November 18, 2010

Hot Stove Potpourri and other stuff

This is pretty random stuff, so bear with me...

The Atlanta Braves made the biggest early splash this off season by acquiring Dan Uggla for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn. Shortly after the deal was announced one could hear the “I can’t believe my (fill-in-the-blank) team didn’t try to get him” comments everywhere.

Several Angel fans on message boards and even in the comment section of one my recent posts had even proposed that the Angels make Uggla a target. I’m glad they didn’t.

Most wanted to make Uggla the Angels’ third baseman despite the fact that he had 18 errors at second base. That’s a lot of errors folks. Uggla at third base would have been a nightmare, in my opinion. Besides, every time I think of him, I remember how badly he had the “yipes” in the 2008 all-star game. Remember that? He made three errors in that game. Players who perform that badly on a big stage really scare me.

No doubt his bat is impressive, but let’s also keep in mind that he’s going to be a free agent after this next season and has already turned down four-year, $48 million offer. Word is he’s looking for a five-year, $71 million deal.

What’s up with the Oakland A’s? Reports have come out that they have offer on the table for Adrian Beltre. They just acquired Edwin Encarnacion and already have Kevin Kouzmanoff on their roster. Trying to corner the market on third basemen?

Beltre is an interesting free agent, most fans either like him or hate him and there’s no real middle ground. Many will harp on the fact that his two best years came in contract years while more reasonable people (like me, ha-ha) focus on the fact that his overall numbers are pretty solid. Hey if you don’t believe me, look them up yourself. Those 25+ homeruns in all but one injury-plagued season in Seattle look pretty good to me. You will also see that he hit more homeruns away from Fenway than at Fenway. Not bad, huh?

I’ve actually been waging this argument about Beltre all off season – but many are clinging to the idea that he’s only good in contract years. All I’m saying is that he sure beats the alternatives.

Speaking of third basemen. Ever wonder what happened to Dallas McPherson? Well, he just signed with the Chicago White Sox. He’s still hitting homeruns (22 in 2010) and apparently still unable to play full seasons (84 games).

Speaking of third basemen… Wait didn’t I just say that? How about Shea Hillenbrand; where is he now? He and his wife run Marley Farms which is an animal rescue facility. Pretty cool. I wonder if Brandon Wood can work there. Hey, it’s in Gilbert, AZ and Wood is from Arizona.

I guess that was harsh.

Don’t get me wrong, I really wanted to see Wood succeed in the biggest way, but when ESPN’s Keith Law says “I saw Wood in the Arizona Fall League, where the Angels sent him as (I assume) a favor to help him find a potential home for 2011. He can still crush a fastball ... and still can't adjust to a breaking ball. He's a poor man's Mark Reynolds, but with the potential to be a much better defender. I'd take a shot at him if I was an NL GM with a spot at third for a high-risk, high-reward flier; in that circuit, Wood could hit .220 but play enough defense and hit enough home runs to be above replacement level” – it doesn’t look like Wood will be playing for the Angels next season.

Switching gears (enough about really bad 3B, right?)...

Congratulations to Bud Black for being named the 2010 National League Manager of the Year. He joins Joe Maddon (2008) as a former Angels coach who has won a Manager of the Year award. Will Ron Roenicke (new manager of the Milwaukee Brewers) be next?

Congratulations also go out to Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners for winning the 2010 AL CY Young Award. Okay, I really didn’t want to congratulate him; I really wanted to point out that his ERA against the Angels was 4.13 (5 starts) and even a little higher – 4.28 against the Rangers (6 starts). Let’s call that a “fun fact.” No matter how dominant he was (and he definitely was), he sure didn’t dominate the Angels or Rangers. Just saying.

Best Hot Stove rumor so far… According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies are interested in…. are you ready for this? Drum roll please…. Wait for it… Ready? Here it comes.... Scott Kazmir!!

Yes, you read that right. I almost fell out of my chair when I read this. It's funny... didn't I write a piece last off season related to Scott Kazmir and "swagger?" Yikes, that was some bad blogging. Now, if this rumor from Renck has any legs what-so-ever, Troy Renck might become my new favorite sports reporter.

Speaking of favorites… Check out Sam Miller’s piece from the OC Register regarding Hank Conger’s off season. Every time I read about Conger, I become more and more impressed with his maturity and mind set. Sam Miller on the other hand? Well, not so much. Just kidding.

By the way I hate the smell of potpourri...

1 comment:

  1. Hot stove potpourri, eh? The mental image that conjured was a Bath and Body ad touting a new sent – the combination of adrenaline, hope, fear, liniment, contract ink, money and the faintest hint of gym socks. LOL

    I had not been paying that much attention to the A’s. Hmmm, Moneyball strategy 2.0, it’s all about 3rd base?

    I wouldn’t call your swagger post bad blogging. It made sense at the time and I think Kaz’s 2010 performance shocked everyone, including Kaz himself. I still wouldn’t exactly cry if Colorado took him off our hands though. I worry that his 2010 issues have become so much of a mental block that he might not be able to work through it.