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Sunday, August 21, 2022

Fired Angels manager Joe Maddon having a blast, and blasting how some teams are run

“It’s like, once that happened, I dissolved my affiliation with them,” Maddon said. “There’s no emotion anymore. There’s no anything. It’s like to me they don’t even exist, organizationally.

“I still text with a lot of the players, I text with a lot of the staff. One of them called me (Friday). So we’re staying in touch.”

He said the Angels having a worse record since his firing — 25-38 through Friday — doesn’t impact his perspective.

“It doesn’t make me feel better, it doesn’t make me feel worse,” Maddon said. “Organizationally, I’m kind of numb to the whole thing. Because when you wish them badly, I’m wishing really good friends badly — and I can’t do that.”

jimfurtado Posted: August 21, 2022 at 10:28 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, joe maddon

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   1. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: August 21, 2022 at 12:36 PM (#6092446)
I appreciate what Maddon has to say here. Even though I think he's a bit of a loon, managerially speaking, his words certainly support my theory that Arte Moreno has gutted the infrastructure of the Angels to save money and has declined to put anything in it's place. He's built a Ferrari with no engine. I know that people can't do this if they ever want to work in baseball again, but I wish Maddon would have ripped the organization even more strongly. Something needs to happen to push Moreno out, and I don't know what it is.
   2. The Duke Posted: August 21, 2022 at 12:42 PM (#6092449)
I'm not a big Maddon fan but he's got a pretty good track record. They were 27-29 when canned which means he was 27-17 before the Losing streak. Not bad. The aftermath has been brutal. They are much worse now.

He's right about the middle manager thing. Shildt got fired for the same reason.

I can see how this might work for a while but as you push old school managers out and replace them with robots, I suspect issues will develop.

Most companies find that when you start moving decision-making away from the front -line, things get inevitably worse. It used to be Owner- GM - manager - player. Now it's owner - VP operations - GM - Manager - bench coach - player. (Yes, bench coaches existed before but they are now much bigger filters between players and manager).

I doubt that works out long term. Although people will point to TLR and Maddon as old model failures, I think that is just because they are dinosaurs.

Look at the AJ Hinch situation in Houston. People can't conceive why he knew about the TV screen and didn't do anything - it's because he's not really in charge of the dugout. He knew if he tried to stop it, Luhnow would fire him because he had no leverage.

   3. John DiFool2 Posted: August 21, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6092468)
I liked the term "analytical membrane" at least.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 21, 2022 at 01:53 PM (#6092469)
Jam band.
   5. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 21, 2022 at 07:38 PM (#6092529)
Maddon's right about the joy of spending the summer in places like Hazelton.
   6. John Northey Posted: August 22, 2022 at 01:20 AM (#6092547)
The Angels seem like the person who buys a high end sports car then never takes it in for basic maintenance and buys the cheapest tires they can find and is surprised to find they are out raced by everyone and the car keeps breaking down.

They spend a fortune on top end talent (Trout, Rendon) and got damn lucky too (Ohtani) but the next 2 highest paid are middle relievers Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera - both making around $7 mil a year. Seems silly doesn't it? Their farm sucks - ranked #25 going into the season (MLB.com), #30 after the draft (bleacherreport.com). Pre-season Keith Law had them #23, Baseball America had them #29. Basically no one likes their farm.

So now what? I'd hate to be a fan of that team even with Trout there long term as Ohtani is probably going to be gone after next year or even this offseason. Sad situation. Maddon might be the lucky one getting out of town before a total collapse.
   7. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 22, 2022 at 06:04 AM (#6092552)
So now what? I'd hate to be a fan of that team...
As a fan of that team, it's sucked. There's something desperately wrong in the way they develop players. In the last four years, the Angels had just three Top 100 BA prospects. Brandon Marsh was a top 50 prospect, and he suddenly can't hit water falling out of a boat, and got traded. Jo Adell was a top 5 prospect, and he's been catastrophically bad on offense and defense. Griffin Canning was #63 in 2019, and he's broken now.

