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Los Angeles Angels

AL West Preview: 3 teams for 3 playoff spots?

I started writing this post not knowing which team–the Oakland A’s, Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles or the Texas Rangers–would win the division. More accurately, as I type these very letters, I just don’t know who’s coming out on top. All we know for sure about the AL West this year is that the Seattle Mariners, a decent team in their own right, will finish fourth, and limping into last place will be the 107 loss Houston Astros, whose first season in the American League after 52 years in the NL will not be a warm welcome.
 
But just like any conflicted teenage girl, let’s man up on MAMBINO and list off some simple pros and cons for each team:
 
Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles
 
Pros: If everyone stays on the field, the Angels are going to have the most bruising, fearless offense in the division. AL MVP runner-up Mike Trout leads off the line-up, followed by a conga line of mashers: 1B Albert Pujols, OF Josh Hamilton, DH Mark Trumbo and 2B Howie Kendrick. Even their bit players, C Chris Ianetta, SS Erick Aybar, 3B Alberto Callaspo and Peter Bourjos, are all league average hitters at worst. The offense is built to play any way they need to; they’ve got enough patient hitters to manufacture walks, enough athletes to steal bases and enough destroyers to knock the ball into the stands. Health permitting, this could be the most potent line-up in Angels history.… Read more...

Bronx Tales: Vernon Wells, Savior? Probably Not.

KOBEsh: My girlfriend’s favorite non-Yankee player of the last two decades is Vernon Wells.
 
She’s not nearly as excited about this as she would have been 10 years ago.
 
Gentlemen, this trade has been universally panned, stating both the financial ramifications of the deal, as well as the fact that Vernon Wells just isn’t very good. Of course, we still don’t know what the Yankees are getting in return, nor do we know exactly what the monetary distribution All that being said, let’s riff on this. Mizzy?
 
El Miz: It’s funny to me all of this analysis without knowing the CBA metrics. To me, that is the only way to analyze this trade. If the Yankees get a tax credit and basically get a player for the 25 man roster for free in 2014, this is a good move. I’ll reserve judgment since NY could still bring up OF Melky Mesa, have him for the league minimum and use the difference (prob 1.7M) elsewhere.
 
That all being said, if the Yankees are paying wells $6.5 m in 2014, no joke Cashman should be fired because that’s god awful.
 
Vin: Miz texted me yesterday “want to guess how much Angels are going to pay NYY for Wells’ deal?”. At the time I was in a long car ride and had no access to any info on the trade other than getting a text. Not knowing what his AAV was or how much money was left on the deal overall, I texted back that the Yanks would be crazy to pay anything more than $3 for 2013. At the time, I was just assuming that he only had one year left and only a year left on his deal–after all, taking on even a dollar of his deal for 2014 after the way NYY executed the last offseason would be malpractice.
 
Obviously since then I have pretty much followed your guys’ thoughts; at one point (when we thought it was $6.5M for two years) it looked like either this deal was either a) forced on Cashman by a now panicking Randy Levine and Hal Steinbrenner combo and the GM should quit before making it or b) Cashman should be fired on the spot for pulling off an illogical deal. Thank God the latter didn’t turn out to be the case.… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Tommy Hanson to the Anaheim Angels

Atlanta Braves get: RP Jordan Walden

Anaheim Angels get: SP Tommy Hanson

On first glance…what the hell are the Braves thinking? Hanson is a 25 year-old starting pitcher, who’s still under team control for four more years. Though coming off his worst season yet (4.48 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and his lowest SO/BB ratio of his career), the now former Atlanta starter owns some sterling numbers of a 3.61 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 8.4 SO/9, and a 110 ERA+ over his three and a half Major League seasons.

