I've just about had it with this incarnation of the Angels. These last two weeks have been just one embarrassment after another. They've got guys crashing into each other in the outfield. Runners getting called out for tagging up too early. The Rangers stealing bases seven bases per game off of them. Scioscia having to use three pitchers just to get through the ninth inning of a game where the Angels have a seven-run lead. There is no other way of putting it, these are the Bad News Angels.
If this is really how they are going to insist on playing from here on out, then I say Moreno should just embrace it and fire Scioscia. Who would replace him you ask? I can answer that with one word… BUTTERMAKER! And not the awful Billy Bob Thornton version. Grab a shovel and dig up Walter Matthau's grave if you have to. Or maybe have the company that did the hologram Tupac put a hologram Buttermaker in the dugout for the remainder of the season. It may not help the Angels win any games, but it sure as hell would make the team more watchable.
Thinking about the Bad News Angels analogy some more, I think it is pretty clear that Mike Trout is our version of Kelly Leak. Jered Weaver is Amanda, but that is mostly because they have the same hairstyle. Shuck is Lupus since he is really just a screw up who had one amazing moment. What I can't decide is who Ogilvie is. I suspect he might be Conger, but I also think Conger might be Engelberg. I'm willing to hear other suggestions on this.
Mike Trout's consecutive games reaching base safely streak is at 37. The record is 84. He isn't even halfway there, people. It really isn't a big deal, though I understand the need to find SOMETHING to cling to with how bad this team has been. I just think maybe we should cool it with all of this until the streak reaches at least 60. Or, to put it more succinctly:
So, Peter Bourjos is back today. I really can't wait to see how Mike Scioscia handles the outfield playing time now. By that I mean I can't wait to punch myself in the face every time Kole Calhoun is not in the starting lineup. This is supposed to be an evaluation period for the Angels, but Scioscia still insists on running J.B. Shuck out there every single day. Hell, the same could be said for Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo. Both are struggling, so it isn't as if they need to play to keep the Angels semi-respectable. They should both be getting regular days off and Shuck should have his role greatly reduced so the team can get a proper sense of what Calhoun (and to a lesser extent Cowgill) can do before the off-season as they decide whether or not Bourjos or Trumbo should be traded. But they won't do that because Scioscia just doesn't seem to get it. Like I said, fire Scioscia, hire Buttermaker.
Oh, and the same goes for whenever Howie Kendrick gets healthy. I have somewhat more confidence that the Angels will have Grant Green shift over to third when that happens, but only on a part-time basis because of the presence of Chris Nelson and, eventually, Luis Jimenez. This is a tougher situation to handle because Howie deserves to play everyday, but I really don't see all that much to evaluate in Nelson. He has not been productive with the bat in his career nor has he been a good defender. There is no upside there, despite his two-homer performance yesterday. Green is the future and they need to see what he is capable of before they can feel confident in making the inevitable Kendrick trade this off-season.
The Angels lead the league in sac flies (50) and percentage of runs scored via the sac fly (over 9%) by a pretty wide margin. This Angels offense is actually decent (6th most runs scored in the AL), but it really shows how much they have failed to live up to their potential when the sac fly is their best weapon. It is almost like it is a good lineup that has been undermined by having two veteran sluggers in the middle of the order completely fail to live up to expectations. Weird, right?
I am very excited for the expansion of replay review in MLB. Alas, I am torn now on the future of Mike Scioscia as a result. Having replay challenges initiated by the manager now adds an extra element to a manager's repertoire and I have a the feeling that Scioscia would actually be pretty good about when to issue challenges. I obviously have nothing to back that up with other than I don't really recall Scioscia coming onto the field very much to argue a call that he thought was blown but really wasn't. Admittedly, my team bias might affect that recollection though. Either way, I think we can all agree that Ron Washington and Clint Hurdle are going to constantly waste their challenges.
I was very disappointed that the Angels sent down Nick Maronde but kept Buddy Boshers on the roster. Not only is Maronde the much higher profile prospect, but now every time they bring Buddy into the game, I get this stuck in my head:
Good luck getting that out of your head the rest of the day!
You should all be glad that I don't do my podcast anymore because these Bad News Angels have made me exceptionally ornery. If I were still doing it, the podcast would just have degenerated into weekly installments of me spewing non-sensical streams of swear words like a coked up Tourrette's patient.