LA Angels Weekend News Crash: NCAA Baseball Anyone?

Like many baseball fans I had circled this weekend. Spring Training games were set to start and I’d have baseball on TV while I counted down the days until my trip to Tempe.

Alas, that is not to be as games are currently canceled for at least this week. What does that mean for the regular season? Nothing good.

The two sides are meeting for hours each day but not making much progress. Hopefully a deal is struck this weekend as the owners say that come Monday regular season games will be canceled and not rescheduled.

For both fans and businesses in Florida, the lockout represents bad news. March is often the best month for bars and restaurants in Grapefruit League towns.

Meanwhile, minor league camps are in full swing in many places and about to start in others. The prospects at Pirates camp trust the MLB/MLBPA dispute will “work out” and that they will be free to pursue their MLB dreams soon.

That is a really nice piece of baseball writing. My favorite link of the week, actually.

There has been plenty of baseball on TV, however, particularly on ESPN+. Over the course of the year, EastSPiN will broadcast over 2200 games full of pings and passion. I’ve already enjoyed a few.

Most of us live in the Southern California area which features some great college baseball to go along with our great weather. I’ll be taking in a Long Beach State Dirtbags game with my family this weekend.

The Dirtbags have plenty of games on tap this Spring. Catch one live or on tv.

Perhaps UC Irvine is closer to you. I plan on checking out a game there too. Here is the Anteaters schedule.

Cal State Fullerton is trying to rebuild back into a perennial contender. They have a nice home schedule and feature on ESPN+ a few times as well.

Maybe you went to one of the big schools. Then perhaps check out UCLA’s schedule and/or catch a USC game.

I’ve yet to attend a college game but I’m really looking forward to it. Spending time with family and friends at the ballpark is priceless. I’m just going to change ballparks for a while.

Getting back to the Angels, the next step in the Tyler Skaggs/Eric Kay drama will be the civil lawsuits against the Angels. It will be interesting to see if a settlement is reached or if both sides want more dirty laundry aired.

FanGraphs is continuing to put out great work. First they did a piece on Brandon Marsh being a line drive machine.

Now they’ve released their top 100ish prospects. Sadly, the Angels only have one name on the list, Reid Detmers. They do project Detmers as an MLB ready starter, but a mid rotation one.

The division rival Rangers have built a nice farm lately. Their top prospect, slugger Josh Jung, underwent labrum surgery and will be out for quite some time.

2018 Roid Sux cheater and famed cheating Astros hater Joe Kelly hopes to resign with the Dodgers, who were rumored to also be cheating during that time.

I’ll give you something much better than a game to watch. Jim Abbott is amazing. His poster hung on my wall for years. I went to his book signing. I’ve been fortunate to meet him other times and now my son and him share something a little unique. Here’s a documentary on Jim.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJc429Ejmg0

I can not recommend Jim’s autobiography enough. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and go buy one. Preferably from a mom and pop spot, but that link will show you what it is.

I realize there are far greater issues in the world today than baseball. In keeping with baseball links and news my aim is to provide a small refuge from the news. I’m grateful we can stick our heads in the sand a bit here and discuss something as trivial as baseball. Our friends in the Ukraine can not. Let’s please keep the discussion to baseball here while we hope and pray for better news on the important matters.

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GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago

Compromise is fueled by the money. Always will be.

225 – 235 million will certainly raise salaries. We still need a SS and 2 starters.

7 of the top 10 NCAA Basketball teams lost yesterday. Marsh Madness brackets will be impossible to predict this year as always.

Back Pain sucks.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

Tell me about it. My College getting upset yesterday has contributed to my back pain.

WallyChuckChili
Legend
1 year ago

I agree. His madness will be impossible to predict this year.

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red floyd
Legend
1 year ago

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GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Twebur

Dodgers will pick him up, nice fit for them. lol

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Twebur

Those tweets read less like an asshat and more like a guy who’s lost it a little. Like a withdrawl rant or something. Hell, he attacks the concept of pets?

Charles Sutton
Editor
Super Member
1 year ago

All in one day too. Maybe he was on bath salts or something.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Charles Sutton

Yeah. I read those tweets and it sounded like one of the hobos that’s always yelling outside my office. Just scream what ever horrible gibberish you can think of to get people to look at you and…. ????

Then go huff some glue and drink some Taaka.