In return? Jordan Walden, a relief pitching strikeout machine with palpable flaws. Once christened the opening day closer for Mike Scioscia’s squad, Walden soon feel out of grace with the team, posting a brutal April ERA of 8.31. However, after being quickly demoted in favor of Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri, the young fireballer settled down, posting a 2.46 ERA with 42 punchouts in 34 innings. Walden still allows too many hits (though mostly line drives, not homers), he’s pumping pure gas up there and simply over-powering hitters. There’s no doubt that he’d be one of the any team’s better relievers if he looked more like the guy from May to September rather than the the Byung Hyung Kim lookalike he was in April.

However, the bottom line is that Walden is a hard-throwing reliever and Hanson is a potential #2 starter. By the very principle of value, trading a reliever for such a high-ceiling starter makes no sense. On the surface, it looks like Frank Wren is spending a little too much “extracurricular time” with Atlanta hawks forward Josh Smith.

So to make sense of this, we deferred to Braves fan and friend of the blog The King. According to my man who I talked to on the phone today, Hanson, who was not so secretly terrible in 2012, but also was noticeably terrible in his last few starts of 2011…and then was out the rest of the year with injury. In his last five 2011 games, he allowed 24 earned runs, 36 hits and 8 homers in 26 innings (though he still struck out 33!). Hanson was later diagnosed with a slight tear in rotator cuff, and quite frankly, hasn’t looked the same since then. There’s a sense amongst Braves fan that perhaps Tommy has been irreparably changed by the operation, and even though he’s been able to strike out batters with pure speed, the control that once existed is no longer there. The shine, it would seem, has definitely worn off a bit from when Hanson was the organization’s number one prospect.

Going back to Walden, it doesn’t speak well of the trade that the Braves already have several extremely effective relievers in the historically dominant Craig Kimbrel, as well as Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty. Adding another high-powered reliever seems like an unnecessary personnel move, but then again, Atlanta is also looking at a 2013 starting rotation that’s now going to feature several young pitchers, including possibly Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado and Mike Minor. Going deep into games isn’t going to be a preseason forte of the Braves’ starters, so having yet another potentially destructive reliever is a good idea.

Finally, the Braves were, as is well documented, trading from a source of strength. Just today, they traded away Hanson and non-tendered Jair Jurjjens, and yet, Atlanta is still six-deep in the starting rotation, seven if you include a midseason return for the dominant Brandon Beachy from Tommy John surgery.

For the Angels, this is a moderate-risk, high reward trade. The downside is that they might have just traded a you… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Dan Haren to the Chicago Cubs

(Editor’s note: This trade was consummated last night….for about two hours. The Cubs pulled out of the deal late, and as a result, Haren was still an Angel…for another hour. 

The deadline for Anaheim GM Jerry DiPoto to exercise a $15.5 million dollar option for Haren’s 2013 season was 9pm PT, and thus the mad rush to try and trade him. However, after such a poor 2012 and a very expensive price tag, DiPoto declined and thus, the right-handed pitcher is now a free agent and could leave the Halos for nothing. Even for as badly as Anaheim wanted to trade him, ironically Haren becomes one of the biggest free agents on the 2012 winter market

But this was a pretty sweet trade analysis post. Take a look into an alternate reality where this happened)

Anaheim Angels get: RP Carlos Marmol

Chicago Cubs get: SP Dan Haren

A little less than a year ago the Los Angeles Angels appeared to be the front-runners for the American League pennant. And that was before they traded for a 28-year-old former Cy Young Award winner and before we knew that they had the best 20-year-old ever to play the game.

