Its your buddy Christhammer here! How ya doin?
Like many of you, I was saddened that the Halos did not make the World Series this year.
I hate the Yankees with a passion (especially their spoiled, arrogant fans and the concomitant media adulation) so this year was bitterly disappointing for me.
I don't want to rehash everything that has been already been said as to WHY the Angels lost in the ALCS. We all know the reasons, and each of us have proffered various solutions to prevent a repeat of such a collapse in 2010.
Henceforth, I would like to offer all of you my suggestions for making a very good Angels team even better:
1) Move Howie Kendrick to left field: I personally think that Howie would be a better outfielder than 2B. He can use his speed to complement Torii Hunter, especially in that left-center gap. He can also play everyday which is critical to the team's success.
2) Make Bobby Abreu your DH: Clearly, Bobby is better with the bat than the glove. Keep him in your line-up and let him continue to be a positive influence the younger players like Aybar and Isturis.
If Abreu balks or walks, I think that Hank Blalock would be a better designated hitter especially in terms of home run production.
I like Vlad very, very much, but unless you can get him on the cheap, I don't think he is worth holding onto at this point. Also, he has to move down in the line-up, no excuses.
3) Trade Gary Matthews Jr. for Nick Markakis: Nick reminds me of Trot Nixon, but without the juice. He's a young, solid right fielder with good pop in his bat. If you get him now, he can continue to blossom with Kendrick, Aybar, Wood, etc.
Of course, the Angels would have to eat GMJ's salary. That's not fun, but Reagins should never have signed that mofo for Wall Street money in the first place. Oh well, lesson hopefully learned.
4) Let Figgins go, put Wood on 3B: I really like and respect Figgins alot. Very underrated hitter and fielder who never gets the publicity he deserves. Woe are us under 6 footers.
While I would like the Angels to keep him, I get the sense that he might be ready to move on. Very well. Let him blossom elsewhere, and let us give Mr. Brandon Wood the opportunity to show his stuff at 3B. The time has come to take the wrapping off this Secret Santa.
5) Trade for Dan Haren: Talk amongst yourselves.
Seriously, it looks like Lackey is headed out to the highway. While Haren is no Halladay or Lee, I do think that he is a very good pitcher (223 Ks/38 BBs in '09) who would fit in nicely with Weaver, Sauders, Kazmir and Santana.
Now the question is, what do you have to give up in order to get him?
I don't know. I'm stumped on that one.
6) Keep Macier Isturis at 2B however, if the brains at the front office (ugh) can put together a nice little package to bring Aaron Hill over, then I would go for it! I like Macier for his average and his defense, but Aaron Hill would be such a phenomonal advancement for the Angels offense, its not even funny.
Imagine having Kendry, Hill, Hunter, Markakis and Howie in that line-up???? Add in the willyness of Abreu and Aybar, and you have a very dangerous line-up.
Okay, I'm getting carrried away, but I hope you guys see what the potential could be here.
7) Solidify that bullpen: Let's face it, Shields is getting older and will probably not have the stuff of yesteryear. I do like Jason Bulger, but I'm not sold on Arrendondo and Fuentes. Where can we get some power arms for the 7th/8th/and 9th innings????
How do you guys feel about JJ Putz? Should we take a chance on him? Can we get Joel Zumaya on the cheap? What about Francisco Rodney?
This is where I'm stumped as I think the relief corps pickings are slim out there.
8) Showcase a few Triple A guys: not full-time, but here and there. We've heard so much about the farm system. 2010 will be the time to have more short stint call-ups.
Sometimes, its guys like these that can bring the right intangibles to a team like the Angels (work ethic, camraderie, hidden talent, etc) and help take their game from winning baseball to championship baseball.
Think of how Nick Swisher impacted the Yankees. Its the middle-tier guys you least suspect that can not only give you the most bang for your buck but bring some much needed levity to a very competitive sport.
10) Fire Tony Reagins and persuade Bill Parcells if he would like to try his hand at baseball:
Why not? He appeared in the Superbowl 3 times and won 2 of them. He loves challenges and he loves to win. I think he would be a great fit for the organization. Imagine the intricate discussions that Parcells and Scioscia would have about player talent and execution. Imagine the collaboration and the tension as well!!!!
You may not know this, but Parcells was a baseball prospect before he went into coaching football. He turned down a lucrative deal with the Phillies to be their catcher, opting instead to go to college.
Well folks, I hope these 10 suggestions will make good cerebral grist over some beer and tacos.
ANGELS WORLD CHAMPIONS IN 2010 OR BUST!