LA Angels Monday News Crash: Freeway Flop

The Angels were swept over the weekend by the Dodgers, the second straight weekend sweep the team has endured. Cue “the weekend is a problem for the Angels, my column:” takes. David Fletcher made a helluva play at shortstop. Albert Pujols and Justin Upton sat multiple games.

Baseball also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues on Sunday. They are also considering adding the Negro Leagues to the list of official major leagues before the current iteration. The Angels put up some cardboard cutouts of Cool Papa Bell, Oscar Charleston, Rube Foster, Biz Mackey, Bullet Rogan, and Martin Dihigo. Dee Gordon has an idea to get more Black kids involved in the game of baseball.

Taylor Cole will not pitch this season after undergoing shoulder surgery. Cole pitched decently over his time with the Angels thus far, and I was surprised that he didn’t make the team initially in March.

Although the St. Louis Cardinals finally returned to action, MLB was foiled in their efforts to get all 30 teams playing on the same day when the Cincinnati Reds had a positive test. Meanwhile, Trevor Bauer got into a little tiff with Scott Boras.

A slew of stars are injured, including Ronald Acuña Jr. and DJ LeMahieu.

Enjoy this snapshot of Tankathon. San Francisco looms.

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GrandpaBaseball
Legend
3 years ago

What happened, the who, when, where,and how. For successful organizations to be competitive every two out of three deasons the teams needs to be able to do things the Angels have not. Let’s take a look at NYY, LAD and STL. and OAK. What are a couple of things these teams have in common. In the down years they know they are going to lick their wounds and rebuild by the draft first and trying away some veterans. For being smart in the down years they come roaring back strong and are competitive for a longer period of time. So have the Angels invested in rebuilding? As we have discussed here more than a few times, knowing how to evaluate talent is most important. That means talent in the prep leagues in all states, at the JC and NCAA levels, also in other teams minor league systems along with making the hard choices in your own system. To do this properly it takes a huge investment of money agreed, but it also takes having the whole organization on the same page so to speak. If everyone involved agrees on what to look for and what will be taught then results will be more rewarding than doing things haphazard. So how have the results of evaluating talent and drafting been for the Angels? Having the ability to have the proper personnel in the proper positions. One thing that that four above mentioned teams all have in common is the position of General Manager, in the case of two of those teams they have two GM’s just with with different titles and duties. How have the General Managers in the reign of Arte Moreno been graded? The next part is in having the best people running the game and dugout and clubhouse, the Manager and the Coaches. For the most part with the Halos they have been top notch in this part as Mike Scioscia was a top notch manager and surrounded himself with very good coaches. Managers have about a 10 year per team life span, give or take. Walter Alston with the Dodgers and their most successful manger in term of wins was not well liked by the press and the fans in his last 3 seasons even though they went to the World Series in 1974, but by the end of 1976 and 23 on the job was replaced. The Yankees are three different teams based on ownership so evaluating managers and coaching staff is difficult at best. The A’s have had only a few mangers during moneyball as nobody is going to last as long as Connie Mack (over 50 years). Ownership and fans will back even the good ones only for so long. Why? Because the fans soon learn what is coming next. In the case for Alston it got to the point that the radio announcer knew and reported what the manager was going to do even before he did it. The fans knew all the tendencies of Sosh even before he did things (i.e. favoring veterans, staying with pitchers to long, not caring about W-L during Spring Training and in September among other traits). Next is upper management who always has the ear of ownership. (even for George S.). Below a poster Clover_Black correctly refers to upper management as UofA. While they have some experience in what they do they are not Baseball Savvy really. How often have they point Arte in the wrong direction or agreed with him afraid to disagree ( i.e. Albert signing or Hamilton signing, or Wells trade or any of the GM’s) with Arte. So you see that the leadership not just of the owner maybe weak, it is very weak. Analytics was slow to arrive and be embraced in Anaheim but when it arrived you had a clash of Old School and modern way of looking at things as “Gut Feelings” should of went out the door. While Sosh was a great manager for 16 of his 19 years and at one time was the fresh face the game had literally changed and he did not change with it. Analytics is the new way whether we approve or not. The shift is here to stay, upper cutting the pitched ball is now the “launch angle” and all the new numbers that evaluate a player are here to stay. ERA and WHIP are still viewed at as numbers to look at as is AVERAGE and OBP and SLUGGING but in addition to these numbers there are a whole set of numbers that have become useful in evaluating a player’s season and career. Do the Angels use the new ways of looking at and evaluating situations and the game in general enough? At one time not to long ago in a universe far, far away the Angels had a great minor league system and as late as the last World Series graduates of that long ago system were making their lasting mark. (Kendricks) For 15 years the Angels had a pipeline of minor leaguers to bring up or trade. Salmon and Edmonds and Finley started it and Trout was the last one and in between a remarkable amount of talent follow including here just a few, Anderson, Percival, FRod, Erstad, Aybar, as aforementioned Kendricks, Calhoun, Lackey, Weaver and many more. Today and for the last 10 years the cupboard went bare. This coincides with the Angels downward trajectory. Also parallels the changing of the men who over see the drafting and scouting. The minors are a mess and under current leadership has not really been impressive in it’s output. Have the Angels been good or very good in the draft in the last ten years? Another the four clubs build what they need is through Free Agent signings. Not just the big names but from “waiver wire” to top notch signings. The Cardinals use this avenue sparingly, the Dodgers do thing more through trading and the A’s sign guys from the middle range down as the Yankees and Angels go all in. All four teams above again show a consistency to be successful at what they do and it compliments them in being winning organizations. But only the Angels hand out not only big contracts, but long term deals.If the Pujols deal taught everyone that handing out long term deals to 30+ year olds is detrimental to the finances to a team as it can and does handcuff a team. The Angels are slow learners. Free Agency should compliment a team not be it’s number one source of talent. So what do think, have the Angels been smart at their use of Free Agency so you take the time to be an evaluator here and fill in the numbers. Using a 1-5 scale with 5 being the best, evaluate the Angels in the last few years.

