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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/05/2013 in all areas

  1. 53 points
    Way to get out of that bases loaded no outs jam, Weaver!
  2. 51 points

    Dear Mr. Shoemaker

    Hey Guys. This is David, Matt's Dad. Thank you for the kind words and the laughs. I have been on the board for quite some time, but do not write too many comments. Just to clear a couple of things up. My wife, Karen, Matt's Mom does not have a beard. HaHa I do not have a full beard now but did a few years ago. Just a mustache and goatee now. Thanks for supporting Matt. He is a great young man who has worked his butt off to get to where he is at. I am so glad he was finally given the chance to help this team. We are so blessed that he has performed the way he has. He will give you every thing he has each time he pitches. I hope it continues. GO ANGELS!
  3. 40 points
    A dream of mine is to sit in the photo well at an MLB game. On Saturday I received last minute notification that our family was being invited into a dugout suite at Angel Stadium. This being the closest thing I've ever had to that opportunity I took my camera. We've been going through some brutal family stuff lately and this was a total godsend and a respite from the storm. I shot all of these from behind the screen with a good camera, it's no where near the quality that sports photographers use, but it still did a decent job (Canon 60D with the stock lens for camera nerds) I thought you guys would be able to enjoy these with me.
  4. 36 points

    AngelsWin.com Members!!

    Hey guys, so my life has been quite a whirlwind over the past month or so, so I haven't been able to participate as much. In short, my grandson born in early July was born with a heart defect and needed open heart surgery. He almost died the morning after he was born and had to be helicoptered to Las Vegas' Children's Hospital. Thankfully after open heart surgery to correct TGA (Transposition of the Great Arteries), my grandson Kason is home with my son and daughter in law and doing well now. That said, this entire journey though got me to thinking about perspective, what this team has gone through losing one of their best friends and good teammates and how we as fans can be very selfish about what WE want and when we want it, but never think about what others are going through nor consider the long view. So I've been reading some of the threads of late and have seen a bunch of negativity. While venting is good and welcomed here, as is constructive criticism, it's imperative we all reign it in a bit on fire Eppler and bashing of this team for the sake of the entire community. This has been a tough season. From a death in the Angels family (RIP, Skaggs) to countless injuries to our start players, not to mention a big swing and miss from our GM on all of the FA's he brought in this offseason. This has been documented, but we've beaten this dead horse to the depths of Hades. Myself included. I'm over it and done discussing it. Do me all a favor. Try to find something positive to post or comment on, whether it's from our parent team or the future Halos down on the farm. There are some good things ahead for our Halos. Let's enjoy the rookies performances from here on out, Trout's run for MVP and the AL HR Champ, Ohtani, Simmons defense and our kids down on the farm. Hello, Adell. Someone once said “Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” My hope is that we can all work toward creating a better atmosphere here and that our time invested at AW.com goes toward furthering a better online community for everyone involved, including our non-members who read the site (and your comments) daily. So let's cheer on the team in one accord, and though we may disagree and vent, we do so without vitriol, but with friendly banter. Always be mindful of our code of conduct and respectful to others. Thank you guys! ? Here are some pictures of my grandson Kason and my time in the Las Vegas/Laughlin area for the past 3 1/2 weeks, in order from the time he was born, to the time he was taken into surgery, post surgery and then at home after 3 weeks in the hospital.
  5. 36 points
    @Jeff Fletcher, I just want to speak on behalf of EVERYONE here at AW and say thank you. Thank you for your year round Angels news, insight and responding to our folks here on our forum. We really REALLY appreciate it. I say this because everything you've given us is for free, but I know there are now modern websites wanting to charge for the same info, regurgitated across several Twitter sources and news feeds. Thank you, Jeff.
  6. 35 points
    Matt Thaiss MattThaiss MatThaiss Mathaiss Mathiss Mathis!!!!!!
  7. 35 points
    He'll be the first MLB front office guy to go on the DL
  8. 33 points
    Sosh has been the manager for pretty much my entire tenure as a fan. Technically I started "following" during the early nineties but was too young to really remember much. I do clearly remember 1995 bringing the suck. But 2000 was when I started getting truly invested in how well the team was doing and knowing all the players and all that. When 2002 happened, I was definitely blessed. I certainly hadn't carried the burden of disappointment on my shoulders the way my dad had, and the way so many of you had, but it was still an incredibly special moment that I'll remember and cherish for the rest of my life. Scioscia was right there in the middle of it all. In a sense, Mike Scioscia is more synonymous with the Angels than anyone, at least from my perspective. Not Percival, not Erstad, not GA, or K-Rod or Weaver. Not Salmon. Mike has been in the dugout since I was an annoying, bratty kid. He was there through the good and the bad. Though we tend to forget just how much good there truly was. His decisions have caused so many emotions over the years. Mostly frustration. Sometimes anger. Other times complete confusion. But another one has consistently hidden in the back of my mind, and it's shame. No, not shame for Mike or for the team, but for myself. It's natural to completely overlook decisions a manager makes that ultimately help the team. In fact, we often see something good happening IN SPITE of his decisions. But the shame I've felt has been through all my years of complaining over every little decision, every lineup, every pitching change, and never did I think to correct myself when his decisions worked out. Considering his career record, I'd say he made the right decision more often than not. After all, he was the manager. Not me. There's a good reason for that. Anyway, while I am fully on board with getting a new manager and moving on from Scioscia, I can't shake this bittersweet feeling that tightens around my chest. It's time to move on. It's time. But I will always respect Scioscia as the greatest manager in Angels history and the only manager to lead this team to a World Series ring. For better or worse, the dugout won't be the same without him. And neither will the Angels.
  9. 32 points
