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Thursday Links

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California Angels owner Gene Autry... Photo by Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images

Burning through my 35 unpaid submissions to the Vox overlords here, but Links are a must.

I love baseball. I love a good fight. But I generally prefer the two separately. Not in Venezuela last night. Bean balls, bats, and fists went flying. As if life outside of the stadium wasn’t violent enough down there.

One story we’ve been following closely here is MLB’s shortsighted attempt to close 42 minor league ball clubs. If there’s one thing fans and Representatives on all sides agree, it is the wrongness of this idea. One bipartisan team is reminding MLB they got a sweetheart deal in 2018 to save money on minor league pay, and that deal can be taken away.

It is good to see MLB is finally getting some pushback from people who actually matter. While I’d prefer all 42 teams stay and minor league pay get increased, this line in the sand (if it is one) would lead to at least one of those two outcomes.

Business in many minor league towns must be booming as new parks keep getting built. Some nice looking ballparks will open this Spring including Globe Life Park at the MLB level. Seriously, it is hard to beat a night at a minor league game.

Former Angel Nick Tropeano will report back to the minor leagues after reaching a deal with the Yankees yesterday. Nick was part of the return for Hank Conger and there’s never a bad time to re-watch his epic bunt, stumble, recovery for a single.

Speaking of the Yankees, the mouthpiece they own wants to clarify they were fined for not really cheating.

Robinson Chirinos signed a deal eerily similar in 2020 pay to our own Jason Castro. Chirinos deal comes with an option, but it will be interesting to watch who gets the better bang for their buck in the coming season.

Josh Donaldson might need to change his asking price from $110 million firm to $110 million OBO. The talk around him hasn’t changed, but nobody has hit his asking price.

Its not that I care so much about Donaldson other than hoping Texas doesn’t get him. Its that he’s possibly holding up a nice trade market with names like Bryant available. Trades are almost always more exciting than free agent signings and there haven’t been many this off season.

Speaking of trades, Matthew Boyd and Jon Gray are still out there. Meanwhile, it is looking like nobody wants to bail the YankSux out of the JA Happ/David Price debacles nor should they.

Looking for something to watch until baseball returns? You have plenty of time to watch the entire show that put Gene Autry in the homes of Americans. The cash made from that show went a long way towards his business empire, including our beloved Angels.

I’m sure I miss plenty. I type these up during my afternoon break and maybe update them once or twice later on. Stirrups was burning the midnight oil. Please add anything you see I’ve missed.