How well do the Angels do their scouting?
How good is the Angels system of evaluating talent at all levels.

Rate the organization’s level of teaching baseball throughout the system.
How would you rate the Angels upper management?
How would you rated the last 8 drafts?
Rate the General Managers job in the last 7 years.
Rate the Manager’s performance in the last 7 years based on talent given to him.
How would you rate the Angels minor league system in the last 5 years?
What number do you use for the trades in the last 5 years?
How well has the team done in signing Free Agents in the last 5 years?

Total possible is 50 points. Your total score_______

Should Arte sell the team?
Should Eppler be replaced with someone with experience?
Should the Angels trade Trout.?

Comments and answers to total pts welcomed.

2002heaven
Super Member
3 years ago

I think Arte might’ve drove away a lot of our better baseball people by the end of the 2000’s and then he thought he could meddle and take matters into his own hands ( Pujols, CJW, Hamilton, and now Rendon ). It seems to me like he has absolutely no intentions of employing a vast big community of good BOTG baseball people and would just rather go after a big splash high profile hitter every 6-8 yrs to keep the public from ignoring and abandoning him. This weekend series with the Dodgers exposed how inept we have become as a scouting and player development team for the entire decade of the 2010’s. The Rendon signing BTW is just another bandaid on this teams beleaguered talent evaluation ( Rendon is 30 now what in 2022? ). 😣  😣 

Last edited 3 years ago by 2002heaven
LAAFan
Trusted Member
3 years ago

I’ll just say, the fanbase would revolt if Trout got traded.

eyespy
Super Member
3 years ago

Some line breaks please. Not all of us have Grand Pa eyes.

I’ll just score the team a big fat zero.

They need to fix everything, but first, they need to fix the attitude in the system. Winning teams have a traditional winning attitude. We have no traditional winning attitude.

Most of our traditional winning attitude comes from players that are better remembered for things done for other organizations.

Arte has killed this team, but is successful at running this business.

Last edited 3 years ago by eyespy
Eric_in_Portland
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  eyespy

so I finally worked up the nerve to see Albert’s StL vs LAA.

StL: .328/.420/.617/1.037 170 OPS+
LAA: .257/.313/.449/.762/109 OPS+

roughly Sid Bream

eyespy
Super Member
3 years ago

Now you won’t be able to sleep at night, or during games.

Rahul Setty
Admin
Trusted Member
3 years ago

Good morning to everyone who did not play against the Dodgers this past weekend.

wheresmywings
Newbie
3 years ago

I don’t see this team any good until the ’23 season. Only because of the Pujols factor, but then the Rendon signing was inflicted and that looks like an unnecessary need. I would jump all over Upton, but I’ll give him one more season. Now the drafting of players, building within the system and looking at the selection made by Eppler. If drafted well over all, we can have a playoff contending team, but if the GM/scouts selection started off bad….well then this team is what it is again, an again, an again…..

