It's been an interesting weekend, hasn't it? In the midst of some very uncommon news about the dysfunctional state of the Angels' front office, the team on the field actually pulled off a sweep in Seattle. Of course, it was just the Mariners, but a sweep's a sweep. And don't give me that, "But Jim, the Mariners do have a better record than the Angels!" spiel. The Mariners have the third lowest runs scored total, the third-worst batting average, the third-worst on-base percentage, the fourth-worst ERA (just above the Angels), and have allowed the fourth-most home runs in the American league. Call me Negative Nellie, but this weekend's games did two things; it showed us how this team could have and should have been playing from Day 1, and reduced next year's draft position. Yeah, it's a sad state of affairs when you're rooting for your favorite team to tank so they can have a protected First Year Player Draft pick.
- Anyway, it was nice to see that the Angels do have the ability to get hits with runners in scoring position. However, is it just me, or does the club seem to be striking out a lot? Weaver leads Angels to sweep of Seattle in 7-1 win - Yahoo! Sports. "''We did real good (in) situational hitting, 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position, took our walks when they were there,'' Scioscia said. ''In between 13 strikeouts we managed to get some key hits with guys in scoring position.'' I wandered over to B-Ref to see how the Angels rank compared to the rest of the league and found they strikeout right around the league average (Angels = 950 K, League average = 966). While goofing around with the team info, I noticed the Angels have the fourth youngest group of hitters in the league. Their average age is 28.1 years, trailing Houston (26.1), Kansas City (27.0), and Baltimore (27.6). With all of the talk about the team being a bunch of aging veterans, this is good news for those of us hoping for a rebound to the playoffs. One of those youngsters, and all of that timely hitting helped in yesterday's win: Angels 7, Mariners 1 - Yahoo! Sports. "Three doubles, two triples and Kole Calhoun's two-run homer helped the Angels build up a big lead while chasing Seattle starter Aaron Harang from the game. All nine hits and seven runs allowed by Harang (5-11) came with two outs. "
- As I wrote above, the Mariners aren't an offensive Juggernaut, but it was great to see the pitching staff do what good pitching staffs are supposed to do: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners - August 25, 2013 - MLB.com. "The Mariners totaled two runs in 27 innings. And for the first time since 1976, the Angels completed a road sweep while allowing one run or fewer in every game."
- Should Weaver have been allowed to finish yesterday's game, or do you agree with Scioscia and remove him after 8 innings? Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners - Recap - August 25, 2013 - ESPN. "Despite barely being over the century mark in pitches after the eighth, Scioscia brought in Cory Rasmus to pitch the ninth. "It is what it is. My goal is to try and get extended and get out there and stay out there as much as possible," Weaver said. "It's up to (Scioscia) whether he wants me to keep going or shut it down." I doubt is was anything to worry about, unless Weaver was pissed, and it doesn't sound like he was. It gave the club an opportunity to have Cory Rasmus make his Angels' debut, and reduce Weaver's workload a bit.
- Oh brother, its come to this? Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays - August 27, 2013 - MLB.com. "Wilson will take the hill on Tuesday in the Angels' series opener in Tampa Bay as his club attempts to play spoiler to the Rays' postseason hopes." We now try and get some joy by stepping on other teams' dreams?
- This is probably the biggest positive outcome the team can get by having such a bad season: Angels have opportunity to evaluate young players - angels.com. "The rare, positive byproduct of a losing season is the opportunity to evaluate. The Angels -- 57-71 and 17 1/2 games out of first heading into Sunday's series finale at Safeco Field -- can essentially use these final five weeks to get a real sense for which of their young, unproven players can be counted on in 2014."
- 10 Degrees: Angels GM Jerry Dipoto facing possible ouster after disappointing season - Yahoo! Sports. "Jerry Dipoto heading to the Angels with what he believed to be full authority. This idea was dubious from the start, no matter how much owner Arte Moreno and Scioscia backed it publicly. Moreno might be the most hands-on owner in baseball. He wanted to lavish Pujols with the third-richest contract in American sports history. He chose to bring in Hamilton. Many of the Angels' most egregious baseball sins are on his direct order." If this is true, than this is next: AL West: The also-rans - The Hardball Times. "If they can get rid of Kendrick, they can do the most "Angels" of things and sign Robinson Cano to a 12-year, $300 million contract. Signing Cano would guarantee that the organization would dominate the headlines for the third straight winter and keep the Yankee star from signing with the Dodgers, which really is the most important thing, right?"
- Mike Scioscia of Los Angeles Angels refutes rift with GM Jerry Dipoto - ESPN Los Angeles. "Scioscia said the only decision he's publicly had a problem with was the firing of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher in May 2012. Beyond that, Scioscia said the rest is just normal disagreements regarding player evaluations that are common in any relationship between a manager and GM." I'm curious as to how much Scioscia and Dipoto differ on player evaluations. Things like, did Dipoto pick up players such as Dane De La Rosa with the intent to have him used in high leverage situations, or if he was acquired as "filler"? I'm guessing it's the latter, because who in their right mind would use De La Rosa more often than Scott Downs?
- Even the ESPN guys aren't safe at Dodger Stadium: John Kruk taken from Dodger Stadium on stretcher - CBSSports.com. "ESPN's John Kruk was just taken from the press box at Dodger Stadium on a stretcher. He was conscious." He was dehydrated, but is doing fine now.
- By the way, here's today's un-cropped photo: