Wednesday Halolinks: No change in this wind, it just blows

Jim Eppard says, "WTF did I do wrong?" - Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

The Angels finally let everyone else in on the news...

Well, the Angels finally made it official...they're doing nothing.  Okay, it's probably not nothing to Eppard and Picciolo, but the big picture stays the same.  Here are your "No change is needed" edition of Halolinks:

  • Arte decided he needed to make a change, so he got rid of two guys who probably had nothing to do with this awful season: Los Angeles Angels retain Mike Scioscia, Jerry Dipoto; drop two others - ESPN Los Angeles.  "Hitting coach Jim Eppard and bench coach Rob Picciolo will not return in 2014, but Scioscia and Dipoto have been retained by owner Arte Moreno, who made no formal announcement of his decision. The Angels missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season at 78-84, producing their lowest win total since 2003 despite one of the majors' highest payrolls."
  • This is somewhat odd:  Angels retain manager Mike Scioscia, GM Jerry Dipoto - CBSSports.com.  "In the release, it mentions that the announcement was made by manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto, indicating the two power figures will remain in their respective posts heading into next season."  I'm a little worried the club is going to go back to the days where Scioscia was (allegedly) very involved in player personnel decisions, and with the way this announcement was made, it looks like his role upstairs may have increased: Dipoto and Scioscia return with united front, to plenty of questions - CBSSports.com.  "So the intramurals are finished for now and a couple of coaches got sacrificed. Business as usual there, coaches get taken out with the recyclables annually at this time of year. No, the extraordinary part is that not only is owner Arte Moreno bringing both his GM and manager back for 2014, and not only are the Angels clearly taking great pains to publicly display a united front … but I have never, ever seen a news release from a club in which the manager announces something."
  • So what, does this mean the next meeting will take place at the Marriott Bridal Suite?  I don't care if they get along, I want them to make smart decisions.  Angels GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Mike Scioscia will return in 2014 - angels.com.  "Dipoto and Scioscia had several meetings shortly after the regular season wrapped up on Sept. 29. And during that time, sources said, the dialogue between the two was better than ever, with both able to come to a decision on the coaching staff and have candid conversations about what needs to be done. The walls had come down, even if it is only the offseason."
  • Most fans were surprised pitching coach Mike Butcher escaped the axe considering it was the pitching performances that had the largest impact on missing the post season.  However, there is now the need to find replacements for those departed: Mike Scioscia and Jerry Dipoto will return in 2014 - latimes.com.  "Among the candidates for the third base job are double-A manager Tim Bogar, a former Boston third base coach, and roving infield instructor Omar Vizquel. Former Dodgers slugger Reggie Smith and former Angels first baseman Wally Joyner could be candidates for hitting coach."  Yeah, interesting.  But then Mike DiGiovanna adds this tidbit: "Former Angels closer Troy Percival and Charles Nagy, who was fired as Arizona's pitching coach Tuesday, could be candidates for pitching-related jobs."  Pitching-related jobs?  What jobs are those?  Does the LA Times know more to this story? 
  • If I were a betting man, get ready for Wally World 2:Phils to replace Joyner; Manuel mulls future - Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.  "I think Wally is probably overqualified for that role and showed that with the work he did. Wally will have plenty of opportunities to be a No. 1 guy. Plus, I think he wanted to stay on the West Coast. He's a Salt Lake City guy. I think being away from his family was somewhat of a factor here. He's qualified to be a No. 1 guy and I think he wants to try that possibility." The Colorado Rockies could be an interesting possibility for Joyner. They have an opening at hitting coach after Dante Bichette stepped down. The Los Angeles Angels are also in the market for a hitting coach. Joyner played for the Angels for seven seasons."
  • In other news:
  • Angels prospect Travis Witherspoon claimed off waivers by Mariners - angels.com.  "After a midseason promotion in 2012, Witherspoon posted a .202/.286/.351 slash line in 54 games. And in his first full season in Double-A in 2013, he batted .214/.299/.342 with 11 homers and 30 stolen bases in 129 games."  He should fit right in with the Seattle juggernaut offense.
  • Here's a pretty good interview with Tim Salmon.  With all of the manager-talk going on recently, I highlighted his thoughts on Joe Maddon: Slammin’ Salmon: A B&C Postseason Interview with Tim Salmon - Bugs & Cranks.  "What (Maddon) does today is so true to the core, it’s not something that he conjured up since he got to the big leagues, he’s been that way from day one when I knew him back in 1989 when he was the minor league Field Director. He was always open to ideas, open to doing things a little bit differently, bucking the system in a sense, but hey, if it provided an opportunity to learn something different about the game or it gave you an advantage, why not?"
  • It looks like Mike Napoli is having a good time: Red Sox advance to the ALCS — 10 wonderful GIFs from their postgame celebration - Yahoo Sports.  "But when the Red Sox got into the clubhouse, they bro'd out so hard. There was beer-chugging, champagne baths, shirtless Mike Napoli everywhere, Jonny Gomes at his Jonny Gomesness and someone possibly getting waterboarded (?!) in a celebratory fashion."
  • Arroyo wouldn't be a bad pickup, depending on the price of course: Bronson Arroyo seeking at least a two-year contract this offseason - CBSSports.com.  "Arroyo, 36, went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA (101 ERA+) and 1.15 WHIP in 202 innings across 32 starts this year. His value lies in his durability and reliability -- Arroyo has made at least 32 starts and thrown at least 199 innings every year since 2005. Plenty of teams could use a horse like that."
  • Interesting move by Morales: Kendrys will reject qualifying offer, seek a longer deal as free agent - CBSSports.com.  "Morales will turn down the qualifying offer, as he'd expect to hit it much bigger in a market flush with cash but bereft of power (Nelson Cruz, Brian McCann, Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo are among free agents remaining who topped 20 home runs after Hunter Pence re-signed with the Giants for $90 million over five years). The qualifying offer is expected to be about $13.8 million. MLB.com first reported the Mariners are likely to extend the offer."  He must be looking for a multi-year deal, because I doubt he'll see any offeres that'll top the qualifying offer.
  • Yeah, I know, the Angels don't need another first baseman, but...José Abreu's power display 'impressive' at recent showcase - NJ.com.  "The first baseman played five seasons in the Cuban Serie Nacional. In 2010, he produced one of the best offensive seasons in Cuban history, hitting .453/.597/.986 with a league-record 33 home runs and 93 runs batted in 66 games. A shoulder injury sidelined Abreu for 23 games. He was named the league’s MVP."
  • The drug dealer who hated Bill James - Baseball Nation.  "Bill had written, "If there is somebody worse than Aikens, he must be playing first with a machete."
  • Legends of the Fall League - The Hardball Times.  "There are other fall and winter leagues, but the AFL is definitely the Cadillac of the fleet. I wouldn’t say every player out there has been tagged "can’t miss," but they all are heavy-duty prospects who have cleared all the hurdles before them in the low minors, and the parent club thinks they have what it takes—not just to make it to the majors but to excel there. The league’s track record bears out their judgment. In 2011, for example, the major league All-Star Game featured 41 AFL alumni."
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