Once again though in the beautiful world of sports we found out that’s why they play the game. Josh Reddick and the Oakland A’s took the AL West division crown and Albert Pujols watched his old team come within one game of going back to the World Series without him. Pujols, Mike Trout and the Angels will certainly not be taken lightly again next year, but if they could not win with Dan Haren, it’s hard to see how they get better without him.
Even with a down year, Dan Haren was valuable to the Angels. His ERA was a quarter of a run higher than league average, but he has had rough years and bounced back before. The year he was originally traded to the Angels back in 2010 his ERA was actually very close to the league average. His strikeout to walk rate would indicate that nothing is too wrong with his efficiency. Again it was just a slightly down year, but the Angels had to make a decision.
They already are paying C.J. Wilson $11 million next season and $16 million after that…and then still money for another two years after that. Jered Weaver will make $17 million per year the next couple of seasons. Arte Moreno has deep pockets, but there’s a limit to everything.  Haren was due $15.5 million if the Angels picked up his option for this season. With Zack Greinke a free agent right now, the Angels apparently had to make a choice and they are rolling the dice on Greinke. If no money is exchanged (and the report is that this is a straight swap) the Angels will wind up saving about $6 million for this season.
On the other end of this trade, Theo Epstein and the Cubs got an amazing deal. There is a reason that the Cubs have had to turn to players like Rafael Dolis and James Russell in save situations; Carlos Marmol has been prone to horrible runs of inconsistency with finding the strike zone. In a city that doesn’t need another reason to lose faith the last thing they need to see to start a ninth i… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Zack Greinke to the Anaheim Angels

Anaheim Angels get: SP Zack Greinke

Milwaukee Brewers get: SS Jean Segura, SP Ariel Pena, SP Jim Hellweg (all prospects)

Angels GM Jerry DiPoto earned his SoCal front office ninja stripes today, stealthily and suddenly trading for All-Star pitcher Zack Greinke of the Milwaukee Brewers. Much like the Lakers’ Mitch Kupchak and the Dodgers’ Ned Colleti trading for stars Steve Nash and Hanley Ramirez, respectively, without much notification, DiPoto has made a deal that no only ranks as one of the most biggest of the trade deadline, but perhaps one of the most significant in regards to postseason play.


Anaheim had an absolutely brutal start to the season with a 9-15 April, but rebounded to a 54-45 mark, the third-best in the AL. The initially scuffling offense, featuring the stunningly impotent bat of Albert Pujols, the dead weight of Vernon Wells and Bobby Abreu and the uninspiring play from the supporting cast members, has given way to the Mike Trout-led Halos destroying all comers. Trout, Mark Trumbo and a resurgent Pujols have essentially reinvented the Angels lineup, which ranks amongst the best in the American League. The bullpen, heavily questioned before the season, has exceeded expectations, thanks in part to San Diego Padres import Ernesto Frieri (who’s given up four earned runs in 29 innings as an Angels reliever). The starting rotation, remarkably in spite of the names on paper, has remained the team’s weak link.

The Angels’ five man corp consists of ace Jered Weaver, along with All-Stars CJ Wilson, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren. Unfortunately for manager Mike Scioscia, only Weaver and Wilson have lived up to their billing, with Haren (has given up at least 5 earned runs in five of his last six stars) and Santana (a 6.00 ERA and 23 homers given up before August) struggling, to say the least. With the calendar turning towards the end of summer, DiPoto had to assume a turnaround to complete form for both men was unlikely. Thus, the clandestine deal for Zack Greinke was finished up tonight.

This is second time Greinke has been traded in the last 20 months, with the Brewers dealing for the starter two offseasons ago from the Kansas City Royals. Milwaukee knew that Zack would be a free agent in just two years time, which perfectly coincided with their “win-now” model they had put together in impending free agent Prince Fielder (now with the Detroit Tigers) and starter Shaun Marcum (another soon-to-be free agent). The Brewers started the day 14 games in back of division-leading Cincinnati, so the thought of losing Greinke for mere draft picks at the end of the season (seeing as he would almost undoubtedly sign with another squad) only added to the pains of dissapointment the Brew Crew felt with such a promising season gone horribly wrong. Before we go any further, Greinke is a world-class pitcher whose numbers (3.67 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) don’t come close to describing how great of a hurler he is. He’s one of the top 10 pitchers in the American League, and an absolute stud. Just to be clear.

