Lots of drama lately on this site about the firing of Eddie Bane that Keith Law's article sparked up. I have been seeing a lot of defense of Bane in the comments and posts and I'm not sure why.
I've seen people say that he was "well--liked" throughout baseball, which is a pitiful argument. Who in their right mind likes the guy at work who does a bad job but is "well-liked" by the boss? I personally HATE those guys because they do a crappy job and get away with it.
That is what Bane did. You can defend his performance with the outliers of signing Kendry(s), drafting Weaver, Trout becoming the #1 prospect in baseball. 3 successes in the drafts/international signings from 2004-2010 are not enough for anyone to continue doing their job. I'm going to take a look back at the Angels' draft during Bane's era are show exactly why Bane should have been let go, office politics be damned.
1st Round: Jered Weaver. 12th pick.
This was a no-brainer. Weaver had all the tools to be the #1 overall pick but was represented by Scott Boras, so he slid down to us at 12. Signed him at the deadline after a great deal of bickering between our organization and Boras, and now he is our ace. It was obviously a good selection; but picking the #1 player at #12 is not a tough thing to do if you are financially able to do so. It isn't as though Bane called the 11 teams picking before us and scared them away from Weaver. But this pick is a great start to a career for Bane. However, this great start was short lived.
The next 47 players picked have combined to play 30 major league games.
Freddy is a borderline bench player and a perennial AAAA infielder. Nothing to write home about. Statia will probably never get out of AAA with the middle infielders in our organization. I hope that Trumbo sticks, but given our track record with power hitting corner infielders that is far from a sure thing. Cassevah is a borderline mop up man, who will never have a place in our bullpen.
That is an uninspiring first draft. But the big one here is Nick Adenhart. Just writing about him brings tears to my eyes because of how he was taken from us and from this world. We drafted Nick in the 15th round, 413th overall selection. If not for that tragic night, Bane would probably still have his job because he would have been responsible for 2/5 of our rotation. Really makes you wonder about how different things would be if Nick hadn't passed away.
1st Round: Trevor Bell, 37th overall.
3rd Round: Sean O'Sullivan, 103rd overall.
6th Round: Jeremy Moore, 193rd overall.
9th Round: Robert Mosebach, 283 overall.
10th Round: Peter Bourjos, 313 overall.
Another bland draft. Bell could be a back end of a rotation guy, probably by May with Kazmir continually finding new ways to give up runs. O'Sullivan is the same, probably a long-relief guy. Moore might be a 4th outfielder, but probably not ever for us. Mosebach is a AAAA reliever, who will never stick anywhere.
This group is a little better than 2004's though, with 104 games played for the Angels between them. This draft yields another "what-if" in the 4th round with Brian Matusz being picked but not signing with us. He is now the #1 on Baltimore's staff and would have been in our rotation by now, as well. If we had gotten him signed, Bane could still have his job.
So far Bane's draft have yielded our CF, as of now, our 5th best starter, a pitcher that could have been in the 2-4 of our rotation and our #1 pitcher. Not a terrible start. Let's see how he adds with this class.
1st Round: 25th overall: Hank Conger.
Could be our future at catcher if the parental cord connecting Mike Scoscia and Jeff Mathis can ever be cut. Injury prone but an exciting guy. Wish he had arrived sooner.
5th Round: 162nd overall: David Herndon.
Got Rule 5 drafted by the Phillies. Is now their mop up guy. Might have been a nice guy to hang onto but certainly not overwhelming.
6th Round: 192nd overall: Robert Fish.
Also Rule 5 drafted by the Yankees, they let him go and now he is with another team. Watched him pitch in high school because he played down the street from my house, was a beast then. Now a fringy AAAA reliever, though he topped out at AA for us.
12th Round: 372nd overall: Jordan Walden.
Made his debut for us last year, has a cannon and hits triple digits. Very realistic possibility of him being our closer within a year. Exciting kid. Had a few setbacks in the minors as a starter before being converted to a relief guy. Could be a staple of our bullpen for quite a few seasons.
19th Round: 582nd overall: Chris Pettit.
Guy that gets talked about a lot around here. I like him personally. Wish he hadn't gotten injured last year because he had a shot to make the roster. Could be a decent major league player. Hope that he bumps Willits off the roster for good and sticks as our 4th outfielder.
After this draft we have no new additions to the major league roster. But our future closer, catcher and contributing bench guy. As well as two replacement level relief pitchers. Average but, once again, nothing to get excited about.
This is where it goes downhill sharply from a slope that wasn't all that high to begin with.
5th Round. 178 overall: Andrew Romine.
Maybe a future backup infielder. A fringe roster guy, hasn't impressed me at any point.
8th Round: 268th overall: Trevor Reckling.
Who knows with him. Could end up in our rotation, might not ever figure out how to throw strikes consistently. Was rushed to AAA, got crushed. Got sent back to AA, still got hit hard. Hope he can figure it out, but he is still probably the best player in this draft.
2nd Round: 74th overall: Tyler Chatwood.
Local kid in my area. Untouchable in high school. Has surprised a lot of people with how well he has developed. Besides me rooting for him for being local and having played against him in high school, he has a legit shot at being in our rotation in a few years. This was a very good selection, in my opinion.
13th Round: 409 overall: Michael Kohn.
Another surprising reliever. Despite the Halowood jokes and comments, this is going to be another important part of our bullpen for years to come. A very good find this late in a draft.
1st Round: 24th overall: Randal Grichuk.
Looks good so far. Hope he pans out.
1st Round: 25th overall: Mike Trout.
I haven't heard much about this guy. Can someone fill me in?
Kidding aside, #1 prospect in baseball. Can't really argue this.
1st Round: 42nd overall: Garrett Richards.
Projects well. Rising quickly. Very good pitching prospect.
I still think it is much to early to pass any judgement on this draft and I don't really know much about the players in it. Cowart looks good. Everyone else is kind of toolsy.
All in all, that is 7 drafts.
Out of those drafts we have our #1 pitcher Weaver, who was the top pitcher in the draft but fell to us because of his agent.
We have our CF Bourjos, who may or may not be a long term solution in the outfield. I hope that he is because I loved watching him play and what he gives us on defense is damn near unmatchable.
We have two guys that figure to be in our bullpen for the foreseeable future in Kohn and Walden.
We have the #1 prospect in baseball in Mike Trout.
We have a couple of good pitching prospects, and a couple more I didn't list who were involved in trades.
We have our starting 1st Baseman as of now, who may or may not be able to hit in the big leagues. If not, he is a bench guy or an AAAA player.
We have a couple of 4th outfielders in Pettit and Moore.
We have a couple back-of-the-rotation starters.
Providing one starting position players and one starting pitcher in 7 years is not a good job of scouting talent.
Many people here are correct in saying that Bane is not responsible for the failures of Wood and Mathis and McPherson and the disappointments of Howie and Aybar. He is responsible for not providing the organization with any players to replace those disappointments and failures through the draft and international scouting.
Kendry, Bourjos and Weaver. 2/9 starting position players. 1/5 starters. That is not acceptable.
While there may have been other issues that resulted in the firing of Bane, the Angels were completely justified to let go of somebody who had done such a poor job.
He may be a scapegoat, but it is not without merit.