One more game until the Angels start their hunt for
a World Series championship the television remote control:
- It's nice when a player reaches a certain milestone; 100 RBI, .300, 30 HR, but how about this: Iwakuma, Mariners shut down Angels 6-1 - Yahoo! Sports. "Seager became the first Seattle batter to hit 20 home runs in a season since 2009 with a solo shot in the first inning". How awesome is that...the Angels got beat (again) by a team who hasn't had a batter hit 20 home runs IN A SEASON since 2009. Yeah, I get that past failures don't affect the current season, but come on, that is some weak sauce.
- Potential former-Angel Dan Haren made an interesting statement during his post-game comments: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners - October 2, 2012 - MLB.com. ""It's going to be interesting," Haren said of the uncertain offseason. "I've never obviously been in a situation like this. Whether I'm a free agent or not, I don't know. If I am, it's going to be tough. I'm sick of changing teams. I've been on four teams. Coming to L.A. was a dream come true, really. It's going to be hard if I leave." I'm sure the Halos would welcome Haren back, especially if he's willing to sign a mutually beneficial deal in the same "spirit" as Jered Weaver. If you like playing here and don't want to leave, put your money where your mouth is.
- It's a different story with Ervin Santana. A change of scenery would be the mutually beneficial deal in this situation: Angels have to decide on Santana - Baseball Wires - MiamiHerald.com. "It would be tough to not come back here because I've known my teammates for a long time, and we have a good relationship," Santana said. "At the same time, it might be time to move on and try different things. "If that happens, it happens. I'm not worried about it."
- If you're an Angels fan and don't like Jered Weaver you're insane. Seriously, Weaver has done everything anyone could ever ask of him: Angels-Mariners Preview - FOX Sports. "Weaver looks to become the AL's only 21-game winner Wednesday when the Angels wrap up the 2012 campaign against the host Seattle Mariners. Weaver (20-4, 2.73 ERA) has been dominant down the stretch, winning his last four starts behind a 1.98 ERA." When it became must-win time in Anaheim (hey, that rhymes), Weaver became even more dominate. If that's not the sign of a Cy Young worthy pitcher, I don't know what is. Even Mike Scioscia agrees: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners - October 3, 2012 - MLB.com. "He's pitched the way you would expect an ace to pitch and he's having the type of year that a Cy Young winner has," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And hopefully he'll be rewarded."
- Oh good Lord, please don't tell me Jerry Dipoto is one of "those guys". You know the type, can't answer a direct question with a direct answer. Instead giving the type of lame answers we've come to expect from Mike Scioscia: Dipoto: Angels' season isn't a failure - Yahoo! Sports. "Failure is a relative term," general manager Jerry Dipoto said. Um, no it's not. When you don't reach established goals it's called "failure". It's kind of like being dead, you can't be a little dead. Death isn't a relative term, and neither is failure. Oh wait, maybe there's hope for him yet: Angels' Dipoto not labeling season a failure - The Orange County Register. "The expectations (of this year's team) were there for a good reason. On paper, we have a good team. On the field, we had a good team for the majority of the season. There were lows — especially in the first six weeks. But since mid-May, we've had the best record in the league and it's hard to play better than the best team in the league. We weren't able to make up ground. Again — we did it to ourselves and it's our responsibility to change that." Accepting responsibility is one of the first steps to recovery. Another is realizing you have a problem. I'm looking at you Mike.
- Oh crap: Coaching staff to stay intact for next season - angels.com. "This group's been together for a long time," Dipoto said. "They trust each other, they work hard. At the end of the day, one win or one loss, one defining moment, should not define the way a group, a team, an organization is looked upon. We're here for the long haul, and this is a team that has the ability to sustain into the future." "One defining moment"? You mean like missing the playoffs for the third straight year? I'm not one of the multitude of fans who want to see Scioscia fired, I'd rather he get promoted. That way the Angels get some value for the salary they're tied into until 2018. Make him the roving Useless Quote instructor. Actually, it could be worse, the Angels manager could be this guy...
- Panic time for the Rangers - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN. "Issue No. 1: Ron Washington's determination to stick with Michael Young. His artificially OK batting line of .277/.313/.370 masks that he just isn't very good. His OPS+ of 78 is higher than just four other AL qualifiers" I'm not one to get enjoyment from others misfortunes, but...Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics - October 02, 2012 - ESPN. "No one said it was going to be easy," Texas manager Ron Washington said. Whichever team wins today will get to play at least 5 more games, the other might go home after one. Rangers-Athletics Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "The A's have to be feeling good about giving the ball to rookie A.J. Griffin (7-1, 2.71 ERA), having won 10 of his last 12 outings.The Rangers counter with Ryan Dempster (7-3, 4.64), who has been very good recently as long as he's not facing the Los Angeles Angels."
