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  1. Salary aside, I’d rather keep Goodwin’s bat in the lineup than Upton. As Tommy Lasorda once said about Kurt Bevaqua (probable misspelling of last name), “he couldn’t hit water if he fell off a boat.” Upton looks lost at the plate. He looks unable to hit a breaking ball. I hope I’m wrong about Upton but right now he’s not helping the offense.
  2. I appear to be in the minority. You will regret the firing of Eppler--especially if Dombrowski is hired, as has been rumored. Dombrowski destroys farm systems. Eppler has made some mistakes. All GMs do. Bill Stoneman made mistakes, but he also signed/drafted the team that won the World series. I thought the Ausmus hiring was uninspired. I said so at the time (as did many others). Cozart was a huge mistake (obviously). Eppler rebulit the farm system. That's huge. Eppler was responsible for the Ohtani signing. Trout said one of the primary reasons he signed his extension was because he bought into Eppler's long-term vision. The trade/signings of Simmons, Goodwin, Castro, Rendon, Bundy, Buttrey, Canning, Robles, and Rengifo were all positive. If he does get let go, the next GM will inherit one of the best and youngest outfields in baseball next year with Trout and Adell. The new GM will probably inherit one of the better and youngest infields as well with Thaiss at first, Rengifo at second, Fletcher at short, Rendon at third and an unknown at this point at catcher. We will have gone from one of of the oldest teams to one of the youngest teams under Eppler. With that all set, Eppler will be able to focus on starting pitching. We have 2 young pitchers in Ohtani and Canning. I like the Bundy signing. Most baseball people agree Bundy needed a change of scenery. You guys are so negative. We are not even two weeks into the season. We have played 8 games. In that time, Rendon missed 4 of the 8 and Trout's missed 2. I know it's a shortened season, but geez, you can't make decisions based on 8 games. I am optimistic that the Mariners will be a non-contender and I believe Houston over the 60 day season will feel the loss of both Verlander and Cole. It's hard to replace those 35 wins and lose what was probably the best one and two in all of baseball. Not only that, the needle is going in the wrong direction for the Astros. Verlander will be a year older next year as will Grienke, they have no draft choices next year, they lost the GM that built their team and they will have to trade some of their key players over the next year due to payroll constraints. Oakland being a small market team can never afford to keep their stars. So you know that they will likely lose their shortstop and another of their top players over the off season. God help us if Moreno signs Dave Dombrowski as GM and partners with Tony Larussa. The Diamondbacks had enough of Larussa after a few years. Go Angels.
  3. I appear to be in the minority. You will regret the firing of Eppler--especially if Dombrowski is hired, as has been rumored. Dombrowski destroys farm systems. Eppler has made some mistakes. All GMs do. Bill Stoneman made mistakes, but he also signed/drafted the team that won the World series. I thought the Ausmus hiring was uninspired. I said so at the time (as did many others). Cozart was a huge mistake (obviously). Eppler rebulit the farm system. That's huge. Eppler was responsible for the Ohtani signing. Trout said one of the primary reasons he signed his extension was because he bought into Eppler's long-term vision. The trade/signings of Simmons, Goodwin, Castro, Rendon, Bundy, Buttrey, Canning, Robles, and Rengifo were all positive. If he does get let go, the next GM will inherit one of the best and youngest outfields in baseball next year with Trout and Adell. The new GM will probably inherit one of the better and youngest infields as well with Thaiss at first, Rengifo at second, Fletcher at short, Rendon at third and an unknown at this point at catcher. We will have gone from one of of the oldest teams to one of the youngest teams under Eppler. With that all set, Eppler will be able to focus on starting pitching. We have 2 young pitchers in Ohtani and Canning. I like the Bundy signing. Most baseball people agree Bundy needed a change of scenery. You guys are so negative. We are not even two weeks into the season. We have played 8 games. In that time, Rendon missed 4 of the 8 and Trout's missed 2. I know it's a shortened season, but geez, you can't make decisions based on 8 games. I am optimistic that the Mariners will be a non-contender and I believe Houston over the 60 day season will feel the loss of both Verlander and Cole. It's hard to replace those 35 wins and lose what was probably the best one and two in all of baseball. Not only that, the needle is going in the wrong direction for the Astros. Verlander will be a year older next year as will Grienke, they have no draft choices next year, they lost the GM that built their team and they will have to trade some of their key players over the next year due to payroll constraints. Oakland being a small market team can never afford to keep their stars. So you know that they will likely lose their shortstop and another of their top players over the off season. God help us if Moreno signs Dave Dombrowski as GM and partners with Tony Larussa. The Diamondbacks had enough of Larussa after a few years. Go Angels.