    There are some who are disappointed with Eppler's relatively modest off-season so far: he didn't sign any big name free agents, whether intentionally or because they simply wanted to play elsewhere. No Corbin, Ramos, Happ, Eovaldi, Morton, Donaldson, Familia, etc - all players that would have significantly improved the team. Instead we got a strange group of players in Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill, Justin Bour, Jonathan Lucroy, and Kevan Smith--not to mention his usual few clean peanuts. Now the offseason isn't over. The two biggest fish--Bryce Harper and Manny Machado--remain on the board, as well as the top free agent catcher, Yasmani Grandal, and top reliever, Craig Kimbrel. There are alsoquite a few other interesting options such as David Robertson, Jed Lowrie, Dallas Keuchel, Mike Moustakas, Asdrubal Cabrera, Marwin Gonzalez, DJ Le Mahieu, Brian Dozier, etc. And of course there's Kikuchi. But the Angels, presumably, only have another $10-15M to spend. That pretty much prices them out of Harper, Machado, and Keuchel. Kimbrel seems unlikely, and if Grandal still expects 4/$60M+, he won't be donning an Angels uniform. Maybe the Angels take a flier on a reliever as well as an infielder, although it is also possible they are basically set with what they have. Eppler has been known to surprise us (e.g. the Andrelton Simmons trade). But the moves so far tell us quite a bit about what his plan is. Consider that they are all one-year deals for players mostly coming off down years, who are solid bets to provide decent returns, but also with small chances of being huge bargains if they rediscover former glories. In other words, they aren't the type of players that you acquire if you are dead-set on competing in 2019; they are the type of players you acquire if your focus is on the future and are filling holes in the mean-time, yet also don't want to write off your chances of competing in 2019. In other words, they are the type of players that you can hope will surprise, but probably shoudn't expect to. If Eppler was focusing on the so-called "Trout Window" of 2019-20, he'd have gone hard after a more reliable starter--if not Corbin, then certainly Keuchel or Happ. He'd have signed at least one elite reliever, and have upgraded the offense in some significant way - either offering more to Ramos or signing Grandal. He also could have traded some of their prospect capital for further upgrades. A few other tweaks and the team could have been a good bet for 90 wins. Yes, it would have pushed the budget up higher, but he could have done so while staying under the salary cap. But the problem with that approach is that while it makes the team better over the next few years, it lessens the chances of long-term success through tying up funds in more good but non-premium players (Keuchel being a prime example). The Angels already have a near-term salary problem, with $80M owed to three players in 2019 (Trout, Pujols, Upton), $84M to the same three in 2020 (plus another $15M to Simmons, to make it $100M for four), and if we assume that Trout is extended for $40M/year and Simmons for $20M/yr starting in 2021, that's $113M for four players in 2021. That's also the year Tyler Skaggs hits free agency and Shohei Ohtani has his first arbitration year. Thankfully Cozart ($12.67M/yr) comes off the books, so that helps a bit. In 2022, the Angels will (hopefully) be paying Trout, Simmons, and Upton something like $90M, but then Upton comes off the books, but then you have to factor in extensions for various players, rising arbitration, etc. Fielding a competitive baseball team is expensive. Unless you're willing to spend $200M+ a year, you need to be savvy and try to fill as much of your roster with low-cost talent. The best way to do that is through farm development. You focus on growing talent from within, then you extend the best of that talent, and augment the team through free agency and trades. But you protect that farm talent as best you can, because it is the source of your low-cost talent. The temptation for many a GM is to trade that talent for "Proven Veterans." Sometimes this is the right thing to do (e.g. Simmons), but sometimes it is devastating, both by leaving the farm barren of talent and requiring more money spent on free agency, and you end up with crippling albatrosses like Wells, Pujols, and Hamilton. Back to 2019. What I see Eppler doing is focusing on the 2020s. He hopes to be competitive in 2019--that's why he did spend some money, rather than just "playing the kids." But he refuses to dip into the quickly improving--but still delicate--farm system. The Angels, by general consensus, have a farm system ranked somewhere around 10th in the majors. A big trade or two could quickly set them back to around 20th. Continued careful cultivation for another year or two puts them in the top 5. Now the farm rankings aren't important - they are rather subjective and conjectural, after all. But what they represent is the point: the quantity and quality of talent. The farm system is getting riper year by year, but isn't quite there yet. In another year or so, it will really start bearing fruit as players like Canning, Suarez, Thaiss, Rengifo, Adell, Marsh, Jones, and Sandoval start contributing on the major league level. Further waves include Soriano, C Rodriguez, Hernandez, Bradish, Jackson, Knowles, Adams, Deveaux, and Maitan. Last year we saw rookies such as Ohtani, Barria, Anderson, Buttrey, Fletcher, Ward, and Hermosillo. Most of these guys will get better in 2019, when we'll see Canning, Suarez, Rengifo, and probably Thaiss and Adell. In 2020 we'll see Marsh, Jones, Sandoval, and probably others. In other words, each year will see the graduation of promising young talent, with a cumulative effect of both increasing the talent in Anaheim, and also decreasing the need for higher price free agents. Eppler knows this, and doesn't want to a) trade this talent away, and b) block the talent with older, more expensive and lower upside players. Now obviously there's a balance. It is easy to overrate prospects, and probably only a few of the guys I mentioned will become stars, a few more impact players, some quality regulars, and a bunch will be either bench players or minor league flame-outs. But again, that talent pool represents the priceless commodity of "low-cost, high-upside talent" and it has to be protected. The plan for 2019 is, again, to try to field a wildcard-capable team, but not at the expense of the future. My guess is that Eppler looks at the AL and thinks, "I can either spend big and trade away talent and improve my chances of making a wildcard but not win the division, or spend less, keep the talent, and still have a decent shot at a wildcard." In other words, the Angels almost certainly couldn't seriously compete for the division or be a lock for the playoffs in 2019, and the cost to simply improve wildcard chances in the short term is just too great, and too debilitating to the franchise in the long-term. 2020 will be a further step forward, with more of that young talent graduating and maturing. By 2021 that young talent should be really starting to flourish and be the core of the 25-man roster. In fact, I could see a 2021 team that is comprised mostly of players below age 28, except for a few notable exceptions: Trout, Simmons, possibly Upton, maybe one of Skaggs or Heaney, a few others. So the Eppler plan is to continue strengthening the farm, while retooling in the majors in ways that give the team a chance to compete over the next couple years, but with the eye of turning this franchise into a farm-driven powerhouse in the 2020s. Its a good plan, but requires patience.
  10. 31 points
    True Grich

