"Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results." - While we all like the idea that this was something Albert Einstein chose to think about and then he said, there are other opinions. Who you gonna believe, the airheads over at BrainyQuote or the Info Nazis over at Wikipedia?
Whatever. Focus on the message, not the messenger.
"Repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results."
This past week we witnessed Arte make a bold decision. Except that, no we didn't. Arte didn't announce anything. Arte wasn't even around. Mike Scioscia announced the bold decision, about himself. And Jerry Dipoto was also there to announce the bold decision, about himself too. Except that the decision was a decision to not do anything decisive. Not so bold, that.
Arte remains hidden from the controversy, away from cameras and interviews, and he commands from the deep background. Mike and Jerry are told to "...sit down together and work it out, but know that Mike ain't going anywhere. So work it out, Jerry. Oh, and Jerry, Mike wants your coaches gone. Make it happen. And then, yeah, you two learn to get along."
Now, we have a lot of reasons to believe that the one thing that Dipoto is NOT is an idiot. His job is to give Sosh players to use, but he cannot force Sosh to use them the way they might best be used. And he has no control over Sosh using them in astoundingly poor ways that boggle the mind and make observers wonder how much of that abuse is purposeful. Dipoto sees the easy stuff just as easily as we do, and he must wonder about the suspicious stuff just as much as we do, if not more.
And we have a lot of reasons to believe that Scioscia is not an idiot. Up until the 2012 season we (well, me at least) had cause to celebrate him as one of MLB's finest skippers in spite of his obvious weaknesses with veteran players. But he has no control over the way that Arte spent his money on roster payroll, and he has no control over the wheelings and dealings that are under way in the GM office daily amongst franchises and agents all over the world. And he is probably far more capable than we to recognize a bucket of bolts when he sees one.
But one thing is for certain: together these three have turned a once formidable franchise into something idiotic at present. And it's a pretty fair guess that unless something changes between them, we are destined to expect results similar to what we have already seen in 2013, and 2012 before that, and 2011...and 2010...
The only way out, that I can see, is Insanity. Start making different mistakes. Of our three principal actors, my money says that only Dipoto is clever enough to find them.
On To What Little There Was of Angels Baseball This Week...
- Japan: Lest anyone make the mistake of thinking that Arte has some free and easy path to Masahiro Tanaka and that it's only a function of commitment, know that Tanaka is well known, from one coast to the other.
- Ryan Madson: Anybody ready to double down? Fangraphs looks into pitching injuries updates status around the league, and Madson pops up pretty much as he did last season, only the year has been changed to protect the innocent. I mean, after all, if we are committed to repeat SOME of the most important things about last season, why not GO ALL OUT? Just look at Scott Kazmir, right? That worked out eventually. So Madson has to work out one of these years, too, right?
Buy Stuff - Crazy-ass Baseball Finds On the Internet:
Well, here you go. Fully restored vintage seats from Anaheim Stadium. These have, for some reason, been stored in Indiana. But, hey, shipping is free! Nothing says baseball like having that magical smell of stadium plastic wafting across your man cave! (By the way, WTF are THESE???)
This Date In Baseball History: 1909 - Honus Wagner of the Pittsburgh Pirates becomes the first player to ever steal three bases in a single World Series game, doing so against the Detroit Tigers..........1965 - Willie Davis of the Dodgers becomes just the second player ever to steal three bases in a single World Series game. 56 years to the day after Honus Wagner.........1972 - Bobby Winkles is lifted from the Arizona State University baseball program and directly into the lead manager role of the California Angels, making him the first person ever to jump from college to the pros as a manager. Winkles had achieved three national champion titles at ASU, but his MLB career wasn't quite as illustrious.........1975 - On the very first ever episode of Saturday Night Live, host George Carlin introduces his famous Baseball versus Football soliloquy. (The Hulu video of the actual Pilot broadcast has been pulled.)...........2006 - Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor are killed as their plane crashes into a New York high rise building...........2009 - The LA Angels come back from a 5-1 deficit and complete a three game sweep of the Boston Red Sox by scoring 5 runs off of Jonathan Papelbon, who had never surrendered even a single run in any of his 26 previous playoff appearances.
Rounding Up The Major League News
- Recipe For Success: Here is how you get ahead in life, kids, and receive the love, adulation, social protection and endorsement from millions of fans around the country! First, Juice the hell up. Upgrade that scrawny journeyman talent into a productive powerhouse. Second, after getting caught of course, take a personal holiday. Say, two to three months. Have a good time sipping Mai Tais on the veranda and watching sunsets over paradise. Third, return to work fully sanctioned. Be proud to wave your newly minted "Paid Your Dues" card in the face of every doubter and in response to every objection. You are free and clear! You don't have to do anything. People will line the sidewalks in your advance with all the forgiveness any other mere shmuck would beg a lifetime for. You are good to go! Finally, stroll out onto the field of competition with your juiced talent and advance your team in the playoffs! You are a hero!!!