- This is very interesting, especially for the lower payroll teams: MLB has reached an eight-year TV agreement with FOX, Turner Sports - MLB.com. "MLB on Tuesday announced an eight-year national media rights agreements with FOX and TBS, and combined with the recently announced ESPN deal, the three contracts will deliver a combined $12.4 billion -- more than a 100-percent increase in annual rights fees to MLB over the current arrangements. " That money will be distributed throughout the MLB, "Revenue will be split equally among all 30 teams per normal procedure, Selig said. "This is just a deal baseball made, and as a result it comes to us nationally and goes out equally to all 30 clubs," he said. In addition to the $12.4 billion from this deal, ESPN and MLB last month announced a new deal covering 2014-21 that will increase ESPN's average yearly payment from about $360 million to approximately $700 million. The new deals go into effect starting in 2014. If you combine the two TV deals, each team will receive approximately $75 million a year in television revenue ($51.7M and $23.3M). This total doesn't include the local TV deals each team signs on their own. This season, eight teams had payrolls of $76M or less. With these two deals, there should be no reason teams should claim poverty when faced with expanding payrolls.
I was perplexed as to why these TV deals were increasing at such a high rate until I read this comment by Craig Calcaterra over at NBCSports:
It’s about advertising dollars. Thanks to DVRs and Tivo, commercials are being increasingly ignored on all of TV, except when it comes to live sports. People will still watch live sports live, so there is far less fastforwarding through the ads. Advertisers have noticed this and are paying more and more to place ads during live sporting events than they would for scripted TV. This is sending rights fees higher.
- One last thing. Also announced with this deal was this: "Games included in the FOX Saturday national exclusive windows, which were previously blacked out to MLB Extra Innings and MLB.TV viewers, will be available beginning in 2014." Now if they would address the stupid regional MLB.tv blackout policy.
- I usually don't link to pay sites. I mean, what's the point if you're not a subscriber, but here's one from B-Pro written by Sam Miller. It's worth reading the entire post, but I've done a no-no by clipping one of the more important paragraphs: Pebble Hunting: A Very Good Team and a Very Bad Season -Baseball Prospectus. "Done something about the bullpen? Ehhhh. The Angels brought back every non-Rodney part of a bullpen that had the league’s second-best ERA in 2011. They added Hawkins, and they added Frieri. The performance of the bullpen wasn’t a failure to plan; it was simply another example of the fact that bullpen performance is almost totally unpredictable, even at a team level. (The best bullpen in the league, for what it's worth, is anchored by Fernando Rodney. If your solution for a team is "fix the blowpen" or "fix the bLOLpen," you are, respectfully, saying nothing.) (This last point is, if you’ll allow me, actually great news for the Angels. Losing behind a bad bullpen is painful to watch, but it’s the easiest thing to fix. Just close your eyes, spin around a few times, and it’s fixed! More or less, at least.)"
- About the only thing left for Angel fans to root for are the post season awards. Here's an interesting view point, maybe because it's pro-Trout (of course I'm biased): Sam Mellinger - Most valuable puzzle with Cabrera, Trout - KansasCity.com. "The problem with diving into this debate is that, like with too many things in our country, too many on each side are screaming over the top of the other. Listen to Cabrera’s supporters, and Trout is a product of fancy schmancy statistics that are nerding up the game and ignoring a feat that Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols or Alex Rodriguez never achieved. Listen to Trout’s backers, and Cabrera’s case is a dinosaur, an antique from the days of black-and-white TV and transistor radio because batting average is overrated and RBIs are the most misleading stat in mainstream circulation. Nobody’s won the Triple Crown in 45 years? Fine. But Trout is hitting .321 with 30 homers and 48 stolen bases and nobody’s done that since, well, ever. This is a Mays-in-his-prime type season, a bundle of baseball dominance that might take more effort to appreciate but is worth more on the field. Trout plays the best center field in baseball, and since his call-up the Angels are 82-57 — the best record in the league."
- More homers in Seattle...another reason not exercise Ervin Santana's option: New Safeco Field Outfield Wall Dimensions - Mariners.com. "After several months of deliberation and analysis, input from former players as well as from current and past front office personnel and coaches, the decision was made to make the adjustments." There's a nifty before-and-after graphic.
- As I wrote above, I'm not in favor of firing Mike Scioscia, just removing him from the dugout. Here's a post about another team's recent manager change: Cleveland Manager Rant - Walk Like a Sabermetrician. "Of course, any manager is going to make isolated decisions that are puzzling. If cherry-picking just a few of these instances is enough to call for the skipper’s head, then I can guarantee you that it won’t take much more than a week into his replacement’s regime for a similar emotion to emerge. If you have to point to one specific choice in reliever usage, or one marginal young player that didn’t play enough for your taste, then I humbly suggest you don’t have much of a case." One manager is the same as another? Possibly, but I'm still looking for change.
- Hate to say this, but Toronto could use a player like Torii Hunter: Jays lack leadership - Portage Daily Graphic. "What the Jays don’t have on this team is a veteran everyday player who is willing to take on a vocal leadership role. "I’ve only been in this clubhouse so I can’t speak for other teams, but we don’t have anyone like that in this clubhouse," Lind said. "I think it’s one thing to be liked and another thing to be respected, and I think for a staff respect is more important than being liked. It’s all a learning process and we all learned a lot about who we are."
- Not that funny, and not that interesting, but...A Wee Bird Terrorized One Yankee Stadium Grounds Crew Worker