    Showing Up Matters

    Tyler Skaggs is gone. Unfortunately for Angels fans, this is an all-too-familiar place. We’ve been here before. It’s not a comfortable place. It’s a very sad and very confusing place and we will never, ever get used to it. We Angels fans, like every other fan base often use terms like “us” and “we” when discussing our favorite team. That speaks to the level of connection we have with our team. We experience the emotional highs and lows that go along with winning and losing. Even though it may be a bit silly, we feel that the team’s victories are also our victories. So when I say “we lost Tyler Skaggs” – that “we” is real. It’s tangible. It’s meaningful. But… this loss is not about us. This time is about Tyler’s family and those that were close to him. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to them as they try to manage their grief, their sorrow and their pain. I don’t know how the Angels move forward from this. I really don’t. Baseball is hard enough as it is. Perhaps we fans can play a role in helping the team move forward by simply showing up. It’s time to show how much we care and that when we say “we” and “us” we really mean it. It is my hope that on July 12 when the Angels return home for their first home game since Tyler’s passing, Angels fans show up in huge numbers. We need to show up even if it's hard. We need to show up even if we don't want to because again - it's not about us and showing up matters. We also show up by telling stories. It’s important to tell the stories that speak to a time when we might have had an interaction with Tyler that meant something special to us. We share the good things we’ve read or heard about Tyler too. We recount those stories to others and in doing so we all remember. We remember that Tyler Skaggs was one of us. We remember that Tyler Skaggs competed at the highest level and he sought out victories so that we could experience joy. We are thankful for having had the opportunity to be connected to him in some small way. He may not have known our names, but he definitely felt our presence every time he stepped on a baseball field. Tyler showed up for us and now it's time for us to do the same. We will all miss Tyler Skaggs, but more importantly – we will never forget him.
  11. 31 points
    Hello everyone, my name is Elaina and I am Mike's (aka PercySquint) daughter. I have tears in my eyes as I write this-- I am so incredibly moved by the kindness of the community on AngelsWin.com. As you know, my dad had a brief (just over 2 months) battle with cancer. We were shocked at his sudden passing, and not a day goes by where I reach for the phone to call him. It's just surreal. My four year old son and especially my two year old daughter, with whom he had a special bond, ask about him, wonder out loud if he is looking out for us, and shout "Hi Grandad!" from the backseat of the car, anytime we drive past Anaheim Stadium and the big A. I've always known he was a diehard fan, and have countless memories of going to games with him growing up. But I didn't know about his presence in this forum until after he passed, and what a gem it's been for me to discover. His wacky posts, all of the photos of him in that unforgettable hat, and the touching tributes many of you left upon hearing the news that he had died. My husband and I read through each one together, laughing at some memories, crying at others, and blown away by the amount of people whose lives he touched. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank this community for remembering my dad. For the unbelievable kindness you shared by raising funds for the kiddos. For the touching tributes in the jerseys and Angels sweatshirts, which they will proudly wear in memory of their Grandad. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know my Dad is having a blast watching all of this unfold from above, and I know he'll be there when I take my daughter to her first Angels game, and when my son starts pony tee-ball in the spring. He'll be there with all of you guys, his buddies, as future seasons (and hopefully playoffs) unfold. A million times over, thank you. -Elaina Francis
  12. 29 points
  13. 28 points
    A reader forwarded this story to me and I ran it by Scott Boras and he said it’s not true. They never were told or led to believe in any way the Angels had any issue with having two Asian players.
  14. 27 points
    We've hit a point in the season where it's time to acknowledge what's been going on with our pitching in the minors. Especially Burlington and Inland Empire. We'll likely start seeing a couple of these guys move up to IE/Mobile within the next month or so. Last season, the Angels minor leagues saw only 13 pitchers start 20+ games - and of those, only 11 topped 100 innings. Within that group only three had an ERA below 4.00: Suarez at 3.92, Canning at 3.65, and Madero at 3.49. Eight had an ERA over 4.50, and four of those had an ERA over 6. It was not pretty. This year is shaping up to be quite different - even with Canning and Suarez having hardly thrown any minor league innings. PATRICK SANDOVAL - 6'3", 190, LHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2015 (11th Rd.) (AA/AAA): 4.47 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, .278 BAA, 21 BB, 57 K in 44.1 IP across 12 G/11 GS Dominant in Mobile (32 K in 20 IP), Sandoval has slowed some in SLC (5.18 ERA, 2.14 WHIP) but is still the Angels next-best SP prospect. LUIS MADERO - 6'3", 185, RHP, 22 years old, signed in 2013 (Intl. FA), acquired by LAA via trade (A+/AA): 3.04 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, .251 BAA, 17 BB, 59 K in 56.1 IP across 12 G/10 GS Madero has had no issues adjusting to AA, and could find himself working in the Angel bullpen in September. JEREMY BEASLEY - 6'3", 215, RHP, 23 years old, drafted in 2017 (30th Rd.) (AA): 3.33 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, .256 BAA, 24 BB, 51 K in 54 IP across 12 G/11 GS Bulldog Beasley continues to exceed expectations. Strong GB (55%) and swinging strike (16%) tendencies, sort of like pre-2019 Cahill. Allowed 2 R or fewer in 9 of 12 games. JESUS CASTILLO - 6'3", 205, RHP, 23 years old, signed in 2011 (Intl. FA), acquired by LAA via trade (AA): 3.41 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .265 BAA, 17 BB, 51 K in 66 IP across 13 G/11 GS Currently leads the org in innings pitched, has rebounded from a poor 2018. Has allowed 2 or fewer runs in 11 of 13 appearances. ANDREW WANTZ - 6'4", 235, RHP, 23 years old, drafted in 2018 (7th Rd.) (A+/AA): 3.33 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .211 BAA, 19 BB, 64 K in 54 IP across 12 G/7 GS After posting a gaudy 47 K in 23 relief IP last year, Angels surprisingly stretched him out to a starter. He hasn't missed a beat. K/9 near 11. DENNY BRADY - 6'1", 200, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2017 (7th Rd.) (A+): 3.06 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, .228 BAA, 20 BB, 65 K in 53 IP across 12 G/7 GS As steady and consistent as a minor league arm can be, has yet to allow more than 3 R in a game. KYLE BRADISH - 6'4", 190, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (4th Rd.) (A+): 3.50 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, .228 BAA, 20 BB, 58 K in 43.2 IP across 11 G/7 GS A little wild, a little inconsistent, but has shown flashes of straight dominance in a trio of starts: 4/23: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K, 5/9: 5 IP, 7 H, 0 R, BB, 9 K, 5/21: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K OLIVER ORTEGA - 6'0", 165, RHP, 22 years old, signed in 2015 (Intl. FA) (A+): 3.26 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .203 BAA, 33 BB, 74 K in 58 IP across 12 G/11 GS Who would have guessed Oliver Ortega would be leading the Angels org in strikeouts in mid-June? Who even knows who Oliver Ortega is? AARON HERNANDEZ - 6'1", 170, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (3rd Rd.) (A+): 4.26 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, .279 BAA, 21 BB, 35 K in 31.2 IP across 9 G/7 GS Yet to find a groove, but still posting decent numbers with swing-and-miss stuff, and a decent repertoire of pitches. CRISTOPHER MOLINA - 6'3", 170, RHP, 22 years old, signed in 2013 (Intl. FA) (A): 2.61 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .193 BAA, 22 BB, 65 K in 58.2 IP across 12 G/9 GS Stumbled a bit in last three games, but prior, had posted a 1.25 ERA and .167 BAA through first 9 appearances. JOSE SORIANO - 6'3", 168, RHP, 20 years old, signed in 2016 (Intl. FA) (A): 2.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .201 BAA, 35 BB, 70 K in 62 IP across 13 G/11 GS Not far behind Sandoval from being the Angels best SP prospect - only 2 HR allowed, a 55% GB rate, a little erratic, but big-time potential. HECTOR YAN - 5'11", 180, LHP, 20 years old, signed in 2015 (Intl. FA) (A): 3.86 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, .220 BAA, 26 BB, 66 K in 44.1 IP across 12 G/8 GS Lots of swing-and-miss stuff could lead Yan into top-of-rotation potential, but he'll need to work more efficiently and get a handle on the walks. Only 1 HR allowed. COLE DUENSING - 6'4", 175, RHP, 21 years old, drafted in 2016 (6th Rd.) (A): 4.36 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, .250 BAA, 33 BB, 51 K in 44.1 IP across 12 G/9 GS Absolutely awful in 2017-2018, with an ERA near 10.00, Duensing's dramatic turnaround offers hope for brighter days still ahead. KYLE TYLER - 6'0", 185, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (20th Rd.) (A): 4.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .217 BAA, 19 BB, 53 K in 54.1 IP across 12 G/9 GS Another reliever converted to the rotation, Tyler throws strikes (65%) coupled with a strong GB rate (53%), quietly producing and putting himself into the mix. ROBINSON PINA - 6'4", 180, RHP, 20 years old, signed in 2017 (Intl. FA) (A): 3.22 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .193 BAA, 32 BB, 61 K in 50.1 IP across 12 G/7 GS Steady and consistent, in three pro seasons, has yet to allow an ERA over 3.68, averaging over 10 K per 9, only 7 hits per 9, and a total of 5 HR in 145.2 IP. LUIS ALVARADO - 6'4", 210, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (17th Rd.) (A): 2.25 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .186 BAA, 22 BB, 60 K in 48 IP across 12 G/7 GS Has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in all but one game, and only 3 ER in the other. Even more exciting is that still doesn't take into account the 2019 draftees who could ultimately join this list - Jack Kochanowicz, Erik Rivera, Garrett Stallings, Zach Peek, Davis Daniel, Zach Linginfelter - or the legitimate SP prospects who have been injured - Chris Rodriguez, James Swanda, Stiward Aquino - or the other arms who either have had enough prospect pedigree or success to still enter the picture, such as Cooper Criswell, Luke Lind, Connor Van Scoyoc, Jose Natera, Emilker Guzman, Jerryell Rivera, Kelvin Moncion, or Jason Alexander. The growth we've seen this year - both in terms of development and depth added - is quite frankly, staggering, and given the number of arms drafted in 2019, only likely to grow. With Eppler's aggressive promotions, the use of multi-inning relievers. 6-man rotations, and 'tandem' starters, there's a chance we see a lot of these arms start reaching the majors as soon as late 2020 or in 2021.
  15. 27 points
    Jeff Fletcher

