park him in that spot and not have an impact on their usual and customary plans.

Whatever. Nothing exciting out of me today. I’m just hoping that VOX/SBN fixed their software and this thing gets posted on time. But I am not waking up at 4AM PST to find out.


ANGELS

Yes, I do have a tough job coming up with all these links 5 days a week. But don’t feel sorry for me. Nope, instead feel sorry for a guy like Rhett Bollinger who has to somehow come up with a positive Halo spin on the Hall Of Fame Ballot. The front page lede on the official LAA home page actually says “Figgins headlines former Angels on 202o HOF ballot”. Bollinger’s article itself is forced to showcase Figgins’ .171 career playoff batting average. And the LAA tribe that Figgins is leading is all of Bobby Abreu, Raul Ibanez, and Eric Chavez. That’s 456 games, 57 games, and zero games, respectively. Chavez did, though, hit 149 career home runs against us..................(On the other hand, the New York Times give Figgins some quick praise in their review of the entire ballot. Because Figgins is mostly known as a Colorado Rockie Minor Leaguer, don’t ya know?)..........

A great photo of Angel Stadium set up for Stadium Links..........

If you missed the food drive yesterday, it was because it has been moved due to the threat of weather. Yeah, you read that right. In other states a threat from weather means that lives are at stake. Here in SoCal it means that the outside of your canned goods might get wet. Anyway, see you Monday, December 9th!


BANGIN’ ON THE ASSTROS

Rob Manfred has the largest supply of implausible deniability of any person in a position of authority I have ever come across. Recognizing that I have born witness to domestic politics from the Vietnam War era to the present day, that is a considerable accomplishment. So when Manfred opens up that reservoir where he gets his stuff about the juiced baseballs and says that he has no reason to believe that other teams are sign stealing I can only shake my head in amazement...........

Manfred does announce that he has broad powers for draconian levels of punishment..........

Let’s be real clear here. All the recent news about “buzzer bandages” is pure speculation. A “here’s one method that could be invented” kind of claim..........

Travis Sawchick of FiveThirtyEight makes what I believe to be a data mistake of diving into the Asstros 2017 results and comparing to 2016 to see if illicit sign-stealing really worked for them. The 2016 was still using residual junk roster members and 2017 was the first year they popped back up from their tank cycle. For example, 2016 had a failing Carlos Gomez in CF Luis Valbuena at 3B, and Marwin Gonzalez at 1B. In 2017 those would be George Springer, Alex Bregman and Yuri Gurriel...........

Ex MLB commissioner Fay Vincent is of the opinion that what the Asstros did was not gamesmanship. It was flat-out cheating..........

Peter Gammons with the moral of the story: never burn your bridges............

Freddie Freeman with the lighter side.............

And now we have an angle for the conspiracy theory industry..........


BASEBALL THINGS IN GENERAL

Dear Major League Baseball billionaires. Remember how just a few months ago when you got us to pass laws that allowed you to pay obscenely low wages for your Minor League players and make us all look like dirty minions of an evil empire? And how your reasoning was that it was necessary to sustain Minor League Baseball? So about your plans to gut Minor League Baseball and shut it down within many of our constituent communities anyway. Yeah, about that. We need to talk. Signed, Congress.........And Sean Doolittle, a thinking guy who probably knows just a teensy bit about the reality of A ball is also not in favor. (And again.)............

And this MiLB idea seems like a swell full-employment act for lawyers..........

Ugh. Dwight Evans is on the HoF Modern Era Committee ballot. Pretty damned good ballplayer, but he was a Red Sox. Let somebody else argue for him..........

Will somebody please vote Larry Walker into the HoF on this ballot, so that we don’t have the entire podium handed over to Derek Jeter.............

Speaking of HoF ballots, if you have to draw a line somewhere, it’s perfectly fine to draw it right where some Oakland A’s player might have made the ballot..........

John Santana won the AL CYA in 2004 and 2006. He failed to win it in 2005, though, because that year it was given to Bartolo Colon of the Angels. Santana did have a phenomenal year. Better than Colon in every meaningful way. Colon got the vote because he led the AL in Wins with 21, which is stupid. BUT...don’t blame Colon. Take Colon out of the equation and Santana still does not win the CYA. Santana came in 3rd place. Second place was already taken by Mariano Rivera...........

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vázquez is being identified as an even bigger creep than we had already learned. 21 new child-sex related charges on top of previous charges for sexually assaulting a minor..........

($$) - Sorry, Jessica Mendoza, but being a broadcaster does not negate the impact of also being an insider employee of a competitive franchise. This is ethics 101 stuff and both you and Brodie Van Wagenen knew it, which is why you two admit to having the conversation about it when you hired on with the Mets. I would decline your broadcaster pass into my inner sanctums, as well, until you were no longer a paid agent of the Mets. Even the simple chance of seeing some scouting report pinned on a wall might serve your interests back in some NYM meeting, and I don’t want the workload of scrubbing my daily operating world just because you enjoy doing Sunday Night baseball broadcasts..........


STUFF

That time when the Brewers had to play...the Brewers.................Japan Baseball decided not to hand out its equivalent of the Cy Young Award. Why not? Because nobody was worthy..........At some point in the far distant future adults will not be allowed to attend youth baseball games..........And this is the point where baseball players stop using their Uber app..........Keep doing you, Wikipedia..........