Sunday, September 12, 2004
White Sox 13, Angels 6
So now, I'm writing from the marvellously climate-controlled environment of my office. Our two dogs have figured out that inside, where it's cool and drier, is a much happier place to be than outside, where it's warm and -- thanks to Tropical Storm Javier -- fairly humid (around 50% the last couple days). But that doesn't mean that dogs don't get something akin to cabin fever. Yesterday, while we were watching the Cubs game, our German shephard/husky mix, Hannah, poked her nose out the dog door. After figuring out that the inside was better than outside -- again -- she turned and barked at us. Just once.
That kind of incoherent incomprehension of a world unsuited to my preferences is how I feel about the Angels right now. I didn't watch the game last night -- yes, I've about given up on the Angels for the year, something I've done several times in the past -- but when words like "sloppy play" get bandied about your team, you begin to realize how unlikely it is that they'll make the playoffs. Clay Davenport's Post-season Odds Report has the Angels as little less than a 1-in-4 shot to win the division. That is to say, they have a chance, but barely.
But for now, I'm going to assume Darin Erstad will join Tim Salmon and some of the other Seraphs on the golf links presently, leading to discussions about next year and what should be done. Sele clearly doesn't have anything left in the tank, but he's a goner after this year anyway. No, the question is who should replace him. For all that the Angels' farm system has "waves of talent" heading to Anaheim, the fact is that the farm's one major deficiency is starting pitching. With Bobby Jenks and Ervin Santana both having truncated seasons this year, it means the Angels have some pretty awful choices coming up.
Let's say, for instance, the Angels resort -- again -- to free agency. Free agents are expensive, and quality free agent pitchers tend to be really expensive. Using Peter Gammons' free-agency supermarket as a guide, the pickings are thin. Besides, these will be Yankee-infested waters, as Steinbrenner desperately pursues depth in his badly banged-up starting rotation.
- Brad Radke? Come on, isn't there such a rule as "there's no such thing as an ace from the AL Central"? If there isn't, there oughta be. Besides, Minnesota doesn't have anybody to replace him; resigning Brad has to be a top priority for the Twins.
- Esteban Loiaza: his last name is just a misspelling of "lousy". No thanks.
- Odalis Perez: this one just might happen. Here's why: he's a lefty with a reasonable ERA, but he's never been a truly big game pitcher. The Dodgers might be tempted to let him go, especially with Edwin Jackson's return to health, Jeff Weaver's return to effectiveness under Jim Colburn, and the acquisition of Brad Penny. Scott Boras represents Perez, another reason the team could watch him leave. If the Angels set a budget -- I don't think he's worth more than $5M/year given past performance -- he could represent a sizeable improvement over Sele. Remember, though, he's only ever pitched in the NL, and the transition could really hurt him.
- I just don't see how Matt Morris is going anywhere but back to St. Louis. Similarly, I wouldn't count on Russ Ortiz going anywhere, either.
- Pedro Martinez is another story, though. I'm sure the Yanks would love to pull another Clemens maneuver on the Sox, but his earlier comments on the matter indicated he would be available to anyone. Pedro -- at the right price -- could work for the Angels as well as the Red Sox. Given his inflated ERA but solid peripherals, the risk is injury and age.
nevertheless, oakland's not exactly setting the world on fire either so we still got a shot.
And while we're spending Arte's money, Bryan's Edgar Renteria idea is also good.