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HumpLinks: Changes Are a’Coming

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark are doing crazy talk

Angels v Mariners Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

MLB and MLBPA have started sparring on rules changes, as Rob Manfred wants to speed things up. He is trying to make it look like he is playing nice and asking the MLBPA for support and ideas, before he just goes out and does what he wants anyway.

So these two sides have shared ideas for how to “improve” the game. In other words, make things go faster and still score lots of fan-friendly runs and throw in some Pokemon areans for those who don’t want to actually watch baseball.

So they did share. But these opening discussion points are pretty shocking. Ideas - FOR 2019!!! - include the DH to the NL? A 3-batter minimum for pitchers? Go read.

Then you get even more reading assignments. These Ever-Closer-Countdown-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, LAA ZiPS projections are out, for those who need something to believe in. Mike Trout is going to get injured again, and it will cost him about 12 games...........

When he gets injured, Mike will already be prepared to rehab while working as equipment manager..........

Here’s your bullpen. It will look a lot nicer in the second half. Trust me...........

Once Upon a Time, Albert Pujols was an absolute monster............And what Pujols remains, along with his wife, is a very solid citizen...........

We remain cursed with the most unimaginative graphic designers of merchandise possible. It’s just a Spring Training cap, and it doesn’t have to be ranked the 21st worse out of 30 possible. Who the hell cares how close it may or may not look like the regular season cap? Put the damned halo back on it, for chrissakes!!!............


Everywhere In Baseball

Jackie Robinson. 100 years, all season..........

I link to all things personal about Joe Smith because Joe was once a Halo, and is an all-around good guy, and I miss having the fun of busting his chops for marrying so far above his pay grade. You may or may not know that Joe’s mother suffers from Huntington’s Disease. And there is a 50/50 shot that Joe will suffer same at any time. He and Allie LaForce have raised millions to find a cure, and are now raising money that other potential parents at risk follow their lead, finding a way to become a parent while taking HD out of the gene pool............

Chicago Cubs are mow mired in a very bad look. They are owned and run by the Rickets family. Those are siblings, who all share a father who has been caught out as yet another jackass. Everybody is apologizing and everybody is trying to walk this all back. It’s what happens when billionaires have access to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of public relations teams. The Mothership is going bonkers, overselling the relationship of Joe Ricketts and Cubs operations, and getting the principals wrong. But emotions will do stuff like that...........

Woman goes to Dodger Stadium to see a baseball game. Foul ball eludes the extended netting, newly added. Ball hits woman in the head. Woman dies in hospital a few days later. News would have remained hidden had not ESPN dug out the coroner’s report..........By the way, this was - AGAIN - after the protective netting was increased. Only 100% netting encapsulating all fan seating will create an in-person viewing environment 100% safe from balls leaving the field of play. We are now at 3 deaths out of hundreds of billions of attendees in history. That has got to be the least mortal risk to humanity..........

This is a very important point. We fans tend to align with ownership thinking when it comes to player salaries. There being a disconnect between one’s own salary and the tens of millions being made by a baseball player has a lot to do with it. And it’s easy for us to slip into a comfortable defense of the MLB luxury threshold to act as an actual hard cap. Just read our own pages. We are constantly calculating how much Arte has committed to payroll, and how much room he has left. But that implies that the threshold is the stopping point. It does not need to be. Not by a long shot. The tax, in sheer monetary terms, is paltry in terms of overall MLB franchise finances. (There are additional ruling concerning draft slot, but that’s only if the franchise totally blows past the threshold by $40 million - has that ever happened?? - AND they don’t suck so bad they don’t get a top 6 draft pick. But those are such outliers that any baseball exec blathering about them is lying to you.) The point is that, yeah, at least 28 MLB teams could afford a $300 million net-new contract without any discomfort. Not doing so is by choice, not by rule...........

Terry Francona’s son Nick, who once worked for the Dodgers and yesterday’s Gabe Kaplan Kapler, is still one very pissed off guy. He may appear as a disgruntled ex-employee, and SI might be editing their reporting highly in Francona’s favor, but at the base of it, Francona has his point and he knows well enough the proper rules of workplace ethics...........

