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Pretty Depressing (with a thin silver lining and a small hope for the future)


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I was one of those folks who, even at 9-17 or 15-27, thought the Angels would turn this ship around and sneak into the postseason (if, perhaps, to lose in a one game playoff, but that's another matter). Then, when they won 8 games in a row and then 10 of 12, I felt vindicated. But now, losing three in a row, at home, to the Houston frickin' Astros, I feel...well, I'm thinking its time to accept the inevitable: this team isn't going anywhere.

 

The thing is, this team is talented enough ("on paper") that they'll have hot spells and we may even get further glimmers of hope. But it looks like both a case of too little, too late, and the simple fact is this team doesn't have the heart, the soul, the chutzpah, to win.

 

What makes matters worse is that there is no end in sight. The team is built around Hamilton and Pujols, and we've got four more years of the former and eight more of the latter. The farm system is in shambles with no grade A prospects and only a few decent ones.

 

It just doesn't seem like there's an end in sight. Our beloved Angels are, well, a pretty crappy organization right now from top to bottom. There are a few bright spots but they're all tarnished but the overall mediocrity.

 

So here's the deal. Just as I can't really muster any hope, I see no point in being totally depressed. So here's the silver lining part: If we let go of expectations, if we stop believing that the Angels are what they were in 2002-09--one of the top five franchises in the game--and just return to a 90s mentality, well, we won't be disappointed and we'll be able to enjoy the little things: the small victories, the performances by our favorite players, and so forth. If we can just let go of this need to "win now, at all costs," maybe we can re-learn to enjoy the game of baseball.

 

And here's the one thing that I do hope for: That Arte and Jerry do the same. Please, please, please....build us a team for the future. Stop trying to patch a sinking ship. Let it sink, unload as much of the extra weight as possible, and try to build a contender while Trout is still in his prime and an Angel. I can wait two or three years of rebuilding, but what I can't deal with is another 80ish win season.

 

Thanks for listening.

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Amen. Stop with the "band-aid" FA signings or midseason deals. All it's done is delay the inevitable. This team should have been rebuilding/replenishing after 2010. The desperation trade for Wells just set things back more and then they go and continue to overspend for stars past their primes

 

Think about the future and replenish the farm/depth.  Add some serious pitching talent to the farm and hopefully they'll be ready to make another run in a few years. If this team is still relying on a declining Pujols and Hamilton in 2016 they'll be in trouble. By 2016, Trumbo, Trout, any other potential draft picks will need to be carrying the load and then whatever they get from Pujols and Hamilton will be looked at as a "bonus", but in no way should they be relying on them as their premiere run producers

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They need to start by becoming sellers this year and trade away CJ, Vargas, and Hanson.

Any of those three can easily be replaced if they feel like they can compete and the team badly needs to restock their farm system.

There maybe some validity to this post.  

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I highly doubt its going to happen, but the Angels have quite a few "salvageable parts" - meaning players they could trade and actually get decent prospects for, and not have to pay much of their contracts. Here is how I'd categorize the various players on the team:

 

Keepers (players who will both be cheap the next few years and have significant value beyond that): Trout, Bourjos, Trumbo, Weaver, Richards

Albatrosses (players that couldn't be traded without paying a significant portion of their contract): Pujols, Hamilton

Salvageable Parts (players that have some trade value): Wilson, Vargas, Hanson, Kendrick, Aybar, Callaspo, Conger, Iannetta, Williams, Frieri, Downs, Burnett

Extra Parts (players with little to no trade value): Everyone else

 

Or something like that.

 

So here's what I'd advocate: You can't do a fire-sale until, at the earliest, July. If the Angels aren't killing it by July 1 you start talking to potential trade partners. Then, if its mid-July and the Angels are clearly out of the running for the postseason, you start trading off the "Salvageable Parts"  - as many as you can, really. The three starters will likely have the most trade value, but Kendrick and Aybar too. Some of the others could be traded for grade B prospects.

 

But again, I don't think this will happen. I think we'll see the same thing we saw last offseason - throw more money around and try to patch a sinking ship.

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i agree that the original mistake was made after 2009, that was the time to begin the rebuild. i'm shocked by how bad this team is and by the performances of pujols and hamilton. i was not shocked by the performance of wells and doubt any of you were either.

 

...but i do believe that if you are going to rebuild, then a fire sale is in order. i don't expect it to happen because fire sales have such an enormous negative fan impact, but i would do it, if it were my decision.

 

i think the place where i will lose many of you is that i would make weaver available also, on a list that includes everyone excluding trout and trumbo. i believe some of your bullpen arms and SP have modest midseason value at the deadline. i believe that vargas, kendrick, aybar, callaspo, freiri, iannetta have good value. if borjous comes back soon and continues hitting, then i believe he has good value in a one for one type trade with a good young pitcher.