As far as what I’ve read, the haul for Greinke was moderate, certainly not a future franchise-changing one. Shortstop Jean Segura was the best prospect in the Angels’ system, whose ceiling comparisons range from Howie Kendrick to Jose Reyes. He’s a bit on the small side, and could be headed for second base, but few doubt that he’ll be a major league player, though of what caliber is up to interpretation. Pena and Hellweg are both 23 year-old prospects with fire baller arms (… Read more...

MAMBINO Fantasy Monday: The Panic-Meter

On Friday, the Anaheim Angels and the Washington Nationals called up the consensus #1 and #2 prospects in the game, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout respectively. At ages 19 and 20, Harper and Trout are the two current youngest players in the major leagues. “Wayne’s World” has more experience existing than these two. Writing that bringing these two up from the minors is a “panic move” is hardly an overstatement; it might just be accurate.

It’s early in the season, but what I know is that it’s never too early for a team to freak out from underperformance. Let’s take a quick look at some early season moves made by teams across the MLB landscape, grade them 1 to 10 on the “Panic-Meter” and see what type of fantasy implications are there.
The Anaheim Angels call up OF Mike Trout
MAMBINO Panic-Meter: 7 out of 10
For the Angels, Trout’s call-up coincided with veteran Bobby Abreu’s release from the team. Now 7-15, the Halos are performing far below expectations. In fact, they’re one of the worst teams in baseball, along with the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals. For Anaheim, the reason for pressing the panic button is pretty obvious: they didn’t give Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson over $300 million dollars combined to finish in last place. They did it to win a World Series.
However, it’s not like this is just a move to just shake up the team. I mean, it’s definitely that, but this is also a really simple numbers issue. Abreu had a putrid spring training, followed by hitting .208 in limited duty this year. Bobby no longer plays the same type of Gold Glove defense that he was known for and was the biggest weakness of an Angeles log-jam in the outfield with Peter Bourjos, Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, Mark Trumbo and of course, Trout.
More importantly, Trout was laying waste to the Pacific Coast League, hitting .403 with literally a billion extra base hits (I exaggerate; it’s 10 in 20 games, with 6 stolen bases, to boot).

Yes, this is a panic move for the Angels because of how quickly their season was slipping away from them, even in March, but this was also just a simple numbers move for the Halos. Abreu was bad, and Trout is good. Any team, regardless of expectations, would have made this move.


Fantasy spin:Pick up Mike Trout, right now, if he hasn’t already been snatched up.  But perhaps more realistically, this is going to change the look for the other Angels in the line-up. Unless he really stinks, Trout is staying up for good, and probably hitting in the lead-off spot for the duration. I’d buy low into Peter Bourjos, who’s hitting in the 9 spot, seeing as Trout, who has some pretty impressive power, will  be hitting directly behind him.

The Washington Nationals call up OF Bryce Harper
MAMBINO Panic-Meter: 9 out of 10
For the Nationals, the reasons are a little less clear. Harper was only hitting .250 in the minors, with just 6 extra base hits in 82 plate appearances; hardly tearing it up. The logic is that the Nats probably wanted to bring up their young phenom immediately following spring training, but didn’t want to start his “arbitration clock” (which means, quite plainly, that Washington would have to pay him more money sooner if they brought him to the majors right away rather than waiting 3 weeks). At 14-7 and leading the NL East, Washington didn’t necessarily need him anyway. Right?
Wrong.  With 1B/OF Michael Morse and 3B Ryan Zimmerman on the DL, and Roger Bernadina, Xavier Nady and Rick Ankiel Read more...

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Season Preview

I’ve written at length at how the takeover had begun in earnest; The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are sowing the seeds to become the premier baseball club in Southern California. No sooner did I predict seeing Albert Pujols billboards up and down the 405 Freeway, did I go home a couple of weeks ago to see a gigantic “EL HOMBRE” billboard, with the broad back of #5 turned to the millions (and millions) that pass by every day.

