THT Links: Peek A Boo

Yes, we took yesterday off. We’re busy people; busy with trying to get you more fun stuff like our preseason book and more stats to play with on the site. As a makeup present, we are giving all of you a free one-year super secret premium double subscription to The Hardball Times and today you get a double feature of the links.

Sandoval’s Return – A little over a year ago, Juan Sandoval was shot in the eye. Here is the story of his long road back to baseball, learning to play with the the loss of depth perception.

These Are Not the People to Piss Off – The FCC is looking into the DirectTV deal with Major League Baseball. That last thing the MLB needs is any more guff from the government, who hold the master trump card of MLB’s anti-trust exemption.

Reyes or Ramirez? – Which shortstop would you rather have Hanley Ramirez or Jose Reyes? Reyes has more of a track record, but both project out equally according to PECOTA.

The Real Home Run King of ’67 – Was it Hank Aaron who actually did lead the league? Or should it have been Jimmy Wynn who finished just two behind Aaron despite Aaron playing in a bandbox and Wynn playing in the cavernous Astrodome.

A Hero to Us All – Manny Acta gets it and that is so rare is baseball that is deserves to be repeated alone and in bold. Manny Acta gets it.

Josh Johnson Not Bouncing Back – Marlins hurler Josh Johnson is still having problems throwing off of flat ground and had to have his workout cut short yesterday.

Braden Looper, Starter – The Cardinals, obviously reeling from the loss of Jeff Weaver and the ensuing points of ERA, have devised a brilliant replacement, Braden Looper.

An Unidentified Throwing Object – From far away it looks like any normal Yankees pitcher, but up close the hurler is unrecognizable. Unless, is that… is that Carl Pavano?

Helton’s Swing Evolution – Jeff Albert takes a look at 2006 versus 2004 Todd Helton and identifies what’s different in his swing and why it might be the key to regaining Helton’s lost power.

Greinke’s Battle – A great interview with Royals pitcher Zach Greinke about the personal issues he faced, and beat, this past season.

Did You Know Julio Mateo is a Groundball Pitcher? – Mariners Manager Mike Hargrove seems to lack basic baseball knowledge sometimes. I guess if/when he eventually gets fired he can take up sports writing or broadcasting. I hear you don’t need to know anything to do that.

Getting Close – The Dodgers announced that, for now, Rafael Furcal is going to be their leadoff hitter, with Juan Pierre batting 2nd. Now if they’ll just realize the best spot for Pierre in the lineup is actually 9th or the bench they’ll be in great shape.

Too Many Cubs in the Outfield – There’s half a metric tonne of ball player in consideration for the three spots in the Cubs outfield. Who’s getting the nod and who’s playing where among Alfonso Soriano, Cliff Floyd, Matt Murton, Felix Pie and Jacque Jones?

Starting Pitchers Health Reports (registration required) – Will Carroll’s first look at the top starting pitchers for each team.

2007 Preview: Red Sox – Our own Jeff Sackmann looks at the Red Sox. Long story short; high variance, good offense, possibly great rotation, terrible bullpen.

Schilling Will Test Free Agency WatersCurt Schilling is going to file for free agency after his contract expires? I’m shocked. Who does that? Surely this is worthy of many many words strung together into sentences that appear to have content but in reality might as well have been written by a computer.

What a Mess – Yes, the Indians bullpen sure was a disaster last season. Luckily they’ve been stockpiling young relief talent for awhile and it’s starting to push on the door to the big league club. Here’s a good rundown on some of the people you’ve never heard of.

Today at THT

Five National League Bullpens in Flux – It’s that time of year: We’re talking about baseball all the time, but we don’t know much of anything.

This Annotated Week in Baseball History: Feb. 18-24, 1941 – On Feb. 20, 1941, Clyde Wright was born. He would go on to win exactly 100 games in his major league career. But what does that have to do with his son Jaret and with Mel and Todd Stottlemyre?

Yesterday at THT

Ten Things I Learned About Next Season – David discusses The Hardball Times 2007 Season Preview, and previews some of its more interesting projections.

Baseball Injury Report – Rick’s first injury report of 2007.

THT Links represents the best efforts of our editors in scouring the various tubes of the interweb for both relevant and irrelevant news items. If you have happened upon a story that we have overlooked or wish to give feedback of any sort, please notify us at THT Links.

Updated weekdays at noonish, ET.

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