December 8, 2009

Godzilla and Rally Monkeys don't mix

So I’ve read via the LA Times the Angels have some "interest" in Hideki Matsui. Matsui is a left handed hitter who spent 2009 as the Yankees’ DH. My mother is a Matsui fan. Then again, she pretty much likes all the players from Japan. Me? I’m not much of a Matsui fan. It’s not that he’s a bad player or anything. It’s just; well... he’s a Yankee.

I know, I know, Bobby Abreu was a Yankee at one time as well. Well, to be honest with you, it took me nearly a full season to warm up to the idea of a former Yankee wearing an Angel uniform. To Abreu’s credit, he won me over. He not only transformed an entire baseball team’s approach to hitting, he also was an engaging personality, who clearly loved being in Anaheim. I learned to embrace Abreu by season’s end. Asking me to do it for yet another soon-to-be ex-Yankee might be more than I’m capable of doing.

Besides, Godzilla (Matsui’s nickname) and rally monkeys just don’t mix. Giant lizards probably view monkeys as their meal of choice and that would make for some ugly video.

I just can’t flip the switch when a player on a team I really don’t like ends up on a team I do. When Karl Malone signed with the Lakers in 2003 I hated it. How could I cheer for a guy whose previous mission in life was to destroy my favorite team? Adding insult to injury, he was seeking to pass Laker great Kareem Abdul Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer (thankfully, that didn’t happen). I hated Karl Malone with a passion. In fact I feel like booing him right now! I thought he was a dirty ball player and I wanted the Lakers to humiliate him every time they played his Utah Jazz. I never got over his signing with the Lakers and that was one of the things that eventually lead to my not watching the NBA at all (along with many other reasons – which I might articulate in a future blog).

All that being said, I will flip the switch on John Lackey if he goes to the Yankees or some other specific destinations. Don't do it John.

Now, Hideki Matsui does not spark the same kind of emotion that Malone did, but it still wouldn’t sit well with me to see him in Angel red. I know these things happen; especially this day and age. I just don’t have to like it when it does.

Now, if you’re trying to keep up with what’s going on with the Angels this off season, you’ve no doubt noticed that rumors continue to fly around.

One of John Lackey’s most serious suitors (because they have money) is the Mets. Word from Jeff Fletcher of AOL is that the Mets are not likely to go five years (which is what he wants) and that’s good news for the Angels. The list of teams that have interest and can afford Lackey is shrinking. If Lackey comes down in the number of years he's looking for, I believe the Angels have a good shot of re-signing him.

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, Lackey wants a contract that’s longer and bigger than that of A.J. Burnett’s. I would too if I were Lackey because Lackey is clearly better than Burnett. Problem is Burnett signed with the Yankees and they usually operate in their own stratosphere. Lackey may find his demands unrealistic. Then again, no one saw the Barry Zito contract coming when it did.

One other late rumor comes from Ed Price of AOL, who claims the Angels are exploring the possible trade of an infielder; most likely Maicer Izturis or perhaps Howie Kendrick. Who knows if that's true. The majority of these things never pan out.

I guess the Baseball Winter Meetings are officially in full swing...

The news coming out of Indianapolis, has the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Tigers completing a three-way trade today. The Yankees received Curtis Granderson from the Tigers, while sending Ian Kennedy to Arizona, Austin Jackson and Phil Coke to Detroit. The Diamondbacks obtained Edwin Jackson from Detroit (along with Kennedy) and the Tigers make out like bandits by acquiring Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlerth from Arizona (along with Jackson and Coke).

The good news for Angel fans is that the rumors of Granderson to the Angels in a trade are now history. Granderson can’t hit lefties to save his life. He hit .183 vs. lefties and .275 against right-handers. Even though he’s an all-star, who hit 30 homeruns this past year, I think the Angels are better off exploring other options. Thankfully, they won't be sending any prospects to Detroit. The Tigers did well to sell high on this one.

Speaking of selling high – the Tigers were wise to move Edwin Jackson, who’s second half numbers were pretty ugly. Jackson went from a 2.52 ERA in the first half to a whopping 5.07 in the second half. I'm no math genius, but his ERA doubled! Diamondback fans have to be scratching their heads on this one (and probably want to scratch the eyes out of their GM). I’d rather have Scherzer over Jackson any day. It’s not even close. I really like Scherzer’s 174 strike outs in 170.1 innings. Scherzer is a potential ace. Jackson may end up being okay, but his ceiling appears to be much lower.

This is the kind of annoying trade proposal people in fantasy baseball leagues try to make and get laughed at for suggesting (okay, maybe not that bad). Say, I wonder if D-Backs GM Josh Byrnes plays fantasy baseball? If he does, I might want to join his league. Heck, I wonder if GM's all around baseball picked up the phone to make a trade offer after this one? Quick, someone get Tony Reagins to offer up Gary Matthews, Jr. for Justin Upton. I'm just saying.

Speaking of annoying...

Remember those "predictions" I made earlier in the off season about where I thought players would end up? If you don’t remember, that’s good. I think I’ve only predicted one correctly (so far) and haven’t come close on the rest. Note to self... don’t make free agent predictions next year.

One late update...

I'm not buying the Halladay to the Angels rumors. It just doesn't fit with how the Angels operate. Trading Aybar and a current starting pitcher would just create more holes for the team. They really don't like to do that. I think that as Lackey's demands on the number of years he wants comes down, they'll be more likely to just re-sign him. Halladay would cost at least as much, but probably more money and require as many, if not more years and would take away some of the team's depth. It doesn't make sense.


  1. James I agree Godzilla does not fit into the Halos mix. I believe it would be a great improvement to get Doc from the Blue Jays, dare I say even if it means trading......Joe. I know how much you and Cheryl love him but he is no Halladay. Aybar is an up and coming star and i'm willing to let him go to make this trade only if we are able to get a minimum of 3 years.

  2. Bo - I disagree. The cost is too high and I explain why I believe this in my latest post.