Something happened to that guy. I scrolled through his tweets, he was pretty normal, maybe a bit of a red ass sometimes, but normal, then BOOM! he got really weird really fast about religion (I can’t really even tell if he’s religious or anti. He throws all these Bible quotes around but also hates on Christians, Jews and Muslims in various tweets). He also goes off on gender stuff, “real friends”, social media evils, lots of weird moral rambling, BLM… but yeah, he went and set himself on fire. Like he got fired and found out his girlfriend is f***ing his old boss, or he’s some of the guys on CtPG railing against old Cheapn’evil because they’ve failed at life. A snapcase.

He should go talk to someone. He should also find some puppies to hang out with. It’s damn near impossible to go all “War on Everything!” when a puppy is sniffing you.

Also, stay “important” news media.

“THIS JUST IN! Red Sox minor leaguer has been released after horrible tweets. The tweets are so horrible we won’t even show them to you. Just trust us, he’s a real piece of shit who deserves to die. This has been journalism. We have brought you the truth. Now we will actually delete the entire story. You are all like children. You have never been so well protected from your own mind. Go to bed.”

Twebur
Legend
1 year ago

I don’t do Twitter….. but I imposed sanctions on myself last week for some bad thoughts I had 5 years ago.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

It looks like Scottie Boras thinks its time to get a deal done: https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1497949744706072583

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

we already have a cap that’s higher than what Arte wants to spend so I don’t see what difference it makes. I mean, in general, the Dodgers, Yankees and Cubs will spend more money without a penalty and all the others will stay where they are.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

And Red Sox. Don’t forget the fourth team that matters.

Mia
Legend
Mia
1 year ago

Our Cactus League schedule should have started today :/

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Mia

 😪  Soon maybe. Stupid rich people.  Still some time left.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

This people aren’t stupid. they’re just greedy.

rspencer
Trusted Member
1 year ago

I’ve been largely a lurker here for some time, because nouns and verbs have been a bit of a challenge, but now that my marbles are settling back into some sort of order, I must say that I am heartsick about the lack of baseball at a time when i REALLY NEED it, for a number of reasons. Effing settle the matter, all you selfish bastards (referring not to any of all y’all, but the players and owners).

Last edited 1 year ago by rspencer
WallyChuckChili
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  rspencer

Nouns and Verbs have been a bit of a challenge for “all” of CtPG, some more than others.

Now making sense with pictures has been the biggest challenge.

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  rspencer

This strike is so screwed up in so many ways that it is downright disgusting. First off the Commish is never going to be a respected leader to anyone except a slim majority of owners who are here to make a lot of money, not protect the game they don’t understand.

Fighting openly about small things that most people, fans included do not understand. 45-minute meetings and then walking out because there is no trust. Both sides not caring really about the game but just how much of the pie they will receive is very selfish.

But this time around the Owners are in for it as I do not see the fans pouring back in the parks with signs that say “thank you Platers”.

When neither side wants to negotiate in good faith then we will not see MLB return fora long time because greed is a powerful feeling to break.

We need a commissioner from the outside who able to lead not be a puppet. The current group of owners are not about anything but the max amount of short-term profits and care nothing except money. I am concerned about the future of MLB

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
1 year ago

not a strike. A lockout. The two sides have different goals. One goal neither has is quickly agreeing.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago

In 1994/ 1995 it was both a strike and a lockout but in the end, it really didn’t matter what they called it. They almost permanently destroyed the game

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
1 year ago

speaking of college baseball, Oregon State is rolling. 6-0 now, outscoring opponents 78-17 over those games. They’ll, for sure, make the tournament. They look really good. It’s too early to talk about the conference, though.

RexFregosi
Super Member
1 year ago

Arizona State is not off to a great start.

There’s a lot of enthusiasm for Willie Bloomquist as our new coach and I just have to get over the fact of his past indiscretions.

rspencer
Trusted Member
1 year ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

Willie Bloomquist, the old Angel Killer. 😳 

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  RexFregosi

It could have been worse. They could have hired A.J. Pierzynski.

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago

The Old School coaches are aging out of the game, but we are the ones who taught things like adjusting to hit the pitch. Today hitters are taught to swing the same on every pitch. We taught the kids how to use the Box. We taught the kids how to properly run the Bases. How to slide feet first when needed. What side of the Base to slide on.