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  wheresmywings

This time it looks darker because I think we’re giving up on Ohtani coming back as an ace, so we’re even further away. I like the ideal of trading impending free agents for relief prospects and attempting a rotation of Stroman, ,Richards, Bundy, Heaney, Detmers next year with Canning and Sandoval as depth/swing guys..

Likely only happens if we let Simba and La Stella go but then we’d need an infielder. Be nice if Rengifo steps up.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago

The problem here is scheduling. The Angels are 2-10 on games played Friday-Sunday. If MLB would just move more of our games to the middle of the week, we’d have a shot here.

Jessica DeLine
Admin
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Undefeated on Tuesdays!!

Fansince1971
Legend
3 years ago

Let’s see how this team plays against the Giants before coming to any final conclusions. Against a really good Dodger team’s 1-3 starters, the Angels should have won Game 2 and we’re at least competitive in game 1. Had they won Game 2, the team would have been 3-3 against Oakland and the Dodgers – arguably the two best teams in the League.

Now they will play the crappy Giants and need to sweep. Let’s see how that goes. If they do sweep the Giants, I think we can conclude their record is worse than the team truly is. 3 of 4 wont cut it. They need the sweep and only the sweep. Do so and the team is 11-15 – not great but still salvageable.

I will hold final judgment on what this team really is until after this next series.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

The last road trip sunk us. Had the team gone 5-1 or 4-2 on that trip a losing week here would’ve been understandable and not buried us. Instead we got back to back 2-4 weeks.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Got news for you, we are not winning all four games against the Giants. They are a tough, scrappy team that does not beat themselves ( look how tough they played the Dodgers — much better than us). We would be lucky to win three and probably a split of four is more realistic. In fact, the way we are playing right now losing three is not out of the question.

ChillRIL
Member
3 years ago

The one constant in this team’s steady, inexorable drop from World Champion in 2002 to one of the worst–yet expensive–clubs in all of baseball, has been Arte Moreno. I’d say the myth of the genius billionaire is pretty well busted in this case. Firing Eppler ain’t going to help. Firing Madden ain’t going to help. High draft pick ain’t going to help. As long as Arte is in charge, this ship is going to sink. You’d think the humiliation of constant failure, of spending more than most everyone and still coming out at the bottom, would eventually get to Arte, and he’d bow out and sell. My guess is that his ego is so huge he will never be able to recognize the true cause of the team’s disfunction, and he will also find a way to convince himself it’s someone else’s fault. Makes me wonder about the corporate culture that turned him into such a wealthy man. In my own line of work, I certainly see a lot of failing up in the form of promoting incompetence.

clover_black
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  ChillRIL

arte and his UofA homeboys have been out of their league for years.

JackFrost
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  ChillRIL

Yep. But unfortunately you can’t fire the owner. And as you say it doesn’t look like he’ll fire himself (sell).

Last edited 3 years ago by JackFrost
eyespy
Super Member
3 years ago
Reply to  ChillRIL

Arturo Moreno is making buukuu bucks, and that is why he bought the team. Buy team, buy stadium, buy parking lot, buy extra land. He has done it all, according to plans made when he first had a notion to purchase the team. Artuo Moreno is a very smart businessman, and he is doing everything right, for him.

He is able to generate interest in his product, can attract customers(not fans of the Angels, just customers in general), and understands diminishing returns.

He is not a meddling owner. Arturo Moreno is part of the system. All plans start and end with his approval. He runs his business, and he runs it well, his bottom line proves it.

3,000,000 is a nice round number. With it, Arturo Moreno proves some important facts. He is one of the big boys of the sports world, his business is popular with sponsors, and his product is guaranteed to not lose money for the year.

He does not understand how to build a baseball team, is not a baseball fan, and does not care to win.

Arturo Moreno is not busted, and he does not need to be fixed.

HalosFanForLife
Trusted Member
3 years ago

Sell the farm – get some pieces for next year/draft. Let’s go get Kumar.

eyespy
Super Member
3 years ago

What farm. It’s all shuttered.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/story/2020-07-01/angels-to-pay-minor-leaguers-through-august
That should say July at the end there, so they are no longer getting paid that chump change.

And everyone that ran the system
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29195640/angels-furlough-non-playing-employees-june-1

Nothing down on the farm, it’s a dust bowl.

OMAHALOFAN
Trusted Member
3 years ago

YAY, we’re one rung above the Giants in suckitude!