    Keynan Middleton and JC Ramírez

    I keep reading different people in different threads either with questions or providing misinformation about these guys, so I started a thread (which I never do) so hopefully everyone will see and get caught up. JC is pitching tonight (6/24). His rehab assignment expires on Saturday (6/29), so at most he’ll have one more outing after tonight. He’s out of options so he’ll be in the majors by Sunday (6/30), barring a setback. I don’t know if he’s going to be a starter or reliever. Middleton had a setback in early May and is now significantly behind JC. Middleton is throwing off a mound but (as of a few days ago) had not faced hitters. Once he starts facing hitters, it’ll be at least 3-4 weeks before he’s active. But he’s in a holding pattern so I wouldn’t plan on any specific return for him till you read that he’s facing hitters. There ya go.
  16. 27 points
    Dear Fellow Angels Supporters: Under the heading, be careful of what you ask for, as you may get it, Mike Scioscia is gone, just as many of you have been so anxious to see for years. I recognize that I may receive hate mail, but I believe Mike was a really good manager. Here are my reasons (not in any particular priority order): His players loved him, even when they had losing seasons. In 19 years, he never lost the club house. That is amazing. Orlando Cabrera said he was the best manager he ever played for. Torri Hunter, Juston Upton, Garrett Anderson, Mike Trout, Otani, etc, --they all loved playing for Mike. Lots of manager lose the clubhouse when seasons go south. That never happened with the Angels under Sosh. To me, that says something about his ability to manage the clubhouse. You can't blame Mike for the past 3 seasons, How can a team win when four fifths of their starting rotation is gone for the season. I think it's incredible that the team was as good as it was last year and this year they projected a rotation of Richards, Otani, Skaggs, Ramirez, and Shoemaker. Basically, except for Skaggs, the rest were out for the year and Skaggs had at least 3 stints on the DL. You take 4 starters out of most teams, and I think they may have trouble competing. Yes, I know Oakland managed it this year, but I suggest that is an outlier. I think it's amazing how Sosh developed quality bullpens despite significant injuries over the years. Last year, Street basically missed the entire season. This year, Kenyon Middleton missed the season. His players love the guy, his peers respect the guy as as very knowledgeable, and the Angels fans have, by and large, ripped him since I have been on this site. I really don't get it. When he had talent, the team won. When his team was destroyed by injuries they often were still in the hunt late in the season. And most importantly, to me, it speaks volumes that in 19 years he never list the clubhouse. That is very rare. It's not his fault the club signed Josh Hamilton, Pujols and Vernon Wells. He and the entire club suffered as a result. It's not his fault that Dipoto savaged the farm system , leaving the Angels with little talent to draw on for years. Of course, I hope the Angels select a great manager and I am confident they will. They should be much improved next year, as many of their pitchers are set to return (Ramirez, Shoemaker, Bridwell, Middleton, Meyer).
  17. 27 points

    Rough year for Angel fans

    I think you have to be an Angels fan to understand...
  18. 27 points
  19. 27 points
    I'm giving myself a 100% discount on my 2014 seats. A big thanks goes out to Pujols and Hamilton for helping me choose my new seats for next season which are located 25' away from my refrigerator. Free Parking included.
  20. 26 points
    Welcome to the Angels Patrick Sandoval. Tommy John Surgery this way.
  21. 26 points

    DiPoto speaks

    If anyone thinks this was about MS's unwillingness to use advanced metrics then the big picture has been missed. I actually think MS will use certain metrics and it's clear he's implemented some of this into his style. This was about the fact that Dipoto wanted to run the show and he was handcuffed in several directions. He even said that he wasn't able to help the club the way he wanted to. his budget was pulled out from under him by the pujols and hamilton signings he was forced to use a pre-existing manager and coaching staff his farm director wasn't of his choosing he tried to provide data to the team to help them win and it wasn't implemented to his liking so every little thing he did was a battle. he was constantly forced to compromise the way he wanted to do things. Not only did that wear on him (clearly), but it undermined his authority and bred a lack of respect and trust for what he was trying to do. It was an accumulation of headaches that shouldn't have been. He was constantly asking permission to do things he shouldn't have needed to. When your owner effectively brings in big named players and your manager gets to pick and choose the which of your ideas he wants to implement and you have to ask supposed subordinates if its ok to do certain things then who are the guys on the field accountable to? this organization set him up to not receive the respect he was entitled to based on his position. and when he held a meeting with his coaches and manager indicating 'this is how I want things done' he got inappropriate resistance from someone who should have been keeping their mouth shut for fear of losing their job but that persons job wasn't accountable to Jerry. and when he held another meeting with the players indicating 'this is how I want things done' he got inappropriate backlash from someone because that someone is more accountable to the owner and manager than the gm. and like that.....he's gone.
  22. 26 points
    Howie, Thank you for the memories. You busted your ass for the Angels and you were great with the fans. You're a class act, and even though you're going to a team I hate, I wish you the best. Respectfully, Angels Fans Everywhere
  23. 25 points
    The Angels are interested in every starting pitcher under control who doesn’t suck, and probably a couple who do.
  24. 25 points

    William Wilson

    Hey so some of you who know me on social media know that my grandfather passed in May of last year. He and I really bonded over Angels baseball in the past 25 years as we always went to one game at least when I was a kid when we’d go to his rental beach house in Newport Beach every summer. In recent years we’d always watch games together and we watched game 7 together in 2002 spontaneously (he drove up to LA from Palm Springs for the game) because we wanted to celebrate together when they won. His name was William “Bill” Wilson. So I have a new favorite prospect. (I also Attached a photo of him and my grandmother with CJ’s dad. I’d gotten them Wilson jerseys and he spotted hem when they were in the crowd. Not a lot of Wilson jerseys in the crowd in 2014.)
  25. 25 points
    A friend of the family's is in Cooperstown and knowing we are Angels fans, shared this picture with us. Out of all the jersey's that could have been displayed, it was nice to Vlad pay tribute to Nick:
  26. 25 points
    These fat jokes are really getting out of hand.
  27. 24 points
    Hello all. I attended the Angels game last night and moving forward, I will be a fan of the LA Angels. I love the game of baseball. I understand the game of baseball, but I've never had a favorite team to root for. As a California resident, I've been searching for a franchise to buy in to. I've been to the Coliseum, dump....and no one goes. SF Giants? Meh, there's a certain schtick with their fan base I couldn't get over. The Dodgers? I went to a game a month ago and it took me 50 minutes to leave. Yesterday was my first time at Angel Stadium and though it wasn't a great crowd, I had a pretty good time. Seeing the Big A driving in was sweet; Spirit in the Sky during the starting lineups got me going; Loved the Calling All Angels video before the team took the field; Can't NOT like Mike Trout; Went up to the upper deck in the 5th inning and got a good look at the DLAnd fireworks; Affordable tickets and parking and also took me less than 5 minutes to leave the parking lot after the game. That said, I hope you guys can accept me with open arms! haha. One note... I noticed lots of fans wearing the old Angels logo.... the "CA".. That logo looks great along with the mix of navy blue in the color scheme. I do like the Angels red, but that mix of Navy blue would be great... I do not own any Angels gear so I'm going to start looking. Ok I'm done. Go Halos.
  28. 24 points

    Hamilton Out 6-8 Weeks...

