LA Angels Of Anaheim

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It was a fun ride, but the Angels have more work to do.

I couldn’t have written better script myself. Jordan Walden blows another game while Mike Napoli’s 4th home run in 2 days wins the game for the Rangers. Texas sweeps the Angels right out of Anaheim, winning the season finale 3-1. They won the first two games by scores of 4-3, and 10-3.

The season is over, so what should the Angels do next:

Manager: Mike Scioscia may be the best in baseball. He took a team of rookies and utility players and almost got them in the playoffs. He is the MVP of the Halos. If I was the new owner/s of the Dodgers (If that ever happens) I would call the Angels and say, “Pick any two guys off in my organization not named Kershaw or Kemp and we get Scioscia”. Scioscia is a icon to Angels fan, but he is a Dodger at his core, and the chance to go rebuild a team that did so much for him would be irresistible.

Catcher: Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson are not quality MLB starters. Defense or not, they catchers have to do something, anything, with the bat. Hank Conger should spend a full year in triple A. Ramon Hernandez, Rod Barajas, and Ryan Doumit would be better a better fit for the Halos. Age and injuries have hindered Hernandez and Doumit, but healthy, that are head and shoulders better than Mathis or Wilson. Also, Mathis can go back to arbitration after this year, no doubt expecting to get more than the 1.7 million the Halos paid him 2011. He is already overpaid, seeya. Wilson should be the backup to whoever the Halos bring in.

1st base: Mark Trumbo. Kendrys Morales will have to prove he is healthy to if he plans to knock the possible ROY to the outfield. If he is healthy, this lineup now has 2 legitimate power guys.

2nd base: Howard Kendrick. He is a solid 2nd sacked, who has developed in to quite a hitter. Not the batting champ everyone expected, but not bad nonetheless.

Shortstop: Erick Aybar. The Angels could sign Jose Reyes, but they won’t.

3rd base: Black hole. One option is to sign Aramis Ramirez. I also read a rumor recently that indicated the Mets may make David Wright available. The Angels were one of the teams rumored to be interested–duh! They have to fill that hole, while throwing darts at 3rd baseman of the future, Brandon Woods’, picture.

Left field: Mike Trout or Mark Trumbo. Trout is gonna be a stud, but there may not be a position for him right now. If Morales comes back healthy, Trumbo may have to fill this spot. He has played the outfield before, so the transition shouldn’t be difficult.

Center field: Peter Bourjos. He is a budding superstar. He is the Angels Jacoby Ellsbury.

Right field: Torii Hunter. The guy may win his 10th Gold Glove. He is still pretty clutch with the bat, although he does bounce in to too many double plays. He could also switch off with…

DH: Vernon Wells. Wells played decent in left, but he was pretty much horrible with the bat. His 25 home runs and 66 RBI were pretty soft. He had a couple good stretches, but all in all he was mostly horrible with the stick. The Angels need to find out if is he is out of shape, or on the back end of his career. Either way, he is untradeable as his salary is a robust 21 million in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Starting pitching: Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana are as good as it gets. The 4th and 5th spots are not. Jerome Williams should be given a shot to win one of the spots. I would dip my toes in the CJ Wilson sweepstakes. He is a Newport Beach guy, so maybe he’ll wanna come home. I would also check out Bruce Chen, Mark Buehrle, and CC Sabathia, if he opts out of his Yankee contract. How about bringing back Scott Kazmir?hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Garrett Richards and Tyler Chatwood would be fine as the number 5 starter, if they can find some consistency.

Bullpen: I would sign either Jonathan Papelbon (sacrilegious, I know) or Heath Bell. Wednesday night excluded, Papelbon has been a clutch closer for many years in Boston. Bell is not only a solid closer, but he is a great clubhouse guy. Jordan Walden, you ask? He should be the set up guy to whoever closes. He is not ready to handle the rigors of closing at this point of his career. Remember, Troy Percival and K-rod did an apprenticeship as set up men before they closed games with regularity. Walden should do the same. Downs, Takahashi and Cassevah are set as well. The Halos will need one more righty in the pen not named Thompson, Rodney, Kahn or Jepsen.

