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Thor’sLinks: Over The Line

We already do have other versions of baseball, if that’s your thing.

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Red Sox v Angels Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

The MLB - MLBPA conversation that has ramped up to discuss putting lipstick to the rule book is not something that is going to fade away. Something will come out of this. The game will be changed from what it has been.

The game has already changed from what it has been. We have been living within a 20-year information revolution that has been accelerating, at an accelerating rate. And that information has had a direct impact on the field itself. We (well, most of us who are computer users on a global Internet) have been open-minded to those information-driven changes. I suggest that we should remain just as open-minded to institutional attempts to preserve the inherent dynamics of the sport in response to the changing forces of the Information Age.

But even still, we want to end up with baseball. There are already variations of baseball that have their corner-case appeal. We don’t need to get silly. Having too few brains going too fast to impose knee-jerk change ideas too broadly can only lead to gimmickry. It’s a beautiful game and it’s worthy of a beautiful new approach to accumulating and discussing ideas among the vested parties. So how about calling bullshit on this ongoing habit of locking the fan base out of the conversation? We have some extraordinary minds in the American baseball blogosphere. MLB and MLBPA should invite a few of them into the room.

That’s off my chest. Let’s just get to these Getting-Closer-Countdown-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

2019 Spring Training Facts & Figures for LAA. Because you really did not need to know any of this earlier than this week. That’s what you get for not wearing the red polo........

He’s right. I DID forget that Andres Galarraga once played under the Halo. I didn’t Forget the other guys, though. And to be fair to me, I only forgot 10 At Bats that Galarraga gave us, way back in 2004..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Look, we can settle down here. Let’s pay attention to what is REALLY going on. It makes sense for the MLBPA to come to a negotiating table with a universal DH request. They have been pulling for that for decades, so it’s nothing new and totally consistent. They know full well that the 15 NL teams adopting a DH just days before ST camps open is not going to happen. BUT, this is a union/management negotiating opportunity. You bring your wish list to the table and force the other side to say NO, and you add that NO to the list of decisions that require some concession from the other side. In a way, think of asking for the universal DH in 2019 as the union’s way of getting some leverage to claw back on ground lost in the last two CBA cycles, which they need to be doing. What they get wouldn’t be very much, it might only be a pittance. But that is a pittance more than they would have got had they not even typed up that request. And it leaves it in the conversation for continued discussion..........

Most of the time, the policy of policing one’s self leads to fail. That’s why societies learned eons ago not to do that. Businesses, however, work hard to convince societies that they are the exception to history. And we end up with the ever-worsening story of Gabe Kapler and the Dodgers............And this is why we carry the tiniest amount of doubt and suspicion when MLB declares that they investigated the accusations of racism within the Mariners organization and found nothing there. It’s unfair to all parties, regardless of truth..........

Bejeebus. Here is one of those times when I can point to an example of just how solid of a guy is your Arte Moreno. He has the contract for Mike Trout, and you have read and heard nothing but positives and hopeful commentary coming from Arte and his entire LA staff concerning Trout today, and into the future. Regardless of the outcome, you are expecting nothing less. Why? Because you trust Arte’s character and his conviction towards his players. It doesn’t have to be this way. It could be Cleveland and we could be talking about Francisco Lindor. “...we want to be sure that we are betting on the right type of person that will positively contribute on the field and in our clubhouse...”. If I were Lindor, I just hung up on my future with the Indians..........

Derek Jeter is demanding the moon, and more, for J.T. Realmuto. I can’t fault him for that. Not in this offseason. Realmuto’s under contract for 2 more season so he has time to hold out for as much as he can get. The worst result is that he keeps Realmuto, has a star to use in marketing, and worries about an arbitration salary bump for one year..........

Liberty Media is now big game hunting in the Regional Sports Network market. That would include Arte’s Fox Sports West carrier. Interesting twist, because Liberty Media is the company that owns the Braves...........And Disney is, as feared, growing so strong in the streaming market that it is looking to re-bundle content, which it would be able to get away with. So you Hulu subscribers would be paying for ESPN and Disney channels all over again...........


Hot Stove

The Blue Jays and Ryan Tepera could not come to a middle ground and went to arbitration yesterday. That middle ground was tiny. Tepera was asking for $1.8 million and the Blue Jays were offering $1.525 million. That is a difference of only $275K. Not even 5 AB’s for Pujols last year. And for that both sides are going to bitch about each other?..........

Brad Boxberger for a 1-year $2.2 million deal. With the Royals..........

Nick Franklin for a 1-year MiLB deal and ST invite. With the Pirates. (History tip: Franklin, the journeyman who bounced through the LAA organization for 13 game appearances in 2017, is THIS Nick Franklin.)..........

Jeremy Hellickson for a 1-year $1.3 million deal with major incentives. To the Nationals..........

Tom Koehler on a MiLB deal for rehab. To the Pirates.....(I add stuff like this only to demonstrate that teams ARE active. It’s now less about activity and more about terms, and the remaining Big Names.).........

The White Sox are leaving the door open for Manny Machado. I don’t know for fact what their offer is, or how it stacks up against any other offer, but the ChiSox are not not trying to sign Machado..........

The Giants have entered the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. It has always seemed dumb to me that the Dodgers and Giants would allow the Padres to be the ones to bring a Harper into their division. And Harper DOES prefer to play on the West coast, closer to Vegas, but only if the money is the most, too.........

Sam Sam Sam Sam Sam. Still hung over from the Super Bowl? How could you let your normal clarity allow this to slip out in public? The potential worst possible outcome for small market teams of getting to sign a Bryce Harper or Manny Machado at a steep discount, is totally avoidable. And if that came to pass, it would 100% be on the shoulders of a lot of small market teams. All it takes is for one small market team to bid higher than the rich guys’ steeply discounted offer. For one to argue against that would be to argue that the ownership claims of fiscal constraints are all true. But if that is true, all that is needed is for the rich team to claim that fiscal constraints prevented them from offering anything more, therefore they aren’t as rich as posited after all. It also argues against the player having any choice in his decision and being forced to accept the highest offer. They can never choose a highly discounted offer even if it favors them in other, more personal, ways. Otherwise they are cheating small market teams who chose not to spend against their TV revenue and franchise equity and revenue sharing funds..........

Jeff Sullivan is bored by all the inaction, and takes the easy route of assuming that it is all the fault of the franchises. His readership immediately redirects with inquisitive minds and fills in the huge gap that maybe the players clogging up the channels bear some responsibility for choosing to hold out for more than the $300 million mega-deals they were predicted to win once they got to Free Agency?..........

A couple of days ago it was Adam Jones being pimped by Bob Nightengale. It is now Jon Heyman pimping Jose Reyes. And, nope, Reyes is not a Boras client. He sucks all on his own.........


The Duffle Bag

Francisco Cervelli is a cave man..........Thank you UniWatch! What goes into the trucks that head off to ST on Moving Day? The Reds, and then the Brewers, tell us. Cincinnati really loves their bubble gum. And then, also from UW, comes a much better idea for beer sponsorship participation..........Now we’re talking! Bobbleheads with some out-of-the-box thinking..........Baseball and Rock & Roll. What could be more cool?..........Korea is drifting off into their own form of baseball. If this sticks, it will mean no more Korean pitchers coming to MLB in 4 or 5 years. Hitters, though.........