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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Justice: Changing skippers won’t solve Angels’ woes

“You Ought To Say Me A Prayer”

as

There may be dumber ideas than firing Mike Scioscia, but I can’t think of any. I understand why it’s a topic of conversation, and Scioscia does, too. When a team begins a season with high expectations and then falls on its face out of the gate, someone has to be held accountable.

That someone usually is the skipper. Never mind the circumstances or personnel. Never mind fairness. Competent managers get fired every season. It usually happens when management has no other options and hopes a change at the top might kick-start the club.

It’s a tactic that almost never works, but teams keep trying it. It’s one way to placate unhappy fans or calm the media. If you think the media doesn’t matter in such things, guess again. It’s incredible how when columnists and talk-show hosts turn on a manager, many players do the same thing.

It’s a lot easier to blame the guy in the corner office than to look in the mirror. I know a certain pitcher who has blamed his problems the past couple of years on a certain manager. He was thrilled when his team got rid of the guy. Unfortunately, his performance hasn’t improved. He’s sure to be blaming the new guy in no time.

...It’s easy to look for simple solutions to broader problems. The Angels aren’t 4-10 because their manager has been bad. Getting rid of Scioscia almost certainly would not calm down Hamilton at the plate or give Hanson back the zip on his fastball.

Plenty of us thought the Angels were a playoff team when the season began. Those three starters have performed so poorly that Dipoto eventually may be forced to trade for a starter.

But he can’t trade for three starters. He simply has to hope that his player evaluations of three weeks ago will end up being right. In the end, that’s where the change must come. Scioscia simply should not be an issue.

Repoz Posted: April 18, 2013 at 01:11 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: April 18, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4418056)
I know a certain pitcher who has blamed his problems the past couple of years on a certain manager. He was thrilled when his team got rid of the guy. Unfortunately, his performance hasn’t improved. He’s sure to be blaming the new guy in no time.


Ubaldo?
   2. DA Baracus Posted: April 18, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4418061)
It’s one way to placate unhappy fans or calm the media.


Two things that should never drive the decision making process of a front office.
   3. Esoteric Posted: April 18, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4418076)
Okay, let's not fire Mike Scioscia.

However, somebody really, really, REALLY needs to fire Eric Wedge.
   4. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: April 18, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4418104)
However, somebody really, really, REALLY needs to fire Eric Wedge.


I don't watch Mariners baseball, but the recent series with the Tigers gave me a peep inside the world of Safeco for a few innings. I already expressed my confusion as to why Wedge didn't pinch-run for Smoak in the 13th last night. The night before, the game was still relatively close, but on the verge of getting out of hand. The bases are loaded and Wedge deems that the right time to bring in a kid to make his Major League debut. He promptly walks Tori Hunter to force in a run, and by the hand of god, manages to K Miguel Cabrera after nearly walking him, too.

Nothing MAJOR, but are those things indication of Wedge's in-game tactics?
   5. Natty Fan Posted: April 18, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4418141)
Cheer up, Angels fans -- your team's pitching would actually be worse if they had kept Dan Haren.

(If you really miss him for some reason, I think he'll be available -- cheap -- before July.)
   6. Esoteric Posted: April 18, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4418172)
I already expressed my confusion as to why Wedge didn't pinch-run for Smoak in the 13th last night.
He didn't pinch-run for Smoak because he had already burned his pinch-runner (Endy Chavez) in a stupid and futile attempt at a lefty-righty matchup vs. Scherzer earlier in the game. Wedge pulled Brendan Ryan in favor of Chavez to bat. Problem is, Chavez is a crap hitter regardless, and Scherzer humiliated him easily (three pitch strikeout). Therefore he was unavailable later on, when he was needed the most.

It's exactly that sort of thing I'm thinking of when I say "FIRE WEDGE."
   7. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: April 18, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4418255)
How does this guy know what would happen if Scioscia were replaced?
   8. Walt Davis Posted: April 18, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4418333)
How does this guy know what would happen if Scioscia were replaced?

He's a sportswriter, when's the last time one of them got something wrong?

I blame AROM. If not for all this WAR silliness, they aren't distracted by Trout's MVP chase last year and instead convince the commish to move them to the AL Central last Sept, make the playoffs, win the WS and then this offseason all the great FA pitching talent would have been lining up offering to play for the Angels for practically free (i.e. $22 M) and Bryce Harper would have held out to force a trade to the Angels.
   9. WillYoung Posted: April 18, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4418335)
He didn't pinch-run for Smoak because he had already burned his pinch-runner (Endy Chavez) in a stupid and futile attempt at a lefty-righty matchup vs. Scherzer earlier in the game. Wedge pulled Brendan Ryan in favor of Chavez to bat. Problem is, Chavez is a crap hitter regardless, and Scherzer humiliated him easily (three pitch strikeout). Therefore he was unavailable later on, when he was needed the most.