Extra innings: Rodney Thompson and Joel Pineiro are done as Angels. If they are brought back it’ll tell you the Angels don’t have the finances to compete. Bobby Abreu has an option to come back. if he accepts his bench role, bring him back. He is a team guy, he’ll accept it. Goodbye Russell Branyan, but thank’s for homering against the Dodgers and Yankees. Alberto Callaspo and Maicer Izturis should be super-utility guys.

This was an incredible season for the Halos. Did you really see them matching up with any of the division, or wild card winners? Yeah, didn’t think so. This was Scioscia’s best year as a manager, 2002 included. The future look solid for the Angels. Can’t wait for 2012 to start.

Go Angels!

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O'kay I'll talk about myself a little. I've been working in the television/radio industry for over 21 years. I started at 2 so I am just a tad over 21 (That is a joke). My career has taken me around and and even out of the United States. Right now I call Vegas home, but I just never know where life will take me next. Until 2002 my irrational love for the California/Anaheim/LAA had taken me down some very dark roads, but with Arte Moreno in charge I finally saw the a light at the end of the road. I really love most every sports and having as much fun as possible.

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In response to “It was a fun ride, but the Angels have more work to do.”

  1. Kasey Sep 29 20112:37 am


    I’m not an Angels fan, but…how do you not mention Mark Trumbo? What a huge season he had and possibly even has the ROY locked up. Personally, your outlook for next was a horrible prediction. The Angels could pony up the money, but for Sabathia or even Wright? You have to be kidding… Callaspo is your starter at third next year. Scioscia loves that he makes contact and doesn’t strike out much. Walden should be your closer. He may be young, but he is performing, and well too. Weaver, Haren, and Santana are your starters. Whatever else they find fills in the 4 and 5. They won’t be spending that much when Hunter, Wells, Abreu and Haren making big money.

    1. Bill Mahoney Sep 29 20117:22 am


      Kasey..I woke up at 3am with one thought, “Oh my god, how did i forget Mark Trumbo”? Glad you didn’t. I watched 162+ Angel games, and Alberto Callaspo is NOT an everyday third baseman. He is a great fallback guy, but not a prototypical 3rd baseman. Oh, I know he’ll probably be back next season, but I would take Wright in a heartbeat, but that won’t happen due to finances.

      Walden did perform well in stretches, but he is as inconsistent as there is. He relies too heavily on his breaking stuff, and his fastball command is shaky. There was not one game after April when I wasn’t nervous when he entered the game. How did his last 3 performances of the year turn out? 1.2 ip, 7 hits, 5 earned runs. That clutch performance on Sunday was exceptional. Remember, Rodney was brought in to close, with Walden as the set up guy. That changed because of Rodney’s implosion, not because Walden was lights out. Walden’s shiny stats do not tell the complete story of his season.

      And i didn’t say they should pony up money for Sabathia, I said they should check him out. The chances of signing him are slim, and none. He is a Cali guy (Northern), so you never know.

      Whoever else they find? After June, the 4th and 5th spot in the rotation was a black hole. There has to be some quality at the back end, they can’t overwork Weaver, Haren or Santana again. Remember, 2 years ago, Santana had elbow problems that many thought needed surgery. Through rest and rehab he was able to avoid the knife.

      It truly is hard to argue with anything Scioscia does. He seems to make the right moves most of the time. They were in the playoff race all year, so I can’t find much fault with anything he does. It is fun to speculate though, no matter how wrong you may think I am.

      You are 100% correct about one thing, the Angels will not be spending much. Those contracts, including Weavers new deal, does hinder things quite a bit.

      BTW:Who is your team?

      1. Steven Keys Sep 29 201111:47 am


        I like the “3am” comment, Bill. The writer’s nightmare. Everyone’s been there.

        1. Bill Mahoney Oct 2 20114:41 pm


          I hate that feeling.. It is terrible.

  2. Barbara Schriebman Sep 29 201111:55 am


    Great article(except the part about Scioscia, he shouldn’t go anywhere but Anaheim)!Otherwise couldn’t agree more.

