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Let's Play What If...


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First, a disclaimer. I honestly think the Angels will figure things out and win 90ish games and sneak into the playoffs, if only barely. They're just too talented not to and, well, it is early. But let's talk about the alternative for a moment - the worst-case scenario.

 

What if...Trout truly regresses, Pujols continues his only-good performance from last year, Hamilton struggles and/or is injured, Trumbo bombs in the wrong way, Bourjos sucks, the pitching staff is awful, etc....and the Angels end up with 80-something wins and miss the playoffs.

 

What happens? Do heads roll? Certainly Scioscia and Dipoto would be on the hot-seat but do you think Arte would make any major changes? Even go the firesale route and re-build the team (as much as possible) from scratch? Re-trade for Vernon Wells? Or would it be another year of "We played well but had our struggles; let's see how we do next year"?

 

Again, remember that this team has one of the highest payrolls in baseball and the is predicted by many to not only be a shoe-in for the playoffs but a World Series favorite. To win 80-something games would be a complete disaster. What would Arte do?

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I think they have the talent on the offensive side of the ball but I can't say the same for the pitching staff. There is very little talent there and I don't see this team sniffing the playoffs. As for Arte, he's a business man and I'm sure he is willing to make changes if necessary without loyalty coming into play. You can't run an effective organization when employees are unproductive. I think heads will role.

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The Angels won't have a fire sale. Nobody will take on the giant contract of Pujols and/or Wilson and/or Hamilton. Idk when a star has been signed to a massive contract where it has ever worked out well with the organization...

 

That being said, this team is fine, and will be in the playoffs come October. Will Mike Scioscia be there? I don't think so, but we'll still make it.

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Pujols is already proving that last season was an aberration and Dipotos plan and the way he has built the team will work IF they are managed properly.

That leaves the Stubborn One, who would rather have a pep talk during a closed door meeting than turn over some tables and light a fire under these guys asses. Mike will be gone and Angels will find someone who can do the job.

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Pujols is already proving that last season was an aberration and Dipotos plan and the way he has built the team will work IF they are managed properly.

That leaves the Stubborn One, who would rather have a pep talk during a closed door meeting than turn over some tables and light a fire under these guys asses. Mike will be gone and Angels will find someone who can do the job.

How is the manager responsible for poor pitching or untimely hitting?

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He is the ultimate motivating factor.  He has the players that are capable of doing the job, its his job to motivate them to do so.  Something that he WAS capable of doing years ago, but seems to have "lost it" over the last 3.

 

BTW, was thinking about this this a.m. - Chili Davis was out there for the taking as a hitting coach, but because of Scioscia's unwavering and undying man love for Hatcher, he ends up somewhere else... doing an excellent job.

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How is the manager responsible for poor pitching or untimely hitting?

The manager picks the pitching and hitting coach that is supposed to prepare these guys for the game coming up and help them through the game at hand. It really is a team effort and when you have a team of this talent level you cannot just drop it all on the player performance on the field, at some point it is the leadership.

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Ohhhh.  I like this game.

 

What if Scioscia didn't call for the idiotic suicide squeeze with Willits at 3rd base and a lefthanded Aybar batting in Game 4 of the 2008 ALDS?

 

What if Butcher could actually develop a minor league pitcher into a consistent MLB reliever?  (It's only been six years.  It's bound to happen at some point....or maybe not)

 

What if the future batting champ (i.e. Howie) could stop being Pavlovian in continuously chasing the down and away slider on a 0-2 or 1-2 count?

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I'm not a Scioscia apologist by any means, but I can't really put the heart of the blame on him after these games.  Like others have said, it isn't Scioscia that's hitting .120 with RISP.  How is he supposed to motivate a lineup that is hitting fairly well to do the same thing when it counts?  That's on the players.  It's a complete statistical aberration that will shift towards the norm eventually and which isn't sustainable.

 

He's made some questionable bullpen choices I guess, but when your starters can barely go five innings every single game it isn't exactly the ideal situation.

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I don't think they will change the manager's position in-season unless this turns into a complete disaster.  That seems like giving up at this point, it would be totally disruptive and divisive.  We have played three teams who are perhaps much better constructed than the Angels, and they have beaten us in the those three series.  I swear that the A's could beat anyone in baseball right now the way they are placing hits all over the field.  Until we have a more complete sample of this season (couple of months) we have what we have, and we should see if it blooms into anything productive.  Anything else seems like panic, and chaos follows panic.   

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How is the manager responsible for poor pitching or untimely hitting?

So to you the manager isn't responsible for any of the team's performance.

What's the point of having a manager then?

Maddon took on the worst garbage from the Angels and turned him into the best closer in the AL.

