Halo Headlines: Angels Begin to Trim General Manager Candidates, Friedman Still in Play, Oppenheimer Ruled Out

The October 27th, 2011 edition of daily news for the LA Angels including Angels begin to narrow the GM search, Friedman still hasn’t ruled himself out, Oppenheimer no longer a candidate and much more…

The Story: The Angels have started to trim the list of GM candidates by ruling out Damon Oppenheimer, but they will bring Billy Eppler back for a second interview.

The Monkey Says: This is a bit surprising because Oppenheimer had been gaining steam in the media and was generally considered a more viable option than Eppler.  At least the Angels are starting to cull the candidates now which should put them on track to make a hire in time for the start of free agency.

The Story: Andrew Friedman has not yet removed himself from consideration for the Angels GM job.

The Monkey Says: This is actually fairly important.  There is no real reason for him to keep his name in the mix if he is just going to turn them down.  The longer he delays an official decision, the more likely it becomes that he will jump ship to the Halos.  Combine this story with the one about Eppler and it makes me wonder if maybe these are related developments.  I’m sure this is just a wild conspiracy theory, but perhaps Friedman has already quietly decided to take the Angels’ president job and the remaining interviews are for a GM that will work under Friedman.  I mean, they haven’t even interviewed all their candidates yet and still think they are going to make a hire in the next week.  It just doesn’t add up.  Of course, this theory kind of falls apart because one would think Friedman would want to hand pick his GM and he can’t really do that without being involved in the interviews.

The Story: Dan Evans and Thad Levine will both officially interview in the next few days.

The Monkey Says: Again, how can they be days away from their decision when two prime candidates haven’t even been in for an interview.  Evans has been a GM before but has been out of the game for a number of years so he, as well as Levine, would both be the type that might be willing to serve as Friedman’s top lieutenant.

The Story: Kim Ng has the resume to be the next Angels general manager.

The Monkey Says: Ng officially interviewed yesterday and could be an interesting fit since she has shown a great handle for the business side of the GM position.  She, not unlike how Andrew Friedman has Gerry Hunsicker, would need a strong baseball person as her AGM to support her.

The Story: Jim Bowden since Omar Minaya is considered a top candidate for the Angels GM position.

The Monkey Says: This is a scary thought until you consider the following: 1) Bowden is an idiot  2) Almost every single Angel GM candidate has been considered a frontrunner at some point, including the recently rejected Oppneheimer  3) Bowden is probably being fed some misinformation to throw people off their scent, as they like to do, which Bowden gobbled right up because he is an idiot.

The Story: The many reasons why the Angels GM job isn’t as attractive as we might think.

The Monkey Says: Allow me to debunk this debunking.  This goes beyond the “meddlesome Scioscia” theory, which is a valid concern, but is not entirely a bad thing because, you know, he is a GREAT manager.  He isn’t perfect, but savvy GMs will recognize that they are inheriting a manager who consistently gets the most out of his team.  You can’t get that in a lot of places.  As for the payroll, that is only a major concern in 2012 as the budget clears up considerably after that.  If a GM candidate believes they have long-term leeway, the constraints in 2012 should be of little concern.  I almost don’t even want to dignify the second team in LA bit.  Whatever the pecking order is doesn’t matter since the LA-OC market can clearly support both teams.  In the rare case the Dodgers and Angels both vie for a player, it will come down to money 99% of the time, not team prestige.  Show me an example of a free agent going to the Yankees for less money than the Mets were offering because the Yankees ware the top dog in NYC.

The Story: Mark Saxon the Angels should “right the wrong” of firing Eddie Bane by bringing him back as an assistant general manager.

The Monkey Says: Saxon misses the point entirely here.  We can argue up and down about Bane’s production when he was with the Angels but it is besides the point because that is not why he was let go.  Bane even admitted himself that the primary reason he was run out of town was because he did not get along with Tony Reagins at all, likely because Bane was upset he wasn’t promoted to GM instead of Reagins.  You can’t bring back a guy who got fired for being insubordinate to his boss under the assumption that he will probably get along better with the new guy.

The Story: Mark Trumbo was voted the Sporting News American League Rookie of the Year.

The Monkey Says: This is not the “real” ROY voted on by the baseball writers.  This is a vote by MLB players instead, which is a nice feather in Trumbo’s hat since it shows how much respect he has earned.  However, writers will realize he had a .291 OBP, making him a longshot to win the real award.

The Story: Trevor Bell and Rich Thompson will join the MLB “All-Star” roster playing in Taiwan next month.

The Monkey Says: Really?  They couldn’t find anyone else.  Bell is barely even a real big leaguer and Thompson can’t even convince his own manager to use him.  How are either of these guys on the list for people to call for this little barnstorming trip?

The Story: CJ Wilson takes a small swipe at Mike Scioscia and his disfavor for Mike Napoli.

The Monkey Says: The specific quote is “I think it’s pretty safe to say that he’s the best hitting, best catching, Italian catcher named Mike in the last 20 or 30 years that I know of.”  I’m as sick of the Scioscia-Napoli crap as much as anyone, but you have to admit, that is a pretty funny way to frame the argument.

Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of Monkeywithahalo.com and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.