  4. Dear Fellow Angels Fans, I love the Angels. I have followed them since the mid 1970s. I have not submitted a post since about a year ago. That was after Scoiscia was let go. I submitted a post with the heading, Be careful of what you ask for. concerning his being let go. I have not been overly impressed with Ausmus. Yes, I know we have had injuries and tragic losses this year. That said, Ausmus still doesn't overwhelm me as a leader. I have questions/concerns after watching this team throughout the season. I apologize if any to all questions have been addressed in prior posts. 1) Our Minor League System: Although Billy Eppler is regularly given credit for revamping our farm system, how good is it really? From where I sit, the players we have brought up have all regrettably UNDER performed. Thaiss, Walsh and Ward, are hitting at a 200 level. Rengifo is hitting at a 240 level. Are any of these individuals going to mature into major league hitters? I don't know. For the Angels to be successful, we need at least 2 of our young hitters to improve significantly in 2020. At least, that's what I think. I can't think of one starting pitcher we have brought up from the minors who has been impressive. Compare that with the young pitchers that have been brought up by Oakland, Cleveland, the Yankees, the Dodgers, the Rays, etc. It's depressing. I ask myself the question, why has Oakland, the Yankees, the Indians, etc, rebuilt their teams via the farm system without enduring any significant down time, while we spin our wheels? Oakland is especially amazing. They are going to be a force for years to come with their young talent. 2) Our 2020 Infield: I have questions about 3rd and second. I know Albert will be at 1st and I suspect Simmons will remain with us at short. We have Fletcher, La Stella and Rengifo who are all 2nd baseman. To me, Fletcher needs to be our 2nd baseman. It's his natural position. He clearly has shown he can hit. Yes, you can move him to 3rd base, but he has no power--which makes him more appropriate at 2nd. If Fletcher is our 2nd baseman, than Rengifo has no position on the team and La Stella probably doesn't as well. If we want to be competitive in 2020, and if we keep Simmons, I believe we have to an infield of Albert at 1st, Fletcher at 2nd, Simmons at short, and I have no idea at 3rd. Between now and the start of next year, the Angels need to locate a viable 3rd baseman. I'm not here to bitch, but what are we doing? I'm just not seeing any significant improvement over the past couple of years. I had high hopes for the the guys in our farm system, but so far I have seen bupkus. Let's not even go down the path of pitch counts. I hate this 60 pitch limit and I think Gubicza and Rojas hate it as well. Who decided that a 60 pitch for young pitchers was a good idea or taking a pitcher out who has good stuff out at 100 pitches? What evidence that 125 pitches is more harmful than 100 pitches. Jesus. I hope the Angels do great in 2020. I'm just not brimming with optimism based on my eyeball test. Best to you all.
  5. Dear Friends: Like many of you, I remain optimistic our Angels can compete for a wild card spot this year. Hopefully, we take advantage of our upcoming games with Baltimore and Detroit. We have an above average offense and an above average bullpen. With the addition of Adell next year, Ohtani returning as a pitcher and the maturation of guys like Canning and Soarez, we should be better next year. If we sell prior to trade deadline, that doesn't necaserilly mean we are giving up on this season. It all depends on what we sell and we we get in return. We have a surplus of good infielders (La Stella, Fletcher, Renjifo, and Simmons. We have Thaiss as well, but he's yet to produce offensively. We have more good infieiders than postions to play them at. Fletcher and Renjfo are probably going to even get better next year, as will Thaiss. We know Simmons is terrific. So from an infield perspective, we are solid for years to come. With trout and Adell manning two of your outfiled spots, we are set for years to come in the outfield. I think our bullpen with Buttrey is good as well. We all know, that we need more start pitching. You can never have too much starting pitching. Gabe Paul coined that phrase years ago. Yes, we will have two studs next year in Ohtani and canning, but we need more starting pitching. You have to give up quality to get quality. I'd rather give up a veteran than a young player who we have salary control over. I love Simmons and I don't want to give him up. Let me repeat, I love Simmons. But I'd be willing to listen to hear what pitching prospects we might get in return for a Simmons who is the best defensive shortstop in baseball and is a slid 280 hitter. Please don't hate me. I love Simmons. We would have Renjifo at second and Fletcher at short. That's not awful.
  6. My humble observations after the first 3 games are as follows: Sooner than later, the angels will part ways with Zach Cozart. You just can't have a third baseman who produces no power and hits below the Mendoza line. My hunch is if Cozart contnues not to produce, he'll be released by the end of April and the team will go with another option. Maybe Rojas as has been suggested. Peter Bourjos: Same as above. we can't have a left fielder who hits below 200. Felix Pena: I love his stuff, but I've noticed over almost every start I've seen that he is dominant as long as no one gets on base. The moment he walks someone or someone gets a hit, he becomes a different pitcher. He implodes. I don't know if he just cannot pitch out of the stretch or if he loses confidence or if he starts to grip the ball tighter, but it's a pattern. That said, I have confidence will Angels will contend this season, I welcome your opinions.
