The January 3rd, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Moreno staying out of baseball decisions, Halos still considering Madson, the full annual breakdown of Pujols' deal and much more...
The Monkey Says: This is what we all want to hear, but I don't necessarily think it is 100% true. Moreno might not be dictating moves, but I don't think he ever really was. He still is the one that has to sign off on giant expenditures like the Pujols contract, so he is involved that way at least. Cutting Scioscia out of the major decision making is a step forward though. Sosh definitely should be consulted, but shouldn't have the final say.
The Monkey Says: I'm pretty sure I have linked to some version of this rumor everyday for the last few weeks. Let's just assume that the Angels are pursuing Madson up until he signs with someone else.
The Monkey Says: The only thing I can say about the backloaded deal is that it at least gives the Angels some time to plan for his hefty salaries towards the end of the contract. It will be interesting to see what that means when it comes to the Angels considering handing out extensions to Kendrick, Aybar, Haren, Santana and others.
The Monkey Says: I'm sorry, but that is way too high unless Olney is somehow certain that Vernon Wells is going to bounce back or that Torii Hunter is going to start aging in reverse. It is definitely a fantastic defensive outfield, but the offensive output is highly suspect. It is worth noting though that Olney left the Angels out of his top ten lineups, which is kind of weird since he gave them top five infields and outfields.
The Monkey Says: What I love about that line chart is the huge upward spike in the 21st century. It really is amazing what Mike Scioscia has done with this team in his tenure.
The Monkey Says: Apparently yoga is going to be his solution. What Hank probably isn't accounting for is that he just isn't very well served making the roster out of camp and then playing maybe 60 games all season. His defense needs to improve and it is only going to happen if he catches everyday, and that means going back to Triple-A.
The Monkey Says: Backloaded. Frontloaded. It doesn't really matter, if you ask me. The wisdom is all in how you plan around those contracts. Teams can gain flexibility by backloading contracts, but if they just backload deal after deal after deal, it will eventually catch up with the team, especially if backloading turns into deferred salary (i.e. the Mets are STILL making payments to Bobby Bonilla and the Dodgers the same for Manny Ramirez). It is all in the planning.
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I'm sure Olney is using some defensively weighted metric to make his list. Something beyond WAR that leans more toward defense by emphasizing some form of UZR or maybe even factoring in fWAR by the pitchers or rWAR or who knows? Maybe he's even just looking at the players play (a weird concept, I know). Statisticians can lie in more ways than a politician but I guess Olney's final conclusion isn't far off. Watching the players can really throw one off. Who amongst us realized the Angels' bullpen ranked so highly last season? I sure didn't. All I saw were the glaring errors of commission and omission they made. This may have been a situation where neither our eyes or the pure numbers told us the truth. I still think that group (sans Fraudney) would have been better if they hadn't been hosed by Kazmir, Piniero, Chatwood and the like. I'm not an Insider so I wonder how the Rangers' infield and outfield were rated by Olney. I just have a feeling their bubble will burst this season; their defense is so horrible I have to wonder if they can keep up the illusion with the offense a third season in a row.
Backloaded, frontloaded, no-loaded, who friction' cares? It's a business decision that's already been hashed out and decided. The Mets only have, what?, like seventeen years left to pay off Bonilla?
It's all finally over so I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and has a happy new year! If you subscribe to paganism then I hope some predator eats you because that's how nature works. It doesn't matter anyway! It's the last year of the Mayan calendar so we're ALL toast, right? Right? I hope we get through #162 first, though.