The October 19th, 2011 edition of daily news for the LA Angels including Angels to interview Rangers' Thad Levine for GM spot, Kendrick gets caught up in autograph controversy, a new defensive metric provides more evidence against Mathis being an elite defensive catcher and much more...
The Monkey Says: Levine is a hot commodity after two straight AL pennants for Texas and I think the Angels are clearly taking the "if you can't beat 'em, steal their assistant GM" strategy. It is also worth nothing that Levine will interview with Baltimore as well and that he grew up as a diehard Oriole fan, so the Halos are at something of a disadvantage here.
The Monkey Says: This whole story is ridiculous and I almost don't even want to dignify it by linking to it, but it actually got some run on the internet today, so I figured it needed covering. First off, Kendrick has every right to refuse to sign autographs and take photos, especially when you bother him at his own home. More importantly, you really need to take the story with a grain of salt because if this family was so innocent and well-meaning, they never would have gone to some trashy internet tabloid with the story in the first place.
The Monkey Says: The article barely focuses on Mathis, but you can see his stats if you download the spreadsheets. I'll save you the time and tell you he rates as maybe above average at blocking balls. The real value here is that this study is the last missing piece in being able to provide a mostly comprehensive rating for catcher defense. We now have studies that show how catchers rate at framing, suppressing the running game and blocking pitches. Game calling is missing from the equation still and maybe never be added, but with those three areas down it is now clear (and you can derive this from this article) that Mathis is, in fact, a good defensive catcher, just not anything close to being an elite defensive catcher or good enough in terms of runs saved with his glove to offset the number of runs he adds (or fails to add) with his bat.
The Monkey Says: Venezuela appears to be rather popular. I guess political turmoil is better than having your head lopped off my a drug cartel.
The Monkey Says: Traitors! All of them!!!! But seriously, this just goes to show that the way we fans feel about rival teams isn't necessarily shared by the actual players involved.
The Story: Are Angel fans pulling for Texas too?
The Monkey Says: If you, loyal reader, are rooting for Texas, kindly leave a comment with your IP address in this post so that I can block you from ever visiting my site again. Nothing personal, it is just that you are a horrible person. Have a nice day.
The Monkey Says: It sounds like the rhetoric about people expecting the Angels to spend big this winter has, rightfully, died down but big names are still going to be linked to them. The one problem I have with this article is that it glosses over the bullpen woes. Guys like Takahashi and Thompson did have good stats this year, but neither is reliable or someone Scioscia trusts. If the new GM falls for the same trap, expect yet another year of the blowpen.