I've been a big admirer of this site for 5 years. I check it daily. I'm one of those people who goes to Tempe every year for spring training, but does not comment on sports blogs. I've watched, either live or on dvr, every Angels game for the last 10 years. I'm 33 years old and I've been a die hard Angels fan for 25 of them. My alltime favorite player is Erstad because he was so easy to root for, he left his heart on the field every game. I'm getting to my point....
Rev, you've been such a voice of reason for so long and I'm disappointed that you can't see the big picture here. I'm not a Stathead like some of the folks here, but Napoli had to go. I see you post a video playing with his doll (not to mention someone else's funny, but disturbing video of arte as hitler, btw, I know it's been 70 years, dude, but much like Michael Jordan's mustache, it's still too soon) and it's driven me to post something.
I always liked Rivera's value, but I'll keep it simple. No heart. I am grateful I don't have to defend his not diving for non-catches any more. The ball in front of him to end the boston comeback was inexcusable. The ball that dropped on the warning track last year might have been even worse. Rivera was a Sabermeteric, Moneyball dream, and a fan with eyeballs and the desire to cheer for a guy playing hard's nightmare.
Napoli is a lifetime .215 hitter w/ RISP. Enough said. I've watched him consistently underperform as a run producer. He is a below average receiver. He is obviously a guy who Scioscia, a manager whose success demands our trust, doesn't want to be our everyday catcher. No pro Mathis argument ( faith in Conger is more like it), just anti Napoli.
Vernon Wells is the real deal. He is a legitimate middle of the order threat. He's an average CF, he'll be above average in left. He's a class guy who is easy to root for and if he stays healthy, he'll hit .275, w/ 25-30 hrs, and he'll steal a career high in bases in this offense. This trade makes our team a contender for the division.
I believe that Arte, Tony, and Soth are projecting a 2012 outfield rotation of Wells, Bourjos, Hunter, and Trout. We can overpay the vets because we believe in the promise of our minimum-earning youth. If Abreu underperforms in '11, he won't see 550 PA's. If he does we can bring Trout along slower in '12. It's win/win...
And please don't start w/ the "now we can't keep Weav and Kmo", 'cause we can. We just need a couple of young guys to meet, not exceed, but meet expectations.
Our pitching and defense will carry us these next couple of years. How can you not root for this team? Every guy in this starting lineup plays the right way. Mark my words....
C- Mathis .230 8HR 45RBI Conger .265 4HR 30 RBI
1B-Morales .290 32HR 105 RBI
2B- Kendrick .305 14HR 80 RBI
SS- Aybar .285 10 HR 60 RBI 20 SB
3B- Izturis .300 12HR 65 RBI 15SB 90 Runs Scored (Finally Healthy!)
lF-Wells .275 28HR 100 RBI 25 SB
CF-Bourjos .260 40 SB 100 Runs Scored
RF- Hunter .285 25 HR 90 RBI 20 SB
DH Abreu .310 15 HR 80 RBI 20 SB
That's enough, considering the strength of our pitching and defense. Stop crying and wish us luck in the playoffs.