To be fair, Detmers and Sandoval look like the real thing, and Suarez actually looks like he could be solid as a #4/5 starter. Of course, Canning looked like he could be something before he got hurt. It's a rough go. If the team loses Ohtani, I'd just have to give up on this team after 41 years. That would just too hard to take.
   8. McCoy Posted: August 22, 2022 at 06:42 AM (#6092553)
The president or VP of ops is the old GM. The GM is now what was the assistant.
   9. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 22, 2022 at 08:19 AM (#6092554)
As a fan of (the Angels), it's sucked. There's something desperately wrong in the way they develop players.


Speaking as a Tigers fan, I feel ya, brother. (Hell, I almost pity you!)
   10. John Northey Posted: August 22, 2022 at 12:42 PM (#6092590)
As a Jays fan, I understand (we had a dark era from 1994-2014 which was painful, HOF level players in Roy Halladay and Carlos Delgado plus 2 of the best years of Roger Clemens career but nothing to show for it). Now we have a smart front office which has put together a young exciting team with more to come (Gabriel Moreno and Ricky Tiedemann both look exciting and could be up next year at some point). Cleaned out a lot of the farm to get the current team together but outside of the OF (2 are free agents after next year) no major losses coming up. The team has cash up the wazoo and if we were in the AL Central it'd be playoffs annually with no effort (vs the nuclear division with the mega spending Yankees & Red Sox, the smartest team in baseball in Tampa, and a fast improving Orioles team). I really, really hope for expansion and radical realignment so the Jays can move into a division with the Tigers & Guardians (closest teams physically) while the Yankees/Red Sox get put into a scary division with the Mets & Phillies ($200 million payroll minimum division).
   11. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: August 22, 2022 at 01:05 PM (#6092591)
As a fan of that team, it's sucked. There's something desperately wrong in the way they develop players.


Namely, they don't. For a team that spends as much money as the Angels do, it's embarrassing how little they seem to spend on scouting and player development staff. While other teams have begun snatching some of these people who run baseball development programs (e.g. Driveline), the Angels have done nothing when they clearly have the resources to go get those people. And so their farm system is a wasteland. I don't know an easy way to do this, but I'd be curious where the Angels rank among WAR produced for them by players who spent time in their system. After Trout got to the team, there are a few gems, but not nearly enough. Those dollars spent on good player development personnel and programs go a lot farther than the dollars spent on high-priced free agents.

I'm not sure why Moreno has failed in that regard; is it just an honest miss where he's hired the wrong people? Or is it a bad philosophy? I lean toward the latter, since I know from acquaintances who work there (or used to work there), that Moreno has gutted other departments as well (customer service, marketing, sales, etc.). I have no hope for this team as long as Moreno owns it. It's a bad place to be as a fan.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: August 22, 2022 at 05:20 PM (#6092648)
I don't know an easy way to do this, but I'd be curious where the Angels rank among WAR produced for them by players who spent time in their system.

Certainly no easy way to do this -- if we had the full b-r databases to work with, maybe. It's even hard to summarize anything about international signees. But draft picks are fairly easy to track so ...

1st round picks (incl supplemental picks) since Trout have totaled about 18 WAR with 13 of that due to CJ Cron. But this was also only one 9 and two 10s as the highest picks so that outcome probably isn't so terrible and of course the last few picks haven't necessarily had time to develop. But "not so terrible" is a long way from good. The 2nd round has gotten them Canning (and Marsh who is now gone). The 3rd round produced nothing (reasonably typical) but the 4th round gave them Mike Clevinger ... who they traded to Cle for Vinnie Pestano who was a reliever in his late 20s who had had a couple of big years although I'd never heard of him.

Given where they picked, that's probably not nearly as terrible as it sounds (e.g. Cron is the 10th best #17 pick of all time) but still getting only about 15 WAR out of 4 rounds over 10+ years is a tough way to build a consistent winner. And they traded the other good player they found in Clevinger. Even off that 2009 draft, they also found 11 WAR Grichuk and 14 WAR Patrick Corbin, both traded before reaching the majors. Dan Haren (Corbin) was at least quite good for 1.5 years and David Freese (Grichuk) was above-average.
   13. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: August 22, 2022 at 07:11 PM (#6092663)
The Dodgers have gotten about 60 WAR from first rounders (Seager, Buehler, Lux, and Smith) while picking from worse positions than the Angels. Obviously, they are a much better run team, but those results for the Angels seem likely to be among the worst.
   14. Bob T Posted: August 22, 2022 at 10:09 PM (#6092716)
Moreno really misses Frank McCourt. Because during that time, McCourt was Goofus and Moreno was Gallant.