Though the OC invasion might not last for long now that the Dodgers are back in the hands of competent and morally upright citizens, Arte Moreno’s club has a chance to strike while the Boys in Blue are still down.

As consistently competitive as the Angels have been since their title win in 2002, this might be one of the most impressive rosters the front office has ever put together. Top to bottom, the team is flush with “Top 5” players at so many positions, and have several blue chip prospects knocking on the door. However, just because the roster is “impressive” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most complete. As a Angeleno born and bred, I find it almost impossible to keep myself away from peripherally becoming familiar with the “other” home town team. Let’s run down the Halos in MAMBINO’s Angels season preview:

Infield

The Halos have 2 certainties in their infield, and 3 big question marks. However, when one of those certainties is worth over $240 million dollars and is generally regarded as the best player in the game, your questions don’t seem as pressing, do they?  
  • Howie Kendrick is coming off a career year and his second consecutive of at least 140 games. With an OPS of .802, 18 homers and a .285 batting average, there aren’t too many second basemen in the game better than Kendrick.
  • Erick Aybar suffers from “Dodgers-Infield-itis”, meaning the guy could field any ball hit in his general direction, but hitting the thing really isn’t his strength. With how much firepower is scattered around the rest of the team, they can stand to have Aybar’s replacement level offensive production because of his glove.
  • Here’s the deal: Even at his very, very best, incumbent third baseman Alberto Callaspo is a league-average player with a fantastic defensive acumen. Then you have Mark Trumbo, who’s never played third base at any professional level, with 29 rookie season home runs and nowhere to hit with a returning Kendrys Morales at DH and some scrap heap pick-up at first base. Trumbo committed two errors in his first start at the hot corner, so the decision might not be on hold for long, but I really have no idea who’s going to end up at third in two months.
  • Catcher Chris Ianetta was once an absolute masher for the Colorado Rockies, hitting 57 homers over 4 seasons. However, the Coors effect seems to have boosted Ianetta’s numbers, seeing as he has a .870 OPS at Coors, but a very very mortal .707 OPS elsewhere. Which is the real Chris Ianetta?
  • DH is going to be a solid spot for the Angels all year long, with Bobby Abreu, Mark Trumbo, Kendrys Morales and one other guy rotating in and out. Morales is the key here, who had All-Star level projection before a broken leg two years ago and hasn’t played a game since.
  • And then you’ve got Albert at first base. He’ll be just fine.
Outfield
This redition of the Angels outfield seems to be on it’s last legs. TIme is rapidly running out for Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu, with at least 3 kids nipping at their
Read more...

Arte Moreno’s Game Changer – Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson to the Angels

By far, this has been the craziest day in my sports watching lifetime. My work productivity was cut by at least 1/3, and my standing at the company has undoubtedly fallen, as my peers in the comic book industry wonder why I care so much about a guy named “Poo-holes” and another guy named “Pow Gassul”.

While this Laker-Hornets trade, or perhaps lack thereof (let’s give this a day before we call this deal absolutely dead, shall we?) is dominating the headlines, it feels like it’s been weeks since I learned that the two most prominent free agents in the MLB offseason, Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson, both signed massive deals with YOUR…Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

I’ve read a lot of reaction to the signings, positive and negative, but either way, there’s no denying that it’s the landmark move in the 8 year ownership of Arturo Moreno, and perhaps even in all of baseball in that same time frame. I’m going to go through a list of reaction I’ve heard today, and give my impressions on what this is and what this isn’t:


“Can you say LeBron?”

This is not a LeBron situation. In some effects, yes, it is, but in most it is not. Similarly, both players are considered the best, or at the very least amongst the best of their prospective professions. No matter what team they played for or what conference they were in, both these players were going to change the culture of not only the teams they played for, but even the cities and states that that team was in. Both men have won MVP awards, Pujols thrice and LeBron on two occasions.

