Honestly, I think this whole issue sounds worse than it actually is. Yesterday, the Angels fired the visiting clubhouse manager, Brian Harkins, for providing opposing pitchers with illegal substances used to grip the ball. Harkins had held the position for 30 years. Since pitchers like Trevor Bauer claim that most in baseball use it (and it’s actually safer for hitters, because pitchers can control their pitches), I see this as a lot of excitement over some humdrum. However, it IS funny that while the Houston Astros’ employees help them cheat, the Angels’ employees cheat AGAINST the club? Wild. Between this and waiting for Griffin Canning’s results…never a dull moment for this franchise, is there?
Other than that (with “that” being a pretty big story), fairly slow day for Angels baseball, with the off-day.
Jeff Fletcher of the OCR profiles Anthony Rendon ($$). Not only does he touch on Rendon’s baseball abilities, but he also features quotes about Rendon’s character:
“He’s a kid who you say, ‘If I had a daughter, I’d want my daughter to marry that guy,’” said Willie Ansley, a former top prospect who became a youth coach in the Houston area and to this day remains close with Rendon.
So apparently Mike Trout is no longer the consensus #1 pick in fantasy baseball…I mean goodness, pick against him at your own peril. The man oozes consistency, and with Anthony Rendon lengthening the lineup, he should see more at-bats this year…but sure, Acuña is very shiny and new.
Yoan Moncada signs an extension with the Chicago White Sox, and that club is locking up all their stars. They could be good for the next decade…
Speaking of, MLB is actually running a very interesting promo (for once). Make some predictions for the decade, such as which team will have the most wins, or which player will garner the most hits, and you could win a million dollars! CTPG is currently compiling our predictions/submissions, and we will be publishing an article soon with our rationales.
As for the end of the decade, The Ringer has suddenly decided to imagine baseball in 2030.
Checking in on the 2017 AL ROY runner-up, whose offense was supposed to make up for whatever defensive shortcomings he had, and…oh. Other Yankee Gerrit Cole also pitches great!
There’s some exciting college baseball in LA this weekend, with some top prospects…come out to USC or UCLA to see Vanderbilt, TCU, and the two aforementioned schools in action!
Finally, I saw this on Twitter, so now you have to watch this too.
Enjoy the weekend!
Shout out to Pujols. He hasn’t done much for us, but at least he broke Judge’s rib(s) last season and it will keep him out for a bit.
And here we go again. “Biological Injections” so they can delay the inevitable TJ surgery ala Richards.
he might be back in 2022. Or this might work!! yeah!
If it doesn’t work and he gets TJ in June or after, he may not be ready by the start of the 2022 season. Ohtani missed all of last year, and still won’t be ready until at least May, and maybe not by then, and he is considered to be healing fast.
I think the only reason they are holding Ohtani back is that so the bulk of his innings will be later in the year in case the Angle make the playoffs. They probably have an innings limit for the year in mind, so this makes sense.
Shohei is probably good to go right now. But this organization is dumb, and to help prevent their ineptitude from ruining things, have probably delayed Shohei’s return to the mound.
Doing this, they can control his innings pitched for the season, by shortening it two months.
i should read when on mobile
What a weird time for this organization. The medical staff and organizational people have put a real bad stain on them. Almost time to clean house. Is that what tony larussa was been brought in to do? Haven’t heard that guys name once and he’s an “adviser” to eppler.
This is the most Angels thing ever.
Bubba Gump Baseball Mud, only the finest.
This damn Angels franchise is the most Interesting Team in the World, they just cannot do anything normal, it always has mystery and intrigued and WTF and buttercup, and over the top bigness, and amazing smallness, and corruption, dysfunction, success and failure and incredible luck, all rolled into one. Everything this team does is Biblical.
They are after all, the Angels
Probably the guy in the home clubhouse just had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
If the league actually cracks down, it will be interesting to see if HBPs increase this year.