Goofus has two great players, but never makes the playoffs
Gallant surrounds his great players with versatile spare parts and always makes the playoffs
Goofus charges a lot for his games and people mostly come
Gallant charges his fans an exboritant amount and even more show up!
Goofus tried to get a new stadium through a deal with a corrupt city government
Gallant dealt with a corrupt city government in the past, so he doesn't have to do it anymore.
   15. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 22, 2022 at 11:16 PM (#6092734)
I don't know an easy way to do this, but I'd be curious where the Angels rank among WAR produced for them by players who spent time in their system.
Certainly no easy way to do this -- if we had the full b-r databases to work with, maybe. It's even hard to summarize anything about international signees. But draft picks are fairly easy to track so ...
I looked into this earlier in the year, and while guys like Crone and Grichuk and Corbin did turn out to be something, they were mostly doing it for other teams. If we use 5 WAR as a baseline, then between Kole Calhoun's debut in 2012 and David Fletcher's strong 2019 season, the Angels developed zero players who accumulated 5 WAR as an Angel. Not a 5 WAR season as an Angel, but 5 WAR total as an Angel.

That's not necessarily a terrible thing. The Yankees also had a somewhat similar situation. They traded prospects for vets to Win Now, but the Yankees had consistently better farm systems, and were thus able to trade for better vets, and did a lot more winning than the Angels.
   16. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: August 22, 2022 at 11:24 PM (#6092735)
Artie has been a problem owner since 2007 when he flushed $50 million down the toilet to sign Gary Mathews Jr because he was one of the “best” free agents that off-season. He hit paydirt with his first free agent signings (Vladdy and Bartolo) and has been trying to re-create the magic ever since.
   17. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: August 22, 2022 at 11:29 PM (#6092736)
If we use 5 WAR as a baseline, then between Kole Calhoun's debut in 2012 and David Fletcher's strong 2019 season, the Angels developed zero players who accumulated 5 WAR as an Angel. Not a 5 WAR season as an Angel, but 5 WAR total as an Angel.


I like to think this has something to do with Tom Kotchman leaving the Angles in 2012.
   18. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: August 23, 2022 at 10:06 AM (#6092787)
Thanks, Walt, although the aim of my question was more along the lines of what Hombre provided in #15 - how much value did these guys produce FOR the Angels. Even Cron has produced more WAR for Colorado in his two years there than in four for the Angels. I feel like part of an organization's development of a player includes how and when they deploy him at the major league level. Cron came up through the farm system and has produced 15-ish WAR in his career, which is great. But the Angels jerked him around for most of his years with them, pulling him up and down, and playing him sporadically. He's been a 2+-win per year player with other organizations who have let him play every day. He produced less than a win per year for the Angels.

Even the good players that have come through the Angels system seem to realize their full potential once they're out of the organization (Clevinger was mediocre in the system until he got traded, same with Patrick Corbin; only Chatwood looked decent with the team prior to being dealt). Whether that's because other teams know what to do with them once they get there or because the Angels made a poor value judgment on what the player would be worth doesn't really matter. It's all part of the same system. I think other teams have struggled with this at times, but it ebbs and flows. The Angels have been consistently poor for 15 years now; Mike Trout is the proverbial exception that proves the rule.

I look at what the team has done and is doing with Jo Adell and I can't help but think that the kid would have a chance to succeed in almost any other major league organization. He might not become the 5-tool stud he was projected to, but he wouldn't look like a football player who stumbled into a major league outfield. Every time I see him swing at a ball two feet out of the strike zone or over-run a flyball, I can't help but wonder what the heck they're doing with him that's produced this mess.

In 15 years, the two guys Hombre named are it as far as homegrown players generating 5 WAR: Calhoun and Fletcher. Every other player they've drafted who's put up that much value has done it after being traded (and usually traded young, while they still have development to do). It's pathetic.
   19. Bob T Posted: August 23, 2022 at 01:07 PM (#6092828)
Moreno has announced his intention to sell the Angels today.
   20. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: August 23, 2022 at 01:39 PM (#6092833)
Moreno has announced his intention to sell the Angels today.


Hallelujah!

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