If you look around baseball, of course you will be overwhelmed by the impending World Series. Rightfully so. News and information are everywhere. It's The Big Finale to The Big Dance. The Royals and Giants have earned our attention.
But peek between the flags and bunting and podiums and grass paintings, and you can catch glimpses of other teams quietly maneuvering, with baby steps, to ready themselves for 2015. The early bird gets the worm, they say, so these other teams are doing the work they need to do to get the best options into their fold while they are still available, and happy to minimize their radar profile. Managers are being hired, coaches are sliding around the landscape, role players are being wooed.
The Angels are completely quiet. Is this simply because it is still so early? Not a big deal, considering this is true for may other teams as well. It's only been a couple of weeks, after all. But there is quiet, and there is absolute silence. And except for individual players tweeting about football, it really is quiet on State College right now.
Or is it because there is too little they can do within their means? If they can't afford a Max Scherzer, maybe they can pluck lesser arms behind Scherzer while attention and dollars are being thrown the way of Detroit's ace. So they have to wait for things to get going and draw money away from their bid targets.
Is it because too few teams have opened up their own kimonos to do any shopping yet? After all, you can't go shopping until the shelves are stocked. And, really, we already know that GM's run their phones all the time anyway. Maybe this is just the season of hot air between front offices everywhere.
Is it because they are pretty happy with their current configuration which, after all, won 98 games in 2014 despite serious injuries? That's a pretty decent approach, except for the fact that some of your key players are another year older and their production cannot be expected to do anything but decline, even a little bit. And you don't know which players will see their contributions increase and which will decrease.
So let's look into the future. When do you think Dipoto will get busy, and what do you think he will be doing?
Elsewhere in the Heavens of Anaheim: Oakland fans ended up less than thrilled with the results realized under the 'tutelage' of their hitting coach Chili Davis. So they are probably quite happy that the Red Sox have taken Davis away to the east coast. So Oakland now needs a replacement, and one of their targets is our own assistant hitting coach Dave Hanson...........But, then, what is this tweet all about? Am I missing some rumor that Don Baylor may be leaving his slot as hitting coach?...........Scroll down this page to "Anaheim Stadium", and learn a thing or two about The Big A scoreboard............Albert Pujols, Family Guy. Pujols is doing his family a favor, and the rest of us, too, as he declines to play in an All-Star exhibition in Japan next month. But he will be putting on a youth camp at Orange High in a couple of weeks...........Rest In Peace, young Angel Rafael Ramirez, yet another Halo victim of drunk drivers. And may peace be upon his family and friends............
Around Baseball: Interesting development. The possibility all along was that once the season was over, Jon Lester would bolt the A's and return to the Red Sox. This would leave the A's without Yeonis Cespedes OR Lester. Well, stranger things have happened, but now there is a chance that the Red Sox may trade Cespedes before next season even starts. Wouldn't it be funny of that trade sent Cespedes back to Oakland?.............................Yeah, the Angels won the most games in the regular season. So it's kind of screwed that the current playoff system so easily ousted the best team in baseball, right away. Or is it? Sam Miller explains just how valid even this extremely rare outcome is, after all...........Sam also points out that there is a great degree of randomness in the regular season. Daniel Meyer over at Beyond The Boxscore dives into the regular season and wonders how long should one be to remove all randomness and ensure that the true best baseball team wins the most games. And if you think 162 games is too long, imagine how you would feel about 20,000?.............Playoff Stat of the Week: The A's have used more pinch-hitters this postseason than the Royals...........Here you go folks, the 20 second pitch clock.............And my guess is that TV broadcasters are going to want to block any attempt to implement a 20 second pitch clock in the playoffs. As playoff games get longer and longer, there are more opportunities to sell commercial space............