Bob Nightengale pulls out all the stops on his defense of well-irrigated fescue. And it’s all in defense of Adam Jones, un-signed.....(I would point out how ex-MLB’er Rob Dibble is RT’ing Nightengale’s silliness, but Dibble has blocked me. Because I was foolish enough to point out how he was blathering fake information.).....This is the same 33-year old Adam Jones who has deteriorated into replacement level, nice guy though he may well be............

Sean Doolittle is very excited. He seriously considers his involvement in the Nationals’ 2019 pro schedule with a Star Wars Obi-Sean Kenobi bobblehead to be a major highlight of his career. Who said baseball is no fun?.........

These people up in Portland seem to have more on the ball towards building an MLB stadium than do the people in Oakland. And the people in Portland don’t even have our MLB team. Yet..........

Another good citizen: Christian Yelich...........

Baseball players DO care about Hall of Fame voting. Just ask Lance Berkman............

NFL is dying, you guys.....Ratings were down. In some places, way way down (LA & New Orleans, I’m looking at you).....And the Super Bowl broadcast couldn’t even sell all the ad slots, forcing CBS to spend more time pimping itself than they intended. So where is the media hand-wringing?.........

My head hurts. As I get more backstory here, I realize that we have media people firing media people over media leaks concerning media stories where media folks refuse to disclose their media leakers, all about media content that will not be...........

I still laugh at the fantasy belief of pro sports leagues that States enabling sports gambling creates some major financial burden to assure integrity within their sport. This is one of the ways that NFL/MLB/NBA are struggling to come up with a uniform response from the States. Integrity. Sure thing. When 13 of MLB and NBA teams are trying to lose, when MLB is lobbying Federal and State governments to legalize impoverishment of MiLB employees, and when the NFL is overwhelming their alumni with legal blitzes to keep from admitting to CTE.............

Happy Belated Birthday, Hank Aaron. 85 yesterday...........


Hot Stove

WaPo offers up click bait with a Collusion headline concerning HarpChado. The author then goes into a lot of data making one wonder why anybody would commit hundred of millions for Harper. But looking at Machado, who appears more enticing, the same author does not consider that maybe it is Machado who is the reasons he remains unsigned. I don’t know that for fact, either, and I know it is the lesser of two possibilities, but I remain open to it and want reporters to ask the questions.............

Aaron Judge would be happy to move positions so that Harper could play RF for the Yankees. Uh, Aaron, there are only so many right fields into which a team can hide a position player with defensive limitations. But, maybe you can platoon with Troy Tulowitzki at SS?..........

Tommy Pham won his arbitration case against the Rays. $4.1 million versus the Rays offer of $3.5 million.....Pham is celebrating..........

Carlos Correa won his arb case against the Astros. $5 million versus the clubs offer of $4.25 million..........

And now to guys getting signed all over the place:

Rangers sign Ricardo Rodriguez. MiLB deal..........

White Sox sign Brandon Guyer. MiLB deal..........

Phillies sign Drew Butera. MiLB deal with $1.3 million if he gets back to MLB..........

Marlins sign Curtis Granderson. MiLB deal worth $1.75 million while at the MLB level..........

James Loney signed a MiLB deal for....uh....MiLB. WIth an MiLB team. The Sugar Land Skeeters..........

Jacob deGrom does not want to become a Free Agent..........


The Duffle Bag

Not too very long ago, this guy was a teacher of young men in Halo uniforms...........Yes, I am a Patriots fan. Yes, I hate Patriots fans just as much as you do. Obnoxious, spoiled little buggers that they are............Ozzie Guillen wants a MiLB deal - to manage again..........Job posting! You could work for Rob Manfred, and be the person calling bullshit on the Padres’ A.J. Preller..........Step aside, Baby Vlad, little Bodhi Dozier is on his way up..........I guess this is what happens when one hits more than 299 home runs.............