    1. Bill Mahoney Oct 2 20115:24 pm


      Thank you Barbara. One of the readers doesn’t feel as strongly about Scioscia as we do. It great to see varied opinions. What do you think about Scioscia as GM?

  3. george hubschman Sep 29 20111:45 pm


    I included this blog on my web site a number of months ago about a “great” Angel, Scott Kazmir. It seems hard to believe, but Scott Kazmir led the AL in strikeouts in 2007 (239) and had a 3.49 ERA with nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings as recently as 2008. Since then he has a 5.42 ERA in 54 major league starts and now he seems incapable of even getting Triple-A hitters out despite still being just 27 years old. Kazmir coughed up six runs in 3.2 innings in his last minor league start, walking five batters and plunking three more, giving him a 15.15/2.49 ERA/WHIP and 13/17 K/BB ratio in four GS (0-4) and 13 2/3 IP at Triple-A. Those are numbers that make me want to throw up in my mouth! The Angels did release Kazmir on the last year of the 3 yr/$28.5-mil deal he signed on May 14, 2008. He made $12-mil in 2011 with a $2.5-mil buy-out in 2012. That means the Angels were on the hook for $14.5-mil this season. Unless some team wants to turn him into a LH relief specialist, it looks like Kazmir is toast! By the way, Victor Zambrano won only 10 more games (after the infamous trade with the Mets) in the majors to end up with a career 45-44 W/L, a 529/404 K/BB, 669 HA, and a 4.64/1.52 ERA/WHIP in 706 1/3 IP. V. Zambrano ended up in 2007 with a very Kazmir-like 10.17/2.35 ERA/WHIP in 23 IP. Like I always try to teach young people, “it’s not what you know but who you know!”

    1. Bill Mahoney Oct 2 20114:45 pm


      George..That was a great response. Love the expanded stats. I wish I could find a way to make that much money, and pretty much do nothing. Sad thing, he’ll get a ton of money to do it again, and again, and again.

  4. Steve Pereira Oct 1 201111:05 am


    Hey Bill,

    As a fellow LAA fan, I have to agree with most of your analysis. However, I believe the Wells contract alone snuffed out any chance of substantial pieces coming from outside the organization to improve for next year. But from inside, how about some creative thinking for once, like moving Kendrick to to 3rd? He’s got great reflexes, soft hands and a strong arm. If he can handle that then the Angels have all kinds of super utility players to rotate at 2nd base, and it would greatly improve the offense stats from the hot corner. What do you think?

    1. Bill Mahoney Oct 2 20114:56 pm



      You know I never thought of that. That is not a bad idea. Kendrick has proven adept at handling 2nd and left, what’s to say he couldn’t handle the rigors of 3rd. I like the platoon of Izturis and Callaspo at 2nd. it wouldn’t surprise me if the Halos haven’t already thought of this.

  5. HB Dude Oct 2 20119:27 am


    Couldn’t agree less with the Scioscia comments. He was predictable and failed to inspire the team to do anything when it mattered. His love affair with Jeff Mathis also precipitated the team’s getting rid of Napoli; Scioscia never liked him. Also, don’t expect Callaspo to go anywhere. He is Scioscia’s “small ball” kind of guy.

    With a little better managing, the Angels were easily capable of making the Wild Card but Mike was constantly pulling his starters early so the pen could blow it, wasting outs by ALWAYS bunting the runner to second only to strand him there and offering no passion whatsoever downt the stretch as the team got close to a playoff position.

    People give Scioscia praise like 2002 was yesterday but in this game “what have you done for me lately” should be the mantra of fans of the Halos. Being that the answer is two consecutive years out of the playoff picture maybe it’s time for Sosch to move on.

    1. Christopher Rowe Oct 2 201112:22 pm


      Scocia’s coaching tree has produced a World Championship plus Joe Maddon, Bud Black and Ron Roeneckie… not bad…and he is the most tenured manager in the majors…

    2. Bill Mahoney Oct 2 20115:22 pm


      HB Dude.