    We haven't seen baseball activities from Josh in 3 years
  29. 24 points

    Friends of Percy Squint

    Hey guys- Just wanted to check in a bit, it's been a while, yes? First of all, my apologies for not posting of late. I had been busy with work (2 jobs) and caregiver duties for my mother, who passed away in April, moving, and other stuff going on. These were also the main reasons why I didn't make it out to spring training this year. I hated that. The medical stuff is very recent. Here's the deal, long story shortened- last Friday, shortness of breath. Went to 19-inning game against the putrid stinking white flag tossing bottomfeeding Chowds on Saturday. While walking from stadium to car after, got winded and had to stop twice. Put in a call to my doc Sunday. Saw him Monday, he sent me to hospital. They started running tests. Tuesday, the doc came in and told me I have lung cancer "somewhat advanced." He looked sad. Said it's 7 centimeters, upper left lung, pushing down on bronchial tubes which partially collapsed the lung, causing the shortness of breath. Said they will know more after the biopsy on Wednesday. That was the worst day of my life until Thursday. He came in and told me stage 3, not operable, into lymph nodes. He also said if aggressive chemotherapy and radiation are successful, it would give me a year/year and a half to live. Not sure how to describe what it was like to hear that. Friday, they ran 2 more tests, and finally sent me home. I will be very honest with you- I think I'm still in shock. I have very, very raw emotions. I have chosen not to censor them. So the tears and snot have been flowing rather freely. I am very scared. I'm scared of dying, the treatment, not getting treatment, you name it. I'm grieving the loss of my health, also known as feeling sorry for myself. I'm told this is a normal reaction for anyone in my shoes. I wouldn't know. I've cried more this last week than the last 10 years. The biggest reason for it is the tremendous outpouring of love and support that has come my way. I have a vast network of friends who are absolutely unbelievable. A few of them have been through cancer treatments, and will be holding my hand when I start next week. Others have visited me, brought me stuff, and fed me. I got prayers flyin' my way from Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Tennessee, New York, etc. I am loved and cared about, in a very big way, it seems. I can feel it. Which brings me to you guys... I was fortunate to discover AW some years ago. And through games, fanfests, spring training, etc., I've been able to meet many of you. From the mondo strikeout game with Blarg, playing cards with Brandon, winning my Oppo Taco shirt, playing softball, watching Adam wielding the broom as he led the conga line at Throwbacks after we swept the stinking Red Sux, composing Squintfest threads and film reviews, to the infamous (but hilarious) exchange with Arte, etc etc. I have excellent memories that will last the rest of my life, however long that is. Sometime during last week, I was made aware of this thread. A good friend read some of it to me in the hospital. And wouldn't ya know, I started cryin yet again. It blows me away that you guys care this much for just another diehard Halos fan you don't know that closely. I am humbled and blessed. You guys have touched my heart. THIS is what AW does best, at least in my experience. I'm off for 4-5 days, then the "ugly stuff" starts. Yup, I'm pretty scared, but I'll do it anyway. I'll try to post updates if possible. For now, keep them prayers coming, and let me thank all of you once again from every part of my heart (especially Eric, Patti, Mancini, AO, Derek, and Tank, who reached out). AW frickin rocks. And how bout my beloved Halos right about now? First place, bitches... Love you guys, -Mike PS- May as well throw in some humor- Besides the 2 main docs who consulted with me, there was a 3rd doc who did the actual work- draining lung fluid, the biopsy, and installing the Porta-Cath. This guy was a little weird, so I liked him. During the biopsy, I was lying face down on the table. After it was done, the nurse said I need to slide over to the gurney for transport back to my room. Being a smartass, I said "Nah, I'll just sleep right here". Then I heard the doc say "You go right ahead. I'll shove this proctoscope so far up your ass, you won't know weather to sh*t or go blind. Sweet dreams". It was only time I busted up laughing last week. Just thought I'd throw that in.
  30. 23 points
    One of 10 reasons I always leaned toward keeping AW independent. Partnerships are fine, but I never wanted the brand and community I built to be under someone else's rule.
  31. 23 points
  32. 23 points
    Lucroy was inside the whole time. There was no time when Marisnick should have been going to the inside. I can’t read his mind so I don’t know if it was malicious or just careless, but it was definitely against the rules.
  33. 23 points

    Tyler Skaggs, R.I.P.

    Thank you all for observing 30 minutes of silence this morning in remembering Tyler Skaggs. It's crucial to take a minute or two away from Angels Baseball and life's craziness and focus on what's important. If you were away during the 9-9:30am PST half hour I shut things down so that we could have some moments of silence on this forum. For the day I have removed the header and footer ads and replaced the leaderboard ad with memorial picture of Tyler Skaggs.
  34. 23 points
    Ha, I am having a lot of "I told you so" feelings today
  35. 23 points
  36. 23 points
    In another thread, Jeff Fletcher stated: "The root of the Angels' problems is they ignored the farm system from about 2010-2015". While that may seem obvious to some, I found it interesting how quickly a team that had what was considered a top 10 (at least) farm system a decade ago could see it all disappear. So, what happened prior to 2010? In 2009, we had one of the greatest 1st rounds you could want. With back-to-back picks in the 1st round (thanks to KRod and Teixeira signing with a couple of NY teams), Angels selected Randal Grichuk (8.1 WAR) and Mike Trout (62 WAR), which was followed by supplemental 1st round picks of Tyler Skaggs (2.8 WAR) and Garrett Richards (7.4 WAR). On top of that embarrassment of riches, they drafted Patrick Corbin (11 WAR) in the 2nd round. They essentially nailed of 5 of their first 6 picks if you go by the idea that you are drafting with the hope of selecting future MLB starters one day. At this point, while Tony Reagins was entering his 2nd year as General Manager, Eddie Bane was running the drafts and, wow, it couldn't have worked out better. 2010: After 2009, though, things changed. Per some peeps here, the 2010 draft, which would have been directed by Eddie Bane, was usurped by Tony Reagins, and the draft philosophy changed. This was significant because the Angels, like 2009, had 5 picks in the 1st round and, with another strong draft, could essentially cement the foundation of their farm for the next 2-3 years. However, what happened was anything but a success. The Angels selected Kaleb Cowart (-0.4 WAR), Cam Bedrosian (0.5 WAR), and three guys that never made it to the majors in Chevy Clarke, Taylor Lindsey, and Ryan Bolden. Clarke ended up in the Independent league and is currently a teammate of 53 year old Rafael Palmeiro on the Cleburne Railroaders, Lindsey was traded for Huston Street and his last season was 2016, and Ryan Bolden was tragically killed soon after retiring. On a positive note, in the 8th round, they selected future starting right fielder Kole Calhoun Possible alternatives that could have been drafted: Mike Foltynewicz (2.5 WAR), Christian Yelich (22.2 WAR), Aaron Sanchez (9.3 WAR), Noah Syndergaard (11.6 WAR), Taijuan Walker (6.0 WAR), Nick Castellanos (2.9 WAR) 2011: After the 2010 draft, Eddie Bane left the organization and, in contrast of the previous two seasons, the Angels only had 1 pick in the first two rounds due to losing their 2nd round pick with the Scott Downs (0.4 WAR in three seasons with the Angels) signing. Their loan pick? C.J. Cron (4.2 WAR) at the 17th overall. The only other notable pick from that draft was Mike Clevinger (6.5 WAR) in the 4th round. Fun fact: Clevinger was traded in the summer of 2014 by then GM Jerry Dipoto for 29 year old reliever, Vinne Pestano. Clevinger is currently a fixture in the Indians rotation, while Vinnie lasted one more season in the MLB Possible alternatives: Tyler Anderson (8.1 WAR), Kolten Wong (9.7 WAR), Jackie Bradley Jr (12.3 WAR), Michael Fulmer (9.9 WAR), Trevor Story (9.3 WAR), Blake Snell (6.1 WAR). 2012: So, yeah, 2012 happened..this was Dipoto's first season as GM of the Angels and he and Arte decided to go balls-deep into Free Agency signing by signing Albert Pujols (yeah, I know) and CJ Wilson, meaning they did not have a draft pick until the 3rd round. In that round they selected R.J. Alvarez (-0.6 WAR) whose only contribution to the Angels turned out to be being included in a trade for Huston Street. Possible alternatives from the first three rounds: Michael Wacha (7.4 WAR), Marcus Stroman (10.6 WAR), Zach Eflin (1.6 WAR), Jose Berrios (3.3 WAR), Daniel Robertson (3.3 WAR), Stephen Piscotty (5.3 WAR), Mitch Haniger (6.3 WAR), Joey Gallo (4.0 WAR), Lance McCullers (5.6 WAR), Alex Wood (11.7 WAR), Edwon Diaz (4.4 WAR). 2013: Like a moth to a flame, Free Agents beckoned Dipoto again and we signed stable genious Josh Hamilton to a 5 year deal that in no way sucked. As a result, the Angels didn't have a pick until the 2nd round but, oh, what a pick it was: Hunter Green. Green, a 17 year old southpaw, pitched a total of 8 G (7 GS) for the Angels' rookie level team in AZ walking more than a struck out, soon after retiring due to vague injuries and general disinterest. Other notable Angels names from that draft: Kenyan Middleton in the 3rd round and Michael Hermosillo in the 28th round. Possible alternatives: Aaron Judge (12.8 WAR), Sean Manaea (7.4 WAR), Corey Knebel (4.1 WAR) 2014: This draft, Dipoto actually had a draft pick to work with and it is hard to argue with his choice: Sean Newcomb (2.8 WAR). Some other names from that draft you might recognize: Joey Gatto, Jake Jewell, Bo Way, Zack Houchins. Possible alternative: Matt Chapman (9.3 WAR) 2015: Fresh off a 98 win season, and first round playoff sweep, things appeared to stable and ascending in Anaheim...little did we know that we'd be just months away from a Jerry Dipoto bitch-fit which would include a power-play ultimatum, a swift middle-finger from Arte, Scioscia and the players, and Jerry taking his ball and going home. Prior to that, though, there was the draft. Due to the success of the previous season, the Angels picked late and with fist-pumping resound selected catching prospect Taylor Ward. It was hard to determine what elicited more confusion: how early in the draft he was selected, given his initial projection, or the enthusiasm in the Angels reacted to his selection. However, despite a less than dominant start, Ward may well still be an impact pick as, since he was moved to 3B this season, he's put up .345 .453 .973 OPS in AA/AAA with a seemingly solid command of the strike zone, some newfound speed as a result of moving from the catching position, and uptick in power. Additionally, top 100 prospect Jahmai Jones was selected in the 2nd round and current 25 man roster infielder David Fletcher (0.9 WAR) was selected in the 4th round. Well, at least he left us something to remember him by... Possible alternatives: Mike Soroka, Scott Kingery, Andrew Suarez Additionally, during his tenor, Dipoto completed these transactions: - Tyler Chatwood (8.7 WAR after leaving Angels) for Chris Ianetta (6.2 WAR with Angels) - Jean Segura (16.4 WAR) for Zack Greinke (1.5 WAR with the Angels) - Ervin Santana (14.1 WAR since leaving Angels) for Brandon Sisk - Jordan Walden for Tommy Hansen - Kendrys Morales for Jason Vargas - Randall Grichuk and Peter Bourjos for David Freese and Fernando Salas - Mark Trumbo for Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago - Ernesto Frieri for Jason Grilli - Traded a lot of Rondon's for Huston Street - Howie Kendrick for Andrew Heaney - Kevin Jepsen for Matt Joyce (credit to "gotbeer" transaction thread : So, yeah, many years with missed picks, lack of picks, and trading of previously picked talent will leave you barren. -
  37. 23 points

