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What's the root cause?


floplag

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I have never been one to bag the manager, hes not the one throwing the pitches, or swinging and missing... but after listening to a piece on mlb network radio yesterday i have to wonder if Scoscia's voice is being lost right now.  The point of the discussion is that sometimes, even when the manager is good, a change i needed.  They used the issue of Francona leaving Boston as part of it.. and it got me thinking.

 

In recent years we have had far too much talent to under perform as we have, there seems no sense of urgency, no caring about whether we win or lose, and a general lack of either intestinal fortitude or genitals in the way the team plays.

 

At some point, you have to look at the voice at the top.

 

We have now changed GMs, Owners, virtually everything in the last decade since the WS win, except the manager

 

I think either Scoscia has to change how he is delivering his message, or it may be time to change the man delivering the message.

 

Yes, part of this is frustration at watching this team play so poorly and inconsistantly so often in the last few years, almost embarrasingly so, and listining to the endless string of cliches and redundant sound bites, but the bottom line and recurring themse expecially in the last few years has been under perfomance.  When everything else has been changed, you have to look at what remains as the most likely cause.

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I think the players need to look themselves in the mirror and some of them need to step up as team leaders and kick their fellow players in their derriers.

 

But aside from that I agree Sciosh is definitely on the hot seat.  I would think he has the full season (I would give him a playoff or bust mandate), but Moreno cannot be happy with how this team looks given the money he's shelled out.  IF, for example, they were to be swept by the Astros....  Oh boy, buckle in.

 

The most rabid anti-Sciosh fans might get their wish sooner than later.

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Mike Scioscia. What don't people get? A manager is responsible for winning, efficiency, and productivity. Scioscia is unsatisfactory in all of these categories. It is his responsibility to fix these areas, whether it be with the coaches he brings in to assist or through his practices.

There have been far less talented teams that are successful under a manager. This is an issue that extends far beyond this year and is not an over reaction due to our 2-7 start.

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 I wonder if MS and Dipoto get along well enough or there's still enough of a power struggle or whatever to create poor chemistry, or if it even matters.  One thing's for sure, Scioscia looks stationary and unenthused and the players are to accepting of their failures and lifeless.  

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I think DiPoto should be held accountable as well.  He has really been terrible at reconstructing this bullpen.  He's passed it off as not being that big of an issue, but he could have went out and redirected a lot of money toward getting that issue fixed.  For me it's the worst nightmare a team can have, a bullpen with no stopping power.  Any progress made by an offense gets tossed away night after night because the pen can't hold a lead or keep a game close.  I still think the Blanton signing was a terrible blunder as well.  Those issues, for me, are squarely on DiPoto.

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This org is a mess, thanks to Moreno hiring J. Pierpont Finch Reagins, who in turn messed up scouting, foreign presence, and the MLB team by bringing in high-priced underwhelming players like Pop-Up Wells and giving overrated manager Scioscia a 10 year deal.

 

Moreno, Reagins, and Scioscia are to blame the most. 

Dipoto isn't getting good marks either, but I'll reserve official judgement on him until 2014 (3rd season).

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lets see.. 1970's national leauge style managing for 1 run. lots of speed. emphasis on basestealing with 9 punch and judy hitter little guys. good pitching staffs that lose 2-1 or 3-1. teams barely missing the playoffs.  coaching staffs that are friends (read: yes men). what other mlb team has coaching staffs are mmade up of virtually all marginal ex players (excepting alfredo griffin)?

my personal favorite: player gets hot- sit him for a couple of days. constant tinkering with the order. paranoiac attitude toward playing rookies.

i'll stop now before i get banned.

i've had MORE than enough of this guy.

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But has Scioscia's style of play ever been geared towards power hitters? His teams have been teams with so much emphasis on first-to-third and productive outs. It is more a clash of styles and failures to adjust on all ends.

 

Absolutely true.  This is why I think hiring DiPoto signaled the end of Mike's reign as Angels manager.  They have already fired his friend, and while Butcher is clearly in need of a firing I don't think Mike survives the next decision.  They either turn it around and make the playoffs or he's gone.

 

Incidentally, that is also on DiPoto.  If you stack a team that the manager isn't proficient at managing in terms of its strengths, then it's time to get a manager in here who knows how to utilize them.