But the difference is that Pujols left a winner; not just in that he is still washing the champagne from the locker room celebration and perhaps some other liquids from the post-locker room celebration, but in that he has done nothing but win titles and accolades his entire career in St. Louis. Unlike LeBron, who won two MVPs in his two last years of being in Cleveland, Pujols won his awards years apart (in 2005, 2008 and 2009). In a time where home run hitting first basemen are seemingly being farmed on a ranch somewhere, Pujols has emerged as a 6 time silver slugger, a 2 time Gold Glove winner and a 9 time All-Star. But more important than his own personal accomplishments were that of the team. The Cardinals went to the postseason a Jeter-ian 7 times in his 11 seasons, winning the pennant in 2004, 2006 and 2011, and the World Title in the latter two years. He managed to do all of this while putting up the same type of statistics in the playoffs that he did in the regular season (reminds me of someone else I just mentioned…oh wait. It doesn’t), with a 1.046 postseason OPS as opposed to his 1.037 OPS from April until September.

Quite honestly, there was nothing left for Albert to do in St. Louis. He didn’t tell the Cardinals over national television or leave them hanging for a year. He wanted to stay in St. Louis, but the deal just wasn’t there. True he left for a bigger market team, but he also left for a team that hasn’t won a pennant since 2002. Cardinals fans should rightfully be sad to see him go, but should be being thankful that they got to see one of the five best players of all time for 11 years.

Pujols leaving St. Louis today was nothing like LeBron leaving Cleveland. He gave everything he had, and it was more than enough. No one can say that of James.

“What a callous move”

This was not callous. First of all, let’s get this out of the way; the deal that the Angels gave Pujols was worth over $50 MILLION DOLLARS MORE than what th… Read more...

"Dodgers or Angels?" – How the Angels are taking over Los Angeles

The Anaheim Angels just completed an 86-win season. Just two years ago, they were one of the best teams in the American League with a 97-65 record, which was only surpassed by their 2008 campaign, most noted for an AL and franchise-best 100 wins.

These four seasons capture Tony Reagins’ entire tenure in Anaheim. He “resigned” from his position as General Manager after the Angels failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year, preceded by two seasons with an AL West title, but without either an American League pennant or World Series championship. According to Tony, he felt that his performance was not up to the standards of what the Angels, and owner Arturo Moreno, demanded.

Reagins’ brief career atop the Angels front office was populated by moves typical for a major market franchise. He made some big gambles in trading for players like Dan Haren, Scott Kazmir, Mark Teixiera and Vernon Wells, signing Torii Hunter, Fernando Rodney and Bobby Abreu while letting franchise players like Francisco Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero and John Lackey walk in free agency. Some of these plans worked out, some didn’t, but regardless, Reagins didn’t get Anaheim any closer to a championship.

And that’s what Anaheim baseball is. They play for pennants and championships, not for pyrrhic victories like 100-win seasons or ERA titles. They win often, expect excellence and demand nothing less. Arturo Moreno is a man who extends his staff and fans all the luxuries money can buy, which ranges from the finest training facilities to cheap stadium beers to $81 million dollar contracts. In return, he holds everyone under him accountable against the standards that George Steinbrenner, Walter O’Malley and John Henry hold their people to; winning, and winning big. The Angels and Moreno have spent an unconscionable amount of money buying everything they could ever need to win a title, and in doing so, have created an ideal that usually takes decades to earn – the highest standards of winning in professional athletics, set forth by those great men I just named. By the grace of Moreno and dignity by which he runs his organization, the Angels have joined the upper echelon of elite Major League Baseball clubs. When you mention the great franchises of the league, you cannot exclude Anaheim from the discussion. They are amongst the Red Sox, Yankees, Cardinals, Giants and Twins where the expectations are highest and the glory greatest. The Angels have become an organization that has trumped any sense of cross-town rivalry I might have been brought up with, and has morphed into a club that has earned my utmost respect. They have become the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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I live in New York City. I meet scores of rightfully braggadocios Yankee fans and downtrodden defensive Mets fans every week. Much like the Rangers, Islanders or Devils of the NHL. I understand that there is a geographical reasoning as to where their baseball and hockey allegiances lie. With football season in full swing, I have come to understand the difference between the blue-collar Jets fans and the white-collar Giants fans. The point is that I have to ask. There is no assumed answer. “Jets/Giants? Rangers/Islanders/Devils? Yankees/Mets?”. It’s still amazing to me that a seemingly innocuous question like that can paint such a vivid snapshot of the life you’ve led.

