Everybody reading this who is a member of a dysfunctional family, raise your hand.
Yeah, that's what I thought. We all recognize this, don't we? Shit happens, but we survive.
We survive, they survive, and everyone moves on. This is the ultimate "turn the page" moment. But, fair warning, this page cannot be turned back. Everybody has to live with it. There was surely a lot of ass-covering being crafted yesterday, and the news we get will be as softly pedaled as possible. But I would predict that the futures of all the principals in this tragedy will reveal to us fans the fuller, unwritten, truth of everyone's role.
Dipoto is gone and ain't coming back. On the whole, the balance scale of success - and his legacy - tips heavily in his favor. He wasn't perfect (neither was Eddie Bane), but the momentum he built will last well into the tenure of the next person to occupy the GM office in Anaheim and the vast majority of it was good. Skillfully so, considering how hamstrung he was by owner personnel overrides, payroll restrictions, and a vastly depleted farm system with which to work. The guess here is that he will rebound somewhere and, eventually, shine brightly once again. I think he will be heavily pursued. Baseball will rule him the success, and in the right.
Scioscia is here on the tail end of an overall excellent managerial career. His time is drawing to a close, even if that is perhaps too slow for the tastes of many, Certainly, an accounting can be made (and more information continues to come out) that his back-end years are eroding his legacy. But, overall, his legacy will remain on the plus side. He will become some front office ambassador and adviser somewhere. Maybe even in Anaheim. Baseball will rule him a success, but in the wrong.
The coaching staff will dissolve and evaporate into the staffs of other major league and minor league clubs. We might see one or two of them from time to time in the background of some game snapshot, but we won't hear from them again. Baseball will rule them failures, several of them hanging on to jobs because they are there.
Arte Moreno will spend another decade playing with his toy, stroking his ego, basking in the adulation of the fawning and the ignorant who get their world views while listening to people who call into Roger Lodge's radio show. He will always feel powerful and feared and that will be one reward. Eventually, he will sell the team and he and his family will reap billions as his final reward. And then he will go away. Completely. Because baseball is the owner's game, baseball will recuse itself from judgment. And Arte won't give a shit, anyway.
Baseball: The Angels held a baseball game yesterday though it's not as if they actually played in it. Losing 3-1, the punchless crew managed just 6 hits. One of those was a solo home run by Mike Trout, his 21st. (That puts Pujols and Trout 3rd and 6th in all of baseball, and 1st and 2nd in the AL.) But, just for a day and just because it is topical and lazy, let's blame this lethargy on Sosh and the rift he has caused, not to mention his intransigence towards being as optimally effective at his job as possible. We can't blame Mike Butcher. Matt Shoemaker only threw a slider 9% of the time............
Lyle Being Lyle: Which brings us to Lyle Spencer. After a marked lack of focus at the plate yesterday, Lyle re-appears to provide a warming balm of oatmeal to those tens of thousands of fans who know little more than what they learn from Roger Lodge.. Predictably, a major event in the "guts and feel" life of the LA Angels cannot pass by without Lyle Spencer chiming in on the wrong side of reality. Angels' players staying focused. "From owner Arte Moreno's business perspective, standing by Scioscia is hard to second-guess. The Angels have become increasingly popular and profitable under Moreno's watch; he would command a fortune if he put the franchise on the market tomorrow." Yeah. That's all Sosh. Not MLBAM or mega TV contracts or natural equity that comes with the overall rise of baseball or anything. Nope. All Sosh. How can you turn your back on that??............
Backtracking: I'm calling bullshit on Albert Pujols. Yesterday: "Whatever happens between the front office and the coaching staff, it's not my business. My job is to get myself ready to play. That's what I've been doing for the last four years since I've been here. And my goal is to try to help this organization win, and that's it."...........But wait, we already know that Pujols "...challenged Dipoto during that second gathering, saying that the coaches are working as hard to prepare the players as they did last season, but that the roster is not as strong as it was a year ago..."..........This is the same guy who then said: "Whoever leaked that story, it's really embarrassing, because we're supposed to be family here."..........Notice that he is not denying that he barked at Dipoto, there, just that the specific language was not quoted exactly, "I didn't say that.", and that he is pissy that it got out. When given the chance to clarify, Albert gives us "That's none of your business...", which I happen to disagree with but that is not my point. My point is that the gist of the exchange remains true, Albert barked at Dipoto in defense of the coaching staff. In so doing, he took sides. For him to claim innocence now "...it's not my business..." is bullshit. And too late...........