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A caller on Travis Rodgers' show had a good point.

Why does this team struggle EVERY April, even though the players have changed from 2010-2013?

 

One common denominator:   SCIOSCIA!

 

Also, when Scoscia had Maddon, Black, and Roenicke at his disposal, you didn't see these bad Aprils or missing the post-season consistently like they have so far in the 2010s.

 

Waiting for another fluff piece on Anne Scioscia to appear in the OCR, and shakes head.

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As we know, there is very little coming from the minors any time soon.  Pujols' contract in untradeable.  Hamilton likely the same. 

 

Guys with Trade value include Kendrick, Ianetta, Aybar, Callaspo, Bourjos, Trumbo, Richards, Blanton, Vargas, Frieri, Downs, Burnett, Jepsen, Hanson, maybe Wilson, Weaver, and Trout. 

 

Stating the obvious, Trout isn't going anywhere.  I would argue that you can't trade Weaver either.  Fans would be upset and on principal, he gave the team a home town discount.

 

Frieri, Trumbo, Bourjos, Richards are young and cheap so they aren't going anywhere.

 

That leaves Aybar, Kendrick, Callaspo, Downs, Hanson, Vargas, Ianetta, Hanson, and maybe Wilson. 

 

If you trade all those guys off to restock the minor league system, you are then 2-3 yrs (or potentially more) from being competitive and then you have Weaver, Pujols and Hamilton who are not only declining but would likely be super pissed at the thought of dealing with losing for 3yrs.

 

It also makes the possibility of a Trout extension less likely.  You also lose out on the cheap years of bourjos etal and by the time you get competitive again, those guys will be gone. 

 

Point is, the timing is horrible, it would be a pr nightmare and long term probably doesn't do you much good because you are likely stuck with the major contracts you'd want to get rid of anyway. 

 

Dipoto will tweak from year to year until the farm system can be rebuilt and hopefully keep the team moderately competitive.

 

Will a change in leadership cure all of the problems?  I doubt it.  Might it help?  Possibly.  It's certainly the easier route to take.  That said, I don't put a lot of stock in the notion that the coaches prepare the players to play.  I am able to do my job without someone over my shoulder trying to motivate me.  Ultimately, it's on the players to go out and do what they are supposed to and the simple fact is that the main reason this team has sucked is because of poor performance by the players and only secondarily a few questionable calls in terms of in game management.  

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....That said, I don't put a lot of stock in the notion that the coaches prepare the players to play.  I am able to do my job without someone over my shoulder trying to motivate me.  Ultimately, it's on the players to go out and do what they are supposed to and the simple fact is that the main reason this team has sucked is because of poor performance by the players and only secondarily a few questionable calls in terms of in game management.  

 

Then the value of a manager is such that it doesn't matter who is there, so moving Scioscia should be less of a problem.

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Lifetime, the point is for a bit of fun and as a mental exercise. There's no harm in it. Honestly, I don't know what the point is of coming into a thread and asking what the point of it is.

 

To Brian et al, as for Scioscia's role in the team's struggles, I think it is less a factor after 8 games - unless we're talking about bad call after bad call, which I don't think we are - and more a factor 50 or so games into the season. If the Angels are 20-30 and we're hearing grumblings about clubhouse tensions then you've got wonder what Scioscia's doing wrong. But at 2-6 we're more in a "Hmm, interesting, hope they figure things out soon" state.

 

Good post, Dochalo. I can't help but think the Angels are in their "Hellenistic phase" (if you know your Greek history) or Empire phase of Rome - over-ripe after an earlier golden age, and trying to compensate for lack of the "It-factor" that championship teams always have with big contracts. I also agree that huge contracts almost never work out well, which is one of the reasons I'm more hesitant to applaud Dipoto as the supposed "JeDi Master." He seems to ignore that history.

 

If the team tanks this year I think the best we can hope for is that Moreno and Dipoto realize something is rotten and they sell off what parts they can and go for a leaner, meaner look, focus on the farm and bargain hunting until the farm is thriving. This might mean some only-decent years but it would also mean that once Trout hits his prime years the farm would be churning out prospects.

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I think it's inevitable that Trout is going to regress.  How much though is anybody's guess.  I don't say this as an attack, my point is that it's difficult for ESTABLISHED players to maintain the type of season Trout had last year.  The best players who ever played the game have (or had) trouble maintaining a .963 OPS.  How can any reasonable person expect Trout to hit .326 again with 30 HR's and 49 SB's? 

 

Scioscia or Eppard should not be fired for Trout declining, but there's so many OTHER reasons to can Scioscia it's not even funny. 

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