Honestly, I’m surprised the MLB hasn’t turned this one for a profit by selling rights to be the exclusive manufacturer of the only MLB-approved gripping substance.
Teams now have an alibi for beaning the Astros. “I just couldn’t get a good grip on the ball”.
“Astros beanings not intentional, HBP is up all across MLB.”
Can you tell the commish is running MLB like a lawyer?
Yesterdays Halo Chalk Talk, I should have went ❗
I was able to attend. The questions were controlled by Roger Lodge either his own or a handful from season ticket holders’ emails. Only one question was allowed from the audience at the very end of the program. Despite the format it was entertaining and somewhat informative. Some of the paraphrased highlights from Billy were:
He talked about to the failed Pederson /Stripling trade ( he never specifically referenced the players) as initially a 4 team trade. He said that he had known for quite a few days prior to the press leaks that Mookie Betts was going to the Dodgers so he had had numerous conversations with Andrew Friedman which lead to all four teams submitting medical records for all of the players involved through the league information system. After there was problem with one of the medicals of one of the other teams players , with the the delays that occurred the Angels portion of the trade never went through. He refused to discuss any other details referring everyone to the press articles on the Angels involvement in the trade.
He did mention that the Angels did have discussions with the Red Sox about acquiring Mookie Betts before the Dodgers did but the Red Sox wanted one of our pitchers ( Griffin Canning? ) and a young position player ( Adell?) without mentioning any names he said the Red Sox were asking for more than what the Angels were willing to give up.
He said he had pretty much talked with every team in the league about the availability of every pitcher in the league with the exception of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler but struck out on all efforts.
He talked about free agency and their attempts to sign Zack Wheeler. Billy said that he had a good relationship with Wheeler’s agent going back to his Yankees days and the Angels were very interested in signing him. When Billy told Arte of his interest Arte told him that the Angels should go right away to visit Wheeler. So Billy & John Carpino took a red eye out of LAX to fly to Atlanta ( I guess Wheeler lives about an hour out of Atlanta) to visit Wheeler at his house along with Joe Maddon. The meeting went well and Wheeler seemed very interested but Wheelers agent called a couple of days later to tell them that Wheeler’s wife’s family is from Jersey and with the baby on the way she wanted be able to be near her parents when Zack was out on the road so there was no way he would sign with the Angels.
He talked about the failed attempt to sign Cole. He said Boras texted him at about 10 pm and told him that Cole was going with another team . After talking to Arte, they decided the next best available player was Rendon and if they thought it would improve the team they should go after him. So Billy called Boras back and went and met him that night at Boras Newport beach offices along with Carpino who met with Boras staff to iron out the contract details. By the following afternoon the deal was done.
He talked about Ohtani’s schedule for 2020. Since most of the Angels off days are on Thursday they will probably pitch him on Wednesdays when he comes back. Eppler also said the Angels went to MLB to get a variance to allow Ohtani to pitch in the minors on a rehab assignment while being active on the MLB roster as the DH. The Angels reasoned that the league is better with Ohtani playing even if only as a DH than sitting on the IL until his pitching rehab is over.
Billy expects the offense to be in the top 3 of baseball this year averaging about 5 runs a game. Eppler said there are a number of ways to build a winning team but he acknowledged the importance of having top pitching in the playoffs and says they are poised to acquire a top pitcher this year if one comes available. He also said that you can’t have productivity without the availability of players and the Angels have targeted pitchers with healthy pasts. He said that when Ohtani gets back he will be one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball. Even though they don’t know Canning’s availability , they had 7 viable pitchers to start the season. ( Heaney, Teheran, Bundy, , Suarez, Sandoval, Barria & Andriese-He specifically mentioned the quality of Andriese’s stuff) so they will not be picking up any new pitchers before the start of the season. He says that November , December & July are really the only times to make a trade so even though he is constantly communicating with all of the GM’s nothing will get serious until late June at the very earliest.