Striking out should not be acceptable. This newer of stats called launch angle makes it so that everyone is trying for the fence instead of getting on base. Hitting a hard groundball when you are a Fletch, Trout, Ohtani, Marsh can be tough on a weak fielding team. The stat guys in the front office have no formula for what a base stealer does to the Pitcher, Catcher or Infield. Lost art that Albert pulled off against the right Pitcher.

Fletcher for some reason got lost with nobody to help him out of his slump because he plays Old School Ball. Fletch just wants to hit the ball at all cost, he just needs to stay within himself and reinvent keeping his hands from forgetting the K zone. My point is that hitting the ball makes things happen that accepting strikeouts can’t.

My favorite player of all time is Mike Trout so you would think me very biased towards him. Mike knows the Strike zone as well as anyone playing the game today. Mike Trout needs to swing to make more contact. When you swing for the fences every pitch you will lose the battle with the pitcher more often than win. As Mike is aging, he is chasing more bad pitches because being very frank the pitchers are becoming less afraid. Mike is trading walks for making contact. Mike should have more than 175 hits in a full season. By not swinging he does not total up Doubles or even more Home Runs. Maybe slotting him at second in the lineup and having Shohei and Rendon behind him will help. Batting third he will see better pitches to hit when speedsters like Fletch, Marsh and Shohei are on base.

Thinking about playing into what is bad in MLB with legislation will not fix the issues of to many Strikeouts and not enough hitting. Only better Baseball will fix the problem. Teaching and Coaching need to improve and that starts at the bottom and up.

BTW, if legislation is your thing, make the whole infield move to one side or the other and watch what happens real fast, more normal playing in the infield is what with occur.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend

Those terrible MLB baseball players will get right on that.
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red floyd
Legend
1 year ago

Joey Gallo wants to ban the shift. https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/yankees-joey-gallo-says-mlb-should-ban-the-shift-at-some-point-you-have-to-fix-the-game-a-little-bit/

I think Joey Gallo should learn how to hit the other way.

steelgolf
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  red floyd

Learn to hit the other way or bunt against the shift.

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  steelgolf

Gallo of all people. He either hits it out or K’s, funny stuff.

FungoAle
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  steelgolf

Boog Powell used to bunt the 3rd base way. I’m against banning the shift, players need to adjust their attitudes.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  FungoAle

Id take my chances trying to throw out Boot Powell on a bunt attempt. That big dude was not a speedster ( but probably faster than Grandpa- well not anymore anyways)

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  steelgolf

Sure. Easy. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this? I mean, we’ve seen at least five guys bunt successfully against the shift. And the two I can actually remember the pitcher blew it and failed to pitch away from the bunt.

Do modern hitters suck at going the other way? Sure, a bit more than in years past. But pitchers have gotten CRAZY good at pitching for the shift and against the squared bunt at this point. It’s why no one, not even the players and coaches who are almost as smart as Crashing The Pearly Gates Guy, does it much.

The thing is, I do think there will eventually be guys who get that good at pulling their hands in, even when the ball’s sinking or rising, etc. The more hitters “grow up” seeing this pitching strategy the more of them will adjust. But even back in the glorious 70s and 80s only guys like Boggs and Gwynn had the skill to deal with what’s thrown now. It’s not just a matter of “pull der hands in and push dee inside pitch duh udder way an also reach out and poke the outside pitches.” Pitchers are throwing poor guys like Gallo sequences where 80% of the time the guy’s gonna mash it into the ground, flub it, or miss it all together.

All that being said, I do wish they’d limit the shift. It’s a bit out of hand.

rspencer
Trusted Member
1 year ago

I am not intending to be a poophead, but seriously, how can the shift be limited without being passive-aggressive and invoking unintended outcomes? I mean, maybe we should instead bring on a new dead ball era. That would work, right?

steelgolf
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I like the shift. It exposes players who can’t / won’t adjust at the plate to what they see in the defense. One dimensional players whining about something that exposes them as one dimensional players. How about, and hear me out Mr. Gallo, how about you train and practice hitting the ball the other way and bunting the other way? How about you make an opposing team pay for using the shift against you?

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  steelgolf

Same page for sure. It also exposes Baseball not wanting to change and coach and teach how to beat the shift. It will soon occur to the stat heads to recommend this to the powers that be. It will change sooner than later as the players will learn that you can make more money going the other way. The one- or two-dimensional hitters will disappear in the future.

