The October 6th, 2011 edition of daily news for the LA Angels including Angels and Moneyball-Style GMs could be a poor match, grading all of Reagins' moves, a young Angels fan survives cancer and much more...
The Monkey Says: It is worth noting that Tony Reagins tried to bring more sabermetrics into the Angel front office decision making process, but to me, this analysis is spot on. As long as Scioscia is on the bench, the Angels will have to find a GM who can relate to him. Guys like Beane, Epstein and Friedman definitely know what they are doing, but putting them in a position to constantly have to bend over backwards to get Scioscia to buy into their methodologies would be an untenable situation.
The Monkey Says: I think the grade of the Haren trade is a little overly critical, but for the most part these grades are spot on. Overall, they do demonstrate that Reagins did a fair amount correctly, but he also did a lot incorrectly and on a grand scale.
The Monkey Says: Yay for him!
Well, I hope Saxon is wrong about the Angels most likely hiring a more "traditional" GM if it means hiring a re-tread whose main qualification is having GMed before. I'm about half way through Jonah Keri's "The Extra 2%" about how the Rays were rebuilt, and it's fascinating. Friedman isn't a successful GM because he uses stats; he uses stats because he is a rigorous, analytical thinker. And that's what we need, whether he (or she) comes from a FO, scouting, or player development background. Anybody interested in rigorous analysis will naturally be interested in consuming and using as much data as possible. And nobody these days just uses statistical data exclusively anyway, the up and coming FO stars all use a blend of stats and traditional scouting.
I just got through Mat Gleason's grading of Reagins' moves. Interesting. I think "Mat" might be a nom de plume for one Mr. The Monkey, it was such good stuff. I agree he was overly critical on the Haren trade but at least he gave it an Incomplete, which is correct. I'm still not jumping on the "Wells trade is the worst of the 21st century", either. On this date, it may be the worst transactions of the past eleven years but over the past century we'd have to get past the Red Sox selling Babe Ruth and Frank Robinson-for-Milt Pappas trade, among others. Do Red Sox fans feel any better about signing Carl Crawford? They might. And correctly. This is one season. I still think Wells will give us more than any of us thought Rivera and Napoli would over the life of his contract. Napoli was the guy who could never quite put it all together and, let's face it, Rivera was downright reviled. It was the equivalent of a free agent signing without the loss of a draft pick since part of the point was to unload dead wood, which both of these guys were. Lighten up. Everyone in the front office would have signed off on this.
I wonder what the real dynamic is between manager and GM is in Anaheim. I can see that a manager would want the guys that he wants. You will note that some speculation about Francona leaving Boston is that he couldn't stand many of the players anymore. You don't get that aspect off a stat sheet and maybe Epstein had tunnel vision to a point Francona could no longer tolerate. The purest form of Moneyball didn't work (without a poopload of money, like is available in Boston) so most teams seem to have blended that process with the scouting process to some varying extent. It must be a fine calculation to reach success.
Not trying to sound mean but there's nothing going on if we're using human interest stories to fill out the space. For me, those rank right up on the boredom scale with player interviews and all-star games.
@Rick K. Believe it or not, "Mat" is Rev Halofan. Might be the most measured thing I have ever seen him write.
@Rick K. I often think of Scioscia as being a set-in-his-ways, closed-minded manager, but reading his comments about Joe Maddon in "The 2% Solution" was really enlightening. Scioscia is effusive in his praise of Maddon's ability to think outside the box, and seems to appreciate progressive thinking. Now, he could just be saying this to make his old buddy look good, but I suppose you can even say Scioscia's WhiteyBall revival could be considered different, if not progressive, in this day and age of waiting around for the three run homer, aka WeaverBall. So this makes me hopeful that Scioscia will be able to work together with a younger, progressive minded GM.
@Rick K. It doesn't sound mean at all Rick. The tell-tale sign of a slow news day is when I have to link to one of Marcia Smith's warm-and-fuzzy fluff pieces.