  7. Dear Fellow Angel Supporters, As many of you, I am not blessed with inside information. That said, I have a prediction (which I will probably receive much deserved criticism and ridicule for): Albert Pujols will announce his retirement prior to the start of the season. My reasons (in no particular priority order): 1) Billy Eppler is as smooth as a velvet glove when delivering the "don't let the door hit you on your ass on the way out" message. He essentially fired Mike Butcher and all Mike said when leaving was how smart and wonderful Billy E was. Billy was able to end Mike Scoscia's tenure as smoothly. I think Billy will have a clandestine meeting with Albert this off season. At this meeting, Billy will let Albert know approximately how many at bats he might expect to get this year. It won't be many, if any, at the DH position. And I think, because the priority ts to field a team that is playoff worthy, in an effort to keep Trout, Bill will let Albert know the best offensive player will get most of starts this year, whether that's him, Matt Thaiss or someone else. I think Albert's pride will kick in and he will choose to retire. 2) Billy will coordinate some sort of Albert Pujols appreciation /retirement event that will feed Albert's ego. 3) On some level, Albert has to see the oddity of his pursuing the Willie Mays model (playing too many years), versus what Adrian Beltre and David Ortiz did--retiring before they started to lose their skills. 4) The Angels want to have as much payroll flexibility to improve their team this year. If they can't convince Trout to sign an extension this year, they would be fools not to trade him before he gets to his final year. The Angels would get far more assets selling two years of Trout versus one year. If that's true, this is the year they need to add talent to push this team into the playoff picture. That's what I think. I know watching the MLB network everyone believes Albert will be at first base to start the season. I just don't see how they can expect to motivate Trout to stay while at the same time keeping an over the hill, mediocre hitting, double play "machine" at a corner infield position. I know I am gonna get hammered, but I love you all. Go Angels.
  8. That's the problem with some fans. For the love of god, the man managed the team for 19 years. Of course, he made a staffing mistake now and then. Who wouldn't. You are evaluating hundreds, if not thousands of players over that period of time in the minors and majors. You, like most of the people on this site have unrealistic expectations. You people want to focus on a specific mistake versus the scope of his work over close to a 20 year period. God help us. How the heck do you know that Sosh was heavily involved in the Vernon Wells deal? Tell us what inside sources you have that allow you state that so forcefully? Yes, I suspect that Napoli may not have a great opinion on Sosh. That's one player in 19 years and I suspect that Sosh may regret his decision on Napoli. I'll take his batting average on player evaluation over 19 years if all you can provide is Napoli (and Mathis and I'll grant a few other players). Yikes.
  9. Thank you, Jeff. I always enjoy reading your work. Enjoy your off-season.
  10. 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).
  11. I'm guessing Jeffrey Marte is heading out after dropping a little league pop up tonight.
  12. I agree. Marte is contributing very little and over an extended period of time this year. Cowart deserves a long look this year. We know he's outstanding defensively. If he can show that he can hit the curve, he's a quality, cost controlled option moving forward which provides us a long term option at third base. He needs to given enough major league at bats to where he gets comfortable and confident. This is a time to provide him that opportunity. Offensively l, he can't be worse than Espinoza or Marte have been.
  13. The Mike Trout injury might make the Angels sellers as we approach the trade deadline. In the long-term, that may not be so bad for us. With Trout's injury, along with the injuries to Richards, Skaggs, Street, and Bedrosian, it's not out of the question that we may drop further behind the Astros and in the wild card standings. If that occurs, we may be able to improve our team for 2018 and beyond by moving some players who might garner interest from other clubs. Players we might want to listen to offers on include: CJ Cron Yunel Escobar Huston Street Kole Calhoun Ricky Nolasco Cam Bedrosian I'm not suggesting trading everyone/anyone on the list. I am suggesting listening to offers. Escobar, Street and Nolasco are in the final year of their contracts. If the team isn't going to retain them, I'd prefer to get something in return. With the upcoming draft, I expect Eppler to perform well and continue to upgrade our farm system. With the free agent class, we can recruit talent now that we will be rid of the Hamilton contract. Depending on the needs of the other clubs heading into the summer, we may be able to upgrade our major league team or our minor league system via trading some the players I listed. What do you think?
  14. Like all of you, I love the Angels. This year sucked. That said, if you lose your number one and two starter, you're going to have a troubling year, regardless of team. I don't agree with those who suggest that we are doomed. We require a left fielder. We need to decide if Jeff Bandy is our catcher of the future. We need to decide if Caleb Cowart is our third baseman. Can he hit? If yes, that's a big deal. We need to get a left fielder from within or from outside. The Astros don't worry me. For the Rangers, Darvish is 1 year older as is Hamels.
  15. I want to know what others think. It's clear there is less stress on the arm/elbow relieving versus starting. Garett has filthy stuff and ideally, I think we'd all love him to be a starter. That said, if we had Garett and Cam in our bullpen that would be pretty strong. What do you think?