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so you support this coaching staff. thats good.

the coaching staff is the only constant on this team  as a whole over the last 3 years. except for hatcher. the results have not been great.

 

That's an excellent job of not actually reading what I posted

 

All I said was that a lot of major league teams have coaching staffs made up of former marginal big leaguers. Kevin Long and Rudy Jaramillo, considered two of the better hitting coaches in the game, never played in the majors. Mike Maddux and Don Cooper weren't particularly good pitcherss. Dave Duncan was a catcher who didn't hit much.

 

As far as the Angels coaching staff: I don't really have a problem at all with Eppard, Dino and Alfredo. I'm pretty indifferent towards Piccoilo. I think Butcher and very possibly Scioscia's time here should be approaching it's end pretty quickly.

 

But I also don't think firing one or both of them is going to magically fix anything with this team.

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How do you explain a team constantly coming out of spring training flat?  Obviously Scioscia's regimen to get the players prepared for the season is flawed.  Stubborn Scioscia will never change it though.  This org's biggest mistake isn't trading Ryan, signing GMJHGH or trading for Wells.  It was giving Scioscia a 10 year extension.

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I said it in the old AW forum when Hamilton was signed...I wasn't crazy about the deal; too many years and a lot of dough for someone that is injury prone and does not help with the pitching problem.  So far, the root cause is Dibozo thinking offense is more important (eg, Pujols, Hamilton).

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flop, it's a great question and one I've been thinking about a lot lately.  I think you can boil the organization's problems into 2 main categories:

 

1) The incredibly inefficient payroll construction (lots of big $ players, still very little depth on the bench or in the minors)

2) Under-performance on the field for long stretches (including weak fundamentals and a general sense of malaise)

 

For #1 I think it comes down to Arte's insistence on contending for a World Series every season (for which nobody can fault his intentions).  The problem is that's almost impossible to sustain that level of play/talent over a long stretch of time.  The Angels were incredibly successful for the mid 2000s, but so far this decade have really struggled.  You can trace it all back to the winter following the 2009 season, in which the contracts of 3 pillars of the team came to an end - Vlad, Figgins, and Lackey (not to mention Darren Oliver, who had become a key bullpen arm).  It probably would have been best for the Angels to accept a bit of a down-cycle for the next 2-3 years and re-stock the farm system, develop some talent, etc.  But ever since then they've been essentially "going for it" every season, with big moves, weakening the system in the process, either through prospects traded away or draft picks lost in FA.  They're playing a bad game of Jenga, continually taking pieces from the bottom and placing them on the top.  Of course it's going to topple.

 

Now take this idea and add in 2 incredibly unfortunate and unforeseeable strokes of bad luck within a little over a year: the tragic death of Nick Adenhart (who let's not forget, was the team's best pitching prospect and we all know how hard it is to find good, young pitchers) and Kendrys Morales breaking his ankle.  Those 2 events, along with the Angels' insistence on being perennial contenders, led either indirectly or directly to several questionable moves like trading Skaggs for Dan Haren, trading Jean Segura for 2 months of Zack Greinke, Pujols' contract, Hamilton's contract, the Vernon Wells trade, the Kazmir trade, and others.

 

As for #2, I think it's becoming more and more obvious that Mike Scioscia has lost or is losing the team, and that they are tuning him out.  We don't have 25 guys pulling in the same direction (the A's are a perfect example of that), we have 25 guys doing their own thing.  There is a culture of losing with the team right now because of the last few seasons, and a general lack of fire or purpose in their playing.

 

That's the way I see it at least.

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there seems no sense of urgency, no caring about whether we win or lose, and a general lack of either intestinal fortitude or genitals in the way the team plays.

Harold Reynolds basically said the same thing by saying they lack enthusiasm.  He pointed to Iannetta catching the foul ball off of Pujols' glove and then both immediately heading to the dugout without looking at each other or saying anything to one another.

 

Sosh also mentioned on the radio the other day that the clubhouse chemistry is fine, but the on-field chemistry could be better.

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Harold Reynolds basically said the same thing by saying they lack enthusiasm.  He pointed to Iannetta catching the foul ball off of Pujols' glove and then both immediately heading to the dugout without looking at each other or saying anything to one another.

