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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Regarding Alfred E. Stoneman

Alfred E. Stoneman

By way of responding to Richard's call for trades, I would ask, well, who do you get that's better? The Dodgers simply refused to do anything at the trade deadline, and face worse problems in their bullpen than the Angels. My question would be, who do you get and for what? Relief is clearly an issue, but the kind of pitchers the Angels need aren't available on any team. That's something DePodesta -- IMO in the class of GMs "smarter than Bill Stoneman" -- recognized and therefore held off on.

Second, Bill Stoneman doesn't seem to make trades because he's not successful at it. The call, therefore, to have him execute a trade to improve the team is a non-sequitur. The only one he's made that has been successful that I can remember is the Mo Vaughn for Kevin Appier trade. He certainly has done a bad enough job with his offseason free agent signings; Orlando Cabrera, until today (when he actually went 3-4 with a double) has been an offensive black hole the likes of which the team hasn't seen since Alfredo Amezaga who could have been had for free. I think Stoneman would make a great director of scouting, but he's a weak GM.

And that brings up my last point: who do you get to replace him? I suspect Sandy Alderson, former A's GM and now working in the Padres' front office as President, would be a good choice, but I expect that technically GM would represent a downshift from his current responsibilities. Maybe J.P. Ricciardi, if he gets fired from Toronto... but here I dream.

Update: Another thought: You could be stuck with a blowhard like Jim Bowden. He makes lots of trades...

Maybe I'm easy to please, but a World Series, a Division Championship, and a likely second consecutive Division Championship (plus a decent shot at the Series), all while assembling (and not squandering) baseball's best minor league system, doesn't really strike me as a bad job.

Stoneman does a good job of letting people walk (Spiezio, Percy, Glaus, Ecstein ... Molina next year & probably Washburn, etc.), and using the money & draft picks pretty well. You've got too much invested in hating Cabrera to see the upside of having a terrific (albeit expensive) defensive SS, and push will definitely come to shove when the middle-infield minor league talent is ready for prime time (at which point I'm rooting for Wood to be switched to CF) ... but this is a deep, entertaining & successful team.

Too bad about the road trip, and I hope to Jeebus Finley never faces another left-handed pitcher, but I can't get behind the boo-hoo parade.
Matt -- I can't get myself too worked up about Stoneman for just the reasons you mentioned. But at the same time, he's made one too many bad acquisitions for me to put him in the top ranks.

Cabrera's alleged defensive superiority cost the Angels a game today; as I said a few days ago, they're vastly overpaying for a player who could be had for nearly free. Eckstein wouldn't have been this bad offensively, and all they would have had to do would be to keep him another year. Agreed that in general he's had a good sense at the other end of the scale to let guys go who weren't going to contribute, with the caveat that Eckstein is doing pretty well for the Cards.

Let's wait until the season is over before we call the 2005 Angels successful, shall we? I think the Dodgers may recall a similar problem that happened just after everybody picked them to take the division, just after they went 12-2.

Depo has accomplished nothing without Beane, has fielded a sub .500 team in his first full year as a GM.

Stoneman has done an excellent job fielding not only a team that is a winner, but a team that is exciting to watch.

the dodgers are dreadful as a team, and even worse performing as an entertainment option. What could be worse than watching JD Drew watch a fourth ball or third strike go by without swinging?

This love for depo is based soley on hype and perception. he has accomplished nothing. NOTHING.
Anon -- I agree with you to some extent; some of the injuries the Dodgers have suffered this year were foreseeable. However, those players at risk didn't get re-injured in ways you could have expected (e.g., Brad Penny's nerve injury, when his earlier problem was a biceps problem). Broken ligaments (Bradley), torn knee ligaments (Valentin, sliding into second), Drew (broken wrist on a hit by pitch) -- how many of those could have been foreseen?

I'll agree with you that Drew is incredibly frustrating to watch as a player. He would make a really nice 2-3 hitter on the Cards once Jim Edmonds retires, especially with Rolen and Pujols behind him.
Rob - Wasn't it a slide into home where Valentin injured himself?
It sure was.
The Alfred E. Stoneman thing is a really low thing to do. The man built his roster over the winter. You have no idea what offers were made and whether they might have actually weakened the team. It really astounds me how people think the Angels just make some stupid move just to prove to a few whiners on the Internet that they "did something." A lot of teams do something and wind up losing.

This is probably the worst it will get for the Angels this year. This is probably the best it will get for the A's. Show a little faith.
It really astounds me how people think the Angels just make some stupid move just to prove to a few whiners on the Internet that they "did something."

You have me confused with Richard. I absolutely concur with Stoneman not making any moves in this instance. (BTW, the Alfred E. Stoneman graphic is Richard's.) My big complaints about the Angels offseason were

1) Cabrera, who should not have been signed at all (certainly not for $32M/4 years, anyway), and
2) Finley, about whom I can only complain in the rearview mirror; I thought it a good signing at the time and rue it now.

This is probably the worst it will get for the Angels this year. This is probably the best it will get for the A's. Show a little faith.

You think so? I hope you're right. But the A's have unloaded the big-name chokers that plagued them down the stretch and in the postseason for five years running, and stocked up on strikeout artists for their pen. Meantime, the reliability of the Angels' bullpen continues to diminish; what is this pen minus Shields? In 2002 you could point to Weber or Donnelly as guys you could call in for tight situations. Not any more; there's nobody remotely like them now. The Angels' rotation has been pitching over their peripherals all season; the A's, under theirs. This is where Oakland blasts past the weakening Angels and never look back.
"It really astounds me how people think the Angels just make some stupid move just to prove to a few whiners on the Internet that they "did something."

If you think my argument is that a move should be made simply for the "shock and awe" of it, you need to go back and re-read. If you think this club didn’t need any help, you need to open your eyes.

"The man built his roster over the winter."

And what a great job he did! He took a division winner, spent $50,000,000, did a little wheeling-and-dealing and wound-up with a club that, if you squint, looks almost as good as last year’s! Way to go Bill!
a likely second consecutive Division Championship

When? 2006 and 2007? Because they sure aren't winning it this year.
Seitz, put your money where your pessimism is -- fitty cash dollar bills. I say we win, you bet on the rookie rotation, Scott Hatteberg and Jay Payton. Deal?
capital dodgers -- correction, I think it was a slide into second where Valentin injured himself.

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