WeekEnd HaloLinks: Back to Baseball – Halo’s Heaven

Ok, now I am not saying that this is real. Mike Trout does not call me up and confide in me. But I do find the coincidence of the timing to be delicious. When Team USA won the WBC the other night, this marked the final MLB participation of Jim Leyland’s career. He goes out on a high note. So he won’t be back for the next WBC, in 2021. This will most likely be the first WBC in which Mike Trout will participate. So Trout will START playing in the WBC when Jim Leyland will STOP managing the WBC team. Oh, reaaaaaally?! “Wonderboy” won’t be toiling under the tutelage of Leyland, after all………..

After losing the title game to Team USA, Team Puerto Rico went home to a major party to celebrate their run. It’s a great thing, especially considering how they have lived for years and years under punishing imbalance imposed by MLB since 1990 by including PR in the June draft. PR baseball has seriously declined since then, so this is real fun back home. And it’s nice that they got to party a bit instead of splitting up and returning directly to their respective Florida/Arizona MLB camps…………But then, in a Dusty Baker moment, it turns out that all that had been planned by Puerto Rico in advance of the final game, and wind of the news reached their ears of Team USA. Pro players, being human, latched on to that as motivation. Lucky for us, I guess. The implication is that had not PR made those plans, Team USA wouldn’t have had the motivation to, you know, actually win the thing………..And then, guess what? News of Team USA getting new of Team PR’s plans reached Yadier Molina of Team PR. So now Molina is really motivated. Unfortunately, Molina doesn’t have a game to go out and win………..Mark your calendars for June 16/17/18, when the Orioles host the Cards………..

We already know that Ian Kinsler put his foot in it with one of those “Latin Way versus The Right Way”  baloney sandwiches. The backlash has him walking back his hoof in mouth disease……Yeonis Cespedes is jumping into the conversation by trying to explain the Latin joy……

But then, working hard against the cause of making baseball more fun, we have Jurickson Profar. The guy who just a few days ago got owned by Yadier Molina for hot dogging hard after a single while repping The Netherlands in the WBC, just earned himself a little talking to for losing track of the game at hand. Profar is expected to be a major contributor in Arlington this season. It would be wise to consider mastering the fundamentals first, THEN having a good time…………..

Remember way back in the old days when The Great Debate was which player was the best to build a franchise around, Mike Trout or Bryce Harper? Yeah, good times. That debate is so clearly over that now the MSM has moved to a new Great Debate: which player is THE SECOND best around which to build a franchise, Bryce Harper or Manny Machado? And for those of us rubes unworthy of inventing such debates as these, we learn that this appears to be something that has been raging for some time now……….

For the faux fans who show up only for the final event, and ran their routine with the WBC only to crash into the ESPN2 Spanish simulcast, things got ugly. Now, I am not going to justify or defend their behavior. But I am going to defend their failure to find the game on MLBN. At that time, at least for Uverse/DirectTV users, if you went to your Guide and did a search, the only hit for the 217 World Baseball Classic that came back was for that ESPN2 simulcast. This I know for fact, because I am a Uverse customer and I used the search tool in an attempt to jump directly to MLBN rather than scroll through the Guide. So imagine a person interested in watching the game, who might have removed MLBN from their favored channels in their Guide or missed the channel while scrolling or simply chose to search? This is a failure of MLB and at least some of the main carriers of MLBN, and needs to be fixed…………

It’s that time of the year again, when bizarre ballpark foods come at us hard. Take the Atlanta Braves, for instance. Remember, the idea is that you have to eat this shit off your own lap. Aramark has bold-assed plans all over the country. I’ll hunt down pics and reviews as time permits………..

Have some sports biz. AT&T and DirectTV are busted for collusion, but the settlement with the Justice Department still doesn’t force them to carry Dodger games………..A new survey shows Millennials leading the charge to the exits of the cable package theme park. Streaming is the new thinging. Pick your fave, pick your time, limit your viewing to those. I’m just going to put this out there right now. This is just another trend enabled by communications technology that allows for the further balkanization of society as individuals are further enabled to isolate themselves into tiny clusters of like-minded fellows. As a guy who has been at an oar driving this tech trend forward for nearly 40 years, I blame myself………..


The Duffle Bag