 

weaver would have tremendous value, as long as he's not hurt. he is an excellent pitcher with an extremely friendly contract.

 

i move 'em all......provided i can get appropriate value, and i also fire the coaching staff. i allow dipoto to orchestrate the entire affair and if he blows it, then he's not the 

gm that i still think he is.

 

that's my general overview.

 

edit: i do believe it could be possible next year, provided he rebounds, to trade hamilton. pujols is untradeable.

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Oh, and Ukyah, count me in on a fire sale including Weaver.

This org needs to start over and get it right.

I'm ready for a 100 loss season and then rebuild right.

It's better than being idiots and thinking these stupid signings can put them over the top.

Neither the Halos nor Lakers have ever had a bad beyond bad season. Halos have never lost 100 games and the Lakers have never lost more than 52 games since moving here in 1960.

Both could use that total rebuild, and I can handle one of two bad seasons to make the rebuild work right ultimately!

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Here is the thing and why I tend to disagree with the rebuild.  In particular as long as Hamilton is part of this team. 

 

Granted, Pujols and Hamilton are declining.  No question.  I just can't possibly fathom that their current level of performance could have been anticipated nor will it continue.  It won't ever be what it was, but at some point I have to believe that there will be a couple of seasons for each where they come close to some level of reasonable performance. 

 

This team just went on an 8 game win streak.  Why?  They played solid defense, pitched pretty well, and Mike Trout was on fire and Josh did very well.  All with no starts from their best pitcher.  During that stretch, Pujols hit 250 with a .689ops. 

 

Point is, Pujols and Hamilton are here no matter what for the next 4+ years.  It won't take career averages from both, a hot streak from trout and amazing pitching for this team to win.  There is no act of God necessary.  Just solid contributions.  

 

We haven't gotten that from either of them this year sans one stretch from one of those guys, and we won 8 in a row. 

 

Mind all, if you think that where they are now is where they will always be for the life of their contracts then I cannot disagree that rebuilding is the way to go.  I just don't think so. 

 

So, if you sell off your 'expendables' now yet you get a couple of solid seasons out of Josh and Albert and don't make the playoffs, that would be even more unthinkable in my mind than never getting anything out of them. 

 

If you are gonna stomach a rebuild then who cares if it takes 4 years or 6 years.

 

I would rather endure coming close yet not quite getting there with the possibility than a series of missed opportunities with essentially no chance. 

 

Keep in mind as well, what has better odds?  The prospects we get realizing their potential, or the players we have now who have a track record, getting back to or somewhere close to where they were.  Again, if you chose the former then I have no argument.  I have just followed the minor league system for too long to believe that a decent restock via our spare parts dramatically increases those chances anywhere near as quickly as some think it might. 

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Here is the thing and why I tend to disagree with the rebuild.  In particular as long as Hamilton is part of this team. 

 

Granted, Pujols and Hamilton are declining.  No question.  I just can't possibly fathom that their current level of performance could have been anticipated nor will it continue.  It won't ever be what it was, but at some point I have to believe that there will be a couple of seasons for each where they come close to some level of reasonable performance. 

 

This team just went on an 8 game win streak.  Why?  They played solid defense, pitched pretty well, and Mike Trout was on fire and Josh did very well.  All with no starts from their best pitcher.  During that stretch, Pujols hit 250 with a .689ops. 

 

Point is, Pujols and Hamilton are here no matter what for the next 4+ years.  It won't take career averages from both, a hot streak from trout and amazing pitching for this team to win.  There is no act of God necessary.  Just solid contributions.  

 

We haven't gotten that from either of them this year sans one stretch from one of those guys, and we won 8 in a row. 

 

Mind all, if you think that where they are now is where they will always be for the life of their contracts then I cannot disagree that rebuilding is the way to go.  I just don't think so. 

 

So, if you sell off your 'expendables' now yet you get a couple of solid seasons out of Josh and Albert and don't make the playoffs, that would be even more unthinkable in my mind than never getting anything out of them. 

 

If you are gonna stomach a rebuild then who cares if it takes 4 years or 6 years.

 

I would rather endure coming close yet not quite getting there with the possibility than a series of missed opportunities with essentially no chance. 

 

Keep in mind as well, what has better odds?  The prospects we get realizing their potential, or the players we have now who have a track record, getting back to or somewhere close to where they were.  Again, if you chose the former then I have no argument.  I have just followed the minor league system for too long to believe that a decent restock via our spare parts dramatically increases those chances anywhere near as quickly as some think it might. 

