December 9, 2009

Moving on without Figgy

I’m not going to kid you. I’m going to miss Chone Figgins. I’m going to miss that infectious smile of his. I’m going to miss thinking every time he gets on base, he is going to score. I’m going to miss seeing him play third base like a gold glove infielder. Yes, I’m going to miss just about everything about Figgy.

It’s going to be very strange seeing him in a Mariners uniform when they come to town. It’s going to be weird cheering against him. But this is what happens in baseball.

So be it. I will move on. We will all move on. But how? Well, the best way I believe to do that in this case is by focusing on Brandon Wood.

Brandon Wood is the kind of player who inspires a great deal of hope. We’ve seen glimpses of his potential. His 2005 season in Rancho Cucamonga is still pretty fresh in our memories. That year he put the baseball world on notice with 43 homeruns, 115 RBI, and a.321 batting average.

Ever since that year, visions of Roy Hobbs have been dancing in our heads (or at least mine). Baseball fans and experts have been talking about Brandon Wood for five years now. Any time some fan from another team posts a trade idea on a baseball message board, Wood is the guy they want back. I’m betting every time another team’s GM calls the Angels, Wood is the guy they want too. Every fan base wants a special player to come through their organization that they can call their own. Brandon Wood represents that guy for Angel fans every where.

He’s our Matt Wieters; our Ryan Braun. He’s the next big thing; the chosen one, if you will. He’s had enough acolades to give him a big head and yet, he’s got the right attitude.

Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times interviewed Wood recently and Wood told him, “I'm going in to spring training to win a job. That keeps you on your toes. If you think that job is yours, you might get lazy. I've got to be ready to work, rather than sitting back and saying I paid my dues, I waited for my time."

It looks like he will get his chance. From Kevin Baxter of the LA Times: As for Wood, Scioscia said "he has to have the mind-set to come in there and win a position, and realistically that's what has to happen. He has to come out and win a spot, and we do have some depth that we'll use if it's going to make us a better team. But we definitely want to give Brandon every opportunity to show his talent, because he's a very, very talented young player."

I say it's time to let that talnet shine. Brandon, it’s time for you to get to work. Angel fans have been waiting for you. Kendry Morales showed you how it’s done. The two of you can make history and become a force together. I have visions. Visions of Morales and Wood becoming the best one-two punch in baseball. I know, I’m getting way ahead of myself here, but that’s part of being a baseball fan. In fact, it’s a fun part of being a fan.

I say let the Brandon Wood/Kendry Morales era begin. Some may mock the idea. Others may even laugh, but some of us are ready to believe. I can’t wait to see what Wood can do with regular at bats. In many ways this is what baseball is all about. It’s about youth being served and hard work finally paying off.

It’s about Garvey, Russell, Lopes and Cey. Say what? Yes, I know they were Dodgers, but they were staples in the Dodgers infield for years. Dodger fans knew every time they went to the ball park or tuned in to a Dodger broadcast, they were going to see those four guys in the lineup every day.

Next year, the Angels could have an infield that is completely home grown. Morales, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Wood. It would be an entire infield drafted and developed by the Angels. They could be together for year to come. That’s way cool, don’t you think?.

So, even though I will miss Chone Figgins (as will my wife), there is a bright side and that my friends will be in the form of a guy wearing #3.

Hot Stove Update: According to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun the Angels have offered Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar and Peter Bourjos to Toronto for Roy Halladay. I said it before and I'll say it again. I'm not buying it. Just sign Lackey. Why give up players and create more holes in your lineup on top of having to sign Halladay for more money than it would take to sign Lackey? The cost is simply too high.

One off season update: Jose Arredondo isn't looking so good. He's having elbow trouble again and appears to be in the dog house, per Bill Plunkett of the OC Register.

1 comment:

  1. James, I agree I will miss Chone every way you discribed in your blog. Brandy is the real deal and I like the concept of the homegrown infield. I still believe if there is a way to get Doc we have to go for it. You know I love Big John and if he is not too greedy with $ and years lets get it done. I believe we could get OC one more time as a stop gap for Aybar(and I love him) until a farmhand is ready in 2011 or 12. once again great blog.