RexFregosi
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  steelgolf

let the team decide where to play the defense and the hitter decide where to hit the ball.

MLB needs to stop tinkering with rules.

Eric_in_Portland
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

personally I don’t believe the positions as we know them are actual positions but are, instead, what we call the fielders who are in certain spots. Just names that we’ve given that have nothing to do with having 9 players on defense, somewhere.

If a team chooses to, they could have a pitcher, a catcher, and seven guys in leftfield.

The positions we’ve been accustomed to came about because that’s how teams decided to defend. They spread out infielders and outfielders evenly because batters hit to all fields. Now that batters are trying to pull the ball it makes sense that the defense moves to counter.

Nobody said “there must be a first baseman, and a second baseman, and a shortstop” etc. Teams put guys there because it cut down the number of hits. Consider the shortstop. There’s no base called “short”. It’s just a player who’s positioned in a spot where balls are likely to be hit.

You see where I’m at on this. It’s up to the hitters to do something about the shift. Banning or modifying the shift is, to me, the equivalent of the runner on 2b to start the 10th.

rspencer
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Yeah, this, This is how I see the matter.

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  red floyd

Way too much wine or is it whines? The shift can be beat, it takes learning by practice. I can just that basketball player in Philly with the tattoos now. Practice! Practice!

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  red floyd

The Athletic’s Jayson Stark examined this very issue last week. For those that have access its a pretty good read including limited sample size data from the different lower level minor league shift ban experiments from last year.

https://theathletic.com/3138898/2022/02/21/what-would-happen-if-baseball-killed-the-shift/?article_source=search&search_query=Jayson%20stark.

Stark’s analysis of major and minor league data seemed to indicate that:

  • The shift does not really impact right handed hitters very much.
  • By far, the hitters that are getting impacted the most from shift are the super pull hitting Left handers like Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo.
  • That most hitters if they wanted a shift ban instituted would prefer that they no longer allow the middle infielders to play right behind the bag since they’ve all pretty much been trained since little league to hit the ball up the middle and its doubtful that MLB would ever prevent the second baseman or shortstop to set up around the bag.
red floyd
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  tommyshalo

Exactly.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  tommyshalo

This was actually one of the examples I was thinking of. Pitcher boy left that pitch belt high. If he’d gone up or down this would be at least a foul ball. On top of that, and all you ubur coaches here on the internet can correct me if I’m wrong, even with the pitcher failing to throw at the bunt this hitter still dropped the head of his bat down when he bunted…. this is also almost always a strike or an out.

My point is, “just bunt away from the shift” is stupidly over simple. This is one of only a handful of examples I can think of where it worked and it worked because the pitcher blew it and in spite of the hitter also blowing it.

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago

March Madness is the best of the best with under-dogs, great comebacks and new hero’s and stars coming through. Coaching at its best in celebrating and consoling with these players. I do believe the top dog will come out of California. But no matter where they call home this is going to be maybe the best tournament ever.

Impossible for anyone to guess how this will all end just by picking all the winners and this is what makes this tournament so much darn fun. So, please do yourself a favor and try watching these games and have some fun with it. Thankfully Gramma Baseball loves it too.

MarineLayer
Super Member
1 year ago

Maybe if enough detail comes out about drug use under the Angels umbrella it could generate pressure to force Moreno to sell. Something good could still come out of this human tragedy.

Since Marsh and Adell are very recent graduates of the farm system, perhaps it’s unfair to throw too much negativity at what we’ve been able to produce recently.

MarineLayer
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  MarineLayer

One more thought, Eno Sarris of The Athletic said when he was evaluating Detmers as a prospect that he believes the Angels do a crappy job developing good pitching prospects compared to other more successful teams, like the Doyers and the Marlins. I think he’s got a point.

RexFregosi
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  MarineLayer

we only had one good era of prospect development
coincidentally, that era cummulated in a WS trophy in 2002

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  MarineLayer

And the Rays. And the Brewers. And the Indians. There, we’ve listed all the teams currently turning out stud pitchers all the time. We’ve also failed to botch as many red hot pitching prospects as the Phillies, Mariners, Padres, Red Sox, White Sox, D Backs, A’s, Twins and Royals have over these same years.