    Jerry Dipoto

  38. 23 points
    We should just sign Lorenzo Cain and move him to 2B since CF and 2B are interchangeable.
  39. 23 points
    Hitting 50 years old is going to get rough on any athlete
  40. 23 points

    Dear Mr. Shoemaker

    I don't know if you have an account here, but I know you at least read this board. I just wanted to say thank you for having Matt. He is awesome. Also, I'm assuming you have a beard, or have at least had one at some point in your life, but thank you for giving him his genes so we can stare at that bush of holiness while your son pitches. Again, thank you for Matt. We appreciate it.
  41. 23 points
  42. 23 points

    Kole #CalBOOM

  43. 23 points
    DR is feeling a little rough tonight, so I thought I'd come here and throw my pasta against the wall. This time last year, I was carrying my wife around and tending to her every need...feeding her, lifting her, reading to her, and so on. It was all a pleasure. Her eyes would get heavier with each day and the deep well that held her will to fight cancer was finally reaching bottom. On Monday, I will recognize the one year anniversary of her passing. And it's sucking right now. Just before she was originally diagnosed with brain cancer, she purchased a shiny red beach cruiser. It had a white basket on the front and she would ride along side me and we'd ring our bells and laugh. She wanted one of those little license plates attached with her name on it. It was hard to get it to fit given the shape of the seat, but I found a way to make it work. Her license plate is still on the bike, of course. This summer, my twin teenage nieces borrowed the bike while they were in town. Before I lent it out, I told them how important the bike is to me and it had better not get stolen. They treated it very well and the bike remained at my mom's house, where they stayed this summer. A few days ago, mom mentioned the bike was getting in her way and maybe I could render it back home. I went down to her house and carefully lifted my wife's bike in the trunk and drove it home. When I unloaded it in front of our house I started breaking down. Thankfully, none of the neighbors were around. The bike without my wife next on it made me think of a fly-over with the missing man formation. Or when there's a funeral for a fallen cop or firefighter, their boots or shoes empty in memory. The last time my wife was on that bike was in the same spot I unloaded it. It was the 4th of July, 2012. I thought she could handle a bike ride and figured the air would be good for her. We got out of the driveway and she fell off the bike. A neighbor came from across the street asking if we needed help. She couldn't stand up. Her brain was defying her arms and legs. I lifted her and she was heavy as stone. It was the first time I had to lift her and I could feel the difference in helping someone up, and lifting someone up. My wife looked at me confused, as if to say, "What's wrong with me?" I slowely peddaled the bike into the garage. Once inside the house, I paced from room-to-room, talking out loud. Cursing the day, cursing cancer and telling me wife it was bullshit what she had to go through. I threw down half a xanax. I could've taken 10. But the show must go on. I didn't tell Date Chick any of this, not that she wouldn't understand. It just wouldn't be fair or right. What the hell is she supposed to say? I've mentioned some of the tribulations before, and she was great about it. She feels terrible. She says the stuff I hope she would say, but I only realize that after she says it. She's hanging out with me tomorrow. She is coming over to work from her laptop in the morning. And she asked me to dinner at some restaurant in Laguna. Date Chick knows that this weekend and Monday, especially will suck for me, and I think she's trying to keep me busy. I think that's pretty great. I'm picking up my mom from the airport tomorrow. She re-married about 10 years ago to a man I call 'My New Dad.' He's a very interesting man and I've explained him here before. Since they got re-married later in life, neither wants to move from their respective homes. So, they fly back and forth, to and fro northern and sourthern California to spend time with each other. They usually have about 10 days off. They'll be married forever. My New Dad is coming in to town Monday to pay his respects to my wife. She was the daughter he never had. I don't know what we're going to do, but I think he just wants to be near the ocean where I put her ashes. I'm getting sad just thinking about it. Sunday will pretty well suck, too. My wife's family is headed down to my mom's where we'll remember my wife and walk out to the ocean and toss some flowers. I always gave my wife white flowers. Stargazer lillies were her favorites. When it was her birthday this year, I picked white roses from our garden and put them in the ocean by myself. I will probably mix the two this weekend. I've told Date Chick I'll be busy Sunday and Monday and she gets it. Damn, is it nice to not have to try and balance all that. On my iTunes, I have the Genesis song "Follow You Follow Me." When she was away this weekend, I texted Date Chick, writing that I was listening to the song via my Apple TV. She texted that she loves the song and that it makes her think of me. And the words make her cry. I just heard it a few minutes ago, and it made me happy and sad all at once. It makes me think of Date Chick and my wife. Music has that power, don't it? I came upon a blog today where this dude captures his wife's ordeal as she battled breast cancer. It's eerily similar to what my wife went through. As a photographer, his way of dealing with the situation included taking lots of photos of his wife's awful journey. Not only that, but he wrote about it in his blog, in a much better and concise style than I could. Or maybe we just have a little different route in getting there. Either way, it's worth a look. http://mywifesfightwithbreastcancer.com/ Ya know, I really didn't need this week to get heavier, but as ever, it's part of the process. On this forum, I love that we can get along or fight just as fervently. But when you step away from your computer or phone and go beyond your driveway, remember that whoever you're pissed at might be going through something crappy and that whatever their offense is, it's tiny in comparison to what can really piss you off. DR's thought for the night.
  44. 22 points
  45. 22 points