In the rare occasion that the conversation gets going a bit, I’ll get asked where m… Read more...

Total Mindblow: The Scioscia Effect

I have long maintained that Mike Scioscia of YOUR…Anaheim Angels is the best manager in not just baseball, but in all of sports. Every season he fields consistently competitive teams, regardless of the personnel. Even more impressively, every single one of these teams, no matter how many wins they end up or how far they advance in the postseason, play the exact same way – with hustle, passion and respect. Sure, the Red Sox have consistently won since 2003, but how would you characterize some of those teams? Did Manny Ramirez or Pedro Martinez exemplify class? Has anyone ever spoken of Daisuke or JD Drew and said “damn, those guys are gamers?” Scioscia might not have as many rings as Terry Francona, but he damn sure held his team to a higher standard than a lot of other, more successful organizations. The Angels stay out of the headlines, play as hard as they can and WIN. I can’t say that about too many franchises in North American sports.

But the winning doesn’t just stop with Mike. Watching the Yankees-Brewers game last night, I was reminded that Ron Roenicke, former Third Base and bench coach for Scioscia, is now the manager for the Milwaukee (or, as it’s known in Algonquin, “The Good Land”) Brewers and has that squad in first place in the NL Central. Not too shabby for a first year manager.

Roenicke is just one of the 3 current coaches of Scioscia’s 2002 World Series Champion Angels that manage in the majors right now. Joe Maddon, the 2002 bench coach, has been the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays since 2006. Bud Black, who was the pitching coach in 2002, has served as the skipper for the San Diego Padres since 2007.

Having three guys on your squad become managers is a pretty impressive statistic in itself. But hey, anyone can manage. Tommy Lasorda just yelled nonsense and ate chocolate malts for 20 years and somehow won 4 pennants and 2 titles. Let’s take a look at their managerial records since they left Anaheim:

Mike Scioscia (2000 to current): 1021-842
Joe Maddon (2006 to current): 427-423
Bud Black (2007 to current): 354-377
Ron Roenicke (2011 to present): 44-36
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Total Record: 1846 – 1678, a .523 winning percentage

To put that in perspective, one of the winningest managers in the history of the game, Joe Torre, has a .538 winning percentage. Pretty incredible.

Beyond the stats, anyone who pays attention to Anaheim, Tampa Bay, San Diego or Milwaukee baseball (there’s got to be at least two…no, three dozen of you out there) will tell you that these 4 managers are amongst the best in the game. Roenicke looks like he could be taking the Brewers to only (and amazingly) their 4th playoff appearance in nearly 41 seasons. Bud Black led a garbage San Diego Padres squad that finished 22nd in runs scored and 27th in OPS to within one game of unseating the future World Champion San Francisco Giants from a playoff spot. He won the 2010 NL Manager of the Year award for the job he did. In his 5 seasons with Tampa, Joe Maddon has coached the team to it’s 3 winningest seasons, on track for number 4 (in fairness, they never won more than 70 games before he got there). He won the 2008 AL Manager of the Year award for getting the Rays to their first World Series.

Scioscia’s story is better documented. After a pennant-filled career with YOUR…Los Angeles Dodgers, Scioscia started his coaching tenure with the Angels in 2000, and has remained in that post ever since. In 10 seasons, he’s taken the Angels to 6 postseasons, winnin… Read more...