Check, baby: Ha! Perhaps the one person that Mike Scioscia cannot roll over, Bill Stoneman, has been installed as interim GM to replace Jerry Dipoto. It's an easy call for Moreno, because Stoneman is there, already on the payroll and familiar with the day-to-day of the franchise, and already having performed in this capacity for this franchise very well. But it leaves Sosh on the defensive. If Stoneman really, really wants something he has the cajones and the cred and the relationships to make it happen. There would be little Sosh could do to fight back, especially with the PR trauma the franchise is already suffering under............
Stirring the Pot: Mike Scioscia takes the opportunity to speak through the press and slap around Josh Hamilton again. Same complaints he expressed when Hamilton was sent off to the Rangers, which are legit IMHO. Hamilton really should make a point to thank his Halo teammates for all the support they showed him, especially during that window of time when Moreno and Carpino and Dipoto were on the offensive (some possibly even violating the CBA by leaking the news that Hambone had fallen off his wagon). But the Angels are off to Texas, and Hamilton is back on the field and now fully capable of doing damage to Arte's 2015 dreams. And the Rangers gave him a rest Wednesday so we should expect to see him play at least 2 of the games this weekend.............
Fightin' Words: #5 on the list of worst alternate baseball uniforms is LAA? One guy's opinion destined to inspire arguments on these pages. But then again, I only like the old California Angels uniforms so what do I know?............
Elsewhere in Baseball
New Age Scouting: Manny Machado is a third baseman. The kind of talent at that corner all of us Halo fans should lust for. Shin-soo Choo is a left-handed batter, a guy who probably pulls the ball a lot when pitched just right. So watch where Machado snags this grounder to make a brilliant play and nab Choo at first base. Twenty bucks says that the idea for moving the infielders around in such a way as to make that possible originated with the GM's team..............
No no-no for you: Jason Kipnis is a very fine player, one of the best second basemen in the game today. The kind of second baseman all of us Halo fans should lust for (wow, I jus thad deja vu right there!). But Jason Kipnis is only 5'11" tall, which is about 2 inches too short to snag Joey Butler's bloop single and lock down a no-hitter for Carlos Carrasco with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning and only 1 strike away..............
Imperfection: One of the weights on the balance scale of Dipoto's LAA career that lies on the negative side is the commit to Baldoquin and the subsequent fail to go all in while the penalty window was still open. Sure, Moreno may have pulled the wallet, but Dipoto should have had all that figured out before he cornered the Angels from swimming in the huge pool of talent that will be open for business effective today. " 'This year is a deep class with lots of good players from top to bottom," [MLB Latin American manager of development Joel] Araujo said. "Clubs can get a lot of value throughout the entire class because of the talent pool that's available. It's a diverse group with players from different parts of the world.' "................
Funny: H/T to UniWatch: this is classic. I want one. Or two. Gotta give out gifts this Christmas and you people make for a long list..............
Somebody must get this gag: The Nationals are adding a new President to their President Race. Calvin Coolidge. I don't get the joke in all this.
It's Magic: Anthony Rizzo has magic slide skills to match that of Mike Trout..............
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each
Friday Thursday...for beer...(which works better on Thursdays anyway, because it gives you all some runway to take advantage of Friday goings on...)
This is the oddest thing I have ever seen pertaining to creating these link fests. Regular followers will know that for years and years now I have been doing a regular roundup of beer-related events and activities throughout the State of California to fill out those gaps in your weekend not already occupied by baseball. It's my small way of tying together two great American institutions with a single bow. Well, for the very first time, I find absolutely nothing being promoted anywhere in the State for this weekend. All that I can figure for reasons why is that it must be some kind of national holiday or something, where the golden suds will be flowing freely enough that special events are not necessary. Therefore, I shall join the club. It's not necessary to try digging any further. Drink responsibly! And, for the sake of all gods of beer, try and do better than this guy!!
BEER BONUS: We continue to track the Ales for ALS 2015. project brought to us by red floyd. Each week I will check back in and look for upcoming events for this worthy cause. At this time there are no events listed, but stand by!
Stay safe, everyone!
(All grammatical errors still remaining should be intentional.)