It's exactly that sort of thing I'm thinking of when I say "FIRE WEDGE."


I'm not going to look, but I'm willing guess that Wedge is also stupidly like every single other team and has a twelve-man pitching staff that also limits his pinch running options.
   10. FrankM Posted: April 18, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4418336)
Isn't it a little early in the season to have woes?
   11. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: April 18, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4418503)
Isn't it a little early in the season to have woes?

It is, especially when you have the talent and the track record that the Angels do. What's funny is they went through the same exact hysteria early last year.
   12. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:12 PM (#4418784)
Scioscia would not be unemployed for long.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:23 PM (#4418792)
It is, especially when you have the talent and the track record that the Angels do. What's funny is they went through the same exact hysteria early last year.


Worked out great for them last year. Too bad they didn't do better in the playoffs. :)
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:44 PM (#4418807)
It’s a tactic that almost never works, but teams keep trying it.


It's worked exceedingly well at least twice in the last 10 years (McKeon with the Fish in 2003 and Tracy with the Rockies in 2009).

   15. SoSH U at work Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:42 AM (#4418845)
Actually, it's worked three times in that time frame, and one of those times Justice should remember quite well. In 2004 ol' Scrap Iron took over a Houston club that had the 12th worst record in the NL under one-m and led the 'Stros to within one game of the World Series.
   16. Jim Wisinski Posted: April 19, 2013 at 12:58 AM (#4418854)
Wow, Endy Chavez is still playing? I see he was with Seattle in '09 too, putting up -0.5 bWAR. Situations like this and both Kansas City and Milwaukee bringing back Yuni for a second stint with the team are so confusing. What about these guys in the first time with their teams made the team think it would be a good idea to bring them back again?

However, somebody really, really, REALLY needs to fire Eric Wedge.


That whole organization needs a thorough housecleaning. I saw a brief discussion recently (today's chatter maybe?) about the Mariners being where prosects go to die and that made me think of this: Sometimes the whole damn organization is just rotten. There are probably good people working for it in places, maybe not even that many people actually need to be replaced, but there are clearly problems with teams like the Mariners that can't be explained by simple bad luck or even poor drafting/trades. When a high percentage of the talented players you bring up or acquire do nothing for you then there's clearly something very wrong.
   17. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:09 AM (#4418862)
He didn't pinch-run for Smoak because he had already burned his pinch-runner (Endy Chavez) in a stupid and futile attempt at a lefty-righty matchup vs. Scherzer earlier in the game. Wedge pulled Brendan Ryan in favor of Chavez to bat. Problem is, Chavez is a crap hitter regardless, and Scherzer humiliated him easily (three pitch strikeout). Therefore he was unavailable later on, when he was needed the most.

It's exactly that sort of thing I'm thinking of when I say "FIRE WEDGE."



I'm not going to look, but I'm willing guess that Wedge is also stupidly like every single other team and has a twelve-man pitching staff that also limits his pinch running options.


The only position player left on the bench was Kelly Shoppach, the back-up catcher, who is slower than Smoak. The only other option would be pinch-running one of the starting pitchers, and I don't think you'd want to do that in a situation where a collision at home is very possible.

Wedge's most galling non-move last night came in the bottom of the ninth. Tie game, runners on first and second, none out. Raul Ibanez the hitter. The Tigers brought in Phil Coke, a lefty to pitch to him (Ibanez has never hit leftis that well, and even worse as he's become older - his OPS last year was 300 points higher against righties). The logical thing? Bring in a right-handed pinch hitter - but he'd just burned Jason Bay by using him as a pinch runner earlier in the inning. Option two? Have Ibanez bunt, which in this particular scenario wouldn't be a bad play. But Ibanez has two sacrifice bunts in his career, the last in 2003. So Wedge has him swing away, and Ibanez hits into a double play.
   18. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:31 AM (#4418874)
I'm not sure that Scioscia doesn't need a change of scenery (not advocating for it - but I'd listen to arguments pro and con), but he'd definitely find another job as soon as he wanted one and understandably so.
Wedge? Er, he'd be a coach somewhere maybe?

Isn't the galling move by wedge using bay and not anticipating that he'd need to ph for ibanez?
   19. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:36 AM (#4418875)
Isn't the galling move by wedge using bay and not anticipating that he'd need to ph for ibanez?


Exactly, yes. I tried to make that point, but didn't make it clear.
   20. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 19, 2013 at 01:56 AM (#4418881)
Sorry, got confused by "non"
   21. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 19, 2013 at 03:11 AM (#4418915)
Worked out great for them last year. Too bad they didn't do better in the playoffs. :)
Seriously. Dig a big enough hole in April, you never get out.

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