My take away from this is that I’d like us to have more good pitching prospects, and I’d like them to become good MLB pitchers for us.

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

While you and I agree often on things this is where the part in the road comes. We are on the same page with Arte spending money unwisely that has not helped a single thing (expect with Tori Hunter) as he refuses to spend hiring the proper people to manage the organization. The end result is Arte is not provided the proper information to make the right decisions or choices. Or he is just inept. Either way you look at it he cannot be looked at as a winning owner.

Which department of the team are we considered to be top notch in? Scouting? Teaching? Coaching? Minors? Front Office? Drafting? Organizational? Management? We can’t even throw enough shit against a wall and make it stick.

Arte is not or has been a real leader, his hands are in everything as he is not even a believer in who he hires and has not respect for their abilities.

To change this whole Angels organization around a game plan dealing with every position needs to be addressed from top very top down. Pink slips handed out and a whole new way of doing things in every department needs addressing. Right now Arte does not seem to care what an embarrassment he is in charge of as long as a profit is make. Winners and winning teams make profit, not losers with big egos. A president of operations, an Admiral so to speak reporting to the owner only, while a solid game plan that covers all departments is needed.

Charles Sutton
Editor
Super Member
1 year ago

When I read about how the labor negotiators are trying to figure out how to penalize the tanking teams without penalizing the teams that merely lose because they are bad, I immediately visualized Arte calling Manfred about it.

The Angels aren’t tanking. Unfortunately, they lose anyway.

Fansince1971
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Sutton

I think if you are a team under a certain threshold (say less than 50% of the luxury tax threshold) you should not be eligible to participate in the draft lottery no matter where you end up in the standings.

For example- it the luxury tax threshold is $220m, you have to spend $110m on players or your team is automatically disqualified from the lottery picks even if your record would otherwise qualify.

red floyd
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

TBH, I think Disney did it right. They put a baseball guy in charge of the team, and let him run it.

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  red floyd

Arte would have his money spent wisely hiring a leader who is suited better than himself by experience and education to be at the top. Then a couple of General Managers for the front side and one for the field side. Fill the front office up along with scouting ranks. Set up standards for teaching and coaching throughout the system and not worry as much about expensive Free Agents. It was the Disney way that took us to the World Series, not Arte’s way as it has proven not to work.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  red floyd

Tony Tavares? he was a concessions guy from Philly.

red floyd
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

OK, then Tavares knew to hire baseball guys and get out of the way.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  red floyd

I think we all got lucky with the Stoneman hire. I believe Bill got the job because he had been an executive for a few years for a Montreal bank who just happened to know a thing or 2 about baseball and building a team. And You know how those Disney suits love the bean counters.

gitchogritchoffmypettis
Legend
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

I want to see what happens with PTP and all the MiLB brains he’s hired from teams with systems I like. I know that, if I were stupid, I’d whine about the farm not being fixed yet. Thankfully, I’m smart as f***. So I’ll see where things are in a couple years. Maybe Arte’s finally seeing the benefits of building the farm. He can’t wave a magic wand, especially during Covid, and make everything Alabama Football, but maybe it will be noticeably better soon. Or he won’t, in which case he’s stupid. Call me crazy, but PTP will also probably need more than one draft too.

steelgolf
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Key heads rolling? Sooooooo, a few ushers or another Salty Nuts guy, maybe a security guard who was supposed to be watching the door of the umpires locker room? I do think some key heads should roll, but they probably won’t.

MarineLayer
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  steelgolf

Exactly, same as it ever was.

Cowboy26
Legend
1 year ago
Reply to  MarineLayer

A silver lining from normally a gloomy forecast? I like it.

Jim Atkins
Super Member
1 year ago

Book recommendation- Joe Posnanski wrote a series of player profiles for The Athletic two seasons ago when the pandemic delayed the start of play. They are collected in a book called The Baseball 100. This is a brilliantly written look at the greatest of the great (in his opinion, YMMV). IMHO Joe is the best sportswriter in the country right now, maybe the best baseball writer since Roger Angell. This is truly a joy to read. Of course, I have no financial angle or interest in this, just a love of the game and great writing.

ScoopleDoople
Trusted Member
1 year ago

Great writeup Jeff. Thank you! And the last paragraph was the bottom line.

MarineLayer
Super Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

Exactly right.