    In Defense of Eppler

    If you don’t want to read the many words to follow, skim down to the “TLDR” version. Thanks in advance for the snarky comment(s) about how long this is. You're funny. IN DEFENSE OF EPPLER I don’t consider myself an Eppler apologist, but I have been known to make the case that he is, at the least, a solid and smart GM who is building a team that should be in perennial contention in the not too distance future. Yes, there's a sense that this future is not only always receeding into the future, but the imaginary construct of optimists, apologists and nutswingers. But in this case, the details do matter More specifically, if you look at his four-year tenure, I think his approach has generally been quite reasonable, and for most of those years the team’s struggles were out of his control. Let’s take a look back… 2015: Dipotogate If you remember, coming off the 98-win 2014 season, 2015 was a bit of a disaster. It started with the Angels trading busted free agent Josh Hamilton to the Rangers. What followed was an escalation of tensions between GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia, resulting in Dipoto quitting in early July. Despite that, the Angels were in first place into late July, with a season best record of 54-40 on July 22. But they proceeded to go on an 11-26 run and eventually fell to 3rd place, losing a wildcard berth on the final game of the season. On October 4, the last day of the season, Billy Eppler was announced as the new General Manager. A little over a month later he made a big splash and first of three big signature moments, sending Erick Aybar and top prospect Sean Newcomb to the Braves for defensive whiz Andrelton Simmons, who has overall been better than expected, his recent injury notwithstanding. 2016: The Year of the Busted Arm If 2015 was a disaster in one way, 2016 was in another. First of all, the team plummeted a double-digit loss in the win column for the second straight year: from 98 to 85 to 74 wins. This was largely due to almost comically unprecedented injuries to starting pitchers. Tyler Skaggs had Tommy John Surgery in August of 2015 and was out all of 2016; in the first month of the new season, Andrew Heaney went down, eventually needing TJS; staff ace Garrett Richards went down in May and was recommended to have TJS—he opted for plasma injections but ended up getting the surgery two years later; in August Nick Tropeano also had TJS, and finally in September Matt Shoemaker was hit in the head by a line-drive. Furthermore, the decline of Jered Weaver reached the point where he could barely throw 85 mph. Coupled with the fact that the farm system was in shambles—this was the year that Keith Law called the Angels farm the worst he’d ever seen—and the entire organization was in crisis. The year was about trying to keep the ship afloat as the rotation imploded…not much Eppler could do about it. His task was merely to keep the ship from sinking further, or to mix metaphors, stop the bleeding. 2017: Transition, Part 1 Eppler’s 2016-17 offseason was quite modest, bringing in mediocre players like Ricky Nolasco, Jesse Chavez, Luis Valbuena, Martin Maldonado, Cameron Maybin, and Yusmeiro Petit to plug holes in the roster – no major free agents or trades, no real attempt to push the team into contention. Perhaps after a 74-88 season and a questionable but talented starting rotation, Eppler realized that 2017 could be nothing more or less than a transitional, rebuilding year. And so it was, with the Angels finishing 80-82. The core young rotation that was projected as the “rotation of the future”—Richards, Shoemaker, Skaggs, Heaney, Tropeano—started a mere total of 41 games. Even Trout got injured, messing up his thumb on a freak accident, sliding into second base. Albert Pujols’ decline continued as he had one of the thirty worst seasons by fWAR over the last 50 years (#26 out of 7,002 qualifying seasons, 1970-2019). The one bright spot for the year was trading for Justin Upton for virtually nothing, prospect Grayson Long (who has since retired). There were also glimmerings that the farm was starting to improve; the Angels got their best draft pick in years in Jo Adell, thanks to that 74-88 record the previous season. 2018: Back to Conten…I mean, Transition, Part 2 Eppler had his second of three signature moments on December 9, 2017, when he convinced Japanese mega-star, Shohei Ohtani, to sign with the Angels. After the injuries of the previous couple years, it felt like a gift from the gods. Seemingly taking this as a sign that the Angels could be legit contenders in 2018, Eppler bolstered the lineup by trading for Ian Kinsler and signing Zack Cozart, who was coming off a breakthrough year with the bat. With a lineup centered on Trout and Upton, but with a solid complementary cast of Ohtani, Pujols, Simmons, Kinsler, Cozart, Calhoun, and Maldonado, and a rotation of Ohtani, Richards, Skaggs, Heaney, Shoemaker, and Tropeano all healthy or coming back, the Angels were legitimate contenders entering the season. What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a bit. The lineup was a mixed bag, but yielded disappointing seasons from Pujols, Cozart and Calhoun in particular. The rotation, once again, was in shambles. Shoemaker was never really healthy and started only 7 games. Ohtani started having arm issues and was shelved after his June 6 start. He pitched again in September and then reinjured his arm, requiring Tommy John surgery. Disaster struck in July as Garret Richards went down with “right forearm irritation,” leading to Tommy John Surgery. The pitcher that was meant to inherit the role of Angels ace from Jered Weaver had pitched his last game as an Angel. Andrew Heaney had a solid, healthy year, and Jaime Barria was a bit of a savior, but overall it was another disappointing year, a second 80-82 record in a row. 2019: Towards a Wildca…I mean, Transition, Part 3 OK, take two. 2018 was supposed to be a resurgence to contention, and so it was with this year, or at least the hope was that if things went right, the Angels could nab a wildcard berth. First of all, we all rejoiced when Eppler had his third signature moment, extending Trout to a 12-year contract. For those bemoaning the recent performance of the team, remember this: We have the best player in the game and the history of the franchise, and one of the best ever, for his entire career. There was general optimism entering the season, but it was tempered by both the last few years and the fact that Eppler patched the pitching staff with a series of high-risk, high-reward—but one year—free agents in Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill, Cody Allen, and Luis Garcia. Couple those pitchers with the lineup improvements---a group of role players and fringers starters in Tommy La Stella, Brian Goodwin, Kevan Smith, Jonathan Lucroy, Justin Bour, and Peter Bourjos--and it was clear that 2019 was to be another year like 2017: patching the ship so it doesn't sink, hoping that maybe if everything goes right the Angels earn a wildcard berth, but without the hopes of legit contention that was felt before 2018. Eppler's moves did yield pleasant surprises in La Stella, Goodwin, and Smith. La Stella was a bonafide star for half the year and Goodwin a solid fill-in while Upton recovered. Trout has continued being Trout, probably en route to his third MVP season. But overall the season has been disappointing. Through August 4th they’re once again a game below .500. But unlike 2016-18, this feels at least partially on Eppler. Despite a couple standout acquisitions, Eppler's moves did nothing to improve the team. Consider that the four pitchers mentioned above plus Bourjos, Bour and Lucroy has yielded a -3.0 WAR…for almost $40 million. Add in Cozart and the mediocre cast from 2017, and there's a reason for some concern about Eppler's judgement in free agency. What to Expect from 2020 Looking at the last four years, the first three of Eppler’s reign were largely out of his control. They were riddled by injury and the organization was recovering from the Dipoto years. 2019 feels like the first year that is Eppler’s, and it hasn’t been pretty. But given that it has really only been one year, he deserves a chance to course-correct. His free agent signings of the last few years have largely been poor to mediocre, but with a few bright spots. But in that time he’s signed no major free agents, no stars. That should change this offseason, as he looks at Gerrit Cole and other top starters. This is a very important offseason for Eppler. He had the three post-Dipoto, injury-plagued years; and he’s had the one, “whoops, that didn’t quite work out” year. Now he has a chance to course-correct and take this team to the next level. He needs to be aggressive in player acquisition – in particular, and perhaps only, starting pitching. In other words, the team is actually pretty good in both the lineup—which should continue to prove as the youth movement continues—and the bullpen, which is the best its been in years, despite struggling to keep up with the failing rotation. But the rotation has just been terrible. This makes things relatively straight-forward this offseason, both in terms of what Eppler needs to do and what we can judge him by. Gerrit Cole is the big prize and my guess is that Arte will open up the purse strings and give him the 6/$180M or so that he’ll require. But even if they don’t get him, there are quite a few other options. The Angels will sign at least two solid starters of #3 caliber or better. Stay tuned. TLDR Version 2016: Not his fault, injuries 2017: Not his fault, injuries, transition 2018: Mostly not his fault, more injuries, transition 2019: Kind of his fault, but signs of improvement to come
