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MondoLinks: Shake Off The Rust

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Baseballs bounce in surprising ways. None more surprising than during the first couple of games.

New York Yankees v California Angels Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Now we know everything about 2019. Taylor Ward is going to drive in 1 million runs......Matt Thaiss is going to drive in 900,000.....Albert Pujols is going to bat a 1000.......And Mike Trout is going hitless all season........Dillon Peters is going to win the Cy Young Award......and Noe Ramirez is going to be flipping burgers by June......The Angels will score 1648 runs in the regular season......And the regular season is all there will be, because the Halos will only win 50 games.

We know all this. We know it because it’s Spring Training. And in Spring Training everything is true.

Opening Spring Weekend is over. Everything from here on out is merely motion.

That’s why you need to keep coming back to the interesting stuff, in Preseason-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Mike Trout and Albert Pujols rolled out in uniform already...........Following in the footsteps of Jo Adell...........

It’s Spring. We got bumps and bruises. Justin Bour and Michael Hermosillo..............

And we got guys working through their bumps and bruises. Shohei Ohtaniis hitting off a tee.....And Ohtani is set to start soft tossing soon enough...........(You can see his TJ scar here.)..........Matt Harvey is throwing off a mound already. (And in that last link is a time frame for Nick Tropeano: 5 to 7 weeks from now.)...........

Ty Buttrey has the goal of proving he is the real deal..............

Kaleb Cowart hath returned. Claimed off the waiver wire from a Detroit team that was hoping to sneak him through so that they could develop his two-way skills (that’s all the rage now) in the low minors, Cowart can return to regaining his pitching form as a Halo. Here is a picture of Cowart pitching. I’m looking all over the place, and struggling to find a picture of Cowart hitting.............

Lead this broken staff to the promised land, Luc Roy.............

Taylor Ward using his ST moment to hit the ball.....Taylor Ward using his ST moment to show off his infield cannon. Well, maybe elephant gun, but still.............Anyway, this is your chance to take a step forward make us eat those doubts we had back on draft day...............

Roberto Baldoquin does good.............Jose Briceno: the white knight.............

Here we are, still debating the exit of Torii Hunter, and Torii Hunter, Jr. is already taking hacks as a pro in an LAA uniform.............


Everywhere In Baseball

Clayton Kershaw is in trouble.....But no matter, trouble or not the Dodgers are going to run him out there for Opening Day.........

Max Scherzer hates the pitch clocks. As in, really really hates it. Hates the very idea that anybody would have the audacity to rule over his role as a baseball player...............

But get over it, Max. The pitch clock is coming and there is nothing the MLBPA can do about it. And you might get a lowered mound, too............

Aaron Hicks, you crack me up. “I want to win a World Series. I’m tired of losing. We’ve come so close, but I’m tired of saying we came close.” The Yankees have not even been IN the World Series since 2010. They have made it as far as the ALCS 3 times since then, winning only 5 of the 17 games they played there. And as for you, Aaron, you have only played in 6 seasons, and in only 2 seasons of those you appeared in more than 100 games............

Addison Russell comes back to...the silent treatment..............

Brian Cashman is not going to be very popular among long-time MFY fans. “You can’t have them all” is not something you say to millions of spoiled children who have spent decades under the impression that they are entitled to have them all.............

If Rob Manfred is publicly trying to gain credit on behalf of MLB, by noting how “The Braves have taken steps to take out the tomahawk chop”, it’s more than fair for Deadspin to call out the Braves (and MLB) for selling merchandise that has no other purpose than to celebrate the chop, by teaching it to the observer.............

Thank you Jerry................


Hot Stove

Color me surprised. The older a professional athlete becomes, the harder it is for that athlete to land a mega contract for future expectations...........

Jon Heyman struggling to project why it is that Bryce Harper is worth $360M. “Cachet”. We can take from this that his boss, Scott Boras, is now down to crunch time...........

This is silly, of course. If Manny Machado set any kind of market for Harper, it’s that Harper shouldn’t be making even $300M.............

But, groovy. We got mystery teams for Harper now. That’s Boras looking to work that last $20M from a panicky FO staff..............

The Padres are probably not among them, since pitching is they need most and Dallas Keuchel is still out there to be had for those mega bucks...........

J.D. Martinez must be talking about Bryce Harper when he complains that slow FA signings are becoming embarrassing. He is actually trying to call out the hordes of teams “not trying to win”, but there are 30 MLB teams and maybe only 5 of them are delighted to lose. The other 25 just don’t play by the old methods.............

Craig Kimbrel does not have a contract. And it doesn’t look like anybody wants to pay his asking price. So if Kimbrel doesn’t want to lower his price, and franchises don’t want to pay that, one might be concerned that Kimbrel is not going to be playing this season. Kimbrel is convinced that this is not how the universe works............

Hanley Ramirez signed by the Indians to a 1-year MiLB deal. This one actually surprises me. I would have categorized Hanley as a retiree. He just turned 35, and has had only one decent season since 2014. And that one good season had reasons.............


The Duffle Bag

My takeaway here is that the majority of baseball fans who watch Fox Sports come from the Boston area. That, or they did the survey during the Super Bowl...........Ladies and gentlemen, fans of all ages, the following game delay is brought to you by Mother Nature..............Watch a batter do something that has only been done once before: hit for the home run cycle. And she did it across only 4 innings...........(h/t reddit) Japanese players getting real pissed off. 18 minutes worth. A lot of them are surprisingly restrained, actually...........Oh great. Just when Jarrod Saltalamacchia retires, we get “Asher Wojciechowski”.............When you run out of ideas as to what to put on a guy’s baseball card..............