- The Human Element: Lots of folks have an opinion on this play in the A's/Tigers series. It's the Victor Martinez fly ball that was messed with by fans before the play could conclude naturally. It was called a home run, reviewed, and upheld as a home run. Most of the opinions I have read - at least every one that has been declarative - has seemed biased to me based on the author's personal belief system. So here is my opinion. Why the hell can't we just create playing arenas wherein every ball is allowed to proceed to the full and natural conclusion without hyper-excitable dumbasses in the stands being able to be involved???
- Chippy: I know some of this happened over a week ago, but the news was dribbling out all week long. I love that the Atlanta Braves have been ousted. Their players deteriorated into a bunch of whiny, hypocritical, asshats as the season wound down, while their fans devolved into obnoxious Internet police of the sort that would make Boston fans blush. Wait, you think I am making this stuff up? Ha! Brave players boycotted Chipper Jones' ceremonial first pitch. Chipper Jones. he's, what, like second only to Hank Aaron in the minds of most Braves fans?? Not an accident. And not lost on Chipper Jones himself, here and here.
Arizona DoucheBack: The Arizona Diamondbacks let Jerry Dipoto slip through their fingers. They had him as Interim General Manager from July to September of 2012, when they chose to hire Kevin Towers as the new, permanent, GM. For those of you who wish to see Dipoto hit the road, consider how close are the idiots that are among the alternatives. Towers was caught out in the open proclaiming that his team needs to throw baseballs at opponents, far more often (and he used far more violent rhetoric "...or somebody's going to get jackknifed"). Now, it is absolutely true that Towers later tried to walk back his comments. My guess is that he got a call from Uncle Bud's personal attack dog. But too little, too late. We have Dipoto, they have Towers. We win.
- Fighting Back: Ok, so you all know by now that there is quite a deal of controversy surrounding the use of Native American imagery, iconography and European labels as sports identities. And you all know that quite a few people are seriously unhappy about it, many for a long long time. And, these days, the focus is getting pretty dialed in on Dan Snyder and the Washington, DC NFL team. Still, far too many people clearly refuse to get the point. Well, The National Congress of American Indians have chosen to fight back, flipping the messaging to reveal the extent of the culture gap for those in need of finger paints and crayons. Fighting fire with fire, here are some caps with logos that go toe-to-toe withe a Cleveland Indians cap. This opens the door to the use of such imagery from a plethora of other communities that fight off marginalization.
Baseball Biz: In our ongoing look into the evolutionary process of cable rights fees, regional sports networks, and their impact on MLB franchise values and payroll flexibility, we turn our attention this week to the Houston Astros. The Astros, after gutting their MLB roster and payroll, and considering a direction of moving funds into their farm system to restock the overall franchise, have some immediate needs for long term funding at the Major League level in order to sustain the fan base. So they have this regional sports network, CSN Houston, that they have sold to Comcast. And they need to keep that contract in place. Comcast has other intentions, and have filed Chapter 11 in the courts as a way to slip out from under the Astros' noose. The Astros are having none of it. Stay tuned.
Video Of The Week
(Signs of a Higher Power)
(Trouble viewing the video? Direct link here.)
VIDEO OF THE WEEK BONUS: Signs Of A Higher Power, Part II
VIDEO OF THE WEEK BONUS, O/T because the playoffs are such a news suck: Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise
H/T to Deadspin...This is the kind of Ump we need in MLB!..........Jean Segura, Fantasy Baseball 2013 MVP..........Josh Hamilton, Fantasy Baseball 2013 LVP..........Ohhhh....Emmmm...Geeee..........One thing about being a fan of baseball that has to attend games in Oakland, they have to have a great sense of humor..........Yet even one more sign that there is a Higher Power. Curt Schilling is being forced to sell off everything, all the way down to his "faux plants" (what is this, the 80's??) and his "Pottery Barn bunk beds"..........It's going to be a very long winter. You are going to need some good reading material to survive. Look this way..........Cap Alert! Cap Alert! I know some of you care, as in REALLY CARE. But there is a rumor afloat that MLB is switching cap vendors away from New Era...........In case you were wondering, the MLB is very, very afraid of weekend downtown LA traffic............Dang. I found about this too late. I really would have loved to have Vin Scully as my personal answering voice mail message. Adam West is just not the same...........Oops! October 4th = WEEI.com blog publishes "Why Rays possess Red Sox’ kryptonite: The truth about Red Sox and left-handed starters"...October 5th = Hardball Talk publishes article "Red Sox left-handed hitters were the key to overcoming David Price". No need to guess what happened out here in teh real world between those two articles.
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...
Friday: The 2013 Lebowski Fest San Francisco kicks off. Mark it, dude...........By the way, this is the final weekend of the 2013 Northern California Renaissance Faire, for all ye who doth partaketh in such.
Sunday: If you are in the neighborhood of San Diego, wander over to Little Italy for their annual Festa. I suppose they don't want them Germans and all that Oktoberfest shenanigans to leave them behind in the world of party.
Future Forecast: Still gifted to us by Ladybug: The Ultimate Beerfest OC on October 19th at the OC Fairgrounds. Again, Living Social..........