Pretty big baseball news happening in Los Angeles, however, the happening is going on north of Anaheim. The Dodgers got the guy, Andrew Friedman, most informed Angels' fans wanted a few years ago when Arte Moreno tossed Tony Reagins to the curb. I'm not saying Jerry Dipoto has done a crappy job as the Angels' General Manager, but his hiring is somewhat indictive of the Angels' front office woes. Instead of hiring a guy like Friedman, someone who most certainly would want total control of the on-field and developmental baseball operations, we have the three-headed monster of Moreno-Scioscia-Dipoto...in that order. Friedman would never fit in in an organization such as the Angels. But we can dream, right?
- Anyway, while reading through the online articles, I found this. It seems, in a round-about way, the Angels had a slight influence on the Dodgers' recognizing they needed a change: Los Angeles Dodgers stepping into 21st century with Andrew Friedman - ESPN Los Angeles, "Two trade deadlines ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers got deep into discussions with the Los Angeles Angels to acquire second baseman Howie Kendrick. The Angels were foundering and looking to deal expensive veterans for talent that could help replenish their bereft farm system. The Dodgers, living with aging Mark Ellis as their primary second baseman, felt in need of an upgrade. In the end, the Dodgers passed on the deal because they didn't want to part with pitching prospect Zach Lee and they were worried about tampering with a team on a historic run. According to sources, that decision widened a rift in the team's front office. It lingered for nearly a year and a half. The push-pull, in general terms, was between general manager Ned Colletti and his small group of loyalists, primarily scouts and former scouts such as Rick Ragazzo and Vance Lovelace, and an analytics group that felt its input sometimes fell on deaf ears."
Los Angeles Dodgers hire ex-Tampa Bay Rays GM Andrew Friedman - ESPN Los Angeles, "Ironically, sources say the Dodgers' failed pursuit of a trade for Price this past summer only heightened their admiration of Friedman. Said one source: "They always asked for the right prospects. Not just the guys everybody knows, either." In Los Angeles, where the Dodgers had the highest payroll in baseball last season and have an ownership group that's shown a willingness to spend since purchasing the team for $2.15 billion in 2012, Friedman will have no financial pressures to manage. Kasten has long believed that a strong farm system is the key to organizational success. It's how he and John Schuerholz built the Atlanta Braves in the 1990s. And Friedman's strengths in player development and scouting dovetail perfectly with Kasten's vision."Halos Heaven commenter flailing made a very interesting point in yesterday's Halolinks post;
"From the Dodgers perspective, you would have to think carefully about whether Friedman is a good fit. To borrow the vernacular of finance, he comes from the sell side and that’s where he made a name for himself. Suddenly, he now has the money to keep highly ranked players in the organization. However, does Friedman rejuvenate Kemp? Paying players on the decline is a dicey proposition which he hasn’t demonstrated a skill. That doesn’t mean he won’t be savvy in this regard or that he doesn’t have a solid baseball acumen regardless of organizational constraints."
- Another effect from Friedman going to the Dodgers, is what's going to happen with Joe Madden; Joe Maddon: 'I want to continue to be a Ray' - LA Times, "That could leave Maddon -- a onetime Angels coach who keeps an off-season home in Long Beach -- as an option to manage the Dodgers in 2016. However, Maddon said Tuesday that he expects to discuss a contract extension with the Rays this winter. "I want to continue to be a Ray, absolutely," Maddon said. "They have to want me to be a Ray too."
- This is a big deal. On his way out the door, Andrew Friedman took the time to thank a certain website...the Rays' SBNation website. A Letter from Andrew Friedman to DRaysBay - DRaysBay, "As thought leaders for Rays nation and some of the most passionate and well-informed fans in all of baseball, DRaysbay is an appropriate place for me to post my thoughts as I depart from the Rays. Thank you for caring as much as you do, and thank you for some of the ideas which I may or may not have taken from you over the years."
- In this day of advanced scouting/number crunching, does a GM really have that much of an effect on a team? Of course they do, but how much? Brains v brawn in baseball: The cult of the genius GM - The Economist, "Hiring the talented Mr Friedman is hardly the worst or most wasteful decision in recent Dodgers history. The gap between what he is paid and what he will contribute pales in comparison with what the club is squandering on Andre Ethier or Brandon League. And Mr Friedman’s sterling reputation may help Los Angeles to attract elite researchers and scouts, who are the real sources of competitive advantage, from other clubs."
