Jerry Dipoto has done that which we cried over for over many months. He blew up the pitching staff. Maybe not the very best time to do that, considering the weak free agent pool this off-season and the still light minor league system we have to deal with, but it is what it is. When we had Weaver we had (mostly) wonderful. We had Frieri on fire for a little while. Greinke grew into his role over time. And everything else felt like a crapshoot, mostly shooting nothing but crap. Jerry carpet-bombed the whole thing. He wrecked it. Now he's got to fix-it.
We go into the primary campaign season for rebuilding with little ammo, few targets, and a reputation for vulnerability. It's going to take come crafty determination, some chance opportunities that need to be seized at surprising times, and luck. Hopefully not too much luck. I have to confess (easy to do with this crowd, considering everyone's initial reaction), but the whole Marmol incident was devastating to my confidence in the shrewdness of new Front Office team. With that attempt at craptastrophe, fortunately failed, Dipoto nuked my faith in his invincibility. He blew it up. It's wrecked. Now he's got to fix-it.
The primaries will be over before Christmas. Come January we will be in full swing with media hype and dissections of every sound bite and prognosticators lining up to look foolish when the actual results tumble in. We need Dipoto covered from head to toe in the muck and the mire, deeply entrenched in the warfare of bare-knuckle brawling and switchblade surprises. The roster is undergoing radical changes and our position as a contender hangs in the balance. Do we jump back into the playoff fray? Do we manage to hold the status quo? Or do we slip into a year or two of "rebuilding"? This ain't a time for drones, for remote control field management. Jerry dropped some big ones. It's wrecked. Fix-It Jerry. Fix-it while I go watch Skyfall.
A Gathering Of Hardware:
On Monday Mike Trout was voted by Wilson as AL Defensive Player Of The Year and by the players as Player's Choice Award for Outstanding Rookie in the AL.
On Thursday Mike Trout was named AL 2012 Silver Slugger for Center Field, formally announced as one of 5 Finalists for the AL Most Valuable Player, and formally announced as one of 3 Finalists for the AL Rookie Of The Year.
On Thursday Mike Trout was formally announced as one of the GIBBY Finalists for MLB MVP, Hitter, Rookie, Defensive Player, and Must C Play.
On Thursday Kendrys Morales was formally announced as one of the Gibby Finalists for Hitting Performance.
On Thursday Jered Weaver was formally announced as one of the Gibby Finalists for Starting Pitcher, and Pitching Performance,
Gibby Awards are things voted on by we, the fans, folks so vote early and vote often!
Oh...and to recap...Beyond The Boxscore honored Mike trout as Silver Slugger (unanimously among AL votes with Robinson Cano and Josh Hamilton), Gold Glove (the only unanimous pick among wither league), and AL Rookie Of The Year (unanimously).
Personal Observation on These Award Announcements: Trout most likely will not win the AL MVP, which is voted on by baseball writers, but baseball editors are doing their damnedest to define Trout as the most valuable draw to their readership. the vast majority of articles I found concerning award nominations used some photo of Trout to promote their article and grab attention.
Zack Greinke: Mike DiGiovanna over at the LA Times dives into the cost-benefit analysis of the #1 objective for the Angels. But there is a more cynical angle to be considered. More Machiavellian: since everybody knows that Greinke is the most important thing to Dipoto, everybody knows that losing Greinke is the most important thing to prevent. All the big market teams have the resources to make a run at Greinke, and winning him would be a coup, but it also works to blow up the LAA payroll (already burdened by Well and Pujols) and shake other assets loose from the Halo tree (ala Dan Haren and Ervin Santana and Maicer Izturis, etc.) Everything falls in your favor, including creating drag on the Moreno pocketbook to compete for your more realistic talent objectives elsewhere or in the future, and creating drag on Dipoto's ability to field the most competitive roster overall.
Things are going to get crazy for Dipoto! Anibal Sanchez, he of the 1.346 injury-plagued career WHIP, wants 6 years and $90 million. And I thought MY job was tough!!
Jerome Williams: I hope the Halos hang on to Jerome. And I hope he gets a chance to improve and he continues to contribute. I really like his story. Marcia Smith at ocregister gives us Williams on the day that he showed up for the Orange County Little League Challenger Classic.
Halo Merchandise Of The Week: Get 'Em While You Still Can!
- Torii Hunter Lego compatible mini-fig here...
- Ervin Santana Lego compatible mini-fig here...
- Dan Haren Lego compatible mini-fig here...
- Maicer Izturis Lego compatible mini-fig here...
This Date In Baseball History: 1953 - In a 7-2 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds it's prior position that baseball is a sport and not a business, paving the way for baseball to remain exempt from anti-trust laws..........1982 - Robin Yount of the Milwaukee Brewers is the unanimous AL MVP, with Doug DeCinces of the California Angels coming in third place with a 45% share..........2000 - Future 2002 Game 6 Hero Dusty Baker is named BBWAA ML Manager Of The Year, joining Tony LaRussa as the only 3-time winners..........2002 - Immediately after managing his way out of victory in the 2002 World Series, now 3-time BBWAA Manager Of The Year Dusty Baker is signed to a 4-year deal to manage the Chicago Cubs (the official press release would be 10 tens later)..........2004 - Roger "Needle Beef" Clemens becomes the oldest person to win the CY Young award..........2005 - Bud Selig, worried about losing the anti-trust exemption in the face of congressional pressure concerning PEDs testing, tosses Congress a peace offering in favor of legislation banning players for 1/2 season if caught. In that same presser, Selig insists that he still opposes instant replay DESPITE post-season umpiring blundering..........also in 2005, the BBWAA awards Ozzie Guillen with the AL Manager Of The Year, anticipating the spirit of the gift-giving season that would be led by Doug Eddings..........2011 - Wilson Ramos of the Nationals is kidnapped at gunpoint from his home in his native Venezuela. Ramos will be rescued two days later by local police.
- It might be a very fun winter this off-season, folks. It formally kicked off this week with the General Managers Meetings in Indian Wells, which began Wednesday. the list of all 137 Free Agent players can be found here. The official MLB Hot-Stove Tracker can be found here, and it is sortable and pretty cool to work with. Projecting into the near future,. the official MLB Winter Meetings kick off December 3, lasting through December 6. Also, the non-tender deadline is set for November 30.This means more players could be added to the Free Agent market come December. Here is your 2012 non-tender list.
- The player pipeline that runs from Anaheim to Toronto remains flowing, as Maicer Izturis becomes the first player in the 2012 FA market to jump teams and become a Blue Jay. I know that the numbers don't bear it out, but I cannot recall any other player stepping up to bat that gave me as much confidence in a tight situation when we desperately needed a hit. Say pharewell to the pharaoh.
- Major League Baseball is thinking about changing the rules concerning September call-ups. The current rule of a max of 40 after August 31st is too large for some folks to handle (what with minor league playoffs being so mission critical and all), and not all teams make full use. This results in many situations where opposing teams have differing numbers of players available to compete in any given game. Now, far be it for me to outwit the collective thinking of so many bright and important people, but it seems that if my opponent willfully chose to come to the gunfight with fewer bullets than me that's their problem. And I am not making it mine.
- Now for an interesting piece of historical perspective. You have just seen nearly a full season of Mike Trout playing a furious brand of baseball. By definition, the stat heads didn't need to see everything that Trout did to make his case for awesomeness. And, of course, the scribes beyond Anaheim barely got glimpses of what Trout was doing day by day. But you saw. With your own eyeballs. And you some pretty impressive plays. With that in mind, click and play the clip below. This is long considered one of the Greatest Plays In World Series History. You recognized it even before you clicked. And once you watch it you will realize, as I did, that this is nothing so special compared against Trout 2012.
(A roundup of this week's LA Angels-related rumors and transactions...as if you just woke up, recovering from last weekend's Links.)
- The Angels are expanding their search to overseas in their efforts to rebuild the pitching staff, now adding Kyuji Fujikawa to the mix.
- Left-handed Mitch Setter was signed to a minor league contract.
- The Angels have been shopping Vernon Wells practically everywhere. Those of you hoping for John Lackey to return are out of luck, as the Red Sox are hoping to see what he looks like after Tommy John surgery.
- Just for Alumni Fun, The Red Sox are considering Mike Napoli as their 2013 first baseman. Speaking of the idea of the Red Sox obtaining their next 1B from Anaheim, Jeff Fletcher of the OCRegister relates an awesome anecdote of Jerry Dipoto teaching a Boston beat writer how to count...to 3.
- The Mets are shopping R.A. Dickey. Everybody seems to worry about his age. Nobody seems to pay attention to the fact that, as a knuckleballer, he's got another 10 years left in this enterprise. The guy is entering his walk year, so the Mets will become more and more uncertain as they continue to fail to sing him to an extension. A trade, meanwhile...well, who needs pitching these days??
(Quick hits of interesting stuff that sit out on the fringe of our baseball emporium...)
If you have a spare $20 million laying around, you can buy the rights to rename from Wrigley Field to Rangers Asshats Sux Cow Pasture..........Deadspin transcribes a radio interview with Mark McGwire and Big Mark thinks PEDs are a bad idea...........Scott Boras wants all your money..........Man, you know you have a huge hole to dig out of when you need to make it a top off-season priority to revamp your entire medical staff.
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday for beer:
Extending their state-wide dominance from last weekend a 4th consecutive day, thanks again to Stone Brewery and Ciro's San Diego easily takes Friday events: Five Years of Four Stone Beers will be pretty much all day at Stone Brewing Company...........Over at Ciro's will the the Stone Brewing Co "Hoppy Hour" from 7-9pm..........Saturday: Los Angeles gets back in the game with the 4th Annual Savor the Flavor event, a "Beer and Spirits Extravaganza", taking place at the Four Point Sheraton at LAX. (It looks like a good lineup but, seriously, which one of you is daffy enough to VOLUNTEER to jump through all the logistics hoops to get into the LAX area for this?).........Out in Redlands, there is a charity beer event at Good Nights Inn, the Brew Rebellion Bottle Share, running from 6-10pm..........The Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery And Restaurant in Walnut Creek is hosting the Get Snowed In Beer & Food event..........Palm Springs Air Museum is the site of the Palm Springs "Props & Hops" Craft Beer Conclave..........The Bistro in Hayward will be the site of the West Coast Aged Beer Festival..........and back down in San Diego way we have Saison Saturday beer tasting at Stone Brewing wiuth a brilliant run out of selections, Goose Island Tap Takeover at Ciro's, and End of SDBW Bottle Share at Nanobrews. And on Sunday we got nothin'. Absolutely nuthin'. Use it to recover!
Stay safe, everyone!