      Dick Williams, Norm Sherry, Dave Garcia, Jim Fregosi, Gene Mauch, Moose Stubbing, Cookie Rojas, Doug Radar, Buck Rodgers, John Wathan, Marcel Lachemann, John McNamera & Terry Collins

      These were the Managers, in order, from the time I first began following the Angels back in 1975. Only 2 of them led the Angels to the playoffs (Fregosi & Mauch). We finally get a manager who has the Angels in the thick of things nearly every year, and it’s time to blow him out. i have to respectfully disagree.

      This year alone, Scioscia took a group of underachievers (Wells, Abreu, Mathis), conbined them with inexperience (Bourjos, Trumbo, Walden) and bad players (Rodney, Thompson, Mathis–again) and almost got the Halos in to the playoffs.

      Was it his fault that Walden imploded? Or Wells got fat? Or Abreu got old? I was as pissed off as anyone that the Angels were unable to get in this year, but to get rid of Scioscia? Come on now.

      Yes, I think Mathis must have something on Scioscia for him to still be on the team, and he did leave the the starters in a little too long at times, but I’ll take him any day over some of the boobs that called once themselves the skipper of the Halos.

      The excess bunting. The Angels could ill afford to wait for the 3-run home run, so he had to get guys in scoring position any way possible. That is partly his fault, because he helped construct this team, but he made due.

      The Angels need help. A healthy Kendrys Morales would be a great start. And yes, Callaspo will be a big part of the Halos lineup, but, in my opinion, would be better off filling in everywhere than at 3rd every day.

      Your opinion is truly appreciated. It would be quite boring if we all thought the same way. BTW: Who do you want to be the next manager of the Angels? And don’t say Joe Maddon. Are you thinking Terry Francona?, Ryne Sandburg? Bobby Valentine?

      1. Kasey Oct 6 20113:03 am


        I know that I knocked the analysis but I have to agree with Bill here…Getting rid of Scioscia is just ridiculous. The fact that the Angels lost Kendrys and overall subpar performances from hitters like Hunter, Aybar(part of the season), Abreu, and Wells is noteworthy.

        Now imagine what Scioscia will be capable of when the lineup includes in the middle, Kendrys, Kendrick, Hunter, and an experienced Trumbo. I’d have to say that the little guys like Aybar, Callaspo, Abreu, and Hunter’s reduced role in the lineup will still be enough to compete night in and out.

        Not to mention, Verlander had a ridiculous and is one of the great pitchers in MLB (not going to go so far as put him over Halladay yet), but Weaver is a star right along side the greats in MLB. Santana and Haren are both above average and Haren could easily be among the best next year. If you got three starters you always have a chance.

        The bullpen needs some work and honestly where was Takahashi this year. They didn’t use him enough I felt. He could be the 8th inning guy. The Fernando Rodney experiment has failed…face it. Angels are one of the best organizations at finding pitching and developing it. They need to find some undervalued talent and exploit it. Something more like Jerome Williams. I thought Pineiro would work out well in LA but for some reason it hasn’t gone well (mostly injuries).

        Every team has their ups and downs. The Angels were dominant for a time. Then the Rangers just happened to put together a great set of hitters and Nolan Ryan told them how to get better pitchers and Mike Maddux taught them how to pitch better. It’s been tough but it wasn’t a waste of a season. The Angels were closer than many other teams in the league. A few more things go there way and they are in the playoffs. That’s what every season comes down…a few breaks.

        Good luck to the Angels next year. Really enjoyed the posts.

        BTW: My team is the Brewers, I know the heartbreak. Just so happened that a few breaks went our way this year and we are trying to make the best of it. Don’t let me down Gallardo!

        1. Bill Mahoney Oct 9 20118:55 am


          I wonder what kind of off-season it’ll be for the Halos. Payroll issues will tie the team up quite a bit, but they have, in the past, been very creative.

          I like the Brewers, expect in 1982, when they knocked the Halos out of the postseason. Wouldn’t it be great if the Brewers could win the Series in Prince Fielders last year with the team?

          I’ve worked around the Brewers the past 8 years. They are a bunch of good, fun loving guys. It would awesome if they could repay the Brewer fans for all the support they give the team.

          Pulling for you guys.


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