- Who you calling a chump? The difference between playoff champs and chumps - Beyond the Box Score, "Conversely, the Angels, Pirates and Dodgers might have been bumslayers, teams who beat the teams they were supposed to beat but withered against stiffer competition. This could have been a factor in their early playoff exits this year." Oh, the Angels...How surplus quality wins predicts postseason success - ESPN (Insider Req'd), "AS THE ANGELS cruised toward October with MLB's best record, all kinds of interesting stories surrounded them. They gained a dozen games on Oakland after the All-Star break. They overcame the loss of ace starter Garrett Richards. Mike Trout, at 23, was still on track to be a top-shelf Hall of Famer. But here's a fact I bet you haven't considered: Entering the last week of the season, 38 of their wins -- 40 percent of their total -- had come against the four worst teams in the AL (Boston, Houston, Minnesota and Texas), while they'd gone just 9-11 against other division leaders."
- Hey, I've heard of that guy: Randal Grichuk ties Game 3 of NLCS with solo shot - HardballTalk, "Randal Grichuk lost track of a ball at the right field wall in the first inning, contributing to the Giants’ big four-run opening frame, but he just redeemed himself with a game-tying solo shot high and deep down the left field line in the top of the seventh."
- This is pretty good: Quit making a big deal out of anomalies. Most of what happens is meaningless. - HardballTalk, "We have this habit — among some it’s practically a need — to assign significance to random or anomalous events. Ned Yost has a few ill-advised bunts work out for him? SMALL BALL IS THE NEW HOTNESS! Dominant players like Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout struggle in the space of 2-3 games? THEY DON’T HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN IN OCTOBER! A scrappy middle infielder hits an improbable home run? EVERYONE UNDERESTIMATES SCRAPPY McSCRAPPERSTEIN, and HOW DARE YOU DISMISS HIM! We’ve seen this stuff time and time again."
- And so is this: Improvements in Plate Discipline: Rare but Effective – The Hardball Times, "Unsurprisingly, players’ swinging tendencies are very highly correlated from one year to the next, and tend to have some of the highest correlations among all hitting metrics."
- It seems it's not how good your players are, but rather, avoiding those who are bad. Dan Duquette and Avoiding the Awful - FanGraphs Baseball, "In 2014 in particular, the Orioles have shined in this regard. All the negative players combined for just -1.8 WAR. Orioles pitchers accounted for 1.7% of league-wide negative pitcher WAR. Orioles position players accounted for 0.9% of league-wide negative position-player WAR. Of course, the Orioles are 3.3% of major-league baseball. And we can look at this a different way. The Orioles gave just 3.2% of their innings this year to negative-WAR pitchers. The league average, excluding the Orioles? 13.4%. And, the Orioles gave just 3.2% of their plate appearances this year to negative-WAR position players. The league average, excluding the Orioles? 19.4%."
- Here's the Good Guy of the day: Brandon Finnegan gives ALCS Game 4 tickets to 'broke Royals fan' over Twitter - Yahoo Sports, "I know how it is for a college kid, to be college-aged. You don't have much money after moving and buying food and everything," said Finnegan, who attended TCU and pitched in the College World Series in June. "I told him to come down here and I'd make sure to give him my autograph and whatever else he wants."
- Long, but very interesting article: Fay Vincent Gets The Last Word - FOX Sports, "One had to do with the $1.3 million or so Vincent pulled directly from MLB's general discretionary fund and donated to various relief efforts in the Bay Area. Vincent saw it as a show of good faith that baseball was willing to do its part in rebuilding the community, but several of the owners, such Peter O'Malley of the Dodgers, were instantly annoyed that Vincent never bothered to ask for permission. "That's outrageous," O'Malley told him over the phone upon hearing the news. "That's going to be $50,000 from my club!" "Look, what are you going to get if we finish the World Series?" Vincent said, alluding to the half million or so in revenue that each club stood to reap following the series. "We should be supportive of the community." "I disagree," O'Malley said. "I've never given $50,000 to anybody as a charitable gift. You committed it without asking me."
- I knew she was dangerous. She came at me with a pair of 44's...and a gun: Is There Any Such Thing as a Dangerous Sex Position?, "Usually the first three are the main ur doin it wrong issues," she added."