What I will say about the GM and manager dynamic is that no matter what the philosophies are, the GM and manager need to understand each other so that the GM can get players that the manager will not only use but use properly. I actually had a chance to talk with several top front office folks for another team a few years ago and that was a big thing for them when they selected their new manager (at the time). The manager bought into that team's stat-centric approach. They knew it wouldn't work otherwise, and it has worked so far (at least relative to that team's expectations).
@monkeywithahalo Impossible. Where are the usual histrionics I could no longer stand to read?
@scioscialite@Rick K. I'm ashamed of my self for having not read 2% yet, but that doesn't surprise me to hear. Scioscia has always had respect for Maddon. The question for me is what does someone have to do to earn Scioscia's trust, especially if they haven't played the game. Reagins didn't and I wonder if it left a bad taste in Scioscia's mouth. The particular sabermetric concern for me is that story from a few years ago where Scioscia said he didn't know what PECOTA was but knew what chicken piccata was. All in all, I think think it will all boil down to how successful the new GM, whoever he/she is, is at winning Scioscia's trust.
@monkeywithahalo I hate to say it but his Things That Went Wrong in '11 was pretty good, too. I hate even more to say that he very succinctly expressed almost exactly my views on the subject. Although points 1 and 3 are great hindsight deductions and I would not put Santana and Aybar in the "spare parts" category, as in number 10. If your strength is pitching and defense build upon that, don't cripple it. See? Lithium is a good thing if he takes it regularly.
@scioscialite@monkeywithahalo Ehhh...I'm not so sure I want to hear what Whitey says. He left Anaheim, as far as I'm concerned, a total wreck. There was a lot of animosity in town toward him and even speculation, in print, that he helped out some of his old buddies on other teams with personnel moves. Maybe he got kids who later became somebody but he never seemed to be a fan of internal player development so why start on the way out? I never saw an overview on the long-term result, I just remember hating him in a way I never hated Reagins.
@Rick K.@monkeywithahalo Another great book is Whitey Herzog's "You're Missin' A Great Game." You can see how similar Scioscia and Whiteys ideas on how to construct a team and offensive philosophy are. Kinda eerie how Whitey defends trading catcher Ted Simmons' big bat because he hated Simmons' weak defense (but at least Darrell Porter, his replacement, got on base a lot!). And he also has interesting things to say about his days as Angels GM.
Totally agree with you Rick that there's nothing better than watching a team get built, and the Rays have the right approach. I heard Keith Law on "Baseball Today" the other day talk about while the new GM will have to get along with Scioscia, the Angels GM job is very, very attractive and isn't being talked about that much. It sounded like he would want the Angels GM job over the Cubs job. He pointed out we have a solid farm system, good young talent already at the major league level, an owner who likes to spend money. And reading up on some of the other GM candidates out there (John Coppolella also seems really good), I'm getting more and more excited that we will be seeing some "SmartBall" being played in Anaheim soon.
@monkeywithahalo@Rick K. Oh man, did Scioscia say that?! That's pretty funny. I think you are absolutely right that the new GM will have to win Scioscia's trust, and that being a former player will help a lot in that regard. Which would be one of the reasons to like Jerry DiPoto. But I'd like to think that Scioscia can be won over by someone with no playing experience, as long as that person is smart and has the communication skills to articulate their viewpoint clearly and forcefully (something I kinda think Reagins had trouble doing). BTW, great site, I have bookmarked it as my new one stop source for all of my Angels news!!
@monkeywithahalo@scioscialite Dammit! Three new book preorders, along with the latest Mitch Rapp book, just fell into my Kindle and I haven't even bought The Triple Agent yet. I may have to buy The Extra 2%, etc., before the GM search is completed and bump it up on the reading list.
I love the Rays' approach and the Angels could take it the next step by extending the cream of the crop. To me, there's nothing better than watching a team get built (the Braves and Indians in the 90's and the Devil Rays in the 00's, for example). With a few younger players showing they could hold their own this season (I didn't say they'd all be stars), this year would be a good year to start. I just don't know if enough people in NoSoCal have the patience it takes to wait through it.