  46. 22 points
    “On behalf of the Angels Organization and baseball fans everywhere, congratulations to Mike Trout on another outstanding All-Star Game performance. Mike Trout is an exceptional ambassador for the game. Combined with his talent, his solid character creates a perfect role model for young people everywhere. Each year, Mike devotes a tremendous amount of his time and effort contributing to our Organization, and marketing Major League Baseball. He continually chooses to participate in the community, visiting hospitals, schools, and countless other charities. One of Mike’s traits that people admire most is his humility. His brand is built upon generously spending his time engaging with fans, both at home and on the road, while remaining a remarkable baseball player and teammate. In addition, Mike spends quality time as a husband, son brother, uncle, and friend. We applaud him for prioritizing his personal values over commercial self-promotion. That is rare in today’s society and stands out as much as his extraordinary talent.” --@Angels--
  47. 22 points
    Fueled by the annoyance of last night's loss, I was on a mission to point out Eppler's and Co.'s failure in regard to acquiring several under performing players over the last couple of off season. In particular, the most recent. What I found was an important reminder which is to consider the starting point and the body of work since. The halos had come off the 2011 season with a winning record yet they had clearly lost faith in Tony Reagins to the point that most speculated him as a mere figurehead with Scioscia and Arte involved in quite a bit of the duties normally taken on by a general manager. The truth or accuracy of which is only relevant to the point that it led to the hiring of Jerry Dipoto. But the stage was set for having an atypical dynamic between owner, gm and manager. Jerry said all the right things and looked good doing so. But behind the scenes it was a much different story. He was very aggressive in his approach of gearing all resources toward the major league club. While the lack of harmony in the front office wasn't all his fault, his method was like gas on an already smoldering fire. Which is ironic considering that he burned the Angels farm system to the ground as well. So when all the fires got out of control, he grabbed his flame thrower and walked right out the front door mid season and 30 days before the trade deadline leaving the halos to finish 31-37 and 1 gb of the WC as well as 3 gb of the division. On Oct 4th, 2015, the halos hired Billy Eppler. I feel like Arte was the 'bad deal' direct tv guy and Eppler was the guy answering the door. 'Can I interest you in being the GM of the mediocre Los Angeles Angels?' No 'Ok, Ok. You want me to sweeten the deal? That sweetener is a broken front office dynamic and you can't bring in your own manager.' That's a bad deal. 'Oh, we got a haggler. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm gonna give you the worst farm system in baseball with an international signing lockout and zero payroll flexibility to work with.' That's not a good thing man! Do you see that everything you are saying is worse than before? 'What I see is someone that wants to play hardball. Ok. Batter up. I'll give you a broken down former superstar that makes $25mil per year that has to bat in the middle of the lineup, an ace who throws a fastball 84 mph, an offense that finished 21st in baseball last year, a terrible bullpen, and in less than 6 months, pretty much every pitcher worth anything on the roster will be injured and out for over a year. Oh, and the team has the remain competitive. But that's my final offer. ' 'Shut the door in my face trick huh? We have Mike Trout!' And the door opens back up. 'Fine. I'll take the job'. Let's all be very honest. This franchise was circling the drain less than two and a half years ago. Here is what Keith Law said shortly before the start of the 2016 season: I've been doing these rankings for eight years now, and this is by far the worst system I've ever seen. They traded their top two prospects in the Andrelton Simmons deal and had no one remotely close to top-100 status. They need a big draft this year to start to restock the system or we're going to start talking about whether it's time to trade Mike Trout. So that's how his mission started. His first order of business was to hold hands and sing Kumbaya with Scioscia. Next, he traded for Simmons. A controversial deal from both sides. But he's become one of the top 10 most valuable players in baseball. Then the entire pitching staff fell apart. Richards out. Heaney out. Trop out. Skaggs couldn't come back. CJ Wilson done. Huston Street done. Rafael Ortega led the team in LF at bats. Giavotella at 2b. Made some small moves like grabbing the serviceable Yunel Escobar and Jefry Marte. Claimed JC Ramirez. Got Nolasco and Meyer at the trade deadline. But importantly, had a very good draft. At the start of year two, still hampered by payroll restrictions (189mil in 2016, 176mil in 2017), he grabbed Blake Parker off waivers. Shortly after, he got Cam Maybin for Victor Alcantara. Signed Jesse Chavez, Traded for Martin Maldonado, Signed Ben Revere, Traded for Espinosa, Signed Bud Norris and Yusmeiro Petit. Grabbed Luis Valbuena. So lots of minor move again. Almost all for expiring players due to a lack of payroll. Again, another good draft with Adell and Canning as well as a leap back on to the international scene with Deveaux and Knowles. Got some good mileage out of Bridwell. Got some time out of David Hernandez and turned him into minor league depth piece. Grabbed Noe Ramirez mid year. Then, of course, shored up LF for the first time in a long time. Before and in year 3 he locked up Upton, grabbed Ohtani, Cozart and Kinsler. Got Rengifo for Cron. Signed JMF and Rivera. Let a lot of pen arms get away due to understandable inflation. Got some additional intl prospects in Maitan, Soto and a few others. Had what many consider to be another good draft. And that's where we stand. At 37-30 in 3rd place and five games back in mid June. This exercise was important for me and I hope it was helpful to you as well. We are currently a solid major league team with a real chance to make the playoffs. We have a farm system now at least in the top half of the league and many of those players are actually do well in the upper levels on the verge of actually providing help at the major league level. Should I repeat that? Yes, Calhoun and Cozart have sucked. We've sustained some injuries again and the pen is more than shaky. We need Simmons back. It would be great to get Ohtani back back as well but I won't hold my breath. A pen arm or two is a must. A few other things could stand to go right as well. But jog your memory back to mid 2015 through early 2016. Did you ever imagine this team would be a playoff contender with a good and improving farm system and be on the actual upswing as a franchise by 2018? Not everything Eppler and company does is going to be perfect. But to date, Billy and the Halo IMF have done the impossible.
  48. 22 points
    So I just wanted to start off with an apology for being down this afternoon. This was scheduled, but no down time was expected as it was a package I purchased to tune up my database and apache side of things after the Monday debacle. Go Daddy F'd a database table, so they had to repair it today. I'm locked into GoDaddy for the next 10 months so it is what it is, but I have the highest level of server possible. Just some bad luck and a bad forum software update a few weeks back. Just a shitty past few months in terms of up time. That said... We're not ESPN, we're not MLB, we're not some other high profile network that can guarantee 100% server, forum uptime. Though after learning some tricks and server maintenance tips on Linux (I'm a Windows server guy, that does software engineering & account management for work) I think we're in good shape going forward. The entire day today was frustrating and exhausting. But it made me realize a few things... While nothing is guaranteed, the interaction and friendships that have been formed here trump everything else. So I will work harder in making sure that this home is up and running, 24/7. Long day, going to bed. Thank you for your patience.
  49. 22 points
  50. 22 points
    I literally do not have enough popcorn to sustain me for the epic thread that is about to commence.

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