 

Sosh also mentioned on the radio the other day that the clubhouse chemistry is fine, but the on-field chemistry could be better.

It's hard to say why that was, but it was weird.

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flop, it's a great question and one I've been thinking about a lot lately.  I think you can boil the organization's problems into 2 main categories:

 

1) The incredibly inefficient payroll construction (lots of big $ players, still very little depth on the bench or in the minors)

2) Under-performance on the field for long stretches (including weak fundamentals and a general sense of malaise)

 

For #1 I think it comes down to Arte's insistence on contending for a World Series every season (for which nobody can fault his intentions).  The problem is that's almost impossible to sustain that level of play/talent over a long stretch of time.  The Angels were incredibly successful for the mid 2000s, but so far this decade have really struggled.  You can trace it all back to the winter following the 2009 season, in which the contracts of 3 pillars of the team came to an end - Vlad, Figgins, and Lackey (not to mention Darren Oliver, who had become a key bullpen arm).  It probably would have been best for the Angels to accept a bit of a down-cycle for the next 2-3 years and re-stock the farm system, develop some talent, etc.  But ever since then they've been essentially "going for it" every season, with big moves, weakening the system in the process, either through prospects traded away or draft picks lost in FA.  They're playing a bad game of Jenga, continually taking pieces from the bottom and placing them on the top.  Of course it's going to topple.

 

Now take this idea and add in 2 incredibly unfortunate and unforeseeable strokes of bad luck within a little over a year: the tragic death of Nick Adenhart (who let's not forget, was the team's best pitching prospect and we all know how hard it is to find good, young pitchers) and Kendrys Morales breaking his ankle.  Those 2 events, along with the Angels' insistence on being perennial contenders, led either indirectly or directly to several questionable moves like trading Skaggs for Dan Haren, trading Jean Segura for 2 months of Zack Greinke, Pujols' contract, Hamilton's contract, the Vernon Wells trade, the Kazmir trade, and others.

 

As for #2, I think it's becoming more and more obvious that Mike Scioscia has lost or is losing the team, and that they are tuning him out.  We don't have 25 guys pulling in the same direction (the A's are a perfect example of that), we have 25 guys doing their own thing.  There is a culture of losing with the team right now because of the last few seasons, and a general lack of fire or purpose in their playing.

 

That's the way I see it at least.

This has a lot of merit.

 

Obviously, the organization's talent has been decimated because we've been in constant "Win Now" mode. Whether the constant push to win every season is good or bad, I can't say. It is what it is.

 

The Yankees have been in perpetual "Win Now" mode since the mid 90s, but you have to remember that the core talent of that team that won three World Series in the late 90s was home grown. Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, Williams, Soriano, Rivera were all guys that were developed through the Yankees' farm system. They had the flexibility to go out and get guys that were needed because they had more farm pieces and money. But mainly because they had a lot of guys who came up through their system together, so there weren't many holes to fill on a year-to-year basis.

 

Then they became what the Angels might have become...buyers of big name talent who might be over the hill soon. The Yanks are probably there now. We will be soon.

 

But as to the second point, they have absolutely lost their fire, and have not looked prepared at all for this season, nor for individual games this season. THAT lies squarely on the shoulders of the coaches and manager. This team is better than they have performed, even the pitching staff.

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I couldn't agree with Wally's World more. I think the distribution of players receiving big contracts were guys who were 30-31 signing long-term deals. While I am not accusing anyone of taking steroids, I believe the reason those guys were in their respective shape was due to artificial substances. Unfortunately, since the Pujols winter, the Angels are operating in that fashion. I believe as the penalties become more stringent, more careers will either end sooner or diminish in a quicker fashion. As for the future, I truly think the norm as can be seen by the Kemp, Longoria extensions, the norms will be to buy out arbitration years in order to be either a free-agent by 28 or signed through age 32. In essence the bell curve will shift towards players in their mid-20s getting more money to truly be efficient.

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Sosh also mentioned on the radio the other day that the clubhouse chemistry is fine, but the on-field chemistry could be better.

 

that's a weird comment.  I don't really know how you'd have one without the other, or what "on-field chemistry" is - guys giving each other high fives?

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