Billy was also asked about the expectations of when Jo Adell will be called up to the Bigs and he referenced an old saying from one of his past mentors that a prospect will let you know when he’s ready by ” tapping you on the shoulder”( not literally of course) referencing that they will force you to promote them by excelling in their performance in the minors. He said that reports are that Adell has been very inquisitive asking a lot of the right questions while hanging with Pujols , Trout and others .
A question was asked about the Angel’s tendency to draft very athletic high school kids in the last few drafts and he talked about how it is easier for athletes to learn and improve their technique than someone who is not as athletic.
Lastly he was asked one question from the audience that since Mike Trout has given his “seal of approval” on Jo Adell , has he done the same on any other prospects.? Billy said that Billy has never met anyone like trout as he wants to review potential draft prospects for the team’s June draft. So Billy sends him videos starting in May of potential draftees so Trout can give them his recommendations. Billy has no clue where Trout finds the time to review all of the video. While the Angels do value Trout’s input, they can’t always draft his recommendations. Billy did joke that they will also hold Trout accountable of any of his busted draft selections.
Thanks for taking the time to post this very interesting report.
Thanks for that tripendicular summary! Some interesting insights.
Wow, an outfield of 2020 of Trout and Betts would’ve been darn interesting but to possibly give up Adell and Canning just for Betts’ one year, no thanks! good job Billy for turning down Boston FO
Great write up and read, thanks Cowboy!
So good, it should have been a fanpost!!
on Wheeler from your excellent summary:
“He talked about free agency and their attempts to sign Zack Wheeler. Billy said that he had a good relationship with Wheeler’s agent going back to his Yankees days and the Angels were very interested in signing him. When Billy told Arte of his interest Arte told him that the Angels should go right away to visit Wheeler. So Billy & John Carpino took a red eye out of LAX to fly to Atlanta ( I guess Wheeler lives about an hour out of Atlanta) to visit Wheeler at his house along with Joe Maddon. The meeting went well and Wheeler seemed very interested but Wheelers agent called a couple of days later to tell them that Wheeler’s wife’s family is from Jersey and with the baby on the way she wanted be able to be near her parents when Zack was out on the road so there was no way he would sign with the Angels.”
Tempting to go back and look up all the HH posters bitching about Eppler not getting it done.
Billy got U-Hauled.
Great player rivalry between Acuna and Soto will last out the decade and safe choices to pile up numbers. Two game day today, kool. You can’t fix stupid, 34 year employee providing a substance to opposing teams to pitch better against his employer’s team, brillant. We have 19 returners from last season’s ST 40 man roster, not to bad for a team in transition. Rainy days coming for some, up to 5 inches and up to a foot of new snow in local mountains thru next Wednesday. Fun stuff that shoveling of snow. Hey have fun today and Go Angels!
Just checked and we have a 90% chance of rain next Tuesday.
Apparently there is also a rivalry going on at that T.V. Station that needs to be followed.
If they were furnishing substances to the visiting team, how has it only come to light now? You’d think pitchers we’ve signed over the years who have pitched against us would let us know…
Unless it’s a recent thing. There’s more to this story.
I read the league told teams they would be cracking down on pitchers using grip aid substances. That probably led to teams asking clubhouse managers about it and Id suspect finding out youre paying a guy who is helping your opponents didnt go over well
“I was just trying to make sure they didn’t bean Trout.” – Bubba
Apparently there’s video of what he supplied.
Enrico Pallazzo, R.I.P.
Love that movie! LOL
Our visiting clubhouse guy helping the visiting teams cheat. I love this team but I swear the team should put up a banner at the entrance to the park: Angels Baseball: You Won’t Freaking Believe What Might Happen Next. That would be a really accurate marketing campaign. It could go either way. You might see Trout hit 3 homers or you might see someone tie his shoe and need TJS.
“Angels Baseball: We Don’t Believe It, Either”
You might see someone who’s just dehydrated…