If you don't rebuild, you will just keep throwing out shitty team year after year and will be throwing away all of Trout's best years.

It's the exact situation other teams like the phillies find themselves in.

It's the exact same place the Red Sox found themselves in last year but they were able to find suckers to take on most of their big contracts and even got building pieces back in return.

Where do you think the Red Sox would be this year if they kept the same team as last year?

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If you don't rebuild, you will just keep throwing out shitty team year after year and will be throwing away all of Trout's best years.

It's the exact situation other teams like the phillies find themselves in.

It's the exact same place the Red Sox found themselves in last year but they were able to find suckers to take on most of their big contracts and even got building pieces back in return.

Where do you think the Red Sox would be this year if they kept the same team as last year?

If you rebuild, it will be during the entirety of Trout's controlled time with the halos.  If you trade away all the spare parts, how likely is it that Trout signs a long term deal.  You think this team will be back in the mix in two years by trading the players that AJ outlined?  If they are, it's because Josh and Albert contributed substantially, and that mean you should have kept everyone else. 

 

The phillies are several years ahead of the halos in having money come off the books.  They have one albatross in Howard with the remaining large payroll obligations actually productive. 

 

Boston is a poor comparison because they were able to do what the halos won't.  If we can find a sucker to take on the Pujols and Hamilton contracts then I am all for a rebuilt.  But we won't.  So we can't. 

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After what seems like a forever-ago 8 game win streak, we're back to 10.5 games behind, only 1.5 games off our season low of 12 games back.

 

And to think this is the softest stretch of our schedule and some tough series coming up...I don't see the silver lining.

 

I'd also like to think the Angels play up their level of competition...

 

...but the AAAstros say even that isn't something to hold on to.

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Not that I think the team will(and I'm kind of torn on whether it makes sense), but I will say this:

 

If they were to do that and really commit to it, I would make everyone besides Trout, so including Trumbo, readily available. Trumbo is probably one of the team's best trade chips if they decide to tear it down, really.

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After what seems like a forever-ago 8 game win streak, we're back to 10.5 games behind, only 1.5 games off our season low of 12 games back.

 

And to think this is the softest stretch of our schedule and some tough series coming up...I don't see the silver lining.

 

I'd also like to think the Angels play up their level of competition...

 

...but the AAAstros say even that isn't something to hold on to.

We can't even look forward to playing the Pirates, because they're a pretty good team this year.

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I admire your optimism, but small hope for the future could need a magnifying glass.  The rebuild option pretty much fell off the tree with the albatross nest.  Hoping for a turnaround with Hamilton and Pujols...well, an expert in this forum stipulates Albert can't possibly be 36-37 because his Dominican Republic birth certificate says so.  Ok, well, I agree, he looks closer to 40-45 when he's trying to run/field.  Sure, bad feet.  Whatever.   Hamilton, can he possibly look any worse at the plate?  He should be sitting against LHP as a start.  Abreu could be an improvement over Hamilton.  Difficult to see any silver lining around the albatross nest.  

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We are anti-moneyball and it ain't working.

We need to develop a core of position players who don't hack at everything.

Worse, we signed two hackers.

 

We need a pen with specialty pitchers. Not a bunch of janitors from the agency.

 

Oh, fire the fkkn manager and pitching coach already.

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Good posts, dochalo. I'm torn between your position and ukyah's complete fire-sale. As you said, if the Angels were able to do a complete fire-sale--including at least one of Pujols and Hamilton--I'd be for it. Tear the whole thing down and build it up from scratch, with Trout the only untouchable player. But as you say, we're stuck with them and they can't possibly be this bad for all of the next 4+ years, so as long as they're both around you've got to at least somewhat try, and trading Howie and Erick, Vargas and Hanson, is giving up.

 

That said, I do still advocate the partial fire-sale this July if they prove to be too far gone - say, 10+ games out of a wildcard spot. Then you can move players like Vargas and Hanson, maybe CJ, and get a few prospects back in return, and somewhat easily replace them in the off-season.

 

70runner, its hard not to believe that Pujols is older than his advertised age. Its a bit of a disgrace.

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They need to start by becoming sellers this year and trade away CJ, Vargas, and Hanson.

Any of those three can easily be replaced if they feel like they can compete and the team badly needs to restock their farm system.

 

The only one of the three likely to bring much of anything is Vargas. Wilson's contract is too big, and Hanson hasn't shown much. Wilson would basically be a gift, because we would have to eat the bulk of his salary to ship him anywhere.

 

I admire the OP's effort to put a positive spin on this, but I don't consider expecting the team to suck and celebrating one player having a good game every now and then a "silver lining".

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