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Not much good stuff so far this year “Big Surprise” so we will start with the Gripes.
GRIPES


Angels Losing

This Team is nothing to get excited about.

I have said this since Spring Training and now 45 games into the season they are 17 & 28, got swept by the Dodgers and lose the opener to Texas.

In reviewing my comments to start the Season none of the unknowns have produced: Mathis & Kendrick are back in the minors.

Erstad&Kotchman

Kotchman and Erstad

Both on the DL (I questioned Erstad durability and he hasn’t put up any numbers either).

Figgins, Rivera and Morales

Figgins has been a major bust; he has 10 or 11 errors, batting .260 with an OBP at barely .300 what good is all that speed if he can’t get on base and it seems as though he is always getting thrown out trying to steal and taking the Angels out of innings.

Morales hasn’t played an inning in the majors. He is just being called up now, why don’t they just swap all the position players but Vlad, Kennedy and Cabrera with Salt Lake.

Rivera started OK, but due to injury or maybe lack of ability he has been mediocre .238 and doesn’t seem to take a good route to balls in the outfield, he is not the answer in center

Garret Anderson

Andersen has been hurt on and off all year again and batting only .270 with 25 RBI’s plus the guy looks like he wants to be any place but on the field, so much for inspiring the young players.



Bill Stoneman

I ask again, “Where is Bill Stoneman”?

This problem is not new, we all knew this last year this team has no offense except Guerrero.

He couldn’t make a trade before last July because teams wanted too much, he didn’t make any significant trades in the off season because they wanted to give the highly touted youngsters a chance to play, and that has been a huge success.

Now he is again hedging on a trade because teams are waiting to see where they are in July, well for the Angels July will be too late to salvage this year. This guy should be ashamed to take a paycheck, he is useless.

Mike Scioscia

And what in the world has Scioscia been doing?

Can he manage this team any worse than he has? Ball players like most of us want to be in a comfort zone, know what to expect to some extent each day. More than half the team doesn’t know what position they are going to play. Everyone except Vlad, AK, Orlando and the catchers have played more than one position this year.

I am a big fan of being versatile but this is insane. How can you expect a player to perform at his peak consistently when they don’t know if or where they are going to play and what order they bat in? Players like to know their roles. Asking them to do things in critical situations that they are not familiar with or skilled at is a sign of poor management, you have to know your players and what they can and can't do.

They need to demonstrate their skills in practice first. Improvement comes with practice and building confidence, not setting someone up to fail. Asking Napoli to squeeze bunt with one out, in the 8th, game tied, a man on 3rd, after he had gone 3 for 3 with a homerun, was the single most stupid management blunder I have ever seen.

My other gripe with Scioscia is that he plays favorites. Once you are on his good list, usually because you have speed, he will find a place in the line up for you somehow, ala Figgins. Figgins is a nice kid, good athletic ability, great speed, but he is a marginal defender. He can make some spectacular plays but seems to let down on routine ones. He lacks the natural instincts, especially at 3rd, to know where to throw the ball if he catches it, part of this is because he plays so many positions. and I admire him for that but in the long run this is not good for the team. Find a position he can play everyday or use him as a utility player, pinch runner, etc. Don’t keep moving players around to give Figgins a chance to play everyday, he is not that good.

GOOD STUFF


I want to comment on 3 guys who have meant a great deal to the Angels and were part of the 2002 World Series Championship season:

Erstad, Salmon and Kennedy.

Erstad, Salmon and Kennedy

These guys are great, great attitudes, great team spirit the kind of professional athletes we want to see in all sports. Hopefully all three will end up in the Angel hall of fame and be remembered for all the contributions both on and off the field.

This will probably be their last season as Angels. It is unlikely that Erstad will be resigned. I don’t think Salmon will make it through the entire season and Kennedy will probably be traded in some package for a proven hitter, they will be missed.


Pringle and Moreno

Napoli has been a pleasant surprise both behind the plate and at the plate, hitting .313

With Jose Molina hitting .173 and Jeff Mathis back in the minors his contribution is huge.

Let’s hope that Stoneman wakes up a fills the offensive and defensive holes in this team. I think the pitching will come around if the offense can put up some consistent numbers. I don’t recall one time this year that the Angels have had a walk off win and I believe they are 1 & 22 when trailing after the 7th inning, pretty sad.

Please Artie you raised prices, you have the name Los Angeles Angels, you have record crowds, get Stoneman to do his job and fix this team, it is broken.

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